No doorways, no windows, no walls
No shelter here on the ground
No standing and no safe place to fall
Just the promise of this distant sound
Bells are ringing all over the world

Friday, November 26, 2021

Linkee-poo Black Friday Nov 26

Robert Bly, and so it goes.

NPRs 2021 books of the year.

"Detroit isn't alone — communities across the country are seeing an increase in the severity and frequency of flooding due to climate change, testing the limits of water infrastructure built for a more moderate climate. The federal infrastructure bill, recently signed by President Biden, addresses that with billions of dollars for flood prevention."

And then there's the other problem, when too little water falls and toxins accumulate. "Dozens of other public water utilities in Iowa also treat drinking water for nitrates. Water Works has upgraded its facility and constructed deep wells to store more water and it's looking at building additional groundwater wells. Federal clean water laws exempt agricultural runoff. The utility filed a lawsuit five years ago to try and amend the Clean Water Act, so farmers would have to implement more environmental practices but it was ultimately dismissed."

"The launch of the $10bn (£7.5bn) James Webb space telescope has been delayed again, after an incident during the final preparations to place the telescope on top of its launch vehicle… The spacecraft was scheduled to be sent into orbit on 18 December but now it will not launch before 22 December."

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory Wednesday that cases of influenza have been rising among young adults in recent weeks… While flu cases are still low nationally, more than 90 percent are among children and young adults ages 5 to 24, according to the CDC."

"South African scientists have detected a new COVID-19 variant in small numbers and are working to understand its potential implications, they said on Thursday… The variant - called B.1.1.529 - has a 'very unusual constellation' of mutations, which are concerning because they could help it evade the body's immune response and make it more transmissible, scientists told reporters at a news conference." Sits in the corner whistling nervously. (Grokked from Seanan McGuire)

"The discovery of a new coronavirus variant sent a chill through much of the world Friday as nations raced to halt air travel, markets fell sharply and scientists held emergency meetings to weigh the exact risks, which were largely unknown."

Too late… "Belgium has confirmed a case of the new, heavily mutated variant of the virus that causes Covid-19, according to one of the country’s leading virologists… Marc Van Ranst, who works with the Rega Institute for Medical Research, said a sample was confirmed as the novel B.1.1.529 variant in a traveler who returned from Egypt on Nov. 11. The patient first showed symptoms on Nov. 22."

"Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Friday that Israel is 'on the threshold of an emergency situation' after authorities detected the country’s first case of a new coronavirus variant and barred travel to and from most African countries."

"Whatever happened to Novavax and Sanofi's COVID-19 vaccines? Many people thought at the beginning of the pandemic that these were the two most likely vaccines to succeed."

"Merck said on Friday updated data from the study of its experimental COVID-19 pill showed lower efficacy in reducing the risk of hospitalization and deaths than an earlier interim analysis, cutting them by 30% in the study… The drugmaker released interim data in October showing a roughly 50% reduction in hospitalizations and deaths in 775 patients. The updated rate on Friday is based on data from over 1,400 patients."

"Three German political parties agreed to form a new government on Wednesday, with left-leaning Social Democrat Olaf Scholz set to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor following lengthy coalition negotiations… As part of the coalition agreement, the country plans to raise its minimum wage to €12 ($13.46) an hour, from the current rate of €9.60 ($10.77) an hour."

"While high gas prices have pushed President Biden to tap into the US's strategic oil reserves, America's neighbor to the north is also dealing with a shortage of another so-called 'liquid gold'… The Canadian group Quebec Maple Syrup Producers recently announced it was releasing about 50 million pounds of its strategic maple syrup reserves — about half of the total stockpile."

"Rescue crews have found a survivor in a Siberian coal mine where dozens of miners are presumed dead after a devastating methane explosion, a senior regional official said on Friday."

"Britain and France traded fresh accusations Friday after at least 27 people drowned while trying to cross the channel separating the two countries in small inflatable boats, a disaster that delivered tragic impetus to calls for action on a long-simmering migrant crisis."

"President Emmanuel Macron has told Boris Johnson to 'get serious' or remain locked out of discussions over how to curb the flow of people escaping war and poverty across the Channel."

"A month after a coup ousted civilian leaders in Sudan, protesters demanded a return to civilian rule. And the military seems to be walking back its power grab… The military has reinstated the civilian prime minister, but as recently as today the streets were once again filled with protesters calling on the military to stop its involvement in running the country."

"The 'Afghan Girl' made famous after featuring on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1985 has been granted refugee status by Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi, according to an Italian government press office statement."

"The sacred road, once named 'The Path of God,' connects the Temples of Karnak in the north with Luxor in the south. Paved in sandstone blocks, the 1.7-mile-long road is lined on both sides with more than 1,050 statues of sphinxes and rams. They've spent centuries buried under the desert sands, but slowly, over many years, Egypt's renowned archaeologists are bringing them back into the light of day."

"In the aftermath of Kyle Rittenhouse's acquittal in Kenosha, Wis., last week, advocates are turning back to the case of Chrystul Kizer, who is also arguing it was self-defense when she killed her adult sexual abuser, set his house on fire and stole his car in 2018… Kizer, who was 17 at the time, is accused of shooting Randall P. Volar III in the head; Volar had previously been arrested on child sexual assault charges."

"Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that a group of Ukrainians and Russians was planning a coup against him at the beginning of December… Speaking at a news conference, Zelensky said the coup was being planned for December 1 or 2, and there is audio of Ukrainian and Russian plotters discussing the plan."

"The three white men who chased down and killed Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was jogging through their Georgia neighborhood last year, were all found guilty of murder charges."

"The Democratic-led House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has issued five new subpoenas to several ex-Trump allies, including Roger Stone and InfoWars founder Alex Jones… The committee said the subpoenas are focused on the planning and financing of Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 rallies in Washington, D.C., the subsequent march and deadly riot."

"Multiple sources told Rolling Stone that Kylie Kremer, an organizer for the (Jan 6) rally that took place at D.C.'s Ellipse park, had an aide buy three burner phones a few days before Jan. 6. Kremer said that it was 'of the utmost importance' that the phones be purchased with cash, one source, who was a member of the March for Trump team, told the magazine." Like you do when you're totally law abiding citizens about to exercise your first amendment rights. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"Greene, who previously told reporters she would be laying out a list of demands to earn her speaker vote, mentioned some of the challenges that lay ahead in McCarthy's quest for the speaker's gavel. Among her demands, the Republican told Gaetz she wants fellow GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming kicked out of the House Republican Conference for serving on the January 6 committee, something McCarthy has so far resisted. She also said she has no respect for current GOP leadership." This is what happens when you allow the whackaloon fringe into the party.

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