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Every week, North Star will take some time out of our schedules to bring you our favorite reads from the past week.

Jeff Van Wychen

Compare These Gun Death Rates: The U.S. Is in a Different World

This article uses a variety of comparisons to illustrate the rate of gun homicides in the United States to those in other nations. On a per capita basis, gun homicides in the U.S. are five and a half times more prevalent than in the next closest “rich western country” (Canada) and over eleven times more prevalent than in most other nations in this category. The only nations that have a rate of gun homicides greater than the U.S. are those involved in some sort of civil crisis. For example, Mexico–which is in the midst of a bloody drug war–has a rate of gun homicides slightly higher than the U.S. Furthermore, these statistics include only gun homicides, not suicides or accidental deaths involving the use of a gun.

Stephanie Fenner

St. Paul Moves Forward on Earned Sick and Safe Time

St. Paul’s 70,000 could soon have access to earned sick and safe time, thanks to recommendations from a city task force. The proposal would require employers to provide workers with one hour of sick time for every 30 hours they work, with sick-time earnings capped at 48 hours per year; however they would be able to bank up to 80 hours.