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Finnish biologist explains why Trump’s plan to stop forest fires with rakes is utter nonsense

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Many Finnish citizens have been mocking President Donald Trump for claiming that they stop forest fires in their country by raking leaves.

Over the weekend, Trump claimed that Finnish President Sauli Niinistö told him that raking was the key to his country’s success in preventing forest fires, although Niinistö has denied he ever told Trump anything about raking.

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“I was with the president of Finland and he said: ‘We have a much different — we’re a forest nation,'” Trump claimed. “He called it a forest nation, and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things. And they don’t have any problem.”

However, a Finnish biologist has written an email to Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo that goes into great detail about why it’s nonsensical to say that Finland is able to contain forest fires through raking.

In fact, he says that if Finland does face the prospect of greater forest fires in the coming years, climate change will be a good reason why.

“Forest fires in Finland are much limited by the snowy winter (length varies acc. to year and region, but traditionally around 3 months, is shortening due to climate change),” he writes. “Snow and ice are solid water, forests cannot burn in wintertime.”

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What’s more, the biologist says that raking the forests would do more harm than good when it comes to the overall health of the trees.

“The continuously falling needles and twigs, when they decay, return important nutrients back to the forest trees,” he writes. “Removing them regularly would deprive the trees and other plants from the bulk of long-term nutrients, not to speak of the extremely complex mesh of nutrient chains of thousands of other forest organisms, from fungi and insects to birds and mammals.”

Read the biologist’s entire analysis here.

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2020 Election

Trump slams ‘partisan’ whistleblower, Biden pushes back

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US President Donald Trump on Friday vigorously rejected a whistleblower's claim of wrongdoing, amid reports he used a call with Ukraine's president to pressure him to investigate the son of Trump's Democratic rival Joe Biden.

The whistleblower's secret complaint has triggered a tense showdown between Congress, whose Democratic leaders are demanding to review the complaint, and the executive branch which has barred them from doing so.

It has also raised concerns Trump sought to strong-arm Ukraine into providing damaging information on the president's possible 2020 challenger, which would represent dangerous foreign meddling in the US election -- similar to the interference blamed on Russia in 2016, when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

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Dem senator accuses the FBI of a carrying out a ‘cover-up’ for Brett Kavanaugh — and calls for an investigation

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angry Brett Kavanaugh

Old wounds were reopened this week when a New York Times article, written by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, focused on Deborah Ramirez — one of the women who, in 2018, accused U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. And Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, in a USA Today op-ed published on Friday, argued that Kavanaugh wasn’t adequately vetted as he should have been.

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Millions around the world joined #ClimateStrike — demanding bold climate action

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Masses of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change that teen activist Greta Thunberg said was "only the beginning" in the fight against environmental disaster.

Some four million people filled city streets around the world, organizers said, in what was billed as the biggest ever protest against the threat posed to the planet by rising temperatures.

Youngsters and adults alike chanted slogans and waved placards in demonstrations that started in Asia and the Pacific, spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, before culminating in the United States where Thunberg rallied.

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