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Bleeding Edge Roundup

DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Copyright chaos: Why isn’t Anne Frank’s diary free?
By Glyn Moody
ArsTechnica

Anne Frank was a teenager who is now known the world over for her diary of life in hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. She died in February or March 1945, at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where was she held, shortly before it was liberated. Since the applicable term of copyright in the EU is 70 years after the death of a writer, this means that her famous diary should now be in the public domain. So why isn't The Diary of a Young Girl free now? The answer to that question reveals the patchwork nature of copyright in the EU, and the absurdly long duration that makes it unsuited for a digital world where sharing and reuse is the norm.

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Inside OpenAI, the Plan to Set Artificial Intelligence Free
By Cade Metz
Wired

OpenAI didn’t attract the brightest minds working on artificial intelligence with money. It offered something else: the chance to explore research aimed solely at the future instead of products and quarterly earnings, and to eventually share most—if not all—of this research with anyone who wants it. The company aims to give away what may become the 21st century’s most transformative technology—and give it away for free.

Read the full article here.

SUSTAINABILITY & ENVIRONMENT

What the Eocene epoch tells us about global warming now
By Jason Thomas
The Christian Science Monitor

By delving into the mysteries of Earth's climate 50 million years ago, scientists hope to understand how our planet may cope with global warming, providing independent insight into today's climate models.

Read the full article here.

How Small Cities Can Act on Climate and Inequality
By Justin Talbot Zorn
The Huffington Post

The average global temperature is rising, arctic sea ice is receding, the amount of CO2 in the air is over 400 parts per million, and don’t worry, Congress is working towards cutting funding for environmental protection.  It looks like it’s up to the states to figure it out, and fortunately some of them have.

Read the full article here.

LABOR, TRADE, & ECONOMY

The Era of 'Too Big to Fail' Is Also Era of 'Too Small to Succeed'
By Ronald Orol
The Street

The Justice Department, Federal Trade Commission, and Treasury Department have made splashy headlines of late, taking actions to block mega-deals. But one regulatory body has quietly started moving in the other direction. The Federal Reserve recently begun blessing a growing number of bank mergers, particularly when it comes to regional mid-size banks bulking up through acquisitions. And while mergers among the largest six US banks seems out of the question for now, other types of deals are being approved by the central bank.

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Detroit Teachers Rally To Stabilize Detroit Public Schools
By Doug Cunningham
National Labor News

Detroit American Federation of Teachers union members, parents, and clergy and other labor leaders are rallying in Lansing Tuesday for "Schools Our Kids Deserve." They are urging the legislature to pass funding bills to stabilize the Detroit Public Schools. Terrance Martin is the Executive Vice-President of the Detroit Federation of Teachers. He says Detroit students are enduring dilapidated conditions as the district struggles with a huge debt under the state Emergency Manager laws. "We've lost over half of our membership in the last ten years because of these laws,” Martin says. “We've closed over half of our schools because of these laws. And so we've been hit tremendously.”

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GOP: It’s OK for Corporations to Kill Workers
By Leo W. Gerard
The Huffington Post

Alan White couldn’t shout jubilation from the rooftop on March 25 when he heard that the U.S. Department of Labor, after decades of trying, had finally issued a stricter rule to limit exposure to potentially deadly silica dust in workplaces. Within days, though, indignation replaced his jubilation. White, who’d been sickened by the debilitating, irreversible and often fatal disease at work in a foundry, watched in disgust as Republicans attempted to overturn the rule that the Labor Department said could save more than 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis annually.

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GLOBAL CONFLICT & DEVELOPMENT

Highlights of Saudi Deputy Crown Prince’s interview
Al-Arabiya

In an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya on Monday, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed the kingdom’s Vision 2030 roadmap and pledged to end Riyadh’s dependence on oil revenue by 2020. Among the themes raised in the interview, conducted by Al Arabiya News Channel’s General Manager Turki Al-Dakhi, were plans to put oil giant Aramco's shares in an initial public offering, the Saudi public investment fund, a US-style Green Card  residency scheme, tourism, expats, defense and further details on the Saudi Vision.

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Drones Kill More Civilians Than Pilots Do
By Micah Zenko and Amelia Mae Wolf
Foreign Policy

The Obama administration’s assumption that drones cause less collateral damage than piloted aircraft is simply untrue. According to the best publicly available evidence, drone strikes in non-battlefield settings—Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia—result in 35 times more civilian fatalities than airstrikes by manned weapons systems in conventional battlefields, such as Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. There are sound arguments that can be made in favor of U.S. drone strikes, but their supposed precision should not be one of them.

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White House says it will offer largest military package in US history
Yedioth Ahronot

After 83 US senators send a letter to the White House, urging President Barack Obama to sign a military aid deal with Israel, a White House official said, 'We are prepared to sign an Memorandum of Understanding with Israel that would constitute largest single military pledge' in US history.

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AMERICAN COMMUNITIES

Suicides in the United States Are Surging — and It's Not Clear Why
By Olivia Becker
Vice

The number of people killing themselves has been steadily increasing among nearly all sectors of the United States population since 1999, according to a sweeping report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday. The suicide rate rose from 10.5 people per 100,000 of the population in 1999 to 13 people in 2014—a 24 percent increase. The spike is a notable shift from the years before 1999, when suicides were on the decline. The CDC report did not attempt to explain the startling rise in suicides among Americans. The upward trend picked up after 2006, however, suggesting that it might be related to the economic downturn of the mid-2000s, one researcher told CNN.

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Obama’s advisers just revealed an unconventional solution to mass incarceration
By Max Ehrenfreund
The Washington Post

Mass incarceration is failing to prevent crime, according to the Obama administration — so much so that the president's staff is looking in a few unconventional places for new ideas on public safety. For example, raising the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour could prevent as many as half a million crimes annually, according to a new report from the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, a group of economists and researchers charged with providing the president with analysis and advice on economic questions. In the report, the CEA argues for a broader analysis of the problems of crime and incarceration, touching on subjects that seem unrelated to criminal justice, such as early childhood education and health care. The authors of the report contend that by helping people get by legally, those other elements of the president's agenda would be more effective in reducing crime than incarceration.

Read the full article here.

Why Some Suburbs Are Trying to Be More Like Cities
By Eliot Brown
The Wall Street Journal

For more than a generation, the suburb of New Rochelle, NY, has been struggling with a stagnant economy. Closed storefronts and tax revenue that has fallen even as New York City has boomed just 15 miles to the south. Now this bedroom community is forging ahead with a plan to remake its low-slung downtown into a landscape checkered with office towers, high-rise apartments and new retail. Over the past year and a half, it has changed its zoning and signed on a team of developers to start building some of the planned towers—all in a bid to attract new employers and residents and breathe life into the local economy. In short, this suburb is trying to look urban, and it isn’t the only one. While the approaches vary, what New Rochelle shares with other suburban areas is a general desire for urban-style development meant to appeal to youth and attract employers who might otherwise gravitate to cities.

Read the full article here.

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Bleeding Edge Roundup