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.

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Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 5,974,938— Total deaths: 365,976 — Total recoveries — 2,522,819Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 1,750,203 — Total deaths: 102,906 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Economy: What U.S. workplaces may look like next — George Floyd's killing and economic calamity are both part of America's unfinished business — The future of mobility in the post-pandemic world.
  4. States: New York City will reopen June 8, Cuomo says.
  5. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.
  6. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.

Gov. Tim Walz to mobilize Minnesota's full National Guard

Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced on Saturday he is activating the full National Guard to respond to street violence in Minneapolis that broke out during protests of a police encounter that left a black man, George Floyd, dead.

Why it matters: This is the first time the state has activated the full National Guard since World War II. The Minnesota National Guard tweeted, "We are "all-in" to restore order and maintain and keep the peace in Minnesota." There are already around 700 National Guard troops in the city, and the order could bring another 1,000, The Star Tribune writes.

Go deeper...The aftermath of George Floyd's death: Everything you need to know

Updated 34 mins ago - Science

Live updates: SpaceX attempts to launch NASA astronauts Saturday

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad. Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

At 3:22 p.m. ET today, SpaceX is expected to launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station for the first time.

Why it matters: The liftoff — should it go off without a hitch — will be the first time a private company has launched people to orbit. It will also bring crewed launches back to the U.S. for the first time in nine years, since the end of the space shuttle program.

Follow along below for live updates throughout the day...