Summary of “How the U.S. Has Failed to Protect the 2018 Election-and Four Ways to Protect 2020”

While this failure has left the U.S. unprepared to protect the 2018 elections, there is still a chance to defend American democracy in 2020.
Following an acrimonious debate inside the White House, as reported by the New York Times’s David Sanger, President Obama rejected several retaliatory measures in response to Russian interference-and U.S. intelligence agencies did not emerge with a full-throated description of Russia’s meddling until after the election.
Republican efforts to downplay Russia’s role constitute a dangerous gamble: It is highly unlikely that future election meddling will continue to have such an unbalanced and positive impact for the GOP. The Russians are currently the United States’ most visible information-warfare adversaries, but they are not alone.
Direct attacks against the U.S. election system itself-as opposed to influence operations aimed at voters-were clearly a consideration of U.S. adversaries: There are multiple reports of the widely diffuse U.S. election infrastructure being mapped out and experimentally exploited by Russian groups in 2016.
The combination of offensive cyber techniques with a disinformation campaign would enable a hostile nation or group to create an aura of confusion and illegitimacy around an election that could lead to half of the American populace forever considering that election to be stolen.
While it is much too late to effectively rehabilitate election security for the 2018 midterms, there are four straightforward steps the United States can take to prepare for potential attacks in 2020.
In the run-up to the most recent French and German elections, the respective cybersecurity agencies of these countries had access to intelligence on likely adversaries, the legal authority to coordinate election protection and the technical chops to work directly with technology platforms.
For states’ autonomy to thrive, it is critical for every state to follow the lead of Colorado and a handful of others in building competent statewide election security teams that set strong standards for verifiable voting, perform security testing of local systems, and provide a rapid-reaction function in case of an attempted attack.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is it great to be a worker in the U.S? Not compared with the rest of the developed world.”

Joblessness may be low in the United States and employers may be hungry for new hires, but it’s also strikingly easy to lose a job here.
An average of 1 in 5 employees lose or leave their jobs each year, and 23.3 percent of workers ages 15 to 64 had been in their job for a year or less in 2016 – higher than all but a handful of countries in the study.
Decade-old OECD research found an unusually large amount of job turnover in the United States is due to firing and layoffs, and Labor Department figures show the rate of layoffs and firings hasn’t changed significantly since the research was conducted.
The U.S. ranks at the bottom for employee protection even when mass layoffs are taken into consideration as well, despite the 1988 Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act’s requirement that employers give notice 60 days before major plant closings or layoffs.
Fewer than half of displaced workers find a job within a year, the researchers found.
Japan’s rate was similar to the U.S., but Finland, Australia and Denmark were well ahead. Furthermore, the report’s authors find that “Two in three families with a displaced worker fall into poverty for some time.”
The United States spends less of its economic wealth on active efforts to help people who either don’t have a job or who are at risk of becoming unemployed than almost any other country in the study.
Based on an OECD review of almost four decades of data, countries that have decentralized collective-bargaining systems, like the United States, tend to have slower job growth and, in most cases, higher unemployment than other advanced nations.

The orginal article.

Summary of “China increasingly challenges American dominance of science”

The Spanish geneticist struggled to renew his visa and was even detained for two hours of questioning at a New York City airport after he returned from a trip abroad. In 2012, he made the surprising decision to leave his Ivy League research position and move to China.
The United States spends half a trillion dollars a year on scientific research – more than any other nation on Earth – but China has pulled into second place, with the European Union third and Japan a distant fourth.
China is on track to surpass the United States by the end of this year, according to the National Science Board.
Recent restrictions on H-1B visas sent a message to Chinese graduate students that “It’s time to go home when you finish your degree.” Since 1979, China and the United States have maintained a bilateral agreement, the Cooperation in Science and Technology, to jointly study fields like biomedicine and high-energy physics.
“At this rate, China may soon eclipse the U.S.,” Sen. Bill Nelson warned at a January congressional hearing on the state of American science, “And we will lose the competitive advantage that has made us the most powerful economy in the world.”
“When the program came out in 2008, it was almost perfect timing because of the global economic crisis,” said Cong Cao, who studies Chinese science policy at the University of Nottingham in Ningbo, China.
According to National Science Foundation statistics, China has almost caught up to the United States in its annual number of doctoral degrees in science and engineering, with 34,000 vs. the United States’ 40,000.
While China recently surpassed the United States in sheer volume of scientific papers published, U.S. papers were cited by other researchers more often.

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 “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 “In a Top-Heavy Premier League, More Teams Rush to the Bunker”

On the first day of 2018, Sam Allardyce, the club’s freshly installed manager, sent his team out not to stand toe-to-toe with Manchester United, but simply to stand firm: to absorb pressure and cling on.
Of course: Most Everton fans would accept that his team does not have the offensive firepower to match Manchester United.
Mark Hughes, Stoke’s manager, sent out a drastically weakened team at Stamford Bridge with the aim of saving his best side for Monday’s meeting with Newcastle, a direct rival in the battle to avoid relegation.
It has always been this way: The best teams monopolize possession, which means their opponents have always focused on damage limitation.
His decision forced the Premier League to alter its rules regarding the fielding of weakened teams.
The Premier League has long sold itself as the most competitive league in the world, as a division where might does not make right, in which teams never know when they are beaten, where the emphasis is always on attacking.
When Manchester United – or the great Arsenal or Chelsea sides of earlier this century – “Had opponents beaten in the tunnel,” as Hughes, a former United player, once said, only one or two teams inspired such fear.
The alternative, when faced with teams with vastly superior players and resources, remains unclear.

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.