News & Features

The Good News About Healthcare Costs

Jim Jaffe

If these trends are more than a benign anomaly, they would not only ease pressure on the Medicare budget, but would moderate government health spending generally, a development that could vaporize concerns about the growing cost of entitlement programs.  As analysts of all political stripes have been saying, America’s government doesn’t have a spending problem; it has a health spending problem.  

From Prisoner to President: Remembering the Late Nelson Mandela

Karolina R. Swasey

Detainee number 46664 would not surrender nor show any weakness. He read and wrote a lot, mastered self-control, discipline, patience, and the fine art of tactfully dealing with opponents by bringing out the good in them — an important leadership quality that would come in handy when the secret negotiations with the apartheid regime began in the 1980s. It was this messianic skill that led to his release from prison and ultimately to the “Wonder of Cape Town,” which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.  

The Obama Administration’s Immigration Problem

Walter Ewing

The principal finding of the Times investigation is a damning indictment of an administration that has claimed repeatedly to be targeting the worst of the worst violent, foreign-born criminals. In reality, according to the Times analysis, “two-thirds of the nearly two million deportation cases involve people who had committed minor infractions, including traffic violations, or had no criminal record at all.” In contrast, only “20 percent—or about 394,000—of the cases involved people convicted of serious crimes, including drug-related offenses, the records show.”

Inside the World of YouTube Gurus

Kaitlyn Fajilan

With over 45,000 non-brand affiliated YouTube channels specializing in cosmetic or sartorial advice, Fashion and Beauty is fast becoming a formidable game player within the digital media platform. In fact, according to the recent findings of Pixability, a big data software company that performs research to help major brands cater their marketing toward specific YouTube audiences, a whopping 14.9 billion YouTube video views are beauty-related. 

Where Politics Meets Religion

Shefali S. Kulkarni

Last week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) conducted a mass along the US-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona. Standing in front of a 30-foot-high rusted gate that separates the US from Mexico, eight bishops, from El Paso to Atlanta, prayed in both Spanish and English. They faced a crowd of about 800 people on the American side. Behind them, on the Mexican side of the fence, a hundred or so people peeked through the slates.

More African-Americans Have Health Insurance Because of Obamacare

NorthStar News & Analysis

The number of African Americans who lacked health insurance dropped dramatically in 2014's first quarter compared to 2013's fourth quarter thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which Republicans threaten to repeal if they win control of both houses of Congress in November's national elections. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index reported on Monday that the uninsured rate for African Americans fell from 20.9 percent in 2013's fourth quarter to 17.6 percent in 2014's first quarter, a drop of 3.3 percentage points.

Sustainable Agriculture Meets Big Business

Annie Castellani

Sustainability is infiltrating our national consciousness. These days, the marketing strategy of nearly every iconic American brand – promoting companies like Ford, Marriott, Microsoft and Walmart – seems to include some reference to it. Fortunately, photo-ops with employees dressed in Earth Day T-shirts as they build a garden don’t quite cut it anymore. Rather, sustainability agendas, corporate responsibility reports, corporate sponsorships, green initiatives, sustainability assessments and memberships in a variety of public-private multi-stakeholder initiatives are becoming the norm.

Advice for Democrats on Winning the Midterm Elections

Bob Neuman

The populations most vulnerable to those outrages are hardly aware of the Koch brothers. I believe only a minuscule number of Democrats and Independents know of the very real threat to our country’s decency – and our base responsibility to those less advantaged – posed by Sheldon Adelson and Koch brother types out there wielding hundreds of millions of dollars in what I call “The Dark Campaign”.So the intent of the Democratic campaign organizations to shine a light on those threats and that Dark Campaign is commendable.

The Growing Problem of Gambling Addiction Among Seniors

Melinda Miller

Problem gambling, while affecting a small percentage of total gamblers, is growing among people age 60 and older, a key customer base of the burgeoning casino gambling industry in Western New York. With bus trips from senior centers and casinos opening not just here, but across the country, gambling is easier than ever for retirees to pick up and, for a vulnerable minority, a hard habit to quit.

 

Vietnam: A Country of Contrasts

Andrew Lam

Modernity, that is to say, seeps in. You can see it as a river of motorcyclists rushing by while above them looms a Starbucks sign. Or take a look at the farmer standing in his bare feet on the verdant slope: Two oxen graze nearby, but he is preoccupied with chatting on his cell. Or consider the new cityscape of Saigon, my birthplace, now renamed Ho Chi Minh City, with its high-rises being constructed -- and see the once-sleepy town of villas and lycees and tree-lined boulevards transforming itself into a bona fide 21st-century metropolis.

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