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19 Feb, 8 tweets, 4 min read
The messy business of sand mining explained: A 21st century construction boom is driving unregulated sand mining around the world - eroding rivers and coastlines, disrupting ecosystems and hurting livelihoods by @TmarcoH @SimonScarr and @katydaigle Image
Sand is the planet’s most mined material, with some 50 billion tons extracted from lakes, riverbeds, coastlines and deltas each year, according to the United Nations Environment Programme Image
From Shanghai to Seattle, the world’s cities are built on sand - massive amounts of sand. It’s in the cement and concrete that make the bulk of most buildings. The glass in those buildings’ windows is made with sand, too. So is the tarmac laid onto the roads around them
Demand for sand is only expected to grow, as the global population continues to climb, cities expand and countries further develop. But in much of the world, sand mining faces little to no government scrutiny. Few entities monitor or document the trade for its impact Image
There are scant regulations for protecting the environment, or workers’ safety. The result is that sand is being extracted far more quickly than it can naturally be replaced. That’s causing environmental damage and, in some cases, jeopardizing livelihoods Image
The impact of sand mining is clear in this stretch of the Da Dang River, in the Vietnamese province of Lam Dong. River banks have badly degraded over a five-year period, illustrated in these satellite images released by Digital Globe and Airbus and analyzed by Earthrise Media Image
Demand for sand has surged in the last two decades, thanks to urbanization and construction in China, India and other fast-developing countries. China already has used more cement since 2006 than was used in the United States during the entire 20th century Image
The damage from sand extraction can be seen clearly in satellite images, with coastlines eroded, ecosystems destroyed, and even entire small islands in Southeast Asia wiped off the map. Read more: by @ReutersGraphics

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More from @Reuters

20 Feb
Naomi Osaka’s 6-4 6-3 win over Jennifer Brady in the Australian Open final gave the Japanese juggernaut her fourth Grand Slam crown, with her career still budding at the age of 23 1/4 Image
Osaka joined Monica Seles and Roger Federer as winners in their first four Grand Slam finals.

‘I hope that I can have one grain of how their career has unfolded. But you can only wish and you can only just keep going down your own path,’ she said 2/4 Image
Having added a second Australian Open title to her two U.S. Open crowns, Osaka said she would rather ‘live in the moment’ than set ambitious targets for further Grand Slam glory 3/4 Image
Read 4 tweets
19 Feb
It is official: The United States has rejoined the Paris climate agreement, reinvigorating the global fight against climate change
Scientists and foreign diplomats have welcomed the U.S. return to the treaty, which became official here 30 days after President Joe Biden ordered the move on his first day in office
Since nearly 200 countries signed the 2015 pact to prevent catastrophic climate change, the United States was the only country to exit. Former President Donald Trump took the step, claiming climate action would cost too much
Read 4 tweets
19 Feb
Sunday is traditionally a quiet day for Chuck Pryor's Houston funeral home, but on this Sunday in February, almost a year after the global pandemic reached Texas, the phone was still ringing 1/6
Pryor took the call: COVID-19 had taken yet another American life - pushing the nation's death toll closer to the half-million mark - and another grieving family required the services of the exhausted funeral director and his staff 2/6
The sheer number of coronavirus deaths has overwhelmed many U.S. funeral homes.

Some family-owned businesses have handled a crushing case load, with some seeing the same number of deaths in a couple of months as they would normally handle in a full year 3/6
Read 6 tweets
19 Feb
A head shorter than his peers, Fallou Diop quickly vanishes into the crowd of jockeys preparing for early morning drills in the western Senegalese village of Niaga 1/7 Image
When the racing begins, however, his crouched silhouette is far ahead of the field, aided by an effortless riding style. 'When I start riding I get a bit stressed, but after a moment, it's over,' Diop says 2/7 ImageImageImage
Diop is one of Senegal's most promising jockeys, having won the country's top racing prize when he was just 17.

He hopes to begin racing in France next year, realizing a dream coveted by some of Senegal's foremost riders 3/7 Image
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18 Feb
Today's @reddit AMA with @annairrera and @tomwilson1983 starts soon. Submit your questions here 👉
Question 1: What even is a #bitcoin?

@tomwilson1983 answers.

More details here👉 Image
Why do you think the crypto industry is so anti-transparency? The largest players, like stablecoins like Tether, are very secretive about their operations. Is it because they are not complying with regulations?

@annairrera answers 👇 Follow along here: Image
Read 10 tweets
18 Feb
A surge of Republicans quitting the party to renounce Trump could hurt moderates in next year’s primaries, adding a capstone to Trump’s legacy as president: A potentially lasting rightward push on the party

@andysullivan @langejason report 👇1/4 Image
More than 68,000 Republicans have left the party in recent weeks in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, crucial states for Democrats’ hopes of keeping control of Congress in the mid-term elections in 2022, state voter data shows 2/4
That’s about three times the roughly 23,000 Democrats who left their party in the same states over the same time period 3/4
Read 4 tweets

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