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1 in 4 NYC Children Live in Poverty


Thursday, February 22nd, 2024


Today’s newsletter is: 810 words; 4 min.


Alabama’s largest hospital will stop doing in vitro fertilization treatments in light of the state Supreme Court’s unprecedented ruling. The University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital said doctors will pause IVF treatments while it evaluates the ruling, though other fertility treatment providers in the state are reportedly continuing their work. 

Iran exported around 400 surface-to-surface ballistic missiles to Russia. “There will be more shipments,” an anonymous Iranian official told Reuters. “There is no reason to hide it. We are allowed to export weapons to any country that we wish to.”

Sandy Hook families voted unanimously to liquidate Alex Jones’s assets to settle the $1.5 billion defamation judgment against him. The vote signals their preference over Jones’s submitted plan to pay the group $5.5 million a year over 10 years.

A Japanese Yakuza leader was charged with trafficking nuclear materials. No, that’s not a typo. Federal prosecutors in New York on Wednesday charged Takeshi Ebisawa with conspiring to traffic nuclear materials from Burma to other countries.


A new analysis shows Bidenomics is set to help poorer counties


Bidenomics Is Poised to Help Poorer Counties

A new analysis by the Brookings Institute found poorer U.S. counties that are typically ignored when it comes to economic expansion are set to attract a large share of the coming hundreds of billions of dollars in government investments in sectors like clean energy, semiconductors, and biomanufacturing.

  • Biden’s win: Bidenomics gets the win here because, while some of the money for the investments indeed comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure package, most of it comes from President Joe Biden’s signature bills: the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS Act.



A new report found 1 in 4 children in NYC are living in poverty


1 in 4 NYC Children Live in Poverty

A new report by Columbia University and Robin Hood found 23% of adults and 25% of children in New York City lived in poverty in 2022, up from 18% and 15%, respectively, in 2021.

  • What’s behind it: The report attributes the increase to the expiration of pandemic-era relief programs that helped stabilize rates of adult poverty and reduced child poverty to record lows.



A new report found shifting to EVs and clean energy could prevent 2.8 million childhood asthma attacks


Shifting to EVs and Clean Power Could Prevent Millions of Childhood Asthma Attacks 

A new report by the American Lung Association found a widespread transition to zero-emission vehicles and clean energy sources would prevent 2.79 million pediatric asthma attacks and millions of other respiratory symptoms by 2050. The transition would also save hundreds of infant lives.

  • Getting there: The report is based on a scenario in which all new passenger vehicles sold by 2035 and all new trucks sold by 2040 are zero-emission, and the nation’s electric grid is powered by clean, non-combustion renewable sources by 2035.


Neanderthals Used Complex Glue Suggesting They Were Smarter Than We Thought 

Unless you’re an archaeology nerd, you’ve probably never thought about how our ancient relatives created the tools they needed to hunt and gather their way through life.

  • Heck, even archaeology nerds might not have ever thought about it.

Thankfully, researchers at New York University have, finding Neanderthals created stone tools held together by a complex multi-compound adhesive, suggesting our predecessors had a higher level of cognition and cultural development than previously thought.

Paleolithic tools:

The study examined artifacts from Le Moustier, a Middle Paleolithic site in France, finding the tools were held together by a mix of bitumen (a component of asphalt) and ochre (a naturally occurring clay pigment) to produce a less-sticky, “gripping” adhesive.

  • Until now, Neanderthals were known to use other adhesives to make hand grips, but more refined compounds using ochre had only ever been associated with our own species.

Smarter than we thought:

The researchers say their work is the first evidence of complex adhesives in Europe, and suggests Neanderthals were smarter and more culturally developed than previously known, since the development of adhesives and their use in tools is considered to be some of the best evidence of the cultural evolution and cognitive abilities of early humans.


  • $100,000 - How much a nonprofit of local business people pay St. Louis Police Chief Robert Tracy each year, according to a new investigation by ProPublica. The nonprofit pays more than one-third of Tracy’s overall yearly salary ($275,000) in an “unheard of” arrangement that looks an awful lot like paying a mob boss for protection.


Long Video. Learn about the secret security of America’s London embassy. (13 min) 

Short Video. Meet the billionaires who are buying Hawaii. (3 min)

Fun Video. Should rich people bring back weird water fountains? (5 min)

Good Read. Read about how apartheid, racism in Europe, and Pelé helped cultivate a culture of diversity in U.S. soccer. (1,191 words; 5 min)

Neat List. Here are 31 of the world’s most valuable treasures that are still missing.


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Written by Ryan Wittler