‘Underground Golden Age Is Over’: Epic Dark Web Opioid Bust Sees 179 Arrests, $6.5M Seized

The Crushing Reality of Zoom School ; Scientists Discover Secret Behind Earth’s Biodiversity Hotspots; and More Picks

dark web, crime, epic bust
The author writes, “In one of the biggest ever busts of dark web enterprise, global police agencies announced [this week] that they had arrested 179 vendors and buyers of illegal drugs in Europe and the US. Also scooped up in raids were over $6.5 million in both cash and virtual currencies, and 1,100 pounds of drugs, including dangerous opioids like fentanyl and oxycodone, as well as heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and MDMA. A total of 64 firearms were also seized.” Photo credit: Franco Dal Molin / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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A Virginia City’s Playbook for Urban Renewal: Move Out the Poor (Dan)

The author writes, “The contours of inequality in Norfolk, Va., a city of 240,000-plus people at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, are clearly visible from atop the 26-story Dominion Tower. The tallest building in town houses its economic development office, a choice spot for officials to show off their city and to encourage visitors to envision its future. Look west, and you see a 300-room Hilton, a hockey arena, corporate offices for PNC Financial and payment processor ADP, restaurants and bars, a light rail station, and a one-million-square-foot mall. To the east is St. Paul’s, a 200-acre area north of the Elizabeth River that’s home to three public housing developments dating from the 1950s. The pitch-roofed, two-story, cinder-block houses are arrayed in rows like barracks.”

The Crushing Reality of Zoom School (Dana)

From Esquire: “The kindergarten teacher opens every morning asking children if they had breakfast, knowing not every answer will be yes. Gently, he asks one girl ‘are there any grown-ups around that can help you?’ She shakes her head no, unable to speak because she can’t find the unmute.”

UC Davis Researchers Find a Way to Help Stem Cells Work for the Heart (Mili)

The author writes, “Blocking an enzyme linked with inflammation makes it possible for stem cells to repair damaged heart tissue, new research from UC Davis Health scientists shows. The enzyme — soluble epoxide hydrolase, or sEH — is a known factor in lung and joint disease. Now, it is a focus of heart-disease researchers as well. The authors expect their work will lead to a new and powerful class of compounds that overcome the cell death and muscle thickening associated with heart failure — a common outcome of a heart attack or long-term cardiovascular disease.”

Scientists Discover Secret Behind Earth’s Biodiversity Hotspots (Peg)

From SciTechDaily: “Researchers have discovered why the tropics and a handful of other areas across the globe have become the most biodiverse places on the planet. The research suggests that biodiversity hotspots – such as the Daintree Rainforest in Australia and the Cloud Forests of Ecuador – are teeming with species because they have been ecologically stable for long periods of time, allowing evolution to forge ahead undisturbed. The findings highlight the threat posed by climate change to some of the most extraordinary places on earth and the importance of giving nature the protection it needs to thrive, the authors of the study say.”

The Old Telly That Brought Down a Welsh Village’s Broadband (Dana)

The author writes, “For 18 months, at precisely 7am every day, the broadband signal in the tiny Welsh village of Aberhosan simply vanished. Engineers were sent to the remote settlement in mid Wales, which has a population of just 400, to investigate the problem. They spent days testing connections and replacing cables until they finally got to the root of the problem – one villager’s old telly.”

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