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  • Monnat weighs in on record US overdose deaths in AP article

    Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government reported Wednesday. That estimate far eclipses the high of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths reached the previous year and amounts to a 29% increase. "What’s really driving the surge in overdoses is this increasingly poisoned drug supply," says Shannon Monnat, associate professor of sociology and Lerner Chair for Public Health Promotion. "Nearly all of this increase is fentanyl contamination in some way. Heroin is contaminated. Cocaine is contaminated. Methamphetamine is contaminated." Read more in the Associated Press article, "US overdose deaths hit record 93,000 in pandemic last year."


    Sultana reports on political ecology in Progress in Human Geography

    "Progress report in Political ecology II: Conjunctures, crises, and critical publics," authored by Associate Professor of Geography and the Environment Farhana Sultana, was published in Progress in Human Geography. Sultana critically engages with the conjunctural capitalist crises that led to climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic and discusses alternative pathways to address growing socio-ecological crises.


    Reeher quoted in LocalSYR article on gun buyback programs

    The City of Syracuse is partnering with New York Attorney General Letitia James on a gun buyback program this summer. Professor Grant Reeher says the amount of guns in the United States keeps growing. When it comes to homicides, he says money should be invested in programs in the places where gun crimes and gang violence happen the most. "Particularly in poorer areas of cities," Reeher adds. "Those are the people that suffer the consequences of this most heavily. Again, that’s a big investment. You’re talking about social programs, you’re talking about job programs, you’re talking about criminal justice initiatives—those all cost a lot of money." Reeher was quoted in the LocalSYR article, "A closer look at the effectiveness of gun buyback programs."


    Michelmore weighs in on Child Tax Credit payments in BBC, MarktetWatch

    The first advance payments on the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) are being distributed through direct deposits and paper checks on this week. Various research shows the timing and certainty of payments and benefits can really matter in a family’s financial life from month to month, especially if the family is struggling, says Katherine Michelmore. Knowing the CTC money is "coming on a specific day is really helpful to families that are living paycheck to paycheck," she says. Read more in the MarketWatch article, "Enhanced Child Tax Credits of up to $3,600 per child start this week: ‘I’m going to be able to do a lot’." Michelmore was also quoted in the BBC News article, "Why the US is launching a $300 monthly child benefit."


    Campbell speaks to LA Times about assassination of Haiti's president

    Last week, Haitian president Jovenel Moise was assassinated inside his home. As officials continue their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the killing, Haiti’s constitutional crisis deepens, with multiple politicians battling for control of the impoverished country. What is needed, says Horace G. Campbell, professor of political science and African American studies, is for members of Haitian civil society to take the lead in crafting a solution to the current crisis with the support of neighboring Caribbean countries. "The Haitian people need room to create their own democratic spaces," Campbell says. Read more in the Los Angeles Times article, "Who killed Haiti’s president? Plot thickens as Moise’s guards come under scrutiny."


    Bendix quoted in LA Times article CA wildfires, climate change

    California is off to another record-breaking year of wildfires as the state enters its most dangerous months, with extreme heat and dry terrain creating the conditions for rapid spread. More than twice as many acres burned in the first six months of this year than during the same period last year—and hundreds more fires, officials say. "The exceptional fire weather this year and in recent years does not represent random bad luck," says Jacob Bendix, professor of geography and the environment. "It is among the results of our adding carbon to the atmosphere—results that were predictable, and indeed that have been predicted for decades." Read more in the Los Angeles Times article, "California hit by record-breaking fire destruction: 'Climate change is real, it’s bad'."


    O'Keefe discusses Richard Branson's space flight with CNBC, The Hill

    On Sunday, Richard Branson reached space on a test flight for Virgin Galactic before gliding back to earth and touching down safely. University Professor Sean O’Keefe, former NASA administrator, joined CNBC's Worldwide Exchange to discuss the space flight, and what it means for the billionaire and for the world. O'Keefe also wrote a piece, "Richard Branson's space flight changes the way we look at space," that was published in The Hill.


    Rasmussen's Fears of a Setting Sun reviewed in Wall Street Journal

    "Fears of a Setting Sun: The Disillusionment of America’s Founders" (Princeton University Press, 2021), written by Dennis Rasmussen, professor of political science, was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal. "The book is gracefully written and fair in its judgments," writes reviewer Barton Swaim. "It’s also timely. There must be few news-following Americans who haven’t wondered over the last year if the United States can stay united for much longer. The founders, too, worried intermittently about dissolution." Rasmussen also discussed his book on the Reason video segment "The Founding Fathers Thought America Was Doomed."


