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Brazil’s New President Works to Reverse Amazon Deforestation (Maria)

The author writes, “Shaking a traditional rattle, Brazil’s incoming head of Indigenous affairs recently walked through every corner of the agency’s headquarters — even its coffee room — as she invoked help from ancestors during a ritual cleansing. The ritual carried extra meaning for Joenia Wapichana, Brazil’s first Indigenous woman to command the agency charged with protecting the Amazon rainforest and its people. Once she is sworn in next month under newly inaugurated President Luiz Inácio da Silva, Wapichana promises to clean house at an agency that critics say has allowed the Amazon’s resources to be exploited at the expense of the environment.”

California vs. Florida: A Tale of Two Americas (Reader Steve)

From the Los Angeles Times: “The states are becoming two of the nation’s biggest ideological rivals. Superman has Bizarro, a powerful antagonist who resembles him from afar but has the opposite instincts. Florida and California have each other.”

Wisconsin Elections Commission Member Robert Spindell Blasted for Voting Comments (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “A Republican appointee to the Wisconsin Elections Commission board who was a fake elector in the 2020 presidential vote bragged about GOP efforts in 2022 to suppress voters in Milwaukee, particularly in areas with Black and Hispanic populations.”

One Woman Is Holding Politicians Accountable for Nasty Speech. It’s Changing Politics. (Al)

From Politico: “In early October, Tami Pyfer, a former Special Ed teacher, high-level Republican appointee and member of the Tabernacle Choir, logged onto Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and posted a carefully crafted announcement. ‘Are you frustrated by the hate and negativity in our country’s political and public discourse?’ the post asked. ‘You’re not alone.’ A new tool called the Dignity Index was now on the case. It was designed to score politicians’ rhetoric on an eight-point scale based on how dignified or contemptuous it was. Voters would find the scores on the Dignity Index’s website, or, more likely, through media coverage, much like they might come across candidates’ NRA or Planned Parenthood scorecards.”

Saudi Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for Academic Over Social Media Use (Sean)

From The Guardian: “A prominent pro-reform law professor in Saudi Arabia is facing the death penalty for alleged crimes including having a Twitter account and using WhatsApp to share news considered ‘hostile’ to the kingdom, according to court documents seen by the Guardian. The arrest of Awad Al-Qarni, 65, in September 2017 represented the start of a crackdown against dissent by the then newly named crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.”

The Night Sky Is Twice as Bright as It Was Only 8 Years Ago (Mili)

The author writes, “A new study shows that the night sky is getting brighter at a staggering rate worldwide and much faster than satellites had previously indicated. In other words, the dimmest stars in the night sky are fast disappearing as artificial light illuminates the night sky.”

Nearly 6-Pound ‘Toadzilla’ Found in Australia Breaks the Record for Largest Toad (Dana)

The author writes, “Park rangers in northern Australia found a cane toad so giant that it provoked gasps and disbelief. The toad, which the rangers nicknamed ‘Toadzilla,’ weighed in at what’s believed to be a record-breaking 5.95 pounds — compared to an average weight of 1 pound.”

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