climate crisis, biodiversity, oceans, UN, treaty
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Nations Reach Accord to Protect Marine Life on High Seas (Maria)

The authors write, “For the first time, United Nations members have agreed on a unified treaty to protect biodiversity in the high seas — representing a turning point for vast stretches of the planet where conservation has previously been hampered by a confusing patchwork of laws. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea came into force in 1994, before marine biodiversity was a well-established concept. The treaty agreement concluded two weeks of talks in New York. … The unified agreement treaty, which applies to nearly half the planet’s surface, was reached late Saturday.”

The Checkered Past of the Contractor Monitoring the Air in East Palestine (DonkeyHotey)

From The American Prospect: “A contractor for Norfolk Southern that is conducting air quality monitoring in East Palestine, Ohio, has a controversial history of what critics have described as inaccurate testing tilted toward the corporations that hire it. The company has been the subject of several lawsuits over its conduct, and members of Congress have warned corporations not to hire the firm in the past.”

A San Diego Judge Had a Defendant’s 13-Year-Old Daughter Handcuffed. Now the Incident Is Under Review. (Reader Steve)

From The San Diego Union-Tribune: “A misconduct complaint against San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, who ordered a U.S. marshal to handcuff a defendant’s 13-year-old daughter during a hearing, will be reviewed by a higher court, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said [last week]. The handcuffing exercise, which brought the girl to tears in the courtroom, was intended to scare her away from doing drugs and ending up in court like her father, Benitez explained to her, according to a transcript of the Feb. 13 hearing.”

Justice Thomas Wrote of ‘Crushing Weight’ of Student Loans (Al)

The authors write, “The Supreme Court won’t have far to look if it wants a personal take on the ‘crushing weight’ of student debt that underlies the Biden administration’s college loan forgiveness plan. Justice Clarence Thomas was in his mid-40s and in his third year on the nation’s highest court when he paid off the last of his debt from his time at Yale Law School. Thomas, the court’s longest-serving justice and staunchest conservative, has been skeptical of other Biden administration initiatives. And when the Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday involving President Joe Biden’s debt relief plan that would wipe away up to $20,000 in outstanding student loans, Thomas is not likely to be a vote in the administration’s favor.”

First Law of Thermodynamics Breakthrough Could Upend a Century of Equilibrium Theory in Physics (Sean)

From The Debrief: “Physicists in West Virginia have announced a potential breakthrough that could help upend a longstanding constraint imposed by the first law of thermodynamics. The discovery, involving how energy is converted in plasmas in space, was described in new research published in the journal Physical Review Letters, and could potentially require scientists to have to rethink how plasmas are heated both in the lab and in space.”

Jimmy Carter, the President Who Tried to Save the Planet (Laura)

The author writes, “He installed solar panels on the White House. He urged Americans to turn down their thermostats while sporting a sweater. And he pressured Congress into putting tens of millions of acres in Alaska off limits to development. Despite serving a single term, Jimmy Carter ranks as one of the most consequential U.S. presidents when it comes to environmentalism, according to historians, conservationists and several former federal officials.”

Egypt Unveils Newly Discovered Chamber Inside Great Pyramid (Dana)

The author writes, “Egypt’s antiquities authorities on Thursday unveiled a newly discovered, sealed-off chamber inside one of the Great Pyramids at Giza, just outside of Cairo, that dates back some 4,500 years ago. The corridor — on the northern side of the Pyramid of Khufu — was discovered using modern scanning technology. It measures 9 meters (nearly 30 feet) in length and is 2 meters (over 6 feet) wide, perched above the main entrance of the pyramid. Archaeologists do not know what the function was of the chamber, which is not accessible from the outside.”


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