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Texas fires: Burned rangeland can recover quickly, but cattle ranchers face struggles ahead to find and feed their herds

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Strong winds spread the largest wildfire in Texas history across more than 1 million acres of rangeland in the Panhandle, the heart of the state’s cattle-producing region, and into Oklahoma in late February 2024. Light precipitation on Feb. 29 helped firefighters as they tried to contain the Smokehouse Creek Fire and other blazes ...Read more

Is the United States overestimating China’s power?

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Which country is the greatest threat to the United States? The answer, according to a large proportion of Americans, is clear: China.

Half of all Americans responding to a mid-2023 survey from the Pew Research Center cited China as the biggest risk to the U.S., with Russia trailing in second with 17%. Other surveys, such as from the ...Read more

COVID-19 rapid tests still work against new variants – researchers keep ‘testing the tests,’ and they pass

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By September 2020, just six months after COVID-19 triggered shutdowns across the U.S., it was clear that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, had mutated from its original form.

The question quickly arose whether existing rapid antigen tests could detect newly emerging variants.

Using clinical samples obtained from ...Read more

Altitude sickness is typically mild but can sometimes turn very serious − a high-altitude medicine physician explains how to safely prepare

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Equipped with the latest gear and a thirst for adventure, mountaineers embrace the perils that come with conquering the world’s highest peaks. Yet, even those who tread more cautiously at high altitude are not immune from the health hazards waiting in the thin air above.

Altitude sickness, which most commonly refers to acute ...Read more

The tools in a medieval Japanese healer’s toolkit: from fortunetelling and exorcism to herbal medicines

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“The Tale of Genji,” often called Japan’s first novel, was written 1,000 years ago. Yet it still occupies a powerful place in the Japanese imagination. A popular TV drama, “Dear Radiance” – “Hikaru kimi e” – is based on the life of its author, Murasaki Shikibu: the lady-in-waiting whose experiences at court inspired the ...Read more

My Malaysia ordeal shows how religion can fuse with populist nationalism to silence dissent

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I hadn’t expected my book tour in Malaysia to end with a confrontation with men who identified themselves as police in a Kuala Lumpur airport.

I arrived in the Muslim-majority country in early January 2024 to promote the Malay translation of my book “Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment,” an academic analysis of the ...Read more

Remembering the 1932 Ford Hunger March: Detroit park honors labor and environmental history

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The intersection of Fort Street and Oakwood Boulevard in southwest Detroit today functions mostly as a thoroughfare for trucks and commuters.

However, as you sit idling at the stoplight waiting to cross the bridge over the Rouge River, you might glance to the side and see something unexpected in this heavily industrialized area: A ...Read more

Though CBS legend Edward R. Murrow is given credit, he wasn’t the first muckraking journalist to question Joseph McCarthy’s communist witch hunts

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It has been 70 years since Edward R. Murrow’s withering broadcast report about Cold War demagogue Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, a program that has been called television’s “finest half-hour.”

Legendary though it may be, it took more than a television show to take down McCarthy and short-circuit his relentless drive to rid the ...Read more

Ben Shapiro’s hip-hop hypocrisy and white male grievance lands him on top of pop music charts for a brief moment

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Over the past decade, conservative commentator and podcaster Ben Shapiro has made a living telling his followers that rap isn’t music.

If anyone thinks so, Shapiro tweeted in 2012, “you’re stupid.”

Shapiro explained his reasoning during a 2019 interview:

“In my view, and in the view of my music theorist ...Read more

Kacen Bayless/The Kansas City Star/TNS

Missouri urges court to uphold act declaring federal gun laws 'invalid' after Kansas City shooting

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri officials recently defended in court a far-reaching state law that declares some federal firearms laws “invalid,” a stark demonstration of how far the state has gone to thwart restrictions on guns.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s Office urged the federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the ...Read more

Alejandro A. Alvarez/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Philly schools censored a podcast about Palestinian resistance art because of complaints of antisemitism. Now, there's pushback

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PHILADELPHIA — The African American history class assignment: Examine a modern-day group of indigenous or oppressed people’s use of art as an act of resistance and connect it to enslaved Black people’s use of spirituals.

Two Northeast High students chose to create a video of a podcast about Palestinian art. Their teacher gave them an A ...Read more

Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS

How mega-spending and alleged scandals could influence LAUSD school board elections

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As two leading Los Angeles school board candidates grapple with blows to their campaigns — antisemitic tweets for one and an investigation that temporarily removed another from her counseling job — outside groups continue to flood races with spending to win influence over the nation's second-largest school system.

Four seats, a majority of...Read more

Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images North America/TNS

Wexner wins dismissal of suit over rape at his home by Epstein

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NEW YORK — Leslie Wexner, the billionaire founder of L Brands Inc., can’t be held liable for owning the Manhattan townhouse where a woman alleges she was raped as a teenager by Jeffrey Epstein, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Court Judge Ann Donnelly on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by Jennifer Araoz against Wexner, who employed ...Read more

Lezlie Sterling/The Sacramento Bee/TNS

California lawmakers come back with bill targeting 'buyers' of child sex trafficking

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SACRAMENTO, California — After her noteworthy success in establishing harsher criminal penalties for child sex traffickers, Republican Sen. Shannon Grove has introduced legislation to lengthen prison terms for those who purchase or engage in child prostitution.

After a dramatic change of heart last year by Assembly Democrats, Grove won ...Read more

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Former Florida GOP leader Ziegler told police he feared 'the political side' of assault investigation

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When police investigating a sexual battery claim showed up at Christian Ziegler’s Sarasota, Florida, home Nov. 1, he put away his dog, welcomed them in and apologized for the mess. And then, before the investigators could tell him why they were there, he wanted to know if their conversation would become public.

When they said they were ...Read more

Natrice Miller/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Religious rights bill advances through Georgia Senate

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ATLANTA — A bill that would expand religious rights passed the Georgia Senate on Thursday over objections that it could lead to discrimination against gay people.

The Senate voted along party lines, 33-19, to approve the religious rights legislation, which would limit the government’s ability to enforce laws that conflict with religious ...Read more

Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal/TNS

Las Vegas judge attack suspect was in 'delusional state' during incident, attorney says

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LAS VEGAS — The defense attorney for a man seen on video attacking a Las Vegas judge claimed his client was in a “delusional state” and is not responsible for his actions.

Deobra Redden, 31, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity during a brief court hearing on Thursday. He was indicted earlier this month on charges including attempted ...Read more

Sarah A. Miller/Idaho Statesman/TNS

Idaho Republican presidential caucus is Saturday. Here's how it works, what to know

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BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Republican Party decided to take a different course of action to determine this year’s Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential election.

Instead of the traditional primary election that many Americans are accustomed to, the party will hold a caucus on Saturday for the first time since the 2012 election cycle.

...Read more

Saudi-led Arabs push plan for Palestine state as war rages

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A Saudi-led group of Arab states is urging the U.S. and allies to persuade Israel to consider a renewed plan for Palestinian statehood that they say will deescalate tensions in the Middle East, according to several Arab officials involved in drafting the proposal.

While there are myriad obstacles to overcome — not least the ongoing war ...Read more

Caleb Lunetta/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

At least 3 people shot at San Diego County dental office

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EL CAJON, California — At least three people were shot when a man opened fire inside an El Cajon dental office Thursday afternoon, according to police.

Fox 5 reported one person had died.

The department tweeted that it is still searching for the suspected gunman, described as a light-skinned male between 20 to 30 years old and wearing all ...Read more