• ‘They’re Trying to Bully Us’: N.Y.U. Graduate Students Are Back on Strike

    N.Y.U.’s campus is in limbo as graduate students have stopped working, with their union demanding higher wages, more benefits and less police presence on campus.

    When Marwan Shalaby moved to New York from Egypt in 2019 to start an engineering Ph.D. at New York University, he had $700 in his bank account. He figured that would be enough to get settled.

    But Mr. Shalaby had to pay for the deposit on an apartment, a mattress and winter clothes. After going to the emergency room with a cooking injury, he began to rack up debt.

    As he waited anxiously for his first graduate student stipend payment, which would add up to $2,500 a month, Mr. Shalaby realized those checks would barely cover the cost of living in his new city. The time and energy he wanted to devote to studying for classes was instead spent worrying about his bank account.

    “My learning experience wasn’t optimal because my mind was so preoccupied with how I’d pay for the essentials,” he said.

    This week, Mr. Shalaby, 28, joined more than a thousand N.Y.U. graduate students striking for higher wages from the university, among other demands, like better health care and a change in the school’s relationship with the Police Department.

    While on strike, the graduate students are refraining from their work duties, including assistant teaching and grading papers, leaving the campus in limbo as the university and union continue bargaining over the terms of the students’ new contract.

    More than seven years ago, N.Y.U.’s graduate students became the first in the country to win voluntary recognition for their union from a private university. The resulting contract expired in August, and graduate students, who are represented by the United Automobile Workers, have spent months locked in heated negotiations over the terms for its renewal.

    At the center of the conflict between the union and the university, among the country’s more expensive, is the graduate students’ demand for higher wages. The union’s organizing committee initially proposed a $46 hourly wage — more than double the current hourly wages for graduate students there, which start at $20.

    The organizing committee has since dropped its proposal to $32 per hour. The university has countered with a proposed raise of around 22 percent over six years, amounting to a $1 raise in the contract’s first year.

    N.Y.U. leaders maintain that the graduate students make more than their counterparts at other schools. They noted that graduate students at Harvard, for example, recently settled a contract that granted an hourly wage of $17.

    “This strike need not have happened,” John Beckman, an N.Y.U. spokesman, said in an email. “The university has made generous proposals in this contract renewal.”

    The university’s president emailed the parents of N.Y.U. students this week and described the strike as “unwarranted, untimely, and regrettable.” The email sparked a backlash and a number of jokes on social media from some of the graduate students, many of them above the age of 30, whose parents received it. (“If I’m grounded I still can’t go to work,” Chloe Jones, 26, a Ph.D. student, tweeted.)

    Graduate student organizers at N.Y.U. said the comparison with Harvard’s contract was inappropriate because of the higher cost of living in New York. The N.Y.U. organizers determined their proposed wage by using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s living wage calculator, accounting for the constraint that graduate students can only work 20 hours each week.

    And while Columbia and Harvard graduate students went on strike in recent years to get their first union contracts, N.Y.U.’s graduate students are negotiating a second contract, having settled their first in 2015, and therefore have made more ambitious demands. (Columbia’s strike, which began in March, has paused while students vote on their contract, which would raise wages for hourly student workers to $20 within three years.)

    “A first contract establishes a baseline for future negotiations,” said William A. Herbert, executive director of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions at Hunter College. “In the second contract, the union is seeking to broaden and expand their benefits. It’s very common for a second contract to be more demanding.”

    The urgency of the union’s financial demands has been heightened by the pandemic and the economic crisis, as the academic job market has been squeezed by hiring freezes.

    “They’re trying to bully us to drop our wage proposals lower and lower,” said Ellis Garey, 28, a union organizer and fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in history and Middle Eastern studies at N.Y.U. “We finally now have thousands of graduate workers on the picket line.”

    The crowd that gathered near N.Y.U. on Friday, chanting and marching, heard from several City Council candidates as well as Senator Bernie Sanders, who called in to congratulate the strikers. “If we respect education in this country — if we know how important it is that we supply the best education in the world to our young people,” he said, “it is imperative that we have well-paid faculty members who are treated with respect and dignity.”

