Editors' Headlines of the Week

headlines of the week

Drone Use Against Journalists? – New Yorker

Amy Davidson of The New Yorker recaps her discussion with political theorist Michael Walzer, professor of philosophy at Rutgers, Jeff McMahan, and The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer. Given the recent spike in interest surrounding drone strikes, Davidson’s article raises interesting questions.

In particular, what if the shoe was on the other foot? Should China decide to call in a drone strike on a Chinese dissident living in the U.S, does it have the same international authority that the U.S. is asserting? Is America the only exception to international law? What are the moral implications of pervasive drone warfare?

 

10 Million Tweets and the Geography of Happiness – The Atlantic

Can happiness be detected in social media? The Atlantic seems to think so. A team of researches at Vermont Complex Systems Center analyzed 10 million geotagged tweets and assessed them for ‘happiness content.’ From the article:

“They also found that the Bible belt stretching across the American south and into Texas was less happy than the west or New England. The saddest town of the 373 urban areas studied was Beaumont in east Texas. The happiest was Napa, California, home of many drunk people wine makers.”

 

Google Becoming the New Cop on the Block? – Reuters

Privacy online seems to be getting closer to extinction by the day. What goes on the Internet stays on the Internet, in part thanks to Google’s massive data mining capabilities. Law enforcement seems to have ‘easy and routine’ access to the search history database in particular.

From art thieves to hackers, access to supposedly private data has been granted to apprehend and convict, blurring the lines between due process, probable cause, and individual privacy.

 

Should Taxpayers Give Big Banks $83 Billion a Year – Bloomberg

The bailouts are over, right? The banks paid every cent back and America’s financial future is as bright as ever? Not quite.

The ten largest banks, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs… receive a taxpayer subsidy of $83 billion a year, which is about 3 cents of every tax dollar.

Bloomberg’s editorial team explores some constructive solutions to reducing the risk posed by these ‘Too-Big-To-Jail’ banks. Not to mention expertly laying out how continuing to leverage global assets 33-to-1 is a dangerous and potentially catastrophic practice.

 

Mitch McConnell Fooled by Satirical News Article – Salon

The Duffel Blog, a satirical website focused on military-related ‘news,’ published an article titled ‘Guantanamo Prisoners to Receive GI Bill Benefits.’ Reportedly, Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) was alarmed enough by the fake news and contacted the Pentagon’s congressional liaison in search of answers.

A look at the rest of the Duffel Blog would have quickly assuaged any fears the story was legitimate, with headlines like ‘Army Spends $100M On Piece of Equipment That Doesn’t Do Anything.’ Perhaps the absurdity of the news cycle has reached a point where even satire is mistaken for news.

 

 Big Bird is Back: With Michelle Obama? – Washington Post

Regarding the First Lady’s ‘Let’s Move’ initiative to improve child health and fitness, Mrs. Obama has teamed up with the iconic man-puppet, Big Bird, to spread the news.  The PSAs encourage kids to “get moving” and eat “juicy fruits and crunchy vegetables.” Yumm!

 

What Makes Health Care So Expensive – Time Magazine

Health care in the United States is uniquely expensive among developed nations and is expected to keep rising in the coming years.

However, the United States continues to lag behind many countries in terms of life expectancy and infant mortality. Time magazine explains why these high costs exist and what can be done to improve the health care industry.

 

Heisman Pose Copyrighted – Eric Goldman

Photographer Brian Masck is suing nine parties for copyright infringement of his famous photo featuring Heisman Trophy winner, Desmond Howard. The photo was taken during the 1991 NCAA football season when Howard returned a punt for a 93-yard touchdown. He celebrated by imitating the Heisman pose, thus the photo was captured.

Masck claims that the nine parties, (including Howard himself) have misused and/or  published the photograph unlawfully. Masck did not register the photograph until 2011 and cannot demand statutory damages. The best part lies in Masck’s complaint:

In that pre-digital era, he enjoyed the physical act of producing a photograph. He liked to set up the trays and chemicals, watch the image appear, adjust the exposure with his hands, and try different kinds of emulsions and papers to produce different effects.