Week in Review

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Maryland files lawsuit to replace Acting Attorney General Whitaker, FDA cracks down on flavored e-cigarettes, and more…

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  • The United States “has two years to get ready” to ensure that votes cast in the 2020 elections will be counted correctly, wrote Matt Tait of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin in an article for Lawfare. Tait argued that Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and allegations of voter fraud by President Trump in the recent midterm elections threaten Americans’ confidence in elections. He called on the United States to build election systems that “will remain robust even if hackers break in or insiders try to subvert it.” “The point of elections is that voters have confidence in the outcome,” he wrote.
  • Low-income South Africans purchasing mobile data for internet access can pay more than 11 times the price per gigabyte that wealthier citizens pay, stated Indra de Lanerolle of South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand in a policy brief. This “digital divide” stems from discounts offered to customers who purchase large amounts of data, which are often “beyond” the financial “reach” of low-income residents. De Lanerolle argued that regulators should “limit the spread of pricing schemes between small and large data bundles” so that low-income citizens can afford more consistent internet access.
  • In a forthcoming article for the Oil and Gas, Natural Resources, and Energy Journal, Inara Scott of the Oregon State University College of Business considered the contrast between public perception of renewable energy and environmental regulation. Although polls have shown that a majority of Americans support increased use of renewable energy sources, they have also revealed that environmental regulations enjoy much less support. To reduce this divide, Scott proposed using “creative, broadly-worded goals” to allow for “technological innovation” and focusing on the economic and employment outcomes of environmental regulations.