Trump Weakens Application of Endangered Species Act ; Hackers Could Decrypt Your GSM Calls ; and More Picks 8/13

US Government Weakens Application of Endangered Species Act (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “The Trump administration moved on Monday to weaken how it applies the 45-year-old Endangered Species Act, ordering changes that critics said will speed the loss of animals and plants at a time of record global extinctions. The action, which expands the administration’s rewrite of U.S. environmental laws, is the latest that targets protections, including for water, air and public lands. Two states — California and Massachusetts, frequent foes of President Donald Trump’s environmental rollbacks — promised lawsuits to try to block the changes in the law.”

Texas Group Helps Fan the Flames of White Supremacy (Reader Steve)

From the San Antonio Express News: “Since 2018, Patriot Front has been linked to more than 870 reports of racist propaganda across the country: more than 40 percent of all such incidents in the country.”

The Business of Cruelty (Chris)

From the Baffler: “According to BuzzFeed News, ICE made almost ten times as many workplace arrests in fiscal year 2018 as in 2017. The paradox of this strategy is that such tactics are less effective at achieving the ostensible goal of removing every undocumented immigrant altogether — unless, of course, the Trump administration does not want the immigrant community actually deported, but in a constant, precarious state of deportability.”

Hackers Could Decrypt Your GSM Phone Calls (Chris)

The author writes, “Researchers have discovered a flaw in the GSM standard used by AT&T and T-Mobile that would allow hackers to listen in.”

Why Speaking to Yourself in the Third Person Makes You Wiser (Russ)

The author writes, “The scientific research suggests that you should adopt an ancient rhetorical method favoured by the likes of Julius Caesar and known as ‘illeism’ – or speaking about yourself in the third person (the term was coined in 1809 by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge from the Latin ille meaning ‘he, that’). A bulk of research has already shown that this kind of third-person thinking can temporarily improve decision making. Now a preprint at PsyArxiv finds that it can also bring long-term benefits to thinking and emotional regulation. … The findings are the brainchild of the psychologist Igor Grossmann at the University of Waterloo in Canada.”

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