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Local governments play a central role in American democracy, providing essential services such as policing, water, and sanitation. Moreover, Americans express great confidence in their municipal governments. But is this confidence warranted? Using big data and a representative sample of American communities, this book provides the first systematic examination of racial and class inequalities in local politics. We find that non-whites and less-affluent residents are consistent losers in local democracy. Residents of color and those with lower incomes receive less representation from local elected officials than do whites and the affluent. Additionally, they are much less likely than privileged community members to have their preferences reflected in local government policy. Contrary to the popular assumption that governments that are “closest” govern best, we find that inequalities in representation are most severe in suburbs and small towns. Typical reforms do not seem to improve the situation, and we recommend new approaches.
The genus Pogonophryne is the most species-rich genus of barbeled plunderfishes (Artedidraconidae) and includes more than 25 poorly known species endemic to the Southern Ocean. In this study, we provide new data on the age and reproductive traits of some species of Pogonophryne from the southern Weddell Sea, inferred through otolith reading and histological analyses of gonads. Individual age estimates ranged between 16 and 18 years for Pogonophryne barsukovi and Pogonophryne immaculata and between 10 and 22 years for Pogonophryne scotti. As is commonly found in notothenioids, P. barsukovi followed a group-synchronous type of ovarian development, with pre-vitellogenic and vitellogenic oocytes forming two well-separated egg-size groups. A single spawning female in the sample produced ~1097 eggs and 7.9 eggs g-1. The sample of P. immaculata consisted exclusively of developing males, with testes composed of cysts of spermatogonia, spermatocytes and spermatids. Pogonophryne scotti was the most abundant species, including relatively small males at immature or developing stages of gonad development. Larger females were regressing, being characterized by ovaries with postovulatory follicles and atretic oocytes. Based on the macroscopic and histological analyses of gonads, the spawning season would take place in autumn for P. barsukovi and P. immaculata and in spring–early summer for P. scotti.
Diet modifies the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) and inconclusive evidence suggests yogurt may protect against CRC. We analyzed data collected from two separate colonoscopy-based case-control studies. The Tennessee Colorectal Polyp Study (TCPS) and Johns Hopkins Biofilm Study included 5446 and 1061 participants, respectively, diagnosed with hyperplastic polyp (HP), sessile serrated polyp (SSP), adenomatous polyp (AP), or without any polyps. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to derive OR and 95 % CI to evaluate comparisons between cases and polyp-free controls and case-case comparisons between different polyp types. We evaluated the association between frequency of yogurt intake and probiotic use with the diagnosis of colorectal polyps. In the TCPS, daily yogurt intake v. no/rare intake was associated with decreased odds of HP (OR 0·54; 95 % CI 0·31, 0·95) and weekly yogurt intake was associated with decreased odds of AP among women (OR 0·73; 95 % CI 0·55, 0·98). In the Biofilm study, both weekly yogurt intake and probiotic use were associated with a non-significant reduction in odds of overall AP (OR 0·75; 95 % CI 0·54, 1·04) and (OR 0·72; 95 % CI 0·49, 1·06) in comparison to no use, respectively. In summary, yogurt intake may be associated with decreased odds of HP and AP and probiotic use may be associated with decreased odds of AP. Further prospective studies are needed to verify these associations.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a planned large radio interferometer designed to operate over a wide range of frequencies, and with an order of magnitude greater sensitivity and survey speed than any current radio telescope. The SKA will address many important topics in astronomy, ranging from planet formation to distant galaxies. However, in this work, we consider the perspective of the SKA as a facility for studying physics. We review four areas in which the SKA is expected to make major contributions to our understanding of fundamental physics: cosmic dawn and reionisation; gravity and gravitational radiation; cosmology and dark energy; and dark matter and astroparticle physics. These discussions demonstrate that the SKA will be a spectacular physics machine, which will provide many new breakthroughs and novel insights on matter, energy, and spacetime.
How did Africans become 'blacks' in the Americas? Becoming Free, Becoming Black tells the story of enslaved and free people of color who used the law to claim freedom and citizenship for themselves and their loved ones. Their communities challenged slaveholders' efforts to make blackness synonymous with slavery. Looking closely at three slave societies - Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana - Alejandro de la Fuente and Ariela J. Gross demonstrate that the law of freedom - not slavery - established the meaning of blackness in law. Contests over freedom determined whether and how it was possible to move from slave to free status, and whether claims to citizenship would be tied to racial identity. Laws regulating the lives and institutions of free people of color created the boundaries between black and white, the rights reserved to white people, and the degradations imposed only on black people.
