Fashion’s Labor Problem | Trump’s Presidential Profits | The Problem With The Sierra Club
July 24, 2020
The Good News
- Good news for people who like sweets and cinnamon products: Cinnamon linked to blood sugar control in prediabetes, study finds (CNN)
- An Unlikely Community: Neighbors helping neighbors during the pandemic (VC Reporter) Thanks to Karin M. for sharing this story with us, it’s always great to hear about communities helping one another in times of need.
- Four California teens create Covid-19 coloring book for children and raise money for charity (CNN) Sofia Migliazza, Erin Rogers, Lauryn Hong and Ella Matlock created and published the “Covid Coloring Book” to raise the spirits of children.
- This mom donated her lottery winnings to a wounded police officer. Now the community is paying her back (CNN) Shetera Sims showed that even in the most trying of times, compassion and selflessness are still alive and well.
We’re back with another quiz, and this time it works: Test your knowledge on recent world news with this short quiz. Submissions must be made by 12pm EST Monday, 7/27. The winner, announced Tuesday, will win bragging rights for the week as well as a free Daily Pnut t-shirt.
“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” – Robert F. Kennedy
Staying the Course
(VW Pics via Getty Images)
The Trump Organization is a privately-held global conglomerate of about 500 business entities, of which Donald Trump is the sole owner. After attaining the presidency, Trump turned day-to-day business operations over to his two sons and his CFO, Allen Weisselberg. However, the president retained his full financial stake in the organization, including companies that do business with foreign diplomats, state-controlled companies, and state-owned television channels.
At every conceivable opportunity, the president has channeled taxpayer dollars and campaign donors’ money through Trump Organization properties. As of July 19, 2019, Trump had visited Trump Organization properties 269 times. The Secret Service pays for rooms which agents use while protecting the president at his luxury properties, billing taxpayers at rates as high as $650 a night. As of February 2020, Trump Organization properties have charged the Secret Service more than $628,000 since Trump took office in 2017.
It was reported this week that, in 2018, Trump sought to have the lucrative British Open golf tournament moved from the Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland to the Trump Turnberry resort in South Ayrshire, Scotland. That didn’t work out, but US Air Force crews continued overnighting at Turnberry while refueling their planes, costing the military $200,000 as of September 2019. In October 2019, the White House announced Trump would host 2020’s G7 economic summit of world powers at the Trump National Doral resort in Florida. After bipartisan backlash, the decision was abandoned. Millions more have been spent at The Trump International Hotel Washington, DC by foreign governments and their representatives, domestic businesses trying to curry favor, Republican political committees, PACs, and allies.
Trump has not given a dime of his own money to his 2020 reelection campaign. Instead, his campaign is funding the entire effort, including things like food, lodging and rent. $2.2 million in campaign contributions from other people has turned into $2.2 million of revenue for Trump. Since taking office, the president and the Republican party have helped push $6.9 million into his businesses.
China’s Insidious Exports
- Global outrage is mounting over atrocities being committed against the Uighur population of the Xinjiang region in northwestern China, including torture, forced separation, and compulsory sterilization of Uighur women.
- Despite increased awareness of the persecution of the Chinese Uighur population, a coalition of human rights groups say many of the world’s biggest fashion brands and retailers are complicit in forced labor and human rights violations involving up to 1.8 million Uighur and other Turkic and Muslim people in prison camps, factories, and farms in Xinjiang. Global fashion brands source so extensively from Xinjiang that the coalition estimates that up to one in five cotton products sold across the entire world are tainted with the abuses occurring in the region.
- China is the largest cotton producer in the world, with 84 percent of its cotton coming from the Xinjiang region. The coalition has published an extensive list of brands it claims continue to source from the region, or from factories connected to the forced labor of Uighur people, including Gap, C&A, Adidas, Muji, Tommy Hilfiger, and Calvin Klein. (Guardian)
USA: Unsafe State of Asylum
- Since 2004, Canada has had an asylum agreement with the US called the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA). It requires refugee claimants to request protection in the first safe country they reach. Refugees coming from the US who were turned away at the Canadian border challenged the agreement, arguing that the US did not qualify as “safe” for asylum seekers.
