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A US Bill Would Ban Kids Under 13 From Joining Social Media (Maria)

The author writes, “A new bipartisan federal proposal introduced in the US Senate [April 26] would set a national age limit for using social media, effectively banning anyone 12 and under from using the apps many children currently spend hours a day on. There are countless efforts floating around Capitol Hill aimed at safeguarding the nation’s children from the dangers of social media, but this new measure, known as the Protecting Kids on Social Media Act, takes aim at the algorithms Silicon Valley employs to keep kids on their sites. Specifically, it bars children under 13 from creating accounts on social media apps, while also greatly curtailing the algorithms tech companies could deploy on people between 13 and 17 years old. …The bill would also require parental consent before anyone under 18 could create a profile.”

A California Journalist Documents the Far-Right Takeover of Her Town: ‘We’re a Test Case’ (Reader Jim)

From The Guardian: “[Doni] Chamberlain, 66, has worked as a journalist in Shasta county, California, for nearly 30 years. Never before in this far northern California outpost has she witnessed such open hostility towards the press. Shasta, Chamberlain said, is in the midst of a ‘perfect storm’ as different hard-right factions have joined together to form a powerful political force with outside funding and publicity from fringe figures.”

Immigrants Waiting 10 Years in US Just to Get a Court Date (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “U.S. immigration offices have become so overwhelmed with processing migrants for court that some asylum-seekers who crossed the border at Mexico may be waiting a decade before they even get a date to see a judge.”

No, COVID Vaccines Aren’t Being Added to Our Food Supply (Mili) 

From the Los Angeles Times: “In widespread posts online in recent weeks, misinformation purveyors have spread false claims that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are being quietly added to the food supply, threatening staunch vaccine holdouts. In reality, COVID-19 vaccines are not being passed along through livestock or produce, and experts say that would not be an efficient way to immunize someone anyway.”

Key Lessons for the US From Analyses of Student Loan Systems All Around the World (Gerry)

From Brookings: “From our unique research with and policy understanding of student loans, we can come to one line for the U.S. reform agenda: The whole system can be made so much fairer, more efficient, more progressive, and simpler, with the institution of a single income-driven loan repayment system for all borrowers.”

Why Economists Should Study Hope (Sean) 

The author writes, “We might typically think of hope as a touchy-feely emotion that, almost by definition, is divorced from real-life experience. In fact, as more research is beginning to show, hope is an important scientific concept — something we can define, measure, analyze, and ultimately cultivate. Emotions are crucial to a range of human behaviors that have broader economic, social, and political consequences.”

The Pacific Garbage Patch Is Home to Coastal Species — in the Middle of the Ocean (Roshni)

From Smithsonian Magazine: “Plastic debris swept through the seas by wind and waves has piled up in large areas of the North Pacific Ocean, collectively dubbed the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch.’ But on this raft of trash in the open sea, researchers found something they did not expect: a surprisingly high number of marine plants and animals thought to live only on coasts.”

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