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Governments Ramp Up Demands for User Info, Twitter Warns (Maria)

From AP: “Twitter warned Thursday that governments around the globe are asking the company to remove content or snoop on private details of user accounts at an alarming rate. The social media company revealed in a new report that it fielded a record number of legal demands — nearly 60,000 during a six-month period last year — from local, state or national governments that wanted Twitter to remove content from accounts or reveal confidential information, such as direct messages or user locations.”

Bail Isn’t the Problem (DonkeyHotey)

From the Times Union: “Critics of New York’s bail reforms keep ignoring two fundamental facts about our criminal justice system: One, people are considered innocent until proven guilty. And two, the purpose of bail is to ensure that a person shows up for court — not to summarily deprive them of freedom before trial. Those aren’t quaint aspirations. They are essential features of any system of justice worthy of the name. Without them, we would exist in a society in which government officials could jail people on a whim, without going to the trouble of proving their case. These protections are very much part of the concepts of law and order and the rule of law.”

Alabama Takes From the Poor and Gives to the Rich (Ron)

The author writes, “In states like Alabama, almost every interaction a person has with the criminal justice system comes with a financial cost. If you’re assigned to a pretrial program to reduce your sentence, each class attended incurs a fee. If you’re on probation, you’ll pay a fee to take your mandatory urine test. If you appear in drug court, you will face more fees, sometimes dozens of times a year. Often, you don’t even have to break the law; you’ll pay fees to pull a public record or apply for a permit. For poor people, this system is a trap, sucking them into a cycle of sometimes unpayable debt that constrains their lives and almost guarantees financial hardship.”

Blunt, Hawley, Marshall Betray Sick Veterans Because They’re Mad at Tax, Climate Bill (Dana)

From The Kansas City Star: “Three of the region’s four U.S. senators decided Wednesday to hold sick veterans hostage to their own anger. It’s appalling and childish. The senators — Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Roger Marshall of Kansas — voted against blocking a filibuster of the PACT Act, a measure designed to provide funding to treat veterans exposed to toxins and burn pits. The bill has been under discussion for years. It would cost about $30 billion annually, a pittance in a multitrillion-dollar federal budget. But the cost is less important than the cause: The nation has promised to help sick veterans, and voted Wednesday to break that promise.”

Iraq’s Political Chaos: Why Did Protesters Storm the Parliament? (Sean)

The author writes, “More than nine months after Iraq held its October 2021 parliamentary elections, political leaders have been unable to form a government. The country’s political crisis reached a boiling point when demonstrators, mostly supporters of Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, one of the most powerful people in the country, stormed the Iraqi parliament on Wednesday to protest against corruption and one of the candidates running for prime minister.”

‘I Literally Screamed Out Loud in Pain’: My Two Weeks of Monkeypox Hell (Russ)

From The Guardian: “A New Yorker describes his harrowing ordeal to receive care through a system underequipped to handle another pandemic.”

For Survivors of COVID, Effectiveness of Natural Immunity Remains Superior at 97% Compared to Protection From Vaccines (Mili)

The author writes, “A new study from researchers in Qatar found that natural immunity from COVID-19 remains superior compared to immunity from COVID-19 vaccines. People get natural immunity after surviving COVID-19 infection without vaccination. The study reveals that natural immunity provides sky-high protection against fatal or severe COVID-19. The downside of natural immunity is that the person has to get sick before they develop antibodies against the illness. Many diseases can cause serious health issues that could affect a person for life.”

Loch Ness Monster Existence ‘Plausible’ After Incredible Discovery (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The existence of the Loch Ness Monster may just be ‘plausible’ after all, a university has concluded following a fascinating discovery. The mythical Scottish beast has been a part of folklore for centuries, and there have been countless apparent sightings of the mysterious creature. But of course, very few among us actually think Nessie exists, partly because nobody has even managed to get a good picture of it. … However, scientists at the University of Bath, the University of Portsmouth in the UK, and Université Hassan II in Morocco have found small plesiosaur fossils in a 100-million year old river system that is now Morocco’s Sahara Desert.”