3Qs: SCOTUS rejects affirmative action challenge

In a win for affir­ma­tive action advo­cates, the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a chal­lenge to a pro­gram at the Uni­ver­sity of Texas that con­siders race as a lim­ited factor in admis­sions deci­sions. Dan Urman, assis­tant teaching pro­fessor and director of the Doc­torate in Law and Policy pro­gram, exam­ines the court’s deci­sion and what it means for affir­ma­tive action.

3Qs: Is soda losing its fizz?

Philadel­phia recently became the first major U.S. city to pass a soft drink tax, and a new report from Bev­erage Mar­keting Corp. found that bot­tled water will soon sur­pass soda as the nation’s most pop­ular bev­erage. Here, Janice Maras, research man­ager in the Depart­ment of Health Sci­ences, who spe­cial­izes in dietary data analysis, explains how a soda tax might affect dietary habits and what kind of long-​​term impact the declining pop­u­larity of soft drinks will have on the nation’s obe­sity epidemic.

3Qs: Donald Trump’s acrimonious relationship with the press

Trump’s recent move to revoke the press cre­den­tials for The Wash­ington Post will back­fire on the pre­sump­tive Repub­lican pres­i­den­tial nom­inee, says Jonathan Kauf­mann, director of Northeastern’s School of Jour­nalism. “Ban­ning the Post from his ral­lies can only hurt Trump,” he explains. “Reporters are resourceful and they will get the news.”

3Qs: When hate and terror collide

Was the mas­sacre at a gay night­club in Orlando on Sunday morning a hate crime or an act of ter­rorism? Both, according to Gor­dana Rabren­ovic, director of Northeastern’s Brud­nick Center on Vio­lence and Con­flict, who char­ac­ter­ized the attack as a “mass shooting that sin­gled out a par­tic­ular group of people.”

3Qs: What’s the key to keeping the world safe?

I have never been as con­cerned with the world as I am today,” says North­eastern pro­fessor Denise Garcia, who is taking a group of stu­dents to the 11th Inter­na­tional Secu­rity Forum in Geneva this week. Here, she dis­cusses the con­fer­ence, the United States’ stock­pile of nuclear weapons, and the biggest secu­rity threats facing the world today.

3Qs: Why court ruling on emission reductions is ‘important and influential’

The Mass­a­chu­setts’ Supreme Judi­cial Court ruled recently, after hearing argu­ments from a North­eastern School of Law alumna, that the com­mon­wealth must specif­i­cally adhere to man­dates that call for sig­nif­i­cant emis­sion reduc­tions by 2020, a ruling that North­eastern envi­ron­mental law expert Lee Breck­endridge says is influ­en­tial and demon­strates the role courts can play in addressing cli­mate change.

3Qs: Experts contest claims of battery technology ‘breakthrough’

Recent research pub­lished in the pres­ti­gious journal Sci­ence described a break­through in lithium-​​battery tech­nology that could keep elec­tric cars going longer for less money. Northeastern’s K.M. Abraham, an expert on the topic, exam­ines the claims.

3Qs: What coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef means for the world

Marine sci­en­tists in Aus­tralia recently reported that 93 per­cent of the Great Bar­rier Reef is now bleached. Northeastern’s Steven Vollmer explains why the con­di­tion, typ­i­cally the result of warming ocean tem­per­a­tures, could lead to “the ocean’s equiv­a­lent of a rain­forest with no trees.”

3Qs: How to overcome the global drug problem

The United Nations Gen­eral Assembly recently con­vened a spe­cial ses­sion on drugs, marking its first meeting on the topic since 1998. We asked North­eastern drug policy expert Leo Beletsky, who spoke at one of the session’s side events, to reflect on the his­toric meeting and the future of drug policy reform.