Posts tagged news
Obama will use his executive authority to start the most ambitious anti-global warming initiative of any US president.
Step aside, Keystone XL pipeline. There’s a new, bigger climate battle about to take over Washington.
With Congress in gridlock and climate change deniers still dominating the Republican Party, President Obama will use his executive authority to move forward on the most ambitious anti-global warming initiative of any U.S. president.
On Monday, the administration will announce new carbon pollution standards for the nation’s more than 1,000 power plants which produce 40 percent of the country’s carbon pollution — making these plants the country’s number one producer of greenhouse gases causing climate change. A New York Times report Thursday said the new rules will call for a decrease of 20 percent of plants’ emissions by 2020, a significant amount.
But like everything in Washington these days, the new rules won’t become final without a major fight, and both sides are preparing for war — in Congress, in the courts, at the state-level, even at the ballot box.

Obama will use his executive authority to start the most ambitious anti-global warming initiative of any US president.

Step aside, Keystone XL pipeline. There’s a new, bigger climate battle about to take over Washington.

With Congress in gridlock and climate change deniers still dominating the Republican Party, President Obama will use his executive authority to move forward on the most ambitious anti-global warming initiative of any U.S. president.

On Monday, the administration will announce new carbon pollution standards for the nation’s more than 1,000 power plants which produce 40 percent of the country’s carbon pollution — making these plants the country’s number one producer of greenhouse gases causing climate change. A New York Times report Thursday said the new rules will call for a decrease of 20 percent of plants’ emissions by 2020, a significant amount.

But like everything in Washington these days, the new rules won’t become final without a major fight, and both sides are preparing for war — in Congress, in the courts, at the state-level, even at the ballot box.

Newsweek photo essays won top honors in American Photography, National Press Photographer’s Association (NPPA), Best of Photojournalism and Pictures of the Year International! 
American Photography Awards —Published online and to be included in AP30 Photo Annual.
Giovanni Cocco: Toiling in Tunisia 
Arko Datto: Dreaming In Color On India’s Streets 
Kevin Frayer: Instagramming Typhoon Haiyan
Andrea Frazzetta: Gaming Alone In Tokyo 
Noriko Hayashi: Grab and Run: Kyrgyzstan’s Bride Kidnappings 
Vivana Peretti: Colombia’s Next Drag Superstar
NPPA Best of Photojournalism Award — 1st Place Contemporary Issues
Noriko Hayashi: Grab and Run: Kyrgyzstan’s Bride Kidnappings 
Pictures of the Year International Award of Excellence 
Arko Datto: Dreaming In Color On India’s Streets

Newsweek photo essays won top honors in American Photography, National Press Photographer’s Association (NPPA), Best of Photojournalism and Pictures of the Year International! 

American Photography Awards —Published online and to be included in AP30 Photo Annual.

Giovanni Cocco: Toiling in Tunisia

Arko Datto: Dreaming In Color On India’s Streets 

Kevin Frayer: Instagramming Typhoon Haiyan

Andrea Frazzetta: Gaming Alone In Tokyo 

Noriko Hayashi: Grab and Run: Kyrgyzstan’s Bride Kidnappings 

Vivana Peretti: Colombia’s Next Drag Superstar

NPPA Best of Photojournalism Award — 1st Place Contemporary Issues

Noriko Hayashi: Grab and Run: Kyrgyzstan’s Bride Kidnappings 

Pictures of the Year International Award of Excellence

Arko Datto: Dreaming In Color On India’s Streets

When Women Refuse is a Tumblr collecting stories of violence inflicted on women who reject sexual advances. The Tumblr came to be over the weekend following the UCSB shootings carried out by Elliot Rodger, and the #YesAllWomen conversation it triggered, first on social media. 
[visualization: Tweets with ‘#yesallwomen’ by Twitter’s Simon Rogers. When Women Refuse was created by Deanna Zandt, and is curated by many, including our own social media editor Lainna Fader]

When Women Refuse is a Tumblr collecting stories of violence inflicted on women who reject sexual advances. 

The Tumblr came to be over the weekend following the UCSB shootings carried out by Elliot Rodger, and the #YesAllWomen conversation it triggered, first on social media. 

