Vaccine impact on menstruation • Ukraine-Iran shootdown • Confounding jobs report • Ethiopia frees prisoners • Exceptional fossil find •
9 JAN 2022
The Factual

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Confounding jobs report • Ethiopia frees prisoners • Ukraine-Iran shootdown • Vaccine impact on menstruation • Exceptional fossil find

Japanese immigration restrictions • Galaxy without dark matter • Fixing nuclear bugs


#1 in U.S. News • 42 articles
What does the December jobs report indicate about the U.S. economic recovery?
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  1. Highly-rated - last 48 hrs
    Economy gained just 199,000 jobs in December, far below expectations.
    NBC News (Moderate Left) • Factual Grade 77% • 4 min read

    The U.S. economy added just 199,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent from 4.2 percent. The December data, released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fell far short of economists' expectations of 422,000 job gains.
    Economists noted the barrage of mixed messages coming out of recent job market data: The BLS report came two days after private payroll processor ADP reported that the private sector added 807,000 jobs in December, more than double what economists projected, while the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey reported on Tuesday that a record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November.
    The sluggish labor force participation rate adds to the confusion, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research. Omicron also has threats for labor market inflation. “There’s going to be some hesitation on the part of employees coming back to work,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.
  1. Different political viewpoint
    Behind omicron's haze, a booming job market. [Free read link]
    Wall Street Journal (Moderate Right) • Factual Grade 70% • 3 min read
  1. Selected long-read
    Everyone has a job and nobody’s happy.
    New York Magazine (Left) • Factual Grade 78% • 5 min read

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Should employees who take in-person roles be compensated for covid risk?

All votes are anonymous. This poll closes at: 9:00 PDT


Should the government require private employers to mandate the covid vaccine?

659 votes, 83 comments

Context: Supreme Court weighs whether the government's vaccine mandates are legal.


No - In general, no. It's unnecessarily coercive. Given where we are at with the new variants, vaccines are no longer about stopping the spread, but more about reducing severity. Vaccination is rapidly becoming a question of personal risk instead of social responsibility. Perhaps the government should still mandate it in specific circumstances, like certain kinds of healthcare workers.

Yes - The only way out of this pandemic is to achieve worldwide herd immunity. At the moment, vaccines are the only viable option for achieving that. If effective medications are developed, or covid loses its virulence, vaccines may not be as necessary.

Unsure - For the time being, it should be a regular testing mandate with the option to vaccinate, which is what I understand that this mandate actually is.

#1 in World News • 7 articles
Why is Ethiopia releasing several major political prisoners?
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  1. Highly-rated - last 48 hrs
    Ethiopia releases prominent political prisoners, calls for reconciliation. [Free read link]
    New York Times (Moderate Left) • Factual Grade 80% • 4 min read

    The announcement comes weeks after Mr. Abiy’s forces scored a string of battlefield victories against rebels from the country’s northern region of Tigray, and stoked rare hopes that some form of conciliation might be possible. But there was no mention of peace talks with his main enemy, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Mr. Abiy has previously ruled out any negotiation with them.
    Since Mr. Abiy, the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2019, launched a military action in Tigray in November 2020, the conflict has been marked by accusations of widespread human rights abuses, ethnic cleansing and a humanitarian crisis that has pushed at least 400,000 people into famine-like conditions.
    Analysts and foreign diplomats say Mr. Abiy’s stunning military comeback in recent months was largely made possible by armed drones supplied by foreign allies, including the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, that turned the tide on the battlefield.
  1. Different political viewpoint
    Ethiopia grants amnesty to high-profile political detainees.
    Associated Press (Center) • Factual Grade 69% • 3 min read
  1. Selected long-read
    Following the Tigray conflict, the rocky road to peace in Ethiopia. (2021)
    The Conversation (Center) • Factual Grade 72% • 5 min read

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#2 in World News • 6 articles
Why is Ukraine accusing Iran of a terrorist act in the downing of its plane in 2020?
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  1. Highly-rated - last 48 hrs
    Ukraine accuses Iran of premeditated terrorist act in 2020 plane shootdown.
    Voice of America (Center) • Factual Grade 82% • 5 min read

