Progressive Briefing for Friday, August 31

Corporate profits reach new heights, Trump cancels pay raise for federal workers, Canada rescinds Trans Mountain pipeline approval, and more.

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Former Pennsylvania Treasurer sentenced to prison for attempted extortion

Recorded in thousands of wiretapped conversations attempting to extort campaign contributions from a law firm and a property management company, former Pennsylvania State Treasurer Robert McCord was recently sentenced to 30 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to two counts of attempted extortion. At his sentencing this week, McCord admitted wrongdoing and apologized to the people of Pennsylvania.

As corporate profits reach new heights after Trump tax cuts, 40% of Americans can’t afford basic necessities

Just days after an alarming study by the Urban Institute found that nearly half of the American public can’t afford basic necessities like food, healthcare, and housing, new Commerce Department data released on Wednesday showed that corporate profits are soaring to new heights thanks in large part to President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cuts.

Viewed side-by-side, this contrast between booming profits for corporations and dwindling quality of life for much of the U.S. population provides a striking picture of America’s two-tiered economy, one that has become even more lopsided in favor of the rich since President Donald Trump took office in 2017.

Trump announces plans to cancel pay raises for civilian workers across the federal government

Pay raises for civilian workers across the federal government were nixed by Donald Trump in an announcement to congressional leaders on Thursday. This means 1.8 million workers won’t get their “automatic pay boost next year,” Politico reported.

Citing the “nation’s fiscal situation,” Trump said pay raises should be a result of “performance” not “across-the-board” increases.

‘Great victory for Indigenous communities everywhere’: Canadian court rescinds Trans Mountain approval

Indigenous peoples and climate campaigners scored a major victory in Canada on Thursday as the Federal Court of Appeals ruled that the government’s review of the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline, a project of Kinder Morgan, did not adequately consult with First Nations before greenlighting the project.

The ruling comes after ongoing and mass opposition to the project, and members of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish and Musqueam First Nations—committed to fight the pipeline with every means necessary—have said they never consented to the pipeline passing through their lands and amid vital waterways.

Nearly 500 immigrant children remain separated from their families

Nearly 500 migrant children are still separated from their parents, including 22 children under the age of five.

According to a government filing Thursday night, 497 of the 2,654 migrant children separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border under the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy are still being held in detention facilities, many of which have histories of abuse, mismanagement, or neglect.

The parents of 322 of those children have already been deported.

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