The Point, April 22, 2020: The Rights of Nature Movement Asks: Should Rivers, Mountains, Forests And Glaciers Have The Same Rights As People?


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• WUFT News: On the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, is it time to consider rights for nature? “The so-called Rights of Nature movement asks: Should we view ecosystems not as property but as entities with the legal right to exist and flourish? Should rivers, mountains, forests and glaciers be considered legal persons, in the same way that corporations have won many of the rights assigned to people? “

• Fresh Take Florida: Floridians Allowed Felons To Vote But Adoptions May Not Come Easy. “Many Americans say felons have served their time and deserve reintegration into society. Others who oppose the restoration of rights argue that people who committed crimes should not be afforded the same rights and privileges of law-abiding citizens. So, the question is now: If former felons can cast a ballot, should they be allowed to foster or adopt a child?”

• Gainesville Sun ($): First Alachua County COVID-19 death reported. “A 67-year-old woman is the first Alachua County resident to die of COVID-19.”

• Suwannee Democrat: Ninth person dies with COVID-19 in Suwannee County; fourth from Hamilton County confirmed to have virus. “In the health department’s Tuesday evening update, it shows a 78-year-old female has died. Other casualties with the coronavirus include an 80-year-old male, three 74-year-old males, a 79-year-old male, a 77-year-old female and a 62-year-old female.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville’s GRACE Marketplace Trying To Find Housing For Homeless Residents To Dodge Coronavirus Outbreak. “GRACE Marketplace has raised over $10,000 in an effort to help residents find housing, changed the spacing of beds and converted all meals to take-out in order to abide by the social distancing regulations recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.”

• WJCT: State Nursing Home Response Team Based In Clay County, Where COVID Cases Continue To Spike. “Nursing homes and other so-called long-term care facilities in Northeast Florida are receiving help from a state emergency team to curb COVID-19 outbreaks.”

• WUFT News: ‘Mental Health Firefighters’: A Mental Health Counselor On The Impacts Of Coronavirus. “WUFT News recently spoke with a mental health counselor for Meridian Behavioral Healthcare about its mobile response program and how people should be thinking about their mental health during these challenging times.”

• WUFT News: From The Front Lines Podcast. “Dr. Rosa West, a licensed mental health counselor with the University of Florida’s Counseling and Wellness Center, discusses what you can do at home to take care of your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

• WUFT News: Marion County Public Schools Continue Distance Learning. “The last day of school for Marion County Public Schools will be June 1.”

Around the state today

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Report: Florida is seeing $522 million in coronavirus-related crop losses. “The crop losses to Florida’s agricultural industry — the state’s second-largest economic driver — have been swift, staggering and devastating.”

• WFSU: Doctors And Hospitals Call For Restarting Surgeries, DeSantis Says He’s Considering It. “Florida hospital and physician groups are asking Governor Ron DeSantis to allow them to restart surgeries. They say the reason DeSantis suspended the practices via executive order—to preserve medical supplies—has passed.”

• NWF Daily News ($): Unincorporated Bay County beaches reopening Friday, Panama City Beach expected to follow suit. “Beaches in the county have been closed for weeks to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

• Miami Herald ($): More than half of Krome detainees have been exposed to the coronavirus. “Eight staff members have tested positive for the virus and that 350 detainees, whom the government has identified as being exposed to the illness are being quarantined together.”

• WLRN: South Florida’s Spring A Steamy, Record-Breaking Mess. Hurricane Season Not Looking Good, Either. “South Florida has been sizzling in recent weeks, with a slew of new record high temperatures, and a record for the number of records being smashed. There’s something else heating up: the ocean. And that could be bad for hurricane season.”

• WMFE: For Small Businesses Applying For Emergency Loans, Timing Is Critical. “Last week, the state issued one thousand emergency loans to Florida companies before running out of money. More than thirty seven thousand businesses applied for help.”

• Miami Herald ($): Florida asks VA for medical help at nursing homes that have lost staffers to COVID-19. “Staffing shortages at Florida’s community nursing homes are so dire that the state has asked the federal Veterans Health Administration to provide assistance because of the emergency.”

• WUFT News: Florida Governor’s Task Force Lays Out Phases Of State’s Reopening Timeline. “Phase one – the stage Florida is currently in – is about waiting for Florida to reopen and inform the public on hospitality progress… Phase two will go into effect when DeSantis lifts the stay-at-home order. The task force will then promote in-state travel and vacations, with hotels and restaurants being the target industries.”

From NPR News

• National: Why You May Get An Email About COVID-19 From The Census Bureau

• National: Amazon Workers Stage New Protests Over Warehouse Coronavirus Safety

• National: Homeless Families Face High Hurdles Homeschooling Their Kids

• World: The Population Living In Acute Hunger May Double This Year Due To Coronavirus

• World: New Report Notes Rise In Coronavirus-Linked Anti-Semitic Hate Speech

• Health: NIH Panel Recommends Against Drug Combination Promoted By Trump For COVID-19

• Health: What Happens If U.S. Reopens Too Fast? Documents Show Federal Coronavirus Projections

• Health: Nurse Of Non-COVID-19 Patients On Her Life As An Essential Worker Now

About Jasmine Dahlby

Jasmine is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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