U.N. Leader Gives Climate Warning as U.S. Continues Exit from Paris Agreement

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At the United Nations, President Trump’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn said Monday the U.S. would withdraw from the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord as planned. His comments came as U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said climate should be a top priority at this year’s General Assembly.

Secretary-General António Guterres: “We see the consequences daily. We count the costs in lives, livelihoods, damaged economies. And since 2008—and you know better than me—some 20 million people a year have been forcibly displaced by floods, storms, fires and extreme temperature. But many more are on the move due to the droughts and sea level rise, and climate change is not a distant problem for future generations. It is here, it is now, and we need to deal with it.”

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Texas Republicans Pushed to Kill Safety Regulations for Arkema Chemical Plant Before Explosion

The flooded Arkema chemical plant in the town of Crosby, Texas, that saw two explosions on Thursday, could see as many as six more blasts, and a new investigation reveals this comes after Arkema successfully pressured federal regulators to delay new regulations aimed at improving safety procedures at chemical plants. It also found that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton aggressively attacked a proposed chemical plant safety rule, after his election campaign garnered over $100,000 from chemical industry donors.

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U.S. Science Envoy Dan Kammen Resigns in Protest of Trump

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The science envoy for the U.S. State Department Dan Kammen has resigned in protest of President Trump’s refusal to quickly condemn the deadly white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month. In his resignation letter, Kammen writes, “Your presence in the White House harms the United States domestically and abroad and threatens life on this planet.” The first letter of each paragraph of his resignation letter spells out the word: Impeach. This is now-resigned science envoy Dan Kammen, speaking to Democracy Now! during the 2016 climate change conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, just after president Trump was elected.

Dan Kammen: “To be a climate denier in 2016 is to simply ignore science. A businessman is supposed to be flexible and thoughtful about opportunity. Clean energy is an economic boom, and it’s a boom for equity around the planet. And to turn your back on that is to put ideology over simple, good clean energy business and clean energy jobs.”

Why Trump will be impeached – Keith Olberman

NYTimes: Trump May Expand Afghanistan War to Exploit Mineral Wealth

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The New York Times reports that President Trump is being pressured by a billionaire financier and a chemical executive to escalate the U.S. war in Afghanistan in a bid to exploit the country’s mineral wealth. The Times reports Trump discussed Afghanistan’s vast deposits of metals and rare earth elements with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and is reportedly considering sending an envoy to Afghanistan to meet with mining officials. A 2010 U.S. estimate found Afghanistan has mineral deposits worth nearly $1 trillion.

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ExxonMobil Fined $2M for Russia Sanctions Breach Under CEO Tillerson, now your Secretary of State

HEADLINEJUL 21, 2017

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The U.S. Treasury Department has fined ExxonMobil $2 million for violating U.S. sanctions against Russia three years ago, when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson served as the oil company’s CEO. The Treasury said ExxonMobil showed “reckless disregard” for U.S. law in 2014 when it signed contracts with Russian oil magnate Igor Sechin to develop offshore reserves in the Arctic. The move violated sanctions placed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean peninsula. Tillerson said at the time his company opposed Russia sanctions, calling them “ineffective.” At the State Department Thursday, spokesperson Heather Nauert was asked whether Tillerson had changed his views on Russian sanctions.

Heather Nauert: “This all predates his time here at the Department of State.”

Matthew Lee: “I understand that.”

Heather Nauert: “And so, I’m going to refrain from giving any comment on that at this time.”

Matthew Lee: “I understand this predates his time as secretary of state, but now he is in a position in which he is part of the team that is supposed to enforce sanctions, not violate them or allow others to violate them, so I think it’s relevant to know what he thinks about this decision today.”

Heather Nauert: “I think—I will say this. The secretary continues to abide by his ethical commitments, including that recusal from Exxon-related activities.”

Secretary of State Tillerson is known to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who awarded Tillerson the country’s Order of Friendship decoration in 2013. The Treasury Department’s $2 million fine against ExxonMobil was the maximum amount allowed by law. It represents just over two hours’ profit for the oil giant.

Let’s have a big hand for all of my fellow Amerikans who voted for Comrade Trump.  Stupid is as stupid does, and evil is what evil does.

God have mercy on your souls.

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Single-Payer Healthcare = Universal Coverage

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Meanwhile, proponents of a single-payer healthcare plan are organizing to urge Congress not only to stop the effort to repeal Obamacare, but to pass a bill that would guarantee Medicare for all. On Tuesday, former Vice President Al Gore became the latest prominent Democrat to speak in favor of single payer.

Al Gore: “The private sector has not shown any ability to provide a good, accessible, affordable healthcare for all. I believe, for example, we ought to have a single-payer healthcare plan.”

We’ll have more on the Republicans’ failed push on healthcare and the growing fight for single payer after headlines.

Single-payer healthcare is a healthcare system in which the state, financed by taxes, covers basic healthcare costs for all residents regardless of income, occupation, or health status. “Single-payer” describes the mechanism by which healthcare is paid for by a single public authority, not the type of delivery or for whom physicians work. In contrast, multi-payer healthcare uses a mixed public-private system.

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