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Hidden Menace: Massive Methane Leaks Speed Up Climate Change (Maria)

From AP: “To the naked eye, the Mako Compressor Station outside the dusty West Texas crossroads of Lenorah appears unremarkable, similar to tens of thousands of oil and gas operations scattered throughout the oil-rich Permian Basin. What’s not visible through the chain-link fence is the plume of invisible gas, primarily methane, billowing from the gleaming white storage tanks up into the cloudless blue sky. The Mako station, owned by a subsidiary of West Texas Gas Inc., was observed releasing an estimated 870 kilograms of methane — an extraordinarily potent greenhouse gas — into the atmosphere each hour. That’s the equivalent impact on the climate of burning seven tanker trucks full of gasoline every day.”

The GOP’s Election Conspiracy Scam Has Come Full Circle in WA (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The other day out in the Tri-Cities, in Central Washington, an unusual bulletin appeared from a local chapter of the Republican Party. ‘Don’t vote early!!!’ read an alert, from the Benton County GOP in Richland. … What was the vital reason given that voting early for the Aug. 2 primary would be a problem? ‘This allows bad actors to know how many phantom ballots they need to print,’ a graphic along with the message explained. In other words, they think elections officials are monitoring the early vote so they can decide just how many fake ballots they need to add to ensure the other side wins. Welcome to the conspiracy theory flavor of the day, GOP-style. This is a party now so marinated in manufactured paranoia about voting that they’re also organizing stakeouts of ballot drop boxes.”

Claim That Sex Ed ‘Grooms’ Kids Jolted Nebraska Politics a Year Before It Swept the Nation (Russ)

From The Washington Post: “Last year, when the state board of education proposed new sex-education standards for teaching about issues such as sexual orientation, gender identity and consent, a retired pediatrician in this central Nebraska town reached out to Gov. Pete Ricketts and state lawmakers. ‘This is NOT Sex Ed as anyone knows it,’ Sue Greenwald wrote in a July 16, 2021, email obtained by The Washington Post. Lessons that met these standards, she wrote, would be ‘“grooming” children to be sexual victims.’ It was a shocking claim, and it was catching on — repeated by Greenwald, by members of the Protect Nebraska Children Coalition, a group she co-founded to oppose the standards, and embraced by Ricketts (R) himself.”

A Walgreens Employee Refused to Sell Condoms to a Couple on Religious Grounds (DonkeyHotey)

From NBC News: “A pair of shoppers at a Walgreens in Wisconsin said an employee refused to sell condoms to them on religious grounds — something Walgreens said is permitted under its policies. Nathan Pentz tweeted earlier this month that his partner, Jess, went to buy condoms at a store in Hayward because she forgot her birth control. He said when she went to the checkout, the cashier said he would not ring up the condoms, because of his faith. … In a statement to NBC News, a Walgreens spokesperson said its employee’s actions did not violate company policy.”

Vaccinated Have Lower Heart, Stroke Risk From COVID-19 (Mili)

The author writes, “Full vaccination against COVID-19 was associated with a reduced risk of acute myocardial infarction (MI) and ischemic stroke as secondary complications of acute infection, a study from Korea showed. These cardiovascular events were significantly reduced in the 31 to 120 days after COVID-19 diagnosis for the fully vaccinated compared with those not vaccinated.”

Air Conditioning Will Not Save Us (Sean)

From Time: “It keeps happening. Every summer, unprecedented heat surges through cities across the United States — in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho; in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio; and in Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey. Last week, a heat wave melted records in Texas with unrelenting highs well into the 100s for days. And just when residents need it most, the electrical grid fails. Every year, hundreds die from heat-related illness in the U.S., and thousands more end up in emergency rooms from heat stress. Compared to other weather-related disasters, the emergency response to extreme heat from U.S. leaders has been minimal. As a result, many places remain unprepared. How, then, do we make our cities more resilient?”

Japanese City Alarmed by Biting, Clawing, Attacking Monkeys (Dana)

The author writes, “People in a southwestern Japanese city have come under attack from monkeys that are trying to snatch babies, biting and clawing at flesh, and sneaking into nursery schools. The attacks — on 58 people since July 8 — are getting so bad Yamaguchi city hall hired a special unit to hunt the animals with tranquilizer guns. The monkeys aren’t interested in food, so traps haven’t worked. They have targeted mostly children and the elderly.”