missing persons, media coverage, people of color, inequity
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Petito Case Renews Call to Spotlight Missing People of Color (Maria)

The authors write, “In the three months since 62-year-old Navajo rug weaver Ella Mae Begay vanished, the unanswered questions sometimes threaten to overwhelm her niece. ‘Why is it taking so long? Why aren’t our prayers being answered?’ Seraphine Warren wonders. Many families and advocates for missing people of color are glad the attention paid to the disappearance of Florida resident Gabby Petito helped find clues that led to the tragic discovery of her body, and they mourn with her family. But some also question why the lack of a public spotlight so important to finding missing people has left many other cases off the radar.”

How COVID-19 Death Rates Impacted 2020 Presidential Voting Patterns (Mili)

The author writes, “In the fall of 2020, some political analysts predicted voters mourning the loss of friends and loved ones to COVID-19 would have blamed then-President Donald Trump for mismanaging the pandemic and, in turn, be more likely to vote for Joe Biden than they were for Hillary Clinton. But that wasn’t the case, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. Counties across the United States with a high COVID death rate saw a smaller increase in Democratic voters in the 2020 presidential election compared to 2016, the study found. In contrast, counties with a lower COVID death rate saw a significantly larger increase in the Democratic vote margin from 2016.”

Latin American Migration, Once Limited to a Few Countries, Turns Into a Mass Exodus (Dan)

The authors write, “The gathering of thousands of Haitians at the Texas-Mexico border [last] week reflects a stark change in migration patterns to the U.S., driven by Covid-19. A far broader mix of nationalities is turning up at the border than in the past. For decades, most crossers were Mexican men and, in recent years, families from the troubled Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, known as the Northern Triangle. Suddenly Ecuadoreans, Brazilians, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, Haitians and Cubans are turning up by the hundreds of thousands, a trend that accelerated sharply in the past six months.”

Sinema Faces New Backlash, This Time Over Prescription-Drug Position (Reader Steve)

From the Arizona Daily Star: “Democratic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is facing another big backlash from the side that supported her in the 2018 election. The main source of anger this time: her opposition to a plan to reduce prescription drug prices that is a key part of the Biden administration’s $3.5 trillion spending proposal. It came out … that Sinema told Biden administration officials during a negotiating session last week that she opposes their prescription drug proposal. She also opposes a pared-down version offered in the House.”

Melting of Polar Ice Shifting Earth Itself, Not Just Sea Levels (Doug)

From The Harvard Gazette: “The melting of polar ice is not only shifting the levels of our oceans, it is changing the planet Earth itself. Newly minted Ph.D. Sophie Coulson and her colleagues explained in a recent paper in Geophysical Research Letters that, as glacial ice from Greenland, Antarctica, and the Arctic Islands melts, Earth’s crust beneath these land masses warps, an impact that can be measured hundreds and perhaps thousands of miles away. ‘Scientists have done a lot of work directly beneath ice sheets and glaciers,’ said Coulson. … ‘So they knew that it would define the region where the glaciers are, but they hadn’t realized that it was global in scale.’”

Lab-Grown Meat Is Supposed to Be Inevitable. The Science Tells a Different Story. (Dana)

From The Counter: “Paul Wood didn’t buy it. For years, the former pharmaceutical industry executive watched from the sidelines as biotech startups raked in venture capital, making bold pronouncements about the future of meat. He was fascinated by their central contention: the idea that one day, soon, humans will no longer need to raise livestock to enjoy animal protein. We’ll be able to grow meat in giant, stainless-steel bioreactors — and enough of it to feed the world. These advancements in technology, the pitch went, would fundamentally change the way human societies interact with the planet, making the care, slaughter, and processing of billions of farm animals the relic of a barbaric past.”

Astronomers Desperate to Hear Mysterious Radio Signal From Milky Way Again (Sean)

The author writes, “Scientists have detected a mysterious radio signal, described as ‘very strange,’ from the center of our own galaxy — and they’re eager to see if it happens again. The international group of researchers published their discovery on the arXiv pre-print repository and have submitted their article to the Astrophysical Journal. In the study, they describe the radio signal ASKAP J173608.2−321635, which was detected by scanning the sky for radio signals as part of the Australian ASKAP VAST survey.”

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