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It Saved America’s Bald Eagle. Now Trump Will Strangle Endangered Species Act So Big Oil Can Make More Money

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“It’s a gift to industry, and it’s illegal,” one environmental group says.

Nearly since the dawn of the republic, America’s Bald Eagle has been featured on many official logos of the U.S. government, including 1792’s Great Seal of the United States. It also appears on the Seal of the President of the United States. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 saved the Bald Eagle from extinction. It’s also saved the Grizzly Bear, the peregrine falcon, the manatee, the humpback whale, and other animals  from extinction. It has a 99% success rate.

A 1978 U.S. Supreme Court ruling found: “It is clear from the Act’s legislative history that Congress intended to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction—whatever the cost.”

The Trump administration has a different idea.

President Trump is about to strangle the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to allow Big Oil to make even more money.

Federal and state governments in the U.S. handed almost $30 billion to the oil, gas, and coal industry between 2015 and 2016, and gave consumers nearly $15 billion to help pay their fuel costs, The Guardian reports. During that same cycle, “oil, gas, and coal companies spent $354 million in campaign contributions and lobbying,” 88% of which went to GOP lawmakers.

On Monday The New York Times reported Trump will “change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law.”

The changes could clear the way for new mining, oil and gas drilling, and development in areas where protected species live. The new rules will make it harder to consider the effects of climate change on wildlife when deciding whether a given species warrants protection. They would most likely shrink critical habitats and, for the first time, allow economic factors to be taken into account when making determinations.

Environmental are calling the move “a disaster for imperiled wildlife at a time when the United Nations has warned that human pressures are poised to drive one million species into extinction and that protecting land and biodiversity is critical to keep greenhouse gas emissions in check,” according to The Times.

“This effort to gut protections for endangered and threatened species has the same two features of most Trump administration actions: It’s a gift to industry, and it’s illegal,” says Drew Caputo, vice president of litigation for lands, wildlife and oceans at the nonprofit Earthjustice, according to HuffPost. “We’ll see the Trump administration in court about it.”

Trump already has a bad relationship with the Bald Eagle, at least this one, during a TIME magazine photo shoot.

 

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George Floyd Died of Asphyxiation: Independent Autopsy

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George Floyd died of “mechanical asphyxiation,” concludes an independent autopsy commissioned by the Floyd family.

“The officers killed him,” Benjamin Crump (photo), the Floyd family attorney said at a Monday afternoon press conference moments ago. He “said an independent autopsy found his death was homicide,” The New York Times adds.

Crump said the family wants all four officers to be charged with first degree murder. Only one of the four officers has been arrested.

The Hennepin County’s medical examiner’s autopsy offered different conclusions.

Live video:

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Trump Mocked in China’s State Media for Fleeing to Bunker in the Face of Protests: ‘Mr President, Don’t Go Hide’

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According to a report in The Guardian, Chinese state media and government leaders are mocking reports that Donald Trump fled to a secure bunker under the White House in the face of massive police brutality protests that reached the White House gates.

Following reports that a “rattled” Trump was ushered to safety by the Secret Service as police battled with George Floyd protesters in the streets of Washington, D.C, among other cities, officials in China took notice.

“At a press conference on Monday, foreign ministry spokesman, Lijian Zhao urged the US to eliminate racial discrimination and protect the lawful rights of minorities, according to state-backed media, CGTN. ‘The death of George Floyd reflects the severity of racial discrimination and police brutality in the US,’ said Zhao,” reports the Guardian. “Zhao also threatened ‘counter-attacks’ on the US for continued retaliatory measures over China’s increased control over Hong Kong, which include reversing Hong Kong’s special customs status. On Sunday China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying posted ‘I can’t breathe’ – Floyd’s last words – to Twitter, with a screenshot of her American counterpart criticizing China’s crackdown on Hong Kong.”

More pointed attacks on Trump came from Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of nationalist tabloid Global Times.

“In a series of tweets and editorials over the weekend, Hu and his paper accused the US of hypocrisy,” the report states. “‘Mr President, don’t go hide behind the secret service,’ said Hu. ‘Go to talk to the demonstrators seriously. Negotiate with them, just like you urged Beijing to talk to Hong Kong rioters.’ In another tweet he said both protests defied the law, subverted order, and were destructive, but that Hong Kong’s were seen as justified by the US, while those in the US were unjust.”

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Trump Administration Orders Military Police to Prepare to Deploy to Minneapolis

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Concern is quickly growing on news the Trump administration has ordered U.S. Military Police to prepare to deploy to Minneapolis after four nights of protests. Federal law, specifically the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, makes it illegal in many cases to use the U.S. Military within the borders of the United States, especially for law enforcement.

Early Saturday morning the Associated Press reported “the Pentagon took the rare step of ordering the Army to put several active-duty U.S. military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd sparked the widespread protests.”

Soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders. Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas have been told to be ready within 24 hours.

President Donald Trump in a 1 AM Friday morning tweet threatened to call up the National Guard and shoot “thugs” in Minneapolis if state and local officials did “bring the City under control.”

Trump also tweeted, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

The President promised he would “assume control” and “get the job done right.”

Trump hours earlier, according to the AP, had “asked Defense Secretary Mark Esper for military options to help quell the unrest in Minneapolis after protests descended into looting and arson in some parts of the city.”

National security attorney Bradley Moss weighed in:

Online many are referring to the Posse Comitatus Act to support their belief Trump’s actions might be illegal.

Former Bush chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter, now a law professor, fired off such a warning on Friday before the AP’s report:

The Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe apparently disagrees:

ABC News adds: “Under the post-Civil War law known as Posse Comitatus, the U.S. active duty military is forbidden from carrying out law enforcement duties. That ban can only be waived if a President declares a national emergency.”

 

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