In the heat of a Presidential campaign, it can be hard to pay attention to other news. But a small-seeming story out of Italy yesterday has, to my mind, the potential to shape the future as much as a Presidential election.
As reported by ABC, the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and elsewhere, an Italian court has convicted seven earthquake experts of failing to appropriately sound the alarm bell for an earthquake that wound up killing more than 300 people in L'Aquila in 2009. The experts received long prison sentences and fines of more than $10 million.(Addenum: Roger Pielke Jr. discusses the "mischaracterizations" of the verdict.)
There is of course the chance that the verdict will be thrown out upon appeal, discredited as an emotional response to a horrible tragedy.