Tougher gun laws not enough to stop mass shootings

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Passing laws to make it more difficult for people to purchase guns in the U.S. would help to reduce mass shootings. But there are already 400 million guns in the U.S., which is more than the country’s population, and so it is extremely naive to think that new gun laws would be enough to make shootings stop. Anyone who wants a gun will still be able to get one quite easily on the black market after new laws are passed.

In addition to passing reasonable gun laws, we also need to change our culture. Until that happens, mass shootings will continue.

We need to teach nonviolent conflict resolution in every school in the U.S. Children grow up in violent homes, live in violent neighborhoods, attend violent schools, and are exposed to violent video games and entertainment every day of their lives, and then we wonder why some of them turn out to be violent. Some of these children are mentally ill and most of them never learn anything about how to resolve conflict peacefully. Throw in a lack of hope, and we have an unhealthy mix of conditions that can lead to violent behavior for a few mentally ill people.

We need to have a better safety net and social services so that all children will have hope and can grow up with the support they need to thrive and become productive members of society. Health care, dental care, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, counseling, school breakfast and lunch, college, trade school, public transportation, and elder care should all be free and well-financed through higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Also, community block grants and other innovative financial support should be distributed equitably to create and support businesses and employment opportunities, especially in low income areas.

Given enough time and financial resources, these support systems can work to significantly reduce violence in the U.S. It is in the best interests of everyone to commit the resources to ensure that they do work.

The Guardian newspaper is asking people to submit their ideas about what should be done to reduce mass shootings in the U.S.:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/may/25/mass-shootings-us-uvalde-texas-guardian-readers

These gun laws would reduce gun violence, but they would not save 15,000 lives:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/25/opinion/texas-shooting-gun-control.html

Coronavirus kills 1 million Americans

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One million Americans have died because of the coronavirus:

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2022-05-16/one-million-us-covid-19-deaths

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/region/united-states

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/15/1-million-us-covid-deaths-effects

https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/12/politics/covid-global-summit-white-house-congress-funding/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/interactive/2022/1-million-covid-deaths-us/

Americans talk about what they lost:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/13/podcasts/the-daily/one-million-death-coronavirus.html

It did not have to be so devastating:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/05/09/million-american-covid-deaths-preventable/

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/12/meatpacking-industry-trump-downplay-covid-threat

Coronavirus cases increased 736% in two weeks in Riverside County:

https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/health/2022/05/13/covid-19-riverside-county-cases-skyrocket-736-just-two-weeks/9764628002/

As of May 25, new cases, hospitalizations and deaths have all increased substantially in the U.S.:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/covid-cases.html

Everyone should wear masks indoors when shopping, using public transportation or visiting government buildings including schools:

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-05-25/as-coronavirus-cases-climb-should-i-change-my-behavior

Biden, Trump administrations spy on journalist

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In an egregious violation of the ethical protocol separating the government and the press, both the Biden and Trump presidential administrations spied on a Guardian journalist:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/may/14/joe-biden-guardian-reporter-subpoena

This spying is inexcusable, and it reinforces the notion that journalists must recognize and embrace the adversarial relationship between the news media and the White House, regardless of who is occupying it. Joe Biden is not the news media’s friend or partner. The press must maintain its professional distance and defend its watchdog role.

https://cpj.org/reports/2022/01/night-and-day-the-biden-administration-and-the-press/

https://www.c-span.org/classroom/document/?8319

Trump team plans coup if he loses in 2024

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Wanna-be fascist dictator Trump and his sleazy henchmen plan to use a coup to seize power if he loses the 2024 presidential election:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/05/11/john-eastman-emails-2024-trump-coup/

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/10/eastman-emails-pennsylvania-legislators-biden-00031668

Update: Psycho Trump said during the Jan. 6 domestic terrorism at the Capitol building that he supported hanging Vice President Pence.

Pulitzer Prizes announced for journalism

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The Los Angeles Times won a Pulitzer in photography:

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2022-05-09/times-photographer-marcus-yam-wins-pulitzer-prize

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-08-16/photos-fear-and-uncertainty-loom-over-kabul-as-the-taliban-takes-charge-in-afghanistan

https://www.pulitzer.org/news/2022-pulitzer-prize-announcement

https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/09/media/pulitzer-prize-winners-2021/index.html

A special citation was announced for the journalists of Ukraine “for their courage, endurance and commitment to truthful reporting during Vladimir Putin’s ruthless invasion of their country and his propaganda war in Russia.”

