Summaries of podcasts, lectures, and interviews.

October 27, 2015

October 27, 2015


US Government close to agreement on spending bill

The White House is close to a deal with Congressional leaders on a fiscal policy. The bill would  raise domestic funding by $80 billion over the next two years, increasing the federal spending limit and cutting social programs slightly. These negotiations took place in a touchy and unique scenario. The forced resignation of Speaker John Boehner cast a sense of urgency on the talks, as Dems knew his replacement (now almost certain to be Paul Ryan) would be mandated by his constituency to be stubborn. Read mas

Police chiefs in favor of background checks on gun buyers
At a conference of the International Association of Police Chiefs, American police chiefs called for background checks for gun purchases. Current rules on background checks don’t apply to private sellers, who are behind up to 40% of gun sales. They said that they are not anti-gun, and acknowledged the political climate that makes gun laws so difficult to pass. The NRA is an extremely powerful lobbying firm, and politicians – both Democrats and Republicans – are wary of upsetting their constituencies. Read mas
By the end of the century the Middle East may be too hot for human life
A new peer-reviewed scientific article says that by the end of this century the area around the Persian Gulf will be too hot for people to live in. Using scientific models to show the effects of climate change, they argue that it will be so hot that even a fit person couldn’t survive outdoors for more than 6 hours. The humidity, coming from the Gulf water, would inhibit the human body’s ability to sweat and ventilate. Read mas


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