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Deep-Sea Mining for Rare Metals Will Destroy Ecosystems: Report (Maria)
The author writes, “An investigation by conservationists has found evidence that deep-seabed mining of rare minerals could cause ‘extensive and irreversible’ damage to the planet. The report, to be published on Monday by the international wildlife charity Fauna & Flora, adds to the growing controversy that surrounds proposals to sweep the ocean floor of rare minerals. … Mining companies want to exploit these deposits — which are crucial to the alternative energy sector — because land supplies are running low, they say. However, oceanographers, biologists and other researchers have warned that these plans would cause widespread pollution, destroy global fish stocks and obliterate marine ecosystems.”
Why Xi Jinping Is Still Vladimir Putin’s Best Friend (Sean)
From Politico: “Why is China’s leader so determined to stand by Putin despite the inevitable backlash, at a time when the West is increasingly suspicious of Beijing’s military aims — and scrutinizing prized Chinese companies like TikTok — more closely than ever? For a start, Beijing’s worldview requires it to stay strategically close to Russia: As Beijing’s leaders see it, the U.S. is blocking China’s path to global leadership, aided by European governments, while most of its own geographical neighbors — from Japan and South Korea to Vietnam and India — are increasingly skeptical rather than supportive.”
South Carolina’s Top Accountant to Resign After $3.5B Error (Reader Steve)
The author writes, “South Carolina’s embattled top accountant will step down next month after a $3.5 billion error in the year-end financial report he oversaw, according to a resignation letter written Thursday that was obtained by The Associated Press. Republican Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom’s decision to leave the post he has held for 20 years came after intense scrutiny of his performance following the blunder and amid rising calls for him to either quit or be removed.”
A ‘Rights of Nature’ Fact-Finding Panel to Investigate Mexico’s Tren Maya Railroad for Possible Environmental Violations (Laura)
From Inside Climate News: “Mexico’s president has made the railroad a top economic development and national security priority, but environmental activists say it harms Indigenous communities and does irreparable damage to sensitive ecosystems.
Blood for Money: My Journey in the Industry Buying Poor Americans’ Plasma (Michaela)
The author writes, “By the roughest guess, working backward from the number of plasma units collected in a single year, you could surmise that up to 20 million people in the US donate or sell their blood plasma, the yellowish liquid protein component of blood, in a year. The number stunned me then, but in the bigger picture, maybe it’s not that hard to believe. The business centered on Americans’ blood plasma is a massively profitable one.”
Marbled Magic (Al)
From Alt-Meat: “Next generation fats and new processing technologies are making it easier to intersperse fat with fibrous alternative proteins to create natural, marbled whole cuts of alt-meat that are juicier and more flavorful.”
High School Freshman With Size 23 Feet Getting Custom Shoes From Puma, Under Armour (Dana)
The author writes, “Eric Kilburn Jr. is getting a shoe deal and he’s not even a pro athlete. He’s a 14-year-old kid with feet that hurt from wearing size 22 shoes that are too small. Now, after media reports of his mother’s desperate search to find him shoes that fit went viral, he will be getting proper footwear. … Among the companies offering to help the Kilburns are Under Armour and Puma, both of which have already scheduled representatives to come to Michigan to begin fitting Eric for shoes.”