The implications of a cure for
AIDS HIV, where are the kids in local sports, the Klan in North Dakota, tribute for a code talker, and one for all the "tortured souls."
First, the Monday Morning Rouser:
A cure for HIV.
The words flow so easily, it's possible not to grasp the meaning. A cure for
AIDS HIV . For those who remember the fear that accompanied the realization that there was an insidious and unknown disease at work, the news that a child born with AIDS HIV has been cured -- or at least scientists so claim -- is particularly significant.
Three-hundred-thousand children worldwide could be ridded of the disease, especially in AIDS-plagued African countries where too many babies are born with the virus, the Associated Press says.
"We can't promise to cure babies who are infected. We can promise to prevent the vast majority of transmissions if the moms are tested during every pregnancy," Dr. Hannah Gay said.
Until now, such children have been considered permanently infected, NPR says.
The baby is from Mississippi. And after an initial treatment, the doctor said, the mother stopped bringing her in for help.
"The baby's mom was having some life changes, that's about all I can say," Gay reports. "I saw her at 18 months, and then after that did not see her for several months. And we were unable to locate her for a while."
Gay enlisted the help of Mississippi state health authorities to track down the child. When they found her, the mother said she'd stopped giving antiviral drugs six or seven months earlier.
At that point, Gay expected to find that the child's blood was teeming with HIV. But to her astonishment, tests couldn't find any virus.
"My first thought was, 'Oh my goodness, I've been treating a child who's not actually infected,' " Gay says. But a look at the earlier blood work confirmed the child had been infected with HIV at birth. So Gay then thought the lab must have made a mistake with the new blood samples. So she ran those tests again.
"When all those came back negative, I knew something odd was afoot," Gay says.
There is only one other person on the planet known to have been cured of AIDS.
It took a doctor to take a gamble, First Post says.
Compared to the first decade of the epidemic, when it meant a miserable and stigmatized death, AIDS today is a chronic, manageable medical condition. People affected with the virus do not like to be called patients, just as they way people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension detest the term. They also live long, normal and productive lives.
From a handful of drugs with severe side-effects a few times a day to stave off death in the early years, HIV-positive people today need to take just one pill, once a day. A large number of long term survivors of HIV now die of old age and other illnesses than HIV-related complications. The Mississippi child might bring in better news for them.
That word in the first sentence -- stigmatized -- is certainly an important one, which is why the news of a possible cure comes with a remembrance of Ryan White, the face of AIDS in children. He was a hemophiliac who contracted the virus through a blood transfusion.
And people turned away from him. He wanted to attendpublic school in Kokomo, Indiana but the school system banned him because other students and parents were afraid of the kid with AIDS.
He died at age 18 twenty-three years ago next month.
The news of a possible cure reminds us of how far science has brought us. It reminds us of how far we can move from our own ignorance and fear.
More health: Minnesota House set to vote on health exchange.
Duluth athletic officials are noticing the trend; fewer kids are participating in youth sports, the Duluth News Tribune says. A third fewer kids are participating in hockey, for example, than 14 years ago. Basketball participation is also down.
There are fewer kids in Duluth than there were 14 years ago, but some are blaming another insidious threat: soccer.
You drive around on any weeknight in August and you will go, 'OK, kids playing soccer. OK, kids playing soccer.' On any patch of grass that's big enough, there's a soccer game," a youth soccer league director says.
More sports: New Rochelle wins! New Rochelle wins! New Rochelle wins!
When we wrote last week about the hockey fans in North Dakota who wore Klan robes to a "white out" promotion at a high school hockey game, an astute reader reminded us that the Klan wasn't entirely about black v. white, especially in North Dakota. Now, Forum Communications follows up, with a history of the Klan in the state.
In Minnesota, Hawley is remembered as an active site of Klan activity, and a historian once estimated that ministers of half of the Norwegian Lutheran evangelical congregations in the region were members or tacit supporters, according to research by Clay County Historical & Cultural Society.
The Klan often sought sympathetic preachers to spread its message and to help win converts. It also took on many of the characteristics of a fraternal organization, popular social outlets in the early 1900s.
In the Rev. F. Halsey Ambrose, a Presbyterian minister in Grand Forks, the Klan found a devoted and persuasive evangelist. Ambrose was a fervent anti-Catholic, a position he preached from the pulpit.
His sermons were so entertaining, in an age before television, that they even attracted admirers from outside the congregation, according to accounts from Grand Forks Herald archives.
Whatever happened to the Rev. Ambrose? He left for a pulpit in Saint Paul.
