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NOW IN RACIAL JUSTICE

Turkey Mine Disaster, Seven-Year-Old Tobacco Pickers and Possible MERS Outbreak

Turkey Mine Disaster, Seven-Year-Old Tobacco Pickers and Possible MERS Outbreak

Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning:

  • A new report indicates that children as young as seven years old are picking tobacco in the U.S.—without so much as overtime pay or protective gear. 
  • NASA reveals a stunning video that illustrates two neutron starts colliding to form a black hole:

TAGS: Morning Rush

Google Told to ‘Forget,’ Twitter’s Mute Function and Melting Glaciers

Google Told to 'Forget,' Twitter's Mute Function and Melting Glaciers

Here’s some of what I’m reading this morning:

TAGS: Morning Rush

This Week: End of the Internet As We Know It?

This Week: End of the Internet As We Know It?

In response to public pressure and ahead of a vote this Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission has revised a draft proposal that critics say will for the first time build inequality into the Internet. The new language modifies but doesn’t fundamentally alter the rule’s intent.

All traffic whether Bentley or hoopty currently runs on the same massive highway, but critics say the proposed rule change will create a special lane for consumers and content creators able to pay for faster service and a slow lane for those who can’t. Many are calling the FCC plan, up for a vote this Thursday May 15th, the end of “net neutrality,” which says that online, all data should be treated equally regardless of who produces it.

New language, according to the Washington Post, citing an anonymous FCC official, “would explicitly warn Internet service providers such as Verizon and AT&T that they can’t unfairly put the content of Web companies that don’t pay for special treatment on a “slow lane.”” How the FCC would enforce non-discrimination hasn’t been explicitly detailed.

More than 100 Internet companies including Facebook, Google, Amazon and smaller tech firms last week sent a protest letter to FCC commissioner and Obama appointee, Tom Wheeler. And media advocacy groups like the Center for Media Justice are beating the drums about how the proposed two-lane highway hurts people of color and those living in rural areas.

The FCC is taking public comments through openinternet(at)fcc(dot)gov.

Sterling Interview, The Minority Report and a Solar Sibling

Sterling Interview, The Minority Report and a Solar Sibling

Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning: 

TAGS: Morning Rush

Paying to Get Locked Up: The High Fees of Juvenile Detention

Paying to Get Locked Up: The High Fees of Juvenile Detention

When kids are locked up in California, it’s common practice for counties to charge families for the cost of their kids’ detention. Parents are sent a bill, not unlike one they’d get if their child were staying at a hotel, for $25 a day that their kids are held in juvenile hall. At an average stay of 23 days in juvenile hall, the fees add up fast. But that’s not all.

Fees are involved at nearly every step of kids’ adjudication, detainment and probation. It’s an expensive process, and fee collectors still come calling for their money even if a child passes away, according to a new investigation by Youth Radio. Check out the full infographic of the many costly fees and fines that accompany kids’ punishment:

The Cost of Court Involvement

Black, Latino Kids with Autism More Likely Than Whites to Lose Motor Skills

Black, Latino Kids with Autism More Likely Than Whites to Lose Motor Skills

After a seemingly age-appropriate development, some young children with autism lose their motor, language and social skills. That kind of vanishing of skills is called developmental regression, and according to a study presented this week at the Pediatric Academic Societies conference, black and Latino children are more likely to experience that drop-off. 

More than a quarter—27 percent—of 1,353 preschool U.S. and Canadian children with autism surveyed experience developmental regression, according to researchers. Yet black children’s parents were twice as likely to report drop-off than white children’s parents. Latino kids were 1.5 times more likely than white children to experience regression, which can include losing the ability to make eye contact with their parents, or the ability to walk and talk. The disparity remained even when controlling for a child’s insurance status or their parental education levels. The study is called, “Racial Differences in Developmental Regression in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.”

Autism is complicated by myriad racial disparities. Research has found that black and Latino children are less likely than their white peers to be diagnosed with autism, and that when they are identified, black, Latino and Asian-American kids are less likely than their white peers to receive an early diagnosis.

