March 6, 2024 - 6:30pm

→ Was the young Americans Holocaust poll misleading?

The poll finding in December that one in five Americans between the ages of 18-29 think the Holocaust is a myth made waves among both the US and international media, another indictment of the younger generation’s historical ignorance. But was it reliable?

A short release from the Pew Research Center about online opt-in polls has now cast doubt over the veracity of this figure. The writers cite significant errors within opt-in polls, prompted by the involvement of “bogus respondents” who, instead of answering questions sincerely, complete surveys “with as little effort as possible in order to earn money or other rewards”. As a result, these polls can overestimate unusual patterns and behaviours, with Pew giving as an example the belief in conspiracy theories such as “Pizzagate”. The research company claimed that the real figure for this age group believing the Holocaust is a myth is closer to 3%. Young people completing surveys to make money rather than help science, whatever next?

→ Poland’s most violent farmer protest yet

Europe’s farmer protests show no sign of calming down. Today, Poland witnessed its most fiery demonstrations yet, as thousands of farmers descended on Warsaw to show their dissatisfaction with the European Union’s Green Deal. Prime Minister (and former Brussels bigwig) Donald Tusk had his office targeted, as protestors burnt tyres and launched firecrackers.

Chaotic scenes showed police clashing with demonstrators as tractors were used to block roads. Poland’s farmer protests built in momentum for much of last year: in April the country announced import bans on Ukrainian grain, at the same time that Hungary took measures to ask the EU to enforce a long-term crackdown. Other nations where farmers have risen up in the last two years include Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands. As we head into a year of European elections, do you think Brussels is getting the message?

→ San Francisco embraces law and order

One of America’s most liberal — and derelict — cities might finally be waking up. San Francisco voters have just plumped for two new laws which give police additional powers to combat crime and require adults on city welfare to undergo screenings for drug use. Propositions E and F were voted through by 63% and 60%, respectively, startling figures for a city long associated with lawlessness and drug dependency.

Last year a flagship branch of Whole Foods was shut down for the sake of employee safety, after a spate of shoplifting and violence, just days after tech executive and Cash App founder Bob Lee was stabbed to death. The city’s population has declined markedly as residents have become disillusioned with the failure to tackle inequality and widespread vagrancy amid a significant budget deficit. What could have shocked San Franciscans into action? Perhaps they watched a documentary exploring their failing city.