Two brave journalists report the truth on popular Russian website

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Journalists defied their Russian website’s censorship rules and reported the truth about the brutal war in Ukraine:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/09/russian-journalists-pro-kremlin-site-lenta-anti-war-articles

They described Putin as a “pitiful paranoid dictator.”

The stories can be accessed on a free archive site:

https://web.archive.org/web/20220509065825/https://lenta.ru/

Google Translate can convert the stories into many languages for reading online.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin is fully responsible for a meaningless and bloody war against Ukraine,” the journalists write. “Guided by the far-fetched prepositions about the threats of Russia, the head of state plunged two neighboring people into a war in which there will be no winners – only the losers. The President’s decision will cost the country with isolation, poverty and rollback in the very 90s that Putin loves to scare Russians so much. Over more than 20 years of his reign, the head of state turned into a dictator, who began to believe in a conspiracy theory and lost his connection with reality. Right now, Putin deprives the future of millions of Russians and takes the lives of innocent Ukrainians. Vladimir Putin must immediately stop the war and resign.”

Update: The two brave journalists discuss why they risked their lives to report the truth:

https://www.cnn.com/videos/media/2022/05/14/russian-journalists-criticize-putin-ac360-vpx.cnn

Nearly all of plastic waste in US goes to landfills

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Just 5% of plastic waste is recycled:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/may/04/us-recycling-plastic-waste

While plastic waste per person has increased significantly in recent decades in the U.S., recycling decreased in 2021:

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-plastic-recycling-rate-drops-close-5-report-2022-05-04/

https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/how-californias-failed-recycling-program-has-hurt-local-consumers/

There is a proposal to increase recycling in California:

https://www.abc10.com/article/news/local/california/recycling-refunds-could-double-in-california/

https://californiaglobe.com/articles/calrecycle-announces-330-million-proposal-to-increase-recycling-double-current-consumer-refunds/

https://www.capradio.org/articles/2022/04/15/interview-california-set-to-get-new-bottle-recycling-program/

https://calrecycle.ca.gov/

Reporters Without Borders releases world press freedom rankings

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Russia, with very little press freedom, is ranked near the bottom. Northern European nations ranked at the top, as usual:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2022/may/03/record-28-countries-rated-very-bad-in-press-freedom-index

https://rsf.org/en/rsfs-2022-world-press-freedom-index-new-era-polarisation

Journalists in the U.S. are attacked frequently:

https://www.rtdna.org/article/more_than_1_in_5_tv_news_directors_say_their_journalists_were_attacked_in_2021

Female journalists suffer from widespread harassment in the U.S.:

https://www.niemanlab.org/2022/05/women-journalists-see-harassment-as-part-of-the-job-a-new-study-finds/

Russians are using VPNs to access real news produced outside of Russia:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/05/06/russia-vpn-putin-censorship-disinformation/

California endorses weak plan to address climate change

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In a shocking betrayal of its commitment to reduce carbon emissions, California’s Air Resources Board has endorsed a weak option to update its climate plan:

https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/nation/california/2022/04/28/california-prepares-controversial-new-climate-strategy/9571826002/

https://calmatters.org/environment/2022/04/california-climate-change-strategy/

There are two other proposals that would reduce carbon emissions more aggressively, but the board instead endorsed a third option that would have less of an impact on the economy. It would also keep polluting cars and trucks on the highways and spend much less to address climate change.

Not only is this plan a let down for California, but it sets a bad example for the rest of the nation and the world. California is a trendsetter for addressing climate change, but the message sent to the world now is that there is no real urgency to take strong action.

There is still time to modify the plan, but this latest development is very disappointing and cause for alarm.

Humans rapidly destroy planet

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Humans have degraded 40% of Earth’s land and within a few decades most of the planet will have been severely damaged.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/28/destruction-of-pristine-rainforest-globe-relentless-rate-aoe

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/07/record-after-record-brazils-amazon-deforestation-hits-april-high-nearly-double-previous-peak

And the oceans are dying, too. The die off from human-caused global warming could eventually rival that of the mass extinction that killed 96% of all animals in the oceans 250 million years ago:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/28/global-warming-risks-cataclysmic-mass-extinction-marine-life

Part of the problem is extreme overpopulation. The planet cannot support 7.9 billion people.

