sharks, ocean, population decline, extinction
The author writes, “Scientists have known for decades that individual shark species are declining, but a new study drawing on 57 global datasets underscores just how dramatically worldwide populations have collapsed in the past half century. Globally, the abundance of oceanic sharks and rays dropped more than 70% between 1970 and 2018, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. Twenty-four of the 31 species of sharks and rays are now threatened with extinction.” Photo credit: NOAA Ocean Exploration & Research / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Mainstream Republicans Already Surrendering to Trumpism (Dana)

From National Journal: “Much of this column’s analysis since the Capitol riots on Jan. 6 has anticipated there will be an explicit break within the Republican Party between the pragmatic institutionalists and the Trump-aligned kraken wing. The coalition of convenience between the two sides, held together by the former president’s power in office, looked untenable without the benefits that the alliance provided. But over the ensuing weeks, an alternate reality has emerged, one where Republican leaders simply do nothing as they fear a grassroots backlash against showing any kind of principle. Call it a strategy of benign neglect — what conservative Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson calls a case of ‘collective amnesia’ towards the growing extremism within the GOP’s ranks.”

Canadian Casino Mogul, Actress Wife Pose as Motel Workers to Cut COVID-19 Vaccine Line (Dan)

The author writes, “A Canadian casino mogul and his actress wife were accused of posing as motel workers in order to receive COVID-19 vaccines meant for Indigenous residents of a remote Yukon community. Rodney Baker, 55, and his 32-year-old wife, Ekaterina Baker, allegedly chartered a private plane to Beaver Creek on Jan. 21 to get doses of the Moderna shot.”

NYPD Cop Assigned to Get Guns Off the Streets Dodges Death in Late-Night Street Shootout With Suspect (Mili)

From the New York Daily News: “An NYPD cop shot in the back during a Bronx gunfight was expected to recover after taking a bullet just below his protective vest from a shooter with a two-state rap sheet, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Wednesday. The wounded cop, identified by sources as Officer Daniel Vargas, was struck once in the lower back during the sudden and violent Tuesday night clash. The 31-year-old officer, assigned to a unit focused on getting firearms off the street, was rushed by fellow officers to Jacobi Medical Center, cops said.”

Work Begins to Turn South Carolina Racist Store Into Racial Harmony Site (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Regan Freeman had spent more than a year organizing a project to tell the story of a Black South Carolina pastor who reached out to Ku Klux Klan members who wanted him dead because of his race. Freeman thought he knew the story well. Then came a tweet that led to two gray storage tubs of some of the most racist newspapers, fliers, posters, photographs and other material he had ever seen. That brought the Rev. David Kennedy’s struggles as well as his patience, love and caring for all men — even those with evil in their hearts — into sharper focus for Freeman, who is working to turn what was once a store filled with racist merchandise into a diversity center and museum on racial reconciliation.”

Priest Livestreamed Exorcisms to Root Out Voter Fraud (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A priest who livestreamed exorcisms aimed at rooting out what he, former President Donald Trump and some Trump supporters have falsely claimed was widespread voting fraud in the presidential election has left a Roman Catholic diocese in Wisconsin. The Diocese of Madison said it and the Rev. John Zuhlsdorf reached a mutual decision on his departure. Zuhlsdorf will relocate from the diocese ‘to pursue other opportunities,’ the diocese said in a statement earlier this month. … Zuhlsdorf claimed he had permission from Madison Bishop Donald Hying to conduct the exorcisms. Hying said, however, that he didn’t give Zuhlsdorf permission to conduct exorcisms related to ‘partisan political activity,’ but rather approved an exorcism for ‘alleviation from the scourge of the coronavirus pandemic.’”