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New York Times (January 8)

2018/ 01/ 09 by jd in Global News

“Given the century of medical progress” since 1918, one would assume “that we are far better prepared today to deal with such a worldwide catastrophe. Unfortunately, the opposite is true…. A 1918-type influenza pandemic could cause ruin on the order of what the Black Death did to 14th-century Europe, but on a global scale.” To escape such catastrophe, urgent priority needs to be placed on developing “a universal vaccine that effectively attacks all influenza A strains, with reliable protection lasting for years, like other modern vaccines.”


Popular Mechanics (February 1)

2016/ 02/ 03 by jd in Global News

“As both the capital of Japan and home to a quarter of its citizens, Tokyo is very much a big, fat target” for North Korea. Mainly done to reassure people living in Tokyo, “the deployment of the eight PAC-3 missiles does give real protection in case Pyongyang has something unexpected in mind.” While any launch would probably just be a missile test, “North Korea’s erratic nature means Japan can never quite rule anything out.”


The Economist (November 21)

2015/ 11/ 23 by jd in Global News

“The West has two things to defend: the lives of its citizens, and the liberal values of tolerance and the rule of law that underpin its society. Where these are in conflict, it should choose policies that minimise the damage to values in order to make large gains in protection. Sadly, in the scramble for security, that principle often seems to be the first thing to go.”


New York Times (March 30)

2014/ 03/ 31 by jd in Global News

“In recent years, the government has too often given patent protection to inventions that do not represent real scientific advances.” With patent applications more than tripling during the past 20 years, many of the patents granted “appear to be overly broad and vague.” In an upcoming case, the Supreme Court will have a chance to narrow the scope of what’s patentable. “The Supreme Court should make clear that nobody should be allowed to claim a monopoly over an abstract idea.”


Washington Post (January 23, 2012)

2012/ 01/ 25 by jd in Global News

“The Web site Mega­upload was a 21st-century success story, with 50 million daily visitors and $175 million in profits.” But the U.S. Department of Justice shut down Megaupload’s site. Several of its executives have been arrested. They stand accused of operating the largest copyright infringement scam in U.S. history, with potential loss to copyright owners of $500 million. Ultimately, “Megaupload shows online copyright protection is needed.”