    Unionization and collective bargaining among graduate students dates back decades in the public sector, which saw its first higher education contract in 1970 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    But at private schools, the question of whether graduate students should be treated as students or workers has been more contentious. And N.Y.U. has long been a battleground for the issue.

    The National Labor Relations Board first recognized graduate students’ right to collective bargaining at private universities in 2000, in a case that started at N.Y.U. But the board, whose five members are appointed by the president, had a conservative majority under President George W. Bush. In a 2004 case at Brown University, the board reversed its ruling, leaving private graduate student unions federally unprotected.

    The board has vacillated on the subject ever since as the White House has changed hands. Though Republicans still hold a majority until at least late summer, the board said in March that it would withdraw a proposed rule on the issue from the Trump era, once again clearing the way for graduate students at private schools to unionize.

    There has been significant growth in the number of total unionized student employees nationwide, from around 64,680 in 2013 to more than 83,000 in 2019, according to research from the Hunter center.

    The issue of whether graduate students should be classified as students or employees is more urgent now than ever, Mr. Herbert said, as the federal government considers how to classify gig workers and the workplace protections they’re afforded.

    Many private university leaders have traditionally held that graduate students’ primary obligation was to their studies, not their labor. But the striking graduate students at N.Y.U. argue that there is no distinction between their work and academics — and that the university couldn’t function without their paid labor.

    “When I’m doing my research, that benefits the university,” Ms. Garey said. “I present at conferences, organize workshops within my department, publish articles, publish translations. All of these are things faculty members do as part of their compensation.”

    Compensation isn’t the sole issue driving a wedge between the N.Y.U. graduate student organizers and the university. The graduate students also asked that the university refrain from calling the New York Police Department except when legally obligated or when a violent crime has been committed. They don’t want the police called in cases of vandalism, for example, citing the risk to people of color and other vulnerable students.

    The graduate students have also made pandemic-specific demands, including requesting a $500 payment to teaching assistants for the effort they’ve put into transitioning to remote teaching.

    Virgilio Urbina Lazardi, 28, a fourth-year sociology Ph.D. student, had planned to spend last spring polishing a paper for submission to an academic journal. He had to shelve the project so he could double the number of hours he spent assistant teaching. The professor he assisted was struggling with Zoom, so Mr. Lazardi made appointments to visit the professor’s home and set up his technology.

    “There was a lot of added stress that semester and it disproportionately fell on me with no additional compensation or recognition,” Mr. Lazardi said.

    This week all of the duties for which graduate students are compensated — planning lessons, emailing students, hosting office hours — have halted.

    Some union organizers have approached the moment as an opportunity to teach their undergraduates about the broader struggle for student-worker rights.

    Arundhati Velamur, 33, who is getting her Ph.D. in education, spent the semester leading a course about the teaching of geometry. She opened her first class with a discussion of the book “Flatland,” an 1800s satire about Victorian social hierarchy, which imagines a fictional world populated by shapes whose power is determined by the number of sides they have; a hexagon, for example, would be more powerful than a square.

    Ms. Velamur returned to the text to explain why she was skipping class for the strike — because in N.Y.U.’s “Flatland”-like hierarchy, Ms. Velamur said, she and her peers were fighting for more power.

    She told her students in an email that she wouldn’t be able to teach until an agreement was reached, and smiled when she received their response: Her undergraduates were spending their class time brainstorming ways to support the union.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/30/nyregion/nyu-strike.html

    #université #précarité #doctorants #doctorat #USA #Etats-Unis #grève #salaires #New_York_University (#NYU) #pauvreté

    ping @_kg_

  • ‘A Perfect Positive Storm’ : Bonkers Dollars for Big Tech
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/29/technology/big-tech-pandemic-economy.html?campaign_id=158&emc=edit_ot_20210430&instanc

    The dictionary doesn’t have enough superlatives to describe what’s happening to the five biggest technology companies, raising uncomfortable questions for their C.E.O.s. In the Great Recession more than a decade ago, big tech companies hit a rough patch just like everyone else. Now they have become unquestioned winners of the pandemic economy. The combined yearly revenue of Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook is about $1.2 trillion, according to earnings reported this week, more (...)

    #domination #bénéfices #COVID-19 #santé #GAFAM #Alphabet #Apple #Google #Microsoft #Amazon (...)