[visualization: Tweets with ‘#yesallwomen’ by Twitter’s Simon Rogers. When Women Refuse was created by Deanna Zandt, and is curated by many, including our own social media editor Lainna Fader]

Obamacare won’t get close to offering universal coverage, even after 10 years.
Few government policies today are as controversial as Obamacare, but love it or hate it, the overall impact may not be as big as you think.
Take a main goal of Obamacare: to decrease the number of uninsured Americans—or as the Obama administration puts it, to provide affordable insurance to all Americans. According to early estimates, 8 million Americans have signed up on the exchanges. That sounds like a lot, but it’s unclear just how many of them were previously uninsured. Rand Corp., a nonprofit global policy think tank, estimates that up to three-fourths of the exchange customers, as many as 6 million, previously had insurance. Yet it is thought that millions more Americans have health insurance now, thanks to the expansion of Medicaid and coverage of more 20-somethings through their parents’ plans. RAND calculates that 9 million formerly uninsured Americans now have health insurance because of Obamacare.
Nine million more Americans with coverage is a real accomplishment. But that reduces the problem by only 20 percent. What’s more, things won’t be much better over time. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that after 10 years of Obamacare, 31 million people in the U.S. will still lack health insurance.
Out of those 31 million uninsured, the CBO posits that one-third may be in the country illegally. The rest might be ineligible for Medicaid because they live in a state that has chosen not to expand coverage or choose not to enroll in Medicaid. Some of the rest simply decide for whatever reason not to obtain health insurance.
But if around 10 percent of the population remains uninsured despite Obamacare, that means the U.S. still faces a substantial coverage gap. The Obama administration can take credit for progress toward the president’s goals, but every other wealthy nation in the world solved this problem a long time ago. Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and all of Europe provide health insurance to all. Yet for now, the United States seems content to shrink the problem rather than solve it.

Obamacare won’t get close to offering universal coverage, even after 10 years.

Few government policies today are as controversial as Obamacare, but love it or hate it, the overall impact may not be as big as you think.

Take a main goal of Obamacare: to decrease the number of uninsured Americans—or as the Obama administration puts it, to provide affordable insurance to all Americans. According to early estimates, 8 million Americans have signed up on the exchanges. That sounds like a lot, but it’s unclear just how many of them were previously uninsured. Rand Corp., a nonprofit global policy think tank, estimates that up to three-fourths of the exchange customers, as many as 6 million, previously had insurance. Yet it is thought that millions more Americans have health insurance now, thanks to the expansion of Medicaid and coverage of more 20-somethings through their parents’ plans. RAND calculates that 9 million formerly uninsured Americans now have health insurance because of Obamacare.

Nine million more Americans with coverage is a real accomplishment. But that reduces the problem by only 20 percent. What’s more, things won’t be much better over time. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that after 10 years of Obamacare, 31 million people in the U.S. will still lack health insurance.

Out of those 31 million uninsured, the CBO posits that one-third may be in the country illegally. The rest might be ineligible for Medicaid because they live in a state that has chosen not to expand coverage or choose not to enroll in Medicaid. Some of the rest simply decide for whatever reason not to obtain health insurance.

But if around 10 percent of the population remains uninsured despite Obamacare, that means the U.S. still faces a substantial coverage gap. The Obama administration can take credit for progress toward the president’s goals, but every other wealthy nation in the world solved this problem a long time ago. Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and all of Europe provide health insurance to all. Yet for now, the United States seems content to shrink the problem rather than solve it.

Antarctic Ice Melt Has ‘Passed the Point of No Return’
Vast glaciers in West Antarctica seem to be locked in an irreversible thaw linked to global warming that may push up sea levels for centuries, scientists said on Monday.
Six glaciers, eaten away from below by a warming of sea waters around the frozen continent, were flowing fast into the Amundsen Sea, according to the report based partly on satellite radar measurements from 1992 to 2011.
Evidence shows “a large sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet has gone into a state of irreversible retreat”, said lead author Eric Rignot of the University of California, Irvine, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Antarctic Ice Melt Has ‘Passed the Point of No Return’

Vast glaciers in West Antarctica seem to be locked in an irreversible thaw linked to global warming that may push up sea levels for centuries, scientists said on Monday.

