Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

America’s new tobacco crisis: The rich stopped smoking, the poor didn’t by William Wan: “Among the nation’s less-educated people — those with a high-school-equivalency diploma — the smoking rate remains more than 40 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today, rural residents are diagnosed with lung cancer at rates 18 to 20 percent above those of city dwellers. By nearly every statistical measure, researchers say, America’s lower class now smokes more and dies more from cigarettes than other Americans.”

The Confederate flag largely disappeared after the Civil War. The fight against civil rights brought it back. by Logan Strother, Thomas Ogorzalek and Spencer Piston: “Southerners reintroduced these symbols as a means of resisting the Civil Rights movement. The desire to maintain whites’ dominant position in the racial hierarchy of the United States was at the root of the rediscovery of Confederate symbols.”

As Merkel calls on Pope Francis, is a partnership in the works? by John Allen: “On many fronts, Merkel would seem to embody an agenda more congenial to that of Pope Francis. She’s an ardent supporter of Paris and environmental protection, she’s defended a strong pro-immigrant position that saw Germany take in an estimated one million refugees and migrants in 2015 alone, and when she was in Mexico last week, she pointedly said that “putting up walls and cutting oneself off will not solve the problem.””

The ice begins to break in conservative chokehold of USCCB by Michael Sean Winters: “The discussion of health care also showed the changing tide, but on this issue, Team Francis is closer to a clear-cut win. Bishop George Thomas of Helena, Montana, warned of the “catastrophic effects” of the budget and health care proposals being discussed in Congress. “Our silence or our indifference would be tantamount to complicity in a very bad budget,” he said, earning applause at the end of his impassioned remarks. That budget and those health care proposals are the handiwork of Speaker Paul Ryan, the darling of the conservative Catholic bishops.”

Memo to Congress: Don’t Cut Foreign Aid by John McCain and Tim Kaine: “These are dangerous, challenging times. Instability is spreading around the world. Every day brings new reports of armed conflicts, acts of terrorism, humanitarian crises, and historic numbers of refugees and displaced peoples. Development assistance programs support military and diplomatic efforts to address these many crises, and help prevent conditions that lead to political instability and radicalization.”

A year after Orlando shooting, Catholic mother uses advocacy to honor slain son by Olga Segura: “Mrs. Wright lost her 31-year-old son, Jerald Arthur Wright, during the 2016 shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. During the early hours of June 12, Omar Mateen entered the nightclub, armed with an AR-15-type semiautomatic rifle and a 9-millimeter handgun, and opened fire. He killed 49 people and wounded 58 others. Mrs. Wright would eventually draw on both her Catholicism and her desire to honor her son’s memory in her work as a gun reform advocate.”

Why California’s Climate Change Fight Is Also About Public Health by Justin Worland: “But in California addressing climate change isn’t just about saving the world from rising sea levels, intense heat and extreme weather events. Environmental policy experts say the state’s aggressive global warming program will also help solve a longstanding public health problem.”