Climate change, greenhouse gasses, New Zealand, electric car subsidy
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New Zealand to Help Pay for Cleaner Cars to Reduce Emissions (Maria)

The author writes, “New Zealand’s government said Monday it will help pay for lower-income families to scrap their old gas guzzlers and replace them with cleaner hybrid or electric cars as part of a sweeping plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The government said it plans to spend 569 million New Zealand dollars ($357 million) on the trial program as part of a larger plan that includes subsidies for businesses to reduce emissions, a switch to an entirely green bus fleet by 2035 and curbside food-waste collection for most homes by the end of the decade. ‘This is a landmark day in our transition to a low emissions future,’ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement.”

US Intelligence Officials Warn China Is ‘Working Hard’ to Be Able to Take Over Taiwan Militarily (Sean)

The authors write, “The US intelligence community believes that China is actively attempting to build a military capable of taking over Taiwan — even in the face of US support for the island, top US intelligence officials told Congress [last] Tuesday. The threat to Taiwan between now and 2030 is ‘acute,’ Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. ‘It’s our view that [China is] working hard to effectively put themselves into a position in which their military is capable of taking Taiwan over our intervention,’ Haines said, declining to publicly provide further details on the intelligence community’s timeline.”

ERCOT Asks Texans to Conserve Power After 6 Generators Fail Amid Hot Weather, Strong Energy Demand (Reader Steve)

From the Houston Chronicle: “Texans are again being asked to scale back their electricity consumption after six power generators went offline Friday amid unseasonably hot weather and strong demand for energy, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. ERCOT said the failures resulted in the loss of approximately 2,900 megawatts of generating capacity. One megawatt is about enough electricity to power 200 homes on a hot day. Prices climbed quickly in wholesale electricity markets Friday afternoon and into the evening, running as high as $5,000 per megawatt hour, according to ERCOT. Wholesale prices typically average around $30 per megawatt hour.”

In Journalism, ‘Objective’ Is a Good Word With a Noble History. But Let’s Consider ‘Distance From Neutrality.’ (Laura)

The author writes, “For the purpose of this exploration, I will not rely on the word ‘objective.’ It is a good word with a noble history. But it has taken on so many problematic and confusing connotations that it may have lost all practical meaning. I’ll replace it with more useful terms. Here are five: neutral, disinterested, nonpartisan, impartial, and independent. If someone painted a word cloud on the side of an old journalism school, I can imagine these words being included. It is in that constellation of words that many but not all journalists and public writers find their duty. The current moment is calling those words — and the standards and practices associated with them — into question.”

Australian Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Study ‘Provocative’ But Not a Breakthrough (Dana)

From USA Today: “A small preliminary study out of Australia offers a tantalizing hint at what might cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but doctors said much more research is needed to know if the findings are conclusive in a larger group of infants. The study, published May 6 in the journal eBioMedicine, caused a stir among parents as it was passed around on Twitter and in blogs. It measured levels of an enzyme called butyrylcholinesterase, which helps control the autonomic nervous system, in the blood of 67 babies in Australia who died of SIDS. The researchers, at the University of Sydney and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, found those levels to be significantly lower in babies who died of SIDS than babies who did not.”

The Ocean Is Starting to Lose Its Memory, Scientists Warn (Mili)

From ScienceAlert: “The oceans that surround us are transforming. As our climate changes, the world’s waters are shifting too, with abnormalities evident not only in the ocean’s temperature, but also its structure, currents, and even its color. As these changes manifest, the usually stable environment of the ocean is becoming more unpredictable and erratic, and in some ways the phenomenon is akin to the ocean losing its memory, scientists suggest.”

Man Dies of Heart Attack While Burying Girlfriend He Strangled, Police Say (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “60-year-old man who strangled his girlfriend died of a heart attack while burying her body in their South Carolina backyard, investigators said. Deputies found Joseph Anthony McKinnon’s body … after neighbors called and reported an unconscious man in a yard in Trenton, the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. As they investigated McKinnon’s death, deputies found a body wrapped in trash bags in a freshly dug hole and determined it was his girlfriend, Patricia Ruth Dent, 65, investigators said.”


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