climate crisis, extreme weather, natural disasters, home insurance
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Home Insurers Cut Natural Disasters From Policies as Climate Risks Grow (Maria)

The author writes, “In the aftermath of extreme weather events, major insurers are increasingly no longer offering coverage that homeowners in areas vulnerable to those disasters need most. At least five large US property insurers — including Allstate, American Family, Nationwide, Erie Insurance Group and Berkshire Hathaway — have told regulators that extreme weather patterns caused by climate change have led them to stop writing coverages in some regions, exclude protections from various weather events and raise monthly premiums and deductibles.”

Florida School Vouchers Can Pay for TVs, Kayaks and Theme Parks. Is That Ok? (Dana)

From the Tampa Bay Times: “As Florida lawmakers expanded eligibility for school vouchers this year, they also gave parents more ways to spend the money. Theme park passes, 55-inch TVs, and stand-up paddleboards are among the approved items that recipients can buy to use at home. The purchases can be made by parents who home-school their children or send them to private schools, if any voucher money remains after paying tuition and fees. The items appear in a list of authorized expenses in a 13-page purchasing guide published this summer by Step Up For Students, the scholarship funding organization that manages the bulk of Florida’s vouchers.”

Can Trump Be Barred From Office on 14th Amendment Grounds? (Al)

From The Bulwark: “On the August 25, 2023 edition of The Bulwark’s ‘Beg to Differ’ podcast, host Mona Charen asked the panelists about the law review article by William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen arguing that state election officials can exclude Donald Trump’s name from the ballot for federal office because he ‘engaged in insurrection’ after having ‘taken an oath … to support the Constitution.’”

840,000 Afghans Who’ve Applied for Key US Resettlement Program Still in Afghanistan, Report Says (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “More than 840,000 Afghans who applied for a resettlement program aimed at people who helped the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan are still there waiting, according to a report that lays out the challenges with a program intended to help America’s allies in the two-decade long conflict. The report released Thursday by the State Department’s inspector general outlines steps the department took to improve processing of special immigrant visas for Afghans. But two years after the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan and the return of the Taliban to power, challenges remain.”

Emperor Penguin Breeding Failure Linked With Antarctic Sea Ice Decline (Laura)

The author writes, “When the sea ice that’s normally frozen fast to the shore around the Bellingshausen Sea unexpectedly broke apart and drifted away from land in November, it spelled disaster for several recently discovered emperor penguin colonies in the region, where a new study … suggests there was a 100 percent reproduction failure at four of five breeding sites in the region last year, as thousands of penguin chicks drowned or froze when the ice disintegrated.”

Researchers Fully Sequence the Y Chromosome for the First Time (Mili)

The author writes, “What was once the final frontier of the human genome — the Y chromosome — has just been mapped out in its entirety. Scientists used advanced sequencing technologies to read out the full DNA sequence of the Y chromosome — a region of the genome that typically drives male reproductive development. The results demonstrate that this advance improves DNA sequencing accuracy for the chromosome, which could help identify certain genetic disorders and potentially uncover the genetic roots of others.”

NASA’s X-59 ‘Son of Concorde’ Gearing Up for First Test Flight (Sean)

From Interesting Engineering: “Dubbed the ‘Son of Concorde,’ NASA’s experimental X-59 is almost ready for its first test flights later this year. Formerly called the  X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST) plane, the aircraft could usher in a new era of supersonic mass transportation.”


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