Here at NJ Spark, more than a dozen Rutgers students will be reporting on social injustices in and around the New Brunswick area.
However, these issues happen everywhere. Here’s some recent news highlights:
- New Weapon in Day Laborers’ Fight Against Wage Theft: A Smartphone App — In the fight against wage theft, phones could soon become day laborers’ biggest allies, The New York Times reports.. After three years of planning, an immigrant rights group, New Immigrant Community Empowerment, known as NICE in Jackson Heights is set to start a smartphone app for day laborers, a new digital tool with many uses. The advocacy group will safeguard key information and work with lawyers to negotiate payment. The plan is for the app to spread to all 70 of the city’s day laborer stops, and then to workers in all kinds of jobs across the country.
- More than a third of people shot by L.A. police last year were mentally ill, LAPD report finds — More than a third of the people shot by Los Angeles police last year had documented signs of mental illness, nearly triple the number from the year before, according to a lengthy review by LAPD officials made public. The report also found that African Americans continued to account for a disproportionately high number of people shot by officers, given the city’s demographics. The report raises questions that have plagued the LAPD and police across the countries: How can officers safely interact with a growing mentally ill population? And how can departments heal strained relationships with black residents when police shootings of African Americans remain disproportionately high?
- How the Heroin Epidemic Differs in Communities of Color — Most of the media attention in the current nationwide heroin epidemic has focused on the uprise of overdose deaths among suburban, white, middle-class users — many of whom turned to the drug after experimenting with prescription painkillers, according to a report. But the epidemic has also been seeping into communities of color, where heroin overdose death rates have more than doubled among African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans, but gone largely overlooked by the media.
- Combing Through 41 Million Tweets To Show How #BlackLivesMatter Exploded — It’s been only a year and a half since the social protest movement around police violence commonly referred to as Black Lives Matter emerged as a major political force. Much of this movement’s momentum-building and organizing happened on Twitter, and a new study by media scholars Charlton McIlwain, Deen Freelon and Meredith Clark mapped out how it happened and who drove.
- Divided High Court Gives Little Hint On How It Will Decide Abortion Case — After hearing oral arguments on what could be one of the most important abortion cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in decades, the only thing that is certain is that Justice Anthony Kennedy will cast the deciding vote, according to this report. The question before the court is whether the current restrictions impose an “undue burden” on a woman’s constitutional right to end a pregnancy.