Enslaved people sought freedom by any means possible. Most often they achieved free status through hard work, financial accumulation, negotiation, and legal confrontation. Building on slaves’ initiatives, Chapter Two looks at two legal areas in which Cuba diverged from Virginia and Louisiana: manumission and interracial marriage. Although seventeenth-century Virginians set no restrictions on the ability of a person of color to become free, or to marry a white person, that began to change toward the end of the century. By the early eighteenth century, manumission and interracial sex and marriage were restricted in both Virginia and Louisiana, unlike Cuba, where manumission never faced a serious legal challenge. Slaveholders and local authorities in Cuba resented the existence and social assertiveness of free blacks but were constrained by a deep-rooted legal order in which manumission was firmly entrenched and not tied to racial concerns. In Virginia and Louisiana, however, manumission became tied to the development of legal racial regimes that linked freedom to whiteness. In Cuba, black freedom became a contested but integral part of colonial society.
Chapter One traces the development of local legal regimes in Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana in which blackness was identified with enslavement and social degradation. We demonstrate that legal and social precedents such as those invoked by Frank Tannenbaum and Alan Watson mattered deeply to the development of these new slave societies, yet not in the way traditional comparisons argued. By the time the Iberians arrived in the New World, they were familiar with the enslavement of sub-Saharan Africans, and set about immediately to establish a racially based society in Cuba. In Virginia, by contrast, distinctions of race were not systematized in law until slave status was set in stone decades after the colony’s settlement. The French arrived in Louisiana at a much later point in the development of their empire, and had already written a code for slaves and “noirs.” Across the regions, colonial legislators established a degraded status for people of African descent, but they did so much more quickly in Cuba and Louisiana.
The Introduction discusses some of the main questions that the book seeks to answer and relates the book to previous scholarship on race, slavery, and the law in the Americas. We approach the early comparativists’ broad questions about the development of regimes of race and slavery with the tools and approaches of cultural-legal history close to the ground. Rather than start with static legal traditions to trace their effects in law, we look at the way legal practices, emerging not only from doctrines and traditions but also from participants’ strategies, including slaves’ actions, shaped institutional change. It also explains the choice of three plantation societies for the study: Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana. Historians have often paired Cuba and Virginia as exemplars of the Spanish and British systems; this book adds a third point of comparison, the hybrid legal system of Louisiana, where it is possible to examine how slaves took advantage of shifting legal regimes during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to obtain freedom.
Chapter Four shows how slaveholding elites across jurisdictions responded to the growth of the free population of color during the Age of Revolution with fear and repression. They feared large-scale slave revolts, the rise of abolitionism, and the assertiveness of free people of color. Beginning in the 1830s, and with increasing fervor in the 1840s and 1850s, white slaveholding elites across the Americas sought to crack down on free people of color and manumission. They also looked for ways to remove free people of color from their midst through various “colonization” schemes, to realize the old dream of a perfect, and perfectly dichotomous, social order of blacks and whites, enslaved and free. This chapter explores the growing restrictions on manumission and free people of color in Louisiana and Virginia during the antebellum era, which stand in contrast to the significant but less successful efforts of Cuban slaveholders to limit the rights of free people of color. By 1860, these jurisdictions were on truly divergent paths concerning race and freedom. Black freedom was described as an anomaly or a legal absurdity in Virginia and Louisiana, but not in Cuba.
The Conclusion revisits some of the book’s main arguments and notes that although, by the mid-nineteenth century, Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana were mature slave societies, their racial orders differed in consequential ways. In most parts of Virginia and Louisiana blackness was almost coterminous with enslavement: an enslaved person could live his entire life without ever meeting a free person of color. This was virtually impossible in Cuba, where free people of color represented a significant proportion of the total population. The link between whiteness and citizenship did not crystallize in the same way in Cuba. A free person of color in Cuba could be a rights-bearing subject, participate in public life, and marry across racial lines; on the eve of the Civil War, a person of color in Virginia or Louisiana could do none of those things. Laws regulating free people of color also served as a template for post-emancipation societies seeking ways to degrade black people. Slavery laws did not translate forward in the same way that regulations based on race did.
