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Longer Looks: PTSD Or Hate?; In The Wake Of Hurricanes; And Male Fertility

Each week, KHN’s Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.

The New York Times: A Marine Attacked An Iraqi Restaurant. But Was It A Hate Crime Or PTSD?
The DarSalam Iraqi restaurant, with its steaming plates of falafel and kebab, has for years served as a popular community gathering spot here. The Iraqi family who ran it felt welcome in this eclectic city. But all of that changed one night last spring when a man with a shaved head walked in and took a seat. As other customers chatted, he refused to order, instead staring at photos of the Iraqi countryside on the wall. (Dave Philips, 10/18)

Vox: Harvey And Irma: Pollution, Mold, And Other Lingering Health Risks
In the weeks following Hurricane Irma, parts of Florida have been awash in millions of gallons of sewage. Meanwhile, in Texas, oil refineries and chemical plants have dumped a year’s worth of cancer-causing pollutants into the air following Hurricane Harvey. In both states, doctors are on the lookout for an uptick in respiratory problems, skin infections, and mosquito-borne diseases brought on by the water and mold the storms left behind. (Julia Belluz, 10/16)

The Atlantic: A New Hope For Male Fertility After Cancer Treatment
When Branden Lischner was 18, he got testicular cancer. Between surgery and radiation, which can cause infertility, he saved a sperm sample. But he was so removed from the idea of fatherhood that he soon stopped paying for his banked sperm. Then, in 2013, shortly after he got married, his cancer came back. Lischner only wanted to worry about the surgery to remove his second testicle, but his urologist pushed him to take the time to store sperm. (Rachel Mabe, 10/13)

The New Yorker: How Anti-Trump Psychiatrists Are Mobilizing Behind The Twenty-Fifth Amendment
On October 8th, the outgoing Republican senator Bob Corker sent a tweet calling the White House “an adult day care center.” Corker then told the Times that President Trump’s recklessness could set the nation “on the path to World War III”; he said that most Senate Republicans shared his concerns, as should “anyone who cares about our nation.” Days later, Gabriel Sherman reported in Vanity Fair on the crisis-level discussions among Trump’s aides about how to contain a President who they fear is “unstable” and “unraveling.” According to Sherman’s reporting, the former chief strategist Steve Bannon warned Trump several months ago that “the risk to his presidency wasn’t impeachment, but the 25th Amendment.” That Amendment to the Constitution provides that the Vice-President and a majority of the Cabinet—or, alternatively, a congressionally appointed body—can determine that the President is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” and remove him. (Jeannie Suk Gersen, 10/16)

Politico Magazine: Trump’s Obsessed With His IQ. Here’s What He Should Worry About Instead.
What are we to make of President Donald Trump’s boasts that he has a higher IQ than a member of his Cabinet, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson? Amid reports that Tillerson called Trump a “moron”—a claim Tillerson passed up a chance to deny on Sunday—Trump told Forbes magazine, “I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later clarified that Trump “never implied that the secretary of state was not incredibly intelligent”—suggesting that Trump believes his IQ is astronomically high, maybe even the very best. In the past, he has described his IQ as “very high,” “much higher than [that of Presidents Bush and Obama],” “much higher than [the intellectuals’],” and “the highest, asshole!” Before Tillerson, Trump challenged the mayor of London and anyone who said he doesn’t understand global warming to IQ smackdowns. But what would an IQ face-off between Trump and Tillerson—or anyone else—even tell us? Should we care whether our president has a high IQ? (Zach Hambrick, 10/17)

FiveThirtyEight: The Grandfather Of Alt-Science
Arthur B. Robinson, renegade chemist, failed politician, grandpa of the climate skeptics — and maybe, just maybe, our nation’s next scientist-in-chief — padded across the carpet of his homemade lab in a pair of white athletic socks. “This room, everything you see here, was built by my own sons with their own hands, including the concrete,” he said. Robinson raised and home-schooled six children in this tawny valley scratched into the hills near the town of Cave Junction, Oregon. Now his wife is dead and one of his daughters has moved away, but the rest of his kids — two veterinarians, a biochemist and a pair of nuclear engineers — remain nearby. They have a lot to do: Feed the animals; maintain the lab; ward off cougars; publish their popular home-school curriculums; manage Robinson’s repeated, unsuccessful congressional campaigns; and, of course, perform high-stakes research into medicine and biochemistry. (Engber, 10/12)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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