A recent study in Science reported that some of the world’s oldest trees—most between 100 to 300 years old—are dying rapidly, in part because of climate change. This infographic (from 2010, but still relevant) shows the location of trees that are even older, and now at risk.
May Day rallies around the world // May 1, 2013
The last known rhinoceroses in Mozambique have been wiped out by poachers apparently working in cahoots with the game rangers responsible for protecting them.
The 15 threatened animals were shot dead for their horns last month in the Mozambican part of Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which also covers South Africa and Zimbabwe.
They were thought to be the last of an estimated 300 that roamed through the special conservation area when it was established as “the world’s greatest animal kingdom” in a treaty signed by the three countries’ presidents in 2002. (Denis Farrell / AP Photo)
Jose was a top math scholar and dreamt of being a mechanical engineer.
He was awarded a full scholarship to Arizona State University. When Jose graduated in 2011, there was a shortage of mechanical engineers in his state, but he could not apply for the jobs his other classmates were seeking because he is undocumented.
Australia’s iconic marsupial is under threat. Formerly hunted almost to extinction for their woolly coats, koalas are now struggling to survive as habitat destruction caused by droughts and bushfires, land clearing for agriculture and logging, and mining and urban development conspire against this cuddly creature.
Photograph: John Giustina/Getty Images
The Guantánamo Memoirs of Mohamedou Ould Slahi
Mohamedou Ould Slahi began to tell his story in 2005. Over the course of several months, the Guantánamo prisoner handwrote his memoir, recounting what he calls his “endless world tour” of detention and interrogation. He wrote in English, a language he mastered in prison. His handwriting is relaxed but neat, his narrative, even riddled with redactions, vivid and captivating. In telling his story he tried, as he wrote, “to be as fair as possible to the U.S. government, to my brothers, and to myself.” He finished his 466-page draft in early 2006. For the next six years, the U.S. government held the manuscript as a classified secret.
When his pro bono attorneys were allowed to hand me a disk labeled “Unclassified Version” last year, Slahi had been a Guantánamo detainee for more than a decade. I sat down to start reading his manuscript nearly 10 years to the day from the book’s opening scene:
“[Redacted] July 2002, 22:00. The American team takes over. The music was off. The conversations of the guards faded away. The truck emptied.”
We’re in the middle of the action. Slahi’s life in captivity had begun eight months earlier, on Nov. 20, 2001, when Slahi, then 30, was summoned by Mauritanian police for questioning. He had just returned home from work; he was in the shower when police arrived. He dressed, grabbed his car keys—he went voluntarily, driving himself to the police station—and told his mother not to worry, he would be home soon.
Part 01: Endless Interrogations.
Part 02: Disappeared.
Part 03: Family.
Image: Handwritten page from Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s memoir (PDF), via Slate.