“Lost skills are very difficult to recover,” the study’s lead author, Adiaha I. A. Spinks-Franklin, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said in a statement. “Our research shows there is one more important factor that contributes to the developmental outcomes of African-American and Hispanic children with autism.”

(h/t SCPR)

Black Students at St. Louis Univ. Respond to On-Campus Hate Speech

Black Students at St. Louis Univ. Respond to On-Campus Hate Speech

Following a recent fatal shooting at two Jewish community centers allegedly by a former KKK leader, hate messages have been appearing on the campus of Saint Louis University (SLU), a Catholic university in Missouri. The St. Louis American reports that:

On Saturday night, someone accessed the computer connected to a projector in the Busch Student Center at SLU and changed the text on the large screen to read, “Nazis rule f*** niggers and fags.” The week before, students discovered a swastika arranged out of tealight candles outside the Marguerite Hall dorm.

About 100 students attended a Tuesday night press conference called by SLU’s Black Student Alliance.

“These actions … gives light to the reality that many students of African descent face while at Saint Louis University,” said Christopher S. Walker Jr., president of the alliance. “Students of African descent at Saint Louis University have been repeatedly subject to acts of racism, and in turn, receive idle resolutions, lack of transparency and stagnation from the administration.”

Immediately following the Busch projector incident, interim university president William Kauffman launched an investigation to identify those responsible. The Black Student Alliance is making a number of demands including increasing the number of black faculty and students.

“What really hurts us is that you can have a scholarship in Martin Luther King Jr.’s  name but only have 6 percent of the recipients be black students,” said Jonathan Pulphus, academic chair for the alliance and an upcoming sophomore. “What hurts us is when the strongest contingent of blacks on campus happen to be the people serving food and cleaning the campus.”

(h/t St. Louis American)

Benghazi Panel, ‘Experts’ Go to Nigeria and Apple to Acquire Dr. Dre’s Beats

Benghazi Panel, 'Experts' Go to Nigeria and Apple to Acquire Dr. Dre's Beats

Here’s some news I’m reading up on this morning:

TAGS: Morning Rush

Thinking of Formally Complaining to U.S. Border Patrol?

Thinking of Formally Complaining to U.S. Border Patrol?

Of more than 800 complaints filed in a three-year period against U.S. Border Patrol, the largest federal law enforcement agency in the country, 97 percent resulted in no disciplinary action. “Physical abuse” followed by “excessive force,” according to the American Immigration Council report, were the most prevalent reasons for complaints, which mainly registered in Arizona’s Tucson sector and Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. Abuse complaints appear to have grown as U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Border Patrol have more than doubled in size in the last seven years.

There were seven sexual abuse complaints, McClatchy reports, including forced sexual intercourse and forcing females to bare their breasts. But 11 other cases not classified as sexual abuse involve descriptions of inappropriate touching and strip searches.

Federal officials say they take complaints seriously and point out they are small in number considering they apprehended more than 1 million persons during the three-year period, January 2009-January 2012.

The AIC obtained the data through a Freedom of Information request.

(h/t McClatchy and The New York Times)

Video: Portland Committee Reviews Arrest of Nine-Year-Old Girl

Video: Portland Committee Reviews Arrest of Nine-Year-Old Girl

Portland’s Citizen Review Committee heard testimony Wednesday from Latoya Harris, the mother of a nine-year-old who was arrested by two officers in Oregon a year ago. 

According to KOIN 6 News, the child was wearing a wet swimsuit when she was handcuffed, placed into the back of a cop car and taken into custody at an adult jail, where she was held in isolation. Police arrived to Harris’s home and arrested the child on suspicion of a fight with another child at a community center a few days previously.

Harris is also taking legal action against the Portland Police Bureau. 

