News Roundup for 9/15/14

Here are some of the important news stories and opinions of recent days.

Boko Haram: In April, Islamic jihadists with Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 girls in northeastern Nigeria. Since then, 57 girls have escaped, and “not one has escaped or been rescued since then,” the Huffington Post reports. Horrific.

“Moderate” Jihadists? Some people fear many of the so-called “moderate” rebels the United States intends to arm are actually “hard-line Islamists”; see Doug Mataconis’s report. That fear seems warranted.

Prostitution? Police reportedly detained Django Unchained actor Daniele Watts because they thought she was a prostitute, CNN reports. She was with her (white) boyfriend. Oopsie. This illustrates how bad laws allow people to use the police to harass others (the police were responding to a complaint).

Economics: As Coyote Blog points out, some of the same people who believe a carbon tax is a good idea because it will reduce the consumption of carbon fuels, also believe that an increase in the minimum wage will not reduce the employment of unskilled workers. In other words, some people invoke the principles of economics selectively, when it’s convenient for them.

Political Philosophy: John McCaskey defends this thesis: “[D]o not try justifying a rights-violating law with a cost-benefit analysis. If a law violates someone’s rights, it is wrong, no matter how large the benefit to innocent third parties.”

New Blood Filter: A new device now in testing cleans septic blood of pathogens and toxins, Medical Xpress reports. See the report for details about how the device works. Hat tip to Paul Hsieh.

Scotland: I was just thinking to myself this morning, “I wish someone would present a good discussion about the vote for independence in Scotland.” George Will rides to the rescue. I still have little idea of what independence would mean legally and economically, though. Meanwhile, John Oliver makes the case against independence, the Week reports.

Ebola: The struggle to contain the Ebola virus outbreak is not going well, as this Guardian report from Liberia indicates. Meanwhile, “Obama Plans Major Ebola Offensive” (with U.S. tax dollars), the Wall Street Journal reports.

Animal “Rights”: The Oregon Supreme Court seems to be moving in the direction of recognizing “rights” of animals; see the Examiner report. (Warning: The Examiner employs extremely annoying pop-up ads and the like.)

Suspended Animation: “Doctors have begun human trials of suspended animation to buy more time for critically injured patients,” the Economist reports, via Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine.

Sweden: “Sweden’s Social Democrats were poised to return to power after a left-leaning bloc defeated the center-right government in a parliamentary election Sunday that also saw strong gains by an anti-immigration party,” the Associated Press reports.

Diet: Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy thinks the paleo diet probably doesn’t improve health relative to other types of diets.