Kettling: Why is this police tactic so controversial?

In any sufficiently large protest, police officers may "kettle" protesters. Critics say it violates human rights, while advocates claim its one of the few safe tools available to police during a protest.

  • "Kettling" is when police form a cordon surrounding a group of protesters, immobilizing them for hours or directing them to a single exit.
  • It's an effective tactic to control the movements of a crowd, but it also catches people indiscriminately — journalists, protesters, rioters, innocent civilians — and cuts people off from food, water, and toilets for hours.
  • Some police officers have taken advantage of kettles to abuse protesters, but its still seen as one of the few effective ways to control a potentially violent crowd.
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Politics & Current Affairs

Tinnitus and the deafening problem of noise pollution

Hearing-related problems are on the rise.

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
  • Noise pollution should be considered a public-health crisis, according to experts that study the problem.
  • Between 15-20 percent of humans will suffer from tinnitus during their lives.
  • Carbon is not the only catalyst for environmental degradation; entire ecosystems are being destroyed by noise.
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Politics & Current Affairs

A new study claims Australians don't see cyclists as fully human

Unfortunately, this means that drivers act more aggressively on the road when spotting cyclists.

The peleton passes a kangaroo sign during the men's event at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Bicycle race in Geelong. (Photo by Mal Fairclough / AFP)
  • A new study in Australia shows that half of drivers don't rate cyclists as humans—this includes cyclists themselves.
  • This research follows up on previous studies that show drivers act more aggressively toward cyclists after dehumanizing them.
  • Cycling accidents in the US account for nearly 3 percent of all deaths on the roads.
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Culture & Religion

Growing up in nature reduces mental issues by up to 55%

As we urbanize, a new study flags the need for lots of green spaces.

(haireena/Shutterstock)
  • A childhood spent in green spaces reduces the chance of acquiring adult mental disorders by 15% to 55%.
  • A comprehensive study tracked the life stories of one million Danes to reach this conclusion.
  • Humanity is moving to cities, and the report underscores the need for ample green spaces for children.
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Mind & Brain

Is free expression online threatened by content removal?

U.S. laws regulating online speech offer broad protections for private companies, but experts worry free expression may be threatened by "better safe than sorry" voluntary censorship.

A member of the Westboro Baptist Church demonstrates outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. (Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
  • U.S. laws regulating online speech offer broad protections for internet intermediaries.
  • Despite this, companies typically follow a "better safe than sorry" approach to protect against legal action or loss of reputation.
  • Silencing contentious opinions can have detrimental effects, such as social exclusion and negating reconciliation.
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