Fruitarian Frogs May Be Doing Flowers a Favor NYT
Welwitschia mirabilis: A Living Fossil that’s worthy of all our admiration ZME Science
Janet Yellen warns of ‘constitutional crisis’ over US debt ceiling impasse FT
What the Debt Limit Fight Is Actually About Jon Schwarz, The Intercept
Long-term debt propagation and real reversals Bank of International Settlements
Falling crude prices and recession fears bring US oil and gas rally to a halt FT
The (relatively) cheap opportunity to cut oil and gas emissions Axios
Global ocean temperatures spike to record levels as El Niño nears Axios
Alberta Wildfires: Rain offers relief as Alberta rallies to battle wildfires Edmonton Journal
California readies for treasure hunt as floods wash up ‘Gold Rush 2.0′ The Hill
World Development Report 2023: Migrants, Refugees, and Societies (PDF) World Bank
The global picture of excess deaths is disturbing Pandem-ic
Excess deaths align with COVID-19 Virology Down Under
* * *
Inconsistent directions of change in case severity across successive SARS-CoV-2 variant waves suggests an unpredictable future (preprint) medRxiv. From the Discussion: “Given that the direction of the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 virulence has not been consistent over time and that the entry pathway of SARS-CoV-2 may be changed by single amino acid changes within the S2 domain of the spike protein , historical trends in severity cannot be used to predict the severity of future variants. However, once a variant has emerged, the likelihood of immune evasion and the method of cell entry may be estimated from the genome sequence.”
Mystery Chinese spacecraft returns to Earth after 276 days Channel News Asia
China puts upper Yellow River dam plans on the fast track with feasibility study South China Morning Post
China has installed 1 billion surveillance cameras.
The results were predictable.
— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) May 7, 2023
But not a billion ventilation systems, even though #COVIDisAirborne, the leadership knows it, and China is a manufacturing powerhouse. Odd.
Couchfish: Sustainable Vietnam Part 1—Plastic, People, Power Couchfish
Makers of High Fashion, Karnataka’s Skilled Garment Workers Are Cheated of Fair Wages The Wire
The Kerala Story row: The mise-en-scene of propaganda meets probity Business Standard
Newly released images of massive US embassy compound in Lebanon prompt questions The New Arab
Türkiye rejected US proposal to send Russian S-400 defense system to Ukraine: Foreign minister Anadolu Agency. lol no.
Turkey’s Opposition Can’t Win Without the Working Class Foreign Policy
To counter Russia in Africa, Biden deploys a favored strategy Politico
Vive la révolution! But is France ready to establish a Sixth Republic? Guardian
Rights groups accuse French police of brutality in pension protests France24
Dear Old Blighty
All strikes planned for May 2023 – from trains to teachers Metro UK
Met Police arrested protesters despite approving their protest – and locked up Night Safety Team Swawkbox
The rule of law on Covid reporting no longer applies in the UK. Thread:
Ok, let’s take this from the top.
Here in the UK, public health rules say that we have to notify the correct authorities about certain diseases and their causes.
It’s written down and everything. pic.twitter.com/aWKF1aSwV6
— tern (@1goodtern) May 6, 2023
New Not-So-Cold War
Russia’s Wagner Group says more arms promised for Bakhmut battle Al Jazeera
Akhmat commandos wait for orders to push towards Artyomovsk – Kadyrov TASS. The Chechens.
Not bad for World War I-style trench warfare:
Soledar and Bakhmut offensive by PMC Wagner until today pic.twitter.com/e3jyElYxKA
— Spriter (@Spriter99880) May 7, 2023
(I can’t vouch for the complete accuracy of this video, which is of unknown provenance, but certainly accords with my recollection of both Soledar and Bakhmut.)
* * *
Biden knows it and so does Zelenskiy: success depends on telling the right story Guardian
How The FBI Helps Ukrainian Intelligence Hunt ‘Disinformation’ On Social Media Lee Fang. The deck: “In an interview, a senior Ukrainian official defined ‘disinformation’ as any news that contradicts his government’s message.” Huh. I wonder where they got that idea?
Detaining Gonzalo Lira: Another blow to the freedom of press in Ukraine Helsinki Times. “The SBU filmed Lira’s arrest, during which heavily armed agents were involved…. The metal soundtrack from Override Spedup fades down enough to hear the words of a special forces member telling Lira while tapping his arm: ‘Welcome to Ukraine.’” Indeed.
* * *
Russia will panic when Ukraine’s counteroffensive begins – Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Ukrainska Pravda. First saw this “panic” thesis in Foreign Policy…
‘Mad panic’ sparked as Russia evacuates city near nuclear plant ahead of expected Ukraine offensive NY Post. Yeah, panic when some Ukronazi commando squad breaches the plant and straps themselves to a reactor until their demands are met.
* * *
Kissinger Predicts China Involvement Will Lead to Ukraine Peace Talks Newsweek
Reality of war rains on Russia’s Victory Day parade Politico
In Haiti, a grassroots vigilante movement is fighting back against gang warfare CBC. More “bwa kale.”
South of the Border
Brazil’s Amazon megaprojects threaten Lula’s green ambitions AP
Chile’s Conservative Parties to Lead Constitution Rewrite After Massive Win in Snub to President Boric Bloomberg
Bring Back the Public Option! Ross Barkan, New York Magazine. A hardy perennial: “Barack Obama lost a large House majority after the passage of the Affordable Care Act.” “After,” forsooth. What caused Obama’s loss was his miserably inadequate handling of the contemporaneous foreclosure crisis
Groves of Academe
Ohio State president departs as search continues Axios. In the meantime, “cabinet-level administrators will report directly to the university’s governing-board subcommittees.” Odd!
Police State Watch
Excessive force, cover-ups: LAPD whistleblower expands ‘SWAT Mafia’ allegations LA Times
AI’s facial recognition failures: Three times crime solving intelligence got it wrong FOX
Why so many mass killings? Families, experts seek answers AP
All-you-can-eat buffet restaurants are back CNN
Liz Holmes Wants You to Forget About Elizabeth Amy Chozick, NYT. Eschaton: The World’s Easiest Marks.
Who’s the alpha, then?
Some interesting issues with Nick’s coat. I will run through the obvious problems and then talk about something called “balance.”
— derek guy (@dieworkwear) May 8, 2023
Feral Hog Watch
From 1997, still germane:
A Pig’s Tale from Leah Gordon on Vimeo.
Realignment and Legitimacy
Tech Workers Aren’t as Rich as They Used to Be WSJ. The deck: “Stock declines wipe out billions of dollars of paper gains meant for big-ticket expenses.”
Unhappy meals Popular Information
Antidote du jour (via):
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.
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