Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Progressive Briefing for Thursday, August 30

Vietnam demands compensation from Monsanto for victims of Agent Orange, California on brink of mandating 100 percent clean energy by 2045, Sanders vs. Amazon intensifies, and more.

Image Credit: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Monsanto faces demands from Vietnam to pay compensation to the victims of Agent Orange

A legal precedent has paved the way for Vietnam to demand Monsanto pay compensation to the many victims of Agent Orange, a chemical herbicide and defoliant used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. While previous claims said herbicides produced by Monsanto – and other companies – and used during the war were harmless, the recent guilty verdict in Monsanto vs. Dewayne Johnson refutes those claims, a spokesman for Vietnam’s foreign ministry said.

“Vietnam has suffered tremendous consequences from the war, especially with regard to the lasting and devastating effects of toxic chemicals, including Agent Orange.”

‘Victory!’ California on brink of mandating 100% clean energy by 2045

Climate activists are cheering after the California Assembly passed legislation on Tuesday that requires the state to transition to 100 percent fossil-fuel free electricity generation by the year 2045.

SB 100, which passed 43-32 and also moves the state’s clean energy goals from 50 percent by 2030 to 60 percent by 2030, shows “the world what climate leadership looks like!” said Right to Zero, the Earthjustice campaign pushing for clean energy in California.

GOP candidate Ron DeSantis warns Florida not to ‘monkey up’ the state by electing his black opponent Andrew Gillum

President Donald Trump’s pick for Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, prevailed in Tuesday’s primary, defeating a more moderate opponent.

The newly anointed GOP candidate, currently U.S. Representative for Florida’s 6th congressional district, went on Fox News on Wednesday to criticize his opponent, Democrat Andrew Gillum, mayor of the state’s capital city, Tallahassee. Gillum would be the state’s first black governor.

During a rant about his opponent, DeSantis called him “articulate” but told voters that his black opponent would “monkey up” the state.

“Florida elections are always competitive, and this is a guy who, although he is much too liberal for Florida, he has huge problems with how he’s governed Tallahassee, he is an articulate spokesman for those far left views,” DeSantis said. “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda.”

After Amazon issued a rare blog post on Wednesday denouncing Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) recent criticism of the retail behemoth as “inaccurate,” Sanders quickly responded with a statement accusing Amazon of being “less than forthcoming” about how much it actually pays its workers and highlighting the fact that Amazon warehouses are considered some of the “most dangerous places to work in the United States.”

While Amazon boasted in its public response to Sanders that it provides a “climate controlled, safe workplace” for its employees, the Vermont senator highlighted the fact that the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health – a workers’ rights advocacy group – placed Amazon on its “Dirty Dozen” list of companies with unsafe working conditions earlier this year.

With a new school year less than a week away and teachers back on the job as of Monday of this week, schools throughout the Detroit Public Schools Community District will be without drinking water after tests detected elevated levels of lead and copper. As Annalise Frank of Crain’s Detroit reported, Nikolai Vitti, the superintendent of Michigan’s largest school district ordered that the water be shut off “immediately,” and informed school staff of his decision in an email that went out Tuesday afternoon.
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