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Flint: “Not just about water, but human rights” – UN experts remind ahead of President Obama’s visit

Speaking ahead of President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to Flint on May 4, three United Nations experts have called for immediate action to address the serious human rights concerns brought upon by the contamination of Flint’s water supply and the devastating consequences for its residents.

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Federal Judge Enters Judgment for $20,000 to U.S. Citizen who Spent a Week in Immigration Detention

A U.S. citizen arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at his home in 2012 and held in immigration detention for seven days has been awarded $20,000 in damages as part of an agreed judgment entered by a federal district court judge in central Illinois.

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Greenpeace Netherlands releases TTIP documents

Today Greenpeace Netherlands releases secret documents of the EU-US TTIP negotiations. On www.ttip-leaks.org the documents will be made available for everyone to read, because democracy needs transparency.

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Watch President Obama give a short lesson on the long-term impacts of the Senate failing to fill the Supreme Court vacancy

On Thursday, April 7th, President Obama returned to The University of Chicago Law School, where he taught constitutional law for over a decade, for a discussion on the Supreme Court with Professor David Strauss.

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Malheur National Wildlife Refuge sees surge in financial support after militia siege
Full story: Christian Science Monitor

Workers fight for dignity in Trump's Las Vegas hotel: ‘For Mr Trump, we’re just a number’
Full story: The Guardian US

New investigation uncovers secret Malaysian assets in the United States

The Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund calls on US and Malaysian prosecutors and the Sarawak state government to investigate allegations that multi-billion dollar real estate investments in the United States may have been funded by proceeds of illegal logging and corruption by the Malaysian Yaw family, the owners of the Samling timber group.

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Defense Spending Bill is Burdened Once Again with Unrelated Anti-Wildlife Riders

Yesterday, the House Armed Services Committee included several destructive riders for wildlife in the markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), annual legislation that authorizes military funding. The NDAA legislation has nothing to do with wildlife management. One rider included in the underlying bill overturns a public planning process to conserve greater sage-grouse and blocks their protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for at least a decade. Another rider passed as an amendment during the committee markup yesterday blocks ESA protections for the imperiled lesser prairie-chicken and the critically endangered American burying beetle. Still another transfers control of more than half of Desert National Wildlife Refuge to the Air Force, which the military has not requested and is to the detriment of bighorn sheep and other desert wildlife.

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PFAW, NARAL, Planned Parenthood Leaders Call on Ted Cruz to Fire Troy Newman from Presidential Campaign

The leaders of People For the American Way (PFAW), NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund released an open letter today calling on presidential candidate Ted Cruz to fire a national co-chair of his “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition, Troy Newman. Newman – among other heinous stances – has written that the U.S. government has a duty to execute abortion providers.

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Consumer Protection Agency Must Restrict Forced Arbitration Clauses, 164 Groups Say

On Wednesday, 164 organizations that advocate on behalf of consumers, students, civil rights, labor, small business and more, sent a letter (PDF) to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) urging the agency to use its authority to restrict forced arbitration. Forced arbitration is the abusive practice in which corporations bury “rip-off clauses” in the fine print of take-it-or-leave-it contracts to block consumers from challenging hidden fees, fraud and other illegal behavior in court. The CFPB recently announced it will host a May 5th field hearing on arbitration in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where it is expected to propose such a rule.

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New Survey Finds 1 in 3 Mayors Worried Underinvestment in Infrastructure is Putting Lives at Risk

A new survey by Politico Magazine of U.S. mayors has found that 1 in 3 mayors believe that underinvestment in infrastructure is putting lives at risk, and a plurality of mayors, some 40 percent, believe that that transportation and infrastructure should be the next administration’s highest urban priority.

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Why Education Doesn’t Bring Women Equal Pay

Women are closing the education gap with men, but a global study of gender equality shows these advances are failing to bring equal access to quality jobs and government representation.

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Summer swelter will be no joy for US, warn scientists

There could be good reasons why US citizens face the prospect of dramatic and potentially catastrophic global climate change with seeming calm. Right now, and for four-fifths of the people, the changes make their seasons more comfortable.