Six glaciers, eaten away from below by a warming of sea waters around the frozen continent, were flowing fast into the Amundsen Sea, according to the report based partly on satellite radar measurements from 1992 to 2011.

Evidence shows “a large sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet has gone into a state of irreversible retreat”, said lead author Eric Rignot of the University of California, Irvine, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Michael Isikoff reflects on Monica Lewinsky: Backstage at the Ultimate Washington Drama, Newsweek 2012
It isn’t often in this business that you’re sitting at your desk and you get a phone call from a source that causes you to nearly fall off your chair. But that’s exactly what happened in my office at Newsweek’s Washington bureau early on the afternoon of Jan. 13, 1998. “There’s a little event going on at the Ritz-­Carlton in Pentagon City right now you might want to know about,” my (very plugged-in) tipster told me. Linda Tripp was having lunch with her good friend Monica Lewinsky—and Ken Starr had the whole thing wired. Starr?! Yes, my source said: I know it sounds crazy, but Starr (the independent counsel appointed to look into Bill Clinton’s Whitewater business dealings) was now investigating the president’s relationship with Lewinsky. The lunch was a sting aimed at getting the then-23-year-old former White House intern to flip and cooperate.
I was dumbfounded. I had been talking to Tripp for months—ever since I tracked her down one day at her desk at the Pentagon the previous March. I had heard all about Monica Lewinsky and what she had been telling Tripp about her fling with the president: the late-night phone calls, the surreptitious visits to the Oval Office, the telltale evidence on the blue dress hanging in her closet. It was a surreal story that seemed improbable at first, but more and more credible (and newsworthy) as Tripp offered up more tantalizing details. Clinton was arranging to get Lewinsky a job. He had given her gifts. And, once she got subpoenaed in the Paula Jones lawsuit, he fully expected her to keep her mouth shut, according to Tripp.
But while I had briefed Newsweek’s Washington bureau chief, the levelheaded Ann McDaniel, about all of this, neither she nor I were ever clear on how (or even whether) we were going to actually publish any of it. How would we ever prove that this affair actually happened? Or that the president had really told Lewinsky to lie? But the fact that Starr was on the case—that was unquestionably news. The story would turn Washington upside down—and, I immediately knew, would raise as many questions about prosecutorial overreach as it would about presidential recklessness and mendacity. And Newsweek was right in the middle of it. We alone knew what was going on.
What took place over the next few days—as I first recounted in a book some years ago—was a crazy journalistic dash that seems today like a blast from another very distant era. My job was to nail down Starr’s involvement, the underlying “crimes” he was investigating, and (there was no way to take this out of the equation) figure out exactly what we could say about the alleged sexual relationship at the center of it. Oh, and to get it all into publishable form in four days, Newsweek’s deadline for the next week’s issue.
My efforts led two days later to a tense confrontation with Starr’s deputies in a conference room in downtown Washington. “Let’s face it,” one of Starr’s lieutenants told me. “You’ve got us over the barrel.” If Newsweek went ahead with this story, or started making some calls to the White House for comment, we would tip off their targets and sabotage an ongoing law-enforcement operation. Could I be persuaded to hold off? I bargained. We could possibly hold off making phone calls for another day. (It was pretty much standard practice at Newsweek to hold off making phone calls to principals on major exclusives until late in the week anyway—to avoid tipping off the competition.) But I needed something in return: to know precisely what had led them to launch this probe in the first place. “Unless you show me what you’ve got and establish the predicate for this, you’re going to get roasted,” I told them. They squirmed and didn’t give me much of anything. But when I left, I knew we were absolutely on solid ground in preparing a story.
