Planned Cuts to US Development Funds Could Hurt World’s Neediest

FL Governor Signs Crackdown on Constitutional Amendments ; Extreme Weather Is Pissing Off Spiders ; and More Picks

US aid funds, cuts
The author writes, “The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is reportedly preparing to submit this week a rescission package that could cut billions in foreign development funding — a move that would have a long-term impact on both the federal budget process and vulnerable populations around the world. Why it matters: OMB’s plan could target global programs that reduce food insecurity, improve public health, expand energy access and combat corruption. And it would upend decades of bipartisan consensus that development funds are a valuable tool to advance America’s values and foreign policy, national security and economic interests.” Photo credit: Marion Doss / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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Ron DeSantis Signs Crackdown on Constitutional Amendments (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday approved legislation that would crack down on citizen petitions, a move that is likely to quash future ballot initiatives disliked by Republican lawmakers and corporate donors. The bill, which takes effect before the 2020 election, makes it drastically harder to collect enough signatures to make it onto voters’ ballots. And it will solidify Republican control in Tallahassee by eliminating one of the last threats to their power: the ballot box.”

Court: Electoral College Members Not Bound by Popular Vote (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “A U.S. appeals court in Denver said Electoral College members can vote for the presidential candidate of their choice and aren’t bound by the popular vote in their states. … The ruling applies only to Colorado and five other states in the 10th Circuit: Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming. It could influence future cases nationwide in the unlikely event that enough Electoral College members strayed from their states’ popular vote to affect the outcome of a presidential election, constitutional scholars said.”

Lawsuit Filed to Protect Habitat for 12 Endangered Coral Species (Chris)

From the Center for Biological Diversity: “About 30 percent of corals have already been lost as oceans warm and turn more acidic, and scientists say the rest could be gone by the end of the century.”

A Scientific Breakthrough at the Florida Aquarium Could Save ‘America’s Great Barrier Reef’ (Mili)

The author writes, “The Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Florida, says they’ve made scientific history as a group of coral has successfully reproduced two days in a row for the first time in a lab setting.”

Spiders Are Getting More Aggressive Thanks to Hurricanes and Other Extreme Weather (Mili)

From Mic:According to researchers at McMaster University in a new study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, recent studies of spider behaviors have identified an evolutionary impact on certain populations of arachnids living in regions more prone to storms and other dangerous weather situations. In these areas, high winds can knock down trees, blow errant debris into spider nests, and create a volatile environment for spiders to attempt to survive in. As a result, some end up becoming more prone to aggressive behaviors in an attempt to better gather resources and keeping themselves and their colonies safe.”

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