Chester Nez, now 91, is the last surviving original member of World War II's Navajo "Code Talkers." Their code was never broken by the Japanese.
The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and Northland College in Ashland honored Nez on Friday. It takes a lot to get more than 50 veteran honor guards from tribes across Wisconsin to turn out but they did for Mr. Nez.
There is at least one "tortured soul" who says you don't know what it's like to go through what he's been through. He hit the beach at Normandy and that's not what he's talking about, either. He's talking about not being able to read.
By the way, the Minnesota Literacy Council provides adult learning classes. Go here to find one.
Bonus I: They're walking on Lake Superior in Duluth, a chance to walk out to The Cribs.
Bonus II: In a warehouse in Philadelphia. a man is pursuing a dream to build a ship by hand. He hopes to sail it across the Atlantic. (BBC)
Bonus III: Snow got you down? You need to spend some time with Carl Martin's new video on his trip to the BWCA last summer.
Gov. Mark Dayton's plan to raise taxes on the state's top earners is popular with a majority of Minnesotans according to a new poll. Across the U.S. wealthy families are paying some of their biggest federal tax bills in decades even as the rest of the population continues to pay at historically low rates, reports the AP. Today's Question: Is our current tax structure fair?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) - First hour: Gov. Mark Dayton.
Second hour: Who should bear the cost of risky behavior?
Third hour: Charles Wheelan, author of Naked Statistics.
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): A Chautauqua Lecture by historian Ronald White on Civil War General & U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.
Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) - The Vatican's focus turns to selecting a new pope.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - In Ludington Michigan, people love to watch the car ferry, smokestack billowing, heading to Wisconsin. It's powered by coal, and it's the last one of its kind in the U.S. The ferry has an uncertain future, and its shut down could have a large impact on the Ludington economy. NPR will have the story of the ferry and the town.
St. Paul wants the state to forgive its $30 million mortgage on the Xcel Energy Center. Minneapolis wants $25 million to rebuild Nicollet Mall. Minnesota's two largest cities each have lengthy legislative wish lists and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby state lawmakers. And with the DFL in control of the Capitol, they're more likely to see some of those wishes granted(9 Comments)
James Robert Deaner, of Grand Valley State University, was setting out to find if there was a link between a hockey player's facial shape and aggression and where he was drafted in the National Hockey League draft, when he discovered something else: There's an apparent link between the month in which they were born and their selection position in the draft.
According to Wired.com:
They found that, on average, NHL draftees born between July and December comprised 34 percent of those drafted, but played in 42 percent of the games and scored 44 percent of the points. On the other hand, those born in the first three months of the same year comprised 36 percent of drafted players but played in just 28 percent of games and scored 25 percent of the points.
The researchers focused on Canadian players because Canadian youth leagues assign players by age, with a December 31 cut-off date. That makes it easier to compare players who are the same age but were born at different times of the year.
If you're a parent, you probably know this scenario because it's hotly debated in education. Is the younger child able to keep up with the older children when they start school, or is it best to wait a year?
Freakonomics considered this question more than a year ago in its piece, "The Disadvantage of Summer Babies."
It reported on a study of European soccer players:
Forty-three percent of players were born in the first three months of the year, while only 9 percent were born in the final three months. Children who are a few months older than their peers at 5 or 6 have more developed cognitive and motor skills, which makes them more advanced athletes and students. This early advantage can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies later on: the child thinks she is an underachiever, and so will often play that role.
Or maybe it's all just random luck. It's a tough gamble for parents who aren't as interested in whether their kid becomes a professional hockey or soccer player, but just want to know whether to wait to start a younger kid in school.
For this, we defer to J.L. Cook and G. Cook, authors of Child Development Principles and Perspectives:
The research evidence does not argue strongly for older entry ages. Some studies indicate a small advantage for some skills for older children, but the difference fades within the first few years of schooling. For most skills studied, schooling has a significantly stronger effect than age, and younger children at a grade level benefit from schooling as much as older children (Oshima & Domaleski, 2006; Stipek, 2002). There also may be some risks for children who are older than their classmates because of delayed entry. These children show more behavior problems than younger children at the same grade level, with some studies finding that the difference increases over time while others show no long-term disadvantages (Byrd, Weitzman, & Auinger, 1997; Lincove & Painter, 2006; Mayer & Knutson, 1999).
In other words: On this question, a parent has to resort to gut instinct. Kind of like people drafting hockey players do.(3 Comments)
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has overturned the certification of a 17-year old to stand trial as an adult for his participation in a gang-related rape of a girl on St. Paul's East side.
