Goodwill apparently pays workers a painfully low $2.75 an hour, despite preaching charity; 9-5 schedules are counterproductive for creative workers; meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin stands up for Russia’s right to be homophobic. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

Vladimir Putin Robustly Defends ‘Gay Propaganda’ Ban And it is absolutely objective and understandable for a country like Russia, with its great history and culture, with centuries of experience, [to defend itself against] the so-called ‘tolerance,’ sexless and barren…

300k Fukushima Refugees Still Living ‘In Cages’ in Makeshift Camps Over two years after an earthquake and tsunami devastated areas in and around the Japanese city of Fukushima, many residents have been left to live in impromptu residential camps with no hope of returning to their previous ways of life.

Why the 9-to-5 Day Is So Tough on Creative Workers “Knowledge workers” tend to be more unfocused in both the early morning and mid-afternoon. Why force them to work when they’re least productive?

Tibet’s Tense New Reality Checkpoints with fire extinguishers, pincer-wielding police officers, and spies disguised as monks—welcome to daily life in Lhasa.

The Greenest Things to Do With Your Body After You Die Every year cemeteries across the U.S. bury over 100,000 tons of steel and 1,500,000 tons of concrete from coffins and re-enforced vaults.

Still 2 Big 2 Jail For the past 5 years, we’ve watched with a combination of incredulity and resignation the elaborate farce of Wall Street bankers, the same ones who brought the world economy to its knees and ushered in the Second Great Depression, being deemed too big to jail.

The Secrets of ‘Million-Dollar Ready’ Colleges Less than a third of American colleges managed to attract individual donations of $1-million or more from 2000 to 2012, leaving the other two-thirds to wonder: What is their secret?

Don’t Call Them ‘Centrists’ The word “centrist” was used a lot over the last couple of weeks, regarding both the budget deal and last week’s dust-up between Third Way and Sen. Elizabeth Warren over increasing Social Security.

$2.75 an Hour?! The Shocking Secret of Goodwill Spreading Christmas ‘goodwill’ during the holidays is what Goodwill donation centers claim to be all about.

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