Who Needs A Groundhog When Climate Change Practically Guarantees An Early Spring?

US Farm Bankruptcies Hit Eight-Year High ; Secret Israeli Document Reveals Plan to Keep Arabs Off Their Land ; and More Picks

climate change, Groundhog Day, earlier springs
The author writes, “Feb. 2 is the day where a groundhog is supposed to tell us if spring will come early or if we'll have six more weeks of winter. But with climate change, we already know that across the US, spring is getting warmer and coming an average of three days earlier too.” Photo credit: Chris Flook / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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US Farm Bankruptcies Hit an Eight-Year High (Mili)

The author writes, “U.S. farm bankruptcy rates jumped 20% in 2019 — to an eight-year high — as financial woes in the U.S. agricultural economy continued in spite of massive federal bail-out funding, according to federal court data. According to data released this week by the United States Courts, family farmers filed 595 Chapter 12 bankruptcies in 2019, up from 498 filings a year earlier. The data also shows that such filings — known as ‘family farmer’ bankruptcies — have steadily increased every year for the past five years.”

In Rural Areas, a ‘Quiet Jail-Building Boom’ Is Taking Place (Reader Jim)

From Truthout:In a new report, the Vera Institute noted that since 2013, jail incarceration rates have fallen by 22 percent in major urban areas while increasing by 26 percent in rural jurisdictions and 6 percent in small and medium-sized metropolitan areas; rates in urban areas have declined to 165 per 100,000, slightly more than half the figure for rural counties and 60 percent of the level in medium-sized metros. [Jasmine Heiss, the director of the Vera Institute of Justice’s In Our Backyards project] estimated that in the 11 states she tracks, at least 100 jails are planned.”

Secret Israeli Document Reveals Plan to Keep Arabs Off Their Lands (Chris)

From Haaretz: “A document unsealed after 60 years reveals the Israeli government’s secret intentions behind the imposition of a military government on the country’s Arab citizens in 1948: not to enhance security but to ensure Jewish control of the land.”

Raytheon Engineer Arrested for Taking US Missile Defense Secrets to China (DonkeyHotey)

The authors write, When Wei Sun, a 48-year-old engineer at Raytheon Missile Systems, left for an overseas trip last year, he told the company he planned to bring his company-issued HP EliteBook 840 laptop along. Sun, a Chinese-born American citizen, had been working at Raytheon, the fourth-largest US defense contractor, for a decade. He held a secret-level security clearance and worked on highly sensitive missile programs used by the US military. Since Sun’s computer contained large amounts of restricted data, Raytheon officials told him that taking it abroad would not only be a violation of company policy, but a serious violation of federal law, as well. Sun didn’t listen, according to US prosecutors.

19th Century Vatican Palace Turned Into Homeless Shelter (Mili)

The author writes, “Sitting off St, Peter’s Square next to the Vatican, the beautiful 19th century palace would have commanded top dollars if it were a hotel, but Pope Francis had other ideas, so it has been converted into a homeless shelter. The Palazzo Migliori, named after the family who donated it to the Roman Catholic Church, had served as the headquarters for an order of religious women, who vacated it last year.”

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