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The Spill: Trump’s Riot Response

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Trump Responds to Riots Across American Cities

Protests and riots have rocked dozens of cities across the U.S. after the tragic killing of George Floyd. While many of the protesters have gathered peacefully to express their anger, some groups have been instigating violence as well as damaging property and looting from stores. President Trump responded to the events in a live television address on which explosions could heard in the background from protesters on the other side of the White House.

Defacing the Lincoln Memorial, setting fire to historic St. John’s Church, and spray painting the World War II Memorial in the District of Columbia are a few of the actions that caught the president’s attention.

“If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” the president declared.

Trump’s plans to deal with the situation include:

  • Activating all available federal resources, civilian and military.
  • Recommending that state governors deploy the National Guard “in sufficient numbers” to “dominate the streets.”
  • Labeling Antifa as a domestic terrorist group.
  • Adding special protection for the nation’s capital.
  • “Arrest, detain and prosecute” those committing acts of violence.

Other presidents have called to duty the National Guard onto America streets, but it is very unusual for active soldiers to be deployed this way. It has only been done twice – once to stop looting in Florida after 1992’s Hurricane Hugo, and the other time was during riots in 1992 after four police officers were acquitted for brutally beating a black man named Rodney King.

Trump pronounced:

“I swore an oath to uphold the laws of our nation and that is exactly what I will do. All Americans were rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd. My administration is fully committed that for George and his family, justice will be served. He will not have died in vain, but we cannot allow the righteous cries and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob. The biggest victims of the rioting are peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities, and as their president, I will fight to keep them safe. I will fight to protect you. I am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters.”

Some states have already called in the National Guard to get things under control. We’ll have to wait and see if Trump’s plan works. As attention is going to the violence and rioting, many Americans have been protesting peacefully. In just one event, hundreds of people gathered at the site of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, laying flowers and signs. His brother, Terrence Floyd, appeared at the site to speak to the audience. He called for an end to the violence, saying:

“I understand you’re upset … but if I’m not over here wildin’ out, if I’m not over here blowing up stuff, if I’m not over here messing up my community – then what are y’all doing? Nothing, because that’s not going to bring my brother back at all. So let’s do this another way. Let’s stop thinking that our voice don’t matter and vote … because it’s a lot of us and we still going to do this peacefully.”

NASA’s Artemis Accords for Cooperation in Space

Things are heating up in space, or rather, the final frontier is starting to get a lot more visitors recently, with many more missions likely in the future. It had been about a decade since America launched astronauts into space, but that changed on Saturday. This time, the rocket was made by civilians in the SpaceX program – marking the first time NASA ever partnered with a private company. With all the recent activity, it’s no wonder NASA thought it prudent to come up with some guidelines and rules for travelers. Known as the Artemis Accords, the rules are intended for government and private space companies alike to abide by, to make sure there is information sharing and transparency.

In Greek mythology, Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and the sister of Apollo. She was revered as the goddess of hunting, wild nature, and chastity, and was also a patron of young women, often called upon to protect them during childbirth. Perhaps naming the Accords after the goddess was a way to represent this newest generation of astronauts as they embark on their adventures.

The Artemis Accords requests all space partners to share scientific data with the public and to register all space objects. Why is this important? “Without proper registration, coordination to avoid harmful interference cannot take place,” the document states. “The Artemis Accords reinforces the critical nature of registration and urges any partner which isn’t already a member of Registration Convention to join as soon as possible.”

Transparency is important and can lead to more information from other sources. For example, registering space objects means space hobbyists can study and learn their craft and can sometimes point out things that NASA may have missed.

The Accords also ensure that partners will protect sites and artifacts that have “historic value.” This can include previous Moon landings which already have more than 400,000 pounds of junk or leftover materials left behind.

On May 30, SpaceX had its first launch with a human crew to the International Space Station. The Crew Dragon spacecraft was thrust into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket and, although the launch was initially postponed due to bad weather, the second attempt was a huge success.

Scientists Capture First Narwhal Sound Recordings

Are there unicorns under the sea? Sure there are, but not the white horses with sparkling horns that we think of when picturing the fantasy creatures. The artic unicorn, on the other hand, is a real-life creature – one that has kept mostly under the radar from scientific study. But now, thanks to the help of local indigenous people and current technology, scientists are finally getting some great information from these shy sea-dwellers.

Narwhals are the “unicorns of the ocean,” and their moniker makes sense when you look at their long “horn” that resembles that of their mythical namesake. Not much is known about these underwater unicorns because they are shy and avoid humans, as well as because they live in icy areas of the water. One of the problems of trying to track the narwhals is their tendency to congregate in and near glaciers where navigating boats becomes treacherous. Only Inuit hunters have been able to get close to them, and luckily for scientists, the Inuit agreed to take the researchers with them while hunting whales.

With the Inuits’ help, scientists were able to put underwear microphones on the bottoms of the boats and were excited to capture the narwhals’ distinctive clicking and whistle calls for the first time. They captured the creatures’ social calls and foraging sounds from as close as 82 feet.

The scientists discovered that, despite what was previously believed, the narwhals continue to forage for food during the summer months. The sound recordings help them decode the whistles used for social calls and the clicks the mammals use as a sonar (echolocation), much like the biological system used by bats and dolphins to navigate and find food. As the narwhals get closer to their food, their clicks become faster. In fact, the noise grows so much that it becomes a buzz, kind of like a chainsaw, which helps them to pinpoint where their prey is located.

For such shy creatures, they tend to like glacial areas that are extremely noisy. As Evgeny Podolskiy, a geophysicist at Hokkaido University in Japan, said, “There is so much cracking due to ice fracturing and bubbles melting out … it’s like a fizzy drink underwater. It seems we are dealing with animals living in one of the most noisy environments without having much trouble with that.”

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