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Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

Democratic hopefuls clashed over abortion, a report found Los Angeles' homeless population has spiked, and NASA announced the space station could open its doors for tourists.
An astronaut conducts a spacewalk at the International Space Station in 2005.

An astronaut conducts a spacewalk at the International Space Station in 2005.

This week at Pacific Standard, we published stories on flooding decimating crops in the Midwest, the death of a trans women in immigration custody, and a former Marine's return to where he served in Afghanistan eight years ago.

Of course, there were many stories that broke that our small staff did not cover. Here are some you might have missed.

Joe Biden Flip-Flops on the Hyde Amendment

Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment—renewed every year by Congress—has banned federal funding for most abortion services. As a wave of states pass draconian anti-abortion laws, every major contender for the Democratic presidential nomination this week immediately came out in favor of repealing the amendment—except former vice president and current frontrunner Joe Biden. Biden went on record saying he supported the amendment, but, after 48 hours of taking fire from the other Democrats in the race, Biden promptly reversed his position.

Even as Los Angeles Spends Millions, Homelessness Numbers Have Increased

Amid a booming economy and record employment, a new report finds that the number of homeless people in L.A. has increased by 16 percent since this time last year. The new figure is particularly troubling considering that the city and state government has already invested hundreds of millions trying to address the issue in recent years. Notably, in 2016, L.A. voters approved a bond measure that dedicated $1.2 billion to help create housing for homeless people.

NASA Will Open the Doors (Erm, Airlocks) of the International Space Station to Tourists

On Friday NASA announced that the International Space Station will begin to allow tourists and commercial companies on board. The first space tourists could set foot in the orbiting lab as soon as 2020.

In the past NASA has been loathe to allow its operations to be privatized and used for purposes other than research and education. But NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has gone as far as suggesting that companies might buy the naming rights of rockets, the Washington Post reports.