    Flores-Lagunes comments on Northeast labor gains in Business Insider

    As more people get their COVID shots, economies in the Northeast, which has some of the highest vaccination rates in the country, are reopening, prompting both customers to flock to restaurants and other businesses and workers to return to jobs. Alfonso Flores-Lagunes, professor of economics, says that "people are feeling more comfortable going to restaurants, traveling, and right now in the Northeast, it's a good time to travel because it's not as cold." He was quoted in the Business Insider article, "Hospitality workers are returning to their jobs in Northeast states, prompting big unemployment drops - and economists say the region's high vaccine rate is driving it."


    Barkun quoted in piece on TWA 800 conspiracy theories

    On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800 exploded in midair off the coast of Long Island. Conspiracy theories quickly took shape. Twenty-five years later, the questions and conspiracies live on, despite National Transportation Safety Board officials concluding that an electrical failure ignited fuel vapors in a nearly empty tank in the belly of the jet. Professor Emeritus Michael Barkun says internet forums and social media platforms have served as mass media outlets without gatekeepers. They allow unconventional ideas to quickly become mainstream. "Now anyone with an idea, no matter how bizarre, has a way of potentially getting it in front of fairly large audiences," he says. Read more in the article, "'First conspiracy of the internet age' lives on 25 years after TWA Flight 800 exploded."


    Lovely talks to Bloomberg about Beijing relations with Europe, US

    Mary Lovely, professor of economics, discussed Beijing relations with Europe and the U.S. on 'Bloomberg Markets: China Open.' "I think that they [Europe] can have a very important role to play in lowering the temperature and starting to set the stage for us to find solutions and a way forward," Lovely says.


    Jacobson discusses US troop withdrawal, Afghanistan on CBS, MSNBC, VOA

    On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced the rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan would conclude by August 31, weeks before the September 11 deadline he set earlier this year. The new deadline comes as the Taliban continue to gain new territory at an alarming pace, raising concerns the militant Islamic group could topple the Afghan government. "I still think there's a good chance that the Taliban are able to topple the government in Kabul and then we're right back to 1996 again," Mark Jacobson, assistant dean of Washington Programs, told VOA. Jacobson also discussed the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan with ABC Radio National, CBS, MSNBC and USA Today.


    Bendix talks to LA Times about CA wildfires, fireworks threat

    Last month, more than 100 fire scientists signed a letter urging the Western U.S. to forgo fireworks this Fourth of July. Jacob Bendix, professor of geography and the environment who specializes in the study of wildfire distribution, was one of the scientists who signed the letter. Given the increasingly flammable landscape, "pleas to skip the fireworks make perfect sense," says Bendix. "This is particularly true in Southern California, where the vast majority of wildfires are started by people rather than lightning," he says, "so that it is largely in our hands as to whether our behavior causes catastrophe." Read more in the Los Angeles Times article, "No such thing as ‘safe and sane’ fireworks in a bone-dry California primed to burn."


    Farciy weighs in on Democrat's proposed tax strategy in WSJ

    Top Democrats are in the process of designing a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure deal, and a second, broader antipoverty package and they need to resolve differences over the amount of spending, how much must be paid for, and which of Mr. Biden’s proposed tax increases should advance. "A lot of Democratic voters are moderate to conservative. A lot of Democratic voters have low trust in government,” says Christopher Faricy, associate professor of political science. "You have to tie it to something that is popular, that you can sell to people that will be an improvement in their day-to-day lives." Read more in the Wall Street Journal article, "Democrats Focus on Turning Tax Talk Into Action."


    Gadarian quoted in Vox piece on political polarization, COVID vaccine

    The COVID-19 epidemic in the U.S., at face value, has become a division between those who are vaccinated and those who are unvaccinated. But, increasingly, it’s also a division between Democrats and Republicans—as vaccination has ended up on one of the biggest dividing lines in the U.S., political polarization. "Partisanship is now the strongest and most consistent divider in health behaviors," says Professor Shana Gadarian. "It didn’t have to be this way," Gadarian says. "There’s really nothing about the nature of being a right-wing party that would require undercutting the threat of COVID from the very beginning." Gadarian was quoted in the Vox article, "How political polarization broke America’s vaccine campaign."


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