Weekly Reader: Vol 3 Issue 8

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your regularly scheduled Weekly Reader! Got some hot links, blog posts, or articles from a local paper you’d like to share? Head over to the comments and let us know.

Clean Up Your Act, Facebook, or We’re Leaving (from the New York Times): “Your stranglehold on the ad business is undeniably the source of your power. I talked recently with some people running businesses that rely on Facebook, all of whom are scared to speak out publicly against your platform. Many compared your service to a bad relationship.”

How hate speech campaigners found Facebook’s weak spot (from The Guardian): “Facebook has historically taken a softer line on hate speech than it has on other controversial content, such as that containing nudity, in part out of a belief in the inherent ambiguity of offensive speech, and in part due to the difficulty of automating such work.”

Pence claims ‘remarkable progress’ as Covid-19 cases hit new record in US (from The Guardian): “With new cases rising in a majority of states in the last few days after swift moves to reopen for business, especially across the south and west, the vice-president sought to deliver encouraging news as the head of the White House coronavirus taskforce as the body offered its first public briefing in two months.”

Children of the Vietnam War (from the Smithsonian): “But neither America nor Vietnam wanted the kids known as Amerasians and commonly dismissed by the Vietnamese as “children of the dust”—as insignificant as a speck to be brushed aside. “The care and welfare of these unfortunate children…has never been and is not now considered an area of government responsibility,” the U.S. Defense Department said in a 1970 statement. “Our society does not need these bad elements,” the Vietnamese director of social welfare in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) said a decade later. As adults, some Amerasians would say that they felt cursed from the start. When, in early April 1975, Saigon was falling to Communist troops from the north and rumors spread that southerners associated with the United States might be massacred, President Gerald Ford announced plans to evacuate 2,000 orphans, many of them Amerasians. Operation Babylift’s first official flight crashed in the rice paddies outside Saigon, killing 144 people, most of them children. South Vietnamese soldiers and civilians gathered at the site, some to help, others to loot the dead. Despite the crash, the evacuation program continued another three weeks.”

The coronavirus is jeopardizing a ‘very, very finite’ workforce: Africa’s doctors and nurses (from The Washington Post): “Africa carries a disproportionately small fraction of the world’s caseload, though testing remains limited in some areas. But with infections on the rise, health leaders say medical staffs are up against growing obstacles to fend off worst-case scenarios — particularly in West Africa. Funds are often tight.”

CDC says U.S. has ‘way too much virus’ to control pandemic as cases surge across country (from CNBC): “While the outbreaks in New Zealand, South Korea and Singapore have been of different magnitudes and followed different trajectories, officials in all three countries now quickly respond to every new infection in order to stamp out what remains of the outbreak, Schuchat said. The U.S. stands in stark contrast as it continues to report over 30,000 new infections per day.”

‘Heroes, right?’: Anthony Almojera, on being a New York City paramedic and the injustices of covid-19 (from the Washington Post): “Some of us can’t stop thinking about it. I woke up this morning to about 60 new text messages from paramedics who are barely holding it together. Some are still sick with the virus. At one point we had 25 percent of EMTs in the city out sick. Others are living in their cars so they don’t risk bringing it home to their families. They’re depressed. They’re emotionally exhausted. They’re drinking too much. They’re lashing out at their kids. They’re having night terrors and panic attacks and all kinds of outbursts. I’ve got five paramedics in the ground from this virus already and a few more on ventilators. Another rookie EMT just committed suicide. He was having trouble coping with what he was seeing. He was a kid — 23 years old. He won’t be the last. I have medics who come to me every day and say, “Is this PTSD I’m feeling?” But technically PTSD comes after the event, and we’re not there yet. It’s ongoing stress and trauma, and we might have months to go.”

A Black Hole Collided With Something That Shouldn’t Exist (from Gizmodo): “That said, the available observational evidence and theoretical predictions of acceptable neutron star masses “indicate that this object is most likely to be a very light black hole,” she said. If this turns out to be a bona fide neutron star, “we’d have to very radically reconsider the way matter behaves at extremely high densities.””

Evidence of huge carnivorous dinosaurs discovered in Australia (from CNN): “A team of researchers analyzed dinosaur footprint fossils and concluded they belonged to large-bodied carnivorous dinosaurs that were up to three meters high at the hips and about 10 meters long, according to a press release from the University of Queensland.”

The rise and fall of Shaun King, former Black Lives Matter darling (from Complex): “But 14 months after he became a fixture in the Black Lives Matter movement, King’s questionable behavior began to raise red flags for members of the organization. From August to October 2015, Justice Together members said, he became evasive and defensive when they sought direction about when and how to mobilize. Many members were surprised when King unilaterally disbanded the organization, undoing much of their hard work in the process.”

That’s all for today. Drop by again, same time, same place, for more information you might want to read. Until then, stay safe and happy reading!

About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon--official and non--since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we were both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 16, 2018. We still miss him. But we're now the acting staff of a Maine Coon kitty named Lulu, who pretty much rules the house. Not that we're complaining about that.
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