FROM Tim Kusky
Is the Deluge in Iowa Worse than It Needed to Be? This weekend's newscasts and front pages were full of pictures dramatizing the damage from record rainfall and massive flooding , especially in Iowa. The area covered is smaller than it was in 1993--the worst such period in living memory, but the damage could end up being even worse. Midwestern farming has been a bright spot in a declining economy, but record rainfall and massive flooding are turning success into disaster. Widespread development on natural floodplains leaves less land to soak up excess water, which leads to big trouble downstream. When the levees are over-topped, those new developments are threatened with inundation. Have local and federal officials failed to learn the lessons of flooding in decades past? What will that mean in the future?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."