Oct 3, 2017

European bird ban brought invasive parakeets to Mexico

In 2004, amid fears of bird flu, Europe banned the import of birds from Southeast Asia. Fourteen years later, Mexico declared monk parakeets, commonly kept as pets, an invasive species. These two events are directly linked, according to a study published in PLoS ONE and reported by Allie Wilkinson for Nature. The birds are agricultural pests and flocks can cause blackouts, writes Wilkinson.

How it happened: The ban (and a 2007 law expanding it to all countries) meant European demand for exotic birds declined. In 2008, Mexico banned the capture of native birds to protect wild populations. This shifted the monk parakeet market from Europe to Mexico, which imported over a half-million of the birds.

Why it matters: "This whole invasion seems like it was just a fascinating series of unforeseen consequences of regulation changes," study author Elizabeth Hobson told Nature. It shows how policies can have impacts an ocean away.

Go deeper

China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.