SportsPulse: NASCAR announced that they banned Confederate flags. As Dan Wolken puts it, if anyone is hurt enough not to go to races anymore than they weren’t going for the right reason anyways.
USA TODAYThe presence of Confederate flags have been banned from all NASCAR events, races and properties effective immediately, stock car racing’s governing body announced Wednesday. Previously, the Confederate flag has been “disallowed” at races.”The presence of the Confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry,” a statement read. “Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the Confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”Confederate and American flags fly on top of a motor home at Daytona International Speedway in 2015. (Photo: Phelan M. Ebenhack, AP)OPINION: Drivers should not struggle with opposing Confederate flagOPINION: Soon we’ll see what’s more important to fans — the racing or racismBubba Wallace, NASCAR’s lone black driver at the top level, called for the banning of the confederate flag earlier this week. However, when pressed by reporters later, other drivers — including Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin — refused to take a hard stance on the matter, while saying they disagree with the racist symbolism the flag carries. Now, NASCAR has ended any debate of whether the flag belongs. Protests across the country in response to racial injustice and disproportionate police brutality against minorities have affected athletes in all sports, NASCAR no exception. Wallace, for example, will race with the words “Black Lives Matter” on his vehicle Wednesday night at Martinsville, Virginia. Earlier Wednesday, NBC Sports reported that NASCAR had removed all guidelines requiring all team members to stand for the national anthem. The guidelines were actually removed last week before the Atlanta race when NASCAR official Kirk Price kneeled during the invocation and raised a fist. He remained kneeling during the anthem while saluting the flag.Price served in the U.S. Army for three years, active duty.Contributing: The Associated Press AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext SlideFind New & Used CarsNew CarsUsed CarsofPowered by Cars.com
Top Senate Judiciary Democrat Feinstein says she doesn’t ‘have the power’ to block Trump’s Supreme Court nominee
CLOSE President Trump released his short list to fill any future Supreme Court vacancies and he’s doubling down on conservatives. Will it work to entice conservative voters? USA TODAYWASHINGTON — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the Senate panel that examines potential Supreme Court judges, acknowledged Thursday she did not have the power to…
President Trump released his short list to fill any future Supreme Court vacancies and he’s doubling down on conservatives. Will it work to entice conservative voters?
USA TODAYWASHINGTON — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the Senate panel that examines potential Supreme Court judges, acknowledged Thursday she did not have the power to block President Donald Trump’s nominee from passing through the Republican-controlled Senate.”Neither this committee nor the Senate should consider a nomination at this time,” she said Thursday during a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I recognize I don’t have the power to carry that through, but I feel it very deeply.”Feinstein said the next president should make the decision on the nomination to fill the seat vacated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, but “If things move forward, and a nominee is confirmed before a new president is inaugurated, it is deeply concerning.”Democrats want the GOP-majority Senate to hold off on Supreme Court nomination proceedings until after Election Day in the hopes Democratic challenger Joe Biden defeats Trump and Democrats take over control of the Senate. However, Republicans are pushing forward quickly and Trump is expected to announce his nominee Saturday. Sen. Lindsey Graham (L) (R-SC), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, speaks to ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (R) (D-CA) prior to a committee hearing on September 24, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Win McNamee, Getty Images)Democrats in Congress have mostly acknowledged there is little they can do to halt the process. Republicans appear to have the numbers to pass Trump’s nominee out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Republicans hold 12-10 seat advantage, to the Senate, where Republicans hold a 53-47 majority. A nominee needs only a majority in the 100-member Senate to be confirmed. More: Trump says he wants to fill Supreme Court seat quickly in case justices need to settle election disputeMore: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to lie in state at US Capitol Friday after two days at Supreme CourtSen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the second-ranking Senate Democrat and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters on Tuesday, “You can slow things down, but you can’t stop them.””I’ve been around here a few years,” he said. “You can slow things down but you can’t stop them. And there comes a point, we use whatever tools we have available, but ultimately there will be a vote,” he said. When asked if there was anything Democrats could actually do, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., also a Judiciary Committee member, said on Monday, “You mean some triple secret trick procedure that we managed to hold back through Gorsuch and Kavanaugh? No,” he said with a sarcastic smile. Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/09/24/supreme-court-feinstein-says-she-doesnt-have-power-block-nominee/3517291001/Find New & Used CarsNew CarsUsed CarsofPowered by Cars.com
