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The Latest: Wildfires Turn Deadly, Cuomo’s Out, Messi Landing In Paris

Welcome to Wednesday, where wildfires turn deadly in Algeria, New York state will have its first ever woman governor and there's a Messi landing in Paris. We also have Livy Bereg's report from the "Zone" around Chernobyl, as Ukraine looks to revitalize the areas contaminated 35 years ago by the worst nuclear accident in history.

The Latest: Wildfires Turn Deadly, Cuomo’s Out, Messi Landing In Paris

Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi waves to Paris Saint-Germain soccer fans after having reached an agreement to join the Paris-Saint Germain team. Messi, considered by most to be among the top three greatest players ever, signed a two-year contract to play for the French club after leaving his lifelong club Barcelona.


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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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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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