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A New Credit Card Code Is a First Step Toward Preventing Gun Violence, Advocates Say (Maria)

The author writes, “Gun control advocates are cheering a new change in the credit card industry that they say could help prevent gun violence. This week, credit card companies Visa, Mastercard and American Express all said they would adopt a new code to categorize sales at gun shops, a move that advocates say will make it easier to flag suspicious gun sales. ‘Today’s announcement is a critical first step towards giving banks and credit card companies the tools they need to recognize dangerous firearm purchasing trends … and report them to law enforcement,’ said John Feinblatt, president of [gun control advocacy group] Everytown for Gun Safety …, in a statement last week.”

The Perverse, Potentially Lethal Consequences of Lindsey Graham’s Federal Abortion Ban (Dana)

The author writes, “Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham unveiled a bill that would impose a federal ban on abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy with a few very narrow exceptions. The senator, reversing his prior position that abortion should be left to the states, now seeks to override blue states’ more liberal laws by establishing a nationwide cutoff. If enacted, Graham’s bill would criminalize abortion at the exact moment in pregnancy when dangerous fetal anomalies and maternal health problems come to light. It would force many patients with high-risk pregnancies and severe fetal defects to flee the United States in search of legal termination. It would condemn countless sexual assault victims, including children, to bear their rapist’s child. In short, Graham’s measure would spread the tragic, potentially deadly consequences of red state abortion bans to the entire country.”

How Vote Count Mistakes by Two Rural Counties Fed Trump’s Big Lie (Reader Steve)

From The Fulcrum: “Since 2020’s presidential election, two rural counties in Michigan and Colorado that initially reported incorrect results have had outsized roles in spreading Donald Trump’s big lie that his second term was stolen by Democrats colluding with one of the country’s biggest computerized voting systems makers. The mistaken 2020 election results occurred in two out of the more than 8,000 election jurisdictions across America. They were caused by county officials who did not properly set up the election system computers in Michigan and properly use them in Colorado. The errors, which notably were caught and corrected, received scant attention compared to the sensation they sparked in Trump circles where a cadre of self-proclaimed IT experts — and, later, some of the same officials who erred — asserted that the computers had been sabotaged.”

US Supreme Court Risks Its Legitimacy by Looking Political, Justice Kagan Says (DonkeyHotey)

The authors write, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s legitimacy could be imperiled if Americans come to view its members as trying to impose personal preferences on society, liberal Justice Elena Kagan said on Wednesday in the wake of rulings powered by her conservative colleagues curtailing abortion access and widening gun rights. … Kagan said that on the question of legitimacy, the popularity of the court’s rulings is not the issue. Instead, she added, a ‘court is legitimate when it’s acting like a court,’ by respecting past precedents and not asserting authority to make political or policy decisions.”

The End of Kiwi Farms, the Web’s Most Notorious Stalker Site (Sean)

From Wired: “On the morning of August 5, in London, Ontario, police put an assault rifle in Clara Sorrenti’s face. Sorrenti is a trans activist and Twitch streamer who provides political commentary under the handle Keffals. Earlier that morning, an impersonator had sent an email to city councillors claiming that Sorrenti had killed her mother and would soon go to City Hall to shoot every cisgender person she saw. ‘When I was woken up by police officers and saw the assault rifle pointed at me, I thought I was going to die,’ Sorrenti later recounted in a video on YouTube. ‘I feel traumatized.’ Sorrenti was the latest victim of a vicious ongoing harassment campaign driven by Kiwi Farms, an online community known for stalking, swatting, harassing, doxing, and intimidating everyone from Gamergate targets to far-right congressmember Marjorie Taylor Greene.”

How Russian Trolls Helped Keep the Women’s March Out of Lock Step (Russ)

The author writes, “As American feminists came together in 2017 to protest Donald Trump, Russia’s disinformation machine set about deepening the divides among them.”

The Summer’s Biggest Climate Disasters, Seen From Space (Mili)

From Gizmodo: “Even as someone who writes about climate all the time, it’s still a shock to see satellite imagery of climate crises, to really get a grasp on how large human influence can be on our warming planet. Here’s how this summer of droughts, heatwaves, floods, and wildfires looked from space.”