Ghost Forests Are Visceral Examples of the Advance of Climate Change

Manufacturing Is Now Officially in Recession ; India Is Creating a National Facial Recognition System ; and More Picks

climate change, forest erosion
The author writes, “[Matt] Kirwan is standing in the midst of what is known as a ‘ghost forest.’ These swaths of dead, white, trees are created when salty water moves into forested areas, first slowing, and eventually halting, the growth of new trees. That means that when old trees die, there aren’t replacements. ... Kirwan likens ghost forests to other drastic markers of environmental change. Similar to how a receding glacier leaves signs of where ice used to be, ghost forests represent where dry land used to be.” Photo credit: Simeen23 / Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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Manufacturing Is Now Officially in Recession (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Impeachment may be dominating the news, but the less-noticed industrial slump ultimately could pose a greater threat to Trump’s reelection. As measured by the Federal Reserve, manufacturing output shrank over two straight quarters this year. … A separate, widely followed index drawn from purchasing managers showed September’s contraction in manufacturing was the steepest since June 2009, with production, inventories and new orders all falling.”

Arizona Politician Charged in Human Trafficking Adoption Scheme (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “An Arizona politician ran an adoption fraud scheme that promised pregnant women thousands of dollars to lure them from a Pacific Island nation to the U.S., where they were crammed into houses to wait to give birth, sometimes with little to no prenatal care, in what prosecutors called a human smuggling case. Paul Petersen, the assessor of Arizona’s most populous county, was charged in Utah, Arizona and Arkansas with counts including human smuggling, sale of a child, fraud, forgery and conspiracy to commit money laundering.”

The Trump Admin Has Figured Out How to Get Rid of Federal Workers Without Firing Them (Chris)

From Mother Jones: “‘It’s nearly impossible to fire a federal worker,’ acting White House chief of staff and budget chief Mick Mulvaney told the audience at a South Carolina Republicans’ dinner in August. ‘I know that because a lot of them work for me, and I’ve tried. You can’t do it.’ But Mulvaney reassured his audience that the Trump administration seems to have found a loophole.”

India Is Creating a National Facial Recognition System (Chris)

The author writes, “Hundreds of Indian police stations, malls, and schools already use a patchwork of facial recognition systems powered by tech from dozens of private companies, and major cities have rushed to install hundreds of thousands of closed-circuit cameras on street corners. And in the eyes of critics, each camera is another knot in this tightening mesh over India, in which facial recognition tech, a national biometric ID system, and weak data privacy laws are creating a surveillance state in a country ruled by a populist right-wing government.”

An Indian Orbiter Reached Mars Five Years Ago and Is Still Ticking (Mili)

The author writes, “When it launched the Mars Orbiter Mission in November, 2013, India had never attempted an interplanetary flight before. And Mars is really treacherous. About 50% of spacecraft sent to Mars fail either upon launch, attempting to enter orbit, or landing on the surface. India made it on the country’s first try, with a budget significantly less than $100 million. The spacecraft remains in good working order, with fuel for at least another year of operations.”

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