environment, oceans, marine life, conservation, US biodiversity strategy
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‘Life In the Ocean Touches Everyone’: US Rolls Out First National Ocean Biodiversity Strategy (Maria)

The author writes, “Roughly 2 million species live in the world’s oceans. But scientists have only described a mere 10% of them. With extinctions on the rise and biodiversity threatened worldwide, many species are in danger of vanishing before researchers can identify them or fully grasp the benefits they provide. The National Ocean Biodiversity Strategy calls for a stronger, more unified and inclusive approach to ocean conservation. Written by a team led by the Smithsonian and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the strategy was announced by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on June 3. It represents the first nationwide strategy aimed at changing course to save marine life and all the services it provides to people.”

US May Be Less Prepared for Election Threats Than It Was in 2020, Chairman Says (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, based his warning on several factors: improved disinformation tactics by Russia and China, the rise of domestic candidates and groups who are themselves willing to spread disinformation, and the arrival of artificial intelligence programs that allow the rapid creation of images, audio and video difficult to tell from the real thing. In addition, tech companies have rolled back their efforts to protect users from misinformation even as the government’s own attempts to combat the problem have become mired in debates about surveillance and censorship.”

Conservative Attacks on Birth Control Could Threaten Access (Russ)

From The Washington Post: “Since the Supreme Court overturned the right to abortion two years ago, far-right conservatives have been trying to curtail birth-control access by sowing misinformation about how various methods work to prevent pregnancy, even as Republican leaders scramble to reassure voters they have no intention of restricting the right to contraception, which polls show the vast majority of Americans favor. The divide illustrates growing Republican tensions over the political cost of the ‘personhood’ movement to endow an embryo with human rights, which has also animated the debate around in vitro fertilization. Mainstream medical societies define pregnancy as starting once an embryo has implanted in the wall of the uterus. But some conservative legislators, sharing the views of antiabortion activists, say they believe life begins when eggs are fertilized — before pregnancy — and are conflating some forms of birth control with abortion.”

Israel Secretly Targets US Lawmakers With Influence Campaign on Gaza War (Laryn)

The author writes, “The campaign began in October and remains active on the platform X. At its peak, it used hundreds of fake accounts that posed as real Americans on X, Facebook and Instagram to post pro-Israel comments. The accounts focused on US lawmakers, particularly ones who are Black and Democrats, such as Representative Hakeem Jeffries, the House minority leader from New York, and Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia, with posts urging them to continue funding Israel’s military. ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence-powered chatbot, was used to generate many of the posts. The campaign also created three fake English-language news sites featuring pro-Israel articles.”

China Lands on Moon’s Far Side in Historic Sample-Retrieval Mission (Sean)

From Reuters: “China landed an uncrewed spacecraft on the far side of the moon on Sunday, overcoming a key hurdle in its landmark mission to retrieve the world’s first rock and soil samples from the dark lunar hemisphere. The landing elevates China’s space power status in a global rush to the moon, where countries including the United States are hoping to exploit lunar minerals to sustain long-term astronaut missions and moon bases within the next decade.”

NHL to Broadcast Stanley Cup Final Games in American Sign Language, a 1st for a Major Sports League (Reader Steve)

From The Seattle Times: “The Stanley Cup Final will mark the first time a major sports league airs games in ASL, with each game of the series between Edmonton and Florida featuring deaf broadcasters doing play by play and color analysis. Game 1 is Saturday.”


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