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Cai Tjeenk Willink / Wikipedia

If we strategically expand protected areas on Earth just 5% and focus on birds and mammals with a more diverse evolutionary history, the range of species and places that can be preserved would be triple that of current conservation efforts, a new study in Nature finds.

The context: Scientists have warned for years that iconic species like giraffes, mountain gorillas, African elephants and rhinos are under assault from a combination of land use, poaching and climate impacts, and face extinction in the wild in the next 20 years.

Why it's needed: Studies have shown that half of all species are now experiencing "local extinctions" and that protected spaces are essential to maintain some semblance of biodiversity in the 21st century. For this reason, governments have established spaces, but they tend to cluster in "hot spots" where the sheer number of species is higher.

The science behind the 5%: The authors analyzed about 15,000 species of birds and mammals based on their quantity, how related species are to one another, and their specific traits that are linked to how they interact with their environment (eat, nest, etc.). They found current protected areas only cover about 1/4 of species diversity. They then created an algorithm to expand that number and found 5% more land in the right places would safeguard triple the amount of diversity.

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"No-code" miracle for startups

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Data: Interactive Advertising Bureau; Table: Axios Visuals

The U.S. has reached a tipping point in its shift from the industrial economy — one that relied on the buildout of hardware — to an information economy that relies on the transfer, storage and implementation of data, according to a new report.

Why it matters: This shift towards a data and information-based economy has allowed more businesses to establish themselves and scale quickly and at a very low cost. As such, the number of jobs created by the commercial internet has more than tripled since 2012.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Amazon is touting the success of small sellers on its platform through the pandemic — and warning that antitrust legislation could jeopardize that success and blow up its open-marketplace model.

Why it matters: As online shopping became a lifeline for both businesses and consumers during the pandemic, Amazon reaped big benefits, but also saw its regulatory risk grow.

The new cold war panic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The world has seen a power struggle between nuclear powers before, and has seen those countries inch closer to military conflict. But it's never before seen a cold war between two countries as interconnected — with each other and with the rest of the globe — as the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Escalating antagonism between the world's two superpowers is likely to hinder global cooperation to fight climate change, divert resources to costly arms and tech races, complicate diplomacy for U.S. allies, and victimize Chinese and American citizens living in each other's countries.