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Insects could go extinct in the next 100 years — threatening earth’s entire ecosystem

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Insects could become extinct within 100 years, threatening the collapse of nature itself.

The earth is at the start of a sixth mass extinction, with dramatic losses of larger animals, but more than 40 percent of insect species are declining and a third of them are endangered, reported The Guardian.

The total mass of insects — which currently outweighs humanity by 17 times over — is falling by 2.5 percent a year, which suggests they could vanish altogether within the next century.

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The first global scientific review finds that dramatic losses of insect populations is profoundly impacting other life forms, and the peer-reviewed scientific paper published in the journal Biological Conservation calls for major changes to save an essential component of all ecosystems.

“Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” the researchers wrote. “The repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least.”

The collapse of insect populations has recently been reported in Germany and Puerto Rico, but the researchers say the problem is global.

“The main cause of the decline is agricultural intensification,” said Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, of the University of Sydney, Australia, who wrote the review with Kris Wyckhuys at the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing. “That means the elimination of all trees and shrubs that normally surround the fields, so there are plain, bare fields that are treated with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.”

Insect populations plummeted starting early in the 20th century but accelerated in the 1950s and 1960s, and new insecticides introduced in the past 20 years have sterilized soils, killing all the grubs, and linger in the environment.

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“It is very rapid,” Sánchez-Bayo told The Guardian. “In 10 years you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left and in 100 years you will have none.”

Insects pollinate plants and recycle nutrients, and they serve as a crucial food source for many birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.

“If this food source is taken away, all these animals starve to death,” Sánchez-Bayo said.

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Trump’s undermining of efforts to fight Putin detailed in ex-CIA agent’s disturbing new column

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A recently retired CIA agent reveals that President Donald Trump was a "wild card" that prevented a full-scale effort to combat Russian aggression against the U.S. and its allies.

Marc Polymeropoulos, who retired from the agency in June, said in column posted at Just Security that the CIA issued an informal "call to arms" in the wake of Kremlin interference in the 2016 election, but those efforts were hampered by Trump's relationship with Russia's president Vladimir Putin.

"The Call to Arms required a whole-of-agency effort to counter the Kremlin," Polymeropoulos wrote. "It involved moving resources and personnel inside CIA. Most importantly, it required a change in mindset, similar to what occurred within the Intelligence Community after 9/11, that an 'all-hands-on-deck' approach was required."

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Trump’s ‘illegal payments’ under scrutiny as House conducts second probe running parallel to impeachment

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According to a report from Politico, some House Democrats are disappointed that Donald Trump's violations of the emoluments clause does not appear to have a future as part of the articles of impeachment against the president, so they are continuing on with their own ongoing investigation with the hope it may be added at a later time.

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What would the GOP do if Trump actually shot someone? A former government ethics chief explains

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President Donald Trump infamously said in 2016 that his supporters were so loyal that he could shoot someone in broad daylight and not lose any support.

Walter Shaub, who served as chief of the Government Ethics Office under former President Barack Obama, hilariously imagined how elected Republicans would react if Trump actually did shoot someone on 5th Avenue.

"It was indecorous of the president to shoot someone on Fifth Avenue," Shaub said, imagining a scripted GOP response. "I would have preferred he not do that. In the strongest possible terms, I add that I find it to be generally inconsistent with the higher aims of responsible governance. And you can quote me on that."

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