The Conversation

The Conversation

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A reflexive act of military revenge burdened the US − and may do the same for Israel

Israeli tanks gather near the border with the Gaza Strip on Oct. 13, 2023. Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images

Peter Mansoor, The Ohio State University

In the wake of the shocking invasion of southern Israel by Hamas militants on Oct. 7, 2023, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to destroy Hamas.

“We are fighting a cruel enemy, worse than ISIS,” Netanyahu proclaimed four days after the invasion, comparing Hamas with the Islamic State group, which was largely defeated by U.S., Iraqi and Kurdish forces in 2017.

On that same day, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant went further, stating, “We will wipe this thing called Hamas, ISIS-Gaza, off the face of the earth. It will cease to exist.” They were strong words, issued in the wake of the horrific terrorist attack that killed more than 1,300 Israelis and culminated in the kidnapping of more than 150 people, including several Americans.

And in a telling comparison, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan compared the attack with the toppling of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon in 2001, declaring,

Beer and spirits have more detrimental effects on the waistline and on cardiovascular disease risk than red or white wine

 Researchers are working to tease apart how various alcohol types contribute to weight gain and disease risk.

pixhook/E+ via Getty Images

 Brittany Larsen, Iowa State University

 The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

  The big idea

Drinking beer and spirits is linked to elevated levels of visceral fat – the harmful type of fat that is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and other health complications – whereas drinking wine shows no such association with levels of this harmful fat and may even be protective against it, depending on the type of wine consumed. In fact, we found that drinking red wine is linked to having lower levels of visceral fat. These are some of the key takeaways of a new study that my colleagues and I recently published in the Obesity Science & Practice journal.

Legalizing recreational pot may have spurred economic activity in first 4 states to do so

Roberto Pedace, Scripps College; Amanda Marino, San Diego State University; Curtis Hall, Drexel University, and James D. Brushwood, University of Arizona

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The big idea

Banking activity in the first four U.S. states to make recreational marijuana legal grew significantly more than in other parts of the country despite federal laws that prohibit financial companies from any involvement with cannabis, according to our new study.

This isn’t to suggest that banks illicitly benefited from the burgeoning pot business by taking deposits from cannabis companies or giving them loans. Our data doesn’t back that up – and those practices remain illegal under federal law. Rather, we believe our findings suggest legalization may have spurred more economic activity generally

Using data from regulatory filings, we compared the deposits and loans of banks in the first four legalizing states – Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon – with those in every other state. We examined quarterly bank data from 2011 to 2017, which covers several years before and after legalization was enacted in all four states.

To ensure that we captured the effect of legalization on deposits and loans and not other possible factors, we adjusted our data to account for other differences among banks and states that may have influenced these trends.

We found that bank deposits grew, on average, an additional 4.3% in those four states after they legalized marijuana relative to states that had not yet done so. The volume of loans surged 6.5% more in states where marijuana was legal.

These findings suggest banks were either unconcerned about the potential risk associated with accepting cannabis-related deposits or optimistic about the chances that regulations will adapt to the needs of legalizing states. These findings are significant because every dollar of new deposits increases the lending supply, which can help economywide financing, growing more than just cannabis businesses.

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