…there may be unintended consequences to our oversaturated coverage of mass shootings and the widespread belief that they’re increasing, even if neither produces a single new law. In 2010, there was an incident at a Las Vegas-area Costco that bears a striking resemblance to what happened in Ohio. Police gunned down Eric Scott, 38, outside the store after employees complained about the gun he was legally carrying. Though the Costco had a surveillance system, the store claimed that the cameras mysteriously malfunctioned at the time of the shooting. Scott was a West Point graduate with no criminal record. His family says he may have been agitated when hassled about a gun he was legally permitted to carry, but like Crawford’s family, they find it hard to believe that a guy with no criminal history or emotional problems would have intentionally provoked the police into shooting him.
It isn’t difficult to see how the misconception that mass shootings are becoming ubiquitous might make us see threats and potential mass killers instead of, say, a guy checking out a pellet gun, or a Costco shopper with a legal sidearm. And it isn’t difficult to see how a frightened witness might even exaggerate what he saw to get the police to take him seriously. Last month, the California State University San Marcos campus was put on lockdown and a SWAT team was sent in after someone mistook a staff member carrying an umbrella for a mass shooter. Umbrellas have caused similar lockdowns in Issaquah, Wash.; Fort Washington, Pa.; and Akron, Ohio.
via Mass shooting hysteria and the death of John Crawford – The Washington Post.
President Barack Obama is carving out a wide swath the Pacific Ocean for an expanded marine preserve, putting the waters off-limits to drilling and most fishing in a bid to protect fragile underwater life.
The revamped expanded Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument will cover 490,000 square miles – an area roughly three times the size of California – and will become the largest marine preserve in the world. Millions of seabirds, sea turtles and marine mammals live in the bio-rich expanse included by the new monument, which will also add new protections for more than 130 “seamounts” – underwater mountains where rare or undiscovered species are frequently found.
The move to broaden the George W. Bush-era preserve comes as Obama seeks to show concrete presidential action to protect the environment, despite firm opposition in Congress to new environmental legislation. At the United Nations this week, Obama announced new U.S. commitments to help other nations deal with the effects of climate change, as world leaders seek to galvanize support for a major global climate treaty to be finalized next year in Paris.
via Obama Expands Pacific Ocean Preserve, Making It Largest In The World.
A federal appeals court on Wednesday cleared the way for voters in Ohio to begin casting in-person ballots as early as Tuesday, 35 days before the November midterm election.
A three-judge panel of the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus earlier this month that reinstated early in-person voting hours on multiple Sundays and weekday evenings.
The ruling came after an appeal by state attorneys seeking uniform voting hours for all 88 counties argued that the increased cost and chance of fraud outweighed the benefit of extended voting periods.
via Appeals court strikes down GOP plan to cut early voting in Ohio.
The Obama administration has agreed to pay the Navajo Nation a record $554 million to settle longstanding claims by America’s largest Indian tribe that its funds and natural resources were mishandled for decades by the U.S. government.
The accord, resolving claims that date back as far as 50 years and marking the biggest U.S. legal settlement with a single tribe, will be formally signed at a ceremony on Friday in Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the sprawling Navajo reservation.
The deal stems from litigation accusing the government of mismanaging Navajo trust accounts and resources on more than 14 million acres 5.7 million hectares of land held in trust for the tribe and leased for such purposes as farming, energy development, logging and mining.
via U.S. reaches landmark $554 million settlement with Navajo Nation.
Under her leadership, the State Department worked closely with energy companies to spread fracking around the globe—part of a broader push to fight climate change, boost global energy supply, and undercut the power of adversaries such as Russia that use their energy resources as a cudgel. But environmental groups fear that exporting fracking, which has been linked to drinking-water contamination and earthquakes at home, could wreak havoc in countries with scant environmental regulation. And according to interviews, diplomatic cables, and other documents obtained by Mother Jones, American officials—some with deep ties to industry—also helped US firms clinch potentially lucrative shale concessions overseas, raising troubling questions about whose interests the program actually serves.
via How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World | Mother Jones.