recycling, robots, AI, environment protection
The author writes, “For the nation’s 600-plus recycling facilities, which process some 67 million tons of waste, these leggy robots from AMP Robotics are one answer to the current bottlenecks facing the industry. Even before COVID-19 struck, AMP Robotics was starting to gain traction. But as boxes from home deliveries piled up at recycling centers and hiring — already a tough proposition — got even tougher as workers feared getting ill, its business boomed.” Photo credit: Pxhere

Military Voters Fear They’re Part of Unsupported Fraud Claim ; Rural Hospitals Can’t Afford Freezers to Store COVID-19 Vaccine ; and More Picks 11/16

Military Voters Fear They’re Part of Unsupported Fraud Claim (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Some military voters are concerned they have been thrust into the center of unsubstantiated fraud claims by President Donald Trump’s campaign that several thousand people may have improperly voted in Nevada. … Lawyers from Trump’s campaign sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr alleging they had uncovered what they described as ‘criminal voter fraud’ in Nevada. They said they had identified 3,062 people who ‘improperly’ cast mail ballots in Clark County, a Democrat-heavy area that includes Las Vegas and about 75% of the state’s population. … Voting rights activists say hundreds of people on the list appear to be linked to the U.S. military. The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, which is doing election protection work, found 157 voters who listed a military base post office, according to staff attorney Nikki Levy, meaning they likely voted legally under added protections in federal law allowing absentee voting for military members and their families.”

Rural Hospitals Can’t Afford Freezers to Store a COVID-19 Vaccine (Dana)

From STAT: “Large urban hospitals across the U.S. are rushing to buy expensive ultra-cold freezers to store what’s likely to be the first approved Covid-19 vaccine. But most rural hospitals can’t afford these high-end units, meaning health workers and residents in those communities may have difficulty getting the shots. The vaccine, developed by Pfizer and the German firm BioNTech, seems to provide 90% immunity according to early data. …  But there’s a catch: The vaccine has to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius. Typical freezers don’t get that cold, making distribution of this vaccine a logistical nightmare.”

Billionaire Created a Perfect Experiment by Erasing $34 Million in Student Debt (Dana)

The author writes, “The two young men started at the same college, on the same day, and financed their education the same way: by going deep into debt. Today, Elie Kirkland is so financially secure that, at age 24, he’s thinking of buying a home. Richard Williams, also 24, is in such a hole that he deferred his dreams of becoming a doctor. Their stories reflect a remarkable sequence of events at Morehouse College, a historically black men’s school in Atlanta. The Morehouse Class of 2019 hit the American college equivalent of the lottery: Billionaire Robert F. Smith surprised its members at graduation with an extraordinary pledge to pay off their student debt.”

Arizona Woman Who Destroyed Target Mask Display Was in Grips of QAnon (Russ)

The author writes, “The Arizona woman who demolished a Target store’s pandemic mask display in a viral video last July says the conspiracy cult known as QAnon fueled her ‘spectacular’ public breakdown. Melissa Rein Lively, 35, says she descended into the dark world of QAnon’s discredited claims about child trafficking and the coronavirus and was pushed over the edge into the ‘manic-type episode’ that’s received millions of views online.”

Gum Disease May Raise Risk of Some Cancers (Mili)

From ScienceDaily: “People who have periodontal (gum) disease may have a higher risk of developing some forms of cancer, suggests a letter published in the journal Gut detailing a prospective study. US researchers found that a history of periodontal disease appeared to be associated with a raised risk of esophageal (gullet) cancer and gastric (stomach) cancer and this risk was also higher among people who had lost teeth previously.”

Three Visitors Banned From Yellowstone After Cooking Chickens in Hot Spring (Peg)

The author writes, “It was supposed to be a fun family summer trip to Yellowstone National Park. Two cousins, a neighbor and their families packed two chickens, canoed about eight hours and hiked to the Shoshone Geyser Basin, where they decided to cook their chickens in a hot spring. But dinner didn’t go quite as planned. In fact, it led to three of them pleading guilty to petty offenses. They were sentenced to two years’ probation, banned from the park for that period and fined between $500 and $1,200, according to court documents.The men, said park officials, had violated laws governing the use of the national park.”

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