Posts tagged with "United States"

Online Casino Bonus Guide for Players in the US and UK

The Ultimate Online Casino Bonus Guide for US and UK players

When you first enter the extraordinary world of online gambling, you will be faced with an inevitable question that will present itself the moment you walk through the virtual casino doors: what is an online casino bonus?

As you are greeted by the plethora of alluring promotional offers, it’s crucial that you understand what you are dealing with before you start on your bonus-infused online gambling adventure.

So, how exactly does a casino bonus work? What types of bonuses are available in the online gambling industry? Are there any terms and conditions I should be aware of and when should I claim a bonus on my account? All of these questions will be answered in our ultimate online casino bonus guide for US and UK players.

However, if you are simply looking for a top recommendation straight off the bat, All Star Slots Casino is mainly for US and UK players and impresses with a wealth of features and bonus offers that is sure to satisfy even the most avid gambler.

What is a Casino Bonus and How Does it Work?

The online gambling landscape would be unimaginable without promotions and bonuses spread across big, colorful banners to excite UK and US players from. It’s a wonderful incentive for the time and money you invest in the site and is a great way to reward you for your loyalty once you become a regular player. The online gambling market continues to expand as more and more gambling sites are flooding into the market.

In fact, the industry is so competitive that casinos need to create new and exciting ways to attract players to their sites and the best way to achieve this is through online casino bonuses. So, what is a bonus, anyway? To put it simply, a casino bonus is essentially an incentive that is offered by the casino to attract players to the site. Casino bonuses can be used to entice new players to register or to keep existing players from leaving by boosting their bankrolls with additional funds. The bonus funds that are added to your account can be done in one of several innovative ways which bring us to the next question: what types of casino bonuses are available to players in the UK and US?

Types of Online Casino Bonuses for UK and US Players

You will discover that there is a casino bonus for each and every player in the online gaming industry. You can look forward to bonuses that don’t require a deposit, welcome packages on your initial deposit, payment specific promotions, and the freedom to claim these offers on either your desktop or mobile device. In fact, claiming promotional offers while away from home is only one of the advantages of gambling on your mobile device. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the types of casino bonuses you’ll come across in the UK and the US along with a brief description of each.

No Deposit Bonus: This is exactly as the name implies, a bonus that you will receive without making a deposit. No deposit bonuses are primarily offered to newcomers for simply registering a new account and come in a variety of flavours, including a free cash offer, free spins, or free play. It’s perfect for online players that want to test the waters before committing with a real money deposit.

Welcome/Sign-Up Bonus: This is undoubtedly the most popular offer in the industry and it usually doubles, triples, or even quadruples your initial deposit made at the casino. It’s the casino’s way to welcome you to the site and to thank you for choosing them over everyone else. You will even come across welcome packages that contain a welcome bonus and a number of free spins on a popular slot to further entice you to make a deposit.

Reload Bonus: Once you’ve claimed a no deposit bonus and welcome package, you will be deemed an existing player, opening up the doors to ongoing promotions. One of the most popular promotions for existing players is the reload bonus. It’s basically a deposit bonus with a smaller match percentage when compared to the welcome bonus. For instance, where a welcome bonus might offer 100% up to $100, a reload bonus will offer a 25% match up to $50.

Cashback Bonus: This offer is designed to give you a percentage back on your losses for either the week or month. For instance, if you lose $100 during the week, the casino would usually credit a 20% or 30% cashback bonus based on your losses, giving you a second opportunity to enjoy your favorite games without making an additional deposit on your account.

High Roller/VIP Bonus: These types of bonuses are specifically designed for high rollers and VIP players that are planning to deposit well-over the usual deposit amount. These offers are usually not displayed within the promotions section. Therefore, you will need to contact support and find out what high roller packages are available, depending on your deposit size.

Loyalty Bonus: Most gambling sites will come equipped with a loyalty program where you can earn loyalty points for every wager you make at the casino. Once you’ve accumulated enough loyalty points, you can redeem them to unlock additional bonuses or free spins on your account.

Refer-A-Friend Bonus: There is nothing better than enjoying your favorite casino games with friends. This is why gambling sites created this innovative promotion that will allow you to earn an additional bonus for simply referring your friends to the site. Most referral bonuses will require that your friend register a new account and make a minimum deposit before you’ll be rewarded with a Refer-A-Friend bonus.

Complimentary Bonus: This type of bonus will usually be based on your financial history with the casino. If you have a bad run, or you feel like making a deposit on the day, you are welcome to contact support and request a complimentary bonus. Should your financial history prove that you’ve been a loyal and consistent player, you will receive a complimentary bonus as a thank you for your patronage.

Birthday Bonus: This is credited to your account once a year to celebrate your birthday and the size of the birthday bonus will be based on your financial history, much like a complimentary bonus.

