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Bee and Butterfly Numbers Are Falling, Even in Undisturbed Forests (Maria)

The author writes, “Habitat destruction, pesticide use, and other human impacts are often blamed for the well-documented decline of insects in recent decades. But even in forests where few humans tread, some bees and butterflies are declining, researchers have found. Over the past 15 years, populations of bees shrank 62.5% and those of butterflies dropped 57.6% in a forest in the U.S. southeast. In addition, the number of bee species there fell by 39%, the team reports this month in Current Biology.”

How an Anti-Abortion Law Firm Teamed Up With a Disgraced Kansas Attorney to Dispute the 2020 Election (Reader Steve)

From ProPublica: “For decades, lawyers at the Thomas More Society have backed provocateurs and long shot causes in hopes of winning severe restrictions on abortion in the U.S. As others in the anti-abortion movement distanced themselves from clinic protestors accused of trespassing, vandalism and sometimes violence, the Thomas More Society defended them in civil and criminal court. The legal nonprofit once sided with a Wisconsin pharmacist who refused to fill a birth control prescription on religious grounds. More recently, the Chicago-based organization has embraced a far different but equally divisive undertaking — relentlessly questioning the integrity of elections.” 

Protasiewicz Will Recuse From Cases Involving the State Democratic Party, Kelly Will Decide Case by Case (Al)

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “As partisan groups pour in millions making this year’s [Wisconsin] Supreme Court race the most expensive judicial race ever run, the two candidates seeking a seat on the state’s highest court are taking different approaches to how they will handle cases involving the state political parties that are backing their campaigns.”

Bristling Under Progressive Mayor, St. Louis Police Seek State Takeover (Laura)

From The Intercept: “Police in St. Louis, Missouri, are working to wrest control of their department from the city’s progressive mayor and put it in the hands of the Republican governor. Law enforcement unions argue that local control has ‘put politics in policing’ and that state oversight would help address an increase in homicides and a drop in police morale and staffing levels. They have rallied around Senate Bill 78, which would reinstate a Civil War-era system of state control overturned by Missouri voters in 2012 — and make St. Louis one of the only major cities in the country without authority over its own police force.” 

Whiskey Fungus Lawsuit Forces Jack Daniels to Halt Building Project (Sean)

The author writes, “A Jack Daniels building project is to be halted after a neighbor argued she was facing a plague of whiskey fungus caused by escaping alcohol vapors. Christi Long, of Lincoln County, Tennessee, claimed her property was coated in the fungus, which appears as a black crust on surfaces.”

Sheep Can Benefit Urban Lawn Landscapes and People (Mili)

The author writes, “About 25 wooly sheep who seasonally — for the past two years — leave barns to nibble on lawns at various central campus locations, are doing much more than mowing, fertilizing and improving the ecosystem. The sheep also are improving people’s mental health.”

McDonald’s Drive-Thru Robot Made a Mistake. Then It All Got Ridiculous (Dana)

The author writes, “TikTok-er Ren Adams couldn’t help but be moved by the robot’s own moves at the McDonald’s drive-thru. In a pulsatingly witty video, she explained that the robot’s ears weren’t as finely tuned as they might have been. All Adams wanted for breakfast was hash browns, sweet tea and a Coke. Of course you’re tempted to criticize that order, but please don’t. Whatever gets people moving in the morning isn’t our concern today. All seemed fine until, at a second drive-thru lane, another car pulled up. Adams’ AI helper seems to have overheard that order and added it to Adams’.”


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