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Daily Reads: Court Rules That Texas Intentionally Disenfranchised Minorities; Bernie-Inspired Dem Shakes Up Kansas Special Election

A roundup of stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Court Rules That Texas Intentionally Disenfranchised Minorities

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, now Secretary of Energy, signs a voter identification bill at the Texas Capitol. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)

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Struck down again –> “A federal judge ruled Monday for the second time that Texas’ 2011 voter identification law was filed with discriminatory intent — another blow to the state in a six-year legal battle over the legislation,” James Barragán reports for the Dallas Morning News. A decision last year by an appeals court ruled that the law was discriminatory in effect; yesterday’s decision finds that the law was purposely crafted in order to prevent Latinos and other minorities from voting.

G7 divided on Russia –> In the wake of US air strikes against Assad’s forces in Syria, the G7 — which brought together foreign ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — wanted to give Rex Tillerson a message to deliver to Russia about the country’s role supporting Assad’s forces in Syria, but couldn’t agree on one. Tillerson heads to Moscow today.

Meanwhile, at a press briefing yesterday, Sean Spicer suggested the US may retaliate similarly when the Assad regime drops barrel bombs on its people — something, Zack Beauchamp points out for Vox, that happens, on average, 36 times a day.

Here’s another thing the G7 isn’t sure about –> The group wasn’t able to issue a joint climate statement, because the Rex Tillerson is not yet clear on what the president’s climate strategy will be — and won’t be until a decision is made about whether the US will stay in the Paris Agreement, Dierdre Fulton writes for Common Dreams.

On the defensive in their own backyard –> A Kansas special election to replace former Rep. Mike Pompeo, who became Trump’s head of the CIA, is surprisingly close, an indication of backlash against Trump and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who has put in place a program of deep austerity, Bryan Lowry writes for the Kansas City Star.

The Democrat enjoying surging support is James Thompson, a civil rights lawyer who made his first foray into politics this year, inspired by Bernie Sanders, John Nichols writes at The Nation. He has offered himself as an alternative to the Koch-backed Republicans who enjoy hefty support from the billionaires with whom they share a home state.

War on science reaches DOJ –> “Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday the Justice Department will no longer partner with an independent group of experts that has been working to improve the accuracy of forensic science,” Kira Lerner reports for ThinkProgress. Forensics are not always reliable, and have lead to at least 2,000 wrongful convictions since 1989. The panel was an effort to change that.

Truth to power –> The Pulitzers were awarded yesterday. Among the winners was a small-town newspaper, the Storm Lake Times of Iowa, which has a circulation of 3,000. Art Cullen, who also lays out the paper, serves as a news editor and sometimes-reporter, and has even operated the presses, won American journalism’s highest honor for editorials that uncovered and denounced the Koch Brothers, Cargill and Monsanto’s secret efforts to fund a lawsuit that allowed the pollution of a local river to continue. Read Cullen’s writing at the Pulitzer website and an interview with him at the Poynter Institute.

Other options –> Trump’s wall doesn’t have to be made of brick, mortar and razor wire. It could also be made of solar panels. Or cacti. Architects and researchers are offering up alternative proposals, Andrew Becker writes for Reveal News.

Daily Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Kristin Miller.



We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email.