Spilled Oil Reaches Whale Sanctuary off Brazil ; America's Silliest Alcohol Laws ; and More Picks 11/4

Spilled Oil Reaches Whale Sanctuary off Brazil (Chris)

From the Japan Times: “Fragments of oil from spills plaguing Brazil’s coast for three months have reached a humpback whale sanctuary, the navy reported Saturday. The area around the small Abrolhos archipelago off the coast of northeast Bahia state has some of Brazil’s richest biodiversity. The oil was being recovered by navy ships, part of it in the water and other bits on the beach, the navy said in a statement. Oil slicks have been appearing for three months off the coast of northeast Brazil and tarred more than 200 beaches along a 2,000-km (1,250-mile) stretch of Brazil’s most celebrated shoreline.”

The New Science That Fossil Fuel Companies Fear (Gerry)

The author writes, “Researchers can now link weather events to emissions — and to the companies responsible. A string of lawsuits is about to give ‘attribution science’ a real-life test.”

Prisoners Are Fighting California’s Wildfires, but Getting Little in Return (Mili)

From Fortune: “As multiple deadly wildfires in California, stoked by dry weather and 65 MPH winds, threaten to destroy thousands of homes across the state, 2,150 prison inmates are battling on the front lines to tame the flames. The prisoners earn between $2.90 and $5.12 per day, plus an additional $1 per hour during active emergency for their potentially life-threatening efforts.”

Twitter’s Ban on Political Ads Will Hurt Activists, Labor Groups, and Organizers (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “There’s something to be said for a tech platform taking its responsibilities to the democratic process seriously. But banning political ads is not as straightforward, nor as obviously correct, as those cheering [Jack] Dorsey’s announcement seem to think. The problem is twofold. First, defining which ads count as ‘political’ gets tricky in a hurry. Second, prioritizing commercial speech over political speech is itself a political stance, and not necessarily one that we should want our online communication platforms to take.”

America’s Silliest Alcohol Laws (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “[Last week] marks 100 years since Congress passed the 18th Amendment that started Prohibition, which banned the production, import, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States. To mark the anniversary of this day, liquor distributor Drizly has compiled a list of 10 of the most bizarre local alcohol regulations … here is the list of 10 wacky city and state laws. All but two are technically still in effect.”