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"Poverty and lack of knowledge must be challenged" -- Russell Simmons, American music entrepreneur and philanthropist.

* This New Yorker piece lays out a case for having national chains take over American health care, thereby ensuring consistent quality. Marianne Udow-Phillips of the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation in Ann Arbor wrote in Bridge recently about the positive effects from health-care consolidation in Michigan:

* Plastic waste isn't just a problem for the world's oceans. The Great Lakes suffer with it, too, "led" by Lake Erie:

* Maps showing the state or regulatory play on "fracking" -- the process of fracturing geologic formations to help release natural gas or oil:

* Michiganians, and the rest of planet Earth, should get accustomed to a new normal when it comes to summer temperatures and extreme weather, argues a group of scientists studying climate trends:

* A quick overview of what other states are doing on performance-based funding for higher education. Performance-based funding has come up as an issue in Michigan, as Bridge reported last winter.

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