We knew that Tripp had been secretly taping Lewinsky for some time, even as she feigned sympathy for Monica’s “plight” (enmeshed in a love “affair” that had zero future, dragged into a lawsuit she wanted no part of). At one point, a few months earlier, Tripp and her “adviser” Lucianne Goldberg had even offered to play one of the tapes for me. Then, I had backed off, fearing I would get drawn into their plots. But now, Newsweek and I definitely wanted to hear those tapes: they were critical evidence in an ongoing criminal investigation targeting the president. After a barrage of backdoor negotiations over ground rules, the tapes arrived at Newsweek’s Washington bureau—delivered by Tripp’s lawyer—at 12:30 a.m. Saturday. The bureau’s team—me, Justice Department reporter Danny Klaidman, and senior editor Evan Thomas—all gathered in McDaniel’s office to listen as we parsed every word.
The conversation we heard that morning was for the most part as had been described. Tripp and Lewinsky talked about Clinton, calling him “the big creep.” They talked about his gifts to Monica—and how Paula Jones’s lawyers would never be able to “prove” anything. “Nobody saw him give me any of those things, and nobody saw anything happen between us,” Lewinsky could be heard saying. The affair with Clinton was inferred, but never explicitly stated. More problematic: she never actually stated that Clinton (or his emissary to her, Washington superlawyer Vernon Jordan) had told her to lie in her deposition in the Jones case—the alleged “obstruction of justice” that was the basis for Starr’s involvement. “He know’s you’re going to lie. You’ve told him, haven’t you?” Tripp goads her. “No,” Lewinsky replies. A moment later: “Well, does he think you’re going to tell the truth?” “No … oh, Jesus.”
A few hours later, we all reassembled—this time with the senior Newsweek editors on speakerphone in New York. What did we have? The bosses were clearly nervous. “Could we really accuse Jordan of suborning perjury without something harder?” asked Rick Smith, the magazine’s editor in chief. “Could we really accuse Clinton of an impeachable offense?” Klaidman and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes. “Impeachable?” I thought. What does this have to do with impeachment? It’s just one hell of a ­story—as much about Starr as it was about Clinton, we argued. A little later, Klaidman came back with fresh news. Starr had gone to the Justice Department, and Clinton’s attorney general, Janet Reno, had approved a formal expansion of his mandate to conduct the Monica probe. Now Thomas—who had been on the fence—came around. “If we were The Washington Post or The New York Times, we would print,” he said. But we were coming up against a hard deadline, and the brass wanted more work. The decision was final: Newsweek would hold the story.
It didn’t take long, of course, for it to explode. Early Sunday morning, Internet scribe Matt Drudge popped his screaming “World Exclusive”: “NEWSWEEK KILLS STORY ON WHITE HOUSE INTERN … SEX RELATIONSHIP WITH PRESIDENT.” Oddly, no mention of Starr at all. Three days later, The Washington Post had its own banner headline reporting the special prosecutor’s investigation. As the truth began to unfold, and Newsweek’s insider knowledge became clear, The New York Times asked if I was suicidal when the story was spiked. I don’t know about suicidal, I replied. “But I won’t deny certain homicidal tendencies.” Still, I had a job—and we had a magazine to put out. We published our first account on Newsweek’s website Tuesday night. And that weekend, Thomas masterfully weaved our reporting into a riveting cover story that laid out more details than anybody imagined about how the whole strange story had come about, who the characters were, and what was and wasn’t on the crucial tapes. It was the ultimate Washington “must read”—and Newsweek went on to win the National Magazine Award (and many other honors) for it. I would have preferred we had it first, of course. But we settled for having it better than anybody else.

