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The US Leads the World in Weather Catastrophes. Here’s Why. (Maria)

The author writes, “The United States is Earth’s punching bag for nasty weather. Blame geography for the US getting hit by stronger, costlier, more varied and frequent extreme weather than anywhere on the planet, several experts said. Two oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, jutting peninsulas like Florida, clashing storm fronts and the jet stream combine to naturally brew the nastiest of weather. That’s only part of it …  people have made it much worse by what, where and how we build, several experts told The Associated Press. Then add climate change, and ‘buckle up. More extreme events are expected,’ said Rick Spinrad, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

How Disney Just Beat Ron DeSantis (Reader Jim)

From Vox: “Last year, [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis made national headlines when he went after [Disney], the state’s largest employer, in retaliation for its opposition to his ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, which prevents teachers from talking about LGBTQ+ issues or people. He pushed the state legislature to strip the company of its status as a special tax district, under which it has been able to develop and maintain its theme parks with relative independence. And DeSantis replaced the board members governing that district, who’d previously been controlled by Disney, with conservative figures loyal to him. But it seems that Disney’s lawyers outwitted him. The new board members overseeing the governance of Disney said in a meeting Wednesday that their predecessors had rendered them essentially powerless in a policy ratified just before they took over.”

Why WA Abortion Providers Are Being Told Not to Visit Idaho (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Don’t vacation in Idaho. That’s the advice a Washington-based legal advocacy group is telling some abortion providers because of a just-passed Idaho bill criminalizing ‘recruiting, harboring or transporting’ minors for abortions without parental consent. That’s not because this first-of-its kind bill — which calls such aid to minors ‘trafficking’ and now sits on Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s desk — necessarily applies to Washington abortion providers or others who offer care and resources to minors crossing the Idaho border to end their pregnancies.”

Dane County Election Review Finds Dozens of Ineligible Voters Who Cast Ballots (Al)

From Wisconsin Watch: “The number of confirmed cases of people voting after losing their voting rights is far more than previously known — and could mean there are hundreds more around [Wisconsin]. But the number is small compared with the millions of votes cast in statewide elections — and not enough to alter past results as former President Donald Trump and others have claimed.”

Missouri Reps Just Voted to Completely Defund the State’s Public Libraries (Sean)

The author writes, “Late Tuesday night, the Missouri House of Representatives voted for a state operating budget with a $0 line for public libraries. While the budget still needs to work its way through the Senate and the governor’s office, state funding for public libraries is very much on the chopping block in Missouri. This comes after Republican House Budget Chairman Cody Smith proposed a $4.5 million cut to public libraries’ state aid last week in the initial House Budget Committee hearing, where Smith cited a lawsuit filed against Missouri by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri (ACLU-MO) as the reason for the cut.” 

‘Climate Homicide’: Could Big Oil Be Sued for Disaster Deaths? (Laura)

From E&E News: “Oil majors are facing civil lawsuits in courts from Hoboken to Honolulu that could cost the industry hundreds of billions of dollars for its role in producing planet-warming emissions. But can petroleum producers be held criminally responsible for climate-related deaths that occurred after companies allegedly deceived the public about the dangers of burning fossil fuels? A new academic paper says they can, and authors of the research say the novel legal theory — known as ‘climate homicide’ — is already stirring interest from prosecutors.”

Want to Sequester Carbon? Save Wild Animals (Michaela)

The author writes, “As the world increasingly turns toward natural climate solutions like reforestation and grassland restoration to sequester carbon, it may be overlooking a crucial ally: animals. Protecting existing populations and restoring others to their natural habitats often improves the natural capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide within ecosystems, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change. Robust populations of just nine species, such as sea otters or gray wolves, or genera, including whales, could lead to the capture of 6.41 gigatons of CO₂ annually, the researchers found. That’s about 95 percent of the amount needed to be removed annually to ensure global warming remains below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).”

500-Year-Old Brueghel Painting Discovered in French Family’s TV Room (Sean)

The author writes, “A 500-year-old painting by Pieter Brueghel the Younger was discovered in the TV room of a family’s new home in Northern France after they invited an appraiser in to judge the value of some items in the house. The piece was sold at auction for $850,000 at the Daguerre auction house in Paris.”


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