3Qs: Will states follow Feds’ lead on phasing out private prisons?

The Jus­tice Depart­ment will be phasing out the use of pri­vate prisons, citing safety con­cerns as well as their lack of reha­bil­i­ta­tive ser­vices. We asked Natasha Frost, a mass incar­cer­a­tion expert, to explain how this direc­tive might affect for-​​profit prisons at the state level and whether the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion could impact the DOJ’s new policy.

3Qs: The legal fallout of American swimmers’ robbery claim in Brazil

Brazilian law enforce­ment offi­cials said on Thursday that the Amer­ican swim­mers who claimed to have been robbed at gun­point during the Rio de Janeiro Games had fab­ri­cated the story. We asked law pro­fessor Dan Danielsen to explain where this inter­na­tional drama might go from here, with a par­tic­ular focus on the legal con­se­quences facing the swim­mers and the tepid rela­tion­ship between Amer­ican and Brazilian officials.

3Qs: The cat-​​and-​​mouse game of blocking digital ads

If you were using Face­book on a desktop last week, you may have noticed that your ad-​​blocking soft­ware was being blocked. That was a move by Face­book. We asked two North­eastern pro­fes­sors to explain how new strate­gies and tech­nolo­gies are changing the dig­ital land­scape for users, con­tent providers, and advertisers.

3Qs: How ‘nomadic architecture’ will shape Rio’s Olympic legacy

Two venues at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro—the 12,000-seat Future Arena and the 15,000-seat Aquatic Stadium—will be dis­man­tled and rebuilt into entirely new build­ings fol­lowing the games. We asked assis­tant pro­fessor David Fannon, an archi­tect and building sci­en­tist, to explain how Rio’s reliance on “nomadic archi­tec­ture” might ben­efit Brazil in the decades to come.

3Qs: What is greatness—and how do you achieve it?

More than 11,000 ath­letes are com­peting at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, show­casing their supe­rior skill in nearly 40 dif­ferent sports. We asked Rachel Rodgers, asso­ciate pro­fessor in the Depart­ment of Applied Psy­chology, to define the con­cept of great­ness and explain how everyday people might tap into their own great­ness, regard­less of wealth, fame, or skill set.

3Qs: Why better infrastructure could solve Rio’s water problems

The Olympic sailing com­pe­ti­tion began on Monday in Rio de Janeiro’s Gua­n­abara Bay, the site of exten­sive water pol­lu­tion that offi­cials have warned is a health risk for the ath­letes. Here, Geoff Trussell, director of Northeastern’s Marine Sci­ence Center, explains how bad the pol­lu­tion can be for the aquatic ecosystem and what needs to be done to fix the problem.

3Qs: Why voting rights rulings will help the Democrats at the polls

Over the past two weeks, courts in five states have ruled against voter ID and proof-​​of-​​citizenship laws, citing their dis­crim­i­na­tory impact on minori­ties. Martha Davis, law pro­fessor and human rights expert, says that the court rul­ings will likely favor the Democ­rats, par­tic­u­larly in the swing states where restric­tive voter laws have been struck down.

3Qs: The ‘perfect storm’ that led to Brazil’s drastic and rapid decline

The state of Brazil in 2009, when Rio de Janeiro was awarded the Summer Olympics, stands in stark con­trast to the state of the nation today. As the world turns its focus to Rio for tonight’s Opening Cer­e­monies, asso­ciate pro­fessor Thomas Vicino explains Brazil’s change of fortune.

3Qs: New GMO labeling law brings controversy, confusion

North­eastern pro­fessor and food policy expert Chris Bosso says there are honest argu­ments on each side of the debate over whether to label foods as having genet­i­cally mod­i­fied ingre­di­ents. But he notes the new bill, signed into law last week, is “a poor solu­tion to a com­plex problem.”

3Qs: Social media and the success of viral campaigns

With news last week that money raised by the Ice Bucket Chal­lenge helped fund break­throughs in ALS research, we asked assis­tant pro­fessor of mar­keting Yakov Bart how social media has helped to ele­vate suc­cessful viral cam­paigns, and why Snapchat could be the future plat­form for those campaigns.

3Qs: US, Russia, and the 2016 presidential election

Russia this week played a leading role in the con­ver­sa­tion about the U.S. pres­i­den­tial race, from its alleged role in hacking Demo­c­ratic National Com­mittee emails to Donald Trump’s com­ments that he hoped the country had suc­cess­fully hacked Hillary Clinton’s email. We asked Ryan Maness, an expert in Russian for­eign policy and inter­na­tional cyber­con­flict and secu­rity, to examine what this could mean for the dynamic between the two nations.