environment, wildlife, biodiversity, San Diego Zoo, Amur leopard cubs
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Critically Endangered Amur Leopard Twins Born at San Diego Zoo (Maria)

The author writes, “The San Diego Zoo is celebrating the birth of the Amur leopard cubs — one of the world’s rarest cat species. According to a San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance release, fewer than 300 of these critically endangered big cats remain in the world, making this twin cub birth ‘especially significant.’ ‘Witnessing the birth of Amur leopards is always an emotional experience,’ said Gaylene Thomas, a wildlife care manager at the San Diego Zoo. ‘There are so few of them left in their native habitat that every birth carries so much weight — and every living individual promises a glimmer of hope.’ The California zoo announced the leopard births on March 28, and the cubs recently emerged from the birthing den they share with mother Sitka for the first time.”

US and China Wage War Beneath the Waves — Over Internet Cables (Michaela)

From Reuters: “Subsea cables, which carry the world’s data, are now central to the U.S.-China tech war. Washington, fearful of Beijing’s spies, has thwarted Chinese projects abroad and choked Big Tech’s cable routes to Hong Kong, Reuters has learned.”

Rupert Murdoch Has Fueled Polarization of Society, Barack Obama Says (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “The former US president Barack Obama has suggested that Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has led to greater polarization in western societies through news coverage designed to ‘make people angry and resentful.’ Speaking to a capacity crowd of about 9,000 people at Sydney’s Aware Super Theatre on Tuesday night, Obama mixed childhood memories of transiting through Australia as a child with pointed observations about the current political discourse and the rise of China.”

The Swagged-Out Pope Is an AI Fake — and an Early Glimpse of a New Reality (Sean)

From The Verge: “Images of the pope wearing a white puffy jacket have gone viral online. They’re AI-generated but show how difficult it will be to distinguish fakes from reality in the future.”

How Private Owners Are Restricting Millions of Acres of Public Land Across the West (Reader Steve)

From the San Francisco Chronicle: “For more than a century after the country’s founding, American law reflected the ideal that the public domain should be converted into private property. … The country set out to acquire as much land as possible throughout the 19th century. Much of that land would then be given to American heads of household for free under homesteading laws. But toward the end of the century, as Americans became concerned about resource scarcity and monopolies, Congress began establishing some of the nation’s land as public. The result … became a patchwork of millions of acres of land that today exist in a checkerboard pattern — parcels of land alternating in ownership, some public, some private.”

From 2014: How the NRA Rewrote the Second Amendment (Dana)

The author writes, “Many are startled to learn that the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t rule that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to own a gun until 2008, when District of Columbia v. Heller struck down the capital’s law effectively banning handguns in the home. In fact, every other time the court had ruled previously, it had ruled otherwise. Why such a head-snapping turnaround? Don’t look for answers in dusty law books or the arcane reaches of theory.”

Indian Startup Uses Rice Crop Waste to Make Biodegradable Foam Packaging — Instead of Burning It (DonkeyHotey)

From the Good News Network: “A Delhi-based engineer has designed a replacement for polystyrene packaging out of ‘rice stubble,’ the dead stalks left over after the rice season in India, millions of tons of which are burned every year.”

Whatever the Problem, It’s Probably Solved by Walking (Russ)

The author writes, “Walking is the worst-kept secret I know. Its rewards hide under every step. Perhaps because we take walking so much for granted, many of us often ignore its ample gifts. In truth, I doubt I would walk often or very far if its sole benefit was physical, despite the abundant proof of its value in that regard. There’s something else at play in walking that interests me more. And with the arrival of spring, attention must be paid.”

Are Coincidences Real? (Sean)

The author writes, “I am an unequivocal rationalist and yet I still want to see something strange and wonderful in life’s weird coincidences.”

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