    ##santé ##Facebook

  • Opinion | The World Needs Many More Coronavirus Vaccines - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/24/opinion/covid-vaccines-poor-countries.html

    Companies and countries are hoarding both raw materials and technical expertise, and have prevented poorer nations from suspending patents despite international treaties that allow for such measures in emergencies.

    En dehors de la suspension des #brevets les auteurs recommandent :

    Share technology and resources

    Ce à quoi les détenteurs de la #propriété_intellectuelle répondent que leurs réticences sont d’ordre purement patriotiques,

    Vaccine makers say IP waiver could hand technology to China and Russia | Financial Times
    https://www.ft.com/content/fa1e0d22-71f2-401f-9971-fa27313570ab

    #covid-19 #vaccins #vaccination

  • Opinion | Why Do We Let Corporations Profit From Rape Videos ? - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/16/opinion/sunday/companies-online-rape-videos.html

    I wrote in December about #Pornhub (...) But as I noted at the time, the exploitation is rooted not in a single company but in an industry that operates with impunity, and punishing one corporation may simply benefit its rivals. That’s happening here. When Pornhub deleted videos, millions of outraged customers fled to its nemesis, #XVideos, which has even fewer scruples.

    #porno #pornocratie #pédopornographie

  • How New Mexico Became the State With the Highest Rate of Full Vaccinations - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/14/us/new-mexico-covid-vaccines.html

    New Mexico, which has one of the highest poverty rates in the U.S., is a vaccination pacesetter thanks to decisive political decisions, homegrown technology and cooperation.More than 57 percent of New Mexico’s adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. And nearly 38 percent of adults are fully vaccinated, a higher rate than in any other state.
    ALBUQUERQUE — Despite having one of the highest poverty rates in the country, New Mexico is surging past states with far more resources in the race to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus.After New Mexico put into motion one of the most efficient vaccine rollouts in the United States, more than 57 percent of its adult population has now received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New Hampshire is the only state with a higher vaccination rate. Nearly 38 percent of New Mexico adults are fully vaccinated, more than any other state.
    The feat is providing some relief in a state where Hispanic and Native American residents — groups that have been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus — together account for 60 percent of the population. Going into the pandemic with a dearth of financial resources compared with richer states, and vulnerabilities like having fewer hospital beds per capita than nearly every other state, the authorities in New Mexico saw the vaccine as their most powerful weapon to stave off an even more harrowing crisis.
    Infectious-disease experts attribute New Mexico’s vaccine success to a combination of homegrown technological expertise, cooperation between state and local agencies and a focus by elected officials on combating the virus.Since vaccines began rolling out in December, new cases of the coronavirus in New Mexico have plunged to fewer than 200 a day from nearly 2,000. Deaths have declined to fewer than five a day from an average of more than 35. In the state’s nursing homes and assisted-care facilities, the average number of deaths each day has fallen from 10 to fewer than one.“New Mexico’s foundational health disparities compel us to think differently than some other states with regard to pandemic response,” Ms. Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “I fully believe New Mexico can be the first state to reach herd immunity and be the first to begin operating in the new post-pandemic ‘normal’ the right way, the safe way.”
    Before vaccines began getting administered last year, Ms. Lujan Grisham mobilized the New Mexico National Guard and Civil Air Patrol, whose pandemic-related missions include operating a large vaccine distribution center in Albuquerque and staffing drive-through testing sites. From the start, the authorities have made both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available in roughly equal proportions across the state, accounting for a large majority of doses administered so far.

    In devising its vaccine distribution plan many months ago, the health department also turned to Real Time Solutions, a small software company in Albuquerque. While other states adopted piecemeal registration approaches, resulting in chaotic rollouts, Real Time set up a centralized vaccine portal for all residents to sign up for shots.Big challenges persist during a pandemic, including the threat of new variants and disparities in vaccine acceptance in some communities. According to the health department, Hispanics and African-Americans in New Mexico remain less likely to get the vaccine than Anglos, as non-Hispanic whites are known in the state. (...)But Native Americans in New Mexico, who have endured some of the most severe rural outbreaks during the pandemic, are getting the vaccine at close to the same rate as Anglos in the state. In some instances, tribal nations have done such a thorough job of vaccinating their own citizens that they have begun administering doses to people from neighboring communities, providing another boost to New Mexico’s overall vaccination rate.Health experts say somewhere between 70 to 90 percent of people in a society need to be vaccinated to arrive at herd immunity, a situation in which most of a population is immune to an infectious disease, providing indirect protection to those who are not immune. With less than 40 percent of its residents fully vaccinated, New Mexico still has a long road ahead to reach that point.

