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Shaky Ground: Some Researchers Say the Benefits of Trapping Soil Carbon Are Dubious (Maria)

The author writes, “Lance Unger has been doing things a little differently lately on his farm near the Wabash River in southwestern Indiana. After last fall’s harvest, rather than leaving his fields fallow, he sowed some of them with cover crops of oats and sorghum that grew until the winter cold killed them off. And before planting corn and soybeans this spring, Unger drove a machine to shove aside yellowing stalks. …  Some researchers say the science of how soils store and release carbon is too uncertain to support an industry claiming to be cooling the planet.” 

Mississippi Can’t Restrict Absentee Voting Assistance This Year, US Judge Says as He Blocks Law (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A federal judge blocked a new Mississippi law that would set criminal penalties for some people who help others with absentee voting — a ruling that comes as absentee ballots are already available in party primaries for governor and other state offices. U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate wrote in his order Tuesday that Mississippi cannot enforce the law during this year’s primaries or general election.”

Ukraine Uses North Korean Rockets to Blast Russian Forces (Sean)

The author writes, “Ukrainian soldiers were observed using North Korean rockets that they said were seized by a ‘friendly’ country before being delivered to Ukraine, the Financial Times reported on Saturday. Ukraine’s defense ministry suggested the arms were captured from the Russians, the newspaper said. The United States has accused North Korea of providing arms to Russia, including alleged shipments by sea, but has not offered proof and North Korean weapons have not been widely observed on the battlefields in Ukraine.”

Why Is Healthy Food So Expensive in America? (Reader Jim)

From Fortune: “The 2023 Farm Bill is projected to spend $700 billion over the next five years, with powerful industry lobbyists directing funds to enrich themselves at the expense of agricultural communities, human health, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. It’s far from its original intention: to help struggling farmers and hungry citizens during The Great Depression and Dustbowl. This year, with growing awareness about the myriad harms of our factory farm system, we have a critical opportunity to shift Farm Bill programs to serve our nation and our planet better.”

‘They’re in the Air, Drinking Water, Dust, Food …’ How to Reduce Your Exposure to Microplastics (Laura)

The author writes, “Invisible specks of eroded plastic from long-forgotten toothbrushes, sweet wrappers and stocking-filler toys are everywhere. They live in our laundry bins, the Mariana trench and the human bloodstream. Microplastic particles can be small enough to infiltrate biological barriers such as the gut, skin and placental tissue. We are all now partially plastic — but how worried should we be, and is there any way to minimize our exposure?”

Unraveling the Origins of Middle America’s Misunderstood Men (Al)

From Electric Literature: “Jack Driscoll writes about working-class men in flyover states. Men who feel left behind and misunderstood, men with calloused hands, men who take reckless risks that often hurt themselves more than others. He writes about people in isolated rural areas who go ice fishing, deadbeat dads, and combat veterans who love their mothers. He writes about ferocious weather, boys with bravado, and men who are haunted by their complicity. The kind of people who accuse politicians and the media of looking down on them.” 

Can Dogs Surf? Yes — and They Will at This Competition in Pacifica (Russ)

From The San Francisco Standard: “Pacifica’s silliest surf competition will soon return to the shores just south of San Francisco. Wave riders by the names of BigRed and Cookie Dough will doggy-paddle out to the breakers on Aug. 5 for the annual World Dog Surfing Championships. The competition will feature both veteran boarders and novice pups — also known as ‘groms’ — who will vie for the ‘Golden Surfie’ award alongside their humans or solo.” 


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