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The Spill: Fishy Tales from Minnesota

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A Real Big Fish Story in Minnesota

Officials in Burnsville, Minnesota, are worried about giant fish that were once family pets. In a recent tweet by the city, residents were asked not to release their goldfish into the wild: “Please don’t release your pet goldfish into ponds and lakes. They grow bigger than you think and contribute to poor water quality by mucking up the bottom sediments and uprooting plants.”

How is it that a tiny goldfish can do so much damage to an entire ecosystem? Well, the Carver County website says the one-time pets “reproduce rapidly and are hardy… They can live to be 25 years old.” Once they are there, there is no easy way to remove the species. And the county knows this first-hand: Last fall, more than 50,000 goldfish were captured at Big Woods Lake, not far from Burnsville. Officials there are still trying to restore the waterway.

Just north of Minnesota, Canada estimates that 50 million goldfish may live in Lake Ontario. Goldfish thrive in cold conditions and low-oxygenated waters. As a result, setting free goldfish or other species is against the law in nearly every state.

The Long-Awaited Olympics Under Covid-19 Emergency Status

The 2020 Olympics was postponed one year due to the pandemic. Now they are back, but with a lot of new rules. Japan is are trying to figure out how to keep the people safe and happy while still hosting the Games. This is a difficult task. Some Japanese people don’t want the Games to go ahead because of all the foreign visitors. The host city, Tokyo, saw more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases in four days.

Tokyo 2021 is the first Olympics to say that no more than 10,000 people can attend some events. They’re also making fans wear masks, and there will be no cheering allowed. Inside, there is to be no flag-waving, high fives, or autographs.

Sportspeople have been told to stay put in the Athletes Village. Parents, family, media, and others have been told they must sign a pledge to obey the rules.

The Tokyo Olympics may go down in history as the safest – and least fun – Games in history.

Lawmakers in Texas Bolt Out of Town in Protest

After the 2020 election, lawmakers in many states reacted with new legislation. Nearly 28 election laws have been passed in a few short months. Most include rules on voter I.D., stopping political parties from sending mail-in ballots to voters, and changing voting times. But Texas Democrats don’t support a such a law in their state.

Last week, 30 Texas lawmakers fled the state to stop the law being passed. Democrats claim that the bill restricts the right to vote in Texas, so they went to Washington, D.C., where one of them said: “We are determined to kill this bill.”

Reactions to the walk-out have been different. Vice President Kamala Harris called the Democrat laemakers “leaders who are marching in the path that so many others before did, when they fought, and many died, for our right to vote.”

But Texas Governor Greg Abbott had a different reaction. Abbott laid down the law: “Once they step back into the state, they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol, and we will be conducting business.”

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