climate change, environment, Arctic Circle, Inuit Qeqertaat, flora, last poppy
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The Last Flower At the Top Of the World — And the Perilous Journey to Reach It (Maria)

The author writes, “At the top of the Earth, the northernmost stretch of land a person can stand on is Inuit Qeqertaat, also named Kaffeklubben Island by early 20th century Danish explorers. The region is a dark gray stretch of gravel on the northern coast of Greenland where land slowly gives way to frozen sea ice. To find what lives amid these rocky soils, climate change researchers and National Geographic Explorers Brian Buma and Jeff Kerby and their team embarked on a journey to survey the region. There, they found a common species of moss (Tortula mucronifolia), the world’s northernmost plant, and a yellow and lime-green Arctic poppy. … Here, above the Arctic Circle, the planet is warming four times faster than anywhere else on Earth. Changes here will have ripple effects across the globe.” 

My Brother, Officer Brian Sicknick, Died After January 6. Politics Continued To Pull My Family Apart (Gerry)

From Salon: “My brother, United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, collapsed after defending the Capitol Building and everyone in it from pro-Trump insurrectionists on January 6, 2021, and died in the hospital the following day. He suffered two strokes, we learned. In the aftermath of his death, I thought my family would be united in our grief. I didn’t see until later that politics — some of the same on display at the Capitol the day Brian reported for what would be his last shift — were already dividing us. … While I blamed Trump’s followers for the violent clashes that preceded Brian’s death, one of our relatives — I’ll call this person True Believer — blamed President Biden and his political allies, telling me after the ceremony that Biden and high-ranking Democrats were responsible.”    

Israel, Gaza, and the Law on Starvation in War (Laura)

The author writes, “On March 19, Volker Türk, the United Nations’ human rights chief, said in an official statement that Israel’s policies regarding aid in Gaza might amount to a war crime. … Israel has previously vehemently denied placing limits on aid, accusing the United Nations of failing to distribute aid adequately, and Hamas of looting supplies. U.S. and U.N. officials have said there is no evidence of that, other than one shipment that Hamas seized earlier this week, which is now being recovered. In recent weeks, under pressure from the United States and other allies, Israel has loosened some restrictions and there has been a modest increase in aid deliveries.”

How Profit Shapes the Bail Bond System (Dana)

The author writes, “Every day in courtrooms around the country, judges decide whether to release, detain, or set bail for people charged with crimes. Bail involves a commitment or set of conditions to ensure the person will appear for their next court date. For many, those conditions include an amount of money that is often beyond their ability to pay. As a result, despite the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, hundreds of thousands of people are held for months or even years pending trial because they can’t afford bail. Evidence shows that this unfair system is ineffective at advancing public safety, as people who can afford bail can simply pay to be released, regardless of any risk they may pose. But efforts at reform often run into challenges.”

Trump Appears to Be Ditching Barron’s Graduation for a Fundraiser (Sean)

From The New Republic: “Donald Trump got a day off from his hush-money trial next week after requesting to attend his son Barron’s high school graduation. But on the same day, he’s actually scheduled to attend a fundraising dinner in Minnesota. Trump is required by New York state law to attend all of the proceedings in his hush-money trial, so his legal team had to file a motion with Judge Juan Merchan asking permission for the trial to be put on hiatus on May 17. Merchan agreed to do so, but Trump is also scheduled to be the headline speaker at the Republican Party of Minnesota’s annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner in St. Paul. … Trump has complained to reporters since mid-April that Merchan was not allowing him to go to his son’s graduation.”

Boeing Admits That Its Employees Falsified Aircraft Records for 787 Dreamliner (DonkeyHotey)

From Gizmodo: “In the latest disturbing twist to the Boeing saga, the company admitted to falsifying records related to the inspection of its 787 Dreamliner plane. The company publicly disclosed this after news broke of yet another federal investigation into the company. The Federal Aviation Administration revealed on Monday that it was conducting a new probe into the embattled airplane manufacturer — this one focused on whether records related to the company’s 787 Dreamliner had been falsified, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Not long afterward, the Seattle Times reported that Boeing disclosed that employees at its assembly plant in North Charleston, S.C. had falsified records related.”


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