What Went Wrong With Coronavirus Testing in the US ; Nepal Cancels Mount Everest Climbing Permits ; and More Picks 3/17

Climate Change Is Already Diminishing the Colorado River (Mili)

The author writes, “A warming climate already is reducing stream flows in the Southwest’s largest watershed, according to a new study from scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey. And as the planet continues to heat up, it said, the shortages are likely to get worse. Using hydrologic models, researchers found that the Colorado River Basin is extremely sensitive to slight variations in temperature. In their new paper in the journal Science, they show that for each degree average Celsius temperatures rise, flows in the Colorado are likely to decline more than 9%.”

Two Men Charged in Bundy Ranch Armed Standoff Are Running for Office in Idaho (Chris)

From the Idaho Statesman: “Eric Parker is running for state senator, Scott Drexler for county sheriff. … During the [2014] standoff, Parker and Drexler were observed and photographed on an overpass pointing assault-style rifles through concrete sidewall barriers toward federal agents in the dry riverbed below.”

Spain Has Nationalized All of Its Private Hospitals Amid Coronavirus Lockdown (Chris)

The author writes, “The Ministry of Health in Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s administration on Monday announced it would put all of Spain’s private health providers and their facilities into public control as the spread of COVID-19 continues to grip the country. … Spain is one of the worst-affected countries outside China.”

Seattle Will Provide $800 in Supermarket Vouchers to Thousands of Families (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Seattle will provide $800 each in vouchers to more than 6,000 families to help them buy food, cleaning supplies and other household goods at Safeway supermarkets during the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Jenny Durkan said Monday. Pending City Council approval this week, the funding will come from Seattle’s sugary beverage tax revenues, the Mayor’s Office said.”

What Went Wrong With Coronavirus Testing in the US (Russ)

From the New Yorker: “In the early stages of an outbreak, contact tracing, isolation, and individual quarantines are regularly deployed to contain the spread of a disease. But these tools are useless if suspected cases of a disease cannot be tested. The void created by the C.D.C.’s faulty tests made it impossible for public-health authorities to get an accurate picture of how far and how fast the disease was spreading. In hotspots like Seattle, and probably elsewhere, covid-19 spread undetected for several weeks, which in turn only multiplied the need for more tests.”

Mount Everest: Nepal’s Government Shuts Off Mountain Due to Virus Outbreak (Mili)

The author writes, “Nepal’s government announced that it would cancel all climbing permits from 14 March until 30 April. China had already cancelled expeditions from the northern, Chinese-controlled, side of the mountain. According to the Kathmandu Post, Nepal earns $4m … by issuing Everest climbing permits every year, aside from wider tourism revenue.”