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Linda Greenhouse with Must-Read New Analysis of U.S. v Texas Immigration Case

Longtime New York Times Supreme Court reporter and legal analyst Linda Greenhouse has written a must-read new analysis of the oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the U.S. v Texas case.

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Polls show nearly half of Republican female voters don’t plan to support Trump
Full story: The Guardian US

President Trump fills world leaders with fear: 'It's gone from funny to really scary'
Full story: The Guardian US

Paul Ryan wants to end Obamacare protections for people with pre-existing conditions
Full story: Raw Story

Trump culture: threat, fear and the tightening of the American mind

For the past 10 months, Donald Trump has been a political enigma. Against the predictions of journalists, policy wonks and odds makers, a tabloid darling with no political experience and few coherent policies is now poised to be the Republican nominee for president.

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160+ Farm and Food Groups Ask Congress to Reject TPP, Stand Up for Independent Farmers and Ranchers

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has become a divisive issue in the nation’s capital, and criticism intensified after 161 food, farm, faith and rural organizations sent a letter to Capitol Hill today, urging lawmakers to reject the trade pact.

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Legal Group Files Public Records Request to Expose Civil Rights Violations in ICE Program "Operation Border Guardian"

Today, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) filed a Freedom of Information Act request on Operation Border Guardian, an Immigration and Customs (ICE) enforcement and detention program targeting Central American teenagers for deportation since January 2016.

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Court Rules ACLU Lawsuit Against CIA Torture Psychologists Can Proceed

In a decision today that is unprecedented for a lawsuit involving CIA torture, a federal judge said that he would allow a lawsuit against the two psychologists who designed and implemented the CIA program to move forward.

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New Nationwide Polling of Latino Voters: Immigration Matters, Trump is Toxic

New nationwide polling of Latino voters, conducted by Latino Decisions and commissioned by America’s Voice, makes clear that immigration matters to Latino voters; that Donald Trump is deeply unpopular with Latino voters; and that the Republican Party’s brand image with Latinos is deeply damaged and getting worse, due in part to Trump’s rise and the politicized U.S. v Texas Supreme Court case.

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SPLC study finds 1,500 government-backed tributes to the Confederacy across U.S.

At least 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy can be found in public spaces across the country, mostly in the Deep South, according to a report released today by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Most were put in place during the early decades of Jim Crow or in reaction to the civil rights movement.

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UK issues travel warning about anti-LGBT laws in US states

The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country. LGBT travellers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi. Before travelling please read our general travel advice for the LGBT community. You can find more detail on LGBT issues in the US on the website of the Human Rights Campaign.

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Obama administration urged to do fair share to fight climate crisis

Secretary of State John Kerry plans to join world leaders in the celebratory signing of the Paris climate agreement in New York tomorrow. In lieu of celebration, U.S. civil society leaders are urging the Obama administration to take immediate, aggressive action in order to give the world a fighting chance to meet the agreement’s goals.

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GOP’s Planned Parenthood investigation outed as a total sham
Full story: Salon.com

2016 'State of the Air' Report Finds More than Half of Americans Live with Unhealthful Levels of Air Pollution

The American Lung Association's 2016 "State of the Air" report found continued improvement in air quality, but more than half (52.1%) of the people in the United States live in counties that have unhealthful levels of either ozone or particle pollution. The annual, national air quality "report card" found that 166 million Americans live with unhealthful levels of air pollution, putting them at risk for premature death and other serious health effects like lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage, and developmental and reproductive harm.

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Legal Petition Pushes President Obama to End Crude Oil Exports, Declare Climate Emergency

As the Obama administration prepares to sign the Paris climate agreement, 350 environmental, social-justice, health and faith organizations filed a legal petition today urging President Barack Obama to declare a national climate emergency and end all U.S. crude oil exports. The ban would keep millions of tons of greenhouse gas pollution from escaping into the atmosphere and worsening the climate crisis.

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Climate deniers get a reality check from U.S. scientists

In what should, in a rational world, have been an entirely unnecessary research project, US scientists have once again explored familiar ground and arrived at a familiar conclusion: 97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening − and that it is caused by humans.

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Medicaid expansion significantly boosts insurance coverage among low-income adults

Researchers at UCLA have that found states that expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act saw a significant increase in rates of health insurance among low-income adults compared with states that did not expand the program.

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