Michael Isikoff reflects on Monica Lewinsky: Backstage at the Ultimate Washington Drama, Newsweek 2012

It isn’t often in this business that you’re sitting at your desk and you get a phone call from a source that causes you to nearly fall off your chair. But that’s exactly what happened in my office at Newsweek’s Washington bureau early on the afternoon of Jan. 13, 1998. “There’s a little event going on at the Ritz-­Carlton in Pentagon City right now you might want to know about,” my (very plugged-in) tipster told me. Linda Tripp was having lunch with her good friend Monica Lewinsky—and Ken Starr had the whole thing wired. Starr?! Yes, my source said: I know it sounds crazy, but Starr (the independent counsel appointed to look into Bill Clinton’s Whitewater business dealings) was now investigating the president’s relationship with Lewinsky. The lunch was a sting aimed at getting the then-23-year-old former White House intern to flip and cooperate.

I was dumbfounded. I had been talking to Tripp for months—ever since I tracked her down one day at her desk at the Pentagon the previous March. I had heard all about Monica Lewinsky and what she had been telling Tripp about her fling with the president: the late-night phone calls, the surreptitious visits to the Oval Office, the telltale evidence on the blue dress hanging in her closet. It was a surreal story that seemed improbable at first, but more and more credible (and newsworthy) as Tripp offered up more tantalizing details. Clinton was arranging to get Lewinsky a job. He had given her gifts. And, once she got subpoenaed in the Paula Jones lawsuit, he fully expected her to keep her mouth shut, according to Tripp.

But while I had briefed Newsweek’s Washington bureau chief, the levelheaded Ann McDaniel, about all of this, neither she nor I were ever clear on how (or even whether) we were going to actually publish any of it. How would we ever prove that this affair actually happened? Or that the president had really told Lewinsky to lie? But the fact that Starr was on the case—that was unquestionably news. The story would turn Washington upside down—and, I immediately knew, would raise as many questions about prosecutorial overreach as it would about presidential recklessness and mendacity. And Newsweek was right in the middle of it. We alone knew what was going on.

What took place over the next few days—as I first recounted in a book some years ago—was a crazy journalistic dash that seems today like a blast from another very distant era. My job was to nail down Starr’s involvement, the underlying “crimes” he was investigating, and (there was no way to take this out of the equation) figure out exactly what we could say about the alleged sexual relationship at the center of it. Oh, and to get it all into publishable form in four days, Newsweek’s deadline for the next week’s issue.

My efforts led two days later to a tense confrontation with Starr’s deputies in a conference room in downtown Washington. “Let’s face it,” one of Starr’s lieutenants told me. “You’ve got us over the barrel.” If Newsweek went ahead with this story, or started making some calls to the White House for comment, we would tip off their targets and sabotage an ongoing law-enforcement operation. Could I be persuaded to hold off? I bargained. We could possibly hold off making phone calls for another day. (It was pretty much standard practice at Newsweek to hold off making phone calls to principals on major exclusives until late in the week anyway—to avoid tipping off the competition.) But I needed something in return: to know precisely what had led them to launch this probe in the first place. “Unless you show me what you’ve got and establish the predicate for this, you’re going to get roasted,” I told them. They squirmed and didn’t give me much of anything. But when I left, I knew we were absolutely on solid ground in preparing a story.

We knew that Tripp had been secretly taping Lewinsky for some time, even as she feigned sympathy for Monica’s “plight” (enmeshed in a love “affair” that had zero future, dragged into a lawsuit she wanted no part of). At one point, a few months earlier, Tripp and her “adviser” Lucianne Goldberg had even offered to play one of the tapes for me. Then, I had backed off, fearing I would get drawn into their plots. But now, Newsweek and I definitely wanted to hear those tapes: they were critical evidence in an ongoing criminal investigation targeting the president. After a barrage of backdoor negotiations over ground rules, the tapes arrived at Newsweek’s Washington bureau—delivered by Tripp’s lawyer—at 12:30 a.m. Saturday. The bureau’s team—me, Justice Department reporter Danny Klaidman, and senior editor Evan Thomas—all gathered in McDaniel’s office to listen as we parsed every word.

The conversation we heard that morning was for the most part as had been described. Tripp and Lewinsky talked about Clinton, calling him “the big creep.” They talked about his gifts to Monica—and how Paula Jones’s lawyers would never be able to “prove” anything. “Nobody saw him give me any of those things, and nobody saw anything happen between us,” Lewinsky could be heard saying. The affair with Clinton was inferred, but never explicitly stated. More problematic: she never actually stated that Clinton (or his emissary to her, Washington superlawyer Vernon Jordan) had told her to lie in her deposition in the Jones case—the alleged “obstruction of justice” that was the basis for Starr’s involvement. “He know’s you’re going to lie. You’ve told him, haven’t you?” Tripp goads her. “No,” Lewinsky replies. A moment later: “Well, does he think you’re going to tell the truth?” “No … oh, Jesus.”

