Voices, The Peoples News No. 2023-09-08

Voices, The Peoples News

September 8, 2023
Published by Jedi Selman Since March 2000 to Inform and Educate
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“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate,
tireless minority keen to set brushfires in people’s minds.”
– Samuel Adams ~
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This daily Voices, The Peoples News is posted through the blog function of www.MPEN-Ohio.net

# Border / Immigration / Migrants
Texas officers gain access to Rio Grande’s Fronton Island for border security efforts: Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham has authorized the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Rangers working through Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security mission, Operation Lone Star, access to Fronton Island in the Rio Grande River

# Corporations / Industry
This US factory is actually Chinese state-controlled: As US lawmakers grow concerned over countries, including China, buying US land, many states have considered or already passed legislation to ban or restrict foreign entities from owning land.

# Energy / Pipelines / Mining
Oil Refineries Are Leaking Cancer-Causing Benzene Into Residential Neighborhoods: The EPA’s benzene monitoring and control program has failed to rein in the worst offenders. Between April 2022 and March 2023, air monitors around the 12 oil refineries, seven in Texas, four in Louisiana and one in Iowa, detected benzene between the facilities and surrounding neighborhoods at levels above the public health limit, which is supposed to trigger fossil fuel companies to take cleanup action.

Despite Global Pledge, US Still Pouring Public Money Into Fossil Fuel Projects Abroad: Amid a worsening climate emergency and preparations for a pair of United Nations summits to tackle it, an analysis released Wednesday called out multiple countries including the United States for continuing to dump a collective $4.4 billion into fossil fuel projects abroad after pledging to stop such public financing

California’s Salton Sea Eyed for Lithium Extraction With New Tech: With the rising demand for lithium during the clean energy transition, the Salton Sea has become an attractive location for major energy companies. While frontline communities are cautiously optimistic about the economic potential, they also remain wary about health, water, and environmental issues.

Maine Tries to Take Back Its Utilities: A ballot measure would convert two investor-owned power companies into a public nonprofit. Unionized utility workers aren’t sold. Investor-owned utilities (IOUs) are hardly known for being adored by the public. Even so, Maine has two of the least popular in the Northeast.

New law creates more transparency on utilities’ political spending: Maine has become the third state this year to pass a law tightening reporting requirements for public utilities funding political activities, such as lobbying and campaign advertising. Supporters say the millions of dollars being spent by electric utilities in a referendum effort this fall underscore the importance of added transparency.

Maine wants to take over its private electric utilities. Could other states follow? Citizens want reliable energy and sustainable infrastructure, at low rates. Who can best offer that, the public or private sector?

Private Equity Exposed for Profiting From Fossil Fuels and Disasters They Cause: “Firms like Blackstone should be ashamed of this sinister investment strategy that contributes to catastrophe and rebuilds after it strikes.” In yet another instance of disaster capitalism, private equity companies like Blackstone have found two ways to profit from the climate emergency: first by investing in fossil fuel infrastructure and then by buying up restoration companies that clean up after increasingly extreme weather events.

Big Energy Climate Scams Dump Toxic Pollutants on Small Towns: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved permits to allow a Chevron refinery on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to burn a cancer-causing boat fuel ingredient using a process the fossil fuel industry refers to as “chemical recycling,” but what environmental health advocates call burning plastic.

# Environment / Climate / Interior / Infrastructure An internal watchdog found that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is failing to enforce federal pollution limits on cancer-causing pollution emitted from refineries, including nine located in Texas.
EPA’s inspector general says agency isn’t enforcing benzene pollution rules at refineries in Texas, nationally https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.texastribune.org/2023/09/07/epa-inspector-general-texas-benzene-air-pollution/*:*:text=EPA’s*20inspector*20general*20says*20agency,refineries*20**C20including*20some*20in*20Texas__;I34lJSUlJeKAlCUlJSU!!On18fmf1aQ!2Mla1GIF99tYXxPZzgsi7FJpWprxAiYhkWnJSs2kiGGIiM8Ugj3l0IrXrmyTBFe5I21WXvirvAGSUYGfaQ3qmzSUJUFqE1Cd$

# Food / Farming / GMOs / Chemicals
End Biden’s Food-Stamp Expansion: How President Biden’s Unlawful Food Stamp Expansion is Costing Taxpayers and Consumers Billions. It has increased grocery prices and inflation, while providing an incentive to stay out of the workforce. Food stamp spending fuels inflation, driving up grocery prices for all Americans.