The other problem is that the U.S., with less than 5% of the world’s population, consumes 20% of the world’s resources.

Another problem is an appalling lack of commitment to spending the money necessary to reduce climate change. It is obvious that the funding is not there, nor will it be by 2030. Not even close:

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/04052022/forest-funding-climate-change-redd/

And then there is the extraction of oil and gas that keeps expanding:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/11/us-fracking-climate-fossil-fuel-gases

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2022/may/11/fossil-fuel-carbon-bombs-climate-breakdown-oil-gas

Ground beef recalled including product in California

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About 120,000 pounds of ground beef has been recalled because of E. coli contamination:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/04/26/e-coli-ground-beef-recall/

The list:

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media_file/2022-04/Recall-011-2022-Affected-Products-Sheet_0.pdf

SoCal officials order restrictions for lawn watering

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Residents in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties may water their lawns just one day a week as the state grapples with the worst drought in 1,200 years:

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-04-26/mwd-declares-water-emergency-and-restricts-outdoor-watering

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-04-26/drought-order-limits-outdoor-watering-souther-california

https://patch.com/california/los-angeles/severe-socal-water-restrictions-ordered-water-shortage-declared

There are concerns that many lawns and trees will die because of the new restrictions. And more severe water rules may be coming in September:

https://calmatters.org/environment/2022/04/southern-california-conserve-water/

The new restrictions take effect June 1.

The state’s turf replacement program, which helped pay to remove lawns, has run out of funding, but there is a plan to bring it back.

California’s reservoirs are drying up:

https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/07/us/california-water-shasta-oroville-climate/index.html

Drought is spreading throughout most of the Western states:

https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/27/us/water-intake-exposed-lake-mead-drought-climate/index.html

https://www.popsci.com/environment/west-us-drought/

Trump officials knew Jan. 6 rally could turn violent

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A former White House official testified that Trump officials knew the Jan. 6, 2021 rally could turn violent:

https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/22/politics/mark-meadows-scott-perry-january-6/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/25/politics/mark-meadows-texts-2319/index.html

Trump was delighted that his supporters rioted violently at the U.S. Capitol building and said in the White House on Jan. 6, 2021 that he did not understand why other high-ranking Republicans were not pleased as well. Even when his own daughter pleaded with him twice to restore order, Trump did nothing but watch the riot on TV.

Meanwhile, a judge held Trump in contempt for failing to turn over documents:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/apr/25/donald-trump-contempt-new-york-attorney-general-investigation

Overgrown child buys Twitter

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Tesla’s Elon Musk, the spoiled brat who plans to nuke Mars, calls his critics “pedos” and sells flamethrowers to the general public, has purchased Twitter. It is a match made in hell:

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-04-25/elon-musk-and-twitter-are-a-bad-match

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/25/technology/twitter-employees-elon-musk.html

Musk reportedly plans to make Twitter into a subscription service, which means users will have to pay a monthly fee:

Musk plans to allow psycho Trump to post again on Twitter, a reckless move that could lead to the sociopath’s reelection in 2024 and the death of democracy in the U.S.

The NAACP is concerned about Trump returning to Twitter:

CNN, New York Times signal reporting changes ahead

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Both CNN and The New York Times are planning to focus more on factual reporting and less on advocacy journalism. This does not necessarily mean that all controversies will be played evenly with balanced reporting, as that approach can sometimes lead to false equivalencies in which one side that is obviously wrong or dishonest gets equal treatment it does not deserve.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2022/apr/24/cnn-new-york-times-us-media

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/joe-kahn-new-york-times-profile.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/18/john-malone-says-warnermedia-discovery-getting-rid-of-cnn-would-be-the-cowards-way-out.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/media/2022/04/24/joe-kahn-new-york-times-sullivan

Some writers are worried that the changes will lead to “both sides-ism” reporting that will be full of false equivalencies. An obvious example would be a habitually lying, dangerously reckless, morally bankrupt and mentally deranged Trump getting equal treatment with a normal Democrat in the 2024 presidential election news coverage. If that is what is being planned, we ought to be very concerned that these highly influential media titans will be unwitting accomplices in reelecting psycho Trump:

