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Putin and Tillerson Talk Drilling the Arctic on Saturday Night Live

Last night, Vladimir Putin visited Donald Trump—played by Alec Baldwin—at Trump Tower during the opening skit on Saturday Night Live. While Trump and Putin where discussing whether it's a good idea for the two of them to be seen together, SNL's Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway announces that Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, Trump's pick for Secretary of State, is there to see him.

Once Tillerson sees that Putin is in Trump's apartment, he becomes elated to see his old-time friend.

Watch here to see what happens when Tillerson and Putin get down to business:

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Animals
A North Carolina concentrated animal feeding operation, or CAFO, on Sept.18, 2018, Larry Baldwin / Crystal Coast Waterkeeper.

3.4 Million Chickens, 5,500 Hogs Killed in Florence's Flooding

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture said Wednesday that the historic flooding from Florence has killed about 3.4 million chickens and turkeys and 5,500 hogs.

"This was an unprecedented storm with flooding expected to exceed that from any other storms in recent memory. We know agricultural losses will be significant because the flooding has affected the top six agricultural counties in our state," said agriculture commissioner Steve Troxler in a press release.

The footprint of flooding from this storm covers much of the same area hit by flooding from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which only worsens the burden on these farmers.
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Food
Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

Are Plant-Eaters Smarter and More Empathetic Than Meat-Eaters?

By Matthew Ponsford

Human, monkey, pig.

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Food
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National Day of Action Asks Applebee's for Plant-Based Menu Options

One Meal a Day for the Planet and the Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday hosted events at Applebee's locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Clearwater, Florida to ask the restaurant to add at least one plant-based entrée to all of its menus nationwide.

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Health
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Duke University Study: N.C. Residents Living Near Large Hog Farms Have Elevated Disease, Death Risks

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Animals
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Mosquitoes Could Spread Microplastics, Study Suggests

Microplastics, which get gobbled up by whales, deep-sea fish and plankton, have also turned up in the bodies of mosquitoes, scientists have revealed.

The research, published Wednesday in the journal Biology Letters, is the first to show that bits of plastic can be transferred between a mosquito's life stages that use different habitats.

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Energy
Pipe being transported to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Photo credit: Mark Levisay / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Work Restarts as Opponents Decry 'Rushed Decisions'

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruled Monday that work could resume on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which opponents call "unnecessary and a boondoggle," the Charlotte Business Journal reported.

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zodebala / iStock

Investigators Find Slave Labor on Starbucks-Certified Brazil Coffee Plantation

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This story was produced via a co-publishing partnership between Mongabay and Repórter Brasil and can be read in Portuguese here.

At first sight, the Córrego das Almas farm in Piumhi, in rural Minas Gerais state, seems to be a model property. "No slave or forced labor is allowed," reads one of several signs that display international certifications—including one linked to the U.S. based company Starbucks corporation.

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Politics
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Trump Lets Fracking Companies Release More Climate-Warming Methane

As expected, the U.S. Department of the Interior on Tuesday released a final rule that reverses Obama-era restrictions on methane emissions from oil and gas operations.

President Obama's 2016 methane waste rule, which never went into effect, required fossil fuel companies on tribal and public lands to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that's about 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. It called on drilling operators to capture leaking and vented methane and to update their leak-detection equipment.

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