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Why India's Gandhi Dynasty May Be About To Crumble

Long revered amongst the founders of modern India, the Gandhi family is now facing the most delicate political moment in memory as its INC party risks losing national elections.

Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh on May 4, 2014
Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh on May 4, 2014
Julien Bouissou

AMETHI — The small assembly of villagers gathered in the tent can’t wait much longer in this stifling heat of this district in northeastern India. All are wiping their foreheads, slumped in their plastic chairs — except for Munna, beads of sweat running down her face as she stands in front of a small stage surrounded by flowers. The farm worker put on her best sari and walked three kilometers in the hope of meeting Priyanka Gandhi, the great-granddaughter of the legendary Jawharlal Nehru, to hand her some written requests.

“We need water pumps in the village,” Munna says. “Party officials don’t listen to the poor anymore. We only have the Gandhis left.”

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Artificial Satellite Pollution, Perils For Biodiversity In Space And On Earth

Exploiting space resources and littering it with satellite and other anthropogenic objects is endangering the ecosystem of space, which also damages the earth and its creatures below.

Image of the small satellite NanoRacks-Remove Debris satellite deployed into space by the ISS

Thomas Lewton

Outer space isn’t what most people would think of as an ecosystem. Its barren and frigid void isn’t exactly akin to the verdant canopies of a rainforest or to the iridescent shoals that swim among coral cities. But if we are to become better stewards of the increasingly frenzied band of orbital space above our atmosphere, a shift to thinking of it as an ecosystem — as part of an interconnected system of living things interacting with their physical environment — may be just what we need.

Last month, in the journal Nature Astronomy, a collective of 11 astrophysicists and space scientists proposed we do just that, citing the proliferation of anthropogenic space objects. Thousands of satellites currently orbit the Earth, with commercial internet providers such as SpaceX’s Starlink launching new ones at a dizzying pace. Based on proposals for projects in the future, the authors note, the number could reach more than a hundred thousand within the decade. Artificial satellites, long a vital part of the space ecosystem, have arguably become an invasive species.

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