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Meanwhile, In Nigeria ... Reports Of Underreported Terrorism
Patrick Randall

PARIS — As the world watched France taken down by an Islamic terrorist attack last week, and followed live coverage of the nation getting back up with Sunday's historic march through Paris, another devastating wave of terrorism did not get quite as much media attention. Reports that Islamist militants from Boko Haram has killed as many as 2,000 in northeast Nigeria since Jan. 3 are only slowly making their way around the globe.

The difficulty of accessing verified information in the remote areas of this bloody conflict may help explain part of why the world has seemed to ignore these killings. But that's not all, and it is noteworthy that we are speaking about Africa's most populous nation, which last year also became its biggest economy. Searching for local and international sources in English, French and German, here's what we know so far about a brutal start to 2015 in Nigeria.

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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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