By Sonia Rao
The kids are anxious.
Can you blame them? In a nation inundated with news of mass shootings and the separation of migrant families, the youngest generation must also learn to cope with the debilitating knowledge that they will be the generation most affected by climate change, should it continue on the trajectory scientists believe it will take. In a report published in April by the Harvard Public Opinion Project, 46 percent of those 18 to 24 years old said climate change is “a crisis and demands urgent action.”
“Here’s this big situation that’s clearly getting worse, and that we didn’t start. We inherited it,” Lynn Bufka, associate director of practice research and policy at the American Psychological Association, said of what might run through a young adult’s mind. …
By Alyssa Rosenberg
Highlights for Children, the venerable children’s magazine, tends to focus its moral lessons toward young readers. So it might have taken readers by surprise on Tuesday when its chief executive Kent Johnson issued a statement aimed at grown-ups, including the Goofus in the White House, condemning the Trump administration’s family separations and asking readers to advocate for detained immigrant children.
“Our company’s core belief, stated each month in Highlights magazine, is that ‘Children are the world’s most important people.’ This is a belief about ALL children,” Johnson wrote. “…This is a plea for recognition that these are not simply the children of strangers for whom others are accountable. …
By Rebecca Puhl
The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City obsessively monitored the weight of its waitresses, according to 22 of them who sued it in 2008. They would be suspended, for example, if they gained 7 percent more weight than they had when they were hired. But a New Jersey judge threw out the suit, explaining that state law was silent about weight discrimination. The state Supreme Court affirmed the decision three years ago.
A hospital in Victoria, Tex., made headlines in 2012 after it imposed a strict body mass index (BMI) limit on employees — 35, in the obese range, was the cutoff — citing patients’ expectations of what a health-care provider should look like. …
By Sheryll Cashin
Do the descendants of slaves deserve reparations? For the first time in a century and a half, there is a legitimate political debate on this question. Many of the top Democratic presidential hopefuls support establishing them in some form, or at least launching a commission to study how it might be done. This past week, on Juneteenth, the House held a hearing on H.R. 40, a bill that would do just that.
But if Americans are now willing to entertain the notion of restorative justice for the legacy of institutional racism, slavery alone is the wrong place to focus. The damage to African Americans goes far beyond abolition in 1865. Efforts to subordinate and economically exploit black people continued through peonage, convict leasing, sharecropping, Jim Crow, redlined black ghettos and mass incarceration. The ideology of white supremacy, used to justify slavery, persists. Why should subsequent racist practices get a pass while we zoom in on outright bondage? …
By Danya Ruttenberg
The Holocaust was suddenly in the center of U.S. political discourse early this week. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) referred on social media to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention centers as concentration camps, which provoked a backlash from conservatives and then a flood of support from liberals. And #Kristallnacht trended on Twitter on Monday night after President Trump tweeted that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will soon step up its work “removing the millions” of undocumented immigrants, seemingly signaling an escalation of his administration’s tactics aimed at migrants.
Are these analogies just? Is it really reasonable to compare what’s happening with immigrants under Trump to the Third Reich? Or should the Holocaust be off-limits for comparisons to current events? …
By Joyce Cohen
It was supposed to be a joyful family gathering.
Last spring, Kim Powers-Brown took an overnight train from her home in eastern Washington state to join her relatives at a restaurant near Seattle. Because of her hearing difficulties — she cannot understand speech amid background noise — the group of four requested a quieter spot.
“The waitress said no, that side of the restaurant was closed and she was the only waitress on duty — it would be too much trouble,” Powers-Brown said.
The family was led to a corner table, with a speaker playing music overhead. She couldn’t understand a word. Her brother demanded they sit in the quieter closed section. “I begged him not to embarrass me,” said Powers-Brown, who was born partially deaf and wears a hearing aid in one ear. …
By Petula Dvorak
“They’re just getting so blunt,” Ruby Corado said. “It’s just out there. It used to be more isolated.”
Corado could be talking about support for the LGBT community.
The Pride parades across the region this month drew huge crowds. And they’re not just drag queens and shimmy-shimmy dancers with in-your-face protests.
Social media has been filled during Pride Month with heterosexual couples and families showing up in rainbow regalia supporting LGBT rights with the same verve as they would a Fourth of July parade. …
By Helaine Olen
On Wednesday, Nevada became the most recent state to increase its minimum wage, when Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed legislation that would also begin the slow process of raising it from the current $7.25 an hour for workers receiving benefits and from $8.25 for those without benefits, beginning with an increase of 75 cents next year.
Hooray for Nevada. But the state’s action also highlights a bigger problem. If the national minimum wage is not raised by this Sunday — a highly unlikely event — it will mark the longest period between increases in the rate since Franklin Roosevelt first established a national floor on hourly wages during the Great Depression. The federal minimum wage will remain set at $7.25, …
By Drew Harwell
Top artificial-intelligence researchers across the country are racing to defuse an extraordinary political weapon: computer-generated fake videos that could undermine candidates and mislead voters during the 2020 presidential campaign.
And they have a message: We’re not ready.
The researchers have designed automatic systems that can analyze videos for the telltale indicators of a fake, assessing light, shadows, blinking patterns — and, in one potentially groundbreaking method, even how a candidate’s real-world facial movements — such as the angle they tilt their head when they smile — relate to one another.
But for all that progress, the researchers say they remain vastly overwhelmed by a technology they fear could herald a damaging new wave of disinformation campaigns, much in the same way fake news stories and deceptive Facebook groups were deployed to influence public opinion during the 2016 election. …
By Kara Elder
“Yemeni cuisine is such a foreign thing to people,” Amjaad Al-Hussain says one Sunday afternoon in February. She’s just finished cooking a batch of adas, a hearty breakfast stew of red lentils, onions and tomatoes, spiced with cumin and coriander.
As the adas sputters in its final minutes of cooking in her Fairfax kitchen, she warms a few glugs of olive oil in a small skillet, drops in a generous amount of minced garlic and cilantro, and fries the aromatic mixture until the garlic is golden and the herb almost blackened and crisp. Then she stirs the supercharged oil into the adas, adding a jolt of flavor and lusciousness. …