Horror of church shootings; Madagascar’s plague outbreak; net states rule the world, and more

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Our picksHorror of church shootings; Madagascar’s plague outbreak; net states rule the world, and more

Published 6 November 2017

· The particular horror of church shootings

· Massive leak reveals new ties between Trump administration and Russia, implicating Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Jared Kushner

· 6 ways climate change and disease helped topple the Roman Empire

· Early insights from Madagascar’s plague outbreak: Lessons learned from Ebola?

· Flood-control project dries up a second time; city demands refund

· Hurricane Irma: Panel says storm stretched federal, local response

· New PG&E reports show equipment problems near origins of Northern California fires

· Net states rule the world; we need to recognize their power

The particular horror of church shootings (Emma Green, The Atlantic)
Twenty-six people were killed in an attack in Sutherland Springs, Texas, adding to the long list of houses of worship hit with gun violence.

Massive leak reveals new ties between Trump administration and Russia, implicating Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Jared Kushner (Andrew Desiderio, Daily Beast)
The so-called Paradise Papers have revealed secrets of politicians worldwide, including new links between the Trump administration and Russia.

6 ways climate change and disease helped topple the Roman Empire (Kyle Harper, Vox)
New scholarship on Rome reminds us of the fragility of human societies in the face of nature.

Early insights from Madagascar’s plague outbreak: Lessons learned from Ebola? (Joshua Hutton, Global Biodefense)
The recent outbreak of pneumonic plague in Madagascar presents a test case as to how well the international community has learned lessons from the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The similar context, epidemiology, and cultural impact of these diseases make these outbreaks somewhat comparable despite the biomedical differences between the two pathogens. This post will explore the similarities and differences between the two outbreaks and find some indications of lessons being learned.

Flood-control project dries up a second time; city demands refund (Phil Diehl, San Diego Union Tribune)
The city, which is on the hook for 25 percent of the costs of the federal project, has written a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking to be reimbursed for more than $1.8 million the city made in two payments on the project.

Hurricane Irma: Panel says storm stretched federal, local response (Patrick Riley, Naples News)
Projections show the state will advance about $665 million for hurricane-related expenses.

New PG&E reports show equipment problems near origins of Northern California fires (Julie Johnson, The Press Democrat)
The reports show damage to the power lines and other PG&E equipment in areas close to the origins of the fires that burned 142 square miles of Sonoma County, killing at least 23 people and destroying about 7,000 structures, mostly homes.

Net states rule the world; we need to recognize their power (Alexis Wichowski, Wired)“We reject: kings, presidents, and voting. We believe in: rough consensus and running code.” So declared MIT professor David D. Clark in 1992. Twenty-five years later, this sentiment mirrors the global zeitgeist more than ever. The American public distrusts government in record numbers. Other nation-states disdain the US to world-historical degrees. A non-nation-state, Facebook, just topped 2 billion users—more than a quarter of the world’s population, surpassing even China’s population by almost 40 percent. In short, nation-states are not the only game in town anymore.