With so many promotional offers at your disposal, it’s easy to understand how the online gambling industry continues to grow in the United Kingdom and the United States with each passing year. The only pitfall when it comes to online casino bonuses is the terms and conditions which is the next topic that deserves your attention.

Promotional Terms and Conditions to Consider:

All promotional offers will be restricted in one way or another to ensure players don’t bankrupt the casino. The restrictions will always be presented in the terms and conditions and it’s here where most players get in trouble as they simply don’t take the time to read through the fine print. Most online casino bonuses will have similar terms and conditions, including:

Wagering Requirements: This will tell you how many times the bonus needs to be wagered before it’s allocated to your cash balance, ready for a cashout. For instance, a typical welcome bonus needs to be wagered 40 times before it’s cleared.

Game Contributions: Every casino game will contribute a different percentage towards your wagering requirements. For instance, slots will usually count 100% towards wagering, while video poker and blackjack might only contribute 5%.

Expiry Date: All bonuses will have an expiry date, indicating how long the bonus will be available on your account before it expires. No deposit offers last between 7 and 14 days, while welcome bonuses usually last up to 30 days.

Cashout Limit: This restriction is usually found in no deposit offers and indicates the maximum amount you’ll be allowed to withdraw from a no deposit bonus. Most gambling sites in the US and the UK will go as high as $200 as a withdrawal cap.

When to Avoid Casino Bonuses

Now that you have a better understanding of what a casino bonus is, how it works, and the types of bonuses you can claim, it’s time to look at when to avoid a bonus. When a bonus sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Casinos might impress you with the biggest bonus offer in the world that you can claim with the smallest deposit. However, when you look at the terms and conditions, you’ll quickly understand why it’s not worth your time or money.

Most gambling sites will trick you into claiming a bonus and will then make it impossible to accumulate any winnings due to unreasonable wagering requirements. Some might only use slots to contribute to your playthrough requirements, while others might increase the wagering requirements to make it impossible to actually clear the bonus.

You will also find gambling sites that shorten the expiry date, making it harder to clear the bonus in the given time frame, while others will limit your withdrawal limit, forcing you to play your winnings instead of cashing out what you earned. Apart from the terms and conditions, you should also avoid claiming bonuses when the casino isn’t licensed and regulated by a reputable regulatory body.

With the ultimate online casino bonus guide, you will have all the tools at your disposal to confidently claim a bonus without having to worry about falling prey to rogue casinos or claiming an offer that comes equipped with arbitrary terms and conditions. You should also have a good understanding of the types of bonuses in the online gaming industry and whether it’s suited for your own unique playing style. Claiming casino bonuses is a fantastic way to keep yourself entertained and is one of the self-care tips during COVID that you can use to escape reality while giving yourself the opportunity to win some cash in the process.

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Kaelen Felix Illustrates a Farm Animal Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Faunalytics x Farm Sanctuary

A new study from Faunalytics suggests that people who interact with farm animals at sanctuaries are more likely to consume fewer animal products.

Farm Sanctuary, America’s premier farm animal sanctuary and advocacy organization, joined Faunalytics to release the study, which showed that 70% of non-vegans who went on a tour through Farm Sanctuary said they would make dietary changes to reduce consumption of animal products. Comparatively, only 53% said they would change their diets prior to taking the tour.

You can see the study by clicking right here.

Farm Sanctuary followed up with participants in the survey two months later, and non-vegans reported eating less chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish, shellfish, eggs and dairy, with many correspondents crediting the tour for that change.

Tourists didn’t only make active lifestyle changes. They also changed opinions. While 52% of participants said humans contribute to farm animal suffering before the tour, that number went up to 69% after the tour.

78% of omnivores said they were willing to cook vegetarian or vegan meals, which is up 12% from the 66% who were willing before the tour. 48% also said they were willing to discuss veganism and vegetarianism with others, but 73% said they’d had conversations with others about the subject at the time of the two month check-in.

The study took place at Farm Sanctuary locations in New York and California with over 1,200 subjects, and Farm Sanctuary hopes to continue progress by showing that tours can be both fun and effective.

Tom Beggs, a Faunalytics research scientist and the lead author of the study, said the public is becoming more aware of the way animals are treated in the food system, and a global shift is happening.

“The results from our study confirm something that most farm animal sanctuaries are already aware of: having meaningful interactions with farmed animals encourages people to empathize with them, and more importantly, to consider them as sentient individuals and not food,” Beggs said.

The study also shows that it’s important to find a balance between light-hearted and educational when sending a message about animal cruelty. The best way to spread the word is to make it easy to take immediate action by doing things like providing recipes, selling plant-based ingredients and foods and offering opportunities to get more involved in the cause.

Megan Watkins, CEO of Farm Sanctuary, said industrial agriculture is a major threat to our current world.

