Risk and Policy

By Carl Southwell | Risks that impact policy issues

The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates

<i>This story was co-published with NPR’s Shots blog.</i>The box of prescription drugs had been forgotten in a back closet of a retail pharmacy for so long …

Pharma

2 LA sheriff’s shootings could cost county $5M

<i>L.A. Sheriff Jim McDonnell has pledged to reduce the department’s legal liability.; Credit: Erika Aguilar/ KPCC</i>Frank StoltzeIn one case, deputies …

Policing

When Will the Planet Be Too Hot For Humans? Much, Much Sooner Than You Imagine.

<b>I.</b> ‘Doomsday’<p><i>Peering beyond scientific reticence.</i><p>It is, I promise, worse than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears …

Climate Change

Sexual harassment in Silicon Valley: have we reached a tipping point?

In an industry where money rules and male investors are treated like demigods, more and more women are speaking up. But will it work?<p>The entrepreneur Sarah Nadav was talking to a potential investor at drinks at a major tech conference, when he leaned over and stuck his tongue into her mouth.<p>“I was …

Silicon Valley

Scientists synthesize smallpox cousin in ominous breakthrough

Scientists in Canada have used commercially available genetic material to piece together the extinct horsepox virus, a cousin of the smallpox virus that killed as many as a billion human beings before being eradicated.<p>The laboratory achievement was reported Thursday in a news article in the journal …

Public Health

How An Entire Nation Became Russia's Test Lab for Cyberwar

<b>The clocks read</b> zero when the lights went out.<p>It was a Saturday night last December, and Oleksii Yasinsky was sitting on the couch with his wife and …

Cybersecurity

LAPD Chief Beck personally arrests officer on suspicion of having sex with a 15-year-old

A Los Angeles police officer was arrested Thursday and accused of having an unlawful sexual relationship with a 15-year-old member of the department’s cadet program, the latest embarrassment stemming from an investigation into thefts and other misconduct tied to the program, Chief Charlie Beck said.<p>…

Policing

Could asteroids bombard the Earth to cause a mass extinction in 10 million years?

Scientists have spent decades debating whether asteroids and comets hit the Earth at regular intervals. At the same time, a few studies have found …

John Deere just told the copyright office that only corporations can own property, humans can only license it

John Deere has turned itself into the poster-child for the DMCA, fighting farmers who say they want to fix their own tractors and access their data …

Electronic Frontier Foundation

A Republican voter data firm probably exposed your personal information for days — and you don't have much recourse

To any nefarious hackers looking for information that could be used to sway elections or steal Americans’ identities, the file compiled by a GOP data firm called Deep Root Analytics offered all manner of possibilities.<p>There in one place was detailed personal information about almost every voter in …

Republican Party

Designing antiviral proteins via computer could help halt the next pandemic

As Bill Gates sees it, there are three main threats to our species: nuclear war, climate change and the next global pandemic.<p>Speaking on pandemic …

Medicine

The Voter Fraud Fraud

When I was in grade school in the 50s, like most young boys, I played Little League baseball. I wasn't the best third baseman out there, but I tried …

Melbourne siege a 'terrorist incident'

<b>Australian police are treating as a "terrorist incident" a Melbourne siege in which a gunman was killed.</b><p><i>This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.</i><p><i>If you want to receive Breaking News alerts via email, or on</i> …

Government adviser reveals the greatest threat facing humanity (and it's not nuclear war)

A decade ago, no-one could have predicted the sheer size and impact the Internet has made on our planet. Now that everything including government, …

The One-Paragraph Letter From 1980 That Fueled the Opioid Crisis

Because it was published in the most prestigious U.S. medical journal, its influence snowballed in a dangerous way.<p>What do you do when a letter in a prestigious medical journal has been so routinely mis-cited it’s taken on a life of its own? Like when pharmaceutical companies have used its data to …

Research

A Nuclear Disaster Could Unfold Like That Oscars Fiasco

Remember that epic screw-up at the Academy Awards in February? Nuclear commanders might easily make the same mistakes. Uh-oh.<p>Talk with experts on North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, and it soon becomes clear that the biggest threat Americans face isn’t an intentional act of evil, but a confluence of …

North Korea

Los Angeles homeless numbers jump 23% in a year

<b>The number of people homeless in the US city of Los Angeles has soared in the past year, a new report shows, despite efforts to combat the problem.</b><p>The homeless population in the city grew 20% while the numbers for the wider Los Angeles County were even higher at 23%, the figures revealed.<p>Experts …

Cop Accused of Beating Three Wives and Raping a Blind Woman Didn’t Lose His Job

Across three decades, multiple women have claimed Charles Hoeffer assaulted them, physically and sexually—including two who say his department should’ve stopped him.<p>Ray Smith awoke to a scuffle from across his sleepy Delray Beach, Florida, street.<p>It was 1 a.m. on Jan. 18, 1991, and the front door …

Crime

The Big One is going to happen, no matter how much you want to deny it, California scientists say

Fear of earthquakes is part of life in California.<p>But people experience this anxiety in different ways. For some, the fear prompts them to take steps …

At least 22 dead, dozens injured in suicide bombing at Ariana Grande concert in England

At least 22 people were killed and more than 59 others were injured Monday night in an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in the British city of Manchester that police said was caused by a bomber carrying an improvised explosive device.<p>The explosion happened near an entrance to the 21,000-seat …

Terrorism

Tesla workers are passing out on the factory floor, according to a report

Workers at Tesla's California car factory have been passing out and requiring rides in ambulances, the Guardian newspaper reported Thursday.<p>The …

Autos

Crispr Makes It Clear: The US Needs a Biology Strategy, and Fast

Biology has emerged as one of the most important technology platforms of the 21st century. With the arrival of the gene-editing technology Crispr, …

Genetics

Moms Who Lost Daughters In Truck Underride Collisions Push for Greater Safety

Marianne Karth and Lois Durso are two mothers on a mission to prevent truck underride collisions. Underride crashes — when a car collides with a truck and gets lodged underneath — are among the most fatal types of accidents on the road. A vehicle's passenger compartment is often crushed or ripped …

Transportation

LAPD settlements soar as officials close the books on high-profile lawsuits against police officers

The Los Angeles Police Department paid nearly $81 million in legal settlements last fiscal year, a sharp increase as the city closed the books on several high-profile and costly cases.<p>The settlement numbers were significantly higher than in previous years and involved cases that had been working …

Policing

VINELink

America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People

You’ve probably heard the news that the celebrated post-WW II beating heart of America known as the middle class has gone from “burdened,” to …

Equality

Unroll.me Service Faces Backlash Over a Widespread Practice: Selling User Data

For months, Uber has paid a public price for some of the questionable tactics it has used to conquer the transportation industry. Now another company is experiencing some of the fallout for working with Uber.<p>Slice Intelligence, a data firm that uses an email management program called Unroll.me to …

Chile rocked by 6.9-magnitude quake; no major damage reported

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.9 struck off the west coast of Chile on Monday, rocking the capital Santiago and briefly causing alarm along the Pacific Coast but sparing the quake-prone nation of any serious damage.<p>The quake was centered about 85 miles (137 km) from …

Earthquakes

Doomsday Dashboard

Crispr and bioweapons <br>The rapid spread of the gene-editing technique called Crispr has raised significant concerns about lab safety. <br>Article 1 | …