From 2013 to 2014, Maine saw the third-highest increase in any state, 27 percent ... Twenty years ago, just 34 people died from drug overdoses ... Only four years ago, there were 176 overdose deaths, less than half the 2016 total ... The death toll reached 378 in 2016, driven almost entirely by opioids – prescription painkillers, heroin and now fentanyl, a powerful synthetic. More than one victim per day. More than car accidents. Or suicide. Or breast cancer.

Research shows that integration benefits all students. But the experience of Howard County...demonstrates that bringing students of different backgrounds together in the same schools isn't enough to ensure their success. Where educators have long spoken of the achievement gap — the differences in academic performance between white students and black, and affluent and poor — some are now focusing on the so-called opportunity gap.

Parts suppliers in the American South compete for low-margin orders against suppliers in Mexico and Asia. They promise delivery schedules they can’t possibly meet and face ruinous penalties if they fall short. Employees work ungodly hours, six or seven days a week, for months on end. Pay is low, turnover is high, training is scant, and safety is an afterthought... Many of the same woes that typify work conditions at contract manufacturers across Asia now bedevil parts plants in the South.

CivicScape claims to not use race or ethnic data to make predictions, although it is aware of other indirect indicators of race that could bias its software. The software also filters out low-level drug crimes, which have been found to be heavily biased against African Americans. While this startup might be the first to publicly reveal the inner machinations of its algorithm and data practices, it’s not an assurance that predictive policing can be made fair and transparent across the board.

half of the United States’ gun murders in 2015 were clustered in 127 cities (Want to fix gun violence? Go local). We also found that violence was concentrated even further than simply the city level: census tract areas that contain just 1.5% of the country’s population saw 26% of America’s total gun homicides.

Global warming is precisely the kind of threat humans are awful at dealing with: a problem with enormous consequences over the long term, but little that is sharply visible on a personal level in the short term. Humans are hard-wired for quick fight-or-flight reactions in the face of an imminent threat, but not highly motivated to act against slow-moving and somewhat abstract problems, even if the challenges that they pose are ultimately dire.

Similar to a standard hydroelectric power plant, pumped hydroelectric storage stations generate power by releasing water from a reservoir through a turbine to a second reservoir at a lower altitude. Rather than releasing the outflow, however, the water is then stored in the lower reservoir until it can be pumped back up to the top reservoir using cheaper, off-peak power or another renewable energy source.

The rising ocean, fed by melting glaciers and the expansion of warming water, is piling up water along America’s entire eastern seaboard. To compound the problem much of the mid-Atlantic coast is sinking, a hangover from the last ice age, meaning life and property is being swamped like never before... And yet with no overarching national sea level rise plan and patchy commitment from states, many coastal communities are left to deal with the encroaching seas themselves.

In California, voters passed ballot measures...that took power to draw political maps away from the Legislature and handed it to an independent citizens commission made up of five Democrats, five Republicans and four people not affiliated with a major party. Politicians, lobbyists and campaign donors are not eligible to serve on the commission. California is the only state that’s removed politicians from the map-drawing process...15 other states have taken the authority away from the legislature

if there is a noticeable drop in international enrollments, university revenue is likely to fall—and American students could face tuition increases to make up the difference ... Foreign students contributed $36 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Students from the six countries affected by Trump's travel ban—Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria—contributed almost $500 million.