What We're Reading

Morning Reads: Secret Trade Deal Hits a Speed Bump; Kids Win Climate Case

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

Morning Reads: Secret Trade Deal Hits a Speed Bump

A man reads classified papers from the ongoing US-EU trade talks, presented to the public by Greenpeace near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on May 2, 2016. Greenpeace published documents showing that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) poses "major risks for climate, environment and consumer safety". (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

The next trade deal hits some snags –> With the Trans-Pacific Partnership pending — and an important issue in the US presidential election – negotiators in Europe and America have been forging ahead on another, similar trade agreement, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). But leaked documents show the negotiating process isn’t going well — a report detailed “irreconcilable” differences — and the current agreement will likely face widespread opposition from environmental and public health groups. Arthur Neslen reports for The Guardian.

Kids win on climate –> The kids suing federal and state governments to compel stronger action on climate change won a notable victory, the first of its kind, when a judge cited their case in ordering the Washington State Department of Ecology to deliver an emissions-reducing rule by the end of this year. Gov. Jay Inslee had directed the department to come up with a rule aimed at tackling climate change, but the agency withdrew its proposal in February. That led to Friday’s ruling, in which Judge Hollis Hill required the department to hurry up with a new one, writing “The reason I’m doing this is because this is an urgent situation… These children can’t wait, the polar bears can’t wait, the people of Bangladesh can’t wait.” Sydney Brownstone reports for The Stranger.

Creeping environmental catastrophe –> The flooding plaguing Texas this spring has caused oil and fracking-related chemicals in the fossil fuel-rich state to seep from tanks and drilling sites into rivers. “That’s a potential disaster,” Dr. Walter Tsou, past president of the American Public Health Association, told Marty Shladen of the El Paso Times. “Cattle that drank the fracking fluid actually died an hour after drinking it. There are potential carcinogens that can lead to leukemia, brain cancer and other endocrine disruptors that can affect premature births.”

Big threat to privacy –> Nadia Prupis at Common Dreams: “The US Supreme Court on Thursday quietly approved a rule change that would allow a federal magistrate judge to issue a search and seizure warrant for any target using anonymity software like Tor to browse the internet. Absent action by [the] US Congress, the rule change will go into effect in December.” Kevin Bankston with the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute: “If government hacking is to be allowed at all, it should only be done with authorization from Congress, with strong protective rules in place, and after deep investigation and robust debate.”

Reshaping the race –> The New York Times’ Michael Wines and Manny Fernandez on the role of states that are expanding voter ID laws: “As the general election nears — in which new or strengthened voter ID laws will be in place in Texas and 14 other states for the first time in a presidential election — recent academic research indicates that the requirements restrict turnout and disproportionately affect voting by minorities. The laws are also… reshaping how many campaigns are run — with candidates not only spending time to secure votes, but also time to ensure those votes can be cast.”

May Day –> Across the country yesterday, people marched peacefully in support of higher labor standards and America’s immigrants. But Chris Grygiel and Christopher Weber report for the AP that with Donald Trump the likely Republican presidential candidate, the protests took on added urgency. In Seattle, nine protesters were arrested after clashing with police.

RIP –> Daniel J. Berrigan, the New York City-based Jesuit priest, poet and essayist who played an pivotal role in defining moral opposition to the Vietnam War and racial and economic inequality, died Saturday at the age of 94. With his brother Philip, a former priest, he was one of the Catonsville Nine protesters who in 1968 used homemade napalm to burn files from a Selective Service office in Catonsville, Maryland.

Morning Reads was written by John Light and edited by Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!

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