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How One Senator’s Broken Hip Puts Net Neutrality at Risk (Maria)

The author writes, “One of the strange features of American government is that an 82-year-old’s broken hip can cause a sea change in telecom policy. The 82-year-old in question is Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who had surgery after a fall [last] Thursday and is said to be resting comfortably. But, while Leahy recuperates, he won’t be able to cast votes, and Democrats won’t be able to flex their razor-thin Senate majority — which could cost the administration its last chance to institute net neutrality rules.”

The GOP Is the Party of Gruesome Oil Profiteering (Sean)

From The Nation: “In the days leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, when millions of Americans travel by car, Republicans sought to blame President Biden and congressional Democrats for high gas prices. … But this particular blame-shifting also allows Republicans to deflect scrutiny from the real culprits: fossil fuel companies that have been a major source of support for GOP politicians, who have embraced calls to sacrifice even the most pristine spaces to Big Oil exploitation.”

School’s Out Forever: Arizona Moves To Kill Public Education’ With New Universal Voucher Law (DonkeyHotey)

From Salon: “While the country reeled from the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, Arizona made history of a different sort. Legislators in the Grand Canyon State passed a universal school voucher bill that, once signed by Gov. Doug Ducey, will become the most wide-reaching school privatization plan in the country. In his January State of the State address, Ducey called on Arizona lawmakers to send him bills that would ‘expand school choice any way we can,’ and the Republican-dominated legislature obliged, delivering [a bill] which will open a preexisting program for Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) up to the entire state. In practice, the law will now give parents who opt out of public schools a debit card for roughly $7,000 per child that can be used to pay for private school tuition, but also for much more: for religious schools, homeschool expenses, tutoring, online classes, education supplies and fees associated with ‘microschools,’ in which small groups of parents pool resources to hire teachers.” 

Big Lie Harassment Continues to Take Its Toll in Nevada (Reader Steve)

From The Nevada Independent: “You may have missed the recent story on the resignation of Washoe County Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula, who departed after 15 years on the job. Prior to her announcement, Spikula had taken a leave of absence after receiving threats at her office from promoters of baseless claims of voter fraud. The pressure faced by Spikula and other county registrars and clerks responsible for election security in Nevada has been intense and continues even as Donald Trump’s big lie continues to collapse in scandal.”

Will Biden Finally Do More to Secure Brittney Griner’s Release Now That She’s Pleaded Guilty? (Dana)

The author writes, “On Thursday, women’s basketball star Brittney Griner pled guilty in Russia to trumped-up charges of drug trafficking on only the second day of her trial, reportedly as a way to advance a prisoner exchange to gain her release back home. Such an exchange cannot come soon enough and the Biden administration must do everything in its power to speed it along after months of failure.”

MI5, FBI Chiefs Warn of ‘Game-Changing’ Challenges From China (Sean)

The author writes, “The heads of the United Kingdom and the United States’ domestic intelligence services have raised alarms about Chinese economic espionage in a rare joint address in London. Ken McCallum, the director of the UK’s MI5, said on Wednesday that the Chinese government’s ‘covert pressure across the globe’ amounts to ‘the most game-changing challenge we face,’ while Chris Wray, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), warned Western firms that Beijing was determined to steal their technology for competitive gain.”

Third Omicron Wave Expected to Grow Rapidly in Coming Weeks, Peak in August (Emily)

The author writes, “The third Omicron wave has begun and is expected to increase rapidly and peak in August, says a COVID modeling expert. ‘I think there was hope we wouldn’t have another wave until the fall, but the wave is starting now,” said Sally Otto, who advises masking up again, along with getting booster shots. Otto, an evolutionary biologist and mathematical modeler at the University of British ­Columbia, presented her data to the main North American ­meeting of evolutionary biologists in Cleveland, Ohio, this past week.”

Aliens Could Send Quantum Messages to Earth, Calculations Suggest (Mili)

The author writes, “An intelligent alien civilization could beam quantum messages to Earth. Particles of light, or photons, could be transmitted over vast, interstellar distances without losing their quantum nature, researchers report June 28 in Physical Review D. That means scientists searching for extraterrestrial signals could also look for quantum messages.”