Summary of “White House Considers Restricting Chinese Researchers Over Espionage Fears”

The administration is expected to detail new plans for restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States by the end of May. Congress is also considering giving the United States broader authority to restrict Chinese investments.
The Committee of 100, a group of prominent Chinese-Americans, has denounced government assertions that Chinese professors, scientists and students in the United States may be gathering intelligence for the Chinese government as “Disturbing and prejudicial” and warned that it has overtones of anti-Japanese sentiment that was rampant during World War II.”To target a whole group of people as being subject to greater suspicion, based purely on race and national origin, and in advance of any facts or evidence, goes against the fundamental American ideals of the presumption of innocence, due process and equal protection for all. It also fans the flames of hysteria,” the group said in a statement.
Administration officials have been debating restricting visas offered to Chinese nationals for months as part of the broad package of measures targeting China economically.
If the proposal is approved by the Commerce Department, and ultimately by Mr. Trump, American companies and universities would be required to obtain special licenses for Chinese nationals who have any contact whatsoever with a much wider range of goods – making it harder for Chinese citizens to work on a range of scientific research and product development programs.
The academic community is likely to push back on the administration’s efforts over concerns that tighter controls on Chinese nationals could hurt American universities’ ability to collaborate on cutting-edge research and wind up benefiting China even more.
If the United States makes it harder for aerospace manufacturers, defense contractors and others to employ Chinese nationals, more of these recently trained Chinese graduate students may return to China, taking their skills with them.
Stephen A. Orlins, the president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, said that restricting Chinese researchers would be “Tragic” for American universities.
Even Mr. Smith said he did not support tougher restrictions on Chinese researchers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The United States could have Nordic-style welfare programs, too”

Left-leaning Americans should be thrilled that a new subgenre of political commentary has emerged aimed at explaining why the United States simply can’t brook Nordic-style welfare programs.
The reasons adduced to argue that the United States has no hope of establishing programs like the ones enjoyed by Europe’s social democracies are more disturbing than commonly credited.
In a 2014 Slate essay calling for an end to the United States’ Nordic fantasies, Emily Tamkin cited the “Homogeneity of the Nordic countries, on which, one could argue, their stability and equality hinges.” This would prove to be a running theme.
The United States is a liberal democracy, and a unique one at that: While many of Europe’s liberal democracies were formed with a distinctive nationalist bent – that is, as nation-states, or countries composed primarily of single, self-governing ethnic groups – the United States was never any such thing.
Romantic nationalists argued that a country built on a contract – the theoretical premise that one can be an American as long as it’s in his or her best interest, and no longer if it isn’t – simply couldn’t be as successful as states united by language, tradition, an intrinsic sense of shared destiny, and so on.
On the above view, the United States was always doomed to merely marginal achievements where justice, equality and freedom are concerned.
This is where the thinking of romantic nationalists dovetails with today’s Scandi-skeptics: If the United States has a poverty rate about triple that of Denmark, or a child poverty rate about eight times higher, or millions more lacking access to health insurance, each camp would propose, it’s at least partially due to the kind of country we are.
The United States might have to chart a different political and sociocultural path to the universal programs Scandinavians enjoy, but if some zeal for justice and equality is there, I’m not sure why we can’t aspire to cultivate more.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Hamburger: An American Lyric”

