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Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

Scientists test a non-addictive painkiller, the Trump administration takes another swing at affirmative action, and something fishy's going on off the Normandy coast.
Fishermen pull up a bag of scallops.

This week at Pacific Standard, we brought you a meditation on the things left behind by those fleeing the Carr Fire and an explainer on at what Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gets wrong about supervised injection sites. We also asked what viral reunification videos reveal about the trauma of separated immigrant children, and looked at the the troubling trend of disappearances among native women. And we talked with Al Gore about climate change too.

It's been a pretty busy week in our small newsroom, but there are even more stories that we're keeping an eye on. Here are a few of them.

Scientists Are Testing an Effective and Non-Addictive Painkiller

At a moment when opioid abuse is rampant across the country, United States scientists have developed an experimental chemical compound that could provide some good news. The compound is more powerful than morphine, and pharmacologist Mei-Chuan Ko from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center tells Science Alert that the compound has been found to be "effective at blocking abuse potential of prescription opioids." Researchers are hopeful it could be used for pain relief as well as to treat opioid abuse. The drug has so far been tested on rhesus monkeys.

The Department of Justice Is Supporting Asian-American Students Suing Harvard University

The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest on Thursday in support of a group of Asian-American students who were rejected by Harvard, the New York Times reports. The students say Harvard's affirmative action policy is discriminatory against them because it caps the number of Asian Americans who can attend the school and holds Asian Americans to a higher standard than applicants of other racial groups. In its statement, the Department of Justice called the practice "unlawful racial balancing," arguing that Harvard has "failed to show that it does not unlawfully discriminate against Asian Americans." The case was brought by Students for Fair Admissions, an anti-affirmative action group. The case could have significant implications for schools that use affirmative action practices across the country.

French and British Fishermen Are Involved in a Scallop War

The Guardian reports that "[s]tones were thrown and boats rammed" in the Bay of Seine this week as French fishing boats attempted to protect their share of scallop stocks. French fishermen threw smoke bombs at British fishermen, whom they successfully chased from the waterway. No one was injured.

These clashes are the result of 15 years of tensions, according to the BBC, stemming from a disparity between the two nations in their fishing laws: British boats can collect scallops all year, while the French have a restricted fishing season. "For the Brits, it's an open bar," Dimitri Rogoff of the Normandy fishing committee told the BBC. He suggested the British ought to wait until the French season started so they could share the bounties.