After munition worker deaths, Army floats $16 billion plan to modernize production
WASHINGTON ― U.S. Army officials told lawmakers Tuesday they are seeking a new 15-year, $16 billion strategy to modernize and automate the military’s aging munitions plants following nearly a dozen worker deaths and injuries over recent years. In Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee testimony, Army officials suggested workers who handle dangerous materials could be…
WASHINGTON ― U.S. Army officials told lawmakers Tuesday they are seeking a new 15-year, $16 billion strategy to modernize and automate the military’s aging munitions plants following nearly a dozen worker deaths and injuries over recent years. In Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee testimony, Army officials suggested workers who handle dangerous materials could be replaced by robotics and computers as part of their ambitious plan. The testimony came as lawmakers are deliberating over a proposed reshaping of the Pentagon’s explosives oversight body, as part of the 2021 defense policy bill. “We’re essentially making the explosives in a manner very much like we did in World War I in some cases, World War II in others,” Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Bruce Jette told lawmakers. “We literally have people standing under machines that are full of 1,500 pounds of molten explosives, drooling it into artillery shells to fill them up, and then they push the carts away. We don’t have automation, we don’t have robotics.” Lawmakers described the ammunition industrial base as fragile because of its dependence on foreign sources of materials and because its aging facilities need of safety upgrades. (Munitions production facilities are contractor operated, with some owned by the government.) Army officials largely agreed, saying they rely on 55 foreign suppliers for certain equipment and materials ― such as a TNT-replacement 2,4-Dinitroanisole, which comes from India ― because costs, environmental regulations and legal liabilities make many of them harder to develop in the United States. The Army even relies on a small volume of detonators and pyrotechnics from China, Jette said. The Army is studying how to wean itself from foreign suppliers. At the same time, Jette has not ruled out supplies from Canada, Mexico and elsewhere, if a surge is needed, adding that he personally visited a South Korean factory that once supplied the U.S. with bullets at .50 caliber and below. Jonathan Strunk, left, and James Nunn, both Blue Grass Chemical Activity toxic materials handlers, work together to guide training munitions into an enhanced on-site container during munitions movement training in the chemical limited area at the Blue Grass Army Depot on Feb. 13, 2019. (Angela Messinger/Army) Calling safety a top priority, Army officials said human handling of the energetics, explosives and acids associated with munitions can be replaced with “process automation or other technology solutions, freeing the workforce to focus on technical oversight.” More than 80 percent of major mishaps at munitions facilities were caused by human error, they said. 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He should never have been in that close proximity where that event could have happened,” Jette said. “Should it happen with a machine, I can buy another machine.” Still, modernizing in the way Army officials seek would require Congress appropriate roughly $1 billion per year for 15 years, which is more than twice what the Army has asked over the last three years. It’s an open question whether Congress would be as inclined to support the munitions productions facilities, if they support fewer jobs. “The idea of making it safer for workers, there’s no doubt about that, but because these plants have grown up since the ’40′s,” said Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee Chairman Donald Norcross, D-N.J. “You eliminate many of those jobs, there’s potential of that support also going.” Asked what more industry could do to shoulder the cost of modernizing facilities, Jette suggested it would be better if the government made the investments upfront as industry would only pass the costs on later. “This is the United States military’s industrial base for munitions. We need to own that, not have anything beholden IP-wise or any other way to the defense industry or any other supplier,” Jette said.
