News & Features

A Warning From Democrats to Trump

Sarah N. Lynch

Democrats raised concerns about Sessions’s acting replacement, Matthew Whitaker, who now oversees Mueller and once argued Mueller’s probe was going too far. They also questioned whether the removal of the top U.S. law enforcement officer was an attempt to undermine or end the investigation. “Congress must take bipartisan action to protect the integrity of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation,” said Steny Hoyer.

The Paris Climate Deal Alliance Is Falling Apart

Sara Stefanini

The alliance of rich, emerging and poor economies that sealed the Paris climate deal is falling apart. In 2015, the world’s top two emitters, the US and China, joined with Brazil, some small island countries and the European Union, led by Germany, France and the UK, to land the agreement. But climate change politics have shifted significantly since then, with two more big tilts this week. Brazil elected a staunch and radical anti-environmentalist president, while Germany’s Angela Merkel confirmed her exit plans

Celebrity Politicians Are Nothing New in America

Angelo Franco

Part of running a campaign is also acting the part, and actors can be pretty good at that. Celebrities can have more talent in front of audiences, generally; and they may be more apt to deal with scandals more deftly, in part because the public assumes that scandals are simply part of their lives. Reagan himself was a skilled performer who used a combination of theatrics and performance in radio and television pseudo-events to basically play the part of a president. Yet, these same useful assets may prove to be a double-edged sword because celebrity, inevitably, brings scrutiny.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Makes Threats Against the Amazon

Fabiano Maisonnave

Both Bolsonaro and Mourão have defended the excesses of Brazil’s military dictatorship, which displaced and killed (intentionally or through diseases) thousands of Indians in the Amazon, amid an effort to build roads and hydroelectric dams in the forest. The armed forces have never recognized any wrongdoing. “If he wins, he will institutionalize genocide,” says Dinamam Tuxá, the national coordinator of Brazil’s Association of Indigenous Peoples, in a phone interview with Climate Home News. 

How Donald Trump Emptied Grocery Shelves of American brands in Silvermine Bay, Hong Kong

Steven Knipp

China is a nation that only an idiot would want to get into a trade war with. Because  China buys everything in  immense bulk and it can easily and quickly — in mere weeks, it seems — replace imported American products with those from a dozen other trade partners: in the UK, the EU, Eastern Europe, South America, and Australia. The painful reality is that America needs China as a bulk buyer of its goods far more than China needs the U.S. as a produce supplier.

What is the U.N. Plan to Help Climate Migrants?

Megan Darby

In a report released this week, the ‘task force on displacement’ called for better data collection and analysis on climate migration trends, and finance to help those hardest hit. “The UN currently lacks a systemwide lead, coordination mechanism, or strategy on disaster displacement, including related to climate change,” wrote the authors, who mostly represent UN agencies. They called on Secretary General Antonio Guterres to develop a response.

The Trump Administration and the Problem of Small-Town Police Abuses

Ian MacDougall

But Jeff Sessions, who took office as attorney general just months after the Justice Department report, has a different view. He considers his predecessors’ reform efforts, particularly via consent decree, to be gross federal overreach that denigrates and demoralizes police. Sessions all but declared that the Justice Department was getting out of the business of meaningful police reform. 

The Lawsuit Against Harvard and Its Alleged Discriminatory Practices

Rae Ann Varona

In its filing, the Justice Department called the scoring system “vague and elusory.” In its press release, it said that the university “scores Asian-American applicants lower on the personal rating than white applicants.” According to the university, the personal rating is meant to reflect on a “wide range of applicant information or applicant information, such as personal essays, which Harvard uses to understand the applicant’s full life story.”

A Victory for Colin Kaepernick

Monique Judge

Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in August 2016—while he was still a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers—as a means of protesting police brutality, the extrajudicial killing of black people by police, and racial inequality. His silent, respectful protest gained momentum as other players across the league and across American sports joined him by kneeling or speaking out against inequality. 

California Introduces Bill to Curb Bullying, Harassment in Schools

AJP

— Legislation by Assembly member David Chiu (D-San Francisco) to prevent bullying and harassment in California schools passed the Assembly floor on Monday, August 27, on concurrence and now heads to Gov. Brown. Assembly Bill 2291 would require the California Department of Education (CDE) to establish guidelines to prevent bullying and disseminate online training modules to local educators.

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