US elections, American education, swing voters, parents
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Why Parents May Be the New Swing Voters (Maria)

The author writes, “The state of American education is a growing concern for voting parents this year, and that offers a potential edge to candidates hoping to appeal across partisan lines in November. New polling released today by a top national charter school booster says education is now a more important political issue to parents and guardians of school-age children than it was in the past. In all, 83 percent of voting parents said education is more important to them. The trend was especially apparent among Black parents and parents of children with special needs, according to the national survey of roughly 5,000 parents conducted May 19 to 31 by The Harris Poll on behalf of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.”

US Lawmakers Call on Google to Label or Limit Search Results for ‘Fake’ Abortion Clinics (Sean)

The author writes, “A group of US lawmakers has signed off on a letter to Google that urges the company to reevaluate its treatment of search results that direct users to anti-abortion crisis centers rather than legitimate clinics. … The letter cites research published by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), which focuses on Google search results in ‘trigger law states’ — or the 13 states where abortion will become illegal if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Research indicates that 11 percent of Google searches in trigger law states for ‘abortion clinic near me’ and ‘abortion pill’ bring users to ‘fake’ clinics that try to dissuade women from having an abortion. The problem is even more pronounced on Google Maps, as the CCDH found that 37 percent of abortion-related map searches led to fake clinics.”

Watergate 50th Meets Jan. 6. Common Thread: Thirst for Power (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The wreckage of Watergate and Jan. 6 are a half-century apart yet rooted in the same ancient thirst for power at any cost. Two presidents, wily and profane, tried an end run around democracy. Mysteries from both affairs endure as the House inquiry into the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising at the Capitol intersects with this week’s Watergate 50th anniversary.”

The State of Maine v. Parole (Dana)

From Down East: “Maine was the first state to eliminate the possibility of parole. Now, a hard-nosed state legislator and a once-incarcerated PhD student are making the case that parole deserves a second chance. Can they sway a political establishment wary of looking soft on crime?”

The Hidden Fees Making Your Bananas, and Everything Else, Cost More (Howard)

The author writes, “As ballooning costs hit the wallets of American families, the global ocean shipping industry is enjoying its most profitable period in recent history. In the first quarter of 2022, the biggest carriers’ operating margins hit 57%, according to one industry research firm, after hovering in the single digits before the pandemic.”

Global Plastic Use and Waste on Track to Triple by 2060 (Laura)

The author writes, “A world severely blighted by plastic pollution is on track to see the use of plastics nearly triple in less than four decades… Annual production of fossil-fuel-based plastics are set to top 1.2 billion tonnes by 2060 and waste to exceed one billion tonnes, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Even with aggressive action to cut demand and improve efficiencies, plastic production would almost double in less than 40 years, the 38-nation body projects in a report.”

How Sleep Builds Relational Memory (Mili)

From ScienceDaily: “Relational memory is the ability to remember arbitrary or indirect associations between objects, people or events, such as names with faces, where you left your car keys and whether you turned off the stove after cooking but before you left the house. Previous research has established that animal and human memory benefits from sufficient, quality sleep. In a new study … Maxim Bazhenov, PhD, professor of medicine at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, and Timothy Tadros, a graduate student in his lab, describe the underlying mechanisms that strengthen or create new relational memories during sleep.”

Ground Zero for the Black Death Finally Found After 600 Years (Sean)

The author writes, “The origins of the deadly Black Death have been discovered more than 600 years after it entered the human population, scientists have said. The medieval, bubonic plague was first recorded in the 14th century and was the start of a near 500-year-long wave of killer diseases termed the Second Plague Pandemic. … Despite years of research, the geographic and chronological origin of the disease remained a mystery. But researchers said they believe the Black Death first originated in North Kyrgyzstan in the late 1330s.”

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