science, biodiversity, conservation, mammals, Washington State, kinkajou rescue
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Rainforest Mammal Rescued Washington State Highway Rest Stop (Maria)

The author writes, “Why did the kinkajou cross the road? And what’s a kinkajou, anyway? One of the mammals — which look like a cross between a monkey and a tiny bear — was found far from its normal rainforest habitat this week at a highway rest stop amid the rolling sagebrush plains of central Washington State, officials say. Kinkajous have prehensile tails, and this one was spotted Sunday climbing on a tall wooden post along Interstate 82 southeast of Yakima, the state’s Department of Transportation said in a post on X. … The animal was rescued by the state Fish and Wildlife Department.”

Trump Made ‘Nazi Ovens’ Joke Around Jewish Execs: Ex-Trump Org VP (Sean)

The author writes, “Former Trump Organization executive vice president Barbara Res told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi that Trump once made a joke about a German residential manager the company had hired before turning to some Trump Organization executives who happened to be Jewish. ‘He was bragging amongst executives about how great the guy was and he was a real gentleman and so neat and clean and then he looked at a couple of our executives who happen to be Jewish, and he said, “Watch out for this guy, he sort of remembers the ovens,” and then smiled,’ said Res, who left her role in 1998 after she claimed Trump mistreated her and other employees.”

The Supreme Court Rules That State Officials Can Engage in a Little Corruption, as a Treat (Laryn)

From Vox: “On a 6-3 party-line vote, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that state officials may accept ‘gratuities’ from people who wish to reward them for their official actions, despite a federal anti-corruption statute that appears to ban such rewards. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the opinion in Snyder v. United States for the Court’s Republican-appointed majority. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote the dissent on behalf of the Court’s three Democratic appointees. Snyder turns on a distinction between ‘bribes’ and ‘gratuities.’ As Kavanaugh writes, ‘bribes are payments made or agreed to before an official act in order to influence the official with respect to that future official act.’ Gratuities, by contrast, ‘are typically payments made to an official after an official act as a token of appreciation.’”

Can Sheriffs Endorse Candidates While in Uniform? This One Thinks He Can (Reader Steve)

From Democracy Docket: “California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond (D), who is also running for governor, called for a state investigation, arguing that the video amounts to illegal electioneering in uniform. The sheriff said he was ‘talking to investigators’ and has maintained that, while he may have courted controversy, he did not do anything illegal. He is probably right, at least to the extent that Bianco will not face consequences for his comments. Elected sheriffs have been such effective political pawns for the MAGA wing precisely because they are able to insert partisan messages into what ought to be a politically neutral job.”

Major Record Labels Sue AI Music Generators (Sean)

The author writes, “The two companies being sued, Udio and Suno, allow users to create songs almost instantly by submitting a text command, much like how A.I. services such as Midjourney produce images based on text prompts. The power of artificial intelligence is upending numerous industries, and companies that are able to take advantage of the technology can financially benefit. But the music industry plaintiffs argued in their lawsuits that the songs produced by these A.I. companies were possible only because the systems were trained on reams of intellectual property that the plaintiffs own.”

Why Your Airport Burger Costs That Much (Russ)

From The Atlantic: “The cost of retail space in the airport can run unusually high, Blaise Waguespack, an expert on airport management at Embry‑Riddle Aeronautical University, told me, and spaces come with extra costs. Vendors may need to pay for employee badges, transportation to the airport, and parking. The operating challenges are meaningful too: Getting food through its version of airport security (which needs to happen frequently, because storage inside the airport is limited) is trickier than simply delivering goods in town.”


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