The conclusions of the report are a terrifying call to action. The data shows the need for the public to help prevent the disappearance of many of our plant species and act to counter threats to biodiversity including habitat degradation and land conversion, invasive species, pollution of rivers, and climate change. The report can help lawmakers understand the urgency of passing protection, such as the Recovering America's Wildlife Act.
While this data is alarming and more must certainly be done to protect our plants and animals, this latest report should be taken with a grain of salt. Extinction rates are notoriously difficult to predict accurately, and doomsayers have warned of mass extinction for decades. There seems to be a general trend of over-exaggerating in the face of uncertainty, and why would this time be any different?
Democracy is about compromise, but the urgency of climate change waits for no one. The structural mismatch of democratic systems with the urgency of the rapidly altering environment is clear domestically in the US, but is most evident internationally, when nations with diverse political and social aims struggle to agree on a cooperative course of action. Inaction on these issues is not necessarily the fault of politicians, but the fundamentally flawed nature of democratic systems in their current form.
There is a 20% chance that there will be a successful attempt at cloning the full, functional genome of a species extinct for more than 1,000 years by 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
Americans are right to be lukewarm about Biden’s performance. A Biden 2024 run would force the democratic leader to answer for his age and mental capacity, as well as Kamala Harris’ poor performance as vice president, his own classified documents scandal, and the seemingly nonstop controversy surrounding his son, Hunter. Biden would also have to take responsibility for a slow economic recovery that might be hindered further by the Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate raising, while ordinary Americans continue to face rising prices.
Tribalism and negative media spin will always keep Biden's approval rating artificially low. The most important thing to consider in the context of a potential 2024 campaign is economic recovery, seen most recently in the jobs report. The predicted recession has yet to arrive and, if the economy stays on track, current successes will give Biden the kind of popularity among voters that would see him elected to the White House for a second term.
There is a 62% chance that Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee for the 2024 US Presidential election, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
Meta outsources its gruesome content moderation services to faraway countries so that it doesn't have to deal with the consequences. It's high time for the tech giant to provide the workers it treated inhumanely with the same pay and mental health resources it gives to its employees in the US. Motaung was fired after trying to unionize and call for better treatment, so this isn't just about Meta utilizing the lower average wages in third-world countries.
Though the common trope is that large companies outsource to other countries to benefit from exploitive labor, the truth is that the wages being paid are almost always at or above the average wage in those nations. When compared to the alternative job opportunities outsourced workers have, it's rarely better than what a US corporation is offering.
While a range of factors have led to antibiotic drug resistance in humans, the FDA has stepped up to curb the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals specifically. The American Society of Microbiology applauds these safeguards as an initial step in the fight. There will always be more work to be done, and there will always be critics of the government's actions, but change always has to start somewhere and progress is being made.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has known for decades that the methods of the meat industry create problems for Americans. It wasn't until the 2010s that the FDA tried to get a handle on the problem by requiring prescriptions for antibiotics — a step that European agencies had approved decades earlier. Public health experts are right to demand the FDA be more aggressive in the fight against this dangerous overuse if we are to see a reduction in untreatable infections that put people's lives at risk.
There is a 50% chance that at least 70,000 will die annually in the US as a result of antibiotic-resistant infections before 2026, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
In attempting to take Bakhmut, Russian forces have used scorched earth tactics and turned the once-popular tourist destination into a hell-on-earth. The Kremlin is so hungry for any success that it's willing to go to any length to take the city — even if it's been turned to rubble.
If Russian forces take control of Bakhmut, it would be a devastating loss for Ukraine. Not only has Ukraine lost hundreds of troops in trying to retain the city, but this operation would also enable Russia to continue its advance into key areas of Donetsk, including Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.
There is a 40% chance that at least 100,000 Russian soldiers will be killed in the Russo-Ukrainian war before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
Despite all the roadblocks the NYPD put up to hinder this investigation, the report is quite expansive and shows how far the department has to go to make sure its officers police peaceful protests in a safe and respectful manner in the future. This might be the tip of the iceberg, as the Board had to postpone the report's release for months while complaints continued to pour in.
Reports like this contribute to the staffing shortage the NYPD and police forces across the country are facing. Police officers have a dangerous job, and need to often react without a moment’s notice, but all they’re rewarded with is reports like this, “defund the police” movements and other anti-cop rhetoric. If Americans want their cities to be policed better, officers should be better supported and given more of the benefit of the doubt.
Throughout decades of military intervention in sub-Saharan Africa, the Sahel, and the Horn, the world has seen that combat solutions don't work. As nations like the US continue to drop bombs — which have killed countless civilians — local recruitment only increases. The West has known this fact since long before 9/11 and the "War on Terror," but, hopefully, this report will finally help bring military intervention to an end and replace it with more humane economic and political programs.
To claim that the US and its Western allies only go to Africa for military exploits is preposterous. The US military provides food aid and disaster relief and supports democracy throughout the continent. Counter-terrorism is a broad term that, when looked at closely, includes all of the non-combat aspects that those opposed to military intervention talk about.
After decades of government coverups, Thahn's successful lawsuit has finally achieved a de facto acknowledgment of atrocities committed by Korean troops during the war in Vietnam. In the face of extensive official documentation proving that these wartime crimes against civilians indeed took place, the Korean government should now outright admit wrongdoing and apologize to victims.
South Korea became involved in the Vietnam War following a formal request made by the South Vietnamese government for military assistance as communists escalated violence, engaging in counterinsurgency and medically treating over 30K civilians. While it is true that civilians could have been killed by Korean troops, this wrongdoing calls attention to the monstrosity of war and the incomprehensible reality of battlefield rage. More must be done to address the root causes, and not just by South Korea.
Adams, who sanctimoniously condemned US border states for sending migrants to New York, is now hypocritically taking advantage of the STCA's loophole, which has opened a back — albeit illegal — door into Canada, where the majority face arrest. This calls attention not only to Adams' fabricated concern for migrants but, more importantly, to the need to close the STCA's glaring gap.
Unlike GOP states that use migrants as political pawns, Adams is simply helping those already wishing to go elsewhere. Despite questions about its efficacy, the Safe Third Country Agreement is working, and Canadian officials are doing their best to make up for any perceived flaws in the agreement. Migration and asylum-seeking is a delicate issue, and with some tweaks, the agreement can help bring order and fairness to Canada, the US, and migrants.
As the January jobs report seemed to surprise Fed officials and investors alike, the Fed's next move should probably be aimed at hiking rates a little bit more. As of December, inflation was still twice the target rate, and unless some drastic increase occurs before the next meeting, raising the benchmark to 5.25% or more will likely be what's needed.
Despite the current official outlook, the US could see Fed rate cuts this year rather than hikes or pauses. Though it didn't show in the January report, all it will take is one month of negative job growth on top of the weakening economy. This is a real possibility given the already —declining economy as well as the recent massive layoffs, particularly in the tech sector.