Progressive Briefing for Monday, July 30, 2018

California wildfires rage, Philadelphia refuses to share information with ICE, Koch brothers turn on Trump, and more.


Philadelphia won’t share information with ICE in big win for activists

Philadelphia will stop sharing information with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), citing both its misuse and the detention of undocumented immigrants who are not accused of committing any crime. The city has been under pressure from Occupy ICE activists to end information-sharing with the agency.

In an announcement made Friday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) said that the city would not renew the Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System, or PARS. That shared law enforcement program allows ICE to access police information about people who have been arrested.

“We’re not going to provide them with information so they can go out and round people up,” said Kenney.

Koch brothers turn on Trump during annual donor conference as officials warn ‘this White House is causing long-term damage’

Officials representing the billionaire brothers flayed the president over his tariffs at an annual meeting of political heavyweights and donors, with one spokesperson saying, Trump is doing “long-term damage” to the country.

“The divisiveness of this White House is causing long-term damage,” explained Brian Hooks, one of Charles Koch’s top deputies, to reporters at the conference. “When in order to win on an issue someone else has to lose, it makes it very difficult to unite people and solve the problems in this country. You see that on trade: In order to get to a good place on trade, convince the American people that trade is bad.”

Judge orders independent monitor for immigrant facilities after children detail shocking conditions

A federal judge has ordered an independent monitor to evaluate conditions in border facilities that house immigrant children, amid allegations of unsafe conditions and rampant abuse.

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles said there was a serious “disconnect” between the Trump administration’s own assessment of facilities in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley and hundreds of pages of class action testimony detailing major problems, including abusive treatment, lack of adequate food and water, and unsanitary conditions.

Defrauded student borrowers must prove intent; Sessions calls students ‘snowflakes’

Believe it or not, it’s still possible: This week, Congress approved a measure with bipartisan support.

The measure in question is a rewrite of the legislation that governs more than $1 billion of federal funding for career and technical education. CTE programs are meant to give students skills and hands-on experience in a range of important fields, from construction to the culinary arts.

The rewrite ushers in a few important changes. At the top of the list: States won’t have to get the secretary of education’s blessing when setting their CTE goals. The secretary is also barred from dictating standards. The Education Department can step in only if states repeatedly fail to make what the overhaul calls “meaningful progress” toward the goals they set for themselves.

Monster wildfire rages through California, virtually destroying entire town

Two people are dead and nine are missing in northern California as an enormous wildfire continued burning Saturday morning, the latest chapter in a deadly and chaotic wildfire season that is on track to be the worst in the state’s history.

More than 38,000 people in Shasta County fled their homes on Thursday as the Carr Fire bore down on the area, including the city of Redding, home to some 90,000 residents. The fire began on Monday following a vehicle mechanical failure but a combination of severe winds and sweltering temperatures have propelled its size and speed, forcing firefighters to battle what some referred to as a fire “tornado” by Thursday.

Around 500 structures have been destroyed by the fire, in addition to the town of Keswick, where around 450 people live. Only mangled boats and bicycles were left in the town, according to one Reuters report, with all residents having fled.


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