Progressive Briefing for Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Monsanto found guilty, widespread sexual abuse by priests in Pennsylvania, who Democrats are listening to, and more.


Jury finds Monsanto guilty, plaintiff to receive $289 million

On Friday, Monsanto was found guilty in a lawsuit that alleged Roundup, a glyphosate-based herbacide, causes cancer. After three days of deliberation, the jury at San Francisco’s Superior Court in California ruled that Monsanto failed to warn users of it’s product about the cancer risks and ordered the company pay the plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson, $289 million in restitution.

A first of it’s kind to go to trail, the case was brought against Monsanto by Johnson, 46, a former pest control manager for a California country school system, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system, and alleged it was caused by Roundup and Ranger Pro, both glyphosate herbicides. It was “fast-tracked for trial due to the severity” of his cancer, which Johnson’s doctors said he mostly likely won’t live past 2020, Reuters reported.

Think 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 were hot? New study warns next five years won’t be any better

With 2018 on track to become the fourth hottest year on record – surpassed in temperature only by 2015, 2016, and 2017 – scientists warned in an alarming paper released on Tuesday that the next five years will likely be “anomalously warm,” a sign that extreme weather events currently wreaking havoc in the United States and across the globe could become even more intense in the very near future.

Report reveals widespread sexual abuse by over 300 priests in Pennsylvania

A long-awaited grand jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania was released Tuesday in an interim, redacted form. The report detailed decades of alleged misconduct and cover-ups in six of the state’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses.

The roughly 900-page report, thought to be the most comprehensive of its kind, paints a horrid portrait of activity that occurred in the dioceses of Scranton, Allentown, Harrisburg, Greensburg, Erie and Pittsburgh, implicating 300 “predator priests” statewide who committed “criminal and/or morally reprehensible conduct.”

ICE agents set ‘trap’ for immigrants seeking legal residency

Two federal immigration agencies worked together in a coordinated effort to set deportation traps for unsuspecting immigrants seeking legal status, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) alleged in a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen this week.

According to the Boston Globe, the two agencies arranged meetings for the undocumented immigrants at government offices, where they were subsequently arrested, and in some cases deported.

Here’s who Democrats are listening to.

Two of the three Bernie Sanders-endorsed candidates who were on the ballot last Tuesday lost their primary races – Abdul El-Sayed of Michigan and Brent Welder of Kansas were defeated, while fellow Kansan James Thompson advanced to the general election. Not surprisingly, commentators were quick to proclaim that the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is flaming out in 2018 primaries.

But here’s who the Democrats are really listening to.

Trump ‘absolutely’ knew WikiLeaks had Clinton emails before they were released: Omarosa

Omarosa Manigault-Newman, the former White House aide turned enemy, on Tuesday claimed Donald Trump had prior knowledge that WikiLeaks had emails from Hillary Clinton campaign associates.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Katy Tur to promote her new tell-all book, Manigault-Newman said then-candidate Trump “absolutely” knew about the emails before WikiLeaks released them.

Acting EPA head spreads misinformation on fuel efficiency standards in ‘must run’ Sinclair segment

Acting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, in one of his first television interviews, championed the Trump administration’s widely criticized efforts to roll back Obama-era auto fuel efficiency and emissions standards.

In an interview with the conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group, Wheeler said the EPA believes that freezing auto standards for five years “will save over 1,000 lives a year.” The acting administrator also claimed the American consumer will save $500 billion over the course of the regulation.

Vermont Democrats make history by nominating transgender woman for governor

Vermont voters made history on Tuesday as Christine Hallquist, a transgender woman, won the Democratic primary for governor.

Hallquist, who will now face Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott in the general election, becomes the first openly transgender person to ever win a major party’s nomination for governor in U.S. history. If she wins in November, she’d be the nation’s first transgender governor.


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