“The critical role that farm sanctuaries play in modeling a compassionate relationship with animals and inspiring positive lifestyle change cannot be overstated,” Watkins said. “Whether you visit in-person or virtually, the best way to glimpse the future is to visit a farm sanctuary.”

Faunalytics’ recent Animal Product Impact Scales list revealed the products causing the most suffering to animals in the United States. You can see that list by clicking right here

To learn more about Faunlytics, you can click right here, and to learn more about Farm Sanctuary, you can click right here.

Teen Pregnancy

By Cassandra Yany

Teen Pregnancy in the United States

In 2018, the birth rate among women aged 15 to 19 years in the United States was less than half of what it was in 2008, which was 41.5 births per 1,000 girls, as stated by the Pew Research Center.

In 2017, 194,377 babies were born to women in the U.S. between the ages of 15 and 19 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The birth rate dropped seven percent from 2016, with 18.8 babies born per 1,000 women in this age group. This was a record low for the nation.

The teen birth rate has been declining since the early 1990s, and this decline accelerated after the Great Recession. A 2011 Pew Research Center study connected the decrease in teen births to the economic downturn of the recession. The rate has continued to fall even after the economy’s recovery.

Evidence suggests that the declining birth rate is also partly due to more teens abstaining from sexual activity, and more who are sexually active using birth control than in previous years. Still, the CDC reports that U.S. teen pregnancy rate is substantially higher than other “western industrialized” nations.

DoSomething.org states that three out of 10 American girls will become pregnant at least once before the age of 20. About 25 percent of teen moms will have a second child within two years of their first baby.

Data shows that there are racial, ethnic and geographic disparities among teen pregnancies in the U.S. From 2016 to 2017, birth rates among 15 to 19-year-olds decreased 15 percent for non-Hispanic Asian teens, nine percent for Hispanic teens, eight percent for non-Hispanic white teens, six percent for non-Hispanic Black teens, and six percent for Native American teens. In 2017, the birth rate of Hispanic teens was 28.9 percent and of non-Hispanic black teens was 27.5 percent for non-Hispanic Black teens. These were both two times higher than the rate for non-Hispanic white teens, which was 13.2 percent. Among the different racial and ehtnic groups, Native American teens had the highest rate of 32.9 percent.

From 2007 to 2015, the teen birth rate was lowest in urban communities with 18.9 percent, and highest in rural communities with 30.9 percent— as reported by the CDC. During the same years, the rate among teens in rural communities had only declined 37 percent in rural counties, while large urban counties saw a 50 percent decrease and medium and small counties saw a 44 percent decrease. State-specific birth rates from 2017 were lowest in Massachusetts (8.1 percent) and highest in Arkansas (32.8 percent).

Socioeconomic disparities also exist among teen pregnancy rates. Teens in child welfare systems are at higher risk of teen pregnancy and birth than other groups of teens. Those living in foster care are more than twice as likely to become pregnant than those not in foster care. This then leads to financial difficulties for these young families. More than half of all mothers on welfare had their first child as a teenager, and two-thirds of families started by a young mother are considered poor.  

Teen pregnancy and motherhood can have significant effects on a young woman’s education. According to DoSomething.org, parenthood is the leading reason for teen girls dropping out of school. Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by the age of 22, while 90% of women who do not give birth during their teen years graduate from high school. Less than 2% of teen moms earn a college degree by age 30. 

Being a child of a teen mother can also have lasting effects on an individual. The children are more likely to have lower school achievement and drop out of high school. They are more likely to be incarcerated at some point in their lives and face unemployment as a young adult. They could also have more health problems and are more likely to become a parent as a teenager themselves. 

According to the CDC, teen fatherhood occurred at a rate of 10.4 births per 1,000 ranging from 15 to 19-years-old in 2015. Data indicates that these young men attend fewer years of school and are less likely to earn their high school diploma. 

A decline in teen pregnancy means an increase in U.S. public savings. According to the CDC, between 1991 and 2015, the teen birth rate dropped 64%, which led to $4.4 billion dollars in public savings for 2015 alone.

Global Teen Pregnancy

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 12 million girls 15 to 19-years-old and 777,000 girls under 15 give birth in “developing” regions each year. About 21 million girls aged 15 to 19 in these areas become pregnant.

Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for girls age 15 to 19 years globally. An estimated 5.6 million abortions occur each year among 15 to 19-year-old girls, with 3.9 million of them being unsafe. This can lead to death or lasting health problems.

Additionally, teen moms face higher risk of eclampsia, puerperal endometriosis and systemic infections than 20 to 24-year-old women. Babies of these mothers face higher risk of lower birth weight, preterm delivery and severe neonatal conditions.

Across the globe, adolescent pregnancies are more likely to take place in marginalized communities that are driven by poverty, and lack of education and employment opportunities. In many societies and cultures, girls get married and have children while they are teenagers. In some locations, girls choose to become pregnant due to limited educational and employment prospects. These societies either value motherhood and marriage, or union and childbearing may be the best option available to these young women. 

Teenage girls in some areas may not be able to avoid pregnancy because they do not have the knowledge of how to obtain contraceptive methods or how to use them. There are restrictive laws and policies regarding provision of contraception based on age or marital status that prevent these women from access to forms of pregnancy prevention. 

Health worker bias also exists in these areas, as well as an unwillingness to acknowledge adolescents’ sexual health needs. These individuals also may not be able to access contraception due to transportation and financial constraints. 

Another cause for unintended pregnancy around the work is sexual violence, with more than one-third of girls in some countries reporting that their first sexual experience was forced. After pregnancy, young women who became mothers before the age of 18 are more likely to experience violence in their marriage or partnership.

The University of Queensland in Australia conducted a study that found children who experience some type of neglect are seven times more likely than other victims of abuse to experience teen pregnancy. They drew these conclusions by looking at data from 8,000 women and children beginning in pregnancy and moving into early adulthood.

According to News Medical, researchers found that neglect was one of the most severe types of maltreatment when compared to emotional, sexual and physical abuse. The study defined child neglect as “not providing the child with necessary physical requirements (food, clothing or a safe place to sleep) and emotional requirements (comfort and emotional support) a child should receive, as determined by the Queensland Govt. Department of Child Safety.”

CBS reported that an increase in calls to Japan’s pregnancy hotline since March indicates that COVID-19 has caused an uptick in teenage pregnancies there. Jikei Hospital in Kumamoto, Japan said that calls from junior and senior high school students hit a 10-year high back in April. Pilcon, a Tokyo-based non-profit that runs school sex-ed programs, said that it was flooded with calls from concerned teens after they used home pregnancy tests or they missed periods.

Global Citizen stated that 152,000 Kenyan teen girls became pregnant during the country’s three-month lockdown, which was a 40 percent increase in their monthly average. Data from the International Rescue Committee shows that girls living in refugee camps were particularly affected, with 62 pregnancies reported at Kakuma Refugee Camp this past June compared to only eight in June 2019.

In an online press conference, Dr. Manisha Kumar, head of the Médecins Sans Frontières task force on safe abortion care, said, “During the pandemic, a lot of resurces got pulled away from a lot of routine services and care, and those services were redirected to coronavirus response.” The growing economic, hunger and health crises worldwide due to the pandemic makes this an especially challenging time for pregnant teens. 

Both Marie Stopes International and the United Nations Fund warned that the new focus on the coronavirus in the medical field would negatively affect reproductive health. This included disruptions to family planning services and restricted access to contraception, leading to more unintended pregnancies.

Preventing Teen Pregnancy

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Evidence Review has identified a variety of evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs. These include sexuality education programs, youth development programs, abstinence education programs, clinic-based programs and programs specifically designed for diverse populations and locations. 

Resources that focus on social health determinants in teen pregnancy prevention, specifically at the community level, play a crucial role in addressing the racial, ethnic and geographical disparities that exist in teen births. The CDC also supports several projects that educate, engage and involve young men in reproductive health. 

According to the CDC, research shows that teens who have conversations with their parents about sex, relationships, birth control and pregnancy tend to begin to have sex at a later age. When or if they do have sex, these teenagers are more likely to do so less often, use contraception, and have better communication with romantic partners.

A 2014 report by the Brooking Insitution’s Senior Fellow Melissa S. Kearney and Phillip B. Levine of Wellesley College found that the MTV reality programs like “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” led to a 5.7 percent in teen births in the 18 months after the shows first aired. This number accounts for approximately one-third of the overall decline in teen births during that time period.

In locations where more teenagers watched MTV, they saw a larger decline in teen pregnancy after the introduction of the show. The show also led young adults to educate themselves more on birth control. Research showed that when an episode aired, there were large spikes the following day in the rate that people were conducting online searches for how to obtain contraceptives.

Contraception and Reproductive Rights

According to Power to Decide, contraception is a key factor in recent declines in teen pregnancy. Yet, over 19 million women eligible for publicly funded contraception don’t have access to the full range of birth control methods where they live.

Between 2011 and 2015, 81 percent of females and 84 percent of males between the ages of 15 and 19 who had sex reported using a contraceptive the first time. This number increased for females since 2002, when 74.5 percent used contraception. 

A sexually active teen who doesn’t use contraceptives has a 90 percent chance of becoming pregnant within a year. 

NPR reported that a challenge to the Affordable Care Act could reach the Supreme Court in the near future, which would significantly affect reproductive healthcare. This could make contraceptives unaffordable and unobtainable for some Americans, which would in turn affect the number of teenagers having unprotected sex.

Some also fear that the recent death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg will jeopardize women’s reproductive rights. If her replacement is opposed to abortion, it will most likely turn the court in favor of increasing restrictions on abortion, and could even go as far as to overturn Roe v. Wade. This would have the potential to increase the number of unsafe abortions among pregnant teens, or increase the number of teen births.

According to Kaiser Health News, there is a case waiting in the lower court that involves federal funding of Planned Parenthood in both the Medicaid and federal family programs. Ginsburg always sided with women on issues such as these, so her absence could mean a lack of access to education, family planning and contraceptives for teens.

The Canary in the Constitutional Mine Is Gasping

By Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD

Constitution Day passed us by without the celebration it richly deserved. Limiting the powers of the federal government is at the core of our Constitution. Ten years ago, the Affordable Care Act tested the limits of federal powers. The barely-noticed federal takeover of student loans, the mandated purchase of health insurance from a limited list of insurers with a limited list of doctors were only the start. The federally defined “essential” medical services were a roadmap for future government controls. We are now living through the consequences of government deciding what activities are “essential” in the lives of normal, sentient human beings.

Some congresspersons and assorted social justice warriors are treating the Constitution like the COVID-susceptible residents of New York nursing homes: expendable. Or like the 26,000 dementia patients whose death was hastened by the isolation resulting from unscientific lockdowns. 

The First Amendment is irrelevant for those whom the leftist mob detests. The mob and its social media enablers reserve freedom of speech for high-minded virtue signalers. Conservatives or libertarians need not apply. COVID-19 provided a justification for abridging freedom of assembly and religious freedom. Is openly professing one’s faith not essential to our well-being? Certainly, religious services where congregations can easily be instructed on safely participating in group worship presents less risk than sauntering through Walmart.

The Second Amendment erosion continues despite gutting police departments and the resultant rapidly increasing violent crime, including 710 more homicides than this time last year. Within hours after a would-be assassin used a handgun to ambush two law enforcement officers, Joe Biden called for a ban on “weapons of war.” Are we to fend for ourselves with kitchen knives and pointy-headed garden gnomes? 

The abandonment of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure is on the table as the rumblings aboutmandatory COVID-19 vaccines get louder.  

We are seeing new methods to erode the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition of the government “taking” of private property by “eminent domain” that go far beyond the infamous 2005 Kelodecision. In Kelo, the Supreme Court liberals expanded the Constitution’s “public use” to include a public “purpose.” The Court concluded that thegovernment could take property from one private owner and transfer it to another private party because the public would benefit from the economic development and increased tax revenue. Sadly, the project for which the plaintiff lost her family home was never built. As dissenting Justice Sandra Day O’Connor noted, “Nothing is to prevent the State from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory.” In short, a “public purpose” can be anything the government wants it to be.

We are taking baby steps toward Marx’s ideal society without private property. California, as usual, is the canary in our free society’s coal mine. New legislation will allow 3 homes on single family lots across the state. The federal rules that Joe Biden wants to revive will facilitate cramming us into high-density suburban concrete jungles. How did the “stack and pack” housing in New York Citywhere COVID-19 spread like wildfire work out? 

The COVID-19 mandates and lockdowns all but ignore the Ninth Amendment that enshrines the principle that we have natural rights that need not be enumerated. 

The Tenth Amendment—perhaps the most powerful amendment—has been lost in the COVID-19 shuffle. Our leaders have ignored the law of the land that provides that when it comes to inalienable rights, the people are ultimately in charge.

The Twelfth Amendment confirms that electors, not the popular vote, shall elect the president despite Mrs. Clinton’s assertions to the contrary. The United States must guarantee that all states, not just New York City and California, have a voice in presidential elections. 

The Thirteenth Amendment will no longer have meaning when we are all slaves to Uncle Sam’s whims. 

Universal mail-in voting and the attendant fraudgrossly weakens the Fifteenth Amendment. 

As Marx predicted, a socialist society would begin by the violent seizure of the government by the people. To achieve their goals, Communist revolutionaries killed at least 100 million people. Appearing to follow in those footsteps, the Marxist Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc. is decorating the streets with communist symbols and burning down neighborhoods—much to the displeasure of the local Black residents. At least 26 deaths are attributable to the “peaceful protests.” News anchors are calling for burning the f**** thing downor blow the system up if their demands (having nothing to do with racial justice) are not met. 

The leftists would like to “reimagine” the Constitution out of existence. When the mobs usher in a government-run dystopia, the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause will merely ensure that we will all “equally share in our misery.” 

Rescue the canary. Fight for our Constitutional republic and our freedoms.

About Marylin M. Singleton:

Dr. Singleton is a board-certified anesthesiologist. She is the immediate past President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). She graduated from Stanford and earned her MD at UCSF Medical School. Dr. Singleton completed 2 years of Surgery residency at UCSF, then her Anesthesia residency at Harvard’s Beth Israel Hospital. While still working in the operating room, she attended UC Berkeley Law School, focusing on constitutional law and administrative law. She interned at the National Health Law Project and practiced insurance and health law. She teaches classes in the recognition of elder abuse and constitutional law for non-lawyers. She lives in Oakland, Ca.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Japanese flag for 360 Magazine

Japan’s Political Future Increasingly Murky

By Elle Grant

In a surprising turn of events, Japan’s current era of politics has come to an end following the sudden resignation of Shinzo Abe, the country’s longest serving prime minister. Abe attributes his step-down due to serious health issues related to colitis, a chronic intestinal disease

His departure leaves the highest-ranking political position in the third-largest economy in the world with an open seat. The scramble for who will replace Shinzo Abe has begun, and its importance cannot be understated.

The next prime minister of Japan inherits a host of serious issues including coronavirus relief response, a decreasing economy, an aging population, an increasingly aggressive China, the confusion of the Olympics, female rights, the complexities of potentially reintroducing militarization, a changing United States dynamic, and more. “It makes me wonder why anybody would want to be prime minister,” said Jeffrey Hornung, an analyst at the RAND Corporation.

In considering relations with the United States, Mr. Abe aspired towards a more independent Japan. His term can be considered a success in some regards, but whether that is attributed to Mr. Abe or to a United States shrinking from international engagement under President Trump is up for debate. Either way, Japan in recent years has worked to assert itself in Eastern politics, especially in comparison to potential rivals in South Kora and especially China. These efforts will become increasingly important as Japan navigates the highest public debt amongst advanced industrial economies at a staggering 251.91%

Despite all these issues, there is a host of men clamoring for the job. They include Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister; Toshimitsu Motegi, the current foreign minister; Taro Kono, the current defense minister; Shigeru Ishiba and Tomomi Inada, both former defense ministers; and Seiko Noda, a member of the lower house of Parliament. Ms. Inada and Ms. Noda, both women, are the only female candidates attempting to throw their hat into the ring. However, Japanese politics remains male dominated and the likelihood of a female prime minister remains slim. Odds are in favor of Abe’s top aide, Yoshihide Suga replacing him.

Shinzo Abe’s successor will be voted on September 14th with a Liberal Democratic Party election, with the Diet (Japan’s national parliament) formally electing the winner two days later. The winner will the serve the rest of Abe’s term until September 2021 and after may choose to run for prime minister for their own term.

Maria Soloman illustration for 360 MAGAZINE journalism article.

The War on Journalism

by Justin Lyons

What a time it is to be a journalist.

During an era in which news is a divisive, politicized topic, one man seems to have been spearheading the charge against modern media. That’s what a brand new documentary from Juan Passarelli aims to cover, at least in part.

“The War on Journalism – the case of Julian Assange” takes the case of the controversial WikiLeaks founder. Assange now faces 175 years after his site published leaked documents with information sensitive to the United States government. Now we face the never-ending battle of journalistic principles versus legality.

The thing that sticks out to me at first thought is the idea that leaks have existed as long as governments and corruption have existed, which dates back to the beginning of time. As a journalist myself, I think we consider our job as watchdogs one of the most important jobs in a functioning society. If journalists aren’t delivering news telling consumers what they need to know and why they need to know it, we’d be missing a huge opportunity to hold powerful figures accountable.

Theodore Roosevelt once called journalists “muckrakers” because they, well, rake through the muck. They dig through the dirt to find that key that might be even dirtier than the dirt itself. While it doesn’t sound like an endearing term, journalists seem to take it as a compliment.

This documentary looks at the realities of being a reporter in the middle of the action, and it seems to no longer be safe to gather information about government action. It opens with what looks like a reporter being pepper sprayed by police and proceeds to show government officials claim they will not agree to refrain from prosecuting journalists for doing their jobs.

Assange was indicted under the Espionage Act with 17 counts. The Espionage Act is a United States law published in 1917 that aims to prevent interference in foreign relations.

While it might seem that the First Amendment could guarantee freedom for press to publish information with the public good in mind, John Kiriakou, described as a CIA torture whistleblower, brought up a really interesting point.

Kiriakou was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia and hired the lawyer who won cases for O.J. Simpson and George Zimmerman. That lawyer decided that Kiriakou’s case was impossible to win in the Eastern District of Virginia. His jury would have comprised of members of the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, intelligence community contractors and the Department of Homeland Security.

The same applies to Julian Assange. He was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia, where Kiriakou said no national security defendant had ever won a case.

Journalists aren’t seeking more freedom than the average U.S. citizen, but they should be protected with clearly defined rights. When the Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to an impartial jury, it can make you wonder how Kiriakou’s story is possible in the first place. It seems that seeking protection for the government has overwhelmed the protection of journalistic freedoms.

