Newsworthy – January 31st, 2020

Our media diets and culture are becoming increasingly polarized, the International Space Station will offer a space hotel, 75 years have passed since the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp.

These, and more, are the newsworthy stories from this past week.

Science and Environment

  • A 2017 study that found seawater is the secret ingredient that makes Roman concrete extremely durable by encouraging the growth of rare minerals.

    Concrete in some Roman piers is not only still viable today but stronger than it ever was, whereas modern marine concrete structures made from Portland cement crumble within decades.

    – ZME Science

Health and Society

  • This new strain of coronavirus has killed 132 people so far, all of them in China. More than 6,000 total cases have been reported worldwide, although experts believe that total is underestimated.

    By comparison, this year’s flu season has killed 8,200 people, with at least 15 million cases — and that’s just in the U.S.

    – Axios
  • New data paints a stark picture of how polarized our media diets have become, based on political affiliation.

    It’s not just news — it’s culture, too. The trend extends beyond news and information to entertainment and leisure.

    – Axios
  • More than 200 survivors marked the 75th anniversary of the Soviet army’s liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp in Oswiecim, Poland, many of them elderly Jews who have traveled far from homes in Israel, the U.S., Australia, Peru, Russia, Slovenia and elsewhere.

    – AP
  • Kobe Bryant, 41 — an NBA legend who played all 20 of his pro seasons with the L.A. Lakers — and daughter Gianna, 13, were among nine who died in a helicopter crash in dense morning fog, on a steep hillside in Southern California.

    – Axios

Business and Economics

  • NASA has selected Axiom Space, a Houston-based company, as the provider for the International Space Station’s first habitable commercial module. NASA sees this as a first step towards fostering the growth of a “low-Earth orbit economy” and “the development of independent commercial destinations”.

    – ZME Science

Government and Politics

  • The Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration, at least for now, to bar immigrants who might use public assistance.

    – The Wall Street Journal
  • Sustained federal budget deficits and debt will hit the highest levels in years over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office projected.

    The government will spend $1 trillion more than it collects in 2020 and deficits will exceed that amount every year for the foreseeable future.

    – The Wall Street Journal
  • The U.K. takes a historic step today and leaves the EU after 47 years. But when Saturday dawns, few people will notice the difference.

    – The Wall Street Journal


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