Virginia

Regional News • Americas • United States
Virginia's Senate votes to end the death penalty
Virginia's Senate votes to end the death penalty
Credit: By Martin Kraft - Own work / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Virginia is one of the US states with the most executions, but that could soon come to an end. The Virginia Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would end the death penalty.

Twenty-one senators voted in favor of the bill, 17 senators against, which is in line with the majority of the Democrat-controlled Senate. Now the House of Representatives is also expected to confirm the bill, where the Democrats also have a majority over the Republicans. Democratic Governor Ralph Northam has also said he supports the bill.

Science • Nature
Seagrass reforested on Virginia's coast
A seagrass meadow
A seagrass meadow Credit: NOAA Photo Library (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The restored seagrass beds in the sea off the coast of the US state of Virginia ensure a rapid recovery of the ecosystem. A research team sowed about 70 million seagrass seeds off the coast of Virginia, which developed into seagrass beds of about 3.612 hectares.

In the 1930s, a hurricane and plant disease wiped out the seagrass, but now the important ecosystem, which is home to marine life, but also removes large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere and cleans the ocean of pollutants, has been successfully restored.

The cultivation of the seagrass beds is not yet complete, but it is already clear that the rebuilding of seagrass can also help other regions to regenerate the coastal ecosystem.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Ghislaine Maxwell court records to be unsealed, judge rules
Ghislaine Maxwell
Ghislaine Maxwell Credit: Ghislaine Maxwell (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

US District Judge Loretta Preska has ruled to unseal case documents involving Ghislaine Maxwell. The documents, which relate to a 2015 defamation case filed by Virginia Giuffre, also include a deposition from Maxwell in which she denies having any knowledge of Epstein's scheme to recruit underage girls for sex.

Maxwell's legal team was given a week to appeal Judge Preska's decision.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Richmond Statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis torn down
Jefferson Davis Monument on Monument Avenue, Richmond, Virginia
Jefferson Davis Monument on Monument Avenue, Richmond, Virginia Credit: Billy Hathorn / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Virginia has been torn down by protestors on Wednesday night. It is the third Confederate monument to be taken down by protestors in Richmond, following the Christopher Columbus statue in Byrd Park and the statue of Confederate leader Williams Carter Wickham in Monroe Park.