Spring 3.20

dog-pony-sepiacropped>>> Saudi Prince visits Trumpy White House
>>> Congress in race to avoid shutdown
>>> Hillary Clinton says … whatever
>>> All dog/airline stories

FTC probing Facebook over use of personal data
— Under a 2011 settlement, Facebook agreed to get user consent for certain changes to privacy settings as part of a settlement of federal charges that it deceived consumers and forced them to share more personal information than they intended. That complaint arose after the company changed some user settings without notifying its customers, according to an FTC statement at the time.

Facebook whistleblower: “Utterly horrifying” covert data mining
The Guardian

Here’s how to share as little data as possible
without leaving Facebook
— Facebook can’t be trusted with your data. If you can’t quite bring yourself to close down your account—maybe there’s a support group or family connections you’d like to keep active—then here’s how to restrict the amount of data Facebook has got on you.
>>> How to delete your Facebook account

Fed Ex package bound for Austin explodes
Austin Statesman
Headline link goes to newspaper’s homepage for latest updates.

Two injured, gunman dead in Maryland school shooting
Baltimore Sun
shooting in a hallway at Great Mills High School in Southern Maryland on Tuesday morning, according to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office.
— A school resource officer shot the student gunman, who fired back with a handgun, Sheriff Tim Cameron said. The school resource officer was not injured, Cameron said.

Arizona governor helped make Arizona “Wild West”
for driverless cars
— Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey began a push three years ago to attract makers of self-driving cars to the state and actively wooed Uber away from California as a venue for testing those vehicles.

Phoenix! How long can an unsustainable city hang on?
The Guardian
— “There are plans for substantial further growth and there just isn’t the water to support that,” says climate researcher Jonathan Overpeck, who co-authored a 2017 report that linked declining flows in the Colorado river to climate change. “The Phoenix metro area is on the cusp of being dangerously overextended. It’s the urban bullseye for global warming in north America.”
— One of those plans is Bill Gates’s new “smart city”. The Microsoft founder recently invested $80m (£57m) in a development firm that aims to construct 80,000 new homes on undeveloped land west of Phoenix, and a new freeway all the way to Las Vegas.

f35moneyF-35. America’s most expensive failure
The National Interest
— The F-35 has now entered an unprecedented seventeenth year of continuing redesign, test deficiencies, fixes, schedule slippages, and cost overruns. And it’s still not at the finish line.
… taxpayers have been told this exorbitantly costly system is necessary to combat advanced future threats. However, testing results show that the planes already delivered cannot even effectively address the current threats. That’s a problem.

US, EU hardwood imports driving Amazon rainforest destruction
— Scores of US and European companies selling the hardwood ipe for things like decks and garden furniture are fueling an illegal trade devastating the Amazon rainforest, Greenpeace said Tuesday.
— An investigation listed 37 US companies as the main clients of Brazilian exporters selling wood “with evidences of illegality.”

Pruitt’s EPA to restrict use of scientific data  
The Daily Caller
— EPA regulators would only be allowed to consider scientific studies that make their data available for public scrutiny under Pruitt’s new policy. Also, EPA-funded studies would need to make all their data public.

World Bank sees climate change forcing many millions to move
A new World Bank report projects that tens to hundreds of millions of people fleeing the gradual effects of climate change will shift centers of population within many countries in Latin America, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. As many as 143 million “internal migrants” might move within their own countries.

Hmm. The beginning of a “financial apartheid” state?
Lower income folks fleeing California
— California saw a net loss of just over 138,000 people, while Texas had a net increase of more than 79,000 people. Arizona gained more than 63,000 residents, and Nevada gained more than 38,000.
— Based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data, “lower income Californians are the ones who are leaving, not higher income,” said Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics in Los Angeles.

And the biggest migration loser among US states: Illinois
United Van Lines
“This year’s data reflects longer-term trends of movement to the western and southern states, especially to those where housing costs are relatively lower, climates are more temperate and job growth has been at or above the national average, among other factors,” said Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “We’re also seeing continued migration to the Pacific Northwest and Mountain West as young professionals and retirees leave California.
— Click headline link to see the map on United Van Lines site.

I guess we won’t always have Paris
Au revoir, jambon baguette!
France goes mad for le burger

hamburger-baguette— For the first time, hamburger sales in France have soared higher than the classic baguette jambon-beurre sandwich.
— Burgers were on the menu at 85 percent of restaurants in France last year with 1.5 billion sold.
— Just 30 percent of the burgers were sold in fast food joints, with the majority sold at restaurants with full table service.

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