A few hours later, we all reassembled—this time with the senior Newsweek editors on speakerphone in New York. What did we have? The bosses were clearly nervous. “Could we really accuse Jordan of suborning perjury without something harder?” asked Rick Smith, the magazine’s editor in chief. “Could we really accuse Clinton of an impeachable offense?” Klaidman and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes. “Impeachable?” I thought. What does this have to do with impeachment? It’s just one hell of a ­story—as much about Starr as it was about Clinton, we argued. A little later, Klaidman came back with fresh news. Starr had gone to the Justice Department, and Clinton’s attorney general, Janet Reno, had approved a formal expansion of his mandate to conduct the Monica probe. Now Thomas—who had been on the fence—came around. “If we were The Washington Post or The New York Times, we would print,” he said. But we were coming up against a hard deadline, and the brass wanted more work. The decision was final: Newsweek would hold the story.

It didn’t take long, of course, for it to explode. Early Sunday morning, Internet scribe Matt Drudge popped his screaming “World Exclusive”: “NEWSWEEK KILLS STORY ON WHITE HOUSE INTERN … SEX RELATIONSHIP WITH PRESIDENT.” Oddly, no mention of Starr at all. Three days later, The Washington Post had its own banner headline reporting the special prosecutor’s investigation. As the truth began to unfold, and Newsweek’s insider knowledge became clear, The New York Times asked if I was suicidal when the story was spiked. I don’t know about suicidal, I replied. “But I won’t deny certain homicidal tendencies.” Still, I had a job—and we had a magazine to put out. We published our first account on Newsweek’s website Tuesday night. And that weekend, Thomas masterfully weaved our reporting into a riveting cover story that laid out more details than anybody imagined about how the whole strange story had come about, who the characters were, and what was and wasn’t on the crucial tapes. It was the ultimate Washington “must read”—and Newsweek went on to win the National Magazine Award (and many other honors) for it. I would have preferred we had it first, of course. But we settled for having it better than anybody else.

A new, fast-acting antidepressant that works like the infamous club drug ketamine could elevate mood in just 24 hours, researchers say.
Though the drug is still in the early stages of development (to this point it has only been tested on animals), it shows promise for the treatment of a mental health disorder experienced by least 10 percent of American adults. It also solves a significant problem with antidepressants currently on the market: all approved depression drugs can take up to a month to work, meaning patients must wait before feeling any significant relief. In addition, there is no one-size-fits all antidepressant; finding the right drug for the right patient can sometimes be an issue of trial and error, and this weeks-long lag time for pharmaceutical benefit further prolongs this process. So an antidepressant that does not take so long to work could help people more quickly and streamline drug selection.
While depression is often a long-term illness, there are also shorter-term cases for which a month-long wait just doesn’t make sense. Sometimes doctors prescribe these patients a medication from a class of anti-anxiety drugs called benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, but this is far from ideal as they only treat some symptoms—such as constant worrying—and are highly addictive.
Also, there hasn’t been a “fundamentally different antidepressant medication for decades, perhaps even 30 years,” Jefferey Talbot, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Roseman University of Health Sciences who is researching this new drug, tells Newsweek.  “They’re good drugs and they’re relatively safe and well tolerated, but they’re surprisingly ineffective in a large number of patients.”
A new medication, Talbot explains, might be able to help those resistant to current therapies.
Talbot, who is collaborating with researchers at Duquesne University and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, says scientists worldwide have become increasingly interested in the idea of a fast-acting antidepressant. Some teams even tried treating some depression patients with ketamine—a veterinary anesthetic that became a prominent recreational drug during the 1990s rave scene (street name: “Special K”) because of its hallucinogenic properties.
“[Ketamine] provides anti-depressant relief in about 24 hours,” Talbot says, but “it has abuse potential and from a therapeutic standpoint, it doesn’t work well orally.” Talbot says this ketamine research ultimately tipped off researchers to the idea that drugs “that act like it from a mechanistic standpoint” could have a similar therapeutic effect.
MORE

A new, fast-acting antidepressant that works like the infamous club drug ketamine could elevate mood in just 24 hours, researchers say.

