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Terror in Europe

What Paris Has Lost, Reflections Of An Expat Mom

While the world tries to get its collective head around what's happened in the French capital, life here is bound to change. One American journalist, and mother of two, in Paris sees it already.

Stepped-up security all around Paris
Stepped-up security all around Paris
Liz Garrigan*

PARIS — We moved here from Nashville four years ago, and just the other day I was telling someone how safe Paris is, how there's a strong argument for staying here indefinitely because it's such a secure place to raise children. There's far less space than I was used to, which is a constant problem, but on the other hand it's very common for kids as young as nine or 10 to go about the city on their own, via buses and Metro, clad in backpacks and innocence.

But now, when I drop my 5-year-old off at school, there are big guys with bulletproof vests and scary-looking guns standing there on the cobblestones, scanning the streets. It happens to be that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni live right next door.

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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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