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Youth Activists Win ‘Unprecedented’ Climate Settlement in Hawaii (Maria)

The authors write, “Hawaii officials have announced a ‘groundbreaking’ legal settlement with a group of young climate activists, which they said will force the state’s department of transportation to move more aggressively towards a zero-emission transportation system. ‘You have a constitutional right to fight for life-sustaining climate policy and you have mobilized our people in this case,’ Josh Green, the Hawaii governor, told the 13 young plaintiffs in the case, saying he hoped the settlement would inspire similar action across the country.”

Arizona Is Sending Taxpayer Money To Religious Schools — And Billionaires See It As a Model for the US (Dana)

From CNN: “Arizona was the first state in the country to enact a universal ‘education savings account’ program — a form of voucher that allows any family to take tax dollars that would have gone to their child’s public education and spend the money instead on private schooling. A CNN investigation found that the program has cost hundreds of millions of dollars more than anticipated, disproportionately benefited richer areas, and funneled taxpayer funds to unregulated private schools that don’t face the same educational standards and antidiscrimination protections that public schools do.”

Once Again, GOP Puts Its Extremism in Black and White (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Thank you, Republican rank and file. You keep putting down in writing what the smooth-talking politicians won’t admit. Earlier this spring it was the Washington GOP, which just came right out and said that it’s no longer into democracy. ‘We … oppose legislation which makes our nation more democratic in nature,’ was how they put it in a bracingly blunt resolution at the state GOP convention in Spokane. Well now it’s our neighbors over in Idaho, who last weekend had their state Republican convention in Coeur d’Alene. They also approved a bunch of anti-democratic stuff, like a proposal to do away with electing U.S. senators. But where they truly contributed to the national understanding of where things are headed was in their adopted plank titled ‘Defining Human Personhood.’”

Leaked Documents Reveal Patient Safety Issues at Amazon’s One Medical (Russ)

From The Washington Post: “Since Amazon acquired the primary-care service One Medical, elderly patients have been routed to a call center — staffed partly by contractors with limited training — that failed on more than a dozen occasions to seek immediate attention for callers with urgent symptoms, according to internal documents seen by The Washington Post.”

’Tis the Season for Swimming and Bacteria Alerts in Lakes, Rivers (Sean)

The authors write, “With summer [starting], many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings. During the busy Memorial Day weekend and shortly afterward, at least 20 people, most of them children, reported E. coli infections after they swam in Lake Anna, a popular recreational destination in central Virginia. Nine of those people were hospitalized. An additional 10 cases are under investigation. … Here’s what to know about the most common concerns.”

Are Animals Conscious? How New Research Is Changing Minds (Gerry)

From the BBC: “Charles Darwin enjoys a near god-like status among scientists for his theory of evolution. But his ideas that animals are conscious in the same way humans are have long been shunned. Until now. ‘There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery,’ Darwin wrote. … Attributing consciousness to animals based on their responses was seen as a cardinal sin. The argument went that projecting human traits, feelings, and behaviors onto animals had no scientific basis and there was no way of testing what goes on in animals’ minds. But if new evidence emerges of animals’ abilities to feel and process what is going on around them, could that mean they are, in fact, conscious?”

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