Though the drug is still in the early stages of development (to this point it has only been tested on animals), it shows promise for the treatment of a mental health disorder experienced by least 10 percent of American adults. It also solves a significant problem with antidepressants currently on the market: all approved depression drugs can take up to a month to work, meaning patients must wait before feeling any significant relief. In addition, there is no one-size-fits all antidepressant; finding the right drug for the right patient can sometimes be an issue of trial and error, and this weeks-long lag time for pharmaceutical benefit further prolongs this process. So an antidepressant that does not take so long to work could help people more quickly and streamline drug selection.

While depression is often a long-term illness, there are also shorter-term cases for which a month-long wait just doesn’t make sense. Sometimes doctors prescribe these patients a medication from a class of anti-anxiety drugs called benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, but this is far from ideal as they only treat some symptoms—such as constant worrying—and are highly addictive.

Also, there hasn’t been a “fundamentally different antidepressant medication for decades, perhaps even 30 years,” Jefferey Talbot, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Roseman University of Health Sciences who is researching this new drug, tells Newsweek.  “They’re good drugs and they’re relatively safe and well tolerated, but they’re surprisingly ineffective in a large number of patients.”

A new medication, Talbot explains, might be able to help those resistant to current therapies.

Talbot, who is collaborating with researchers at Duquesne University and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, says scientists worldwide have become increasingly interested in the idea of a fast-acting antidepressant. Some teams even tried treating some depression patients with ketamine—a veterinary anesthetic that became a prominent recreational drug during the 1990s rave scene (street name: “Special K”) because of its hallucinogenic properties.

“[Ketamine] provides anti-depressant relief in about 24 hours,” Talbot says, but “it has abuse potential and from a therapeutic standpoint, it doesn’t work well orally.” Talbot says this ketamine research ultimately tipped off researchers to the idea that drugs “that act like it from a mechanistic standpoint” could have a similar therapeutic effect.

MORE

A pro-Russian armed man lends his weapon to a boy posing for a picture for his father in front of the seized town administration building in Kostyantynivka, April 28, 2014. http://bit.ly/1kdBSST
Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters

A pro-Russian armed man lends his weapon to a boy posing for a picture for his father in front of the seized town administration building in Kostyantynivka, April 28, 2014. http://bit.ly/1kdBSST

Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters

This is what it’s like to get kidnapped in Ukraine
I make my way to the central Sloviansk barricade area, start filming and almost immediately heavily armed men are running toward me. I’m shoved, my camera and phone are removed, and before I know quite what’s happening, I’m being marched at gunpoint into a nearby car. My captors shout, “He’s a spy,” to concerned passersby, who then nod and look away.
In the car, the older of my two captors, wearing a full-face balaclava but clearly a thick set man perhaps in his late 30s, points a Kalashnikov at me. It soon becomes clear that being a spy is only part of my problem. He yells at me several times that I’m a “narcoman” (drug addict). We arrive at a local hospital, where my captor declares he has “captured a spy and drug addict.” I try to insist that I’m an English journalist, but he barks me down with, in Russian, “Those who want to live keep quiet.”
Entering the hospital, any hope I might have of arriving in a safe place is shattered as the doctors and nurses immediately defer to my captors and will not meet my gaze. I’m sat down, and it becomes clear that I am about to be given a drug test.
I’ve no idea why my captors think I’m an addict, my sum experience of drugs—apart from a university dabble—being a few joints in Amsterdam many years ago. The older captor tells me that if I fail the drug test, “You will be shot.” The younger captor is playing the good cop, but even he informs me that “in the Donetsk Republic, drug addicts are shot.”
So I give a urine sample and put my life in the hands of a Ukrainian drug test. MORE

This is what it’s like to get kidnapped in Ukraine

I make my way to the central Sloviansk barricade area, start filming and almost immediately heavily armed men are running toward me. I’m shoved, my camera and phone are removed, and before I know quite what’s happening, I’m being marched at gunpoint into a nearby car. My captors shout, “He’s a spy,” to concerned passersby, who then nod and look away.

