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Space law may soon get first update in over 50 years

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+ pandemic offers chance to redefine your ideal body US Edition - Today's top story: Space law hasn'

+ pandemic offers chance to redefine your ideal body US Edition - Today's top story: Space law hasn't been changed since 1967 – but the UN aims to update laws and keep space peaceful [View in browser]( US Edition | 23 November 2021 [The Conversation]( The space race that began between the U.S. and the Soviet Union after the end of World War II was a scary time for many people. But in a way, the fact that tensions on the ground between the two spacefaring nations never turned from cold to hot may have set a precedent for how countries used space: peacefully. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 currently governs all activities in space. But for all its strengths, the treaty leaves a lot of wiggle room within which international conflict – potentially military conflict – could break out, write Michelle L.D. Hanlon and Greg Autry, two experts in space law and policy. This is why it was a big deal when, on Nov. 1, 2021, the United Nations voted to start the process of updating the laws governing space. And not a moment too soon. Two weeks later, Russia tested a new anti-satellite missile, destroying one of its old satellites and creating a dangerous cloud of debris. [It was a reminder that peace in orbit is tenuous](, illustrating why the world needs new space law, the scholars explain. Also today: - [‘Moby-Dick’ offers lessons for living with an existential threat]( - [Wisconsin tragedy shows how cars often become weapons]( - [Why the oil industry’s plan to capture and store carbon won’t work]( And one last note today: We’re pleased to announce that we are launching an ambitious diversity initiative to ensure experts in the American media look more like the American population. The plan is supported by 41 of our member colleges and universities, as well as the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Lumina Foundation. We’ll be letting you know more about this in the coming months, but you can [download the press release]( to learn more. Daniel Merino Assistant Science Editor & Co-Host of The Conversation Weekly Podcast The International Space Station is a great example of how space has, for the most part, been a peaceful and collaborative international arena. NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center/Flickr [Space law hasn’t been changed since 1967 – but the UN aims to update laws and keep space peaceful]( Michelle L.D. Hanlon, University of Mississippi; Greg Autry, Arizona State University Human activities in space today are far more numerous and complicated compared with 1967. Two experts explain the need for better laws to keep space peaceful. Politics + Society - [SUV tragedy in Wisconsin shows how vehicles can be used as a weapon of mass killing – intentionally or not]( Mia Bloom, Georgia State University At least five people were killed and many more were injured after an SUV crashed into a Christmas parade. A terrorism expert explains how vehicles have been weaponized. - [Supreme Court could redefine when a fetus becomes a person, upholding abortion limits while preserving the privacy right under Roe v. Wade]( Morgan Marietta, University of Massachusetts Lowell The upcoming debate at the Supreme Court is less about the existence of the right to abortion and more about how that right is limited by the emerging personhood of a fetus. Ethics + Religion - [The lessons ‘Moby-Dick’ has for a warming world of rising waters]( Aaron Sachs, Cornell University Melville’s epic novel about life aboard a wayward whaling ship holds lessons for the climate crisis today. Health - [The COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to make a healthy shift in body ideals]( Janet J. Boseovski, University of North Carolina – Greensboro For many, the pandemic has disrupted daily habits around eating and fitness – which makes it a prime time to shake up old assumptions about achieving an ideal body. Science + Technology - [Scientist at work: Endangered ocelots and their genetic diversity may benefit from artificial insemination]( Ashley Reeves, University of Tennessee There are so few wild ocelots in the US that the cats are becoming inbred, with a bad prognosis for their ultimate survival. But researchers are perfecting ways to get new genes into the population. - [Art illuminates the beauty of science – and could inspire the next generation of scientists young and old]( Chris Curran, Northern Kentucky University Scientists have been using art to illuminate and share their research with the public for centuries. And art could be one way to bolster K-12 science education and scientific literacy in the public. Environment + Energy - [Why the oil industry’s pivot to carbon capture and storage – while it keeps on drilling – isn’t a climate change solution]( June Sekera, The New School; Neva Goodwin, Tufts University Most carbon dioxide captured in the U.S. today is used to extract more oil. Two scholars point to another way: biological sequestration. - [A new ratings industry is emerging to help homebuyers assess climate risks]( Matthew E. Kahn, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Private companies rate all kinds of investments, from stocks to used cars. Now, they’re starting to analyze climate risks to local real estate – but how reliable are their findings? Education - [Career-based classes keep students more engaged]( Jay Stratte Plasman, The Ohio State University Students from low-income backgrounds fare better when they are able to take career and technical classes in STEM, new research shows. From our International Editions - [Little red children and ‘Grandpa Xi’: China’s school textbooks reflect the rise of Xi Jinping’s personality cult]( Shih-Wen Sue Chen, Deakin University; Sin Wen Lau New school textbooks in China focus less on the Chinese Communist Party and more on its figurehead Xi Jinping. The growing cultivation of a personality cult is reminiscent of the days of Mao Zedong. - [Bird flu outbreaks in Europe: what you need to know]( Arjan Stegeman, Utrecht University Each year in spring and summer, waterbirds mingle on their breeding grounds in Siberia and mix their flu viruses, creating new variants they then bring to Europe, Asia and Africa. - [A fossil cranium from Kenya tells the story of an extinct elephant species]( William Sanders, University of Michigan The anatomy of the teeth in the cranium and its bones show that it belongs to an extinct cousin of the living African savanna and forest elephants. Today’s graphic [A chart showing how likely different demographics are to protest based on whether they attend church and if their church gives sermons about race or policing.]( From the story, [What Americans hear about social justice at church – and what they do about it]( [The Conversation]( You’re receiving this newsletter from [The Conversation]( 303 Wyman Street, Suite 300 Waltham, MA 02451 [Forward to a friend]( • [Unsubscribe](

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