COVID-19, cyberespionage, phishing, vaccine distribution
The author writes, “IBM security researchers say they have detected a cyberespionage effort using targeted phishing emails to try to collect vital information on the World Health Organization’s initiative for distributing COVID-19 vaccine to developing countries. The researchers said they could not be sure who was behind the campaign, which began in September, or if it was successful.” Photo credit: ILO Asia-Pacific / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Peak Oil Is Already Here ; Why Democrats Keep Losing Rural Counties Like Mine ; and More Picks 124

Peak Oil Is Already Here (Dana)

The authors write, “A year ago, if anyone in the petroleum business had suggested that the moment of Peak Oil had already passed, they would have been laughed right off the drilling rig. Then 2020 happened. Planes stopped flying. Office workers stayed home. ‘Zooming with the grandkids’ replaced driving to see family. A year of global hunkering yielded the sharpest drop in oil consumption since Henry Ford cobbled together the first Model T. At its worst, global demand dropped by a staggering 29 million barrels a day. As a once-in-a-century pandemic played out, British oil giant BP Plc in September made an extraordinary call: Humanity’s thirst for oil may never again return to prior levels. That would make 2019 the high-water mark in oil history.”

Why Democrats Keep Losing Rural Counties Like Mine (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “Why did Trump do so well with rural voters? From my experience, it’s not because local Democrats failed to organize in rural areas. Instead, after conversations with dozens of voters, neighbors, friends and family members in Dunn County, I’ve come to believe it is because the national Democratic Party has not offered rural voters a clear vision that speaks to their lived experiences. The pain and struggle in my community is real, yet rural people do not feel it is taken seriously by the Democratic Party.”

Russian Activists Just Won an Important Battle Over LGBTQ Rights (Dana)

The author writes, “The defiance of … LGBTQ activists in Russia may finally be paying off. Two weeks after the constitution was changed, the government proposed a bill to ban same-sex marriage and end the legal recognition of transgender people. Many activists had expected the landmark bill, co-authored by conservative lawmaker Elena Mizulina, to pass in the fall. But on Nov. 16 parliament revoked the bill for revision and it could now be scrapped altogether. Svetlana Zakharova, a spokesperson at the Russian LGBT Network in St. Petersburg says she can’t say for sure why the law was repealed, but emphasizes that the LGBTQ community and its allies in Russia managed to unite to resist the legislation ‘more than ever before.’”

On the 40th Anniversary of Their Killing, Missionaries of El Salvador Remembered for Their Political Witness as Much as Their Faith (Judy)

From America Magazine: “Cardinal Michael Czerny, S.J., marked the 40th anniversary of the martyrdom of four American missionary women in El Salvador on Dec. 2 with a memorial Mass in Rome. Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, lay missionary Jean Donovan and Maryknoll Sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford were brutally murdered by Salvadoran National Guard members on Dec. 2, 1980. Mourning their violent deaths and testifying to lives spent working for justice, Cardinal Czerny cited the testimony of the Rev. Gregory Chisholm, a Canadian missionary who had met two of the women on the day they were murdered.”

Positive Outlook Predicts Less Memory Decline (Mili)

The author writes, “A new study finds that people who feel enthusiastic and cheerful — what psychologists call ‘positive affect’ — are less likely to experience memory decline as they age. This result adds to a growing body of research on a positive affect’s role in healthy aging.”

Did the US Steal an Island Covered in Bird Poop From Haiti? (Reader Steve)

From the Miami Herald: “For over 160 years, the United States and Haiti have disputed the ownership of tiny Navassa Island at the southwest entrance of the Windward Passage covered with what was once worth a king’s ransom. More than a century later, the question remains: Who owns the poop?”


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