Cuba has 11.2 million people, half of them are workers and 85% of those are state-employed in some way. Now 500,000 people will be forced/allowed over the next year to enter one of the authorized 124 private occupations.
According to De Tijd, which is the ultimate authority on volcano and Twitter news to us, the "Twitter-hysterie over Hekla blijkt ongegrond." That's right. ONGEGROND, people! As in, the flurry of reports that indicate that Angela Lansbury is dead that major Icelandic volcano Hekla is erupting are totally false. Which is why reports of said eruption aren't in any major newspapers, you see.
"The number of discrimination complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission related to anxiety, depression and other psychiatric disorders nearly doubled between 2005 and 2009." -Crazy people: they are coming to work, and if you try to stop them, they will sue you.
Thank the heavens. They have done it again.
Six months later, what's going on in Haiti? • "With an estimated 1.5 million Haitians still homeless, presidential and legislative elections are set to be held on 28 November. " • "Jean Renald Clerisme, the presidential adviser, says that in any case the Haitian government hasn't received the money it was promised by the donors, which it would need to buy land and reconstruct. 'At a big donors' meeting in New York, we were promised $10bn (£6.64bn),' he says. 'But we haven't received even 2% of this money – how do you explain that?'" • "International donors who promised earthquake relief money to Haiti will be getting [...]
The West Virginia mine that blew up and killed 25 people racked up some impressive safety violations but escaped better oversight because of a year's worth of improvement… followed by another year's worth of disimprovement. When you read the letter (provided by the Times) that was sent by the Mine Health and Safety Administration-well, I guess "try" to read is more apt? Because it's completely unreadable to anyone not versed in the industry. It reads as the worst sort of legalese, piling up language from regulation after regulation. I mean, it has footnotes? And also, not to be a weird Libertarian, but any highly-regulated industry (such as aviation) or [...]
"The economics of news simply don't support high salaries anymore. This changes the paradigm of desirability from hiring someone who's good-looking and can read to someone who's well-rounded and can present." -Industry consultant Steve Safran explains that, because of cost-cutting in network news divisions, even the real uggos will now get a shot to report on TV.
You-can-imagine-who (okay, Andrew Sullivan) provides a fascinating explanation of a Catholic rejection of torture. (I mean, obvs, not that you need a religion to build such a defense! Just mostly that it becomes downright impossible to make a case for torture as a Catholic. But folks can sure try!)
"Jury finds confessed killer Scott Roeder guilty of first-degree murder in shooting death of Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller," says the Washington Post. Deliberations took all of 37 minutes, his "justifiable homicide" claim speedily rejected.
Reports are that J.D. Salinger has died. Awaiting confirmation. Update: The AP obit. Update: The full AP obit is here. Still awaiting (any) other obits. We are praying that the Times has a secret and extensive video obituary in the can. That would be amazing. Update: Huh. Sorry, still nothing new to read anywhere at all. The Times put up a hasty blog post. Update: "Just called Joyce Maynard. Her voicemail is full." Update: Charles McGrath on J.D. Salinger. Update: That is very good and also originally included "Quote TK from Salinger's agent about surviving manuscripts."
"So far, violence has been scattered, with the security situation over all fairly calm," reports the Times team from Haiti last night, noting also that people are fleeing to the countryside left and right. But never by boat! Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Christopher O'Neil tells the paper that "anyone caught leaving the island and heading toward Florida would be returned to Haiti." But what if they are, you know, heading towards Jamaica, or Cuba? Or East Caicos! Or, even, you know, the other way-towards Puerto Rico? And: "Haiti's ambassador in Washington, Raymond Joseph, recorded a message in Creole to his countrymen, urging them not to leave. 'If [...]
This is pretty great: Above the Law pegs yesterday's "John Roberts is Retiring" rumor to a Georgetown Law class about… rumors and trusted sources. Unfortunately, most of the professor's students were too busy sexting about the news to reflect upon the actual topic of the lecture: "on the credibility and reliability of informants," and when the professor, Peter Tague, revealed he was just teaching them a lesson, they had to re-sext all their friends that, no, John Roberts was not indeed going to retire yesterday. Love it.
I don't even know. So: "Forty percent of people questioned in the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll say they are satisfied with the way democracy is working in this country, with 59 percent saying they are dissatisfied."
We're semi-eagerly awaiting a decision out of Boston today, mostly because it is a story with no relevance beyond political spectacle, regarding the deportation of the President's aunt. (Zeituni Onyango, who is a KENYAN, works as either a computer programmer or a public health advocate, or both, depending on what news outlet you are reading.) She was denied asylum in 2004; she is a member of the Luo minority in Kenya; by last year, as many as 600,000 people were "displaced" (that is, homeless) due to political and ethnic conflict. She has declined interviews. This retains my interest, I think, because it is one of those [...]
This should probably become an international incident soon, right? (So far, British politicians and Amnesty International have, to be fair, spoken out strenuously.) "Malawi's High Court refused on Thursday to release on bail a gay couple from a maximum security prison where they have been held for a month, saying it had denied their request for their own safety…. Police arrested Steven Monjeza, 26 and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, in late December for getting engaged in a traditional ceremony. They were charged with unnatural practices between males and gross public indecency." This is the second time they have been denied bail. The punchline about the "their own safety" part is [...]