Maryland Lawmakers Vote To Allow Beekeepers To Shoot Black Bears That Threaten Hives

Honeybees are seen inside a colony at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., in 2007. Maryland lawmakers approved a bill this week permitting beekeepers to shoot black bears that threaten their hives.

Haraz N. Ghanbari/ASSOCIATED PRESS

hide caption

toggle caption

Haraz N. Ghanbari/ASSOCIATED PRESS

It’s a cliché that happens to be true: Bears love honey. And in Maryland, lawmakers have passed a bill making it legal to shoot a black bear if it threatens a beekeeper’s hive.

In February, state Del. Mike McKay testified before the Environment and Transportation Committee on behalf of the bill. He wore a vest festooned with the image of Winnie the Pooh.

Del. Herb McMillan noted McKay’s attire didn’t seem to square with his arguments. “I know you came in here talking about Winnie the Pooh, but the gist of the bill is that you can shoot him,” McMillan said, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Existing Maryland law requires a person to have a hunting license and a black bear hunting permit in order to hunt black bears in the state. Exempted is “a person who kills or wounds a black bear in defense of his/her own life, the lives of other individuals, or the lives of animals on the individual’s property.”

This week, Maryland’s General Assembly passed McKay’s bill. So, if the measure is signed by the governor, as of June, the exemption on hunting bears will extend to the owners of honeybee colonies, if the owner has contacted the state’s Department of Natural Resources and installed an electric fence to protect the hive. The measure also provides funds to provide electric fences to beekeepers.

The DNR says it receives about six reports of damage to bee colonies annually, although could be things other than bears. The state has a Black Bear Damage Reimbursement Fund, and it says it gets approximately two claim requests per year.

“We’re concerned about the beekeepers who raise bees for honey and other agricultural uses,” Del. McKay explained in a video interview with the Sun in February. “We know that black bears do attack them, and we just need to figure out a way we can protect the investment, because it is livestock. If a black bear is hurting a lamb or a calf, you have the right to shoot that because it is your investment and your livestock. We just want to extend the same to those who are in the beekeeping industry.”

Four counties in western Maryland have breeding populations of black bears; the state estimates its population of black bears to be more than 1,000. One thousand bears lusting for honey.

“The proverbial bull in the china shop is no comparison to a bear in the beeyard when it comes to damage and destruction,” warns the state’s Department of Natural Resources.

If you’ve got a bear in your beeyard, the Maryland DNR recommends a four-strand electrical fence, with a small piece of bacon coated with honey or molasses affixed to it.

But Allen Hayes, president of the Maryland State Beekeepers Association, says that electric fences aren’t always effective in deterring bears, especially if the ground is very dry. His organization backed McKay’s bill.

If bears really want the hive, says Hayes, “they have been known to take the shock to the get the reward on the other side.”

Eric Mussen is Emeritus Extension Apiculturist at the University of California, Davis. He says that bears have a pretty good sense of smell, and they can catch the scent of a beehive if they get downwind of a nearby colony. “If the colony is living in a tree, often the bear literally tears the tree apart to get to the bees,” he writes in an email to NPR.

Once a bear gets into a colony, Mussen says, it will eat a little honey, but it will devour the bee “brood”: bee eggs, larvae, and pupae — a source of protein and fat.

Bears bring that same appetite — for brood and destruction — to man-made beehives.

“They leave the covers scattered all over; the hive boxes scattered and often broken; the combs pulled out, broken, and strewn about in the apiary; and the combs that had brood in them will have the comb eaten out,” writes Mussen. “The colony will not survive and there may be very little undamaged equipment to salvage.”

“To a small-scale beekeeper, the financial loss is not too severe,” Mussen adds. “However, losing the colony, that requires so much effort to keep healthy these days, is quite a blow. For commercial operators, who may not revisit the apiary for a couple weeks, it can mean very substantial economic loss.”

