Senator Tom Cotton has repeatedly attacked Democrats who voted for the Covid-19 relief bill for giving money to “murderers and rapists” in prison, citing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, convicted in the Boston Marathon bombing.
The Arkansas Republican has neglected to mention, however, that during Donald Trump’s presidency he twice voted for Covid bills that provided payments for prisoners.
Prisoners’ advocates say payments are warranted, as many will be released into a situation where the pandemic has ravaged the US economy, leading to high unemployment and many families struggling to pay for basic necessities.
Payments also decrease the burden on prisoners’ families, who often have to provide for them after they are released.
“Providing stimulus funds to incarcerated people helps protect the health and wellbeing of those behind bars and provides relief to their loved ones at home,” the Prison Policy Initiative said last year.
Martin Pengelly here with one of those stories that gives this live blogger sleepless nights…
Wall Street Journal editors working from home in Connecticut fell under suspicion on Monday, when the paper published an unusual correction.
“The stray word ‘Yay!’ was inadvertently inserted,” it said, “during editing of an article on Friday about Connecticut’s Covid-19 restrictions.”
The piece in question was printed in Friday’s paper. It reported a state decision to lift all capacity limits on offices, shops and restaurants from 19 March, though a mask mandate will stay in place.
“This is not Texas,” the paper quoted Democratic governor Ned Lamont telling reporters. “This is not Mississippi. We are maintaining the masks. We know what works, and masks work.”
It was not clear from the online correction if the mystery man or woman who inserted the stray “Yay!” was delighted by news of restrictions lifting, or by Lamont’s expression of faith in face masks, or by the simple fact of Connecticut not being Mississippi or Texas.
Online images of the Journal’s print edition, however, revealed the “Yay!” to have been inserted after Lamont’s statement that “masks work”.
The US needs to commit to slashing its planet-heating emissions by at least half by the end of the decade to address the climate crisis and spur other countries to greater action, a coalition of American environmental groups has urged.
Joe Biden’s administration is set to unveil a new national emissions reduction target at a climate meeting it has convened with other major economic powers on Earth Day, 22 April, which it hopes will galvanize countries that are currently dangerously lagging in efforts to stave off disastrous climate change.
A motley selection of environmental groups and leaders have said the US goal must be no lower than a 50% cut in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, based on 2005 levels. This will, the groups argue, put America on track to meet Biden’s aspiration of net zero emissions by 2050, as well as provide a major push to countries and businesses that were bereft of American climate leadership during Donald Trump’s presidency.
“The target has to be ambitious enough to show US leadership, but also credible, it can’t just be plucked from thin air,” said Nat Keohane, vice-president for international climate at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). “This is ambitious but also feasible. We need to show the US is bringing everything it can to this fight.”
A new EDF report calls for a “whole of government effort” to combat the climate crisis, with all cars sold in the US to be zero emissions from 2035, a clean electricity standard to shift the grid to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, and new regulations to restrict methane emissions from oil and gas drilling.
Other environmental groups, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, World Resources Institute and National Resources Defense Council, have also rallied to the idea of a 50% cut, along with figures such as Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington, and Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, as crucial to curb ever-worsening wildfires, floods and heatwaves that are suffered disproportionately by underserved Americans of color.
“We see this important opportunity to bolster equity and fairness,” said Starla Yeh, a clean energy policy specialist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The goal is not only achievable but cost effective. The more progress we make this decade, the better off we will be.”
Read more of Oliver Milman’s report here: US urged to cut 50% of emissions by 2030 to spur other countries to action
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