    #Covid-19#migration#migrant#etatsunis#nouveaumexique#vaccination#sante#inegalite#race#systemesante#communuaute#minorite

  • Microsoft to Buy Artificial Intelligence Provider for $16 Billion
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/12/business/microsoft-nuance-artificial-intelligence.html

    By acquiring a provider of artificial-intelligence software, the tech giant is hoping to bolster its offerings for the fast-growing field of medical computing.

    Microsoft said on Monday that it would buy Nuance Communications, a provider of artificial-intelligence and speech-recognition software, for about $16 billion, as it pushes to expand its health care technology services.

    In acquiring Nuance, whose products include the transcription tool Dragon, Microsoft is hoping to bolster its offerings for the fast-growing field of medical computing. Nuance has an established set of customers as well as a wide array of speech and text data related to health care, which is often a vital part of building new systems.

    Microsoft and Nuance have been working together since 2019, but the acquisition signals that Microsoft has bigger ambitions for Nuance’s technology. Microsoft has been making large investments in industry-specific cloud technology, including health care, finance and retail.

    Microsoft said the acquisition would double the size of the health care market where it competed, to almost $500 billion.

    The deal is Microsoft’s biggest takeover since its 2015 acquisition of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion.

    “Nuance provides the A.I. layer at the health care point of delivery and is a pioneer in the real-world application of enterprise A.I.,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, said in a statement.

    When Microsoft buys a company, its executives typically believe they can do more with the technology than the company it is buying can, a model that fits the Nuance deal, said Brad Reback, an analyst at the investment bank Stifel. That Nuance has proved itself in health care, with its technical and complex vocabulary, means Microsoft could introduce other types of businesses.

    “Being able to solve that problem makes it that much easier to handle other industries’ terminology,” Mr. Reback said.

    Nuance’s tools are also used mostly in the United States, so selling to a global powerhouse like Microsoft will let the company much more quickly sell internationally. “We saw the opportunity to superscale how we change an industry,” Mark Benjamin, Nuance’s chief executive, said in an interview.

    Microsoft’s profitable business means it has money to spend. It ended 2020 with $132 billion in cash and has been looking for big deals to put that money to use. It announced a deal in September to spend $7.5 billion on ZeniMax Media, the parent company of gaming studios that make major titles like Doom and Quake.

    But other potential acquisitions have not always panned out. Last year, a blockbuster bid to buy TikTok, the viral social network, turned into a political soap opera and fell apart. Microsoft has also looked at buying Discord, a live chat community largely used by gamers, though the status of those talks is unclear.

    Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft will pay $56 a share in cash, up 23 percent from Nuance’s closing price on Friday — a total of about $16 billion. Including assumed debt, the transaction values Nuance at about $19.7 billion.

    Nuance was a pioneer in speech recognition. It led the market in the 1990s and 2000s and provided part of the underlying technology for Siri, the talking digital assistant that made its debut on the Apple iPhone in 2011. Licensing technology to Apple and other companies was a key part of its business.

    Li Deng, who helped lead speech recognition research at Microsoft for nearly two decades, said in an email interview that he urged his bosses to acquire Nuance in 1999 but that Microsoft balked, feeling the price was too high.

    Speech recognition underwent a sea change in 2010, when a team of researchers at a Microsoft research lab outside Seattle built a new kind of speech recognition system using a method called “deep learning.” This method — which was far more effective than earlier technologies — rapidly spread across the industry, with companies like Microsoft, Google and IBM rising to the fore.

    This is the technology that now allows Siri, the Google Assistant and other digital assistants to recognize spoken words with near-human-level accuracy. Companies like Microsoft and Google also sell the technology to other companies through what are called cloud computing services.

    After this shift, Nuance revamped its own business, offering speech recognition and other technologies for specific markets, most notably health care.

