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Nearly Every CA GOP State Senator in Quarantine ; Africa Declared Free of Wild Polio ; and More Picks

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Nearly Every California GOP State Senator in Quarantine After Coronavirus Exposure (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Nearly every Republican in the California Senate was forced to stay away from the Capitol on Thursday as they quarantined after coming into close contact with a fellow senator who later tested positive for the coronavirus. The unprecedented move, during legislators’ pivotal final week in session, came a day after Sen. Brian Jones, R-Santee (San Diego County), tweeted that he had been infected with the virus. The Senate canceled its session Wednesday while it conducted contact tracing and informed anyone who may have been exposed. Republican senators gathered with Jones on Tuesday at a caucus lunch, where they removed their masks to eat, Capitol staffers said.”

How 3M Blew Its Reputation on the N95 Mask (Dana)

From Marker: “A staid, 118-year-old, Midwestern manufacturing company, 3M is best known for Scotch tape, sandpaper, and Post-It notes — it sells enough of them that it pulled in $32 billion last year, and employs nearly 100,000. … So how did a much-admired all-American sticky-paper company end up being publicly cast as a pandemic villain? The answer: N95 masks.”

Africa Declared Free of Wild Polio After Decades of Work (Peg)

The author writes, “Africa has been declared free from wild polio, after decades of work by a coalition of international health bodies, national and local governments, community volunteers and survivors. Four years after the last recorded cases of wild polio in northern Nigeria, the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) on Tuesday certified that the continent is now free of the virus, which can cause irreversible paralysis and in some cases death. The achievement is the result of a campaign to vaccinate and monitor children in Borno State, the final front of polio eradication efforts on the continent, and the heart of the jihadist insurgency in Nigeria.”

Air Pollution Is Much Worse Than We Thought (Mili)

The author writes, “As attention has shifted to climate change, the air pollution case has grown stronger and stronger, as the science on air pollution has advanced by leaps and bounds. Researchers are now much more able to pinpoint air pollution’s direct and indirect effects, and the news has been uniformly bad. The evidence is now clear enough that it can be stated unequivocally: It would be worth freeing ourselves from fossil fuels even if global warming didn’t exist. Especially now that clean energy has gotten so cheap, the air quality benefits alone are enough to pay for the energy transition.”

Stash of Pure 24-Carat Gold Coins Unearthed in Israel (Dana)

From Live Science: “About 1,100 years ago, someone stashed a small fortune of pure gold coins in a clay jar and nailed that jar to a hole in the ground, likely with the hopes of retrieving it one day. Whoever it was, they never reclaimed the treasure. The hoard — a hefty pile of 425 gold coins — remained buried until a group of youths volunteering ahead of their mandatory army service in Israel unearthed it. … Today, based on the current price of gold per gram, that pot of gold would be worth approximately $52,600.”

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