44% of ocean plastics are linked to takeout food

Ecology, Threats

44% of ocean plastics are linked to takeout food

Researchers are turning their attention to takeout containers and convenience food as the worst offender in plastics polluting the ocean.

In recent years, it’s been a fad to skip the straw to save the turtles, but what you may not know is that straws are not the biggest offenders when it comes to ocean plastic, according to a new study.Instead, researchers are turning their attention to takeout containers and convenience food as the worst offender in plastics polluting the ocean.

Widespread plastic contaminants such as food containers and wrappers, single-use bags, and plastic bottles are the most widespread pollutants of the seas, making up almost half of human-made waste, according to The Guardian.

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The Basic Facts About Children in Poverty

Poverty, Threats

The Basic Facts About Children in Poverty

In America, nearly 11 million children are poor. That’s 1 in 7 kids, who make up almost one-third of all people living in poverty in this country. This number should be unimaginable in one of the world’s wealthiest countries, and yet child poverty has remained stubbornly high for decades Across the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is made up of 37 countries including Denmark, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom, the United States is consistently ranked as one of the worst in child poverty rates.

As the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession continue to devastate the United States, children are facing the consequences of failed leadership. Since April 2020, the share of children with at least one unemployed parent has consistently remained above reported rates during the peak of the Great Recession

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The controversial future of nuclear power in the U.S.

Energy, Policies

The controversial future of nuclear power in the U.S.

As the climate crisis worsens, the discussion intensifies over what role nuclear power should play in fighting it.

The U.S. Water and Wastewater Crisis – How Many Wake-up Calls Are Enough?

Policies, Water

The U.S. Water and Wastewater Crisis – How Many Wake-up Calls Are Enough?

In February, much of Texas plunged into darkness when the state’s electricity grid failed due to extreme cold weather conditions. What started as a foreseeable blackout quickly became a life-threatening calamity. The frigid temperatures cracked pipes and froze wells.  To escape the frigid cold, have drinking water, and flush toilets, Texans were forced to boil snow and icicles. The extreme weather conditions and lack of basic amenities resulted in several fatal cases of hypothermia, frostbite, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

More than 14 million people in Texas were affected, and lost access to clean water at the height of the crisis. At the beginning of March, there were still nearly 390,000 people who did not have water safe enough to drink in their homes

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CDC: COVID-19 Third Largest Cause of US Deaths in 2020

Disease, Threats

CDC: COVID-19 Third Largest Cause of US Deaths in 2020

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Wednesday that COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States during 2020, and it boosted the overall U.S. death toll by nearly 16% from the previous year.

During the White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters the pandemic trailed only heart disease and cancer last year, accounting for about 378,000 fatalities, or 11% of all deaths in the country last year.

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Justinian’s Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe

Disease, Threats

Justinian’s Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe

The Emperor Justinian reunified Romes fractured empire by defeating the Goths and Vandals who had separated Italy, Spain, and North Africa from imperial rule. In his capital at Constantinople he built the world’s most beautiful building, married its most powerful empress, and wrote its most enduring legal code, seemingly restoring Rome’s fortunes for the next five hundred years.

Then, in the summer of 542, he encountered a flea. The ensuing outbreak of bubonic plague killed five thousand people a day in Constantinople and nearly killed Justinian himself.

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Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics, from the Great War to the War on Terror

State War, Threats

Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics, from the Great War to the War on Terror

Beginning with the chaotic post–World War I landscape in which religious belief was one way of reordering a world knocked off its axis, Sacred Causes is a penetrating critique of how religion has often been camouflaged by politics. All the bloody regimes and movements of the 20th century are masterfully captured here, from Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and Franco’s Spain to the war on terror. With style and sophistication, Michael Burleigh shows how the churches, in their various guises, have been swayed by–and contributed to–conflicting secular currents.

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The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

Policies, Security, Terrorism, Threats

 The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

A sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright’s remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

The Looming Tower achieves an unprecedented level of intimacy and insight by telling the story through the interweaving lives of four men: the two leaders of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri; the FBI’s counterterrorism chief, John O’Neill; and the former head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki al-Faisal.

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