The New York Times:IN American politics, personality is, supposedly, destiny: Having a conservative personality makes us conservative on economic and social policy, and vice versa for liberals. Think of the stereotypes: the free-spending, libertine liberal; the rock-ribbed, free-market conservative.But there’s nothing natural about this pairing between personality and such broad ideologies. Instead, the structure of our ideological divide is shaped by political messaging rather than psychological differences. In fact, our research, which we recently published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, suggests that the personality characteristics that make someone culturally conservative will often tend to promote left-wing economic views, favoring redistributive economic intervention by the government. How is this possible?Start by considering the most influential scholarly view of how personality affects political ideology: the “rigidity of the right” model. It holds that people differ from one another in terms of whether they are closed-minded and prefer what is familiar, or are open-minded and prefer diverse experiences.Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >
The Legal Aid Agency says it will operate flexibly to ensure providers can continue to advise clients in coronavirus-related guidance published today.The agency said its plans take into account the impact of Covid-19 on firms’ ability to operate according to their legal aid contract, as well as prioritising the protection of staff’s health and wellbeing.The guidance states: ‘We have robust business continuity plans covering all aspects of our work, including client applications and claims for payment (including payments not made under contract, for example direct payments to advocates). These established plans will be put in place in the event our operations are affected by coronavirus, to enable continuity of operations.‘There is no current change to operating process, however we are identifying options to reduce administrative and audit burdens on providers and will communicate these through updates to this document.’The agency points out that its contracts allow for ‘exceptional circumstances’.The guidance states: ‘Priority will be given to resolving queries which relate to impacts of coronavirus, and contract management focus will be reprioritised from provider visits to ensure we can respond consistently and quickly to your queries. Responses to common queries will be reflected in future versions of this document.’Routine contract manager visits to provider offices will stop. ‘Proportionate’ contract management work will be carried out remotely.‘We will pause our routine reporting and recoupment activity on unrecouped payments on account with immediate effect. We are considering how else we can reduce the administrative activity for firms during this time and will communicate these with you through updates to this page,’ the guidance says.Practitioners unable to meet office requirements should notify their contract manager and continue to document evidence on how supervision has been applied. They are expected to be able to submit application forms to clients to sign and return, but the agency is reviewing digital options for signatures. The agency says it will take a ‘proportionate’ approach to duty solicitor compliance.Meanwhile the Legal Aid Practitioners’ Group has published a list of suggested measures to help providers and maintain client services, which will be updated daily. Suggested measures include relaxing the requirement for supervisors to be available on site, and lifting the requirement for practitioners to be physically in the office.
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is warning that future epidemic waves of the Zika virus, which will put additional people at risk, remain likely.PAHO director Carissa Etienne issued the warning in a new perspective piece for the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, ‘Zika Virus Disease in the Americas: A Storm in the Making’.“Future epidemic waves of Zika virus, which will put additional people at risk, remain likely,” Etienne said.She noted that more than 700,000 cases of Zika virus disease have been officially reported to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) from 48 countries and territories of the Americas.With some 500 million persons in Latin America and the Caribbean living in areas at risk for transmission of Zika, “the fight against Zika virus is not a 100-meter race, but rather a marathon in which science and public health need to work hand in hand for the benefit of our peoples,” Etienne said.“The Zika virus experience proves once again that good clinical judgment and awareness of atypical events are crucial for the timely detection of emerging and reemerging diseases. It also points to the importance of investing in the health workforce as the first line of defense against infectious disease threats,” she said.Circulation of Zika in the Americas was hard to diagnose because of similarities to dengue and yellow fever, and a backdrop of immunity to other flaviviruses, she noted.“The available defences against the mosquito responsible for the transmission of these viruses are no longer sufficient to resist its aggressive spread. Therefore, the development of affordable new tools by the scientific community, including diagnostic tests and a vaccine against ZIKAV, as well as innovation in vector control, are urgent priorities. Our health systems will need to be prepared to ensure such new tools are introduced and that their benefits reach everyone, not merely a few,” Etienne added.Etienne outlined PAHO’s response to Zika spread, which coordinated more than 80 expert missions to 30 countries bringing in neurologists, neonatologists, obstetricians, epidemiologists, virologists, and specialists in research and health services organization.
Graham Rahal, center, celebrates on the podium at Mid-Ohio with runner-up Justin Wilson, left, and third-place finisher Simon Pagenaud. (Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports)LEXINGTON, Ohio — The Verizon IndyCar Series drivers all say they enjoy racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.They like the big crowds and knowledgeable fans. They get a kick out of camping for a weekend. They love the challenge the twisty ribbon of 2.25 miles of asphalt gives them. The foreign-born drivers like how it reminds them of racing when they were kids.However, for 23 of the drivers Sunday, the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio is just one of 15 stops they’ll make this year.There is one exception. Graham Rahal was born to race in Lexington.MID-OHIO: Rahal win gives IndyCar championship storyline it neededHis grandfather, Mike Rahal, competed in club events Mid-Ohio hosted in the first couple years of its existence in the early 1960s.His father, Bobby Rahal, made his name first as a sports car ace then transitioned to open-wheel racing under the guidance of Jim Trueman, who bought Mid-Ohio in the early 1980s. Because of his Ohio roots and his ties to the track owner, Rahal was a natural favorite in Lexington.Two wins and a record eight podium finishes in Bobby’s CART days coupled with a pair of IMSA wins and two IROC victories helped strengthen the bond between the Rahal family and Mid-Ohio.Born in 1989 in the midst of his father’s career, Graham literally grew up at the track. He ran around the 330 acres on race weekends, sneaking away for golf cart rides under the cover of night. In 1998, he and the rest of his family gave the command to start the engines in his dad’s final pro race at Mid-Ohio.In 2005, his finest hour as an amateur racer came at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs when he won the Formula Atlantic title at Mid-Ohio.Other than the Indianapolis 500, which his father won in 1986, no other race and place holds more meaning to the youngest Rahal. He said it in early July when he won for just the second time of his pro career, and he reiterated it Sunday evening after winning the Honda Indy 200 for his third IndyCar victory.“This is special to me,” Rahal said after mentioning the numerous connections between Mid-Ohio and his family. “This means more than any of the others obviously. (There are) only three in IndyCar, but anything that I’ve ever accomplished before — the Daytona 24 included — this is the best thing for me.”To show his Ohio heritage, Rahal donned gloves and a racing helmet in the design of an Ohio State football helmet complete with Buckeye leafs on the back. He shouted O-H to the crowd and made the block O signal with his arms.Like they did for his father a generation earlier, the fans loved it and showed it on his victory lap around the track, but even during the race.“I could see them all going crazy. That was pretty cool,” Rahal said. “Under the yellow, when I got cycled to the lead, people were standing up on the fence. I saw them all going crazy. I was like, ‘This is awesome.’”MORE: Thumbs up, thumbs down from Mid-OhioAlso awesome for him was the fact that his dad acted as his spotter in the Esses, his siblings and Ohio friends were there, and his mother Debi got to see him win a pro race for the first time in person. The only one missing was his fiancée Courtney Force who was in California racing her NHRA Funny Car at the same time.“It’s just like the ties to this are amazing,” he said. “That’s why it’s so cool to have my whole family here and be able to do something like this.“A very special day for us.”It was a day he was born to experience.McCurdy writes for the Mansfield (Ohio) News Journal