The Maryland legislature has been squarely in the bee camp lately. Last year lawmakers passed the Pollinator Protection Act, which bans consumers from buying pesticides that contain neonicotinoids, which are believed to harm bees. The Associated Press reports that Maryland beekeepers lost nearly 61 percent of their hives in 2015, about twice the national average.

“A beekeeper has the right to protect his or her property in an extreme situation,” Hayes said. “The state legislature obviously agrees with us.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

After Unsatisfying Answers, United Offers 'Deepest Apology' For Violent Video

A United Airlines Boeing 737 is parked outside the Boeing 737 Delivery Center in Seattle in 2015. A passenger was forcibly removed from a flight from Chicago to Louisville, Ky., on Sunday.

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

The reaction from the public started with gasps of horror and built to cries for a boycott.

Now, a day and a half later, United Airlines is admitting it did something wrong.

On Sunday night, a passenger on a United Express flight from Chicago to Louisville, Ky., was told he had to give up his ticket so a United crew member could take his seat. The man refused: he’s a doctor, and said he had patients he had to see.

United called security officers, who violently wrenched the man from his seat,bloodying his face, and dragged his limp body down the aisle. The passenger, David Dao, is at a hospital in Chicago recovering from his injuries, member station WFPL reports.

The scene was recorded by other passengers and posted online. You can hear witnesses shouting at the security officers, saying what they were doing was wrong.

The outcry online was instantaneous, too, with prompt calls for a boycott.

United’s first response was to defend its employees’ actions. A representative on Twitter said Sunday night that the flight was overbooked, no one had volunteered to leave, and the customer in question “refused to leave his seat” when instructed.

CEO Oscar Munoz issued a statement midday Monday that included an apology — kind of.

“This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United,” he said. “I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers.”

The idea that the scene was upsetting to United — with no mention of the trauma for Dao or witnesses — raised eyebrows. And the euphemistic phrase “re-accommodate” inspired a fresh round of outrage and no small amount of mockery.

@United overbook #flight3411 and decided to force random passengers off the plane. Here’s how they did it: pic.twitter.com/QfefM8X2cW

— Jayse D. Anspach (@JayseDavid) April 10, 2017

From there, incredibly enough, it went even further downhill.

On Monday night Munoz sent an email to United Airlines staff that was obtained by the media, including The Associated Press.

In the email, Munoz confirmed that the man had not posed a problem until he was asked to leave the plane to make room for crew. After the man refused, Munoz said it was “necessary” for crew to contact security, and it was unclear “why this customer defied Chicago Aviation Security Officers the way he did.”

Security officers “were unable to gain his cooperation and physically removed him from the flight as he continued to resist,” Munoz wrote — a bloodless description of the bloody encounter.

Munoz said the passenger was “disruptive and belligerent” and employees “followed established procedures.”

(The Chicago Aviation Department, we should note, said that its employees did not follow standard procedure, and that one security officer is on leave while the department looks into what happened.)

The United CEO told employees he “emphatically” stood behind them.

His emphasis on the doctor’s “defiance,” and lack of acknowledgement of the violence shown on the video, dug a deeper hole for United Airlines.

As the hours passed, the online fury showed no sign of quelling. The story went viral in China — the doctor is Asian, and observers questioned whether a white passenger would have been treated so roughly. United stock shares fell dramatically.

Now United is giving it another shot — with an apologetic statement that says, rather hopefully, “it’s never too late to do the right thing.”

Here’s more from Munoz’s Tuesday message to United employees:

“The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.

“I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.

“It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again.”

Munoz promises a “thorough review” of United policies. Axios has more detail on a few of those policies — including the fact that the flight wasn’t originally overbooked, but became “oversold” as soon as United discovered it had crew to transport.

The incident hasn’t just inspired shock and horror over the violence depicted. It’s also brought attention to the limited rights of passengers on flights.

Airlines have broad discretion to eject people from flights for nearly any reason, a consumer advocate tells NPR. And it’s perfectly legal for an airline to sell more tickets than seats and then block ticket holders from traveling. Many people give up their seat willingly in exchange for money, but last year some 40,000 people were bumped involuntarily.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched an investigation into whether United followed regulations in this incident.

