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Tuesday, May 21st

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Plastics Aren’t Just Polluting — They’re Making Climate Change Worse

Plastics adding to climate changeBy now, the headlines about dead whales washing ashore with pounds of plastic in their belly are commonplace. Photos of bird carcasses bursting with bottle caps and other plastic detritus are seared into our memory. But plastic’s effects on nature doesn’t stop there ― it’s also making climate change worse.

A new report published this week by the Center for International Environmental Law details the greenhouse gas emissions from each step in the lifecycle of plastics: from fossil fuel extraction, transport and refining to the production of consumer goods, the managing of plastic waste, and the proliferation of trash in the oceans. The study authors warn that, if demand for plastics continues to rise, the material’s contribution to climate change will grow significantly.

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Chelsea Manning says she will not comply with new grand jury subpoena

Chelsea Manning refuses subpoenaFormer U.S. Army soldier Chelsea Manning said on Thursday she will not comply with a fresh grand jury subpoena to testify about her contacts with WikiLeaks and will ask a federal court to quash it.

“Attempting to coerce me with a grand jury subpoena is not going to work. I will not cooperate with this or any other grand jury,” Manning said before entering the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, for a hearing.

Earlier in May, Manning was freed after spending 62 days in a Virginia jail after being found in contempt for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

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Trump pardons fraudster Conrad Black after glowing biography

Trump pardons fraudster Conrad BlackDonald Trump has pardoned Conrad Black, the former media mogul who owned the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator before being jailed for fraud, shortly after he wrote a book praising the US president.

Black, a Canadian-born British citizen, was once known for his extravagant lifestyle as he ran an international newspaper empire that included the Chicago Sun-Times and the Jerusalem Post. But he ended up serving three and a half years in prison after he was convicted in 2007 of siphoning off millions of dollars from the sale of newspapers owned by the company he controlled.

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Trump Sees the Political Value of War. He's Wrong.

Iran War may be politically good for TrumpPresident Trump is frustrated with some of his top advisers over the threat posed by Iran, saying hard-line aides could rush the U.S. into a military struggle with the Islamic republic and break his campaign pledge to avoid costly foreign wars, according to The Washington Post.

Several U.S. officials told the Post that Trump prefers a diplomatic off-ramp to deescalate tensions between Washington and Tehran, which have escalated amid what military and intelligence officials have deemed to be credible threats against U.S. interests in the Gulf region.

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Facebook bans Israeli firm for pushing disinformation campaign in Africa

Facebook bans Israeli firm for disinformation on Africa

Facebook banned an Israeli firm from its platform after it was found to have mounted an effort to use a network of fake accounts to influence politics across West Africa, the social media company announced on Thursday.

Facebook said in a blog post that it believes the Archimedes Group was behind many of the 265 pages and accounts it shut down on Thursday.

“It has repeatedly violated our misrepresentation and other policies, including by engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, wrote of the Archimedes Group. “This organization and all its subsidiaries are now banned from Facebook, and it has been issued a cease and desist letter.”

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Missouri Senate Passes Bill Banning Abortion After 8 Weeks

Missisiippi passes restrictive abortion billMissouri’s Republican-led Senate has now passed a bill to ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.

Senators approved the legislation 24-10 early Thursday with just hours left before a Friday deadline to pass bills. It needs at least one more vote of approval in the GOP-led House before it can go to Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who voiced support for it on Wednesday.

Parson called on state senators to take action, joining a movement of GOP-dominated state legislatures emboldened by the possibility that a more conservative Supreme Court could overturn its landmark ruling legalizing the procedure. Their vote came only hours after Alabama’s governor signed the most stringent abortion ban in the nation on Wednesday, making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases.

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Trump Immigration Plan Emphasizes Immigrants’ Skills Over Family Ties

Jared Kushner worked on new immigration planPresident Trump on Thursday will unveil a plan to overhaul parts of the nation’s immigration system that would impose new security measures at the border and significantly increase the educational and skills requirements for people allowed to migrate to the United States.

The proposal, senior administration officials said on Wednesday, would vastly scale back the system of family-based immigration that for decades has allowed immigrants to bring their spouses and children to live with them, the officials said. In its place, the new plan would provide opportunities for immigrants who have specific skills or job offers to work in the United States, provided they can demonstrate English proficiency and educational attainment, and pass a civics exam.

TVNL Comment:  Trump's GOP claims to be the party of family values. Yeah, right.

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White House says Congress has no 'legitimate role' in investigating Trump, rejects document demands

WH says House cannot investigate a PresidentThe White House told lawmakers Wednesday that Congress doesn't have the power to carry out a "pseudo law enforcement investigation" of President Donald Trump, rejecting demands for information about his efforts to thwart the special counsel investigation that clouded the first two years of his administration.

The refusal came in a letter Wednesday from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. Cipollone said the administration would not cooperate with what it sees as an unprecedented overreach by politically motivated lawmakers seeking to replicate an already exhaustive and concluded special counsel investigation into Russia and the president's conduct.

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Alabama governor signs controversial abortion ban bill into law

Ivy signs Alabama abortion bill into law

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a near-total abortion ban bill designed to challenge more than 40 years of federal abortion protection under Roe v. Wade into law Wednesday.

The bill, which makes it a felony for a doctor to perform or attempt an abortion during any stage of pregnancy, was approved by the state's Senate late Tuesday night after a contentious floor debate.

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