From the Politics Desk: Here’s what you missed, Sept. 18

U.S-Mexico border is world’s deadliest migration route, earth’s ecosystems are outside safe operating space for humanity, Newsom to decide the fate of a psychedelic bill and catastrophic floods in Libya kill more than 11,000.

Man in water.

The U.S.-Mexico border is the world’s deadliest migration route.

Over 686 migrant deaths occurred at the U.S.-Mexican border in 2022, according to The International Organization for Immigration (IOM). This figure accounts for 50% of the total 1,457 deaths and disappearances recorded throughout the Americas in 2022.

Data from the IOM’s report published on Aug. 24 shows that deaths and disappearances at the U.S.-Mexico border have decreased by 6% from the year prior, but that number is likely inaccurate due to a lack of official data from the Texas border county coroner’s offices and the Mexican search and rescue agency.

The IOM report comes after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a “sweeping package” of border security legislation into law this past June.

Earth’s ecosystems are outside of their “safe operating space for humanity.”

A new study concluded six out of nine “planetary boundaries” are broken due to human pollution and destruction of the natural world. All four of the biological boundaries, which cover the living world, were at or close to the highest risk level.

The planetary boundaries are the limits of key global systems to maintain a healthy planet, such as climate, water and wildlife diversity. Professor Johan Rockström, former director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre that developed the framework for planetary boundaries, said “science and the world at large are really concerned over all the extreme climate events hitting societies across the planet. But what worries us, even more, is the rising signs of dwindling planetary resilience.”

This could make remaining under a global temperature of 1.5 C— the number scientists have determined is the maximum temperature to prevent irreversible climate tipping points— nearly impossible.

Newsom to decide the fate of a psychedelic bill.

A psychedelics bill to decriminalize magic mushrooms and other hallucinogenic substances passed in the California legislature and is now awaiting the final decision by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

On Sept. 7, the California Senate passed Senate Bill 58 that would legalize the possession of psilocybin and psilocin, the hallucinogens found in magic mushrooms; DMT, the psychedelic in the drug ayahuasca; and mescaline, the psychoactive element found in the peyote cactus. The bill also requires that the California Health and Human Services Agency research the therapeutic use of the substances and report to the legislature by the start of 2025.

Newsom has until Oct. 14 to approve or veto the bill, among hundreds of others slated for a decision after the end of this legislative session, according to the L.A. Times.

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Catastrophic floods in Libya kill more than 11,000 people.

Over 11,300 people are dead in Libya after extreme flooding and the overflow of two dams devastated coastal communities.

The Mediterranean storm Daniel sent catastrophic floods to northeast Libya when it hit on Sept. 10. The storm water also collapsed two dams that sent surging water through coastal areas, devastating communities like the eastern city of Derna that faces the worst of the impacts.

Derna’s mayor said that the death toll could reach 20,000 as more than 10,000 people are still missing, according to BBC News.