The debacle has also sparked a controversy in Kentucky, where a local newspaper reported on Dao’s past, leading to accusations of victim-blaming. You can read more about that story at member station WFPL.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Flo Morrissey And Matthew E. White On World Cafe

Matthew E. White (left) and Flo Morrissey (right) perform at WXPN’s Free At Noon concert.

Tiana Timmerberg/WXPN

hide caption

toggle caption

Tiana Timmerberg/WXPN

  • “Look At What the Light Did Now”
  • “Grease”
  • “Suzanne”
  • “Sunday Morning”

American singer-songwriter and producer Matthew E. White and folky English artist Flo Morrissey teamed up for an album of covers called Gentlewoman, Ruby Man. It’s full of surprising takes on songs you might know — like the theme song to the 1978 movie version of Grease and Leonard Cohen‘s “Suzanne” — plus beautiful treatments of songs you may never have heard, like “Look At What The Light Did Now” by Kyle Field of Little Wings. White explains why he and Morrissey wanted to cover that particular song:

That’s always a song that I’ve always thought “man, this is as good a song as any other song that’s out there that is really well known.” And if felt good to kind of be able to get that out there a little bit and have people check out Kyle’s work, Little Wings’ work a bit, ’cause it’s really good. He’s an excellent songwriter.

In this session you’ll hear Morrissey and White’s “Look At What The Light Did Now” cover and a few others, plus their interview with me, David Dye. (Yep, I’m back as a contributing host for this session.) Listen in the player above.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Trump Organization Says It's Closing Its Modeling Agency

The Trump Organization is shutting down its New York-based modeling agency.

A statement released by the company said it was “choosing to exit the modeling industry.”

“While we enjoyed many years of success, we are focussed on our core business in the real estate and golf industries and the rapid expansion of our hospitality division,” the statement said.

Started in 1999, Trump Model Management was part of Trump’s eclectic array of businesses, though it was never as visible as some of the others and didn’t play a major role in the fashion business.

But like other Trump businesses, it has found itself under special scrutiny as a result of Trump’s decision to run for president.

Despite Trump’s ongoing focus on illegal immigration, several of the foreign-born models hired by the agency told reporters they had been hired despite having no work visas.

“There was about six, seven or eight of us, at least in this models’ apartment. There might have been about three Americans, but the rest of us had no visa,”
Canadian-born Rachel Blais told PRI’s The World.

An article in Mother Jones quoted two other former models as saying the Trump agency “never obtained work visas on their behalf, even as they performed modeling assignments in the United States.”

Trump Model Management denied using illegal labor practices.

The agency also became the target of a boycott by some fashion-industry directors, make-up artists and stylists, the website Refinery29 reported in February.

One of the agency’s models, Maggie Rizer, said in an Instagram post the day after the election that she could no longer be associated with the Trump brand.

“I owe it to myself and to my children to proudly stand up for what I believe in and that is a world where Donald Trump has no voice for the future of our country,” she said.

Last week, The Washington Post reported that one of the agency’s managers, Gabriel Ruas Santos-Rocha, had left to start his own firm called Anti Management, taking some of the models with him.

He said the new agency’s title was not an allusion to Trump, telling the Post, “I did not start an agency with the intent of taking someone out of business. Outside of that I have no comments.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Prosecutor Sues Florida Governor For Pulling Her From 23 Murder Cases

Aramis Ayala, state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties, is suing Florida Gov. Rick Scott for removing her from 23 pending homicide cases. She alleges this move is unconstitutional, having “deprived voters in the Ninth Judicial Circuit of their chosen State Attorney.”

Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images

The state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties has sued Gov. Rick Scott, alleging that he acted unconstitutionally when he removed her from 23 homicide cases. Scott had reassigned Aramis Ayala’s cases to another state attorney by executive order because Ayala had declared her refusal to pursue the death penalty.