In the car, the older of my two captors, wearing a full-face balaclava but clearly a thick set man perhaps in his late 30s, points a Kalashnikov at me. It soon becomes clear that being a spy is only part of my problem. He yells at me several times that I’m a “narcoman” (drug addict). We arrive at a local hospital, where my captor declares he has “captured a spy and drug addict.” I try to insist that I’m an English journalist, but he barks me down with, in Russian, “Those who want to live keep quiet.”

Entering the hospital, any hope I might have of arriving in a safe place is shattered as the doctors and nurses immediately defer to my captors and will not meet my gaze. I’m sat down, and it becomes clear that I am about to be given a drug test.

I’ve no idea why my captors think I’m an addict, my sum experience of drugs—apart from a university dabble—being a few joints in Amsterdam many years ago. The older captor tells me that if I fail the drug test, “You will be shot.” The younger captor is playing the good cop, but even he informs me that “in the Donetsk Republic, drug addicts are shot.”

So I give a urine sample and put my life in the hands of a Ukrainian drug test. MORE

Koch Brothers Money Hasn’t Bought as Much as You Think

Democrats have made denouncing the Koch brothers and their money a fetish. Back in 2010, for instance, Barack Obama called them out by name when he chided campaign finance laws: “They don’t have to say who, exactly, Americans for Prosperity are.” It’s true that entities started and mostly funded by the Koch brothers are using just a small part of the pair’s astounding $80 billion fortune to finance a fusillade of TV and Internet ads aimed at “big government.” 

Their network of think tanks, foundations and the like is all the more formidable since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision allowing more money into elections. (Is it a shock that the eponymous conservative group, Citizens United, co-hosted New Hampshire’s Freedom Summit?)

But in recent weeks, with the midterm elections little more than six months away, Democrats have gone from grumbling about the Kochs to gunning for them. Their worry is that Koch-funded entities, like the AFP, have begun to spend eye-popping sums. In North Carolina, for instance, where freshman senator Kay Hagan is fighting to retain her seat, the AFP has already spent over $6 million in ads against her.

With the Democrats possibly losing control of the Senate, Harry Reid, their leader in that chamber, has gone after the Kochs with what seems like unprecedented language against private citizens. The Nevadan has called the Kochs “un-American” for “trying to buy America” and mentioned them over 100 times on the Senate floor. 

Reid has said that his wife came up with a tagline: that the Senate Republicans are “addicted to Koch.” (That’s some pillow talk.) Using the Senate floor to denounce the Kochs “is a desperation move of somebody who’s about to potentially lose their job,” says Steve Lombardo, the new chief communications and marketing officer at Koch Industries, recently recruited from PR giant Burson-Marsteller.

Koch Brothers Money Hasn’t Bought as Much as You Think

Democrats have made denouncing the Koch brothers and their money a fetish. Back in 2010, for instance, Barack Obama called them out by name when he chided campaign finance laws: “They don’t have to say who, exactly, Americans for Prosperity are.” It’s true that entities started and mostly funded by the Koch brothers are using just a small part of the pair’s astounding $80 billion fortune to finance a fusillade of TV and Internet ads aimed at “big government.”

Their network of think tanks, foundations and the like is all the more formidable since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision allowing more money into elections. (Is it a shock that the eponymous conservative group, Citizens United, co-hosted New Hampshire’s Freedom Summit?)

But in recent weeks, with the midterm elections little more than six months away, Democrats have gone from grumbling about the Kochs to gunning for them. Their worry is that Koch-funded entities, like the AFP, have begun to spend eye-popping sums. In North Carolina, for instance, where freshman senator Kay Hagan is fighting to retain her seat, the AFP has already spent over $6 million in ads against her.

With the Democrats possibly losing control of the Senate, Harry Reid, their leader in that chamber, has gone after the Kochs with what seems like unprecedented language against private citizens. The Nevadan has called the Kochs “un-American” for “trying to buy America” and mentioned them over 100 times on the Senate floor.

Reid has said that his wife came up with a tagline: that the Senate Republicans are “addicted to Koch.” (That’s some pillow talk.) Using the Senate floor to denounce the Kochs “is a desperation move of somebody who’s about to potentially lose their job,” says Steve Lombardo, the new chief communications and marketing officer at Koch Industries, recently recruited from PR giant Burson-Marsteller.