# General News
Trump and His Adult Sons Are Planning a Dinner Party From Hell to Raise Money for His Alleged Coconspirators: The candlelit Mar-a-Lago dinner is expected to raise up to $1 million to pay his codefendants’ legal bills.

# Gov / Politics
Adams,” Cost of migrants will destroy New York City.”: Republicans have seized on his comments, to use against his party. New York City Mayor Eric Adams made some of his strongest comments yet on his concerns about the unending flow of migrants coming to the city, warning it will upend neighborhoods and continue to strain resources. “Never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an ending to. I don’t see an ending to this,” Adams said Wednesday night.

“You’re as Sick as Your Secrets”: Will Eric Adams Be the Mayor Who Releases 9/11 Docs? As the 22nd anniversary of the attacks nears, Adams is facing increasing pressure to reveal what Rudy Giuliani’s administration knew about the toxic situation at Ground Zero.

Mitch McConnell’s Health Scare and the Future of the GOP: Politico’s Jonathan Martin explains why the Senate minority leader is unlikely to give up power—and what may be “his final battle.” The GOP leadership team rallied around him Tuesday and pledged to support him through the end of 2024, but there are growing questions about whether McConnell would remain leader if Republicans take back the majority in the next election.

Mitch McConnell Faces Mutiny As GOP Senators Call For Delayed Leadership Elections: Why There Won’t Be Any Mutiny Against Mitch McConnell: Senators have a lot to say about McConnell’s health. Let’s read between the lines.

GOP set for internal fight over Ukraine between House, Senate: McCarthy Plots a Strategy on Stopgap Spending Bill and Ukraine Aid. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is reportedly planning to leave out additional Ukraine aid from a stopgap spending bill that Congress must pass this month, a tactic that would threaten the Biden administration’s requested money for the war-torn nation and could set up a clash with the White House and Senate.

Anti-abortion legal strategy revives Comstock moral purity laws of late 1800s: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law a measure prohibiting public entities from  interfering with reproductive and gender-affirming care access. It was the latest legal challenge to abortion access to lean on the Comstock Act of 1873, federal statutes that ban the mailing of anything “obscene, lewd, lascivious” or considered morally impure, including abortifacients or abortion-related materials.

A scary anti-abortion strategy: Some of the most successful abortion opponents in the country have a bizarre new strategy, and it involves limiting interstate travel. Mary Ziegler explains how some Texas jurisdictions are trying to make it a crime to transport anyone to get an abortion without violating the Constitution.

Biden And Modi Are Looking To Tighten US-India Ties As Concerns Over China Rise: Rossow said Modi would like to see the Biden administration put greater focus on the Indian Ocean region as it goes about recalibrating its Indo-Pacific policy. India’s concern is that “the United States is overly focused on Taiwan, South China Sea, East China Sea, Pacific Islands,” Rossow said

DeSantis was ‘apoplectic’ about debate strategy leak: The Florida governor has apparently been carping about a top strategist supporting his presidential campaign. The focus of his ire was a pre-GOP debate strategy leaked which made the case for DeSantis to go after his rivals while defending Donald Trump so as to not alienate his fans.

GOP Privately Mulls Ditching the Term ‘Pro-Life’: Americans’ feelings toward the terms ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ have shifted dramatically since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Republicans on Capitol Hill are privately exploring a shift in messaging away from the term ‘pro-life’ as new polling shows voters souring on the party’s abortion positions, NBC News reported Thursday.

# Law Enforcment
Philly Cop Charged With Murder After Point-Blank Shooting: The case has incited protests, particularly after it was revealed that police had given a false account of what had happened.

Police robots put on permanent patrol at Singapore airport: Singapore’s main international airport is going ahead with the permanent deployment of police robots following a successful trial of the technology. The wheel-based machines are equipped with cameras, sensors, a display panel, and a siren, according to local news outlet Straits Times.

Police departments from Los Angeles to Singapore are experimenting with robotic dogs, ostensibly deployed to assist in non-violent activities like crowd control and wireless surveillance. But the true scope and implication of robotic policing is exceedingly hard to pin down. Companies that manufacture the robots keep precise numbers close to the vest, McCullom notes, and police departments are similarly guarded about the technology they are acquiring.

Prosecutor Tries to Hand Card to Cops During DUI Bust: Joseph Ruddy apparently attempted to leverage his job during the interaction with police.  But he apparently was under control enough to be waiting with his U.S. Justice Department business card in hand. “What are you trying to hand me?” an officer asked. “You realize when they pull my body-worn camera footage and they see this, this is going to go really bad.”