“The Governor did not take this drastic step because of any misconduct on Ayala’s part, but simply because he disagreed with her reasoned prosecutorial determination not to seek the death penalty under current circumstances,” Ayala’s attorney, Roy Austin, writes in her filing.

The complaint also lists the prosecutor chosen to replace her, State Attorney Brad King, as a defendant.

“The people of Orange and Osceola Counties overwhelmingly elected State Attorney Aramis Ayala to serve as their prosecutor — not Governor Scott or State Attorney King,” Austin explained in a statement.

The Republican Scott, for his part, has said he went around Ayala, a Democrat, in the “interest of justice.”

“State Attorney Ayala’s complete refusal to consider capital punishment for the entirety of her term sends an unacceptable message that she is not interested in considering every available option in the fight for justice,” he said in a statement earlier this month, as NPR’s Debbie Elliott has reported.

The simmering disagreement between Ayala and Scott was brought to a boil in March, when the Legislature passed — and Scott signed — a bill that amended the state’s procedures in determining the death penalty.

Brendan Byrne of member station WMFE explains what changed:

“For much of last year, executions in Florida were on hold. That’s because Florida’s Supreme Court said the way judges and juries decided on the death penalty was unconstitutional. At the time, the law said only seven of 12 jurors needed to recommend a death sentence.

“The legislature passed a law to change that, requiring a unanimous jury decision for death.”

Ayala, whose jurisdiction includes Orlando, confronted this newly restored death penalty by refusing to pursue it, citing what she saw as a lack of compelling evidence for its effectiveness — and beginning her pushback with the case of Markeith Loyd, who is accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend and a police officer.

“If there was any a case for the death penalty, this is the case,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said in March, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “I’ve seen the video, so I know the state attorney has seen the video of [Loyd] standing over defenseless and helpless Lt. Debra Clayton and executing her.”

But Ayala’s complaint argues that by removing her from that case and nearly two dozen others, Scott and King “deprived the voters of Ayala’s jurisdiction of the benefit of their votes — and violated Ayala’s constitutional rights — when they assumed the authority to veto the prosecutorial discretion of an independent elected official.”

The Orlando paper notes a recent poll that shows 62 percent of Ayala’s constituents, who voted her into office over a Democratic rival in January, “would prefer it if people convicted of first-degree murder were sentenced to life in prison,” outpacing the 31 percent who would prefer the death penalty.

Ayala says she called Scott before announcing her lawsuit, according to WMFE, “he ended the call in less than 30 seconds, before she could explain her position.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Political Bias Complaints Dominate Ombudsman Inbox

President Donald Trump speaks during a bill signing ceremony at the White House in March, surrounded by supporters, including Republican lawmakers.

Andrew Harrer/Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Andrew Harrer/Getty Images

“Bias” was the label most applied to emails that came in to the Ombudsman Office in March (we try to label the vast majority of emails by concern).

Complaints about what listeners hear as bias are as old as NPR, of course, and the history could occupy several columns. All of my predecessors have addressed the topic (see here, and here and here, for just some examples). The complaints tend to repeat: My office heard via Twitter last week about the “only” in this headline: “Only 98,000 New Jobs Were Created In March, Labor Department Says”; I’d note that the same complaint arrived in 2012 about the Obama-era headline “Just 96,000 Jobs Added To Payrolls.”

Still, it’s no surprise that the number of emails about the topic have soared in recent months, along with the increased political polarization of the country.

I wrote about this issue in February, as well, and it remains true that when we ask listeners to cite specific pieces that they feel are biased, it most often comes down to them hearing just one interview (with a Democrat or a Republican) and having missed the counter-balancing viewpoint elsewhere in the show or on a different day.

“Confirmation bias” remains an issue, as well; as numerous social scientists have documented, humans are hard-wired to seek out or selectively hear information that conforms to their worldview. One aspect of this is the tendency to believe that viewpoints we don’t share somehow receive too much attention in the news media.

