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News Brief: Sept. 3 – Sept. 10


Climate crisis causes change in animal physiologies 

According to The Guardian, researchers said the physiology of warm-blooded animals are changing significantly to adapt to hotter temperatures. Researchers particularly discovered this in birds, seeing changes such as larger ears, beaks and legs to avoid overheating.  

Sara Ryding, a bird researcher for Deakin University, had her research published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution. She said even though these animals are adapting, there is still concern about climate change. 

“It just means they are evolving to survive it,” Ryding said. “We’re not sure what the other ecological consequences of these changes are, or indeed that all species are capable of changing and surviving.”

Although the research shows climate change might not be the only reason for the mutation, researchers said mutations will continue to occur as the climate gets warmer. 

“The increased temperatures associated with climate change are likely to influence, among other things, the thermoregulatory demands placed on animals,” the research said. “The increasing temperatures experienced as part of climate change may be selecting for larger appendages that facilitate efficient heat dissipation or result in relaxation of selection for small appendages through which body heat could be deleteriously lost in cold climates.”

However, Ryding said the changes are small and unlikely to be immediately noticeable.

“The increases in appendage size we see so far are quite small, less than 10%,” Ryding said. “However, prominent appendages such as ears are predicted to increase, so we might end up with a live-action Dumbo in the not-so-distant future.”

Major earthquake strikes cities in Mexico 

7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Acapulco, Mexico on Sept. 7, shaking the capital and causing at least one known death. About 1.6 million were left without power in various Mexican states.  

The earthquake was pinpointed as seven miles northeast of Acapulco before 9 a.m. local time, according to Mexico’s national seismological service. 

Guerrero Gov. Héctor Astudillo said to a local radio station there had been reports of falling rocks and landslides, as well as walls falling down in the state capital. 

The United States Geological Survey said the quake was very shallow, only 7.8 miles below the surface, which amplified the shaking effect.

However, authorities across Mexico said the immediate effects of the quake on infrastructure were limited.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a video posted to Twitter, there was no serious damage.  


Virginia removes Robert E. Lee statue from the state capital 

The statue of Robert E. Lee, one of the largest Confederate monuments in America, was taken down from the capitol in Richmond, Virginia on Sept. 8. 

Lee’s statue was the last of the six Civil War figures that became symbols of white supremacy, bringing to an end the era of Confederate statues in the city that is best known for them.

The 21-foot bronze statue was lifted off a pedestal and lowered to the ground, while hundreds erupted in cheers at the scene. 

Gov. Ralph Northam ordered the statue’s removal last summer amid nationwide Black Lives Matter protests but only got Supreme Court approval last week. 

Ana Edwards, a community activist said it would be hard to imagine statues being removed two years ago. 

“It’s representative of the fact that we’re sort of peeling back the layers of injustice that Black people and people of color have experienced when governed by white supremacist policies for so long,” Edwards said. 

FBI releases new video of the suspect who planted bombs before capitol riot 

On Sept. 7, the FBI resealed new information about the pipe bombs left in Capitol Hill before the U.S. Capitol invasion on Jan. 6. The agency released new footage of the suspect who planted the bombs. 

The new information includes a virtual map and clear surveillance video that shows the route the suspect walked while placing the two bombs on Jan. 5.

The suspect planted the devices between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. that night. One device was placed in an alley behind the Republican National Committee Headquarters. The other was placed next to a park bench near the Democratic National Committee Headquarters.

The FBI said Wednesday, Sept. 8 that investigators also believe the suspect was operating out of the Folger Park area of Capitol Hill the night of. Folger Park is just blocks from the Capitol office buildings. The FBI said based on the behavior in the video, they believe the suspect was not from the area.

While the video is clear on the suspect’s activities, the suspect has not been identified. They were wearing a face mask, glasses, a grey hooded sweatshirt and gloves. 


Committee puts together a list of changes for the Oklahoma County Detention Center

Members of the Oklahoma County Jail Trust committee listed recommendations to the Oklahoma County Detention Center. They want to turn three pages into one full report to lead the change. 

Sara Bana, an action committee member, said the Oklahoma County jail is the largest humanitarian constitutional crisis in the past 10 years. 

“It’s gotten to the point where if we don’t act now, more people are going to die,” Bana said. “To end those negative, systemic forms of discrimination in our criminal justice system — the time for it is now.”

The listed issues include staff training, structural problems and a lack of direct supervision of inmates. Residents also raised numerous issues, including questions about overcrowding.

The jail trust committee will consider the recommendations at its next meeting on Sept. 20.

A nursing assistant at OKC hospital arrested after allegedly sexually assaulting a patient

On Sept. 7, a nursing assistant was arrested after police reported an assault on a patient at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City. 

The patient told the police the employee inappropriately touched her back and kissed her without consent, before it escalated to groping, exposing himself, and being verbally inappropriate, according to police.

The patient said she plans to file charges. Sgt. Dillon Quirk said the sexual assaulter was identified and taken into custody. 

St. Anthony officials released a statement to KOCO 5, saying the employee was placed on unpaid administrative leave and that type of conduct will not be tolerated.

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