October 25, 2021

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Crunch time is rapidly approaching, with no guarantees


Max Boot/WaPo:

I’m no Democrat — but I’m voting exclusively for Democrats to save our democracy

I’m a single-issue voter. My issue is the fate of democracy in the United States. Simply put, I have no faith that we will remain a democracy if Republicans win power. Thus, although I’m not a Democrat, I will continue to vote exclusively for Democrats — as I have done in every election since 2016 — until the GOP ceases to pose an existential threat to our freedom.

If you want to know why I’m so alarmed about the current state of my former party, look at the dueling documents released last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee about President Donald Trump’s attempt to pressure the Justice Department into helping to overturn the 2020 election.

Judd Legum/Twitter:

In 2020, Trump TRIED to steal the election but his only help came from Rudy Giuliani, a minority in Congress, and a rag tag group of conspiracy theorists.

Appearing in Iowa over the weekend, Trump made clear that his 2024 strategy would be different

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Will Bunch/Twitter:

There’s a super important story we’re not paying enough, or the right kind of, attention to. It’s sort of related to last week’s Facebook/Instagram disclosures but it goes well beyond that: A mental health crisis among America’s youth, aged 10-24.

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Emily Anthes/NY Times:

What the Future May Hold for the Coronavirus and Us

Viral evolution is a long game. Here’s where scientists think we could be headed.

What many scientists had not counted on was unchecked global spread. Over the following weeks, the new virus, SARS-CoV-2, skipped from Wuhan, China, to a cruise ship in Japan, a small town in northern Italy and a biotechnology conference in Boston. Country by country, global coronavirus trackers turned red.

To date, more than 237 million people have been infected with the virus, and 4.8 million have died — 700,000 in the United States alone.

With every infection come new opportunities for the virus to mutate. Now, nearly two years into the pandemic, we are working our way through an alphabet of new viral variants: fast-spreading Alpha, immune-evading Beta, and on through Gamma, Delta, Lambda and, most recently, Mu.

“We just have uncontrolled infections in much of the world, and that’s going to lead to more chances for the virus to evolve,” Dr. Lauring said.

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WaPo:

At least 85 percent of the world’s population has been affected by human-induced climate change, new study shows

Researchers used machine learning to analyze more than 100,000 studies of weather events and found four-fifths of the world’s land area has suffered impacts linked to global warming

The findings come amid a major push to get countries to commit to more ambitious climate goals ahead of a United Nations summit in Glasgow, Scotland, next month. Research shows that existing pledges will put the planet on track to heat up about 2.7 degrees Celsius (4.9 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century — a level of warming that would lead to drastic food and water shortages, deadly weather disasters, and catastrophic ecosystem collapse.

Some of the world’s top emitters, including China and India, have yet to formally commit to a new 2030 emissions reduction target. Activists worry that an emerging energy crisis, which has raised prices and triggered blackouts, could imperil efforts to get developing economies to phase out polluting fuels.

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FT:

In Rome, a 2,000-year-old emperor’s tomb finally reopens

But Rome’s first emperor, adoptive son and heir of Julius Caesar, conqueror of Antony and Cleopatra, didn’t get to be the most powerful man in the world by leaving things to chance. At the age of 34 — more than forty years before his death — he had made his own arrangements to perpetuate his memory.

Among his first building projects was his mausoleum, a vast tomb that became one of the wonders of Rome. Framed by cypress trees and topped with a heroic bronze statue of the emperor that glinted like a beacon in the sun, the mausoleum was as familiar to generations of Romans as the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the triumphal arches of the Forum.





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