“During Trump’s presidency, the Times and CNN played an important role in signaling to the nation that he was behaving in extreme and at times anti-democratic ways,” writes The Washington Post’s Perry Bacon Jr. “This honest coverage was nothing to be ashamed of. Now, these news executives are implying some of that coverage was misguided and won’t happen in the future.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/20/cnn-new-york-times-must-reconsider-their-both-sides-ism/

Congress must pass reform now to rein in big tech’s theft of news from small publishers

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Meta and Alphabet, formerly known as Facebook and Google, steal news content and wrap their ads around it without compensating small publishers. This practice is strangling small news outlets, especially newspapers, and harming democracy.

Congress has a tool, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, to force big tech to fairly compensate publishers for the news content it takes without permission. But first, Congress must approve the legislation, with some modifications, and send it to President Biden for his signature:

https://www.pe.com/2022/04/23/widespread-support-for-curbing-big-techs-power-over-news-and-publishing/

https://www.editorandpublisher.com/stories/senate-subcommittee-hears-debate-on-journalism-competition-and-preservation-act,217287

https://www.klobuchar.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2021/3/senator-klobuchar-and-representative-cicilline-introduce-legislation-to-protect-journalism-in-the-united-states

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/673

Other countries around the world have already passed similar legislation. There is no excuse for failing to pass the legislation, with modifications, in the U.S.

Some groups oppose the bill as submitted. They say the legislation would help the largest publishers and their wealthy owners and that smaller publishers would not be able to compete for the additional funds:

https://www.freepress.net/news/press-releases/journalism-competition-and-preservation-act-bad-news-local-journalism-and

https://www.freepress.net/sites/default/files/2022-02/groups_oppose_journalism_competition_and_preservation_act.pdf

The legislation can be rewritten and resubmitted as a new bill that would ensure that nonprofit news outlets and small news organizations would have equitable access to the funds. Also, the legislation would need to ensure that the funds would remain with individual news outlets to hire more reporters, photographers and editors instead of going to private equity firms such as Alden or to shareholders.

News media need to hold Republicans accountable for threats to democracy

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The news media must hold Republicans’ feet to the fire because of their efforts to destroy democracy:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/19/media-still-dont-know-how-to-cover-republicans-gop-democracy/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/apr/23/new-florida-electoral-map-ron-desantis-black-voters-republicans

Republicans enjoy watching American children starve

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They get their jollies by causing millions of children to go hungry:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/apr/16/child-poverty-politicians-week-in-patriarchy

Republicans — aka the party of unhinged and unmitigated cruelty. Or is it “family values,” as they claim?

Update: Republicans stacked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision and outlaw abortion. Yet, when poor and low income women are forced to give birth to children they cannot afford to raise, Republicans oppose free day care, family leave, health care, dental care, transportation and housing. The idea is to “have the baby, damn it,” and then, “To hell with you. You’re on your own!” Ah, yes, family values.

President Biden gives fresh start for student loan borrowers

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Student loan borrowers in default will get another four month extension and a fresh start:

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/11/millions-of-student-loan-borrowers-in-default-are-getting-a-fresh-start-.html

Update: The U.S. Department of Education has announced a plan to clean up student loan mismanagement that has resulted in the denial of various benefits that had been promised to borrowers. First, though, it must replace its antiquated computer system, and so the target date is this fall for the changes to take effect. There are federal agencies, departments, programs — such as the nation’s nuclear weapons system — that have been waiting 30 years to update their computers, and so the fall target date would seem unrealistically optimistic.

https://www.npr.org/2022/04/19/1093310151/student-loans-income-based-repayment

 

America’s waterways are dying

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Runoff from industrial farms and thousands of old septic systems is choking lakes, rivers and streams in the U.S. with algae and nitrates:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2022/03/31/runaway-pollution-climate-change-threaten-u-s-lakes-and-rivers/7172227001/

https://www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/effects-dead-zones-and-harmful-algal-blooms

https://www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/where-occurs-lakes-and-rivers

https://endangeredrivers.americanrivers.org/

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/09/opinion/coal-ash-toxic-alabama-rivers.html