Chapter Three studies the impact of the Age of Revolution on the formation of communities of free people of color. Across the Americas, the chaos of war, ideologies of equality and liberty, and the specter of slave rebellion in Haiti, inspired legal forms of claims-making and created new opportunities for emancipation. The period from 1763 through the 1820s could be said to be the era of greatest commonality across these jurisdictions. During this period, both Louisiana and Virginia developed significant communities of free people of color, especially in urban areas. Yet freedom was often the unintended consequence of retrenchment and reform rather than revolution. The growth of these communities had radically different political connotations. In Virginia, manumissions became linked to wider debates about slave emancipation and were opposed as a dangerous step toward black citizenship. In Cuba–and by extension in Louisiana under Spanish control–manumission was linked to the regulation of customary practices that had nothing to do with abolition or with republican notions of equality but instead concerned traditional understandings of vassalage, status, and royal justice.
Chapter Five continues the discussion of slaveholders' efforts to limit the rights and standing of free blacks. It looks closely at the 1850s, when Louisianan and Virginian slaveholders built a white man’s democracy in which whiteness was the sole basis for political power and free people of color could never be citizens. The legislatures of Virginia and Louisiana sought to isolate and degrade people of color in every realm of the public sphere, shutting down their institutions, such as churches and schools. In Cuba, where the colonial state could not afford to alienate the free black population and where black freedom was not linked to white man’s democracy, free people of color managed to withstand the slaveholders’ assault on their traditional rights and institutions. Regulations based on race rather than status predictably led to litigation over racial identity, and the chapter compares trials of racial identity and cases of interracial marriage. Whereas courts in the U.S. drew tight connections between whiteness and the possibility of citizenship, the Cuban courts held out the possibility that a person of color could be honorable and marry across the color line.
A consensus workshop on low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) was held in November 2018 where seventeen experts (the panel) discussed three themes identified as key to the science and policy of LCS: (1) weight management and glucose control; (2) consumption, safety and perception; (3) nutrition policy. The aims were to identify the reliable facts on LCS, suggest research gaps and propose future actions. The panel agreed that the safety of LCS is demonstrated by a substantial body of evidence reviewed by regulatory experts and current levels of consumption, even for high users, are within agreed safety margins. However, better risk communication is needed. More emphasis is required on the role of LCS in helping individuals reduce their sugar and energy intake, which is a public health priority. Based on reviews of clinical evidence to date, the panel concluded that LCS can be beneficial for weight management when they are used to replace sugar in products consumed in the diet (without energy substitution). The available evidence suggests no grounds for concerns about adverse effects of LCS on sweet preference, appetite or glucose control; indeed, LCS may improve diabetic control and dietary compliance. Regarding effects on the human gut microbiota, data are limited and do not provide adequate evidence that LCS affect gut health at doses relevant to human use. The panel identified research priorities, including collation of the totality of evidence on LCS and body weight control, monitoring and modelling of LCS intakes, impacts on sugar reduction and diet quality and developing effective communication strategies to foster informed choice. There is also a need to reconcile policy discrepancies between organisations and reduce regulatory hurdles that impede low-energy product development and reformulation.
On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico as a category 4 storm, resulting in serious widespread impact across the island, including communication and power outages, water systems impairment, and damage to life-saving infrastructure. In collaboration with the Puerto Rico Department of Health, the Public Health Branch (PHB), operating under the Department of Health and Human Services Incident Response Coordination Team, was tasked with completing assessments of health-care facilities in Puerto Rico to determine infrastructure capabilities and post-hurricane capacity. Additionally, in response to significant data entry and presentation needs, the PHB leadership worked with the Puerto Rico Planning Board to develop and test a new app-based infrastructure capacity assessment tool. Assessments of hospitals were initiated September 28, 2017, and completed November 10, 2017 (n = 64 hospitals, 97%). Assessments of health-care centers were initiated on October 7, 2017, with 186 health-care centers (87%) assessed through November 18, 2017. All hospitals had working communications; however, 9% (n = 17) of health-care centers reported no communication capabilities. For the health-care centers, 114 (61%) reported they were operational but had sustainment needs. In conclusion, health-care facility assessments indicated structural damage issues and operational capacity decreases, while health-care centers reported loss of communication capabilities post-Hurricane Maria.