We don’t track the “bias” emails by political persuasion, but they are roughly balanced between those who feel NPR favors liberals and those who say NPR is biased toward conservatives (with slightly more complaints about liberal bias).

Here are just a few representative emails:

From a listener in Olympia, Wash.:

“It is clear that NPR’s nationally syndicated shows, and in particular, Morning Edition, continue to push a conservative viewpoint and no longer provide any counter-balance of progressive views. The deck is stacked with conservative voices which remain unchallenged by your ‘reporters’. What happened to NPR??????”

From a listener in Royalston, Mass.:

“My wife and I have been listening to the news on NPR religiously for over three decades. We travel a lot and try our best not to miss our morning and evening news ritual. But lately we have been turning it off and picking up our cell phones to get the news. We have seen a real shift to covering and giving the Republicans lots of air time. It is very hard to listen to them. We feel there has been a real shift in your political coverage to the right. We suppose that you are afraid of losing your government funding. We have depended upon NPR to provide us with unbiased and thorough [news] coverage, and expect that you will return to that.”

From a listener in Lynnfield, Mass.:

“I am writing to see why, objectively, there is a clear anti-Trump, liberal-oriented bias against President Trump? I thought that NPR is a public-based radio organization that is supposed to present itself as objective given its public entity? Also, your radio programming within NPR News … constantly frames their segments and stories in negative tone regarding President Trump and I would like to know why? I do not recall such negativity from NPR or WBUR [in Boston] during President Obama’s tenure…”

From a listener in Miami, Fla.: “I am in disbelief at the unfair, biased coverage against this President. Every single piece I hear across the board in all NPR programs is negative and very hateful. It is so obvious. Shame on NPR.”

From a listener in Lebanon, Ohio:

“I am concerned that with the election of our new president, NPR has lost its objectivity and balance in reporting. Almost all shows are chosen and produced to frame a picture against the current administration and its policies. I am an independent voter and have to relied on NPR and PBS for hearing both sides of issues for decades. I can no longer listen to NPR because of its now blatant bias.”

The old answer that journalists often give to such concerns — that we get equal numbers of complaints from both sides so we must be doing something right — no longer seems quite adequate because political polarization is so acute. But neither do I see a systematic bias of the kind many listeners, on both sides, say they hear.

Instead, I’d argue that a few other factors are at play.

The Party In Power Is Divided

Perhaps most important is simply the breadth of Republican perspectives today. There are those who support the president, of course, and NPR has heard from them. But other conservatives today are opposed to some of President Trump’s policies. NPR has talked to them, too (see examples here, here and here), as it rightly should.

Combined with Democratic critics, listeners may hear interviews with the latter as anti-Trump bias. Collectively, at times it has added up to more Republican voices on the air than Democrats. But NPR’s journalists need to follow the story; one lesson NPR’s newsroom took away from the 2016 campaign coverage is that it needed to pay more attention to the multiplicity of viewpoints, instead of seeing the divide as simply Democrat and Republican.

Clumsy Headlines

Another factor is simple inattention to detail. A reader complained about the website headline “Beyond The Mike Pence Misogyny Debate, The 3 ‘Billy Graham Rules’ You Haven’t Read,” writing that Pence “doesn’t dine with women where alcohol is served unless his wife is present, and the headline writer calls that a ‘misogyny debate?'”

I’d agree with the reader; the word is misused here, but I don’t agree with his further conclusion that this is evidence of systematic bias.

Likewise, my office received a handful of emails from listeners and readers who complained about the parroting of Republican talking points last week when the word “force” was used in reference to the Democrats’ actions surrounding the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, as in this headline: “Democrats Have The Votes To Filibuster Gorsuch And Force ‘Nuclear’ Senate Showdown.”

Wrote one listener:

“On what basis does NPR assert that a Democratic filibuster ‘forces’ Republicans to change Senate rules? They have any number of other options, including the option of just leaving a seat unoccupied, which they invented last year. Please leave language like this out of your political coverage, or else clearly label it as op-ed content.”

