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The Daily Beat is a daily news podcast inspired by the power of social media to spark social change. Tune in Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. as BTR’s social media director, DJ Jen, culls the “Twitterverse” and “blogosphere” to bring you the top stories regarding social justice and human rights issues.
Not to mention, we’ll also feature some of BTR’s top tracks.
Don’t miss a beat!
Yesterday Think Progress published an article titled “Georgia Officials Are Forcing Through Abortion Restrictions That Lawmakers Didn’t Approve.”
The article’s author Tara Culp-Ressler writes:
This year, Georgia lawmakers weren’t able to advance a measure that would have prevented the state’s 650,000 public employees from using their insurance plans to cover abortion services. It ended up failing to win enough votes to pass on the final day of the legislative session. But that isn’t stopping the state’s anti-choice officials from trying to force it through anyway.
Georgia’s Department of Community Health voted 5-3 on Thursday to approve a plan that will eliminate abortion coverage in public employees’ health plans — virtually the same measure the legislature rejected. The Augusta Chronicle reports that the abortion restrictions “surfaced as a surprise benefit change this week.”
After the insurance coverage ban failed, Gov. Nathan Deal (R) vowed to use his executive power to enact it anyway. Now, he seems to be getting his way.
Yesterday Reuter’s published an article titled “Manning’s WikiLeaks breach helped al Qaeda recruit: witness.”
The article’s author Tom Ramstack writes:
U.S. soldier Bradley Manning’s release of secret files to WikiLeaks in the biggest breach of classified data in the nation’s history helped Al Qaeda’s recruiting efforts, an expert on radical Islam testified on Thursday.
The militant group used Manning’s releases to claim that “the United States does not value human life,” particularly among Muslims, said Navy Commander Youssef Aboul-Enein, an adviser to the Pentagon’s Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism.
Manning, 25-year-old Army private first class, was convicted last week on 19 charges for providing more than 700,000 diplomatic cables, battlefield videos and other classified data to the WikiLeaks pro-transparency website.
Today AFP published an article titled “Encrypted email linked to leaker Snowden closes.”
The article reads:
An encrypted email service believed to have been used by US leaker Edward Snowden has been shut down, apparently as a result of pressure from US authorities.
Lavabit owner Ladar Levison posted a message on the website Thursday telling users that the he was pulling the plug on the secure email service launched in Texas nearly a decade ago.
“I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit,” Levison said.
“After significant soul-searching, I have decided to suspend operations.”
Today AFP published an article titled “Dead fish after huge oil spill in Philippines.”
The article reads:
A huge oil spill shut down parts of the Philippine capital’s vital fishing industry Friday, jeopardising the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people living along Manila Bay’s diesel-coated coast.
Dead fish floated on the water and some residents fell ill from the fumes, as authorities said an estimated 500,000 litres of oil cast a slick across 20-kilometres of the coastline.
“Many of our young and elderly residents are getting sick,” Marcos Solis, the captain of a fishing village near the worst of the oil spill, told AFP.
Today Reuters published an article titled “Kremlin says no deal reached with Saudi on changing Syria stance.”
The article reads:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not made an agreement with Saudi Arabia to scale back support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in exchange for economic incentives including an arms deal, the Kremlin said on Friday.
Commenting on a Reuters report that Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar made the proposal to Putin at talks last week in Moscow, Putin’s foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said no deal had been discussed in detail.
Today Reuters published an article titled “U.S. drone kills three more Qaeda suspects in Yemen, strikes intensify.”
The article reads:
A U.S. drone killed three suspected al Qaeda militants in east Yemen, a local official said, the third strike within 24 hours as Washington intensifies efforts to eradicate al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch after recent warnings of possible attacks.
Today Reuters published an article titled “Taiwan says nuclear plant may have leaked toxic water.”
The article reads:
A nuclear power plant in Taiwan may have been leaking radioactive water for three years, according to a report published by the government’s watchdog, adding to uncertainty over the fate of a new fourth nuclear power plant.
The First Nuclear Power Plant, located at Shihmen in a remote northern coastal location but not far from densely populated Taipei, has been leaking toxic water from storage pools of two reactors, said the watchdog, called the Control Yuan.
IN OTHER NEWS
Today The Raw Story published an article titled “Nuclear power plant in South Carolina at risk for shutdown.”
The article reads:
A nuclear power plant located near Hartsville, South Carolina is at risk for being shut down, according to a research study conducted at the Vermont Law School. However, the plant has a license to operate until 2030 and operators Duke Energy say they have no plans to retire it early.
Maintaining older nuclear power plants can be very expensive. So much so that plants in California (San Onofre) Wisconsin and Florida have been shut down or are slated for retirement. These kinds of plants generate tremendous amounts of energy, but repair costs and decreasing costs of other forms of power are causing them to be seen as increasingly unfavorable. (Also, a plan for a new, smaller nuclear plant in Iowa was called off.)
Today Think Progress published an article titled “Texas Asks Court To Nuke The Voting Rights Act — Forever.”
The article’s author Ian Millhiser writes:
When the Supreme Court dismantled a key provision of the Voting Rights Act last June, there were two small silver linings in this decision. The first was the possibility that Congress could revive the regime killed by the Court, where states with particularly poor records of racialized voter suppression must “preclear” their voting practices with the Justice Department or a federal court before those practices can take effect. The second potential silver lining is Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act, which allows a state to be brought back under the preclearance requirement if a court finds that it engaged in “violations of the fourteenth or fifteenth amendment justifying equitable relief.”
Now, however, Texas wants to destroy these two silver linings as well. And there is a fair chance that the conservative Supreme Court will allow them to do so.
Late last month, the Justice Department joined a Section 3 lawsuit claiming that federal supervision of Texas’ election practices should be reinstated in light of very recent examples of intentional race discrimination by Texas. Among other things, a federal court found that Texas “consciously replaced many of [a] district’s active Hispanic voters with low-turnout Hispanic voters in an effort to strengthen the voting power of [the district’s] Anglo citizens.” These, the Justice Department explained, were “violations of the fourteenth or fifteenth amendment” justifying federal supervision.
Yesterday Think Progress published an article titled “Goldman Sachs Finds ‘Window For Profitable Investment In Coal Mining Is Closing’, Ditto For Coal Exports.”
The article’s author Joe Romm writes:
Goldman Sachs has put out a must-read research paper, “The window for thermal coal investment is closing.” Thermal (or steam) coal is primarily used to generate power.
The U.S.-based multinational investment bank has some sobering findings for the dirtiest fossil fuel:
We believe that thermal coal’s current position atop the fuel mix for global power generation will be gradually eroded by the following structural trends: 1) environmental regulations that discourage coal-fired generation, 2) strong competition from gas and renewable energy and 3) improvements in energy efficiency. The prospect of weaker demand growth (we believe seaborne demand could peak in 2020) and seaborne prices near marginal production costs suggest that most thermal coal growth projects will struggle to earn a positive return for their owners.
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