Rail Union Workers Reportedly Win Right to Sick Time in Tentative Deal

The Biden White House on Thursday announced a tentative agreement between unions and rail carriers that reportedly includes a win for workers on sick leave, an issue central to the dispute that nearly resulted in a nationwide strike. The Washington Post reported that the deal, which still must be approved by union members, would give rail workers “the ability to take days off for medical care without being subject to discipline.” The Post’s Lauren Kaori Gurley noted on Twitter that “workers will receive voluntary assigned days off and a single additional paid day off. (They previously did not receive sick…

Dark Money Groups Are Scheming to Bring Down Biden’s Student Debt Relief Plan

Republican attorneys general and corporate advocacy groups are exploring ways to sue the Biden administration over its newly announced plan to cancel $10,000 in federal student loan debt for most borrowers, hoping the conservative-packed U.S. judiciary will strike down the executive action and deny badly needed relief to around 40 million people. Shortly after President Joe Biden announced his debt forgiveness plan, the Job Creators Network — a dark money organization representing business groups and executives — declared that it is “weighing its legal options to block President Biden’s illegal student loan bailout,” calling the move “executive overreach.” Americans for…

Tlaib: Biden Must ‘Hold Israel Accountable’ for Raid on Palestine Rights Groups

U.S. Rep Rashida Tlaib on Friday urged the Biden administration to “hold Israel accountable” after the country’s forces raided and shuttered the offices of seven Palestinian human rights groups in the occupied West Bank, a move that drew international outrage. “Exactly 100 days since American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was assassinated by an Israeli sniper, the apartheid government moved to shut down seven human rights organizations at the core in fighting for the lives, liberties, and freedoms of millions of Palestinians,” Tlaib (D-Mich.), the first Palestinian-American woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress, said in a statement. “These acts are…

Critics Warn Drilling Project in Arctic Would Unleash Dangerous “Carbon Bomb”

Climate groups raised the alarm and put President Joe Biden on notice after the Bureau of Land Management opened the public comment period Friday for a proposed drilling project in the Alaskan Arctic that critics warn would unleash a dangerous “carbon bomb” and threaten pristine ecosystems if given approval by the federal government. Oil giant ConocoPhillips has proposed the oil drilling and extraction Willow Project in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, located in the Western Arctic coastal region in the far north of the state. Hundreds of state, local, and national environmental and Indigenous groups, however, have come out forcefully against…

Abortion Activists Slam White House for Saying They Are “Out of Step” With Dems

Comments by White House communications director Kate Bedingfield over the weekend have touched a fresh nerve among progressives already frustrated by the Biden administration’s tepid response to the right-wing attack on abortion rights including the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade last month. Quoted in a detailed piece of reporting by the Washington Post, Bedingfield referred dismissively to those frustrated by the administration’s slow and less-than-forceful response to the Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “Joe Biden’s goal in responding to Dobbs is not to satisfy some activists who have been consistently out of step…

Biden Admin Proposes New Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling in ‘Stark Betrayal’

Late Friday, just before the start of the July 4 holiday weekend, the Biden administration published a draft proposal that could allow new oil and gas drilling in federal waters off the coast of Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico, a move that environmentalists warned would further endanger marine life and exacerbate the climate crisis. If implemented, the plan released by the Interior Department would permit up to 11 new oil lease sales over a five-year period, adding to the significant lease sales that have already taken place under the Biden administration despite the president’s campaign promise to ban…

Supreme Court Immigration Ruling Is Welcome, But Deadly Policies Remain in Place

We go to San Antonio, where 53 migrants seeking refuge in the U.S. died earlier this week after being confined to a sweltering tractor-trailer. Human rights advocates blamed the tragedy on restrictive immigration policies like the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as MPP or the “Remain in Mexico” program. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that President Biden has the power to end the Trump-era policy, which forced tens of thousands of asylum seekers to stay on the Mexican side of the border in unsafe conditions while their cases were resolved in the U.S. “Every single…

Sanders Calls for Windfall Tax to Defend Economy Against Corporate Greed

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday slammed oil companies for raking in huge profits on the backs of U.S. consumers and reiterated his case for a windfall tax, a demand that came as President Joe Biden’s call for a federal gas tax holiday faced growing pushback from progressives and top officials in his own administration. “Corporate greed is destroying this economy. Right now, people all over the country are paying $5, $6 for a gallon of gas,” said Sanders (I-Vt.), the chair of the Senate Budget Committee. “Meanwhile, in the first quarter of this year, oil company profits were $93 billion,…

Biden Succumbs to Lobbyists in Move Toward Saudi Arms and Defense Agreements

President Biden’s formally announced plan to visit Saudi Arabia next month is a dramatic reversal of earlier promises to treat the Arab nation as a “pariah” in light of its repeated human rights violations. Calls are growing for Biden to hold the Saudi government accountable for the brutal murder and dismemberment of American resident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. But as he faces domestic anger over rising fuel prices, Biden seems to have declining leverage with one of the most oil-rich countries in the world and the top weapons client for the U.S. “The Biden administration has succumbed to…

US Approved Weapons Sale to Nigeria Months After It Bombed Civilians

This April, the Biden administration approved the sale of 12 AH-1Z Attack Helicopters and other related military equipment to the Nigerian government for $997 million. U.S. officials claim the sale will support national security objectives by improving Nigeria’s ability to fight the extremist group Boko Haram. But sales of weapons like these come with major human rights risks for the Nigerian population — risks U.S. officials should be taking more seriously. U.S. lawmakers in Congress had a 30-day window, through May 14, to stop the administration from issuing a Letter of Offer and Acceptance. But they can still adopt legislation…

Federal Grant May Help Pay for Razing of School Where Uvalde Shooting Took Place

Robb Elementary School, the site of the tragic shooting on May 24 where 19 children and two teachers were killed, may be demolished using federal grant money, according to Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin. “I don’t think anybody’s plans are but to tear that building down,” McLaughlin said in a quote to NBC. “I would never ask, expect, a child to ever have to walk in those doors ever, ever again. That building needs to be gone.” State Sen. Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio, who oversees the Uvalde district, agrees with McLaughlin and when President Biden paid a visit to the…

Biden Administration Sues Alaska Over Opening of Fishing Areas Amid Shortages

When fish numbers are low, who gets to continue to harvest fish in rural Alaska? Federal agencies say only local, rural residents. The state of Alaska says all Alaskans. The Biden administration filed suit on May 17 against the Alaska Department of Fish and Game over fish openings on the Kuskokwim River during fish shortages. The lawsuit is part of a long-standing conflict between federal land management agencies and the state over subsistence, or the gathering of food from nature for nutrition and cultural practices. This latest tussle was prompted by the state ignoring federal authority on the Kuskokwim river,…

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