Why Does America Dislike Europe?

Writing from Paris, Nicholas Kristof wonders why some of the GOP candidates are decrying Europe. There are serious financial problems, to be sure, but the society is healthier than America's.

What's the Latest Development?

"He wants us to turn into a European-style welfare state," Mitt Romney recently said of President Obama. Romney is just one of the GOP presidential candidates who have attacked Obama by comparing his administration to European governments. The analogy is made to Europe's generous social safety nets which have contributed to the continent's current fiscal problems. "The dirty little secret of European governments was that we lived in a way we couldn’t afford," said Sylvie Kauffmann of the French newspaper Le Monde.  

What's the Big Idea?

"It's absurd to dismiss Europe," says Nicholas Kristof, writing from Paris. Since 1960, French per-capita GDP has risen from 64 to 73 percent of America's while the average French worker toiled 300 fewer hours annually than the average American. There are 172 Fortune 500 companies in Europe compared to America's 133; Europe's citizens enjoy more economic mobility than Americans; Europe has addressed climate change and energy policies with more zest; average life expectancy in France is three years longer than ours.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Keep reading Show less

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

Unraveling the mystery behind dogs' floppy ears

Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
  • Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
  • Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
Keep reading Show less