Island of garbage: the all-female voyage to battle Earth’s plastic crisis

Plastic is everywhere, and it’s not going anywhere – potentially posing serious risks to our health. A crew of scientists and activists is conducting a hands-on investigation

When I arrive at the marina in Victoria on a late-July morning, the sky and water are complementary shades of azure. On the deck of the 72ft shiny-bright Sea Dragon, moored here in the island capital of British Columbia for just one day, are four young women, part of the crew of the research voyage “eXXpedition”. They’re hauling buckets of black sludge up to the deck from the ocean floor.

The team will meticulously pack the wet sand from the harbor floor into little glass jars. These jars will be added to a library of sand, water and air samples that they’ve collected over the past six weeks from across the north Pacific. They’ll ship some of those samples off to Plymouth, England, to be analyzed by eXXpedition’s marine scientist Imogen Napper. The idea is that by cataloging this library, she and the team will begin to get a better sense of what kind of plastic is out there in the ocean.

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Florida schoolboy arrested after refusing to recite pledge of allegiance

Student, 11, was arrested on 4 February for creating a disruption in the classroom, the Lakeland police department said

An 11-year-old Florida boy was arrested this month after a dispute with a substitute teacher over his refusal to participate in the pledge of allegiance at his school, it has emerged.

The student at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, Florida, was arrested on 4 February for creating a disruption in the classroom, the Lakeland police department said in a statement.

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