Thursday, September 21, 2023

Welcome to the May issue of The Highlight

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

About a year ago, the government began sending payments of hundreds of dollars a month, with no strings attached, to a large number of American parents. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the expanded child tax credit had an immediate and striking effect on the economic security of millions of children, lifting them briefly out of poverty – until payments stopped at the end of last year.

The abrupt end to America’s successful experiment to help families and children is just one of the national conversations we explore in this month’s issue of Highlight.

One of the most pressing stories of our time is the future of legal abortion; The Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion this month has left many Americans pondering the fall of Roe v. Wade and the effective end of abortion in about half of the US states. Experts say drug abortion will become the best option for those who want to terminate their pregnancy in the early weeks, in the privacy of their home, sometimes without ever visiting a clinic — turning pregnant people into both patients and caregivers. All of these developments, Anna North writes in our cover story, are sparking a schism within the anti-abortion movement, with a new, more radical guard preparing for the next battles just as the movement achieves one of its greatest victories ever.

For centuries, butterfly collectors – also known as lepidopterists – haunted their quarries with standard equipment: vials of alcohol, cyanide stones, metal pins, jars, a butterfly net. As scientists begin to document what appears to be an alarming number of insect deaths, many are questioning that strategy. Is it just time to take advantage of technological advancements and capture butterflies with binoculars and cameras?

Herbal medicine has a long history in the Appalachians, and despite the increasing popularity of plant supplements in American medicine cabinets — think echinacea, ginseng, and St. John’s wort — those who grow and forage native herbs in the Appalachians are at the end of an era. We sent a reporter to the forests of Kentucky to learn more about herbal medicine and how overfishing and population decline threaten this long-standing practice.

And finally, we look at the rise of the emo muscle guys from our biggest movies and TV shows. From John Cena to Jason Momoa to Dave Bautista, this new trio of thick himbo friends embraces our growing understanding that men can cry too. So does this new wave of anhedonic Adonis represent a substantial break with the past?

Sean Alonzo Harris for cafemadrid

The profound impact of giving a little more money to American families

Six months of payments lifted millions of children out of poverty. Then they stopped.

By Marin Cogan

A blue butterfly specimen is pinned to a yellow sign.  A small, white label below the butterfly reads Moreno Dibius Peru.

Amanda Northrop/cafemadrid

To Kill or Not to Kill: Butterflying During the “Bug Apocalypse”

Is it still ethical to collect butterflies for science?

By Joanna Thompson

Beth Hoeckel for cafemadrid/Getty Images

The Rise of the Sadboi Great Man (next Wednesday)

From John Cena to Jason Momoa, our most muscular movie stars are also increasingly becoming our most vulnerable.

By Emily St. James

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images

The anti-abortion movement is about to win. Even they are not ready for what is to come. (Coming Thursday)

The mail-roe landscape will look like never before.

By Anna North

Stacy Kranitz for cafemadrid

In Appalachia, a race to preserve the practice of plant healing (coming Friday)

Even as ginseng, St. John’s wort, and other herbs grow in popularity, the region struggles to keep its age-old practice of herbal medicine alive for a new generation.

By Alex Schechter


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