The Week: Most Recent from Dana Liebelson recent posts.en-usWed, 20 Aug 2014 06:10:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent from Dana Liebelson from THE WEEKWed, 20 Aug 2014 06:10:00 -0400How Republicans could win back Silicon Valley<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">Silicon Valley, the economic engine of the deep blue state of California, may be revving up for the GOP.</p><p dir="ltr">Last month, news surfaced that tech billionaire Sean Parker, of Napster and Facebook fame, was writing checks to Republican candidates across the country. The donations marked a strategic departure for Parker, who has largely backed Democrats in the past. This isn't a blip &mdash; it's part of a worrying trend for progressives, as Silicon Valley entrepreneurs show an increased willingness to put aside liberal idealism not only to side with libertarians when it comes to government snooping and...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Wed, 20 Aug 2014 06:10:00 -0400How America ended up with the worst maternity leave laws on Earth<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">This week, President Obama issued a call for the U.S. to catch up with the rest of the planet and offer paid maternity leave. "If France can figure this out, we can figure this out," he said. But it's not just France that the U.S. lags behind &mdash; it's everyone. The only other country besides the U.S. that doesn't offer cash benefits to women during maternity leave is Papua New Guinea, according to a 2014 International Labor Organization analysis of 185 countries and territories. (Many also offer paid paternity and family leave.)</p><p dir="ltr">The idea that women should get paid leave when they have babies...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Fri, 27 Jun 2014 06:08:00 -0400The gruesome details of Iran's alleged torture of students<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">In June 2009, following the contentious re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian security forces raided dorms at Tehran University, allegedly armed with tear gas. According to reports, some students were beaten, some killed, and others vanished. </p><p dir="ltr">This week, Amnesty International released a new report on the repression of students and academics in Iran that sheds light on what happened to some of the student activists who protested Ahmadinejad's regime. The report is thick with allegations of unfair trials, beatings, rape threats, and torture.</p><p dir="ltr">"They blindfolded us and made...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Mon, 02 Jun 2014 13:47:00 -0400What would it take for China to build a train to the U.S.?<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">The state-run <em>Beijing Times </em>reported recently that China is in discussions to build a high-speed train from northeast China to the continental United States. That's a distance of about 8,000 miles. The train would reportedly leave northeast China, cross through Siberia, tunnel underwater for about 125 miles across the Bering Strait, resurface in Alaska, and slice through Canada to reach the lower 48. The trip would reportedly take two days, with the train averaging a speed of about 220 miles per hour.</p><p dir="ltr">Yeah, it sounds like something out of a James Bond movie. But in fact, the technology does exist...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Mon, 19 May 2014 09:40:00 -0400Meet Wazhma, the reason Afghanistan needs more female lawyers<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">Wazhma, 25, is a lawyer in Afghanistan on a mission to defend women who are victims of violence. But in a country where women made up about 20 percent of lawyers and 8 percent of judges in 2013, it's not easy. She recalls one case in which a husband sexually and physically abused his wife, which was sent to a court where all the judges were men.</p><p dir="ltr">"None of the judges took her seriously, and they were just trying to convince her that a woman should obey her husband's orders," Wazhma, who who works for the Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan, tells <em>The Week</em>. "They even...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Wed, 30 Apr 2014 06:18:00 -0400From boobs to Bill Murray: 9 digital currencies you should know about<img src="" /></P><p>Bitcoin, the digital currency that has exploded in popularity over the last few years, is going through a tough time. China is cracking down on the currency, forcing one of the country's biggest exchanges to stop accepting new deposits this month. Bitcoin's defenders are being hounded by U.S. feds. And the volatile currency has plummeted to less than half the value it had a few months ago. </p><p>But just because Bitcoin is under attack doesn't mean that digital money is dead. In fact, new currencies are popping up like daisies. There are about 290 currently in existence, and the very first CryptoCurrency...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Mon, 07 Apr 2014 06:09:00 -0400What would a Rand Paul vs. Hillary Clinton presidential campaign look like?<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) recently won his second consecutive presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Now, CPAC polls are hardly the best indicator of who is going to be on the Republican presidential ticket &mdash; Paul's father, former Rep. Ron Paul, also won twice, and never even came close to actually getting the nomination. Still, the straw poll results got us thinking...</p><p dir="ltr">Hillary Clinton is expected to have a clear path to the Democratic nomination. If Paul does indeed win the GOP nod, what would a Paul vs. Clinton race look like?</p><p dir="ltr">Perhaps Paul's biggest strength...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:45:00 -0400These new 3D shapes could help us combat herpes and fight climate change<img src="" /></P><p>In the early 17th century, Galileo was demonstrating telescopes, and Johannes Kepler was experimenting with new 3D shapes. Over the subsequent 400 years, many advances have been made in astronomy. But no one has been able to match Kepler's work with 3D shapes &mdash; until now.</p><p>Stan Schein, a neuroscientist working at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his colleague, neuroscientist James Gayed, have discovered a new class of 3D shapes they've dubbed Goldberg Polyhedra. These 3D shapes look like spheres made out of a chain-link fence. And someday, they could help humans build cheap...