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Hurricane Aftermath Threatens Drinking Water, Chemical Plants

Blasts, ‘chemical reactions’ rock storm-crippled chemical plant in Texas as Harvey flooding persists. WaPo: "The remnants of Hurricane Harvey carried its wrath up the Mississippi Delta on Thursday, but not before hammering the Gulf Coast with more punishing cloudbursts and growing threats that included blasts and 'black smoke' at a crippled chemical plant and the collapse of the drinking water system in a Texas city."

Texas Judge Blocks Sanctuary Cities Ban

Federal judge blocks Texas’ ban on ‘Sanctuary Cities’. NYT: "A federal judge in San Antonio on Wednesday blocked Texas from enforcing its ban on so-called sanctuary cities, questioning the constitutionality of a law that has pitted Republican state leaders against several Democratic-leaning cities. The judge’s ruling was only temporary, and prevents the law from taking effect on Friday while a suit against it goes forward. But the decision, which Texas said it would appeal, served as a legal blow to one of the toughest state-issued immigration laws in the country and puts the brakes on a measure backed by the Trump administration that critics had called anti-Latino. The law has become so divisive that it served as the backdrop of a shoving match at the Texas Capitol between Hispanic Democratic lawmakers and their white Republican colleagues."

Scott Pruitt's Toxic Record at the EPA

Scott Pruitt is leaving a toxic trail at EPA after only 6 months on the job. ThinkProgress: "Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was sworn into office only six months ago but is already attracting widespread scrutiny for alleged misuse of agency funds, potential violation of a lobbying law, and holding secret meetings with officials from the industries his agency is tasked with regulating.
Upon arrival at the agency, the new EPA administrator pledged a back-to-basics philosophy. That shift in agency priorities, however, appears to be geared toward raising the profile of Pruitt at the expense of cleaner air and water for Americans."

Houston's Unbridled Growth Prompts Flooding

Why is Houston so vulnerable to devastating floods? BBC: "Understanding why the risk to life and property is rising is crucial not only to the future of America's fourth-largest city, but to others around the world which share many of its problems. Houston's unbridled, rapid growth is a primary factor. The population of its metropolitan area is close to 6.8 million people and, with predictions of some of the country's fastest growth for the coming years, it is expected to top 10 million by 2040. Growth itself is not a problem, as it can create economic, social and environmental benefits for cities. But poorly planned growth which fails to carefully manage land use - for housing, businesses and the infrastructure like roads, parks and sewers that cities need - can create problems and even lead to disasters. Houston has long favoured light touch controls, which has led to haphazard development. The city now covers an enormous area of more than 1,500 sq km. It is the archetype of urban sprawl, where land is made readily accessible for real estate development on the city's ever expanding periphery."

GA Officer Tells Stopped Driver 'We Only Kill Black People'

GA officer tells nervous DUI driver "We only kill black people." New York Post: "A lieutenant from a police department in Georgia is under investigation after a dashcam video obtained by Channel 2 Action News appears to show the officer telling a driver during a DUI stop, 'Remember, we only kill black people.' Lt. Greg Abbott of the Cobb County Police Department reportedly asked the driver to grab her cellphone, but she replies that she’s afraid to move her hands because she has 'just seen way too many videos of cops…' Abbott responds, 'But, you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people. We only kill black people, right? All the videos you’ve seen, have you seen the black people get killed?'"

More from

Our President Is a White Supremacist. Alan Jenkins: "The President of the United States is a white supremacist. He is not just a defender or apologist for bigots and hatemongers. He is one of them, and no one who’s been paying attention can be shocked to learn this. What’s more, when the President of the United States candidly speaks the vitriolic and despicable thoughts that are in his head, it’s not 'going rogue.' It is an unadulterated expression of hateful ideology from the highest office in our land."

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