Covid returns to Wuhan.
Beginning now, News Items will be off the grid. It returns Monday, 18 July. There may be a News Items Note or three between those two dates, but the morning News Items email will be sleeping in. God bless America.
A majority of Americans agree that the government is “corrupt and rigged against everyday people like me,” including 73 percent of voters who describe themselves as a “strong Republican,” 71 percent who called themselves “very conservative” and 68 percent of rural voters. A bare majority (51 percent) of voters who call themselves “very liberal” also agreed. Overall, two-thirds of Republican and Independent voters agree that the government is “corrupt and rigged” against them, while Democrats are evenly split.
With the debate raging about the integrity of our elections, a majority (56 percent) say they “generally trust elections to be conducted fairly and counted accurately.” But that view is deeply divergent by party. Four in five Democrats (78 percent) say they generally trust our elections to be fair and accurate. Half (51 percent) of Independent voters but just 33 percent of Republicans agree. Among those who reported voting for Donald Trump in 2020, the number who say they generally trust elections is 31 percent.
Nearly half of Americans (49 percent) agreed that they “more and more feel like a stranger in my own country,” with 69 percent of strong Republicans and 65 percent who call themselves “very conservative” leading the way. Fully 38 percent of strong Democrats agreed.
And 28 percent of voters, including 37 percent who have guns in their homes, agree that “it may be necessary at some point soon for citizens to take up arms against the government.” That view is held by one in three Republicans, including 45 percent of self-identified strong Republicans. Roughly one in three (35 percent) Independent voters and one in five Democrats agreed. (Source: theguardian.com, uchicagopolitics.opalstacked.com)
2. Americans are becoming more pessimistic about the economy, more worried about inflation — and now, more anxious about the job market, as well. Fifty-two percent of American adults say they are worse off financially than they were a year ago, according to a survey conducted for The New York Times this month by the online research platform Momentive. That was up from 41 percent in April, and was by far the highest share in the survey’s five years. Only 14 percent of Americans said they were better off than a year ago, the worst in the survey’s history. (Source: nytimes.com, momentive.ai/en)
3. A new computer algorithm can now forecast crime in a big city near you. The algorithm, which was formulated by social scientists at the University of Chicago and touts 90% accuracy, divides cities into 1,000-square-foot tiles, according to a study published in Nature Human Behavior. Researchers used historical data on violent crimes and property crimes from Chicago to test the model, which detects patterns over time in these tiled areas tries to predict future events. It performed just as well using data from other big cities, including Atlanta, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, the study showed. The new tool contrasts with previous models for prediction, which depict crime as emerging from “hotspots” that spread to surrounding areas. Such an approach tends to miss the complex social environment of cities, as well as the nuanced relationship between crime and the effects of police enforcement, thus leaving room for bias, according to the report. (Source: bloomberg.com)
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