- Lawyers said claimants returning to the US were immediately and automatically imprisoned by US authorities, and were subjected to a “terrifying, isolating and psychologically traumatic experience.” On Wednesday, a Canadian federal judge agreed with their position, declaring the STCA unconstitutional. The judge concluded that US imprisonment of migrants violated Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- The ruling is a major victory for Canadian immigration activists. “We’re all too familiar with the treatment that the US metes out to asylum seekers,” said a refugee rights attorney. Some 58,000 people have crossed into Canada since President Trump began cracking down on immigration. Canada had been processing their claims until the COVID-19 pandemic, when the government said they would be turned back. (BBC)
Additional World News
- ISIS exploiting coronavirus security gaps to relaunch insurgency, UN report warns
- In Afghan Attacks, Facts Are Murky. But It’s Clear Deaths Are Piling Up.
- Scandal and Infighting Erupt Within India’s Ailing Congress Party
- Accuse, Evict, Repeat: Why Punishing China and Russia for Cyberattacks Fails
- Why is Xi Jinping pitting China against the world?
- Australian Student Files Climate Change Lawsuit Against Government
- People want a greener, happier world now. But our politicians have other ideas
- Learning From the Kariba Dam: Climate change and neglect have brought the mammoth structure at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe to the brink of calamity — a crisis prefigured in the dam’s troubling colonial history. (NYT, $)
- Are we ready to recycle the “rare earths” behind an energy revolution?
- What’s Going on Inside the Fearsome Thunderstorms of Córdoba Province? (NYT, $)
- In Bangladesh, everything is bought and sold through Facebook (Rest of the World)
- Bruno D, former Nazi SS concentration camp guard, convicted in Germany (CNN)
- South Korea’s Most-Wanted Man Seized in New York (NYT, $)
- 15 Things We Need to Know About the Coronavirus (NYT)
- The Best Science-Backed Tips for Living During COVID-19 (The Cut)
- US government and Pfizer reach $1.95 billion deal to produce millions of Covid-19 vaccine doses (CNN)
- Major Security Flaws Found in South Korea Quarantine App (NYT)
- Can You Get Covid Again? It’s Very Unlikely, Experts Say (NYT). Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice… shame on me
- How Long Does COVID-19 Immunity Last After Recovering? (NPR)
- The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics were supposed to start this week. Here’s what’s happening instead (CNN)
- U.S. Northeast, Pummeled in the Spring, Now Stands Out in Virus Control (NYT)
- Sweden’s COVID death toll is unnerving due to herd immunity experiment (USA Today)
- To Navigate Risk In a Pandemic, You Need a Color-Coded Chart (Wired, $)
(Kelly Sullivan via Getty Images)
- As Confederate statues fall across the country and sports teams abandon their nicknames, other organizations are examining their past. In a post on the Sierra Club’s website Wednesday, the executive director of the nation’s oldest conservation group said: “it’s time to take down some of our own monuments, starting with some truth-telling about the Sierra Club’s early history.”
- No one is more important to the history of environmental conservation than John Muir, who founded the Sierra Club in California in 1892. Muir has been called the “wilderness prophet,” “patron saint of the American wilderness,” and “father of the national parks.” But the organization now acknowledges that Muir was also a racist, and said they would end their blind reverence to him.
- The group is now calling Muir out for his views and use of derogatory language when speaking of African Americans and Native Americans. The Sierra Club isn’t the only organization revisiting its roots. Leaders of predominantly white, liberal, and progressive groups throughout the field of conservation say they are taking a hard look within their organizations, and many don’t like what they see. Meanwhile, minority employees are pointing out the lack of diversity in green groups and the racial bias that persists in the conservation industry’s top and mid-level management. (WaPo, $)
This Atlas Shows We’re Going the Wrong Direction
- For those wondering why America’s cities are experiencing a raucous summer of protests — the likes of which the nation has not seen since the 1960s — look no further than Thursday’s news release from the National Equity Atlas. The organization took federal data on metropolitan areas and tracked performance in housing costs, education, and hourly wages across racial different demographics.
- They found that, even in the United States’ most successful cities, there still exists a sizable achievement gap between people of color and their white counterparts. The racial gulf extends beyond annual income and into every aspect of American life, such as where one lives and how much education they receive.
- These are not novel concepts when considering the plight of minorities in American cities, but the analysis provides quantifiable proof of an increasingly divided urban landscape. For example, in all 150 US metropolitan areas, white workers receive a higher median wage than any other demographic. In 65 of those cities, the hourly wage gap between whites and non-whites has widened by more than $1 since 2000.
