Mar 28, 2018

EPA issued memo downplaying human role in climate change

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency downplayed the role that human activity has played in accelerating climate change in talking points distributed via an internal memo, reports The Huffington Post. One of the memo's talking points says that "human activity" impacts climate change in "some manner," adding, "The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue."

Why it matters: Axios' Amy Harder says the very existence of these talking points puts on paper the phrasing that EPA chief Scott Pruitt has been using for months. For that reason, it's one of the most concrete public signs that the EPA's effort to dismiss climate change is coordinated and not haphazard.

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South Carolina paper The State backs Buttigieg for Democratic primary

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina newspaper The State endorsed former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday night for the state's Democratic primary.

Why it matters: It's a welcome boost for Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday's Democratic debate in South Carolina and the state's primary on Saturday.

White House requests $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus as U.S. cases rise

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to 53.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,699 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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#MeToo leaders react to Harvey Weinstein's rape conviction

Actor Rose McGowan and #MeToo movement founder of Tarana Burke at a campaign event in Detroit. Photo: Rena Laverty/AFP via Getty Images

Harvey Weinstein's rape trial convictions on Monday mark an "incredibly important step" for the #MeToo movement and the greater fight to end gender-based violence, the campaign's leaders said in a statement.

Why it matters: Allegations that first publicly surfaced against Weinstein in 2017 helped propel Tarana Burke's MeToo movement into a global campaign. Burke and other #MeToo leaders say his being found guilty in New York of committing a sexual act in the first degree and third-degree rape "sends a resounding message to survivors, to perpetrators and to allies."