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The Secretary claimed that he did not have the authority under the law to grant the claims — generally, the federal government cannot be sued by its employees or members of the military for claims for costs or damages.
Why This Matters: This is yet another example of the Trump Administration appearing to be callous in the face of pain and suffering of innocent people caused by its actions — and to deny these claims while the shutdown was ongoing seems particularly tone deaf. However, the Secretary is correct when it comes to the law — the government is immune from private lawsuits or claims for damages like this. Still, the Secretary could have called on Congress to take action to provide financial compensation to these victims over and above the health care benefits the VA is already providing. That would have been the right thing to do for our Veterans and their families. Congress could and should take action.
A recent study published in Conservation Letters found that over 500 dams in planning stages or already constructed are located within protected areas. As Yale E360 reported this week, this study is significant in that it is the first to measure how many dams are being built in protected areas, including in national parks, nature reserves, indigenous areas, and more.
Why This Matters: As the article in Conservation Letters lays out, these protected areas are an “essential tool” in the conservation of freshwater biodiversity.
by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer Torrential rains have flooded “at least a quarter” of Bangladesh, Somini Sengupta and Julfikar Ali Manik reported in the New York Times last week. According to data from the National Disaster Response Coordination Center, 4.7 million people have been affected by this deluge and over 50,000 people have been […]
As the “dog days” of summer are here, so is the threat of toxic algae in lakes and ponds across the U.S., according to reports from news outlets nationwide.The Boston Globe’s David Abel reported on how the 996 small lakes on Cape Cod that had provided a respite from saltwater are now warming so rapidly that they are being “transformed by climate change” that saps their oxygen, makes them dangerous for swimming by humans and pets, and harms wildlife.
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