Three Types of Laws Could Reduce Gun Deaths by More Than 10%: Study

How Cities Offload the Cost of Police Brutality ; Could the Polio Vaccine Curb the Coronavirus Pandemic? ; and More Picks

gun violence prevention, legislation, new study
The author writes, “Nearly 40,000 people were killed by firearms in the United States in 2018, but curbing these numbers has been a statistically tricky — and politically fraught — problem. Now, a study that tracked individual gun laws over time suggests states can reduce gun deaths significantly by doing three things: limiting children's access to guns, restricting concealed-carry permits, and restricting ‘stand your ground’ policies.” Photo credit: Phil Roeder / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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Elite CIA Unit That Developed Hacking Tools Failed to Secure Its Own Systems (Chris C.)

The authors write, “The theft of top-secret computer hacking tools from the CIA in 2016 was the result of a workplace culture in which the agency’s elite computer hackers ‘prioritized building cyber weapons at the expense of securing their own systems,’ according to an internal report … The breach — allegedly by a CIA employee — was discovered a year after it happened, when the information was published by WikiLeaks, in March 2017. … U.S. officials have said it was the biggest unauthorized disclosure of classified information in the CIA’s history, causing the agency to shut down some intelligence operations and alerting foreign adversaries to the spy agency’s techniques.”

Democratic Party Irked by Council’s ‘Insurgent’ Climate Plan (Chris C.)

From Reuters: “The Democratic National Committee’s council on climate change irked party leadership when it published policy recommendations this month that ventured beyond presidential candidate Joe Biden’s plan, according to three people familiar with the matter. … The council’s proposals far exceed Biden’s current climate plan, which bans new oil and gas permits on public lands and dedicates $1.7 trillion to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, but allows continued fracking and exports in the meantime.” 

Black Lives Matter Donations Went to Unrelated Foundation (DonkeyHotey)

The authors write, “Employees of Apple, Google, and Microsoft have raised millions of dollars for the Black Lives Matter Foundation thinking it’s the international racial justice movement seeking to end police brutality. That couldn’t be further from the truth.”

How Cities Offload the Cost of Police Brutality (Dan)

The author writes, “Cities spend tens of millions of dollars on lawsuits over police violence and killings. But municipalities are effectively using residents to mortgage the cost.”

Could the Polio Vaccine Curb the Coronavirus Pandemic? (Dana)

From Forbes: “The oral polio vaccine — a weakened version of the live virus — is expected to trigger a general immune response to any foreign organism. During this time, the body will develop antibodies specific to the pathogen, such as the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Researchers theorize that this temporary immune boost could confer a safeguard against viruses for which the vaccine wasn’t initially designed to defend against.”

‘Overwhelming Efficacy’ Found in New Lung Cancer Drug (Dana)

The author writes, “Clinical trials of a new lung cancer treatment [have shown] unprecedented results in decreasing the risk of death or recurrence from the disease by 89%. After embarking on phase three trials … the independent committee monitoring the trial data has ruled the trial can become unblinded, meaning that both patient and administrator know who has received the drug and who has received placebo.”

Ancient Roman Board Game Found in Norwegian Burial Mound (Mili)

The author writes, “Archaeologists excavating a burial mound in western Norway have discovered a roughly 1,700-year-old Roman board game, reports state broadcast network NRK. The find dates to around 300 A.D., placing it squarely in the Roman Iron Age, which spanned 1 to 400 A.D. According to a statement from the University Museum of Bergen, the trove includes an elongated dice and 18 game chips. Researchers say the discovery will help establish the extent of cultural exchange between Rome and Scandinavia during the period, as well as the societal significance of gaming at the time.”

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