“Trigger,” or something similar, would have been a better choice of word. But “op-ed content?” I don’t see it — in all the stories on the topic I can only find that word used in that headline and once by a host during an interview. The newsroom leaders with whom I discussed it don’t see it, either.

I’ve already argued that NPR needs to beef up its copy editing staff. I renew the plea that more attention be paid to details that will be seen by some as bias.

Imbalance in Commentary

Finally, several listeners have picked up on a change at Morning Edition in recent months, where the regular Monday morning commentary has been eliminated. Cokie Roberts, who had, in my opinion, been improperly paired with a conservative commentator, is now heard Wednesdays in what has become a popular feature, “Ask Cokie.”

Sarah Gilbert, the show’s executive producer, told me by email that instead of a regular commentary on a fixed day, “we book commentators, journalists, activists, politicians etc. on merit, because they have an interesting take or insight on a story of the day.”

I applaud that approach to mix things up. That said, as some unhappy listeners have pointed out, one journalist, Jonah Goldberg, of the conservative National Review, has popped up as a commentator more frequently than most (he has been on five times since Feb. 3). No liberal commentator has had such a recurring platform, and Goldberg is not always identified by his political views, leaving listeners to guess.

Gilbert said the show is “careful to make sure we have a varied mix of perspectives on our air, of course,” and that it will include a more complete identification of Goldberg’s views in the future.

Booking commentators is not an exact science; producers must find guests who are articulate, up on the issues and, importantly, available to do an interview, sometimes at a moment’s notice — and often at an extremely inconvenient hour, for example 6 a.m. I appreciate Goldberg’s commentary and rarely find it following predictable talking points. Still, I would hope that as Morning Edition breaks out of its past format it would add more voices from across the political spectrum.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Top Scientists Revamp Standards To Foster Integrity In Research

The new report from leading U.S. scientists shines a spotlight on how the research enterprise as a whole creates incentives that can be detrimental to good research.

Robert Essel NYC/Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Robert Essel NYC/Getty Images

It’s been 25 years since the National Academy of Sciences set its standards for appropriate scientific conduct, and the world of science has changed dramatically in that time. So now the academies of science, engineering and medicine have updated their standards.

The report published Tuesday, “Fostering Integrity in Research,” shines a spotlight on how the research enterprise as a whole creates incentives that can be detrimental to good research.

Robert Nerem, a professor emeritus of bioengineering at Georgia Tech, was not expecting that outcome when he agreed to chair the academy committee five years ago. He thought the committee would simply be updating the 1992 standards.

“We hadn’t had more than a couple of meetings when we realized this wasn’t a question of updating, this was a question of taking a brand new look and a very different look,” Nerem told Shots.

Science had changed. It was global and interconnected. Questions about the reproducibility of results had bubbled up. And it was increasingly clear that issues about proper conduct of research weren’t isolated to individual labs, but influenced by a continuously evolving academic, publishing and funding environment.

“This should not be something that gets looked at every 10 to 20 years, but is an ongoing discussion,” Nerem said. “And somebody needs to lead that ongoing discussion.”

That observation ultimately prompted the committee to recommend the creation of a Research Integrity Advisory Board. This nongovernmental board wouldn’t punish bad actors, but it would help foster good research and help institutions respond better to issues as they arise.

The focus of the 2017 report also shifts dramatically from the 1992 report, which emphasized individual cases of misconduct and questionable behavior, as opposed to the research enterprise as a whole.

“We’ve been fond of the ‘bad apple’ narrative, and we’re talking about switching to the barrels and the barrel makers,” said committee member C.K. Gunsalus, who heads the National Center for Professional and Research Ethics at the University of Illinois.

“We’re not just talking about misconduct here, which is formally defined in the U.S. as fabrication of data, falsification or plagiarism,” said committee member

Brian Martinson, from the HealthPartners Institute in Minneapolis. “We recognize there’s a fuller range of behavior that we refer to as detrimental research practices.”

