A selection of news clips and short pieces.

For an Endangered Animal, a Fire or Hurricane Can Mean the End

When a wildfire swept through Arizona, all but 35 rare red squirrels disappeared. After California’s fires and Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma, so did other near-extinct animals.

52 Environmental Rules on
the Way Out Under Trump

Since taking office in January, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority

How Republicans Think about Climate Change, in Maps

Over the past two decades, Republicans have grown increasingly doubtful about climate change, even as Democrats have grown increasingly convinced that it’s happening and is caused by humans. 

30 Vaquita Porpoises Are Left. One Died in a Rescue Mission

In the past five years, the vaquita population — which lives in only a sliver of water between Mexico’s mainland and Baja California — has plummeted by 90 percent.

Conservationists See a Hurricane Risk: Florida’s Exotic Pets Could Escape

With Hurricane Irma fast approaching Florida, wildlife organizations are concerned that nonnative species could be unleashed.

Italian Newspaper Offers ‘Mein Kampf’ as a Free Throw-In

The Jewish community is up in arms, as the editor of ‘Il Giornale’ believes it’s "unreasonable to view the decision as a sign of support for Nazism and the movements anti-Jewish policies."

Stark biblical themes pepper film’s bleak depiction of Israeli reality

A brooding conversation at Cannes with award-winning Israeli director Eran Kolirin on ‘Beyond the Mountains and Hills,’ a story of a family entangled in society’s dark forces.

The Girl Boxers of Nairobi

Every week, young women from the marginalized communities of northern Nairobi are taught self-defense at BoxGirls, an organization set up in 2007 by Analo Anjere (known as Priest) after he overheard two girls say they wanted to “box like boys.”


Alleged child abuser cleared of bail breach

A man accused of a series of child abuse offences against students from Yeshivah College will not be jailed ahead of his trial, despite attempts by the police to have his bail revoked.

Protest at BDS activist trial

Anti-Israel protestors on the steps of the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court bound their hands with Israeli flags and taped their mouths shut as the trial of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) demonstrators got underway this week.

Nazi flags raise ire

A member of Melbourne’s Jewish community has launched a personal crusade against the public display of Nazi symbols, after he and a friend noticed SS and swastika flags flying outside a house in Carrum.

Community welcomes child-abuse Inquiry

Melbourne's Jewish community has welcomed the state government’s announcement of a parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child-abuse cases by religious organisations.

Memories From Melbourne’s Best Independent Video Store

ith the rise of home-viewing options like Netflix, Stan, and Presto, Stefani can't afford to keep the store open and is shutting down on Wednesday, much to the dismay of the local community.

Some Guy in Italy Is Trying to Resurrect David Bowie With an Online Petition

Addressed to "God or whom it may concern," the petition is an effort to resurrect the White Duke, simply via the power of public demand. As of Monday, more than 10,000 supporters have signed the petition.

Is Climate-Themed Fiction All Too Real? We Asked the Experts

Some works of apocalyptic fiction are starting to feel too close for comfort. We chose seven of them and asked: How likely are they to come true?

How Pet Snakes Set Off an Unlikely Chain of Events That Could Make You Sick

Opossums, raccoons and deer all but disappeared from Everglades National Park in Florida after the Burmese python invaded. When they vanished, mosquitos turned to feeding on rats that can carry encephalitis. That could put humans at risk.

This Is What Extinction Sounds Like

Seventy-nine-year-old soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause used to go into the wild to record the chorus of nature. Now, he has become an expert in the sound of extinction.

A day at the Koori Court

This division of the Victorian Magistrates' Court is curbing recidivism by allowing Indigenous defendants an informal conversation with community elders and judges.

The World Expo in Milan is a delicious joke, but try it anyway

The 2015 Milan Expo, “Feeding the planet, energy for life” rolled out the red carpet last month, claiming to address the global need for "healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone..."

Looking for Myself in the World's Oldest Ghetto

My Hanukkah in Venice began with a lukewarm, under-baked sufganiya that’s status as “chocolate flavored” came, apparently, from the daub of Nutella on its top.

What I'm Reading

When I landed my first gig as a writer, my mum gave me The Elements of Style. Originally written by Will Strunk Jr. and revived by his student E.B. White (Charlotte’s Web) it is the classic writer’s handbook.

In Milan, A Taste of the Jewish Experience

 The clammy hand of history tightened its grip when my parents, who themselves carry the guilt of second generation survivors, visited me here in Italy. They even managed to tour the pinnacle of Catholicism, the Vatican, from a Jewish perspective. 

New Words are Being Invented to Talk about our Dying Planet

We don't talk about climate change because we have no words for it. It's not quite the apocalypse; it's something else—kind of like a fierce, looming stranger, whom we haven't decided whether to try to murder or strategically befriend. 

We're 30 Seconds Closer to Doomsday

Six days after Donald Trump was inaugurated, the Doomsday Clock's hands moved to two and a half minutes to midnight—the closest they had been since 1953.

Meet the Man Who Invented Sexless Oysters

In a lab deep in Maine, in 1979, the geneticist Standish Allen was meddling with chromosomes to create a sexless, freak oyster, which could be consumed year-round. His theory? Create a tri-chromosome creature that, because it was infertile, would not spawn and could feed the masses’ insatiable appetite—rain, hail, or shine. It worked.

Australia Has Launched its First University Program to Get Women Into Parliament

Women hold less than 30 percent of parliamentary jobs in Australia. Melbourne University wants its Pathways to Politics program to even the score.  

The Hawk Trainer Assigned to Protect Stars at Cannes

In 2011, a seagull at the Cannes Grand Hyatt knocked a glass of wine over the French actress Sophie Marceau, just minutes before the Braveheart star was to walk the red carpet.

Anywhere but here

Ten years ago, Evghenia began building a rocket in her back garden from spare car parts and old “nuclear facility.” On August 3, 2014, she flew her ship to Mars. Or at least that’s what she tweeted.

Boutique Italian Museum Explores History of Lecce’s Medieval Jews

The Jewish heritage of a tiny town is being brought back to life with a museum on the site of an ancient synagogue in Lecce, Italy. 

Formerly ultra-Orthodox youth bring their worlds to the stage

Yossi is one of eight former ultra-Orthodox Jews who portray their journeys in the documentary-style play, which showed in Jerusalem and Hamburg in April as part of an initiative commemorating 50 years of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel.

MIT researchers are sending robots into sewers to monitor city dwellers’ waste

Beneath the streets of Boston, two robots named Mario and Luigi inspect the flow of human waste, collecting data on city residents.

The Last Single Screen

George Florence can still remember sneaking off to explore the musty space behind the screen at his uncle’s Greek cinema in Richmond. He recalls heaving an old piano (left behind from the theatre’s silent movie days) into its rightful place, before dusting it off and tinkering the keys to an imaginary projection on the long sealed off screen.