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    The birds no longer sing. The cows die. And if the people in this northern Myanmar forest complain, they too face the threat of death from militias. This forest is the source of key metallic elements known as rare earths, often called the vitamins of the modern world. Rare earths turn up in everything from hard drives to elevators, and are vital to the fast-growing field of green energy. But an AP investigation found their cost is environmental destruction, the theft of land and the funneling of money to brutal militias. The AP tied rare earths from Myanmar to the supply chains of 78 companies. Nearly all who responded said they took environmental protection and human rights seriously.

      Axios Media is being acquired by Cox Enterprises, which says it plans to push the online news provider into new markets while broadening its coverage.  Axios, citing sources, reported Monday that the deal is worth $525 million. Cox, a conglomerate whose other media companies include The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Dayton Daily News, first became an investor in Axios last year. Axios co-founders and former Politico journalists Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz will continue to hold substantial stakes in the company and will lead editorial and day-to-day business decisions.

        U.S. intelligence agencies are shifting more money and resources to China. They're moving hundreds of officers to China-focused positions, including some who were previously working on terrorism. One year after ending the war in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden and top national security officials speak less about counterterrorism and more about the political, economic and military threats posed by China as well as Russia. In a recent closed-door meeting with leaders of the CIA's counterterrorism center, the CIA’s No. 2 official made clear that fighting al-Qaida and other extremist groups will remain a priority but that there's an increasing focus on China.

          The Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on virtual currency mixer Tornado Cash, which has allegedly helped to launder more than $7 billion worth of virtual currency since its creation in 2019. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control says Tornado Cash’s systems were used to launder more than $96 million drawn from the June Harmony blockchain bridge theft and August Nomad crypto firm heist. Mixing services combine various digital assets, including potentially illegally obtained funds and legitimately obtained funds, so that illegal actors can obscure the origin of stolen funds.

            Greece’s prime minister says he was unaware that the country’s intelligence service had been bugging the mobile phone of an opposition politician for three months. Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Monday that had he known, he would not have allowed it. The remarks by Mitsotakis, who faces elections next year, came three days after a wiretapping scandal led to the resignations of the head of the National Intelligence Service and the general secretary of the prime minister’s office. Mitsotakis said the mobile phones of Nikos Androulakis, who had been running for the leadership of the socialist PASOK opposition party at the time, had been placed under “legal surveillance” from Sept. 2021 for three months. He did not say why.

              USA Swimming has added technology to its abuse-reporting systems that will allow better communication between investigators and reporters who want to remain anonymous. The organization announced a deal with RealResponse on international Safe Sport Day. One feature in RealResponse’s technology is the ability to exchange information with anonymous reporters via text. Though organizations can often act more decisively when victims or witnesses attach their names to reports, anonymous reporting is crucial because often victims fear retribution if their names become public. RealResponse has developed technology that allows reporters to file reports about abuse via text, and for those who receive the reports to follow up while the name of the reporter remains concealed.

                The United Nations is urging countries with nuclear weapons to stick to their no-first-use commitment of the atomic arsenals. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday that a nuclear arms race has returned amid growing international tension. Guterres spoke in Tokyo after visiting Hiroshima to commemorate victims of the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing. Asked about Russia's shelling on Europe's largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine, Guterres said any attack on a nuclear plant is “suicidal.” He said nuclear disarmament is moving backward, and arms race investments would be better spent fighting climate change and poverty. He also urged Japan to stop funding coal plants.

                By definition, primary colors are the most basic of hues. When mixed together, these elementary colors form every other shade on the color wheel, but no other colors can be blended to create red, yellow or blue. The primaries represent the most intense, purest forms of color, and this vibrant combination is beginning to establish itself as one of this year’ s top color...

                Interior shutters complement many different decorating styles, so they are the go-to window treatment in many homes. Shutters with sharp, defined lines make them a natural choice in contemporary interiors, and their classic good looks make them ideal for traditional furnishings as well. The width of the louver varies from as narrow as one inch to plantation...

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                Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

                Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

                Longtime Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette has won his Democratic primary, advancing to a general election in which Republicans hope to win back the seat and give it power over elections. In Minnesota, Republican Kim Crockett has advanced to face Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon. Crockett has called the 2020 election “rigged” and campaigned on rolling back changes that have made it easier to vote. Races for secretary of state this year have drawn tremendous interest and money largely because of unfounded attacks on the 2020 election results.

                Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and Republican challenger Scott Jensen scored easy victories Tuesday in their primaries to set the stage for their fall matchup in Minnesota’s top race this fall.  Meanwhile, business lawyer Jim Schultz won the GOP primary to take on Democratic Attorney General Keith Ellison. Walz is seeking his second term under the same “One Minnesota” slogan he used four years ago, but in a more polarized environment. Jensen and the GOP are seeking to turn his management of the COVID-19 pandemic against him. Both men easily overcame little-known or perennial candidates to formalize a race that’s been underway for months. In the Republican attorney general primary, Schultz beat Doug Wardlow, who narrowly lost to Ellison in 2018.

                Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to reshuffle his Cabinet in a move seen as trying to distance his administration from the Unification Church following former leader Shinzo Abe’s assassination. Seven ministers who have acknowledged ties to the church will reportedly be removed when the Cabinet is announced later Wednesday. Kishida says a strict review of church ties will be a “prerequisite” in the new Cabinet. The man accused of killing Abe last month allegedly was motivated by Abe's suspected ties to the church. In public opinion polls, Japanese citizens say politicians have not sufficiently explained their own ties to the church.

                It will soon be illegal in Seattle to discriminate against people for seeking or receiving an abortion, part of the city’s efforts to preserve reproductive rights locally. The Seattle Times reports the Seattle City Council on Tuesday passed a measure making it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their actual or perceived pregnancy outcome. The council also added a statewide misdemeanor charge for interfering with health care to the city’s code, hoping to minimize interference and harassment against those seeking care in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court undoing decades of constitutional abortion protections in June.

                TikTok creator @thedioxxaleala loved the pure black ceramic vases from West Elm, but they just weren’t worth the splurge at $140. Instead, she went to Dollar Tree and Michael’s to recreate the look for just $12. 

                West Elm carries an adorable ceramic fruit bowl, but it retails for $64. TikTok creator @byolivialee tapped into her artistic side and made her own using modeling clay.

                If you’re looking for a way to make over your existing media cabinet, try adding square wooden dowels to the doors like @huntersofhappiness_. 

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