Editor's note

There are millions of reasons why the federal government should go all out to help Puerto Rico recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria – 3.5 million reasons in fact, since Puerto Ricans, who are American citizens, are suffering terribly. But with the Trump administration seemingly unmoved by the desperation, self interest may be a better motivator. Bentley University’s Lilian Bobea reminds us that Puerto Rico is much more than a beach destination – it’s a key piece of America’s economic and security apparatus, and abandoning it now would be a risky move.

Catesby Holmes

Global Affairs Editor

Top story

Puerto Rico, a key piece of U.S. military and economic machinery, is in crisis. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Need another reason to help Puerto Rico? It's a key US economic and military asset

Lilian Bobea, Bentley University

If humanitarian need can't move the Trump administration to save Puerto Rico, then perhaps American self-interest will: The island is a crucial part of the country's economic and military machinery.

Arts + Culture

Until youth soccer is fixed, US men's national team is destined to fail

Rick Eckstein, Villanova University

In a system that's far better at identifying the best payers than finding the best players, the pipeline of talent gets choked out by costly tournament and team fees.

Gentrification? Bring it

Jonathan Wynn, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Andrew Deener, University of Connecticut

In the country's wealthiest cities, gentrification is a dirty word. But it's all relative – just ask Hartford and Columbus.


How to combat racial bias: Start in childhood

Gail Heyman, University of California, San Diego

Racial bias is associated with dehumanizing social groups different from your own. Psychologists trained kids to differentiate individuals of another race – with lasting effects on their biases.

Why having the sex talk early and often with your kids is good for them

Veronica I. Johnson, The University of Montana; Guy Ray Backlund, New Mexico State University

Think you've had the sex talk so now you're done? Think again.

Environment + Energy

Trump's policies will harm coal-dependent communities instead of helping them

Mark Partridge, The Ohio State University; Michael Betz, The Ohio State University

Rural development experts say the best way to help coal communities by is investing in people, infrastructure and a clean environment. Instead, President Trump's budget cuts programs in these areas.

Trump administration's zeal to peel back regulations is leading us to another era of robber barons

Jeremi Suri, University of Texas at Austin

The Trump administration is committed to deregulating industry, as it's done with the EPA Clean Power Plan. But a historian shows how regulations have actually benefited both industry and consumers.

Economy + Business

Do people like government 'nudges'? Study says: Yes

Cass Sunstein, Harvard University

Government initiatives to prod people to make better decisions got a lot of attention after Richard Thaler won a Nobel in economics for his working on nudging.

How to ensure the fourth industrial revolution is 'Made in the USA'

Kemper E. Lewis, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

If President Trump really wants to restore America's manufacturing might he should invest heavily in AI, the internet of things and other emerging technologies that are changing the world.

What hundreds of American public libraries owe to Carnegie's disdain for inherited wealth

Arlene Weismantel, Michigan State University

One reason why the steel magnate spent so much of his fortune building libraries across the nation and abroad is that he saw handing large fortunes to the next generation as a waste of money.

How the US government created and coddled the gun industry

Brian DeLay, University of California, Berkeley

While advocates of gun control may feel powerless in the wake of mass shootings like the one in Las Vegas, the history of government support for the industry shows Americans have more sway than they think.

Ethics + Religion

How the stoicism of Roman philosophers can help us deal with depression

Robert S. Colter, University of Wyoming

On World Mental Health Day, a philosopher explains how to learn from the stoicism of Roman philosophers.

How a growing Christian movement is seeking to change America

Brad Christerson, Biola University; Richard Flory, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

A prayer rally recently organized in Washington, DC is part of a growing movement, that scholars call 'Independent Network Christianity.'

Politics + Society

Under the Trump administration, US airstrikes are killing more civilians

Steven Feldstein, Boise State University

Ten months of data reveal some alarming trends.

In Latin America, is there a link between abortion rights and democracy?

Larissa Arroyo Navarrete, University of Costa Rica

Seventy-five percent of all abortions in Latin America are illicit. In Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador, where abortion is totally illegal, the bans correlate with a generalized failure of the rule of law.

Marketing a devastated Puerto Rico should not be the priority

Carlos A Suárez Carrasquillo, University of Florida

Puerto Rico has focused significant efforts on branding – but at what cost?

Health + Medicine

Why Trump's executive order may compound the health insurance industry's problems

J.B. Silvers, Case Western Reserve University

In most markets, diversity and choice foster robust competition. In health insurance they could lead to fragmentation and market failure.

How Obamacare has helped poor cancer patients

Fumiko Chino, Duke University

Poor people who have cancer are one of the most financially vulnerable groups in the US. Obamacare aimed to improve their access to care. A recent study shows how it did.

Science + Technology

Marie Curie and her X-ray vehicles' contribution to World War I battlefield medicine

Timothy J. Jorgensen, Georgetown University

During World War I, Marie Curie left her lab behind, inventing a mobile X-ray unit that could travel to the battlefront and training 150 women to operate these 'Little Curies.'

Nobody reads privacy policies – here's how to fix that

Florian Schaub, University of Michigan

Consumers can't read, understand or use information in companies' privacy policies. So they end up less informed and less protected than they'd like to be. New research shows a better way.

Can you be hacked by the world around you?

Jeremy Straub, North Dakota State University

Scanning physical items constructed with nefarious intent can introduce malware into a smartphone or computer.