DAILY DOSE: Mystery of Iranian girls being poisoned while in school has country rattled.


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Education is a dangerous and threatening thing for some retrograde groups in this world. As a result, innocent school girls are getting poisoned while attending classes in Iran. Per the Associated Press,

Over the past three months, hundreds of young girls attending different schools in Iran have become overpowered by what are believed to be noxious fumes wafting into their classrooms, with some ending up weakened on hospital beds.

Officials in Iran’s theocracy initially dismissed these incidents, but now describe them as intentional attacks involving some 30 schools identified in local media reports, with some speculating they could be aimed at trying to close schools for girls in this country of over 80 million people.

The reported attacks come at a sensitive time for Iran, which already has faced months of protests after the September death of Mahsa Amini following her arrest by the country’s morality police.

The authorities have not named suspects, but the attacks have raised fears that other girls could be poisoned apparently just for seeking an education — something that’s never been challenged before in the over 40 years since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran itself also has been calling on the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan to have girls and women return to school.

That’s just disgusting. There are rumors that Taliban-style fundamentalist groups in the country are pushing to have girls refused schooling since offering them an education is considered “haram”. http://bit.ly/41vnHnV

While we’re no fan of the whole ESG movement in investing world, it’s interesting to see the Right’s knee-jerk disapproval of anything favored by the Left. Per Reuters,

The Republican-controlled U.S. House is expected to vote on Tuesday on a bill to block President Joe Biden's administration from allowing retirement plans to consider environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG, issues in their investment decisions.

Republicans believe they could have enough support to fast-track a companion bill and pass it in the Senate. That would force Biden, a Democrat, to decide whether to sign or veto the joint resolution that would prevent the Labor Department from enforcing a new ESG regulation.

"This will be President Biden's first veto," predicted a spokesperson for Republican Senator Mike Braun, who has rallied support for the Senate measure from the chamber's 49 Republicans and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.

The measure is the latest salvo in the Republican culture war against the use of issues that promote environmental interests, social equality and corporate responsibility in business and investment decisions.

ESG is just a white wash for massive multinational corporations. But Republicans hate it. Good lord, it’s hard to keep up. Who is supposed to be the business-friendly party again? http://bit.ly/3ZpUM2L

Professional star-gazers are experiencing the soul-sucking, optimism-gutting joys of dealing with the bureaucracy of the world’s largest NGO, all in the name of keeping our distant skies relatively clear. Per Science,

Astronomers’ efforts to get the United Nations to back guidelines to stop satellites from spoiling telescopes’ views have become bogged down in diplomatic bureaucracy. At a U.N. subcommittee meeting earlier this month in Vienna, delegates did not unanimously back the formation of an expert group to draft guidelines that could establish norms to help protect the night sky. Astronomers hope the United Nations will eventually endorse such guidelines, but they now must wait to see whether backroom negotiations can put the issue on the agenda ahead of a meeting in June.

“An expert group is still on the table” but national delegations “will need to achieve a consensus view,” says Andrew Williams, external relations officer for the European Southern Observatory.

Astronomers have been pushing for ways to protect the night sky since May 2019, when rocket company SpaceX launched its first batch of Starlink satellites, in what is now a “megaconstellation” of some 3500 satellites that provides worldwide internet service direct from orbit. Stargazers were alarmed by how bright the strings of satellites appeared as sunlight reflected off their shiny surfaces. Although most telescopes can avoid the satellites’ bright trails, studies showed survey telescopes with wide fields of view, such as the upcoming Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile, would have trouble avoiding the disruptive streaks.

Good luck with that. https://bit.ly/3kxNlHQ

Speculating on Covid-19 origins rears its ugly head yet again, thanks to the U.S. Department of Energy. Per the AP,

A crucial question has eluded governments and health agencies around the world since the COVID-19 pandemic began: Did the virus originate in animals or leak from a Chinese lab?

Now, the U.S. Department of Energy has assessed with “low confidence” in that it began with a lab leak, according to a person familiar with the report who wasn’t authorized to discuss it. The report has not been made public.

But others in the U.S. intelligence community disagree.

“There is not a consensus right now in the U.S. government about exactly how COVID started,” John Kirby, the spokesman for the National Security Council, said Monday. “There is just not an intelligence community consensus.”

The DOE’s conclusion was first reported over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal, which said the classified report was based on new intelligence and noted in an update to a 2021 document. The DOE oversees a national network of labs.

Low confidence. We pretty much feel the same way. http://bit.ly/41zKU8g

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.


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