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Friday, June 14, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Climate activists call on U.S. company to halt trade lawsuit over LNG

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Thursday, April 11, 2024   

Environmental activists are rallying today in Sunnyvale, asking the American company Ruby River Capital to drop a lawsuit the protesters called "a grave threat" to climate action.

Ruby River is suing the government of Canada after the government denied permits for a proposed Liquefied Natural Gas terminal in Quebec.

Clayton Tucker, climate organizer for the Trade Justice Education Fund, said the suit initially asked arbitrators to fine the government $20 billion for loss of future profits but then scaled the request down to $1 billion.

"It is not democratic for corporations to have their own private justice system to punish governments for trying to protect the people and the planet," Tucker argued. "If the people of Quebec or anywhere say, hey, we don't actually want this, then that's democracy. That's how it works."

Ruby River argued it spent $120 million to develop the LNG proposal after top Canadian officials initially stated support for the project. The Canadian government scuttled it on environmental grounds in the face of public protest.

The suit was filed under a provision in older trade agreements called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement system, which are decided by a panel of three international corporate trade attorneys. The attorneys are appointed, one each by the plaintiff and defendant, and they jointly appoint the third.

Tucker pointed out the provision allowing such lawsuits is being phased out of newer trade agreements because it has a chilling effect on government protections.

"While it technically cannot undo a law, they de facto kind of do undo a lot of court rulings and other policies because they can fine governments millions, if not billions of dollars," Tucker outlined. "Then governments are afraid to introduce labor or environmental protections."

Similar protests are also taking place today at Ruby River offices in Texas, Delaware and Canada.

Disclosure: The Trade Justice Education Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Livable Wages/Working Families, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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