According to mayors and county leaders who spoke at a Texas House subcommittee hearing, the long term response from the federal government to Hurricane Harvey has come up short. Over 51,000 Texans were still living in hotel rooms as of last week as they had been displaced from their homes and 26,000 are in temporary housing of their own selection. ... "They rank high on promises and way low on promises kept," Port Aransas Mayor Charles Bujan said. read more
In hot STEM fields like computer science, which serve as talent pipelines for the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft, about 64 percent of doctoral candidates and almost 68 percent in master's programs last year were international students, according to an annual survey of American and Canadian universities by the Computing Research Association. In comparison, only about 9 percent of undergraduates in computer science were international students (perhaps, deans posit, because families are nervous about sending offspring who are barely adults across the ocean to study). read more
Despite broad consensus about coal's bleak future, a years-long effort to diversify the economy of this hard-hit region away from mining is stumbling, with Obama-era jobs retraining classes undersubscribed and future programs at risk under President Donald Trump's proposed 2018 budget. Trump has promised to revive coal by rolling back environmental regulations and moved to repeal Obama-era curbs on carbon emissions from power plants. What many experts call false hopes for a coal resurgence have mired economic development efforts here in a catch-22: Coal miners are resisting retraining without ready jobs from new industries, but new companies are unlikely to move here without a trained workforce. The stalled diversification push leaves some of the nation's poorest areas with no clear path to prosperity. read more
Tesla has used its solar panels and batteries to restore reliable electricity at San Juan's Hospital del Niño (Children's Hospital), in what company founder Elon Musk calls "the first of many solar+battery Tesla projects going live in Puerto Rico." The project came about after Puerto Rico was hit by two devastating and powerful hurricanes in September, and Musk reached out about Tesla helping. Musk's company announced its success in getting the hospital's power working again less than three weeks after Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello tweeted on Oct. 6, "Great initial conversation with @elonmusk tonight. Teams are now talking; exploring opportunities." read more
Soon after the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas, the White House batted down the idea of enacting more gun control with the argument that many cities with strict gun laws have high murder rates. The White House specifically pointed to Chicago and Baltimore as "some of America's cities with the strictest gun laws" coupled with "the highest rates of gun violence."
An NPR fact check of the White House talking point noted that Chicago is close to the borders of two states -- Wisconsin and Indiana -- that have weak gun laws. A 2014 report from the city of Chicago noted that 60 percent of guns used to commit crimes in Chicago from 2009 to 2013 originated outside of Illinois, and Indiana and Wisconsin were two of the biggest sources of recovered guns. read more