environment, insects. US, Georgia, yellow-legged hornet, invasive Asian species
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Invasive Yellow-Legged Hornet Found in US for First Time (Maria)

The author writes, “A yellow-legged hornet has been found in the US for the first time, prompting concerns among experts about the agricultural threat the invasive Asian species poses, not least to honeybees and other pollinators. The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) said a beekeeper in Savannah spotted the insect on his property and reported it to authorities. It was subsequently confirmed as a yellow-legged hornet. A social wasp species native to tropical and subtropical areas of south-east Asia, the hornet is established in most of Europe, parts of the Middle East and other areas of Asia.”

What Is Racketeering? Trump Charged With Mafia-Busting Law in Georgia (Dana)

The author writes, “The first count in the Georgia indictment charges Donald Trump and 18 others with racketeering for their alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state. Announcing the charges, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis implicated the former president in a sprawling election subversion conspiracy, with him as the ringleader. … These are the fourth set of criminal charges brought against Mr Trump in recent months, but it is the first time a former American president faces charges once used to convict mob bosses like John Gotti and Vincent Gigante.”

She Wasn’t Able to Get an Abortion. Now She’s a Mom. Soon She’ll Start 7th Grade. (Laura)

From Time: “In the fall of 2022, Ashley was raped by a stranger in the yard outside her home, her mother says. For weeks, she didn’t tell anybody what happened, not even her mom. But Regina knew something was wrong. … Regina tentatively asked [Dr. Erica] Balthrop if there was any way to terminate Ashley’s pregnancy. Seven months earlier, Balthrop could have directed Ashley to abortion clinics in Memphis, 90 minutes north, or in Jackson, Miss., two and a half hours south. But today, Ashley lives in the heart of abortion-ban America. In 2018, Republican lawmakers in Mississippi enacted a ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.” 

The Supreme Court Is Taking a Wrecking Ball to the Wall Between Church and State (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “Last June, a previously obscure Oklahoma state board voted to allow two Roman Catholic dioceses to operate a charter school in that state. Lawyers from several civil rights organizations, including the ACLU, responded just over a month later with a lawsuit alleging that this state-funded religious school violates the state constitution. This challenge to the religious charter school, known as St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School, should be a slam-dunk. … According to the lawsuit, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, one of the two dioceses that plans to operate this school, has a policy of expelling students who ‘intentionally or knowingly’ express ‘disagreement with Catholic faith and morals.’”

Book Battles Are Raging Nationwide. A WA Library Could Be Nation’s First to Close (Reader Steve)

From The Seattle Times: “Book battles are raging across the nation, but none have carried the kind of stakes as the one here in Dayton, a one-stoplight farming community in the southeastern corner of Washington. For the county’s only library, the battle has turned, quite literally, existential: Voters will decide in November whether to shut it down. The library, which has occupied the same modest brick building a block off Main Street for 86 years, is at risk not because of a lack of funding or a lack of demand for its services. Instead, it could shutter because of a yearlong dispute over the placement of, at first, one book, then a dozen and now well over 100, all dealing with gender, sexuality or race.”

More Than Half of Earth’s Species Live in the Soil, Study Finds (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “More than half of all species live in the soil, according to a study that has found it is the single most species-rich habitat on Earth. Soil was known to hold a wealth of life, but this new figure doubles what scientists estimated in 2006, when they suggested 25% of life was soil-based. The paper … found it is home to 90% of fungi, 85% of plants and more than 50% of bacteria. At 3%, mammals are the group least associated with soils.”

Bizarre ‘Demon’ Particle Found Inside Superconductor Could Help Unlock a ‘Holy Grail’ of Physics (Sean)

The author writes, “An elusive ‘demon’ particle has been observed inside a superconductor nearly 70 years after it was first predicted. Its discovery could help resolve the mystery of how superconductors work. Pines’ demon is a transparent, chargeless particle discovered inside a sample of the superconductor strontium ruthenate. It is a plasmon — a ripple across the electrons of a plasma that behaves much like a particle — meaning it’s a quasiparticle.” 


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