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Benin continues to slide toward autocracy | Washington Post
(Written by UCLA’s Tyson Roberts) Benin’s April 11 elections have many analysts increasingly concerned that the country is following a recent pattern of democratic decline in Africa. In 1991, Benin was the first former dictatorship to hold multiparty elections in Africa’s post–Cold War wave of democratization. According to one measure of democracy — the “two-turnover test” — Benin consolidated its democracy in 1996, when a second incumbent president lost reelection.
COVID’s outsize impact on Asian Americans is being ignored | Scientific American
In California, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) had the highest death rates of any racial and ethnic group in the state, according to the NHPI COVID-19 Data Policy Lab at UCLA. … With Asians getting “spat on, beaten up, killed … we suspect the Asian community was not getting tested for fear of leaving their homes,” says Ninez Ponce, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “Testing sites may have been further away from home and not as safely accessible,” she adds.
Results from recent experiments by the UCLA Covid-19 Health and Politics Project provide clues about what incentives may move the needle for different segments of the population. One experiment run by the UCLA project found that a cash payment would make roughly a third of unvaccinated people more likely to get a shot. Researchers trialed different levels of cash payments and, unsurprisingly, found that a $100 cash payment increased willingness more than a $25 or $50 payment. (UCLA’s Lynn Vavreck was quoted.)
The latest on the pandemic | KPCC-FM’s “AirTalk”
“I think this is really great news. It shows that we’ve been able to bring the positivity rates down to less than 1%. Currently, we have fewer than 1.6 new cases for every 100,000 people in Los Angeles County. So this is really great news that we’ve been able to make this progress,” said UCLA’s Dr. Annabelle De St. Maurice (approx. 1:15 mark).
L.A. City’s initiative for a more honest, less whitewashed relationship with its history | KPCC-FM’s “AirTalk”
“I think the circumstances of last year in particular, the kind of national spectacle of people tearing down monuments, really kind of forced all of us to grapple with legacy of history and the place of history in the landscape of American cities,” said UCLA’s Eric Avila (approx. 1:35 mark).
“We just don’t have a mechanism for post-COVID kinds of discipline,” said Daniel Losen, the director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies, an initiative at the Civil Rights Project at the University of California Los Angeles. “I think we’re gonna see a lot of kids who are going to be excluded from school because they’re violating either masking or social distancing requirements ... or you might see more escalation from the kids who are more challenging and who have experienced trauma.”
(Written by UCLA’s Dr. Nina Harawa) As an epidemiologist, I know that these are more than just a string of unrelated, individual tragedies. Rather, they are part of a pattern of premature deaths among Black men in the U.S., where even before the pandemic the average life expectancy of Black men was five years shorter than that of White men and roughly a decade shorter than the life expectancies of women overall. For the communities these men leave behind — who must cope with the premature loss of providers, partners, uncles, fathers, coaches, protectors and role models — the toll is devastating.
Research has shown that age influences the way that we experience happiness, says Cassie Mogilner Holmes, professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. To younger people in their teens and 20s, happiness is more about excitement, anticipation and high-energy situations, Mogilner Holmes says. “As people get older, calm contentment becomes more of how they experience happiness,” she says.
A team of researchers from UCLA, Cedars-Sinai and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has developed a first-of-its-kind molecular catalog of cells in healthy lungs and the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis. … “This new research has provided us with valuable insights into the cellular makeup of both healthy and diseased airways,” said Dr. Brigitte Gomperts, a co-senior author of the study and a member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA. “If you can understand how things work in a state of health, it becomes easier to see what cellular and molecular changes occur in a disease state.”
In a new study, scientists used a massive radar system to bounce lightwaves off our neighboring planet over the course of more than a decade. As a result, the researchers were able to measure how tilted Venus’ axis is, how big its core is, and how long it takes the planet to complete one full rotation. “Venus is our sister planet, and yet these fundamental properties have remained unknown,” Jean-Luc Margot, a planetary scientist at the University of California Los Angeles and lead author of the new research, said in a statement.