- In assessing educational outcomes, the Atlas determined that children of color in American cities are much more likely than white children to attend schools where at least 75% of the student body is considered impoverished, where they are more likely to receive significantly worse education than their counterparts at less-impoverished schools.
- Similar to the racial wage gap, this educational inequity not only exists, but is growing in some areas. Cities like Houston, Charlotte, and Los Angeles are shown to be more socioeconomically segregated today than they were in 2010, dispelling the notion that post-recession growth would close achievement gaps in urban centers. (Atlantic, $)
Additional USA News
- ‘Oil on the inequality fire’: How slashing jobless aid could widen the wealth gap (Politico) & End of $600 Unemployment Bonus Could Push Millions Past the Brink (NYT, $)
- Senate passes bill with plan to change Confederate-named bases over Trump veto threat (The Hill)
- Ocasio-Cortez delivers powerful speech after Republican’s sexist remarks (Guardian)
- Trump cancels Republican national convention events in Jacksonville, Florida (Guardian)
- Philly DA Threatens to Arrest Federal Agents (Bloomberg, $)
- Trump expected to send new federal force to Chicago this week to battle violence, but plan’s full scope is a question mark (Chicago Tribune)
- God Help Us if Judy Shelton Joins the Fed (NYT, $)
- The Sacklers Could Get Away With It: The family behind Purdue Pharma made a fortune on the opioid epidemic. Will they ever truly face justice? (NYT, $)
- Debbie Dingell Doesn’t Believe the Polls (Atlantic, $)
- ‘The Whole of Liberal Democracy Is in Grave Danger at This Moment’ (NYT, $)
Man vs Mosquito: An Unrequited Love
- Mosquitoes have been called the deadliest animal in the world: the tiny creatures are so dangerous that genetic engineering might be the only thing that can stop them. But not all mosquitoes are equally responsible for devastating the human population by spreading disease. There are literally thousands of species of mosquitoes, but only a few like to bite humans. Even within the same species, mosquitoes from different places can have different preferences, with some finding us irresistible while others are unimpressed.
- A team of Princeton researchers spent three years driving around sub-Saharan Africa collecting the eggs of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the ones responsible for Zika, yellow fever, and dengue. After performing countless experiments, the resulting data revealed that mosquitoes that originally came from very dense areas — more than 5,000 people per square mile — liked humans more. Another major factor was climate: mosquitoes that came from places with a rainy season followed by a long, hot, dry season greatly preferred humans.
- The researchers believe they know why. Mosquitoes flourish during the rainy season, but must find a way to survive during the dry season. Standing water is critical for mosquitoes to breed, but is also hard to come by in extremely arid environments. Luckily for mosquito populations, water can be found around humans, who have to store it in order to live themselves. Thus, mosquito populations from arid regions evolved to take advantage of the situation. Quite a predicament for those of us who love the water, but are loved even more by mosquitoes. (NYT)
- Hackers Attacked Two Leading Genetic Genealogy Websites (Buzzfeed)
- The Amazon Critic Who Saw Its Power From the Inside (NYT, $)
- Why Medium is Not the Home for Your Ideas (The Hulry)
- Taiwan laundry: Elderly models are unexpected Instagram hit (BBC)
- The Changing World Order: The Big Cycle of the United States and the Dollar, Part 2 (LinkedIn)
- Appearances vs Experiences: What Really Makes Us Happy (FS Blog). Don’t judge a book by its cover.
- Not all feedback is constructive feedback: The art of giving good workplace advice (BBC)
- Being angry is often seen as negative, but that’s not always the case: How anger can be put to good use (BBC)
- How slow motion changed movies (Vox) From the early days of “The Matrix” to the YouTube stars “The Slow-Mo Guys,” a simple movie effect has become a viral sensation.
- Fox Sports will put ‘virtual fans’ in baseball stadiums this season (CNN)
- The Latest in School Segregation: Private Pandemic ‘Pods’ (NYT)
- Your Kid Doesn’t Need to be LeBron or Serena (NYT, $)
- How Play Energizes Your Kid’s Brain (NYT, $)
- The Way We Used to Play (NYT, $). Today’s children are being pushed more and more to make the most of their developmental years. But could unstructured playtime also help them grow?
- Why You Can Smell a Fart Through a Mask (LifeHacker)
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