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California Sues Amazon, Alleging Its Policies Drive Prices Higher Everywhere (Maria)

The authors write, “California sued Amazon on Wednesday, accusing the company of pushing sellers and suppliers into anti-competitive deals that lead to higher prices, including at rival online stores. The lawsuit, filed by state Attorney General Rob Bonta, focuses on the way Amazon — the largest online retailer — deals with third-party merchants, who account for most of the sales on the platform. California alleges that Amazon penalizes sellers and suppliers that offer cheaper prices elsewhere on the internet, including Walmart and Target, for example by displaying their items lower or less prominently or outright blocking their new postings.”

Rensselaer County’s Republican Elections Commissioner Arrested by FBI (DonkeyHotey)

From the Times Union: “Jason T. Schofield, the Republican Rensselaer County [New York] Board of Elections commissioner, was arrested Tuesday morning by the FBI as he left his residence and was on his way to the county office building where he works, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. He faces 12 felony counts of unlawful possession and use of a means of identification, according to an indictment that was unsealed after his initial appearance Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court.”

Former Gov. Phil Bryant Helped Brett Favre Secure Welfare Funding for USM Volleyball Stadium, Texts Reveal

From Mississippi Today: “Never-before-seen text messages show former Gov. Phil Bryant tried to shepherd a proposal to use welfare funds on the construction of a new volleyball stadium for retired NFL player Brett Favre — a project prosecutors have called a scheme to defraud the government. Bryant has previously denied any involvement with the project, which has emerged as the centerpiece of a massive criminal scandal in which prominent officials misspent or stole millions in welfare funds intended for the nation’s poorest residents.”

Arrest of UK Anti-Royal Protesters Raises Free Speech Concerns (Mili)

The author writes, “British police have faced criticism from activists and civil liberties groups over their treatment of people who have publicly challenged King Charles III’s accession to the throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, raising free speech concerns. A woman in Edinburgh holding a sign reading ‘F*** imperialism, abolish the monarchy’ was charged with a breach of the peace while another woman in London was moved from the gates of Parliament while carrying a ‘Not my king’ sign.”

Scientists Discovered an Antibody That Can Take Out All COVID-19 Variants (Sean)

From Prevention: “COVID-19 vaccines have been effective at keeping people from getting severely ill and dying from the virus, but they’ve required different boosters to try to keep on top of all of the coronavirus variants that have popped up. Now, researchers have discovered an antibody that neutralizes all known COVID-19 variants. The antibody, called SP1-77, is the result of a collaborative effort from researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Duke University. Results from mouse studies they’ve conducted were recently published in the journal Science Immunology, and they look promising.”

How Many People Can Earth Handle? (Sean)

The author writes, “On the uncannily specific date of 15 November 2022, the United Nations has predicted that there will be eight billion humans alive at the same time. … Today, our population is so enormous, with such little genetic diversity — outside Africa — one researcher recently observed it’s actually not that surprising that some people look uncannily similar to perfect strangers — there’s a limited gene pool that’s constantly being recycled and around 370,000 new opportunities (in the form of babies born) for these genetic coincidences to occur each day.”

Humans and Cockatoos Are Embroiled in an Escalating ‘Arms Race’ in Australia (Mili)

The author writes, “Australia’s crafty, sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) appear to have entered an ‘innovation arms race’ with humans, scientists say, as the two species spar over the rubbish in roadside bins. ​The white birds, which can grow nearly as long as a human arm, initially surprised researchers by devising an ingenious technique to prise open household bin lids in Sydney and other areas. ​Now, a new study says they have gone a step further by thwarting the escalating defenses of fed-up humans.”