OUR PICKSNorthern Border Migrant Encounters at ‘Record Highs’ | America Is Using Up Its Groundwater Like There’s No Tomorrow | Boston Marathon Bomber’s Path to Radicalization, and more

Published 26 September 2023

·  ‘Monster Fracks’ Are Getting Far Bigger. And Far Thirstier.
Giant new oil and gas wells that require astonishing volumes of water to fracture bedrock are threatening America’s fragile aquifers

·  America Is Using Up Its Groundwater Like There’s No Tomorrow
Overuse is draining and damaging aquifers nationwide

·  As Trump Prosecutions Move Forward, Threats and Concerns Increase
As criminal cases proceed against the former president, heated rhetoric and anger among his supporters have the authorities worried about the risk of political dissent becoming deadly

·  Did the Musk Takeover Boost Contentious Actors on Twitter?
Following the takeover, tweet engagement for accounts active in far-right networks outstripped any increased engagement for general user accounts

·  The Supreme Court Needs to Make a Call on Trump’s Eligibility
The question of the former president’s possible disqualification needs to be resolved sooner or later. Sooner is better than later.

·  Northern Border Migrant Encounters at ‘Record Highs’ as Terror Watchlist Encounters Grow
DHS assesses that “terrorists and criminal actors may exploit the elevated flow and increasingly complex security environment to enter the United States”

·  Haunted by Regret: What the Boston Marathon Bomber’s Friend Reveals About the Path to Radicalization
There were three key incidents that illustrated the progression of Tsarnaev’s religious radicalization and the transformation of his beliefs

‘Monster Fracks’ Are Getting Far Bigger. And Far Thirstier.  (Hiroko Tabuchi and Blacki Migliozzi, New York Times)
Today, the insatiable search for oil and gas has become the latest threat to the country’s endangered aquifers, a critical national resource that is already being drained at alarming rates by industrial farming and cities in search of drinking water.
The amount of water consumed by the oil industry, revealed in a New York Times investigation, has soared to record levels. Fracking wells have increased their water usage sevenfold since 2011 as operators have adopted new techniques to first drill downward and then horizontally for thousands of feet. The process extracts more fossil fuels but requires enormous amounts of water.
Together, oil and gas operators reported using about 1.5 trillion gallons of water since 2011, much of it from aquifers, the Times found. Fracking a single oil or gas well can now use as much as 40 million gallons of water or more.
These mega fracking projects, called “monster fracks” by researchers, have become the industry norm. They barely existed a decade ago. Now they account for almost two out of every three fracking wells in Texas, the Times analysis found.

America Is Using Up Its Groundwater Like There’s No Tomorrow  (Mira Rojanasakul, Christopher Flavelle, Blacki Migliozzi and Eli Murray, New York Times)
Global warming has focused concern on land and sky as soaring temperatures intensify hurricanes, droughts and wildfires. But another climate crisis is unfolding, underfoot and out of view.
Many of the aquifers that supply 90 percent of the nation’s water systems, and which have transformed vast stretches of America into some of the world’s most bountiful farmland, are being severely depleted. These declines are threatening irreversible harm to the American economy and society as a whole.