environment, wildlife, Central Park Zoo, vandalism, Eurasian eagle-owl, Flaco
photo credit: Ed Schipul / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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An Owl Named Flaco Is Loose in Central Park, With Vandals to Blame (Maria)

The author writes, “A Eurasian eagle-owl named Flaco was the subject of an intense rescue effort late Friday after getting loose as a result of vandals having damaged his Central Park Zoo enclosure the night before, parks and zoo officials said. As darkness loomed and temperatures plunged, a small crowd of bird watchers equipped with binoculars, professional-grade cameras and tripods stood clustered on a path in the park’s southeast corner. They tried to get a look at the orange-and-black-striped bird of prey while zoo workers and park rangers moved through the trees. … ‘Patience is the key thing,’ a zoo employee said.”

Ron DeSantis Is a Man of No Qualities (DonkeyHotey)

From Esquire: “After four years of punishing the people of Florida with actions largely meant to increase his personal power, Governor Ron DeSantis appears to be bringing his corrosive brand of politics to a presidential run. But DeSantis only looks like an even remotely reasonable or centrist candidate when viewed in a line-up between his gubernatorial predecessor Rick Scott and ex-U.S. catastrophe Donald Trump. That he sits comfortably between the two, accompanied by a host of extremists, should be cause for alarm, not suggestions that he is anything other than an authoritarian.”

A Horrific Environmental Disaster Is Happening in Ohio, and You May Not Even Have Heard About It (Dana)

From Fast Company: “A train derailment … in Ohio has turned into a full-fledged environmental disaster, and it’s received surprisingly little national media coverage. … A train belonging to Norfolk Southern, one of America’s leading rail operators, derailed near the Pennsylvania border, leaving what the Associated Press called ‘a mangled and charred mass of boxcars and flames’ just outside the village of East Palestine, home to about 5,000 people. The crash created a 50-car pileup — half the train’s length. According to Norfolk Southern, a fifth of the cars were carrying hazardous materials.”

Pentagon Looks to Restart Top-Secret Programs in Ukraine (Russ)

The author writes, “The Pentagon is urging Congress to resume funding a pair of top-secret programs in Ukraine suspended ahead of Russia’s invasion last year, according to current and former U.S. officials. If approved, the move would allow American Special Operations troops to employ Ukrainian operatives to observe Russian military movements and counter disinformation.”

Catholic Officials Seek Loophole in WA Bills on Child Abuse Reporting (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “As state lawmakers look to advance legislation that would require clergy to report child abuse or neglect, the Catholic Church’s lobbying arm in Washington has come out in support of the bills — but only if they provide a loophole for confessions.”

Sea Otter Recovery Is Sending Ripples Through the Ecosystem (Laura)

From Hakai Magazine: “Sea otters were extirpated from Alaska in 1830, but their reintroduction over the past few decades has been highly successful. The marine mammal’s resurgence means that in Alaska sea otters and wolves are now inhabiting the same environments for the first time in the modern scientific record. This meeting of historical predator and prey is having important consequences — especially for the region’s deer.”

Part of the Sun Has Broken Off and Formed a Vortex… What the Heck Is Going On? (Sean)

The author writes, “For all that the Sun is a ubiquitous and vital part of our lives, a lot about it remains baffling. And now it’s done something decidedly peculiar. Material from a filament of plasma erupting from the Sun’s surface broke away and appeared to form a crown-like vortex over the solar north pole. Further analysis will be required to determine whether or not this is what actually occurred. For now, scientists are saying that they’ve not quite seen anything like it — and the footage itself is undoubtedly spectacular.”


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