Boko Haram Massacre, FCC Net Neutrality Letter and Simulated Universe

Boko Haram Massacre, FCC Net Neutrality Letter and Simulated Universe

Here’s what I’m catching up on this morning (especially the simulated universe video!):

  • This computer model of the universe is pretty amazing:

TAGS: Morning Rush

Fast Food Worker Protests Going Global?

Fast Food Worker Protests Going Global?

Coordinated protests by fast food workers are expected to occur in 150 U.S. cities and more than 30 countries on Thursday, May 15, according to early news reports. Small scale demonstrations by employees of McDonald’s—reported by Salon to be a target abroad—and other fast food chains have gained national attention since 2012. The planned global action would mark a significant escalation in U.S. fast food workers’ efforts to secure a $15-an-hour wage and other reforms. 

A major financial supporter of the global effort, reports the AP, is the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the fastest growing labor unions in the country. With more than 2 million members, SEIU is also the union to which Constance Malcolm belongs. She is the mother of unarmed teen Ramarley Graham, shot and killed in February 2012 by the NYPD in their Bronx home. Malcolm’s local, 1199SEIU, was a key organizer of the city’s 2012 Father’s Day march against stop-and-frisk, which Malcolm believes led to her son’s shooting. 

Later this afternoon at a New York McDonald’s, the AP reports, is when labor organizers will officially announce the May 15 global protests.

Obama on Nigeria, Rich Homie Quan Collapses and Kevin Durant’s Speech

Obama on Nigeria, Rich Homie Quan Collapses and Kevin Durant's Speech

Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning: 

  • The NBA’s Kevin Durant says his mother is the real MVP: 
TAGS: Morning Rush

Devastating Climate Report, Nigerian Schoolgirls Update and Spotting Saturn

Devastating Climate Report, Nigerian Schoolgirls Update and Spotting Saturn

Here’s some of the news I’m reading about this morning: 

  • The FAA acknowledges that the 50 cancelled flights and 455 delays at LAX last week were caused by a Cold War-era spy plane. 
  • The health of the Indiana man who contracted the potentially deadly MERS virus is improving
TAGS: Morning Rush

Kansas City Bans Smoking Inside Public Housing Apartments

Kansas City Bans Smoking Inside Public Housing Apartments

In Kansas City, Missouri residents can no longer smoke indoors or in their own yards if they live in public housing. The smoking ban in all 1,700 units begins July 1 but smokers can seek a six-month extension to January 1, 2015. The Kansas City ban, which affects 5,000 families, 80 percent of whom are African-American, is part of a trend. Since 2009 and at HUD’s urging, according to The Kansas City Star, nearly one-third of public housing authorities around the country have implemented property-wide smoking bans.

Needless to say many KC public housing residents who smoke are, eh hem, unhappy. Besides the public health benefits, the ban raises privacy concerns and carries the potential for eviction if residents can’t control their addiction. Talk about new incentive to quit.

Former Abercrombie Manager Explains Systemic Discrimination

Former Abercrombie Manager Explains Systemic Discrimination

In an essay published on Salon, Oliver Lee Bateman, a former manager for Abercrombie & Fitch describes how he got recruited without so much as an interview—and perpetuated crass discrimination against people of color and people of size. Bateman, who’s now a history professor, explains how the company not only discriminates in the employee hiring process, but also how it encourages those employees to do its bidding on the sales floor: 

Allow me to recap:  there’s this awful, terrible, gross, maleficent company that I and thousands of other foolish young people have worked for. It’s run by some of the nastiest pieces of work in retail. Its reluctant employees, hired because they have college degrees and prepossessing, phenotypically Caucasian/Aryan bodies, are encouraged to join in the fun:  ridicule the brand representatives, laugh at fat people, and hate on everybody who isn’t “collegiate” and “quality.”

You can read the essay, titled “I sold my body (and nearly my soul) to Abercrombie,” in its entirety on Salon. 

