GOOD

In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

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Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

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The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

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Business
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

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Politics

Italy has already been seeing the effects of climate change. Extreme weather (including early spring frost and a summer drought) was responsible for a 57% drop in Italy's olive harvest. Now, Italian children will see lessons in climate change, as Italy becomes the first country to make climate change education mandatory.

Italy's education minister, Lorenzo Fioramonti, is requiring climate change education for all students. Beginning in September 2020, all students will receive 33 hours a year of lessons on climate change and environmental sustainability, which is about one hour per school week. But that's just to start. Fioramonti's goal is to bring climate change education into other subjects, such as geography and math, where students would look at traditional subjects from a sustainable perspective.

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The Planet

North Carolina was the only state where it wasn't considered a crime to continue to have sex with someone after they revoked their consent. The loophole was a result of a 1979 court decision. In State v. Way, the North Carolina Supreme Court determined if "the actual penetration is accomplished with the woman's consent, the accused is not guilty of rape, although he may be guilty of another crime because of his subsequent actions." As a result, many sexual assault victims felt that they couldn't report their experiences, and if they did, they'd find out the system was rigged against them.

Now, North Carolina is entering the 21st century when it comes to sexual assault. The North Carolina legislature unanimously voted to modernize their consent laws. "This is the most common sense piece of legislation we'll ever pass," state Senator Jeff Jackson told NBC News. "Every year victims would call us, share their stories and ask why this loophole still existed." Sen. Jackson also called the law, "a big win for basic decency." After 40 years, no will finally mean no.

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