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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Parents and students -- including those impacted by the deadly mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla. high school -- offered emotional stories of their experiences during a "listening session" with President Donald Trump Wednesday. There were narratives that painted a painful portrait of some of the youngest victims of mass gun violence in America. Their stories of the aftermath of those deaths, and of friends and teachers lost, provided the climax of a day focused on student action on gun policy reform. On Wednesday, students gathered in Washington D.C., held signs and spoke about the need for more gun safety laws as they marched down the National Mall toward the White House.


Shortly after we published a post about Lakewood entrepreneur Faith Day facing down the Food and Drug Administration over a kratom investigation, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in conjunction with the FDA, released a health warning about a "multi-state outbreak of Salmonella infections" related to the popular but controversial herbal pain reliever, with one person from Colorado said to be among those affected. And even though Day and the feds have very different views about kratom, some of the concerns voiced by the CDC echo ones she shared with us. In total, 28 people nationwide are said to have been sickened by Salmonella-tainted kratom. Of those, eleven were hospitalized, but no one has died as a result of such an infection.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

It's a story that has stunned the public. Last week, a report by The Times of London found that in 2011, the national director for Oxfam in Haiti and senior aid workers hired local sex workers while working in the country. After an internal investigation, the Times reported, Oxfam accepted the resignations of three men and fired four for gross misconduct. At the time, the charity was providing relief efforts after the 2010 earthquake that killed 220,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless. Across social media, critics and Oxfam donors expressed their outrage.


The rise and monopolistic behaviour of the giant American internet platform companies is contributing mightily to the US government's impotence. These companies have often played an innovative and liberating role. But as Facebook and Google have grown ever more powerful, they have become obstacles to innovation, and have caused a variety of problems of which we are only now beginning to become aware. [snip] Social media companies' true customers are their advertisers. But a new business model is gradually emerging, based not only on advertising but also on selling products and services directly to users. They exploit the data they control, bundle the services they offer, and use discriminatory pricing to keep more of the benefits that they would otherwise have to share with consumers. This enhances their profitability even further, but the bundling of services and discriminatory pricing undermine the efficiency of the market economy. read more


Friday, February 16, 2018

Praising Utahns' "can-do pioneering spirit" and calling out federal dysfunction, Mitt Romney launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate in a brief video Friday. "Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in Washington," the 2012 Republican presidential nominee says in the 2-minute clip. Romney said he decided to run for Senate to help bring Utah's values and lessons to Washington. read more


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