Summary of “The slum residents trying to prevent a water crisis”

Tankers carry water to the camp seven times a day and, until recently, filling up a couple of 50-litre tanks was an ugly game, explains Kaur, who works with the Forum for Organised Resource Conservation and Enhancement, a charity trying to improve sanitation and access to clean water in India.
While a fairer distribution of this precious commodity has already changed thousands of lives for the better, as Fatima walks me through the narrow passages between makeshift homes, a small church and crammed little shops, it becomes clear that water still occupies a major space in the mind of Jai Hind’s residents.
The study he spearheaded looks at how various Indian states fare in managing their water resources, a subject that “Cuts across many governmental departments” and includes issues as diverse as soil management, irrigation practices, sanitation, water contamination, rural drinking water and urban water supplies.
“In the long run, be it the case of Delhi or any big city, indiscriminate pumping that exceeds the natural recharge rate will only accelerate the depletion of water stored in aquifers,” says Priyam Das, associate professor at the University of Hawai’i and an expert on water governance.
“As climate changes, so will weather patterns and surface water flows, so regulation of groundwater to protect freshwater resources could be key to averting a water crisis.”
Delhi’s water crisis is inexorably tied to its population boom, fueled by migrants moving to the city from nearby states.
Tucked away in the industrial area of Kirti Nagar, in west Delhi, a small migrant community offers a glimpse of an alternative future, where water is equally distributed and reaches people’s homes, even in a slum.
Experts agree that intermittent water supply means that the pipes will deteriorate faster, more water will be wasted and ultimately the costs will be much higher than if water was continuously available through the system.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why are teachers in Europe paid so much better than those in the United States?”

On both sides of the Atlantic, the vast majority of people tend to agree that teachers are important – and that they deserve to be paid well.
Somehow, the wages of American teachers – unlike anyone else in the top ranks of that list – have dropped over the past decade.
That’s a long way from similarly wealthy European nations such as Germany, for example, where teachers are among the nation’s top earners and can make more money than Web developers or sometimes even entry-level doctors.
Besides the United States, no other developed country has such a large gap between salaries paid to teachers and to professionals with similar degrees.
While teachers in Luxembourg earned almost three times as much as the average employee there in 2004, American teachers already ranked at the bottom of the list at the time.
Now, one could argue that among the nations that ranked even worse in terms of teacher pay than the United States were Denmark and Norway – countries that still regularly top education quality rankings.
Regardless of gender, two-thirds of Americans think that the country’s teachers are underpaid.
2 in 3 Americans say public school teachers are underpaid.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Finding True North”

Like most Haitians crossing into Canada last summer, Samuel and Darline had entered the United States legally, flying in with five-year tourist visas.
For Haitians who do not speak French, at some points there are Haitian Creole interpreters.
So did Maison d’Haiti, a 46-year-old organization now housed in a modern, windowy, art-filled space that bustled last fall with Haitian men, women, and children, picking up and dropping off clothing and diapers, standing in line to get help with things like filling out asylum applications, or grabbing a Haitian meat pastry in the organization’s café.
A few blocks away, on Boulevard Crémazie, is CPAM, one of several Haitian radio stations here, and down the street is a towering, shining example of Haitian success in Montréal.
“The Haitian community is very well organized here in Québec.” He says Haitians generally thrive more here.
“Second of all, the Haitian community is more financially secure here than in Boston or even New York or Miami if you look at the percentage of Haitians doing well. So it’s easier for them to help others when they’re doing well.”
With the Trump administration’s announcement on November 20 that TPS for Haitians will end in July 2019, officials in Canada prepared for more Haitian asylum-seekers, with 27 winterized trailers – able to accommodate 200 people – set up at the border.
The estimated 3,200 undocumented Haitians living in Canada at the time were given almost two more years to apply for permanent residency without threat of removal, and most have been able to get permanent residency through “H&C,” or humanitarian and compassionate grounds, which takes into consideration the ties one has forged to Canada while living here.

The orginal article.

Summary of “In about 20 years, half the population will live in eight states”

The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service of the University of Virginia analyzed Census Bureau population projections to estimate each state’s likely population in 2040, including the expected breakdown of the population by age and gender.
Eight states will have just under half of the total population of the country, 49.5 percent, according to the Weldon Cooper Center’s estimate.
The next eight most populous states will account for an additional fifth of the population, up to 69.2 percent – meaning that the 16 most populous states will be home to about 70 percent of Americans.
His tweet goes further, suggesting that the demographics of those states will differ from the larger states and so will their politics.
It’s self-evident that the 34 smaller states will be more rural than the 16 largest; a key part of the reason those states will be so much more populous is the centralization of Americans in cities.
Eleven of the 16 most-populous states will have over-65 populations that are below the median density nationally.
Twenty-two of the 34 less-populous states will have over-65 populations that are over the median density.
The gray states on the map below – states that make up more than two-thirds of the land area of the United States – will similarly control enough of the Senate to overcome any filibuster.

The orginal article.

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.