    During a conference call with investors, Mr. Benjamin, the Nuance chief executive, who will remain in the role after the acquisition, said that his company’s health care business had grown 37 percent over the past year and that he anticipated additional growth. Microsoft said Nuance technology was used by more than 55 percent of physicians and 75 percent of radiologists in the United States and in 77 percent of hospitals in the country.

    “The deal gives Microsoft access to half a million doctors and some of the largest hospitals around the world,” said Dan Ives, managing director of equity research with Wedbush Securities.

    #voix #reconnaissance #Discord #Microsoft #santé #algorithme #biométrie #BigData

    ##santé

  • Vaccine Passports Could Unlock World Travel and Cries of Discrimination - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/09/world/europe/vaccine-passports-virus-issues-legal-ethical.html

    LONDON — For Aruba, a Caribbean idyll that has languished since the pandemic drove away its tourists, the concept of a “vaccine passport” is not just intriguing. It is a “lifeline,” said the prime minister, Evelyn Wever-Croes.
    Aruba is already experimenting with a digital certificate that allows visitors from the United States who tested negative for the coronavirus to breeze through the airport and hit the beach without delay. Soon, it may be able to fast-track those who arrive with digital confirmation that they have been vaccinated. “People don’t want to stand in line, especially with social distancing,” Ms. Wever-Croes said in an interview this week. “We need to be ready in order to make it hassle-free and seamless for the travelers.”
    Vaccine passports are increasingly viewed as the key to unlocking the world after a year of pandemic-induced lockdowns — a few bytes of personal health data, encoded on a chip, that could put an end to suffocating restrictions and restore the freewheeling travel that is a hallmark of the age of globalization. From Britain to Israel, these passports are taking shape or already in use.

    But they are also stirring complicated political and ethical debates about discrimination, inequality, privacy and fraud. And at a practical level, making them work seamlessly around the globe will be a formidable technical challenge.

    The debate may play out differently in tourism- or trade-dependent outposts like Aruba and Singapore, which view passports primarily as a tool to reopen borders, than it will in vast economies like the United States or China, which have starkly divergent views on civil liberties and privacy.
    The Biden administration said this week that it would not push for a mandatory vaccination credential or a federal vaccine database, attesting to the sensitive political and legal issues involved. In the European Union and Britain, which have taken tentative steps toward vaccine passports, leaders are running into thorny questions over their legality and technical feasibility.
    Vaccine Passports: What Are They, and Who Might Need One?
    The concept of documenting vaccinations is being taken to new levels of sophistication, and experts predict that electronic verification will soon become commonplace. And in Japan, which has lagged the United States and Britain in vaccinating its population, the debate has scarcely begun. There are grave misgivings there about whether passports would discriminate against people who cannot get a shot for medical reasons or choose not to be vaccinated.
    Still, almost everywhere, the pressure to restart international travel is forcing the debate. With tens of millions of people vaccinated, and governments desperate to reopen their economies, businesses and individuals are pushing to regain more freedom of movement. Verifying whether someone is inoculated is the simplest way to do that.
    ImageAdministrating a vaccine to a patient in London. In the European Union and Britain, leaders are running into thorny questions over the legality and technical feasibility of vaccine passports.“There’s a very important distinction between international travel and domestic uses,” said Paul Meyer, the founder of the Commons Project, a nonprofit trust that is developing CommonPass, a scannable code that contains Covid testing and vaccination data for travelers. Aruba was the first government to sign up for it.“There doesn’t seem to be any pushback on showing certification if I want to travel to Greece or Cyprus,” he said, pointing out that schools require students to be vaccinated against measles and many countries demand proof of yellow fever vaccinations. “From a public health perspective, it’s not fair to say, ‘You have no right to check whether I’m going to infect you.’”
    CommonPass is one of multiple efforts by technology companies and others to develop reliable, efficient systems to verify the medical status of passengers — a challenge that will deepen as more people resume traveling.At Heathrow Airport in London, which is operating at a fraction of its normal capacity, arriving passengers have had to line up for hours while immigration officials check whether they have proof of a negative test result and have purchased a mandatory kit to test themselves twice more after they enter the country.Saudi Arabia announced this week that pilgrims visiting the mosques in Mecca and Medina during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would have to show proof on a mobile app of being “immunized,” which officials defined as having been fully vaccinated, having gotten a single dose of a vaccine at least 14 days before arrival, or having recovered from Covid.In neighboring United Arab Emirates, residents can show their vaccination status on a certificate through a government-developed app. So far, the certificate is not yet widely required for anything beyond entering the capital, Abu Dhabi, from abroad.Few countries have gone farther in experimenting with vaccine passports than Israel. It is issuing a “Green Pass” that allows people who are fully vaccinated to go to bars, restaurants, concerts and sporting events. Israel has vaccinated more than half its population and the vast majority of its older people, which makes such a system useful but raises a different set of questions.With people under 16 not yet eligible for the vaccine, the system could create a generational divide, depriving young people of access to many of the pleasures of their elders. So far, enforcement of the Green Pass has been patchy, and in any event, Israel has kept its borders closed.So has China, which remains one of the most sealed-off countries in the world. In early March, the Chinese government announced it would begin issuing an “international travel health certificate,” which would record a user’s vaccination status, as well as the results of antibody tests. But it did not say whether the certificate would spare the user from China’s draconian quarantines.
    Nor is it clear how eager other countries would be to recognize China’s certificate, given that Chinese companies have been slow in disclosing data from clinical trials of their homegrown vaccines.Singapore has also maintained strict quarantines, even as it searches for way to restart foreign travel. Last week, it said it would begin rolling out a digital health passport, allowing passengers to use a mobile app to share their coronavirus test results before flying into the island nation. Like China, Singapore has not said whether that would be enough to avoid quarantine. The heavy focus on international travel points up another inconsistency in the use of passports: between those who can afford to travel freely overseas and those who continue to live under onerous restrictions at home.Free movement across borders is the goal of the European Union’s “Digital Green Certificate.” The European Commission last month set out a plan for verifying vaccination status, which would allow a person to travel freely within the bloc. It left it up to its 27 member states to decide how to collect the health data.

