Canadian Permafrost Thaws 70 Years Early ; The First Gay First Lady ; and More Picks 6/25

Supreme Court Creates New Limits to FOIA Disclosure (Celia)

In a 6 to 3 decision issued this week, the Supreme Court ruled that businesses have a right to keep the information they give to the government secret, even if they can’t show that disclosing the data would hurt them. Journalists warn that it will harm their ability to do investigations that unearth information crucial to the public. 

Scientists Amazed as Canadian Permafrost Thaws 70 Years Early (Chris)

From Reuters: “A team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks said they were astounded by how quickly a succession of unusually hot summers had destabilized the upper layers of giant subterranean ice blocks that had been frozen solid for millennia. ‘What we saw was amazing,’ Vladimir E. Romanovsky, a professor of geophysics at the university, told Reuters by telephone. ‘It’s an indication that the climate is now warmer than at any time in the last 5,000 or more years.’”

State Officials Demand Voting System Vendors Reveal Owners (Chris)

The author writes, “Election officials in North Carolina and Maryland are scrutinizing top voting system vendors for potential foreign ownership, demanding more transparency after revelations of Russian penetration into 2016 election systems and a Russian oligarch’s majority investment in an election data firm used by Maryland.”

Icelanders in Shock as Tourism Collapse Halts Economic Miracle (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The sudden cut in supply caused by Wow Air’s bankruptcy, coupled with high prices and a general drop in demand as a result of a global slowdown, mean the latest numbers look dire. Visitors plunged 24 percent in May from the same period last year and the all-important summer season is looking shaky. The central bank last month pulled the emergency lever to cushion the blow and delivered a half a point rate cut, while the government has pledged to boost stimulus if needed.”

Love Letters Show First Lady Rose Cleveland Was Gay (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “When she died in 1930, [Evangeline Simpson Whipple] was buried at her request in Italy next to the love of her life — a woman with whom she had a relationship that spanned nearly 30 years. That woman, Rose Cleveland, had served as first lady.”