He Fled a Traffic Stop in Louisiana. Now He’s in Prison for Life: After 12 years behind bars, Markus Lanieux thought he had a deal for his release. Then Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry filed a legal challenge that could derail hope for those imprisoned under the state’s “three strikes” sentencing rules.

A Sheriff in Louisiana Has Been Destroying Records of Deputies’ Alleged Misconduct for Years: A lawsuit brought by the family of an autistic teen who died while in custody found the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office destroyed the disciplinary records of a deputy involved in the case.

Nearly half of all sheriffs in Louisiana are violating public records laws: The finding builds on earlier reporting, which found records were destroyed in the case of a 16-year-old boy who died while in custody of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. JPSO sought search warrants for records in order to dig deeper into the teenager’s past.

Actions of Deputy Who Dragged Woman by Her Hair Deemed “Reasonable and Acceptable”: Video showed the officer, who has been named in at least nine excessive force lawsuits, grabbing the woman by her hair and slamming her to the ground. The sheriff now says the actions were justified and the woman is “looking for a paycheck.”

Racist Shootings “Don’t Happen in a Vacuum”:  Bishop Barber on DeSantis, Trump & Those Who Spread Hate. As federal law enforcement opens an investigation into the Jacksonville, Florida, shooting where a white gunman killed three Black people at a Dollar General as a possible hate crime and act of domestic violent extremism, we speak with civil rights leader Bishop William Barber about the increasing number of racist attacks in America fueled by racism.

White Supremacy and “White Innocence” were behind the killings in Jacksonville: Philosopher George Yancy responds to the murder of three Black people in Jacksonville, Florida, by a white supremacist. Yancy’s philosophical emphasis on the insidious ways in which white racism operates in the social and political DNA of the U.S. forces us to think more deeply and in newly contextualized ways about the horrible killing that took place this August in Jacksonville, Florida.

# Legal / DOJ
Jurors Convict Trump Pal Peter Navarro After Just 4 Hours: A federal jury on Thursday dropped the ax on Peter Navarro, finding the ex-Donald Trump adviser and MAGA loyalist guilty of a pair of contempt of Congress charges after just four hours of deliberations. He’s now facing a sentence of up to two years behind bars.

# Medical / Health
8 Types of Plastic Discovered in People Who Had Heart Surgery: n a pilot experiment, the researchers collected heart tissue samples from 15 people during cardiac surgeries, as well as pre- and post-operation blood specimens from half of the participants. Then the team analyzed the samples with laser direct infrared imaging and identified 20 to 500 micrometer-wide particles made from eight types of plastic, including polyethylene terephthalate, polyvinyl chloride and poly(methyl methacrylate).

# Medical Science
Humanized Kidneys Grown in Pig Embryos for First Time Ever: Scientists have grown humanised kidneys in pigs, raising the prospect of human organs being grown inside animals. The research involved creating human-pig chimeric embryos containing a combination of human and pig cells. The kidneys the scientists generated weren’t intended to be transplanted into patients, but Izpisúa Belmonte says the new research “hints that the ultimate goal of developing human organs in other mammals might be possible.”

# Planetary
Earth’s Core Appears to Be Wrapped in an Ancient, Unexpected Structure: The most high-resolution map yet of the underlying geology beneath Earth’s Southern Hemisphere reveals something we previously never knew about, an ancient ocean floor that may wrap around the core. This thin but dense layer exists around 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) below the surface, according to a study published in April. That depth is where the molten, metallic outer core meets the rocky mantle above it. This is the core-mantle boundary (CMB).

# Social
States withhold cooling aid for the poor as heat gets deadlier: The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, distributes roughly $4 billion a year to states to help residents pay for air conditioning and heating and equipment repairs. 16 states, including some with significant heat risk, not a single household received money to pay cooling costs from 2001 through 2021, according to E&E News’ analysis of federal records. The program, run by the Department of Health and Human Services, has focused instead on providing heating assistance.

# Space
NASA’s completes Oxygen-Generating Experiment MOXIE  (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment): Riding with the Perseverance rover, the instrument has proved to be a viable technology for astronauts on Mars to produce oxygen for fuel and breathing.

China publishes new datasets obtained by Mars, lunar probes: China published two new batches of data on Monday, obtained by its Mars probe and lunar probe. The scientific data obtained by three scientific payloads including a high-definition camera. Tianwen 1, consisting of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, entered the Mars orbit on Feb 10, 2021, becoming the country’s first probe to orbit the planet.

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