    That could avoid the pitfalls of the European Union’s vaccine rollout, which was heavily managed by Brussels and has been far slower than that in the United States or Britain. Yet analysts noted that in data collection, there is a trade-off between decentralized and centralized systems: the former tends to be better at protecting privacy but less efficient; the latter, more intrusive but potentially more effective.For some countries, the legal and ethical implications have been a major stumbling block to domestic use of a passport. As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada put it last month, “There are questions of fairness and justice.”And yet in Britain, which has a deeply rooted aversion to national ID cards, the government is moving gingerly in that direction. Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week outlined broad guidelines for a Covid certificate, which would record vaccination status, test results, and whether the holder had recovered from Covid, which confers a degree of natural immunity for an unknown duration.
    “Would we rather have a system where no one can go to a sports ground or theater?” said Jonathan Sumption, a former justice on Britain’s Supreme Court, who has been an outspoken critic of the government’s strict lockdowns. “It’s better to have a vaccine passport than a blanket rule which excludes these pleasures from everybody.”

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#etatsunis#canada#sante#vaccination#passeportvaccinal

  • Book Review: ‘Empire of Pain,’ by Patrick Radden Keefe - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/09/books/review-empire-of-pain-sackler-dynasty-patrick-radden-keefe.html

    Taking cover under complexity has been a common strategy for tobacco companies and big oil — entities that have profited from disaster while seeking ways to avoid any moral opprobrium and expensive accountability. But even the most elaborately complex phenomena can still have relatively simple beginnings, a kernel that requires only the ingenuity and ruthlessness of people who are ready to exploit it.

    Since 1996, 450,000 Americans have died from opioid overdoses, making them the leading cause of accidental death in the country. In “Empire of Pain,” Patrick Radden Keefe tells the story of how the Sackler family became a decisive force in a national tragedy. “Prior to the introduction of OxyContin, America did not have an opioid crisis,” Keefe writes. “After the introduction of OxyContin, it did.”

