What’s Happening: A Promising Lead in the Mystery of MH370
A fragment of an airplane wing belonging to a Boeing 777 aircraft washed ashore on Reunion Island on Thursday, causing intense speculation that a piece of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, missing since last March, had been found. If confirmed, the fragment would be the first piece of physical evidence from the plane, whose disappearance has turned it into one of the world’s enduring aviation mysteries.
Bail Is Set in Cincinnati: A judge in Cincinnati set a bail of $1 million for a police officer indicted for the murder of Samuel DuBose, an African American man, during a traffic stop on July 19. Ray Tensing, who pleaded not guilty, became the first cop in the history of Hamilton County to be charged with murder for actions taken in the line of duty. His next court appearance is set for August 19.
Upheaval at Rolling Stone: Will Dana, the longtime managing editor of the magazine, announced his resignation on Thursday. The decision came three months after the publication was forced to retract an article published last November alleging the gang rape of a University of Virginia student at a frat house. In April, an investigation by Columbia Journalism Review concluded that the rape did not occur and took issue with Dana’s stewardship of the article, which was written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely.
Russell Berman: “Conservatives seem willing to accept some new spending if they can be convinced that it will be outweighed by savings in the longterm. Starting Friday, it will be up to the Obama administration to make the case that giving Pell grants to prisoners adheres to that principle.”
Olga Khazan: “The larger purpose [of #UnplannedParenthood] seems to be to put many happy faces on the pro-life movement. All those people weren’t aborted! Isn’t that wonderful? Of course it is. But it also assumes that the only reason for an abortion would be that you're mildly surprised by your pregnancy status, and uncertain what to do next. That fails to capture the experience of a great many women facing incredibly complex choices.”
Gillian White: “Millennials are the most educated generation yet, but with all those degrees has come a mountain of debt. On top of that, a shaky economy and changing views of work mean many young adults are working as freelancers or contractors, positions that often don’t come with the benefits [namely life insurance] that can help families cope with financial burdens should something bad happen.”
1. With former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore joining the presidential race, the total number of “major” GOP contenders is now ______.
T. Christian Miller has a troubling report on the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, which was created in 1985 to track serial rapists and killers:
In the years since ViCAP was first conceived, data-mining has grown vastly more sophisticated, and computing power has become cheaper and more readily available. Corporations can link the food you purchase, the clothes you buy, and the websites you browse. The FBI can parse your emails, cellphone records, and airline itineraries. [...]
That’s what’s striking about ViCAP today: the paucity of information it contains. Only about 1,400 police agencies in the U.S., out of roughly 18,000, participate in the system. The database receives reports from far less than 1 percent of the violent crimes committed annually. It’s not even clear how many crimes the database has helped solve. The FBI does not release any figures. A review in the 1990s found it had linked only 33 crimes in 12 years.
Canadian authorities built on the original ViCAP framework to develop a modern and sophisticated system capable of identifying patterns and linking crimes. It has proven particularly successful at analyzing sexual-assault cases. But three decades and an estimated $30 million later, the FBI’s system remains stuck in the past, the John Henry of data mining.
Reader Comment of the Day
Arclight isn’t a fan of Alana Semuel’s latest piece, “White Flight Never Ended,” which observes, “Today’s cities may be more diverse overall, but people of different races still don’t live near each other”:
Reading The Atlantic on this subject is like being stuck in Groundhog Day. It’s apparently a never-ending source of wonder to the writers and editors that given the chance, most households choose to live near people most similar to them, culturally and economically.
It’s also amusing how progressives like this author betray their deeply-held belief in the superiority of the culture of the white majority in repeatedly implying that the only way troubled minorities can elevate their condition is by living in areas dominated by whites—not by leaving existing minority communities intact.
When conservatives say that the lower class’s path out of poverty is to adopt the cultural habits of the predominantly-white middle and upper classes, they are called racists. When progressives propose the same thing through more convoluted methods like fair housing regulations and changing zoning codes, they are called socially conscious. But both believe in the same thing.