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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at the White House on Oct. 26, 2020. Jonathan Newton /The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife have bolstered conservative causes as he is poised to lead the Supreme Court rolling back more landmark rulings

Black conservative Clarence Thomas’ improbable rise as a powerful US Supreme Court justice today was unimaginable during his controversial confirmation hearings in 1991.
Maria Elena Paredes, coordinator of the Community Vigilance Committee for the Ashéninka community of Sawawo Hito 40, points to satellite images showing deforestation. Reynaldo Vela/USAID

Indigenous defenders stand between illegal roads and survival of the Amazon rainforest – Brazil’s runoff election could be a turning point

Illegal roads have brought deforestation, fire and other environmental damage to the Amazon. The results of the 2022 presidential runoff could have a major impact for the future.
Innovative ideas spring from many sources, research finds. Yuichiro Chino/Moment via Getty Images

Nobel prizes most often go to researchers who defy specialization – winners are creative thinkers who synthesize innovations from varied fields and even hobbies

Some of the most innovative people in the world earn Nobel Prizes. Scholars of creativity identify what they have in common and what regular people can learn and emulate from their examples.
Two women embrace before a Yom Kippur service held outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic in Los Angeles. Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Yom Kippur: What does Judaism actually say about forgiveness?

Many religions value forgiveness, but the details of their teachings differ. A psychologist of religion explains how Christian and Jewish attitudes compare.
A woman holds a sign denouncing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, with syringes in the shape of a swastika, during a 2021 rally at the Kentucky Capitol in Frankfort. Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Holocaust comparisons are frequent in US politics – and reflect a shallow understanding of the actual genocide and the US response

Many Americans know a simple version of Holocaust history, in which their country played the savior. The reality isn’t so comfortable, a historian writes.
Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in Hawaii, with an observatory visible on its summit. Native Hawaiians consider the mountain sacred and object to construction on it. Chris Condon/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Native Americans’ decadeslong struggle for control over sacred lands is making progress

Native Hawaiians see Mauna Kea mountain as sacred. Scientists use its summit for research. A new policy called co-management may help resolve this land conflict and similar ones across the US.
A raccoon with a fish at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Fla. Michael Siluk/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

What is a wetland? An ecologist explains

The US Supreme Court opens its 2022-2023 term with a case that could greatly reduce federal protection for wetlands. Here is what makes these ecosystems valuable.
Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Alla Pugacheva during a 2014 awards ceremony honoring the pop singer with the Order For Merit to the Fatherland. Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

Why it’s such a big deal that Alla Pugacheva, ‘the tsarina of Russian pop,’ came out against the war in Ukraine

In opinion polls over the past two decades, she’s routinely selected as one of the most popular Russians – often appearing second only to Vladimir Putin.

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