    Throughout his career, Arthur maintained that he wasn’t trying to influence physicians, just to “educate” them. Among his biggest triumphs as an adman was the marketing of the tranquilizers Librium and Valium, beginning in the 1960s. The drugs’ manufacturer, Roche, insisted they weren’t addictive — even though the company had evidence showing they were. Once the patents on the tranquilizers were about to expire, Roche finally relented to government controls. By then, 20 million Americans were taking Valium, and Arthur was rich. “The original House of Sackler was built on Valium,” Keefe writes, but Arthur would spend the rest of his life trying to downplay the connection.
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    Keefe nimbly guides us through the thicket of family intrigues and betrayals — how Arthur purchased the patent medicine company Purdue Frederick for his brothers, Mortimer and Raymond, in 1952, before he grew apart from them; and how Arthur’s heirs sold their shares to the surviving brothers after he died in 1987. Arthur’s descendants have tried to distance themselves from their cousins, protesting that they weren’t involved in the creation of OxyContin, but Keefe suggests they can’t get away from Purdue’s origin story. Arthur had created a fortune and a template.

    Even when detailing the most sordid episodes, Keefe’s narrative voice is calm and admirably restrained, allowing his prodigious reporting to speak for itself. His portrait of the family is all the more damning for its stark lucidity.

    #Patrick_Radden_Keefe #Addiction_sur_ordonnance #Opioides #Oxycontin

  • For Him, the Delight Is in the Digging - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/08/books/patrick-radden-keefe-empire-of-pain.html

    Patrick Radden Keefe has investigated human smuggling, government espionage and the Northern Ireland conflict. With “Empire of Pain,” he takes on the Sackler family and the opioid crisis.

    Un portrait de Patrick Radden Keefe en journaliste issu des études juridiques, et passionné pour découvrir les secrets qu’on cache.

    J’ajouterais à l’ensemble des remarques laudatives de l’article que Patrick est un formidable conteur. Qu’il sait nous prendre par la main et nous guider, nous donner envie d’aller encore plus loin dans ses recherches.

    Je suis finalement assez fier d’avoir repéré et publié son article sur les Sackler avant qu’il ne devienne célèbre.
    voir Addiction sur ordonnance https://cfeditions.com/addiction

    #Patrick_Radden_Keefe #Portrait #Addiction_sur_ordonnance

  • YouTube Discloses Percentage of Views That Go to Videos That Break its Rules - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/06/technology/youtube-views.html

    It is the never-ending battle for YouTube.

    Every minute, YouTube is bombarded with videos that run afoul of its many guidelines, whether pornography or copyrighted material or violent extremism or dangerous misinformation. The company has refined its artificially intelligent computer systems in recent years to prevent most of these so-called violative videos from being uploaded to the site, but continues to come under scrutiny for its failure to curb the spread of dangerous content.

    In an effort to demonstrate its effectiveness in finding and removing rule-breaking videos, YouTube on Tuesday disclosed a new metric: the Violative View Rate. It is the percentage of total views on YouTube that come from videos that do not meet its guidelines before the videos are removed.

    In a blog post, YouTube said violative videos had accounted for 0.16 percent to 0.18 percent of all views on the platform in the fourth quarter of 2020. Or, put another way, out of every 10,000 views on YouTube, 16 to 18 were for content that broke YouTube’s rules and was eventually removed.

    While YouTube points to such reports as a form of accountability, the underlying data is based on YouTube’s own rulings for which videos violate its guidelines. If YouTube finds fewer videos to be violative — and therefore removes fewer of them — the percentage of violative video views may decrease. And none of the data is subject to an independent audit, although the company did not rule that out in the future.

    #YouTube #Culture_numérique #Auto-justification

  • Supreme Court Backs Google in Copyright Fight With Oracle
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/05/us/google-oracle-supreme-court.html?campaign_id=158&emc=edit_ot_20210406&insta

    The 6-to-2 ruling ended a decade-long battle over whether Google had improperly used Java code in its Android operating system. The Supreme Court on Monday sided with Google in a long-running copyright dispute with Oracle over software used to run most of the world’s smartphones. The 6-to-2 ruling, which resolved what Google had called “the copyright case of the decade,” spared the company from having to face claims from Oracle for billions of dollars in damages. The case, Google v. Oracle (...)