    [Oleksiy Danilov, Ukraine's National Defense and Security Council secretary] noted that before and after Iran's pre-dawn missile strikes on Flight PS752, Iranian authorities had allowed other civilian jets to take off from Tehran airport. "We have the impression that they [the Iranians] had been waiting specifically for our plane. We can assume this," he said.
    Iran has acknowledged firing missiles that struck the plane and killed all 176 people on board, but it called the incident an accident and blamed it on a misaligned air defense system and human error by the missile operators. The plane had taken off from Tehran minutes earlier, carrying mostly Iranians and Iranian Canadians who were flying to Kyiv en route to Canada.
    The Iranian forces who shot down the Ukrainian plane had been on alert for a U.S. response to a missile strike that Iran launched on American troops in Iraq several hours earlier. Iran had attacked the U.S. troops, wounding dozens, in retaliation for a U.S. airstrike that killed top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad five days previously.
  1. Different political viewpoint
    Families seek justice for Iran plane crash victims.
    BBC (Moderate Left) • Factual Grade 72% • 6 min read
  1. Selected long-read
    Doomed from the start: Flight PS752’s final minutes over Iran revealed in cockpit recording.
    National Post (Moderate Right) • Factual Grade 73% • 16 min read

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#1 in Health News • 8 articles
Why is the NIH funding research on covid vaccine's impact on menstrual cycles?
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  1. Highly-rated - last 48 hrs
    Covid-19 vaccine linked to small, temporary changes in menstrual cycles, study finds.
    ABC News (Moderate Left) • Factual Grade 84% • 4 min read

    Thanks in part to the persistence of women who spoke out on social media and documented their side effects in an online database created by two researchers, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced in August it was committing $1.6 million in funding to launch research studies [on menstruation and Covid-19 vaccines] at five universities across the country.
    One [study], led by researchers at Oregon Health and Science University, formally documents what women described experiencing. [It] found that vaccination can cause temporary changes to the timing of menstruation, with the typical experience being a period that's late by about one day after vaccination. The effects were temporary, with a normal menstrual cycle returning within one or two months after getting the shot.
    Getting vaccinated produces a strong immune system response in the days following the shot, which may cause temporary changes to menstrual cycles. Studies have also documented temporary menstrual cycle changes among women who get Covid-19 infections.
  1. Selected local viewpoint
    Covid-19 vaccine has small impact on menstrual cycles that quickly resolves, OHSU study finds.
    The Oregonian (Moderate Right) • Factual Grade 63% • 4 min read
  1. Selected long-read
    These women say Covid-19 changed their periods. They’re calling for more research.
    The Lily (Left) • Factual Grade 79% • 5 min read

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#1 in Science News • 5 articles
Why are newly discovered fossils in Australia particularly notable?
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  1. Highly-rated - last 48 hrs
    Incredible new fossil site found in the "dead heart" of Australia.
    Science Alert (Center) • Factual Grade 79% • 3 min read

    A new fossil site that can most aptly be described as "exceptional" has turned up fossils of spiders, insects, fish, plants and even a bird feather, dating to the Miocene 11 to 16 million years ago. The assemblage, named McGraths Flat, is so exceptional that it has been classified as a Lagerstätte – a sedimentary fossil bed that's so extraordinary that sometimes even soft tissues have been preserved.
    "The fossils we have found prove that the area was once a temperate, mesic rainforest and that life was rich and abundant here in the Central Tablelands, NSW," said paleontologist Matthew McCurry, from the Australian Museum Research Institute.
    According to an analysis of the pollen grains in the assemblage, the McGraths Flat rainforest was being encroached upon by arid climate areas. This is not unexpected; during the Miocene, global temperatures had started to rise; it was during this period that the Australian continent started to transform from lush to arid.
  1. Selected long-read
    A young paleontologist may have discovered a record of the most significant event in the history of life on Earth. (2019)
    New Yorker (Left) • Factual Grade 75% • 41 min read

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Japan's self-destructive immigration policy.

The Diplomat (Center) • Grade 75% • 5 min read

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Astronomers discover a strange galaxy without dark matter

Wired (Moderate Left) • Grade 78% • 6 min read

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When software bugs go nuclear: Testing a digital arsenal.

War on the Rocks (Center) • Grade 80% • 11 min read



Highly-rated article from left-leaning source

Vox • Grade 86%

Fusion energy is a reason to be excited about the future.

Highly-rated article from right-leaning source

American Conservative • Grade 71%

Depression, suicide, and obesity are on the rise in America, and not just because of social media and Covid.

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