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Mayor Bloomberg’s plan would keep cigarettes out of sight

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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled legislation Monday to force shopkeepers to cover cigarettes with a curtain or use some other method to keep tobacco out of view.

The bill, which needs approval in the City Council, would make New York the first US city to adopt such a measure and is the latest initiative in Bloomberg’s war on smoking and other unhealthy habits.

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The billionaire former smoker said keeping cigarettes hidden would help reduce smoking rates among youngsters who could be tempted to buy a pack along with the sweets and other goodies often arrayed nearby.

“New York City has dramatically lowered our smoking rate, but even one new smoker is one too many — especially when it’s a young person,” Bloomberg said.

“Young people are targets of marketing and the availability of cigarettes, and this legislation will help prevent another generation from the ill health and shorter life expectancy that comes with smoking.”

Under the legislation, sellers would have to tuck away cigarettes except during restocking or sales to customers.

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“Tobacco products would be required to be kept in cabinets, drawers, under the counter, behind a curtain or in any other concealed location,” the mayor’s office said.

The mayor has previously banned smoking in restaurants and bars, and more recently in parks and on beaches. He has also instituted a highly visible grading system for hygiene in all city restaurants and cafes.

But Bloomberg, who is nearing the end of his third and final term in office, suffered a setback last week when a judge blocked his imposition of a ban on giant soft drink portions.

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In a speech in February, Bloomberg raised the prospect of another eye-catching crusade: outlawing Styrofoam cups and plates from food outlets.


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Quantum dots that light up TVs could be used for brain research

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While many people love colorful photos of landscapes, flowers or rainbows, some biomedical researchers treasure vivid images on a much smaller scale – as tiny as one-thousandth the width of a human hair.

To study the micro world and help advance medical knowledge and treatments, these scientists use fluorescent nano-sized particles.

Quantum dots are one type of nanoparticle, more commonly known for their use in TV screens. They’re super tiny crystals that can transport electrons. When UV light hits these semiconducting particles, they can emit light of various colors.

That fluorescence allows scientists to use them to study hidden or otherwise cryptic parts of cells, organs and other structures.

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If impeachment comes to the Senate – 5 questions answered

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Editor’s note: If the House of Representatives concludes its impeachment inquiry by passing articles of impeachment of President Donald Trump, attention will turn to the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, is known as a master of the Senate’s rules, and has been raising campaign donations with ads touting the power he would have over impeachment proceedings. Constitutional scholar Sarah Burns from the Rochester Institute of Technology answers some crucial questions already arising about what McConnell might be able to do, to either slow down the process or speed things along.

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Andrew Yang’s ‘freedom dividend’ echoes a 1930s basic income proposal that reshaped Social Security

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Entrepreneur and political novice Andrew Yang is hoping a wild gambit will help him win the Democratic presidential nomination: give 10 American families US$1,000 a month.

The announcement of a test run of his signature universal basic income proposal, which Yang argues is necessary to counter automation’s threat to millions of American jobs, garnered cheers from the student audience at the September debate and gave his candidacy a boost. At least half a million people have entered Yang’s basic income raffle.

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