Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#HEADLINES: U.S. to Disclose Legal Justification for Drone Strikes on Americans, First Lady Touts Arts Education, Climate Change in Miami, Third U.S. MERS Case, 1/3 of South Sudan Face Starvation, Climate Change Worsens Wildfires, Salaries of University Presidents Rise as Student Debt Spirals

photo via: Drone Wars UK
U.S. to disclose legal justification for drone strikes on Americans -- Chicago Tribune
"In a case pitting executive power against the public's right to know what its government does, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month reversed a lower-court ruling preserving the secrecy of the legal rationale for the killings, such as the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen.

"Ruling for the New York Times in the case, a unanimous three-judge panel said the government waived its right to secrecy by making repeated public statements justifying targeted killings."


First lady: Arts education good for good schools -- Associated Press
"The talent show was a vehicle to showcase the 'Turnaround Arts' program. It was created as an experiment in 2012 by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in collaboration with the White House and the Education Department to test whether arts education can help improve student outcomes and create more positive learning environments. Major artists adopted each school.

"Encouraged by the results so far, including higher reading and math scores and fewer disciplinary problems, Mrs. Obama announced that the program is being expanded this year from the original eight schools to 35 schools in 10 states — Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Louisiana, Oregon, Montana, Colorado, California, Illinois, Minnesota — and the District of Columbia."


The people of Miami know about climate change. We're living it. -- The Guardian
"Sea level rise threatens our drinking water supplies, farm fields and the main driver of tourism: beaches. But in the absence of a disaster, it's easy for many of us to forget about the long-term risks until a report such as the National Climate Assessment details them. But while local officials are talking about solutions and planning, politicians farther away from south Florida aren't. The issue has become an ideological fault line on the state and national levels. In the state capital in Tallahassee, Republican governor Rick Scott stalled efforts to grapple with the issue."




Third U.S. MERS case brings more questions than answers -- USA Today
"The latest case was first reported Saturday. Tests show that an Illinois man, who'd had two short business meetings with an infected Indiana man, had contracted the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus.

"The Illinois man, whom health officials are not naming, did not get sick and was not hospitalized. However, blood tests completed Friday showed he had been infected with the MERS virus, Swerdlow said.

"Technically the Illinois man can't be counted as an official case of MERS because under World Health Organization guidelines, only tests from an active infection count. In this case, antibodies in the man's blood showed he had been infected and fought the infection off, Swerdlow said."


Third Of South Sudan's Population Faces Starvation -- Huffington Post
"More than a third of South Sudan's population, 4 million people, will be on the edge of starvation by the end of the year as fighting rages on in the world's newest country, U.N. officials said on Tuesday.

"Clashes between rebels and government forces have wrecked food markets and forced people to abandon their livestock and land, the aid experts added."


Wildfires Worse Due To Man-Made Climate Change, Studies Show -- Huffington Post
"In the past three months, at least three different studies and reports have warned that wildfires are getting bigger, that man-made climate change is to blame, and it's only going to get worse with more fires starting earlier in the year. While scientists are reluctant to blame global warming for any specific fire, they have been warning for years about how it will lead to more fires and earlier fire seasons."


Salaries of Public-University Presidents Rise, Student Debt Spiraling -- TIME
"A report released on Sunday by the progressive think tank Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) looked at how that inflated pay correlated to dwindling funds allocated to student scholarships, and a trend toward more part-time adjunct-professor positions, which do not require benefits and other forms of compensation.

"From 2009 to 2012, executive compensation at public research universities increased 14% to an average of $544,554, while compensation for presidents at the highest-paying universities increased by a third, to $974,006.

"'Administrative spending outstripped scholarship spending by more than 2 to 1 at state schools with the highest-paid presidents,' the report says."

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