Circus Accident, Target CEO Resigns and Astroid Bolts by Earth

Circus Accident, Target CEO Resigns and Astroid Bolts by Earth
Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning:
 
  • Target’s CEO finally resigns after December’s massive data breach. 
  • You know when you don’t want to unfollow, but you don’t want to see that person’s tweets? You can mute them now
TAGS: Morning Rush

Fears About Immigration Consequences Affected Latinos’ Healthcare Enrollment

Fears About Immigration Consequences Affected Latinos' Healthcare Enrollment

Latinos posted lower than projected signup rates in President Obama’s healthcare enrollment, according to new numbers released Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services. Part of that may have been due to families’ fears about how handing over information to the government.

Advocates in California and other states warned that among other rollout snags was hesitation in the community that signing up would also alert other sectors of government about family members who are undocumented, the Washington Post reported.

From the Washington Post

Sign-ups among Hispanics lagged initially, notably in California, which has been viewed as a bellwether for the nation because the state embraced the ACA and because it historically has had a very large and diverse uninsured population. The state spent millions targeting Latinos for sign-up, but participation was dismal late last year. Advocates complained that there were not enough Spanish-speaking counselors and that legal U.S. residents feared alerting the government to their unlawfully present relatives.

Advocates outside of California noticed a similar trend, attributing the lagging Hispanic enrollment to a delay in the Spanish-language version of the federal enrollment Web site, HealthCare.gov, as well as technical difficulties experienced by people in families with mixed immigration status who were trying to enroll on the federal marketplace.

 

 


Hispanics historically have had the nation’s highest rate of uninsured, with 
29 percentwithout coverage in 2012, according to Census Bureau figures. About 17 percent of African Americans15 percent of Asian Americans and 10 percent of whites did not have health insurance that year.

Over the past seven months of enrollment, attention has focused on Hispanics because they represent a huge proportion of the nation’s uninsured. Moreover, the population skews younger than the American public at large, making them key to the White House’s goal of ensuring robust enrollment by healthy young people.

According to the report, people who identified themselves as Latino accounted for 7.4 percent of total sign-ups in the 36 states with federal-run exchanges. The administration cautioned, however, that it did not have ethnicity data for about 31 percent of people selecting coverage on the federal marketplaces. The report also didn’t include data from the 15 state-run exchanges, and it doesn’t account for people who may have obtained coverage through Medicaid.

 

TAGS:

Fears About Immigration Consequences Affected Latinos’ Healthcare Enrollment

Fears About Immigration Consequences Affected Latinos' Healthcare Enrollment

Latinos posted lower than projected signup rates in President Obama’s healthcare enrollment, according to new numbers released Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services. Part of that may have been due to families’ fears about how handing over information to the government.

Advocates in California and other states warned that among other rollout snags was hesitation in the community that signing up would also alert other sectors of government about family members who are undocumented, the Washington Post reported.

From the Washington Post

Sign-ups among Hispanics lagged initially, notably in California, which has been viewed as a bellwether for the nation because the state embraced the ACA and because it historically has had a very large and diverse uninsured population. The state spent millions targeting Latinos for sign-up, but participation was dismal late last year. Advocates complained that there were not enough Spanish-speaking counselors and that legal U.S. residents feared alerting the government to their unlawfully present relatives.

Advocates outside of California noticed a similar trend, attributing the lagging Hispanic enrollment to a delay in the Spanish-language version of the federal enrollment Web site, HealthCare.gov, as well as technical difficulties experienced by people in families with mixed immigration status who were trying to enroll on the federal marketplace.

 

Florida Passes In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students

Florida Passes In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students

Florida governor Rick Scott is expected to sign #HB851 today. The legislation, now passed by both state houses, will allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition there. The bill cleared its biggest hurdle Thursday, when the Republican-controlled Senate voted to approve it—senators had killed previous efforts to do so.

Once the bill is signed, Florida will become the 21st state to create tuition equity for undocumented students. The effort was led was students themselves, who’ve been fighting to pay in-state tuition for years. It represents a massive victory, where Republicans control the governorship, the Senate and the House. 

(h/t Palm Beach Post)

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