In 1993, the Boca Burger appeared, a veggie burger made from soy protein and wheat gluten.
Citizen Burger Bar in North Carolina proclaims, “A delicious burger is your right.” Following the trope, they identify the burger and beer as “Essential liberties.” Ray Kroc in the film The Founder gives a pep talk to the McDonald brothers-whom he will soon be undercutting-by echoing nationalist themes.
Before the Berlin Wall crumbled, the Soviet-run GDR desired to demonstrate its “With-it-ness” with a burger joint-offering, of course, a better burger than any in the West.
If Harold and Kumar traversed the United States in the 1970s with Charles Kuralt, they would have passed by bridge burgers, Cable burgers, Dixie burgers, Yankee Doodle burgers, Capital burgers, Penta burgers.
Or they might have chosen: “Grabba burgers, kinga burgers, lotta burgers, castle burgers, country burgers, bronco burgers, Broadway burgers, broiled burgers, beefnut burgers, bell burgers, plush burgers, prime burgers, flame burgers dude burgers, char burgers, tall boy burgers, golden burgers, 747 jet burgers, whiz burgers, nifty burgers, and thing burgers.”
Curators are found not only in art museums overseeing giant floor burgers; they can be found in restaurants where they are creating veggie burgers.
“Sometimes you see veggie burgers made with a hundred ingredients, a kitchen-sink burger,” said Chloe Coscarelli, the chef and co-owner of Chloe’s.
From references in popular culture to investors like Bill Gates seeking to find the non-animal burger that can feed the world, the burger’s identity is as malleable as that patty of protein itself before it is thrown on a grill.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem”

Even in the United States, it is no accident that there are more homeless people sleeping on the streets in Los Angeles, with its warmer climate, than in New York.The Oxford economist Robert Allen recently estimated needs-based absolute poverty lines for rich countries that are designed to match more accurately the $1.90 line for poor countries, and $4 a day is around the middle of his estimates.
When we compare absolute poverty in the United States with absolute poverty in India, or other poor countries, we should be using $4 in the United States and $1.90 in India.
Once we do this, there are 5.3 million Americans who are absolutely poor by global standards.
Pakistan has twice as many poor people as the United States, and Ethiopia about four times as many.
All these essentials of health are more likely to be lacking for poorer Americans.
In my own giving, I have prioritized the faraway poor over the poor at home.
There are millions of Americans whose suffering, through material poverty and poor health, is as bad or worse than that of the people in Africa or in Asia.Practical considerations reinforce the argument for recognizing America’s poor in the global context.
The United States is committed to eliminating $1.90-a-day poverty in the world, a target that is not contingent on poverty at home.

The orginal article.

Summary of “EU declares war on plastic waste”

The EU is waging war against plastic waste as part of an urgent plan to clean up Europe’s act and ensure that every piece of packaging on the continent is reusable or recyclable by 2030.
“If children knew what the effects are of using single-use plastic straws for drinking sodas, or whatever, they might reconsider and use paper straws or no straws at all.”
“We are going to choke on plastic if we don’t do anything about this. How many millions of straws do we use every day across Europe? I would have people not use plastic straws any more. It only took me once to explain to my children. And now they go looking for paper straws, or don’t use straws at all. It is an issue of mentality.”
The EU wants 55% of all plastic to be recycled by 2030 and for member states to reduce the use of bags per person from 90 a year to 40 by 2026.
The commission said it will promote easy access to tap water on the streets of Europe to reduce demand for bottled water, and they will provide member states with additional guidance on how to improve the sorting and collection of recyclable plastic by consumers.
Every year, Europeans generate 25m tonnes of plastic waste, but less than 30% is collected for recycling.
Catherine Bearder, a Liberal Democrat member of the environment committee, said: “The EU strategy is far from perfect, but it’s better than what the UK government is offering. Theresa May would have you think she is the fairy godmother of plastics – but she isn’t. I will be long dead before the end of Mrs May’s strategy. I hope the oceans won’t be too.”
Timmermans nevertheless said he believed that the UK’s attitude on plastic was ahead of many member states, and that he was confident that the UK would not undercut any Brussels initiatives after Brexit.

The orginal article.

Summary of “American kids are 70 percent more likely to die early than kids in other rich countries”

A child born in the United States has a 70 percent greater chance of dying before adulthood than kids born into other wealthy, democratic countries, a new study has found.
The research, published in the journal Health Affairs on Monday, shows that the United States lags far behind peer countries on child health outcomes.
The study comes out three months after Congress allowed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program – which provides insurance to nine million low-income kids – to expire.
Infants in the US have a 76 percent higher risk of death than in other wealthy nations Between 2001 and 2010, researchers found that the risk of death in the United States was 76 percent higher for infants than in peer countries.
The new Health Affairs study compared the United States to 19 other wealthy, democratic countries including Canada, Australia, France, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Teenagers in the United States are 82 times more likely to die from gun homicide Teenagers also have significantly poorer outcomes in the United States.
Perhaps most startling, children between the ages of 15 and 19 are 82 times more likely to die from gun homicide in the United States than in peer countries.
US teenagers are twice as likely to die in car accidents than their peers abroad. Kids are dying in the United States more than other countries.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Different American English dialects, in 27 fascinating maps”