Overall, the documentary is definitely an interesting looking glass into what it’s like to be a journalist right now. I also think it’s an interesting look at journalistic protections. When thinking about people like Assange or Edward Snowen, who also appears in the documentary, I wonder where their protections start and end and how those protections are recognized if we consider them journalists.

In 2020, anyone can be a journalist, and using that freedom of press for information of public interest is something that is quite clearly protected by the Constitution.

Now that Assange is appearing in court for his extradition case, I look forward to the outcome, as it could become another landmark case for journalism in the United States.

If you’re interested in seeing “The War on Journalism – the case of Julian Assange” for yourself, you can check it out right here.

COVID Mask Care illustration by Mina Tocalini

Study Shows State-By-State Reopenings Exacerbate COVID

As Summer vacations end in Europe and in the United States and students return to college campuses and primary schools worldwide, fresh waves of COVID infections are causing renewed restrictions after loosening in the Spring and Summer. However, a new study shows that this uncoordinated opening, closing, and reopening of states and counties, is making the COVID problem worse in the U.S., according to the authors of a new study released today. Using methods from their previous work, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, MIT PhD student Michael Zhao and Sinan Aral, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and author of the upcoming book The Hype Machine, have released the first comprehensive study of the impact of state-by-state re-openings on the COVID pandemic, spanning January to July, 2020 with surprising and troubling results.

After studying combined data on the mobility of over 22 million mobile devices, daily data on state-level closure and reopening policies and social media connections among 220 million Facebook users, the team found that reimposing local social distancing or shelter-in-place orders after reopening may be far less effective than policy makers would hope.

In fact, such closures may actually be counterproductive as they encourage those in locked down regions to flee to reopened regions, potentially causing new hotspots to emerge. This analysis demonstrates that travel spillovers are not only systematic and predictable, but also large and meaningful.

Arizona was one of the first states to open businesses, but in late June, bars, gyms, movie theaters, and water parks were shut down for 30 days as the state became one of the virus’s new hot spots. One month after dine-in restaurants, bars, and gyms were allowed to reopen in California, Governor Gavin Newsom made the country’s most aggressive reopening reversal amid his state’s spike in COVID-19 cases, shuttering all indoor dining, bars, zoos, and museums in the state. Similar reversals have occurred in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia among other states.

“We’ve seen a patchwork of flip-flopping state policies across the country,” says Sinan Aral, the senior author of the study. “The problem is that, when they are uncoordinated, state re-openings and even closures create massive travel spillovers that are spreading the virus across state borders. If we continue to pursue ad hoc policies across state and regional borders, we’re going to have a difficult time controlling this virus, reopening our economy or even sending our kids back to school.”

The new study showed that while closures directly reduced mobility by 5-6%, re-openings returned mobility to pre-pandemic levels. Once all of a state’s peer states (in travel or social media influence) locked down, focal county mobility in that state dropped by an additional 15-20% but increased by 19-32% once peer states reopened. “State policies have effects far beyond their borders,” says Aral. “We desperately need coordination if we are to control this virus.”

When an origin county was subject to a statewide shelter-in-place order, travel to counties yet to impose lockdowns increased by 52-65%. If the origin had reopened, but the destination was still closed, travel to destination counties was suppressed by 9-17% for nearby counties and 21-27% for distant counties. But when a destination reopened while an origin was still closed, people from the closed origins flooded into the destination by 11-12% from nearby counties and 24% from distant counties. “People flee closures and flood into newly reopened states,” says Aral, “we can’t avoid the travel spillovers caused by our ad hoc policies.”

These findings highlight the urgent need to coordinate COVID-19 reopenings across regions and the risks created by ad hoc local shutdowns and reopenings. In addition, the results highlight the importance of taking spillover effects seriously when formulating national policy and for national and local policies to coordinate across regions where spillovers are strong.

Kaelen Felix illustrates a political article for 360 MAGAZINE

Black Male Leaders x Biden

USA Today reported Monday that Black male leaders penned an open letter to presidential candidate Joe Biden to say that he will lose the election if he does not select a Black woman as his running mate.

According to USA Today, the letter came from more than 100 activists, leaders, preachers and celebrities. Some candidates on an unofficial shortlist of possible VPs include Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Karen Bass and Susan Rice, the former Ambassador to the United Nations and National Security Advisor during Barack Obama‘s presidency.

The letter also expressed concern that Black women were being unfairly criticized as potential running mates for Biden. USA Today mentions a POLITICO report that said Sen. Chris Dodd criticized Sen. Harris for comments on Biden’s voting record regarding civil rights. The article also mentions a CNBC report saying Biden allies found Harris to be too focused on becoming president herself to hold the vice presidential office.

Signees of the letter included Sean “Diddy” Combs, Charlamagne Tha God and civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who represented George Floyd’s family.

