Berkeley in the News Archive

The links to the stories summarized on this page are time sensitive, so stories might no longer be online at that URL. We also include links to the original source publication itself.

Friday, 2 May 2014

1. NATO Countries Planning Communications Mission in Ukraine
U.S. News & World Report

Political science professor M. Steven Fish weighs in on problems of defending Ukraine against the Russian invasion. He says one of the biggest problems is that the country is "lousy" with Russian spies. Its going to be very hard, very difficult. The level of penetration is high. He explains that Ukrainians, along with Belarussians, were at the core of KGB units in the Soviet Army at the height of the Cold War, and were considered as reliable as ethnic Russians. Its not that [the U.S.] doesnt trust Ukrainians to do the right thing, or that they cant handle the information, he says. Its that any information we pass down is going to get to Moscow in a matter of hours. ... These folks not only report back to Moscow, but they can also screw up communications within the Ukrainian military. Its not hard to do at this level of penetration. Full Story

2. Three-Drug Protocol Persists for Lethal Injections, Despite Ease of Using One
International New York Times (*requires registration)

Jen Moreno, an attorney at Berkeley Law's Death Penalty Clinic, weighs in on the controversy over substitute drugs being used in executions around the country. She says barbiturates alone have been used in 71 executions, in Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Washington, and that it is very unclear that medical professionals were present at all in the planning leading up to executions. She says that a handful of states, including California, have determined the rules for execution procedures in public, but that the vast majority of states did not. Two of those executions had problems, she notes. In one, the prisoner complained of a burning sensation, and in the other, the prisoner gasped heavily. Full Story

3. Government investigates 55 colleges over handling of sex assault cases
Los Angeles Times

The U.S. Department of Education has released a list of 55 colleges and universities around the U.S. that are under review for their handling of sexual assault and harassment complaints. The investigation pertains to possible violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex at institutions that receive public funds. Berkeley is on the list of colleges, and spokeswoman Janet Gilmore says the campus will cooperate fully with the federal investigation. "Sexual assault on college campuses is a critical issue.... Much has been done to strengthen the campus' handling of these issues, but we understand that there is always room for improvement." Another story on this topic appeared on CNN Online. Full Story

4. Cooper-Hewitt 2014 National Design Award Winners
Wall Street Journal (*requires registration)

The Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum has announced this year's winners of its National Design Awards. Among the honorees is Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture, the designer of an entry sequence through drought-tolerant native meadow plantings at Berkeley's Energy Biosciences Building. Link to slideshow. Full Story

5. On the Trail of a Gene That Kills
International New York Times (*requires registration)

The movie Decoding Annie Parker tells the true story of two women -- cancer patient Annie Parker and geneticist Mary-Claire King. The parallel stories show Parker, played by Samantha Morton, looking for a connection between the deaths in her family and King, played by Helen Hunt, as a Berkeley scientist striving to identify the gene responsible for hereditary breast cancer. Full Story

6. Firstborn girls most likely to succeed
Scientific American

Adjunct psychology professor Frank Sulloway, a birth-order expert, has proposed that siblings compete for parental favor and investment by adopting different roles within the family. If the firstborn is the brain, the second child may be the sporty one or the actress. Full Story

7. Seven Online Personality Quizzes That Aren't Completely Ridiculous
Huffington Post

A round-up of science-based personality quizzes includes a facial recognition test from Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center. It tests one's aptitude at reading others' facial expressions, a skill that pertains to compassion and empathy, markers of emotional intelligence. Full Story

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