In a country as vast as the United States, you’re hardly ever going to find a consensus on how to say something.
Do you drink soda, or do you call it pop? Do you wear sneakers, or tennis shoes? The answers vary depending on where you ask the question.
Linguists Bert Vaux and Scott Golder surveyed more than 30,000 people from all 50 states in the early 2000s to compile some of the starkest regional divisions in American English, from vocabulary to pronunciation.
Graphic artist Josh Katz eventually turned the results into a series of maps, and updated them for his 2016 book “Speaking American.” The surprising data illuminate the linguistic quirks that make American English such a fascinating dialect.

The orginal article.

Summary of “10 ways America is falling behind”

America just registered its second straight year with a decline in life expectancy.
College costs continue to soar, jumping 6.1% from 2013 to 2016, but the median income for those with college degrees only rose 2.1% over that same period, per Bloomberg.
” And research from the period 2000-2014 shows that the United States has had more mass shootings and more people killed in those mass shootings than 10 other developed nations combined, per Politifact.
Now, 91 people in the United States die every day from an opioid overdose.
While the United States has some of the world’s best higher education, its elementary, middle, and high schools are positively average compared to other developed nations.
The United States is still the only developed country on the planet – and just one of a handful overall – that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave.
With alcohol cheaper today as a percentage of income than at any time since 1950, Americans are drinking a lot more, per Bloomberg.
Tourism is down across the board – per The Telegraph, there are huge drop-offs in demand for British travelers to come to the United States.

The orginal article.

Summary of “U.N. Envoy Shares Dire Impressions From His Report On Poverty In U.S.”

U.N. Envoy Shares Dire Impressions From His Report On Poverty In U.S. : Goats and Soda He undertook his fact-finding mission with a series of questions: Are those in poverty able to live with dignity? And what does a government do to protect those who are most vulnerable?
Philip Alston wanted to know: Just how bad is poverty in the United States?
He’s an Australian law professor who in 2014 was appointed as a United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.
Alston undertook his expedition with a series of questions: “Are those in poverty able to live with dignity? What does a government do to protect those who are most vulnerable?” To gather information, he traveled to Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Alabama; Puerto Rico; and West Virginia.
He talked to poverty experts, civil society organizations, government officials and regular people born or thrust into poverty.
Still, he concludes that American innovation, money and power aren’t being channeled to address poverty – and there is a lot of poverty to address.
In 2016, 40 million people – more than 1 in 8 citizens – lived in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
“There is no magic recipe for eliminating extreme poverty, and each level of government must make its own good faith decisions,” says Alston.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Nasty, Nafta-Related Surprise: Mexico’s Soaring Obesity”

“We started to seek the advantage of the geographical proximity to the United States.”
The agreement removed hurdles to cross-border investment and fully eliminated Mexican restrictions on foreign majority ownership in Mexican companies.
The United States, Canada and Mexico became an open trading bloc.
Mexican exports of fruits and vegetables to the United States soared; enormous quantities of the raw ingredients of processed foods flowed in the other direction.
Last year, more than half the agricultural products exported from Mexico to the United States were fruits, vegetables and juice, while these foods made up only 7 percent of what the United States exported to Mexico, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
United States exports to Mexico have been dominated by meat, soybeans and corn.
Overall paid employment of farm workers rose by 2.8 million but there was a displacement of 4.8 million people who left family farms, according to a study by the Woodrow Wilson Center that has been cited by some Mexican officials as evidence of Nafta’s imperfections.
Duncan Wood, director of the center’s Mexico Institute, said falling food prices, coupled with a stagnant economy, have left many Mexicans in a curious economic position.

The orginal article.