These can include cutting corners, using dubious statistics, or not fully sharing what you’ve done so other scientists can reproduce your results. The previous report called some of these “questionable” practices, but the new committee decided that word was inadequate.

“Sometimes these detrimental research practices can be as damaging as actual misconduct,” Nerem said. They can undercut the validity of findings and make them not reproducible in other labs. Other scientists can spend a long time chasing dead ends.

“You’ve wasted the time of a lot of people, and time is an irreplaceable resource,” Gunsalus said. “And it’s valuable and you use highly trained people with expensive educations using expensive equipment in labs. When you waste the time you’ve done something really damaging.”

These practices are far more common than outright fraud, and that adds up. How big a problem is this? That’s hard to say, Nerem told Shots. That’s why the report calls for more effort to study these issues.

“It’s interesting since we’re talking about research in science and engineering, which are fields that are data driven, that we have no data on this particular issue,” Nerem said. “I don’t think this is prevalent, but I think research misconduct and what we call in the report ‘detrimental research practices’ occur more often than any of us would like, and the research community has to step up to the plate to address this.”

The report sets out a series of recommendations designed to improve the integrity of science, including steps that universities can take to improve their standards and protect whistle-blowers.

Scientists are called upon to share their data and methods as rapidly as possible. And funders should make sure data and computer code are archived, Nerem’s committee said, to make it easier for findings to be reproduced by independent scientists.

The report arrives at a time when many scientists feel that their enterprise is under siege in Washington, with threats of massive budget cuts and diminished interest in science-based facts. Still, the scientists behind this report remain committed to improving an enterprise that already provides a great deal of value to society.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Three Blasts Go Off Near German Soccer Team Bus, Injuring Player

The Borussia Dortmund soccer team bus was damaged by explosion a few miles from the stadium prior to the UEFA Champions League quarter-final football match against Monaco in Dortmund, Germany, on Tuesday.

Sascha Schuermann/AFP/Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Sascha Schuermann/AFP/Getty Images

Three explosions went off near the bus of Germany’s Borussia Dortmund soccer team on Tuesday evening in the city of Dortmund, local police say.

The team said on Twitter that one of its players, defender Marc Bartra, sustained injuries and is currently in the hospital. The type of injuries wasn’t immediately clear.

Initial reports suggest that the blasts were caused by “serious explosives,” potentially hidden in a bush near a parking lot, Dortmund police said in a statement.

The team’s “Champions League quarterfinal first leg game against Monaco was called off because of the explosions as the players were leaving their hotel for the match at 7 p.m. local time,” according to The Associated Press.

Police said in a statement that the bus’s windows were damaged.

“The match has been postponed until Wednesday,” NPR’s Lucian Kim reports from Berlin.

The Dortmund police added there is no indication the people in the stadium were in danger. They later praised fans for their orderly departure from the stadium after the match was cancelled.

Police also launched a drone to gather evidence, Lucian adds.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Condom-clogged pipe provides police clue in cracking Texas brothel

By Jon Herskovitz| AUSTIN, Texas

Hundreds of condoms that clogged a city sewer pipe led police to raid a massage parlor in Texas and arrest two people for prostitution and other crimes, police documents released on Tuesday showed.

A real estate agent who had just taken over the property notified police of the problem at Jade Massage Therapy in the Texas capital of Austin and told them that other tenants believed the business was a front for prostitution, a police arrest affidavit said.

Austin police then launched their probe that culminated in a raid about six weeks later where a woman who co-managed the business “was found in a massage room with a completely nude and uncovered male,” the document said.

Juan Wang and her husband Joseph Emery were arrested on suspicion of managing “a prostitution enterprise that used two or more prostitutes,” it said.

No lawyer was listed on the arrest affidavit and the company’s phone went to voicemail. Neither person could be immediately reached for comment at phone numbers associated with their names.

Police also discovered more than $60,000 in cash at the woman’s home. She and her husband were arrested in March and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity to promote prostitution and money laundering, court documents filed in April showed.

(The story was refiled to delete extra word ‘took’ in the second paragraph)

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)