Jim Her was certified to stand trial as an adult last year in the 2011 attack on the 14-year-old girl in an abandoned house on White Bear Avenue. He did not actively participate in the rape, according to court documents, but he was in the room and he didn't try to stop it.
Her is suspected of having been a TB22 member -- a St. Paul gang -- for four to five years. The gang is said to be one of the most violent Hmong gangs in the Twin Cities.
The District Court certified him to stand trial as an adult because of the seriousness of the crime but today the Court of Appeals struck down the order because it didn't adequately consider whether the man could be helped better in the juvenile justice system.
Appellant here had absolutely no prior programming, formal or otherwise. The psychological evaluation and certification study reports both noted that appellant has no programming history and concluded that the factor supports EJJ designation. Dr. Hertog concluded that, based on his 23 years of treating juveniles, appellant fell into the category of a juvenile who was amenable to treatment and for whom appropriate programming was available. In addition, he opined that it was highly likely that appellant would benefit from treatment. Moua also testified that appellant has never received any type of probation. This court has previously held that this factor favors EJJ designation when the child has not participated in any programs.
The district court said "the punishment and programming in the juvenile justice system would be inadequate for a violent crime of this nature" and "would not be commensurate with the seriousness of this heinous offense," once again emphasizing the seriousness of the crime over all other factors, Judge Edward Cleary wrote today.
Prosecutors had said if Her's case were handled in the juvenile system, he could return home and join the gang again, and after age 21, he'd be outside the arm of the law in this case.
But being judged in the juvenile justice system, doesn't make the threat of an adult prison sentence go away, Cleary said.
"The (district) court ignored the fact that designating appellant EJJ (extended jurisdiction juvenile) does not mean that he necessarily avoids the prison sentence that would be imposed upon an adult. Appellant must successfully complete the EJJ programming; if he violates the terms of EJJ programming, the adult prison sentence could, and most certainly would, be executed," Cleary said.
But in a dissent, Judge Carol Hooten focused on what's happened to the victim in this case:
The record also establishes that the victim, who had been a good student prior to the rape, has left school, no longer lives in her home, has psychological issues, and engages in self-injurious behavior. It was reported that the sexual assault instilled fear in the victim, her family, and the community and there was testimony that the victim and her family are afraid of the gang.
She said Mr. Her had repeatedly ignored his father's directives not to associate with gang members, and even recruited his younger brother to join the gang. And, she wrote, it wasn't until after he was charged with participating in the rape that he went back to school and began to get decent grades.
Judge Hooten said certifying Her as an adult "offers a far greater level of protection of the public safety."
Nine defendants were charged in the crime. The ringleader, Vang Tou Ger Vue, 19, pleased guilty last fall. He was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Here's the full opinion.(0 Comments)
This video, already viewed by about 800,000 people since it came out last November is, for some reason, racing around the Internet with new abandon today.
It's not that it's not interesting. It certainly is. It's just that it's not that new. It's based on a study that actually was released in 2010 by Michael Norton, of Harvard Business School. He co-authored the paper.
He talked to Steve Inskeep about it back in 2010.
And almost two years ago, PBS Newshour tried to recreate Norton's (and his colleague's) work. It presented several pie charts of countries' distribution of wealth and asked people which country they'd like to live in.
Pie Chart C, based on Norton's work, was actually the United States, although the country wasn't named. Only 9 percent of people who took the survey said they wanted to live there.
The exercise was done as part of a series on inequality in the United States.
Watch Americans Facing More Inequality, More Debt and Now More Trouble? on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
"It's probably a good thing that the public underestimates how much wealth inequality there is," Bryan D. Caplan of George Mason University told Business Week back in 2010, since "they tend not to understand the ways that wealth inequality is good."
In Harvard Business Review a little over a year ago, Norton's colleague had his own theories -- that the survey reflects how we view ourselves:
Norton and his coauthor, Dan Ariely (author of the popular title Predictably Irrational and a professor of behavioral economics at Duke), believe that one reason perceptions are so skewed is because the easy availability of credit masks people's real financial situation. If your neighbors own the same make and model of car that you own, Norton points out, there's no way to know whether they paid cash for theirs or took out a loan for the full amount. It's easy, he says, to think, "I have a car and you have a car, so I guess wealth is equally distributed." This perception is reinforced by the fact that people tend to interact primarily within their own social stratum.
What is surprising given these circumstances, says Norton, is that Americans at all income levels--the very rich as well as the very poor--said they would like wealth to be more evenly distributed.
