Links, Notes, Bookmarks And Briefs For October 10, 2017

An open thread and (almost) daily notes to myself; feel free to eavesdrop, join in or start a conversation, or drop a relevant link in the comments. Updated throughout the day.

15th World Day Against the Death Penalty

It’s today. Via the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty:

141 countries have abolished the death penalty, 57 still uphold the practice, 23 carried out 1,032 (excluding China) executions in 2016. The top five: China, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. No figures are available for China where capital murder is a state secret, but it is widely accepted that several thousand executions were carried out there last year. World Coalition Against the Death Penalty fact sheet.

World Homeless Day 2017

Since its founding in 2010, October 10 has also been designated as World Homeless Day. Here’s one personal testimonial from a formerly homeless man in Cape Town who concludes:

Just for today: be kind. Be genuine. Engage in conversation. Smile. And if you have time, listen.

According to a Radio SLO report this morning, the homeless population here in Slovenia is currently estimated to be between 4,000 and 9,000.

On a Permanent State of War

I was discussing this very thing with a friend a couple weeks ago: how every US citizen under the age of 20 won’t remember living in a time that the US was not engaged in war.

In Common Dreams (via TomDispatch) Andrew Bacevich lists eight reasons why Americans have largely come to accept a permanent state of war. How We Learned Not To Care About America’s Wars: Sixteen years of autopilot wars, but who’s counting?

Like traffic jams or robocalls, war has fallen into the category of things that Americans may not welcome, but have learned to live with. In twenty-first-century America, war is not that big a deal.


An important PSA about a devastating humanitarian crisis that is threatening a country on the coast of North America.


Supersize this: On the global obesity epidemic

From The Guardian: Global cost of obesity-related illness to hit $1.2tn a year from 2025. (That’s trillion.) From the piece:

The United States faces by far the biggest treatment bill, with a rise from $325bn per year in 2014 to $555bn in just eight years’ time, partly because of the high cost of medical care in the US. But all countries are looking at a very steep rise in costs that will be unaffordable for most. In the UK, the bill is set to rise from $19bn to $31bn per year in 2025. The NHS chief executive, Simon Stevens, has already warned that obesity threatens to bankrupt the NHS.

Over the next eight years, the experts say, the US will spend $4.2tn on treating obesity-related disease, Germany will spend $390bn, Brazil $251bn and the UK $237bn if these countries do not do more to try to prevent it.

The new figures come from the World Obesity Federation (WOF), which says there will be 2.7 billion overweight and obese adults by 2025, many of whom are likely to end up needing medical care. That means a third of the global population will be overweight or obese.


And this.

Yesterday was Malala Yousafzai’s first day at Oxford.





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