Newsworthy – Feb 1st, 2019

Wealthier billionaires, colleges tracking applicants, increase in hate crimes, the return of measles, and an explanation of the polar vortex sweeping the Midwest.

Here are the top newsworthy items from this past week as shared on our Facebook page.

  • The world’s billionaires increased their wealth by $2.5 billion per day in 2018.There are now more than 2,200 of them, and the amount of wealth stored in offshore tax havens was estimated at $7.6 trillion in 2015.

From Axios

  • The Federal Reserve indicated that it was done raising interest rates for now. Officials on Wednesday voted to hold the benchmark rate steady and did an about-face from their policy stance six weeks earlier. In December they raised the benchmark by a quarter percentage point, to a range between 2.25% and 2.5%, and signaled two rate increases were likely in 2019.

From The Wall Street Journal

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has decided to integrate the back-end infrastructures of Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger so that users of all three can directly message one another. The plan is still early and exploratory, according to Facebook.

From Axios

  • Some colleges are quietly tracking prospective students’ online interaction with the schools and considering it in deciding whom to admit. Enrollment officers at certain institutions know down to the second when prospective students opened an email from the school, how long they spent reading it and whether they clicked any links.

From The Wall Street Journal

  • The Department of Veterans Affairs issued new rules greatly expanding the amount of medical care provided to veterans through the private sector.

From The Wall Street Journal

  • U.S. Intelligence officials warned of increased threats to national security from tighter cooperation between China and Russia, and differed with President Trump on North Korea and Islamic State.

From The Wall Street Journal

  • Last year, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Dallas and Seattle all recorded their highest number of hate crimes in a decade. Members of the LGBTQ community, African Americans and those of Jewish faith were the most frequently targeted. It was the biggest annual increase in reported hate crimes since 2001, when attacks on Muslims surged in response to the Sept. 11 attacks, and the third straight year that hate crimes have gone up.

From Los Angeles Times

  • After measles were practically eradicated from the U.S. almost two decades ago, a growing anti-vaccination movement has led to a resurgence of cases, currently focused in the Pacific Northwest and New York.

From Axios

  • After a section of stratosphere experienced a rapid rise in temperature, part of the polar vortex broke off and pockets of arctic air moved south, bringing frigid temperatures to the Midwest this week. Some climate scientists believe that warming in the Arctic due to climate change may be destabilizing the polar vortex, according to a 2017 study in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, creating more extreme weather events. Cold temperature extremes, however, have become less severe and less frequent overall in recent decades, while extreme heat events are now more severe and more frequent.

From The Wall Street Journal


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