Given that there's been so much written and reported about the haves, have-somes, have-most, and have-nots, in the last few years, there seems to be more at work here in people's incorrect perceptions of the distribution of wealth in the U.S. It's about how wealth is redistributed.
Both Republicans and Democrats, Norton said, had roughly the same responses to the original survey and generally agreed on the way wealth should be distributed.
As it makes its way across Viralville today, it's mostly attached as a justification that one way is preferred, but that's not at all what the original paper said.
Still, it's a good starting point -- and an unusual starting point -- in today's public policy debate -- figuring out on what we all agree.
Forbes Magazine today released its annual list of the world's billionaires, a chance for us to ask, "how are Minnesota's billionaires doing?"
Pretty well, thank you, with the exception of the fact they're all 70 or more years old.
Minnesota has five of them.
Barbara Carlson Gage - Ranks #316 in the world and is worth $4.1 billion. She owns the Carlson Companies as does her sister, who is...
Marilyn Carlson Nelson - Who also ranks #316 in the world is and is also worth $4.1 billion. The Carlson Companies made their fortune in hotels, the travel business and, inexplicable, TGI Fridays.
But the Carlson's have had a staggering rise up the list. In 2011, Barbara Carlson Gage was listed at #782, worth "only" $1.9 billion.
Whitney MacMillan - At #395, he's good for $3.4 billion. He owns the Cargill fortune. It's a private company and because it is, few know everything it's into. But six billionaire brothers own it,
Stanley Hubbard - The KSTP and Hubbard Broadcasting exec checks in at #704. The 79-year-old Hubbard is worth $2.1 billion. He's dropped in the rankings from #659 in 2011. But he's picked up another $200 million in worth since then.
Glen Taylor -- #882. If you don't think there's money in wedding invitations, you don't know wedding invitations. That's the underpinning of the Taylor Companies, which now include vast holdings including the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are terrible no matter how much money Taylor soaks into the endeavor. And he's got $1.7 billion to put into the endeavor. But he's trying to sell the team, which should allow him to move up a few places on the list.
In the heyday of the economy, Taylor was #365 on the list. In 2006, he was worth $2.1 billion. On this year's list, the person at #365 is worth $3.7 billion. And in 2008, he was good for $3.3 billion, according to Forbes.
For the record, Zygi Wilf is not on the overall list.
Janet Napolitano, the nation's director of Homeland Security, says airport security lines have been running nearly twice the normal amount at some airports.
She mentioned Los Angeles International and Chicago's O'Hare, but said she'd have to doublecheck which ones she's talking about specifically.
"If you're traveling, get to the airport earlier than you otherwise would," she warned. "There's only so much we can do with personnel, and please don't yell at the customs officers or the TSA officers, they are not responsible for sequester."
Hers is the latest call that sequester is going to be a nightmare for airport travelers.
But the security checkpoint woes have been hard to spot.
CBS News says it's not the airport security checkpoints that are the problem Napolitano cites, it's customs, which makes her advice particularly curious for someone in charge of the system, since people don't go through customs on the way out of town..
At John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, CBP said there were approximately 56 flights with wait times in excess of 2 hours, and 14 flights over 3 hours. Miami International Airport (MIA) reported 51 flights over 2 hours, and 4 flights approached/exceeded 3 hours. According to the CBP, those wait times are uncharacteristic and a result of reduced staffing.
"Due to sequestration, CBP reduced overtime this weekend at Ports of Entry around the country and effects are already visible," the department said in a statement. "Lanes that would have previously been open due to overtime staffing were closed, further exacerbating wait times at airports with typically longer international arrival processes."
UK's The Telegraph reports that officials at the three airports cited by Napolitano suggest everything's fine:
"We haven't had any slowdowns at all," said Marshall Lowe, a spokesman for LAX. Mr Lowe said that he had been on duty over the weekend and received no reports of unusual security delays.
DeAllous Smith, a spokesman for Hartfield-Jackson, said: "There have been no abnormally long lines at the security checkpoint nor unusual aircraft delays at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as a result of sequestration."
Their comments were echoed by Karen Pride, the director of media relations at Chicago Department of Aviation, who described operations at O'Hare as "normal" with "no unusual delays or cancellations".
If you've been traveling via airports, please report your experiences in the comments section below.(5 Comments)
How to pay for a new Vikings stadium if gambling isn't the answer, the latest on the sequester, why wouldn't someone do CPR to save an elderly woman, and the kids who danced so someone else could live.
Here's today's news discussion with Mary Lucia on The Current.(1 Comments)