News

By Lance Morton Millions of metric tons of plastic are produced worldwide every year. While half of this plastic waste is recycled, incinerated, or discarded into landfills, a significant portion of what remains eventually ends up in our oceans. In fact, many pieces of ocean plastic waste have come together to create a vortex of plastic waste thrice the size...
By Eglė Gerulaitytė  A small, makeshift booth with sheets of corrugated metal for a roof served as the immigration and customs office in the desolate, desert-like landscape separating south-west Bolivia from north-eastern Chile. Inside, two officers huddled around a kettle and a wooden desk sipping hot tea. After they stamped my passport, one of them suggested...
By Paola Flores If it were anywhere else in South America, the nondescript house with buckets of coca leaves soaking in liquid could be mistaken for a clandestine cocaine lab. But this is La Paz, Bolivia, and the fruity aroma of coca steeping in barrels signals that you’ve arrived at the government-authorized El Viejo Roble...
By Kate Murphy “You’re not listening!” “Let me finish!” “That’s not what I said!” After “I love you,” these are among the most common refrains in close relationships. During my two years researching a book on listening, I learned something incredibly ironic about interpersonal communication: The closer we feel toward someone, the less likely we are...
By Bruce Lee The continuing spread of anti-science sentiment and misinformation and disinformation about science has become a very dark matter, so to speak. So it would make sense to hear what astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson has to say about it. After all, Tyson has been in the science communications space...
By Julia Angwin It’s a little hard to believe that just over a year ago, a group of leading researchers asked for a six-month pause in the development of larger systems of artificial intelligence, fearing that the systems would become too powerful. “Should we risk loss of control of our civilization?” they asked. There was no pause. But...
By Helen Coffey It wasn’t eavesdropping, exactly. It’s just impossible not to listen to someone’s very personal conversation when you’re sitting in a sauna together. The two women were talking about death – or, rather, preparing for death – openly, calmly and without melodrama or heightened emotion. One of them was explaining why she had spent time ensuring her affairs were...
By Rick Johnson Almost unknown outside of the pages academic intellectual property journals, biopiracy is a major challenge for Ecuador’s Institute of Intellectual Property (IEPI). The IEPI is charged with protecting the country’s ancestral natural medicinal knowledge from outside threats, including those posed by large pharmaceutical companies looking for the next miracle drug. Even though...
By Ali Bradley Cartels are going on social media to gather intel on Texas sheriffs at departments along the southern border, using the information to threaten and taunt law enforcement, Terrell County’s Thaddeus Cleveland says. Sheriff Cleveland has been posting to his Facebook account, showing loaded vehicles found in traffic stops made by Terrell County officials in...
By George Gowing Research suggests that reading on screens is a less effective way to absorb and retain information than reading the old-fashioned way, but why? And when so many of us are noticing shortening attention spans, how do we learn to concentrate on books again? In a world where screens are ubiquitous, both in...
By Barbara Brosco Mary lies in her bed at night crying a faint-hearted whimpering cry.  While she sleeps, she scratches the sides of the wallboard with her fingernails, repetitively peeling away the wallboard leaving indentations as if left by chickens scratching. Upon arising in the morning, Mary is haggard, and tired looking for her young...
By Gavin Schmidt When I took over as the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, I inherited a project that tracks temperature changes since 1880. Using this trove of data, I’ve made climate predictions at the start of every year since 2016. It’s humbling, and a bit worrying, to admit that no year has...

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The Cuenca Dispatch

Week of June 16

Noboa’s Government Moves to End Fuel Gasoline Subsidies, Highlighting Inequities for Low-Income Groups.

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Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje Road to Temporarily Close for Pipeline Replacement.

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Ecuador to Initiate Construction of $52 Million ‘Bukele-Style’ Prison to Combat Organized Crime.

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