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Curious link between world peace and gender equality

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Whatever comes of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un’s curious get-together in Singapore it brought a welcome focus: peace. Matt Wade Brisbane Times If the optimists are right the meeting has paved the way for “major disarmament” on the Korean peninsula over the next few years. But, even if that happens, how much more peaceful would the world really be? Sadly, not that much. An ambitious number crunching exercise by the Sydney-based international think tank, the Institute for Economics and… ... Read More »

Harvard scientists: Trump environmental policies could result in 80,000 more deaths per decade

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A new essay from two Harvard University scientists concluded that the Trump administration’s environmental policies could result in an additional 80,000 deaths per decade. Avery Anapol The Hill The research, from public health economist David Cutler and biostatistician Francesca Dominici, pointed specifically to the health impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) policies on air pollutants and… “This sobering statistic captures only a small fraction of the cumulative public health damages associated with the full range of rollbacks and systemic actions proposed ... Read More »

Violent crime against older people is at record levels — here’s why

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Crime statistics have traditionally suggested that people aged 60 or over are less likely to be the victims of violent crime than the rest of the population. Hannah Bows The Conversation But while national victimisation surveys consistently report lower levels of victimisation among those aged 60 and over, these figures don’t necessarily capture the full picture. This is in part because most victimisation surveys exclude certain groups in society from participating – including those living in “institutions” such as care ... Read More »

What’s it like to be young and from overseas in Australia?

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The first ever census of young Australians from refugee and migrant backgrounds paints a mixed picture of optimism and belonging against a backdrop of ongoing discrimination By Professor Johanna Wyn, Dr Rimi Khan and Dr Babak Dadvand, University of Melbourne The majority of refugee and migrant young Australians feel strongly that they belong here, despite almost half experiencing some form of discrimination or unfair treatment in the past twelve months, the first Multicultural Youth Australia Census shows. Nearly 2,000 young ... Read More »

Having an abortion does not lead to depression

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A study of nearly 400,000 women is the first to explore the risk of antidepressant use around an abortion as a proxy for depression University of Maryland EurekAlert! Having an abortion does not increase a woman’s risk for depression, according to a new study of nearly 400,000 women published today in JAMA Psychiatry. While previous research has found abortion does not harm women’s mental health, studies claiming that it does continue to be published and state policies that restrict access ... Read More »

Infant mortality rates higher in areas with more Christian fundamentalists, study finds

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The odds of an infant dying before their first birthday are higher in counties with greater proportions of conservative Protestants, especially fundamentalists, than in counties with more mainline Protestants and… Portland State University EurekAlert! The study, published online in May in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, supports the idea that the more insular, anti-institutional culture of fundamentalists can lead to poorer health outcomes. Ginny Garcia-Alexander, a sociology professor in PSU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and ... Read More »

A study shows that electoral outcomes affect the way we treat other people

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After the 2016 US Presidential election, the willingness of Democrats to share resources with Republicans dropped abruptly as a consequence of a drop in self-esteem, according to… Bocconi University EurekAlert! After the unexpected results of the 2016 US Presidential Election, the way Americans treat each other changed as a function of their party affiliation, a new study by Celia Moore (Bocconi… In a two-stage experimental study, they explored how Democrats and Republicans allocated resources to their political friends and foes ... Read More »

Study on South China Sea arbitration awards published

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BEIJING, May 14 (Xinhua) — A study on the South China Sea arbitration awards, compiled by the Chinese Society of International Law (CSIL), was published by the Foreign Languages Press Monday. Editor: Xiang Bo The book, titled “The South China Sea Arbitration Awards: A Critical Study,” has both Chinese and English versions, according to a press release issued on the CSIL website. The Aquino III administration of the Philippines unilaterally initiated an arbitration on disputes between China and the Philippines ... Read More »

