Amazon Under Threat: Fires, Loggers, and Now Virus

The Black American Amputation Epidemic ; ‘Is the Bird Population Exploding?’ ; and More Picks

Amazon rainforest, climate change, threats
The author writes, “The Amazon rainforest — which plays a vital role in balancing the world's climate and helping [to] fight global warming — is also suffering as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Deforestation jumped 55% in the first four months of 2020 compared with the same period last year, as people have taken advantage of the crisis to carry out illegal clearances.” Photo credit: Andre Deak / Flickr
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The Black American Amputation Epidemic (Mili)

The author writes, “Despite the great scientific strides in diabetes care, the rate of amputations across the country grew by 50% between 2009 and 2015. Diabetics undergo 130,000 amputations each year, often in low-income and underinsured neighborhoods. Black patients lose limbs at a rate triple that of others.”

How a High-Tech Dragnet Nabbed the Alleged Financier of the Rwandan Genocide (Lisa)

From Vanity Fair: “Félicien Kabuga was one of the world’s most wanted fugitives, believed by authorities to have been responsible for underwriting the 1994 Rwandan genocide and providing the hundreds of thousands of machetes that ethnic Hutu marauders used to slaughter at least 800,000 citizens. But until his dramatic capture on May 16, in a dawn raid, Kabuga had been living in hiding for 26 years — in Kenya, Germany, and, recently, in France.”

You Don’t Need Invasive Tech for Successful Contact Tracing (Chris)

The author writes, “While most discussions have focused on countries’ use of surveillance technology, contact tracing is actually a fairly manual process.”

Video Chat Juries and the Future of Criminal Justice (Dana)

From Wired: “The court system has been resistant to the use of remote tools in legal proceedings, with the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in 2018 that there are ‘unique benefits of physical presence’ and that a defendant can’t consent to a plea via videoconference. But as the pandemic continues to drag on, courts are postponing jury trials deeper into the summer — and those same ‘unique benefits of physical presence’ may now be counterbalanced by the risks of a packed courtroom and the resulting risk of harm from long delays.”

Amid Pandemic, People Are Paying More Attention to Tweets. And Not the Twitter Kind. (Russ)

The author writes, “Across the country, scientists who study birds say they’re besieged by family members and friends asking the same question: Is the bird population exploding?”

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