Plans to reduce carbon emissions on course to fail catastrophically

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Even if all of the current plans to reduce carbon emissions are enacted, global warming will still increase well past the target of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-60984663

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/04/04/climate-change-report-united-nations-ipcc/

If massive additional emissions reductions are made very soon, the planet can still be saved. But this would require significant changes that are extremely unlikely. Instead, it is almost certain that too little will be done and so there will likely continue to be die offs for hundreds of thousands of species, mass starvation for millions of people, wars of desperation over scarce resources, raging wildfires and extreme drought on a global scale, and other horrific effects that will accelerate and combine to turn the planet into an unlivable, dried out and unrecognizable husk.

One huge problem is an appalling lack of commitment to spending the money necessary to reduce climate change. It is obvious that the funding is not there, nor will it be by 2030. Not even close:

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/04052022/forest-funding-climate-change-redd/

Then there is the oil and gas extraction industry that keeps expanding:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/11/us-fracking-climate-fossil-fuel-gases

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2022/may/11/fossil-fuel-carbon-bombs-climate-breakdown-oil-gas

Western states are suffering from extreme drought and wildfires now. And so the climate crisis has already arrived:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2022/04/02/climate-change-american-west-air-pollution-fires-floods-studies/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/apr/22/google-doodle-marks-earth-day-2022-with-stark-images-of-climate-crisis

There is interest in using technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it underground, but it is inefficient and expensive, and it will not be scalable to make much of a difference.

Yet, young people are valiantly fighting to slow climate change:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/apr/13/just-stop-oil-climate-crisis-good-morning-britain

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/23/climate/climate-change-rally-white-house.html

Russia continues to commit atrocities in Ukraine

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Russian soldiers are shooting Ukrainian civilians whose hands were tied. And in one of the most cowardly actions in warfare history, Russian soldiers used Ukrainian children as human shields on their tanks as they retreated near Kiev:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/02/bucha-bodies-russia-retreat-kyiv/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/03/they-were-all-shot-russia-accused-of-war-crimes-as-bucha-reveals-horror-of-invasion

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2022/apr/03/russia-ukraine-war-latest-russian-retreat-from-kyiv-reveals-atrocities-against-civilians-say-ukrainians-live

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2022-04-03/ukraine-braces-for-russian-onslaught-in-the-east-as-gruesome-cleanup-continues

https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/04/03/ukraine-apparent-war-crimes-russia-controlled-areas

Ukraine’s president said Russia’s attacks on civilians constitute genocide:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/04/03/ukraine-russia-zelensky/

President Biden said Putin should face war crimes charges:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/apr/04/joe-biden-vladimir-putin-face-war-crimes-trial-ukraine

Russia has tortured Ukrainian civilians, including some who were taken to Russia:

https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/04/europe/russia-military-culture-brutality-intl/index.html

Update: Russia may have used chemical weapons in Ukraine:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/12/ukraine-president-warns-of-new-stage-of-terror-as-west-probes-chemical-weapons-claims

Update: At least 40 countries are planning to provide weapons to Ukraine:

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/04/26/world/ukraine-russia-war-news

 

California extends evictions ban

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California has extended its moratorium on evictions until June 30 for tenants who have a pending relief application:

https://calmatters.org/housing/2022/03/california-eviction-protections-deal/

https://patch.com/california/sacramento/covid-eviction-protection-extended-clear-backlog

Ukraine’s president accuses Russia of being afraid of journalists

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Big, powerful Russia has been accused of censoring the news because its dictator Putin is afraid of journalists reporting the truth:

https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/28/media/zelzensky-interview-banned/index.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/01/the-russian-journalists-fighting-to-cut-through-the-state-sponsored-noise

https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/02/opinions/oleksandra-sasha-kuvshynova-ukraine-war-journalists-gontar/index.html

Russians are using VPNs to access real news produced outside of Russia:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/05/06/russia-vpn-putin-censorship-disinformation/

Finland’s Nokia helped Russia spy on dissidents

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Leaked documents show that Nokia assisted Russia in spying on people who were then assassinated or imprisoned:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/28/technology/nokia-russia-surveillance-system-sorm.html

Nokia has decided to do the right thing after years of assisting Russia in human rights abuses:

 

President Biden says Putin must not remain in power

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President Biden on Saturday appeared to encourage Russians to remove their brutal dictator, Putin, from office:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/03/26/russia-ukraine-war-news-putin-live-updates/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/26/biden-butcher-putin-cannot-be-allowed-to-stay-in-power

The Guardian reported that U.S. officials later said that Biden had been talking about the need for Putin to lose power over Ukrainian territory and in the wider region. Biden’s comment, however, was widely taken to mean that he supports regime change in Russia. Thus, it served its purpose while the subsequent backtracking absolved Biden of responsibility for what he and millions of Russians and Ukrainians support: the removal of Putin from power.

