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Why Lawyers Are The Only Opposition To The Death Penalty In China

A murder case in which a Chinese student poisoned and killed his roommate has brought out the worst in the Chinese public, which is practically marching with pitchforks for his execution. Attorneys, meanwhile, are urging that he be spared.

Trial at the Higher People's Court of Yunnan Province, China
Trial at the Higher People's Court of Yunnan Province, China
Lan Rongjie

-Analysis-

BEIJING — Two years ago, Shanghai medical student Lin Senhao fatally poisoned his roommate. He was sentenced to death last year for intentional homicide, and his case is currently being reviewed. Though it's difficult to predict the final outcome, the public appears bloodthirsty, eager for him to pay the ultimate price for his crime.

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Ideas

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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