Colt Suspends AR-15 Production for Civilians ; Many People Want to Set Aside Half of Earth as Nature ; and More Picks 9/20

3 Billion Fewer Wild Birds Soar the Skies Than in 1970, Study Finds (Mili)

The author writes, “The new study focuses on the drop in sheer numbers of birds, not extinctions. The bird population in the United States and Canada was probably around 10.1 billion nearly half a century ago and has fallen 29% to about 7.2 billion birds, according to a study in Thursday’s journal Science.”

Gunmaker Colt Suspends AR-15 Production for Civilians (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “The West Hartford, Connecticut-based company said on its website that its decision was based on a lack of public demand in a market with enough sporting rifles. Colt’s rifles are considered more expensive than those of competitors, with prices starting at $1,000, according to American Military News.”

Analysts: New Maps Would Still Give GOP Disproportionate Power in NC Legislature (Reader Pat)

From the Raleigh News & Observer: “Sam Wang, a Princeton University neuroscience professor who is also a gerrymandering expert and leads the Princeton Election Consortium … said that with the way the new maps are drawn, the median district in both chambers of the legislature will be more Republican-leaning than North Carolina as a whole. That means if voters around the state are perfectly split in the 2020 elections — with half of people voting for Republican candidates and half voting for Democrats — then Republicans would be expected to win majorities in both legislative chambers.”

Border Patrol Agents, Rather Than Asylum Officers, Interviewing Families for ‘Credible Fear’ (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The Trump administration’s ultimate goal with the Border Patrol training program is to make it more difficult for migrants to win asylum, asylum officers, officials, and lawyers say, because White House officials believe that agents will be more adversarial and less likely to approve asylum seekers. By contrast, asylum officers work under Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Homeland Security agency that administers the legal immigration system and benefits. Under Homeland Security regulations, the credible-fear interview must be conducted in a ‘non-adversarial manner.’”

Many People Want to Set Aside Half of Earth as Nature (Chris)

The author writes, “Famed biologist E.O. Wilson has argued in recent years that humans should set aside half of Earth as nature, an ambitious proposition to stave off mass extinction and safeguard the bulk of our planet’s biodiversity, including its people. Now, a new poll reveals Wilson isn’t alone in his thinking. On average, the majority of survey respondents across a dozen countries said more than half of the planet’s land and sea should be protected.”