“We don’t want to choose between the lesser of two evils, and we don’t want to vote for the devil we know versus the devil we don’t because we are tired of voting for devils,” the letter said.

The New York Times reported Monday that Biden’s VP selection committee has been disbanded and that the only thing left was a decision from Biden, also calling the pick “imminent.”

The New York Times also said Biden’s campaign has a virtual event planned to introduce the vice presidential candidate, and the event is sponsored by Women for Biden.

Rita Azar illustrates a photojournalism article for 360 MAGAZINE

Thomson Reuters Foundation x Omidyar Network

The Thomson Reuters Foundation has joined forces with Omidyar Network to document the devastating effects of COVID-19 on millions of people around the globe.

Using photography and journalism, COVID-19: The Bigger Picture aims to tell the stories of those most affected and most vulnerable to the pandemic that has changed the lifestyles of each person on the planet.

Antonio Zappulla, the CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, said, “This pandemic is a global crisis like no other, affecting every person on the planet. The world is grappling daily to understand its scale and severity against an onslaught of information and misinformation. It has never been more critical to lean on the power of journalism excellence to cut through the noise with accurate and impartial storytelling.”

The Thomson Reuters Foundation works to advance media freedom and promote human rights while Omidyar Network is committed to building inclusive and equitable societies. Though the impact has been widespread, the goal of the project is to show how social inequality that existed before the inception of the virus has only been magnified by the spread of the pandemic.

“This virus has devastated lives and livelihoods across the globe. By combining the storytelling capabilities of the Thomson Reuters Foundation with photos from people whose lives have been upended by the pandemic, we will not only see the impacts on everyday life but also the systemic inequalities that brought us to this dire moment,” said Mike Kubzansky, the CEO of Omidyar Network.

COVID-19: The Bigger Picture, consists of two parts. First, a photojournalism competition allows anyone to submit a photo capturing the devastation of the coronavirus. Entrants may submit one photo with the prize being a photojournalism class taught by Thomson Reuters Foundation’s trainers. Photos may be entered beginning August 12th.

The documentation also includes a series of photo essays focusing on the United States. Experienced and decorated journalists will uncover the stories of workers assisting the elderly in Florida, caretakers of children in North Carolina and more. The photoessays will be released over the next three months, and readers can sign up to be notified when each essay is published.

“By capturing individual experiences, The Bigger Picture will document a wider story. It is only then, that we can truly change the narrative,” Zappulla said.

Rolls-Royce illustration by Mina Tocalini

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Orlando

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars announced today that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Orlando has been honored as the brand’s 2019 Global Dealer of the Year. This prestigious award was bestowed on the business for its work in delivering the best-in-the-world owner experience to Rolls-Royce Motor Car owners in Central Florida. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Orlando, part of Fields Auto Group, was chosen out of 135 retailer dealers worldwide for its consistency in delivering a world-class luxury experience and helping lead the brand to the best performance in its 116-year history.

“We’re honored to be singled out as the best of the best from the most prestigious brand in the world,” said Dan Fields, Dealer Principal of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Orlando. He added, “we’ve invested in a beautiful new home facility and the best luxury staff in Central Florida. We are focussed on one thing, taking care of our clientele at every step of their ownership experience. Our clients demand the best and to be chosen for this award is an affirmation of our team and our way of doing business.”

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “I am proud to announce the results of our annual Global Dealer of the Year Awards. I congratulate all the successful dealers, but especially Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Orlando – a professional, well-organized and high-performing team, with outstanding achievement in all key areas of the business. A worthy overall winner.”

The Global Dealer of the Year is awarded to the top all-around dealer delivering excellence in Sales, Service, Bespoke, Provenance and all areas of customer service. “It’s not about the biggest dealer, this award recognizes the best. The best in all areas of client service,” said Martin Fritsches, President & CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Americas.  He added, “I’m excited that we have an American dealer as Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Global Dealer of the Year.”

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars chooses the dealer of the year after careful consideration of a wide range of criteria. As a brand that values the luxury ownership experience above all else, service and owner satisfaction are at the top of the list. The company also reviews sales and operational performance as well as client satisfaction. Every aspect of the Rolls-Royce Motor Car ownership experience is expected to be effortless. That begins with the initial commissioning of a truly unique and exclusive motor car with one’s retail consultant.

Rolls-Royce motor cars are sold in more than 50 countries worldwide through a global network of 135 dealerships. The world’s premier luxury name delivered 5152 Bespoke commissions in 2019. Each one of these commissions is handcrafted by the men and women in Goodwood, Home of Rolls-Royce in England. In addition to being the home to the 2019 Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Global Dealer of the Year, the Americas has remained the largest region for Rolls-Royce deliveries for the past six years. The brand has 44 retail partners in the region, including 37 in the United States, 4 in Canada and one each in Mexico, Brazil and Chile.

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