Iraq's war widows
After two decades of war and civil conflict, about 1.5 million Iraqi women—10 percent of the country’s adult females—are widows, a new study says. Nearly 60 percent of these women lost their husbands in the violence that followed the 2003 U.S. invasion, and most are desperately poor.
Infant abuse rises
The number of U.S. infants suffering “abusive head trauma” rose sharply after the recession started in 2007, a new study found. Researchers said the increase in abuse suggested that parents stressed by economic anxiety were lashing out at their crying babies.
Los Angeles Times
China helps build San Francisco's new bridge
The key components of the new San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge—including a mile-long cable made up of 137 steel sinews—were manufactured in China. By outsourcing much of the work abroad, the state says, it saved $400 million.
SAT scores reach a low point
The average SAT reading score for the graduating class of 2011—497—is the lowest since 1972.
The Washington Post
Drug use in the U.S.
The number of methamphetamine users in the U.S. dropped by more than 50 percent from 2006 to 2010, to 353,000 people, according to a new federal study. The number of cocaine users also decreased, from 2.4 million to 1.5 million over the same period of time. The number of marijuana users, however, grew—from 14.4 million to 17.4 million.