TSA Finds 3 Times Usual Rate of Guns at Checkpoints, Despite Drop in Air Traffic

Cities Sue Census Bureau Over Ending 2020 Head Count Early ; Researchers Say They Know What Happened to ‘Lost Colony’ and More Picks

guns, air travel, checkpoints, rise
The author writes, “The number of people flying on commercial jetliners is down 75% from last summer, but the rate of those getting caught either inadvertently or deliberately trying to bring a gun on board is soaring. Transportation Security Administration officers are finding guns in carry-on bags at security checkpoints at a rate three times higher than they did last summer. And 80% of those guns are loaded.” Photo credit: US Department of Homeland Security / Wikimedia
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After Beirut, Experts Warn of ‘Dangerous Gaps’ in US Oversight of Ammonium Nitrate (Russ)

From NPR: “The catastrophic explosion in Beirut …  has renewed calls in the U.S. to strengthen oversight of ammonium nitrate or AN, a chemical compound used in some farm fertilizers. Officials in Beirut believe the giant blast, which killed more than 200 people and damaged half of the city, was likely an accident caused by fire and negligent storage of some 2,750 tons of the chemical. In addition to farming and mining, AN has been used in terrorist attacks from Oklahoma City to Baghdad. It’s highly explosive. It has been an ingredient of choice for improvised explosive devices and car bombs that have killed scores of soldiers and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Cities Sue Census Bureau Over Ending 2020 Head Count Early (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “More than a half-dozen cities, counties and civil right groups sued the Trump administration on Tuesday, saying there was no justification for its decision to cut the 2020 census short by a month, and it will lead to the undercounting of minority communities and an inaccurate head count of every U.S. resident. The lawsuit … asks a judge to reinstate a plan that had the once-a-decade head count ending in October instead of September. ‘Undercounted cities, counties, and municipalities will lose representation in Congress and tens of millions of dollars in funding. And communities of color will lose core political power and vital services,’ the lawsuit said.”

Dying Young: The Healthcare Workers in Their 20s Killed by COVID-19 (Mili)

The author writes, “While Covid-19 takes a far deadlier toll on elderly people than young adults, an investigation of frontline healthcare worker deaths … has uncovered numerous instances when staff under the age of 30 were exposed on the job and also succumbed. In our database of 167 confirmed frontline worker deaths, 21 medical staff, or 13% of the total, were under 40, and eight (5%) fatalities were under 30. The median age of a Covid-19 death in the general population is 78, while the median age of healthcare worker deaths in the database is 57. This is in part because we are, by definition, only including people of working age who were treating patients during the pandemic – but it is also because, as health workers, they are far more exposed to the virus.”

Trump Fetal Tissue Ethics Board Urges Rejection of Nearly All Research Proposals (Dan)

The author writes, “A new advisory board, created to review the ethics of proposed fetal tissue research grants, is urging the Trump administration to block government funding for nearly all of the applications — essentially seeking to ban support for most such scientific work. … The board sent its advice in a report to HHS Tuesday, less than three weeks after the announcement of its members, two-thirds of whom are outspoken opponents of abortion, fetal tissue research, or both. The group has operated in secrecy, with even its own members unaware of who else was on it until the end of July, when it held a single, day-long virtual meeting, most of it closed to the public. Members were required to sign nondisclosure agreements about their deliberations.”

‘The Mystery Is Over’: Researchers Say They Know What Happened to ‘Lost Colony’ (Dana)

From the Virginia-Pilot: “The English colonists who settled the so-called Lost Colony before disappearing from history simply went to live with their native friends — the Croatoans of Hatteras, according to a new book. … The evidence shows the colony left Roanoke Island with the friendly Croatoans to settle on Hatteras Island. They thrived, ate well, had mixed families and endured for generations.”

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