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Fri, 28 Feb 2014 11:25:00 -0500The newest STD: Lyme disease?<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">An estimated 300,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that, if untreated, can cause serious health problems, including arthritis, facial paralysis, and even cardiac arrest. The disease is on the rise in some states, particularly in the Northeast, and last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report revealing that 10 times more Americans have contracted the disease than previously estimated.</p><p dir="ltr">And now an international team of researchers has published a small study with a controversial new theory explaining why: Lyme disease...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Wed, 05 Feb 2014 11:00:00 -0500Yes, U.S. schools still discipline students based on their race<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">It sounds like something from 1955: In a public school in the United States, kids who come to school less than five minutes late are allowed to go directly to class &mdash; unless they're Native American. When these students are tardy, the school's safety officer detains them until the grace period is over, and then sends them straight to the principal's office, according to a report released jointly this month by the Department of Education and Department of Justice.</p><p dir="ltr">With 2 million American kids suspended or expelled from junior high and high schools each year, the Obama administration decided...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Thu, 23 Jan 2014 06:08:00 -0500How Obama lost 2013<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">Earlier this month, a grim-faced President Obama held a news conference that was sorely lacking in holiday cheer. It's hard to get in the spirit of things when the first question is this: "Has this been the worst year of your presidency?"</p><p dir="ltr">Obama dismissed the claim &mdash; but it wasn't hard to see where the reporter was coming from. Obama's approval rating recently fell to 41 percent. Democrats argue that Obama had some wins this year &mdash; economic growth, the recent bipartisan budget deal in the wake of a government shutdown that hurt Republicans, and foreign policy achievements in Iran and...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Mon, 30 Dec 2013 13:00:00 -0500No, al Qaeda is not more dangerous now than before 9/11<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">It's been more than 12 years since al Qaeda launched its devastating attack on the U.S., killing almost 3,000 people and changing the course of American history. And despite a host of ensuing counterterrorism efforts to debilitate al Qaeda, including the killing of Osama bin Laden, some are now claiming that the terrorist network is stronger than ever.</p><p dir="ltr">On Nov. 15, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) &mdash; a champion of NSA surveillance &mdash; told CNN that al Qaeda "poses a bigger threat to attack inside the U.S. right now than it did before 9/11." That assertion came...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Tue, 03 Dec 2013 12:52:00 -0500How Silicon Valley turned on President Obama<img src="" /></P><div><p dir="ltr">In the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election, Silicon Valley was squarely in President Obama's corner.</p><p dir="ltr">Google's executive chairman coached Obama's campaign team; executives from Craigslist, Napster, and Linkedin helped him fundraise; and when the dust settled, Obama had won nine counties in the liberal and tech-heavy Bay Area, scoring 84 percent of the vote in San Francisco. But a little over a year later, following explosive allegations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that the government is exploiting tech companies to spy on Americans, some members of Silicon Valley...</p></div> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Thu, 14 Nov 2013 06:37:00 -0500Has your state declared war on traffic cameras?<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p><br /></p><p dir="ltr">Imagine it's Monday morning. You're still a little hungover from that Sunday tailgate or boozy brunch, and you're running late to work and cruising a few miles above the speed limit. You turn down an unfamiliar street and &mdash; flash! &mdash; an unmarked speeding camera snaps your license plate number. A $100 ticket will soon be in the mail.</p><p dir="ltr">Sound familiar? For many Americans, it surely does. But it might be a scenario on the wane. Ten states have recently banned both speed and red-light cameras on the basis that they're an invasion of privacy and may cause accidents, and more states are...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Wed, 30 Oct 2013 11:25:00 -0400MERS: The Middle Eastern virus that's deadlier than SARS<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">This month, one of the largest gatherings of people in the world will take place in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, where Muslims travel to worship in an annual pilgrimage. But this year, the Saudi minister of health is advising children, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases not to attend. Why? Because Saudi Arabia is the epicenter of a deadly new virus called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and there are fears that bringing millions of people from around the world into the city could cause the virus to spread like wildfire across the globe. So what is this disease, and how freaked out should...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Tue, 08 Oct 2013 06:25:00 -0400Does your state stop your boss from reading your Facebook messages?<img src="" /></P><p>The NSA doesn't have to ask for your permission before poking around your Facebook account &mdash; according to disclosures made by Edward Snowden. But what about your boss?</p><p>Last month, New Jersey became the latest state to make it illegal for employers to demand that employees and job seekers fork over the login information for their social media accounts. The law also bars employers from retaliating against employees who refuse to hand over their passwords. New Jersey companies that fail to comply could face up to a $2,500 fine.</p><p>But they're not the only ones. The number of states passing "Facebook...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Mon, 16 Sep 2013 11:22:00 -0400