You wouldn’t kill a pigeon.

Happening in the world: Australia had been set to put down a pigeon thought to have crossed the Pacific and thus breached the nation’s stringent quarantine rules—until today, when a revelation about the authenticity of the pigeon’s US leg tag forced the government to call off the execution. Australian authorities now believe that “Joe,” as the pigeon has been named, is a local bird and does not pose any biosecurity risk. Joe thus lives to see another day. (BBC)

Happening in the US: The US attorney’s Manhattan Office announced yesterday that Toyota is set to pay a $180 million fine for a series of violations from 2005 to 2015 of the Clean Air Act. Cars sold at this time violated public health standards and operated with known defects on parts controlling tailpipe emissions, the attorney’s office alleges. Toyota is not contesting the fine. It will be the largest civil fine ever charged for a violation of emissions regulations. (NYT)

Happening in NYC: Even with a pandemic raging, more high school seniors graduated in the Class of 2020 than in the Class of 2019, the state Education Department revealed yesterday. Part of the increase, the department suggests, was due to the relaxed graduation requirements made in light of the pandemic disrupting the final several months of the 2019-2020 academic year. Some advocacy groups, however, are arguing that the increase masks a net loss in the quality of education and student readiness brought on by the pandemic. (Gothamist)

Happening in our community: How can science effect change in a divided and “disrupted” democracy? A talk by the Earth Institute titled “How to Build Science Engagement in a Disrupted Democracy” seeks to answer this question in a talk between three science communication scholars today from 1 pm to 2 pm. To learn more, click here.

Image of an American pigeon in America (aka not Joe) via Bwog Archives