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Sunday, Jul 05th

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Pa. grand jury report on fracking: DEP failed to protect public health

Pa. did not protect people from fracking dangers

A Pennsylvania grand jury report two years in the making slammed the Department of Environmental Protection for failing to protect the public from the health effects of fracking.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who sent investigators across the state to investigate the industry, announced the findings at a press conference Thursday in Harrisburg. The grand jury said the risk of fracking should fall on the industry and on regulators but DEP “did not take sufficient action in response to the fracking boom.”

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Fracking pioneer Chesapeake Energy files for bankruptcy

Chesapeake Energy files for bankruptcy

Chesapeake Energy Corp. said Sunday that it had filed for bankruptcy protection as an oil- and gas-price rout stoked by the coronavirus pandemic proved to be the final blow for a shale-drilling pioneer long hamstrung by debt.

Co-founded in 1989 by the late wildcatter Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake CHK, -7.27% was early to recognize that horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing could unlock vast troves of natural gas, a trend that led to a rebirth of American fossil-fuel output and eventually made the U.S. the top oil producer in the world.

By the end of 2008, the Oklahoma City-based company had drilling rights to nearly 15 million acres, according to a securities filing, an empire roughly the size of West Virginia. That vast footprint once helped Chesapeake earn the title of second-largest U.S. gas producer.

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Video Shows Detroit Police SUV Plowing Through Group of Protesters

Detroit  Police SUV plows through protesters

A shocking video filmed Sunday night in Detroit shows a police SUV plowing through a group of peaceful protesters, sending people flying from the vehicle’s hood.

The footage, posted to Twitter by demonstrator Ethan Ketner, shows a protest group surrounding the vehicle before it speeds off. The SUV hits multiple people and some demonstrators, who had climbed onto the cop car, are sent spinning as the driver accelerates. Onlookers can be heard screaming and telling the officer to stop.

Ketner wrote: “Detroit Police Department just ran straight through a bunch of our protesters... Myself and 10-12 others were struck by this reckless driver who somehow has a badge.” The demonstrator wrote that “multiple people” were hurt but there’s no official word on the number of people who have been injured.

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New York's Cuomo says Trump should mandate masks in public to fight virus

Andrew CuomoNew York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that President Donald Trump should issue an executive order mandating that people wear masks in public and he should lead by example and cover his face.

“The other states are just starting to do it now, states that were recalcitrant, governors who said ‘we don’t need to do this, masks don’t work,” Cuomo said at a media briefing. “Now they’re doing a 180...let the president have the same sense and do that as an executive order.”

Cuomo once again criticized the federal government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying the White House has been “in denial” from the start of the public health crisis, and that it was not doing enough to tackle a surge of in COVID-19 cases in several U.S. states that has emerged over the past few weeks.

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'Wear a mask!' Republicans change tune as COVID-19 surges

masks save lives.  GOP waking up.

The top Republican in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, said on Monday every American has a responsibility to follow recommendations to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“They should wear a mask,” McCarthy told CNBC after his home state of California began to roll back efforts to reopen the economy. “If you cannot social distance, you need to be wearing a mask and you need to be respectful to one another.”

Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, where cases are spiking, posted a similar message on Twitter.

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Trump posts video of couple brandishing guns towards protesters

Couple point guns at protestersU.S. President Donald Trump on Monday posted a video showing a Missouri couple brandishing guns towards protesters calling for police reforms, again accentuating racial tensions in America.

The Republican president drew swift condemnation on Sunday for retweeting video of a Florida supporter shouting “white power,” a phrase used by white supremacist groups, and later deleted it. The White House said Trump had not heard the slogan.

Without comment, Trump on Monday retweeted an ABC News video showing a white couple brandishing guns towards Black and white protesters marching past a St. Louis home. In the video and others on social media, some protesters can be seen pausing to film or photograph the couple, while others can be heard to shout, “Keep moving!” and “Let’s go!”

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WP: Russian bounties to Taliban fighters believed to result in deaths of US troops

US troops may have died because of Taliban deal with RussiansRussian bounties offered to Taliban militants in Afghanistan to kill US or UK troops there are believed to have resulted in the deaths of multiple US troops, the Washington Post reported Sunday, citing US intelligence gathered from military interrogations.

Multiple people familiar with the matter told the Post it is not clear how many US troops may have been killed as a result of the bounties.
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Supreme Court, in 5-4 ruling, strikes down restrictive Louisiana

SCOTUS strikes down Louisiana abortion restrictionThe Supreme Court ruled Monday that Louisiana's tough restriction on abortion violates the Constitution, a surprising victory for abortion rights advocates from an increasingly conservative court.

The 5-4 decision, in which Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the court's four more liberal justices, struck down a law passed by Louisiana's legislature in 2014 that required any doctor offering abortion services to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Its enforcement had been blocked by a protracted legal battle.

Two Louisiana doctors and a medical clinic sued to get the law overturned. They said it would leave only one doctor at a single clinic to provide services for nearly 10,000 women who seek abortions in the state each year.

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Virtual Gay Pride Celebrated in NYC

Virtual Gay Pride celebration 20202020 marks the 50th anniversary of the Pride March, but the coronavirus pandemic forced people to celebrate from inside their own homes due to social distancing guidelines.

The show featured performers including Janelle Monáe, Deborah Cox and Billy Porter, and appearances from a number of other celebrities.

With the city's massive Pride parade canceled, Sunday's performances were virtual, the flags flew in emptier than normal spaces and the protesters wore masks.

"It's a great thing to see because the original Pride started with the civil rights movement," Matthew Fischer said as he passed out hand sanitizer Sunday at Foley Square. "So we're really going back to the roots of that and making sure we encompass everything that empowers people to be who they are."

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