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US Infiltrates Big Ransomware Gang: ‘We Hacked the Hackers’ (Maria)

The authors write, “The FBI and international partners have at least temporarily disrupted the network of a prolific ransomware gang they infiltrated last year, saving victims including hospitals and school districts a potential $130 million in ransom payments, Attorney General Merrick Garland and other U.S. officials announced Thursday. ‘Simply put, using lawful means we hacked the hackers,’ Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said at a news conference.”

Idaho Faith Healing Exemption Remains Unchanged, and More Children Die (Reader Steve)

From the Idaho Statesman: “For decades, Idaho has allowed an exemption in its Child Protective Act and child injury and abandonment laws for faith healing, letting parents choose to withhold potentially lifesaving treatment without fear of legal repercussions. Since 2014, opponents of faith healing have lobbied the Idaho Legislature to change the law, but efforts have stalled amid concerns over parental rights and religious and medical freedom. Legislators last debated a change to faith healing exemptions in 2017 with a much-criticized bill that was voted down on the Senate floor.”

Data Doesn’t Support New COVID-19 Booster Shots for Most, Says Vaccine Expert (Sean)

From Time: “In the third year of the pandemic, the population’s immune situation is vastly different from what it was in 2019 when SARS-CoV-2 emerged. Now, most people have been vaccinated against the virus, been infected with it (once or multiple times), or both. And the latest data show that the newest booster shot, which targets the Omicron BA.4/5 strain and original virus variants in a bivalent formulation, isn’t that much more effective in generating virus-fighting antibodies than the original vaccine when used as a booster.”

BBC Film on Indian PM Modi, 2002 Riots Draws Government Ire (Sean)

The authors write, “Days after India blocked a BBC documentary that examines Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role during 2002 anti-Muslim riots and banned people from sharing it online, authorities were scrambling to halt screenings of the program at colleges and restrict clips of it on social media, a move that has been decried by critics as an assault on press freedom.”

Climate Gentrification Is Coming to Hurricane-Wrecked Florida (Laura)

From Gizmodo: “You might assume that home prices would decline in an area recently wrecked by a hurricane, but a new study finds the opposite is true, and post-storm price hikes could be a major driver of what’s known as climate gentrification. The study, published in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, found that home prices in Florida were 5% higher in the three-year period after a hurricane. Those hurricane-stricken housing markets attracted wealthier residents instead of scaring them away.”

Ancient Siberian Genomes Reveal Genetic Backflow From North America Across the Bering Sea (Mili)

The author writes, “The movement of people across the Bering Sea from North Asia to North America is a well-known phenomenon in early human history. Nevertheless, the genetic makeup of the  people who lived in North Asia during this time has remained mysterious due to a limited number of ancient genomes analyzed from this region. Now, researchers describe genomes from ten individuals up to 7,500 years old that help to fill the gap and show geneflow from people moving in the opposite direction from North America to North Asia.”

Watch a Long Human Chain of Biologists Save This Dolphin’s Life (Dana)

The author writes, “A young dolphin wandered off its usual path and ended up in a creek in Clearwater, Florida. Biologists with Clearwater Marine Aquarium had been monitoring the animal since Jan. 1. It appeared reluctant to return to open waters via a small opening under a bridge. … Clearwater Marine Aquarium partnered with NOAA Fisheries and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to escort the dolphin to safety. A team of 28 biologists got into the water to form a human chain, creating a visual and sound barrier to aim the dolphin out of the creek. Watch the effort unfold.”


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