Food insecurity in the US increasingly linked to obesity
Nearly 23% of people with obesity in the United States have reported food insecurity, compared with 15% of people with moderate weight. This association with obesity has doubled since 1999–2000, according to a recent analysis of trends in food insecurity.“Food insecurity” refers to a lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life.…
Nearly 23% of people with obesity in the United States have reported food insecurity, compared with 15% of people with moderate weight. This association with obesity has doubled since 1999–2000, according to a recent analysis of trends in food insecurity.“Food insecurity” refers to a lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life. In the West, this issue is most often due to limited financial resources. People with low food security report concerns that food will run out before they can afford to buy more and being unable to afford balanced meals.Internationally, food insecurity more often relates to the frequency of conflict and to climate-related failure of harvests. Very low food security is more likely to lead to reduced food intake and undernourishment.While there are varying degrees, low food security can reduce the “quality, variety, and desirability” of a person’s diet, even in wealthy nations like the U.S. Very low food security in the U.S., for example, leads to skipping meals and the disruption of regular eating patterns.In 2019, 10.5% of U.S. households had some level of food insecurity — 6.4% had low food security, and 4.1% had very low food security. Now, there are concerns that COVID-19 may be exacerbating this problem.Recent Census Bureau data show that before the pandemic, 1 in 10 respondents said that they “sometimes or often did not have enough to eat.” In early March, this figure rose to 25%. The survey respondents mentioned not having enough money to buy food or being unable to get out to buy food as reasons for the insecurity.Food insecurity is associated with a range of negative health outcomes. For children, these include anemia, asthma, poor cognitive performance, and behavior problems. In adults, there is a higher risk of depression, asthma, diabetes, and hypertension.Meanwhile, the link between obesity and food insecurity has been a topic of debate. In 2011, a review of 42 articles concluded that while women with food insecurity were more likely to have overweight or obesity, there was no evidence that food insecurity caused weight gain over the long term. More recently, researchers have proposed a resource scarcity hypothesis to explain the ongoing associations between food insecurity and increased weight. According to the theory, an increased intake of inexpensive, high-calorie foods forms a cycle with skipping meals and intermittent hunger. This, in turn, leads to physiological changes that encourage the deposition of fat and decreased energy and exercise.The new analysis was based on data from over 46,000 adults in the U.S. collected through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The goal of NHANES is to assess the health and nutritional status of people in the U.S. through regular surveys.To better understand trends in obesity and food insecurity in the U.S., the analysis, from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Baton Rouge, LA, analyzed data collected between 1999 and 2016. The researchers focused on measures relating to food security and body fat — body mass index, or BMI, and waist circumference.Their findings, which feature in the journal JAMA Network, point to a significant increase in food insecurity rates during this time, reaching 18.2% in 2015–2016. This is in contrast to declines in food insecurity before the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the study, in 1999–2000, 12% of women with obesity were food insecure, compared with 7% who were not. By 2015–2016, the number of women with obesity and food insecurity had risen to 25%, compared with 16% of women with moderate weight, what the researchers referred to as “normal” weight. In men, there was a similar trend. At the beginning of the study, in 1999–2000, food insecurity was more prevalent in men with normal weight (10%), compared with 9% of those with obesity. By 2015–2016, food insecurity was more prevalent in men with obesity (20%), compared with those who had normal weight (16%).“Food insecurity and obesity are not mutually exclusive […] Rather, these health issues are linked in such a way that a solution will require public policy that addresses both at the same time.”– Dr. Candice Myers, an assistant professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and the study’s lead authorThe prevalence of food insecurity was highest among people with obesity. This may be partly because the cheapest and most accessible foods are often the least healthful.The fact that food insecurity can coexist with obesity — and in fact correlate with it — highlights the importance of making healthy and nutritious food affordable for all.The researchers also identified differences that aligned with race and ethnicity, with food insecurity in 2015–2016 being greater among Black participants (29.1%) and Hispanic participants (35%), compared with their white counterparts (13%).The researchers observe that rising rates of food insecurity following the start of the ongoing pandemic in the U.S. are a critical public health concern.“The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly worsened the situation. The country may face long-term economic and health consequences unless we solve this public health crisis,” says Dr. Myers.The researchers recommend various ways that public health professionals can combat rising levels of food insecurity — including using screening tools to identify people at risk of this issue, who can then be referred to support services, such as food banks.They also recommend further research to better understand the link between food insecurity and obesity, as well as the racial and ethnic disparities in food security.Dr. John Kirwan, executive director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, concluded, “Our research has set the stage to not only continue our current efforts to explore these issues, but also develop new and innovative projects that delve into understanding their impact on the health of the citizens of our community, state, and the entire country.”