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A Vast New Ocean Sanctuary in South Atlantic (Maria)

The author writes, “The waters around the remote inhabited island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic are set to become the world’s fourth-largest marine sanctuary. … The new marine sanctuary, which was announced on Friday, will encompass 265,437 square miles, making it almost three times larger than the entire United Kingdom. Ninety percent of the waters around the island chain will become a full ‘no-take’ sanctuary, meaning that fishing, mining, and any other kind of extractive activity will be banned.”

MAGA Audit Fans Turn on Cyber Ninjas After Court Ruling (Dan)

From The Daily Beast:  “After a disastrous day in court on  [last] Thursday, the company behind Arizona’s chaotic Maricopa County election ‘audit’ is disbanding, and now some rightwing fans are furiously wondering if it was all just a big scam. Cyber Ninjas, a small Florida-based cybersecurity firm, was always a controversial choice to handle Maricopa County voters’ ballots. The company had no elections experience and its founder, Doug Logan, was involved in promoting 2020 election fraud hoaxes online. When it finally released its findings this fall, Cyber Ninjas found President Joe Biden did indeed win the election. But the group did not turn over court-ordered materials, and on Thursday a judge ordered Cyber Ninjas to pay $50,000 for every day it continues to withhold the documents. That night, the company announced its disbandment, reportedly laying off all employees.”

Christmas Was Saved From the Supply-Chain Bottleneck. The Next Challenge: Lunar New Year (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The supply-chain nightmare didn’t cancel Christmas, but another holiday crisis is looming: the Lunar New Year. Local lawmakers and port officials accompanying U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg at the Port of Long Beach on Tuesday acknowledged enduring problems with the shipping, unloading and delivery of goods across the country, including the challenge of getting the local ports — a major choke point — to operate around-the-clock. And though one holiday crisis appears to have been averted, a fresh surge of cargo from Chinese manufacturers is expected to flood U.S. ports before Chinese businesses close up to celebrate the Year of the Tiger starting Feb 1.”

The Same N95 Mask Can Be Decontaminated at Least 25 Times, New Study Indicates (Mili)

The author writes, “With the enhanced virulence of the Omicron variant, some experts are urging us all to upgrade cloth and surgical masks to the much more protective N95s, but supply remains a concern. The limited supply is why this advice has so far been held back, but a new study may make this more feasible — suggesting N95s can be safely decontaminated many times in a clinical setting.”

Global Spread of Autoimmune Disease Blamed on Western Diet (Sean)

The author writes, “More and more people around the world are suffering because their immune systems can no longer tell the difference between healthy cells and invading micro-organisms. Disease defences that once protected them are instead attacking their tissue and organs. Major international research efforts are being made to fight this trend — including an initiative at London’s Francis Crick Institute, where two world experts, James Lee and Carola Vinuesa, have set up separate research groups to help pinpoint the precise causes of autoimmune disease, as these conditions are known.”

6 Big Environmental Stories to Watch in 2022 (Laura)

From The Revelator: “A new year brings with it new opportunities — and more of the same environmental threats from the previous 12 months. But as we see year after year, many environmental issues tend to fly under the radar. Sure, climate change has started to get wider coverage from some newspapers and TV networks, but a lot of important stories still get missed (or dismissed by partisan outlets). Meanwhile the media devotes precious little space or airtime to stories about endangered species, environmental justice, pollution or sustainability. Maybe that’s why these issues also get so little attention from legislators or the general public. We can work to change that. Here are six of the biggest but most likely to be ignored environmental stories that The Revelator expects to follow in 2022.”

Killer Zionist Dolphins? Hamas Claims They Exist (Sean)

From The Jerusalem Post: “Israeli security forces used a dolphin to chase Hamas frogman commandos off the coast of the Gaza Strip, the terrorist organization claimed on Monday, according to a report by Al-Quds. During an operation that occurred at an unstated time, Hamas naval operatives were chased into the sea by a dolphin equipped with a device capable of killing the terrorist group’s frogmen, an Al-Qassam brigades naval commandos spokesperson revealed in a video.”

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