Here is Putin’s obscenely lavish yacht, with its gold toilet paper dispensers:

https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2022/03/25/putin-yacht-navalny-anti-corruption-foundation-investigation-intvu-ebof-vpx.cnn

Putin is estimated to have stolen $170 billion from the Russian people, many of whom live in poverty. Russia has one of the largest wealth inequality gaps in the world.

Russia’s elite and security leaders blame Putin for the chaos in Russia and for the disastrous war in Ukraine.

 

Ukraine claims Russia using white phosphorous

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If Ukraine’s claim is verified that Russia has used white phosphorous weapons against civilians in its latest brutality against the much smaller country, there is concern that NATO could get involved directly in the war.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/03/25/ukraine-russia-white-phosphorus/

White phosphorous, while horrific in how it burns human flesh, is not classified as a chemical weapon:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-is-white-phosphorus-russia-ukraine/

There is concern that the weapons may actually be thermite incendiary submunitions, which are even more horrific. The burning substance cannot be scraped off the bodies of victims, and water does not extinguish it:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhambling/2022/03/25/white-phosphorus-may-really-be-soviet-napalm-weapon/?sh=5fcc02a8e6ae

Russia’s brutal dictator, Putin, has said that he may order the use of nuclear weapons if NATO attacks Russian troops in Ukraine. NATO would then step up its involvement even more, and that could then lead to WWIII and a broader nuclear exchange:

Investigation finds toxic chemicals in food wrappers

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Consumer Reports found toxic PFAS chemicals in fast food wrappers and grocery food packaging:

https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/25/health/pfas-chemicals-fast-food-groceries-wellness/index.html

https://www.consumerreports.org/pfas-food-packaging/dangerous-pfas-chemicals-are-in-your-food-packaging-a3786252074/

https://www.wfmynews2.com/article/news/local/2-wants-to-know/what-are-you-eating-dangerous-chemicals-are-found-in-food-packaging-products-consumer-reports-tested-take-out-to-go-bowls-bags-plates-pfas/

The levels of the chemical far exceeded guidelines in many instances. And PFAS chemicals are “forever chemicals” because they do not readily degrade in the environment.

Update: Food packaging has thousands of untested chemicals:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/19/more-than-3000-potentially-harmful-chemicals-food-packaging-report-shows

 

 

US agency slaughters 404,538 wild animals

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As if pollution, climate change and habitat loss were not damaging enough to wildlife, the U.S. Wildlife Services intentionally killed 404,538 wild animals in 2021:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/25/us-government-wildlife-services-animals-deaths

https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/400000-native-animals-killed-by-federal-program-last-year-new-data-shows-2022-03-22/

Update: Some of the animals killed were endangered species:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/us-government-agency-accidentally-killed-almost-3000-animals-in-2021

The Wildlife Services should be shut down permanently.

Then there is the disgusting and unjustified slaughter of wolves:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/may/04/america-is-exterminating-its-wolves-when-will-this-stop

Former prosecutor: Trump ‘guilty of numerous felony violations’

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A prosecutor who resigned in protest after a district attorney refused to charge Trump said the ex-“president” committed numerous crimes:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/23/donald-trump-crime-accusation-prosecutor-mark-pomerantz

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article259712105.html

https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/23/politics/donald-trump-mark-pomerantz-manhattan/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/03/23/trump-pomerantz-resignation-guilty/

Update: A judge agreed that Trump likely committed crimes:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/28/john-eastman-trump-lawyer-capitol-attack-emails

Update: Trump could be indicted, but it would take many months:

https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/02/opinions/georgia-grand-jury-trump-legal-challenges-honig/index.html