The CDC’s most recent HIV Surveillance Report contains the first-ever comprehensive data set allowing researchers to map HIV infections across the entire country. As the agency explains, their new data paints a “complete picture of diagnosed HIV infection in the U.S.,” revealing potential trends in infections across different regions. At least one clear trend emerges among Southern states, where the concentration of HIV infections tend to be higher:
It’s likely no coincidence that many of those same states lack the comprehensive sexual education requirements that would help educate their residents about HIV transmission from an early age. Health classes in Texas, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana aren’t required to provide any kind of medically accurate information about HIV. And in two of those states — Texas and Florida — public schools don’t have to offer any type of sexual health education whatsoever.
The judge, Col. Denise Lind, asked the prosecutors a brief but revealing question: Would you have pressed the same charges if Manning had given the documents not to WikiLeaks but directly to the New York Times?
The prosecutor’s answer was simple: “Yes Ma’am.”
The question was crisp and meaningful, not courtroom banter. The answer, in turn, was dead serious. I should know. I was the expert witness whose prospective testimony they were debating. The judge will apparently allow my testimony, so if the prosecution decides to pursue the more serious charges to which Manning did not plead guilty, I will explain at trial why someone in Manning’s shoes in 2010 would have thought of WikiLeaks as a small, hard-hitting, new media journalism outfit—a journalistic “Little Engine that Could” that, for purposes of press freedom, was no different from the New York Times. The prosecutor’s “Yes Ma’am,” essentially conceded that core point of my testimony in order to keep it out of the trial. That’s not a concession any lawyer makes lightly.
“That got me thinking: Could the Romans have built a digital computer using only the technology and manufacturing processes available to them?”
True, the publicity-loving Woodward may have overreacted to an alleged threat from the White House over his reporting on the budget sequester that takes effect today. An administration source — now identified by the White House as Obama’s economic adviser, Gene Sperling — warned Woodward in an email that he would “regret” reporting the version of events he had pieced together.
Any decent journalist has had the same exchange with the subject of a negative story; we’ll regret if we publish, because it will prove embarrassingly false.
But whether Woodward actually believed Sperling might be hiding in the bushes outside his house is immaterial. A member of the media had difficulty swallowing what the White House was spoon-feeding him so he tracked down the full story and wrote about it. (Woodward wrote in the Washington Post that the White House, in demanding tax increases as part of any deal to avoid the sequester, had “moved the goal posts.”)
And for that he must be punished.
For the past eight years, it has been my distinct pleasure to serve as head of the Roman Catholic Church. Spreading the message of the Bible around the world and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ is an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. Honestly, I had a ball. But at some point, you just have to face the facts and realize that you can’t play make-believe forever.
When I sit down and actually think about the things I did all the time as pope, it’s kind of embarrassing. I made people tell me all the details of the things they’ve done wrong. I moved my arms through the air and claimed that people had been blessed because of it. And get this—a couple weeks ago, I literally dipped my fingers in ashes and smeared it on people’s foreheads and told them they would live forever. How messed up is that? That’s just not what a mature, functional adult does.
Royal Bank of Scotland declared on Thursday it was on track for a partial privatisation next year but sparked a fresh row over bonuses at the scandal-hit institution.
The bank posted an annual loss of more than £5bn and Stephen Hester, its chief executive, admitted 2012 had been a “chastening” year after its £390m Libor rigging fine. Its total losses since the 2008 bailout have now topped £34bn. However, the bank is still paying out £607m in bonuses in the coming weeks.
Despite the loss, RBS has paid out £607m in bonuses, £215m of which went to its investment bankers whose division was behind the Libor scandal. The bank, which said bonuses would have been £500m higher without the Libor fine, risked inflaming the row over City pay further by indicating that its annual report in March could disclose how many of its staff take home more than £1m.
A group of researchers now says that one reason modern women may be packing on the pounds is because they’re not doing the heavy lifting around the house that they once did.
“We looked at 91 different activities — going to the gym, walking the dog — and the only thing that influenced their energy expenditure was the work in the home,” said Edward Archer, a University of South Carolina research fellow and the study’s lead author. “That’s why the study focused on that.”
“It makes no sense for Coca-Cola to be funding studies on causes of obesity because they are one of the causes for obesity,” said Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for food policy and obesity at Yale University. “It would be like taking money from the tobacco industry to find other causes of lung cancer. It really makes no sense at all.”
China’s air pollution has been bad lately. Really, really bad. We’ve posted photos of it before, but the above shot really drives home how severe this has gotten.
Both photos were taken in Beijing by Bill Bishop, who runs an excellent all-things-China e-mail newsletter called Sinocism (go subscribe). The photo on the left shows his view on a clear day. That tall building is the mammoth China World Trade Center Tower III.
On the right is a photo of the same view, taken late on Wednesday, U.S. East Coast time, or about 8 a.m. Beijing time. The 81-story skyscraper is all but invisible, shrouded by a layer of pollution so dense that even close-up objects are a blur.