Myanmar, environment, forests, green tech, rare earths
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‘The Sacrifice Zone’: Myanmar Bears Cost of Green Energy (Maria)

The authors write, “The birds no longer sing, and the herbs no longer grow. The fish no longer swim in rivers that have turned a murky brown. The animals do not roam, and the cows are sometimes found dead. The people in this northern Myanmar forest have lost a way of life that goes back generations. But if they complain, they, too, face the threat of death. This forest is the source of several key metallic elements known as rare earths, often called the vitamins of the modern world. … But an AP investigation has found that their universal use hides a dirty open secret in the industry: Their cost is environmental destruction.”

Republicans Have Long Feuded With the Mainstream Media. Now Many Are Shutting Them Out (Dana)

From NPR: “The phenomenon is impossible to quantify, but many Republican candidates are showing that they don’t want — or need — to get their messages out via legacy media outlets. That can reduce the scrutiny they face while running for public office, hampering voters’ ability to make informed choices.”

Explainer: Does Health Care Law Protect Emergency Abortion? (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The Biden administration has filed its first legal challenge to a state abortion ban since the end of Roe v. Wade, arguing Idaho’s restrictive abortion law leaves doctors facing criminal penalties for providing abortion-related medical care to women in life-threatening medical situations. The Justice Department may have a strong argument in the Idaho case filed under federal health care law, but even if they win it wouldn’t allow full access to abortion there, legal experts said. It could, though, give doctors more latitude to provide an abortion in an emergency or a situation that could become one. But Texas is already pushing back with another lawsuit over the same federal statute, arguing federal health-care law doesn’t allow for abortion-related care banned under state law.”

Pro-Trump Apparel Company Fined For Falsely Labeling Products ‘Made in USA’ (DonkeyHotey)

From Axios: “The Federal Trade Commission ordered apparel company Lions Not Sheep and its owner Sean Whalen to stop labeling its products with fake ‘Made in USA’ tags and pay more than $200,000 in fines. The big picture: Lions Not Sheep is known for its pro-gun and pro-Trump shirts, featuring phrases like ‘Let’s Go Brandon,’ ‘Give Violence a Chance’ and ‘Shall Not Be Infringed.’”

How Alex Jones’ Behavior Impacts Him in Court (Sean)

The author writes, “Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones bulled through the first of several trials against him that could decimate his personal fortune and media empire in his usual way: loud, aggressive and talking about conspiracies both in and out the courtroom. It was business as usual for the gravelly voiced, barrel-chested Jones. But by courtroom standards, his erratic and, at times, disrespectful behavior was unusual — and potentially complicated for the legal process.”

The Billionaire’s Dilemma (Gerry)

From The Atlantic: “Usually when rich people rage against the possibility that someone less wealthy might become their neighbor, nobody bats an eye. Why would they? NIMBYism is the dominant fact of American urban geography. But in recent years, a number of very rich people, including the billionaire investor Marc Andreessen, have positioned themselves on the other side of the debate, arguing against supply restrictions and deriding purportedly progressive places for failing to address the rising cost of housing. … In an influential 2020 essay Andreessen published on his website titled ‘It’s Time to Build,’ he lamented ‘crazily skyrocketing housing prices in places like San Francisco, making it nearly impossible for regular people to move in and take the jobs of the future.’”

The Promise and Danger of Scotland’s Bog (Mili)

From the BBC: “The ancient blanket bog of northern Scotland is reaching a turning point in its long history — degrade or flourish. Which way it goes will have significant consequences for climate change.”

Norway Is Obsessed With Freya, the Walrus Who Rose to Fame While Sinking Boats (Dana)

The author writes, “‘Where’s Freya?’ That’s the question of the summer in Norway, where a young female walrus has shot to stardom by traveling the country’s coastline, feeding in local harbors and crushing small boats with her hefty frame. Norway has been enthralled for months by the marine mammal, whose celebrity status has reached such heights that she is now known only by her first name.”