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Great Barrier Reef suffers mass coral bleaching event

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Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has suffered “very widespread” damage after rising sea temperatures caused the third mass coral bleaching events in five years, authorities said Thursday.

The planet’s largest coral reef system is worth an estimated $4 billion a year in tourism revenue for the Australian economy, but is at risk of losing its coveted world heritage status because warmer oceans brought about by climate change have damaged its health.

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Its northern reaches suffered an unprecedented two successive years of severe bleaching in 2016 and 2017, prompting the government agency overseeing the reef to downgrade its long-term outlook to “very poor”.

Some previously untouched areas had now suffered “moderate or severe bleaching”, said the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which is conducting an aerial survey of the giant organism.

The damage had been less extensive around popular tourist destinations like Cairns and the Whitsunday Islands, the agency added.

Environmentalists have criticized Australia’s conservative government for favoring an expansion of the country’s massive coal mining industry over action to curb climate change.

The latest findings show “the urgent need for reef-safe climate policies,” said Australian Marine Conservation Society campaigner Shani Tager.

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The government has insisted that it is meeting its emissions targets under the Paris climate agreement and that Australia’s total greenhouse gas output remains far below that of major polluting nations.


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The worst may be yet to come as America finally wakes up to Trump’s incompetence and cruelty

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Since Election Day 2016, America has been in a state of mourning.

Donald Trump's Independence Day speeches offered more of the almost never-ending funeral ceremonies for America's democracy, dignity and decency. Instead of trumpet-like exhortations to American greatness and goodness on the country's birthday, Trump chose to deliver horribly off-key funeral dirges.

This article was originally published at Salon

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‘I hear from psychiatrists weekly’ who warn about the president’s ‘mental incapacity’: Trump biographer

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Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio told CNN on Friday that he's been in regular contact with professional psychiatrists who believe President Donald Trump lacks the mental capabilities to handle his job.

During a panel discussion about the president's mental health, D'Antonio spilled the beans about what some experts are telling him they see in the president's behavior and speech patterns.

"I hear from psychiatrists on a weekly basis about a different measure of the president, and that's whether he suffers from mental incapacity," D'Antonio explained. "That's a very different category and goes to whether he can perform his job."

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Trump’s superpower is distraction — but we finally found his kryptonite

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Donald Trump is dumb — so dumb he literally suggested on live television that scientists should explore injecting household cleaners into people's lungs to cure the coronavirus. But due to what appears to be a serious and undiagnosed personality disorder — his niece Mary Trump, who is a clinical psychologist, suggests it's likely narcissism or sociopathy — Trump managed to stumble backwards into a strategy that works well with the 24-hour cable news ecosystem of national politics. Actually, "strategy" may be too strong a word, but it's inarguable that Trump's short attention span, impulsive nature and all-consuming corruption have meant a constant deluge of scandals and outrages, with each one knocking the last one out of the headlines.

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