Hostility towards minorities can be contagious

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If people act hostile towards other ethnic groups, they easily find imitators Max-Planck-Gesellschaft EurekAlert! Inter-ethnic conflicts often escalate surprisingly quickly. In a recent study, researchers have investigated the influence of the environment on peoples’ hostility against minorities with the help of experiments. They found that hostility towards members of other ethnic groups is much more often imitated than hostility towards co-ethnics. Whether in Bosnia, Liberia, or Rwanda, violent conflicts have suddenly broken out between… So far, there… Hostility towards minorities… Read More »

New Study Links African Conflict to Lack of Term Limits

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This week, Chad’s parliament voted to introduce a new constitution that will allow two more terms for President Idriss Deby, who has led the country since 1990. Salem Solomon VoA On May 17, Burundians will vote on a constitutional amendment that would enable President Pierre Nkurunziza, president since 2005, to stay in office an additional 16… And in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a worsening humanitarian crisis unfolds while President Joseph Kabila refuses to step down, despite reaching the end ... Read More »

Researchers discover ‘switchblade’ lurking in faces of stonefish

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Researchers have discovered a new feature of stonefish – and if the potentially deadly animals hadn’t already scared you off barefoot rock pool capers, this might push you over the edge. Jenny Noyes The Canberra Times Adding to the array of defense mechanisms the fish are already known to possess – venom, spines (which hurt and shoot poison right into your foot), camouflage that makes them seamlessly blend in with rocks and coral – biologists from Kansas have now discovered the creatures that lurk… It’s basically ... Read More »

Gaia’s Map of 1.3 Billion Stars Makes for a Milky Way in a Bottle

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Call it a galaxy in a bottle. Last Wednesday, astronomers in Europe released a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way. Dennis Overbye The New York Times It is the most detailed survey ever produced of our home galaxy. It contains the vital statistics of some 1.3 billion stars — about one percent of the whole galaxy. Not to mention measurements of almost half a million quasars, asteroids and other flecks in the night. Analyzing all these motions and distances, astronomers ... Read More »

Australia should tax and regulate cannabis, not prohibit it

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The decision to ban cannabis was an accident of history. There was no careful root and branch review of the evidence. Alex Wodak ABC Instead, Australia was represented at a League of Nations meeting in Geneva in 1925 where delegates from several countries decried the dangers of cannabis. As Robert Kendell outlines in his book Cannabis Condemned: “A claim by the Egyptian delegation that [cannabis] was as dangerous as opium, and should therefore be subject to the same international controls, ... Read More »

What if we have got it wrong on Alzheimer’s?

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Science is about getting it wrong, until you get it right. What if we’re refusing to admit we’re wrong about a horrifying disease? Liam Mannix The Sydney Morning Herald “The hard but just rule is that if the ideas don’t work, you must throw them away,” wrote astronomer Carl Sagan. But when your career and everything you’ve ever worked for is on the line, admitting you might be wrong is very hard to do. Despite decades and billions of dollars ... Read More »

Why Denmark dominates the World Happiness Report rankings year after year

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The new World Happiness Report again ranks Denmark among the top three happiest of 155 countries surveyed – a distinction that the country has earned for seven consecutive years. Marie Helweg-Larsen The Conversation The U.S., on the other hand, ranked 18th in this year’s World Happiness Report, a four-spot drop from last year’s report. Denmark’s place among the world’s happiest countries is consistent with many other national surveys of happiness (or, as psychologists call it, “subjective well-being”). Scientists like to ... Read More »

Stem Cell Transplant for Multiple Sclerosis May Revolutionize Care for One Million Americans

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Updated | People with multiple sclerosis may be able to “reset” their immune system and potentially reverse their symptoms with an infusion of blood-based stem cells. Kate Sheridan Newsweek The finding is based on a randomized clinical trial with 110 patients who’d been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. According to the data, stem cell transplant may be an effective treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). The study built on work by Dr. Richard Burt, a stem cell specialist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, ... Read More »