    #Google #Oracle #procès #copyright

  • Vaccinated Americans Can Travel, C.D.C. Says - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/02/science/cdc-travel-vaccinated.html

    Vaccinated Americans are at low risk while traveling but must still wear masks, the C.D.C. says. Fully vaccinated people can resume travel to low, at low risk to themselves. For domestic travel, fully vaccinated people do not need to get a Covid-19 test before or after travel, and do not need to self-quarantine after travel. For example, fully vaccinated. grandparents can fly to visit their healthy grandkids without getting a Covid-19 test or self-quarantining, provided they follow the other recommended prevention measures while traveling. For international travel, fully vaccinated people do not need to get a Covid-19 test before they leave the United States, unless it is required by their international destination. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested and have a negative test result before they board an international flight back into the United States. But they do not need to quarantine when they arrive here. However, fully vaccinated people who do international travel should still be tested three to five days after arrival in the United States on an international flight. Our guidance reiterates that all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, should continue to wear masks on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation while traveling.
    Americans who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus can travel “at low risk to themselves,” both within the United States and internationally, but they must continue to take precautions like wearing a mask in public to avoid possibly spreading the virus to others, federal health officials said on Friday.The new recommendations are a modest departure from previous advice. Federal health officials have been urging Americans not to travel at all, unless they absolutely must. That recommendation still applies, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters at a White House news conference on Friday.
    New virus cases, hospitalizations and new deaths have declined significantly since their January peaks, but new infections have remained at a level that health officials say is too high. New deaths on average have only just dipped below 900 a day, according to a New York Times database, and hospitalization numbers have started to level off.
    With the case increases in recent weeks, federal health officials are concerned about the potential impact of easing restrictions. Scientists are not yet certain whether, or how often, vaccinated people may become infected, even briefly, and transmit the virus to others. A recent C.D.C. study suggested that it may be a rare event, and the agency said on Friday that about 101.8 million people — nearly one-third of the total U.S. population — had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.Until that question is resolved, many public health officials feel it is unwise to tell vaccinated Americans simply to do as they please. Yet at the same time, Dr. Walensky said on Friday, the agency wished to acknowledge a growing body of evidence suggesting that the risk to vaccinated travelers themselves is comparatively low. On the one hand, we are telling you we are worried about rising cases, to wear a mask, and to avoid travel,” Dr. Walensky said. “Yet on the other hand we are saying that if you are vaccinated, evolving data suggests that traveling is likely lower risk.” Travel has been increasing nationwide as the weather warms and Americans grow fatigued with pandemic restrictions. Last Sunday, for example, was the busiest day at domestic airports since the pandemic began. Several states have lifted restrictions and mask mandates, beckoning tourists despite rising caseloads in some regions.
    If an individual is fully vaccinated, the C.D.C. says the person can travel freely within the United States and that the person does not need to get tested, or self-quarantine, before or after traveling. But some states and local governments may choose to keep travel restrictions in place, including testing, quarantine and stay-at-home orders. Earlier this week, Dr. Walensky warned that the increases left her with a recurring sense of “impending doom.” Some scientists predicted weeks ago that the number of infections could curve upward again in late March, at least in part because of the rise of virus variants across the country.
    President Biden, who previously urged states to maintain or reimpose mask mandates, pleaded with Americans on Friday to continue to follow guidelines from health experts and get vaccinated as soon as they can. Most states have accelerated their timelines for opening vaccinations to all adults, as the pace of vaccinations has increased. As of Friday, an average of nearly three million shots a day were being administered, according to data reported by the C.D.C.People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the second dose of the two-dose regimen from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.Fully vaccinated Americans who are traveling domestically do not need to be tested and do not need to follow quarantine procedures at the destination or on return home, the C.D.C. now advises.
    Vaccinated Americans do not need to get a coronavirus test before international travel, unless required to do so by the authorities at the destination. Some destinations also may require that vaccinated travelers quarantine after arrival. Vaccinated travelers do not need to quarantine after returning unless required to do so by local officials, the C.D.C. said.
    But the C.D.C. says vaccinated Americans traveling internationally are required to have a negative coronavirus test before boarding a flight back to the United States, and they should get tested again three to five days after their return home.The recommendation is predicated on the idea that vaccinated people may still become infected with the virus. The C.D.C. also cited a lack of vaccine coverage in other countries, and concern about the potential introduction and spread of new variants of the virus that are more prevalent overseas.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#etatsunis#sante#vaccination#frontiere#circulation#voyageaerien#CDC#politiquesanitaire