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Tree Planting Is Booming. Here’s How That Could Help, or Harm, the Planet. (Maria)

The author writes, “A tree planted for every T-shirt purchased. For every bottle of wine. For every swipe of a credit card. Trees planted by countries to meet global pledges and by companies to bolster their sustainability records. As the climate crisis deepens, businesses and consumers are joining nonprofit groups and governments in a global tree planting boom. … These efforts can be a triple win, providing livelihoods, absorbing and locking away planet-warming carbon dioxide, and improving the health of ecosystems. But when done poorly, the projects can worsen the very problems they were meant to solve.”

Migrants Die on the Border While Abbott Scores Blood-Soaked Political Points (Gerry)

The author writes, “[This week] a woman and two children drowned in the Rio Grande that marks the border between the U.S. and Mexico near Eagle Pass, Texas. U.S. Border Patrol agents knew that a group of six migrants were in distress in the river but could not try to save them, as they normally would, because troops from the Texas National Guard and the Texas Military Department prevented the Border Patrol agents from entering the area where they were struggling: Shelby Park, a 47-acre public park that offers access to a frequently traveled part of the river and is a place where Border Patrol agents often encounter migrants crossing the border illegally.”

United Against Nuclear Iran: The Shadowy, Intelligence-Linked Group Driving the US Towards War With Iran (Reader Pat)

From Mint Press News: “Most of the world has watched the Israeli assault on Gaza in horror. As tens of thousands have been killed and millions displaced, tens of millions of people around the world have poured onto the streets to demand an end to the violence. But a few select others have taken to the pages of our most influential media to demand an escalation of the violence and that the United States help Israel strike not just Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon but Iran as well. … What these individuals all have in common is that they are board members of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), a shadowy but influential organization dedicated to pushing the West toward a military confrontation with the Islamic Republic.”

Five Richest Men Doubled Fortunes After 2020, Oxfam Says as Davos Opens (Sean)

The author writes, “The world’s richest five men have more than doubled their fortunes since 2020, the charity Oxfam has said, sounding the alarm about unchecked corporate power as business elites hold their high-profile annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland. The five men are worth a combined $869bn after growing their fortunes at a rate of $14m per hour during the past four years, Oxfam said in its report ‘Inequality Inc.,’ released on Monday.”

Gov. Phil Murphy Signs Law to Create New Grief Curriculum in NJ Schools (Al)

The author writes, “Legislation signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy [this month] will require school districts to provide instruction on grief as part of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. Public schools will now have to provide instruction for students in grades eight through 12, on, at a minimum, the physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms of grief; coping mechanisms and techniques for handling grief and loss; and resources available to students, including in-school support, mental health crisis support and individual and group therapy.”

Open Season (Laura)

From Grist: “In Wyoming, where a deadly winter decimated pronghorn and mule deer, the state spent a record $4.2 million killing coyotes and other predators and is considering expanding bear and mountain lion hunts. Wildlife officials in Washington are contemplating killing sea lions and seals to save faltering salmon populations from extinction. In Minnesota, hunters are inaccurately blaming wolves for low deer numbers and calling for authorities to reduce their population. Culls like these are appealing because they are tangible actions — even when evidence suggests the true threat is much more complex. ‘You’re putting a Band-Aid on the wrong elbow,’ says [Christi] Heun, who now works for the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife.” 

The Most Mysterious Cells in Our Bodies Don’t Belong to Us (Reader Jim)

From The Atlantic: “Just about every time an embryo implants and begins to grow, it dispatches bits of itself into the body housing it. The depositions begin at least as early as four or five weeks into gestation. And they settle into just about every sliver of our anatomy where scientists have checked — the heart, the lungs, the breast, the colon, the kidney, the liver, the brain. From there, the cells might linger, grow, and divide for decades, or even, as many scientists suspect, for a lifetime, assimilating into the person that conceived them.”


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