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Trump Threatens to Slap Tariffs on Everything Imported From China

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President Trump Holds A Cabinet Meeting
So far the U.S. has tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods. Trump’s threatened to take that number up to $500 billion.
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jefron
1 day ago
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An exception will be made for Ivanka and Trump ties
Chicago
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Our Broken Health Care System, Part the Infinity

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Well, this is infuriating.

On July 3, 1981, this newspaper wrote about a “rare cancer” killing gay men in New York and California. Though few knew it, what followed would be a generation-defining battle: for attention, for legitimacy, for our very lives. Today, after 37 years, we finally have a proven pathway to ending the AIDS epidemic in this country.

The only catch? Poor policy and pharmaceutical price-gouging have blocked the way, making critical drugs a luxury rather than an imperative.

The solution comes in a pill: Taken daily, Truvada, the brand name for a type of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is up to 99 percent effective at preventing H.I.V. infection. Used as directed, it’s one of the most effective methods of preventing a viral infection ever discovered, as good as the polio vaccine, the miracle of modern medicine. When you combine PrEP’s effectiveness with the discovery that people living with H.I.V. cannot transmit the virus to others once they become undetectable, we could be on the verge of a swift end to the epidemic.

Truvada was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012. But over six years later, the United States is failing miserably in expanding its use. Less than 10 percent of the 1.2 million Americans who might benefit from PrEP are actually getting it. The major reason is quite clear: pricing. With a list price over $20,000 a year, Truvada, the only PrEP drug available in the United States, is simply too expensive to become the public health tool it should be.

Gilead Sciences, the company that makes Truvada, maintains a monopoly on the drug domestically. In other countries, a one-month supply of generic Truvada costs less than $6, but Gilead charges Americans, on average, more than $1,600, a markup from the generic of 25,000 percent.

Infuriatingly, American taxpayers and private charities — not Gilead — paid for almost all of the clinical research used to develop Truvada as PrEP. Yet the price stays out of reach for millions, and will for at least several more years.

The disparities in PrEP access are astounding: Its use in black and Hispanic populations is a small fraction of that among whites. In the South, where a majority of H.I.V. infections occur, use is half what it is in the Northeast. Women use PrEP at drastically lower rates than men, and while there’s no national data on PrEP and transgender Americans, it’s almost certainly underused. The issue of PrEP access has become an issue of privilege.

But hey, what is more important in New Gilded Age health care than very rich people making even more money? Actually, I know the answer–it’s taxpayers funding the research that rich people make even more profit from and terrible racial and gendered disparities.

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jefron
4 days ago
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Chicago
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The Navy Is Planning Tent Cities for Undocumented Immigrants

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New Tent Camps Go Up In West Texas For Migrant Children Separated From Parents
The administration’s “zero tolerance” policy has spawned plans for military facilities to house tens of thousands of detained immigrants.
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jefron
29 days ago
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Concentration camps
Chicago
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ICE Temporarily Shutters Portland Facility Due to Occupy Protest

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by Nathalie Graham

OPB:

Following two days of raucous heckling and disruption from Portland demonstrators, a regional office for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has temporarily shuttered, the agency announced Wednesday.

“ICE operations at this location have been temporarily halted due to security concerns,” a statement from an ICE spokesman said. “Normal operations will resume once security concerns have been addressed.”

The announcement comes amid a growing protest calling itself Occupy ICE PDX. The impromptu demonstration began Sunday evening, following a vigil to protest hardline federal immigration policies that separate immigrant parents from their children.

Demonstrators have also been camping outside the building and festooning the area with signs with slogans like “Kick out ICE” and “Will trade racists for refugees.” Two tents on Monday evening had increased to six by Tuesday morning. Twenty-four hours later, nearly 30 tents had been erected, with at least seven set up on a driveway to the building’s property.

We will continue to update as we learn more information.

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jefron
31 days ago
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Chicago
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Who gets their mass from the Higgs?

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The Higgs field is like an endless ocean through which all matter swims. Some particles are like sponges and sop up mass as they lumber along, while others are as sprightly as tiny minnows and dart right through.
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jefron
44 days ago
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Yeah Chris Neu
Chicago
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This New Rooftop Lounge Will Serve Cocktails With 24-Karat Gold Flakes and in Disco Balls

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Z Bar’s Manhattan Royale

Cocktail commander Vlad Novikov offers details on Z Bar’s menu

“There are surprises in every cocktail!” exclaims Vlad Novikov, director of cocktails and culture for The Peninsula’s new globally-inspired rooftop lounge Z Bar, slated to debut mid-June on the sixth floor of the Magnificent Mile hotel. Think, 24-karat gold flakes suspended in ice chilling in an Elijah Craig 18-year-old bourbon-fortified Manhattan Royale that a server will garnish table-side with black truffle bitters. For sizable groups there’s “Disco Fever,” a large-format libation made from vodka, mandarine, passion fruit, and lemon, topped with a Champagne float and served in an actual disco ball.

Named after Maria Zec, The Peninsula’s first female general manager who took on the role in 2002, Z Bar hinges on Novikov’s blend of playful intoxicants—some riffs on classics, other totally new creations—often built from unsung ingredients with whimsical presentations.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Novikov moved to Chicago at age five, and says that his interest in cocktails began at a young age, learning early on about the diversity in beverage cultures and customs around the globe. While some may have sampled his tipples around the city at places like speciality drinks den Elixir and arcade bar Replay, both in Andersonville (Novikov previously oversaw beverage programs for LKH Management), he explains that “Z Bar is a culmination of learning” for him, and that his newest liquid engagement “represents the best of everything that came before.”

International design firm Yabu Pushelberg conceived of The Peninsula’s 131-seat contemporary space that’s equipped with a seasonal terrace. Soon patrons will be able to sit on that terrace and suck down drinks spiked with the Greek liquor mastiha (flavored with the aromatic resin of the mastic tree), which Novikov blends with a Greek-type of brandy called tsipouro, plus lemon verbena. He garnishes the dram with green baby Japanese wakamono peaches that look like chubby olives. Another less common liquor future patrons will encounter is aquavit. He marries the savory Scandinavian spirit with local Letherbee besk, lemon, and pear liqueur “for a vegetal-meets-fruity and bittersweet cocktail.” Meanwhile, the tropical fruit laced “Ba-Daq Attack” incorporates three Caribbean rums, plus mango, banana, and lime. The drink is decorated with Australian finger limes, which many consider the caviar of fruit.

Procuring product from near and far, Novikov looked to San Francisco to source small-batch bitters from Bitter Queens, and he was so taken with the maker’s tobacco barrel-aged variety that he bought the company’s entire supply. And that flavor enhancer, which channels notes of clove, can be found in his subtly-spiced old fashioned.

Beyond catchy presentations involving gold flakes and a sparkling disco ball, drinks like the “Pappersflygpan” or “PFP” combines dill-infused aquavit, pear liqueur, Letherbee besk, and a mini paper plane garnish.

And while Novikov’s curious worldly elixirs are meant to complement chef Toni Robertson’s equally diverse slate of booze-friendly bites, the barman adds that, “[a]t Z Bar, it’s also how the vibe and music fits with the cuisine and cocktails.” Expect electric beats and house music by producers and musicians from Germany to Korea to Chicago.

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jefron
44 days ago
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Eat the rich
Chicago
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