Today, the Colorado Supreme Court struck down the rights of Coloradans to protect their health, safety and wellbeing from fracking through the use of local bans. The justices denied residents their “right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness” as outlined in the Colorado Constitution, by determining that oil and gas development is pre-empted by the state.
The government of Puerto Rico says it will default on most of $422 million in debt payments due. This would be the third time Puerto Rico missed debt payments in the past 9 months and would be its largest default to date. Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla announced the missed payments May 1 in a televised address and implored Congress to give Puerto Rico legal tools to restructure its debt.
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.
“These documents make clear the scale and scope of the trade citizens of the United States and the European Union are being asked to make in pursuit of corporate profits. It is time for the negotiations to stop, and the debate to begin.
Today at 11.00 am CET, Greenpeace EU will release 248 leaked pages of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiating texts. According to Greenpeace, “the documents unveil for the first time the US position and deliberate attempts to change the EU democratic legislative process.”
On April 27th, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla announced his government will not make a $422 million debt payment due May 1. Puerto Rico missed smaller debt payments in January and last August.
"A default signals the situation is getting worse," said Eric LeCompte, the executive director of the religious development coalition Jubilee USA.
In a further day of devastation in Aleppo, another four medical facilities on both sides of the frontlines have been hit, causing extensive damage. As hundreds of shells, bombs and mortars continue to rain down on the city, killing more civilians, the International Committee of the Red Cross calls for an immediate halt in the attacks.
350.org’s Bill McKibben Responds to Right Wing Group’s Plans to Target Climate Activists with Trackers and Video Cameras
Today, anti-environmentalist front group America Rising Squared announced plans to target climate activists with trackers and video cameras. In response, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben issued the following statement:
Who: Voces de la Frontera, Youth Empowered in the Struggle, thousands of immigrant students and workers and their families, labor allies, religious leaders, community supporters, Russ Feingold
What: National Day of Action for Immigrant Rights – Wisconsin May Day Solidarity March for Immigrant, Worker, and Student Rights
When: Sunday, May 1st, 2pm
Today, in a surprise ruling from the bench in the critical climate case brought by youths against the State of Washington's Department of Ecology (“Ecology”), King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill ordered Ecology to promulgate an emissions reduction rule by the end of 2016 and make recommendations to the state legislature on science-based greenhouse gas reductions in the 2017 legislative session. Judge Hill also ordered Ecology to consult with the youth petitioners in advance of that recommendation.
Initial Reaction to Public Release of U.S. Military Investigative Report on the Attack on MSF Trauma Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan
The United States military today released its investigative report on the attack on the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan on October 3, 2015. The attack killed 42 people, including 14 MSF staff members, and wounded dozens more.
The Defense Department today released the redacted report of its internal investigation into the U.S. military airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Since the attack last October, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has been pressing the White House and the Pentagon to consider a criminal inquiry in accordance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Public Citizen has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking the agency to post unredacted copies of the curricula vitae (CV) of advisory committee members on its website.
SEIU's Henry: We Stand with Working People in Alabama Fighting Against Attempt to Block Local Minimum Wage Boost
SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement today regarding the lawsuit filed by the NAACP and citizens of Birmingham, Ala., over the state legislature's move to take away a raise for working people in Birmingham that was approved by city government:
“The working men and women of SEIU fully support working people in Birmingham and their fight to raise their local wage floor.
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.
Workers Memorial Day Commemorated Across the Country as We Fight for Better Workplace Safety Standards
Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Workers Memorial Day:
Today, on Workers Memorial Day, we take time to commemorate all those who lost their lives while on the job. We reflect on how far we have come in making workplaces safer and healthier, and how much farther we still have to go to ensure all working people have the necessary workplace protections. As a third-generation coal miner, I know the fear of not knowing if your loved one is coming home at the end of the day. This is a fear no family should have to endure.
Today, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed into law a bill to automatically and securely register eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew a driver’s license from the DMV, unless they opt out of registration.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today granted a complaint filed by the Electric Power Supply Association to require federal review of the FirstEnergy bailout in Ohio. Specifically, FERC has held that the Affiliate Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) between FirstEnergy Solutions and its regulated Ohio utilities will have to be submitted for review under FERC’s affiliate transaction standards (known as the Edgar/Allegheny standards) before any sales could be made.
A newly adopted law in China gives police unprecedented power to restrict the work of foreign groups in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The law will also limit domestic groups’ ability to obtain foreign funding and work with foreign organizations.
The National People’s Congress passed the draconian Law on the Management of Foreign Non-Government Organizations Activities in China (the NGO Law) on April 28, 2016, and will come into force on January 1, 2017.
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) appeared yesterday with a crowd of concerned citizens from around the country at a rally in Washington to oppose offshore drilling. The gathering took place outside a public meeting hosted by the Obama Administration collecting public input on its 2017-2022 oil and gas leasing program.
The Administration’s plan excludes the Atlantic Ocean from leasing for the next five years - a significant development. However, it leaves the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico vulnerable to future oil and gas drilling.
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill today that updates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to require the government to get a warrant to read a person’s emails or access information stored online in the cloud.
The American Civil Liberties Union supported the bill and is now pushing for passage of a Senate version.
Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU legislative counsel, had this reaction: