The petition states that when Feinstein’s husband Richard Blum died in February 2022, a trust that had been set up by him required its trustees to establish a marital trust funded with $5 million to benefit the senator. But, the petition alleges the trustees “have still neither funded the Marital Trust nor made any of the required income distributions to Senator Feinstein.”
The legal document accuses the trustees of committing “financial abuse” of Feinstein by “wrongfully withholding distributions,” and of “elder financial abuse” by “wrongfully and in bad faith depriving her of property rights.”
She's among the reasons we have the illegitimate Court we do right now.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Demand for water is already outstripping renewable supply at an alarming rate, according to research published by the World Resources Institute on Wednesday.
About 83 per cent of people in the region are living under extreme water stress, the report said, with more than 80 per cent of water supplies used for irrigation, livestock, industry and domestic needs.
[. . .]
In May, a UN official warned that Iraq will only be able to meet 15 per cent of its water needs by 2035 if trends continue.
This is exacerbated by dam projects in neighbouring Iran and Turkey, which threaten to cut off water supply to Iraq.
Water scarcity could deal a severe blow to a large proportion of its population, with almost a third of people relying on agriculture as their main source of income.
If you have never been to Iraq, then what you will see in the pictures is not statistics about Iraq being "the fifth-most vulnerable country to climate breakdown".
In Lisan Al-Arab ("Tongue of Arabs") one of the most extensive dictionaries of Arabic words, the Arab scholar and historian Ibn Manzur mentions that the people of Hijaz used to call lands close to the sea "Iraq", hence the reason Iraq was given that name was "because it lies on the shore of the Tigris, so close to the sea". It was also said that the name implies "how the roots of trees and palm trees intertwine". Others explained that the word Iraq was an arabization of an Iranian name, meaning "many palm trees", so the Arabs named it Iraq.
Today's reality is far less poetic.
It’s been more than 50 years since Montanans voted to ratify the 1972 Constitution which has drawn worldwide praise for its clarity and protections for a broad spectrum of citizens’ rights — including our “Inalienable right to a clean and healthful environment.” Yet only now, half a century later, has that right finally been fully recognized in an order issued in Helena by the Honorable Kathy Seeley’s district court.
All Montanans owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the 16 young people who had the courage to bring the Held v. State lawsuit and prove that Gov. Gianforte, Attorney General Austin Knudsen, and the Republican legislative super-majority went too far in their foolish climate-change denial by making it illegal for state agencies to consider climate change pollutants in the state’s permitting processes.
Thanks to a tremendous job by the phalanx of highly skilled attorneys representing the “next generation,” the reality of Montana’s significant contributions to global climate change was simply undeniable. When all the carbon output from Montana’s mining, transporting, and burning fossil fuels was added up, it surpassed the total carbon footprint of entire nations, including Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. I’m Amy Goodman.
In a landmark climate case, a judge in Montana has ruled in favor of a group of young people who have sued Montana for violating their constitutional rights as it pushed policies that encouraged the use of fossil fuels. In her decision, Montana Judge Kathy Seeley wrote, “Plaintiffs have a fundamental constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment, which includes climate.” The judge went on to rule, quote, “Montana’s emissions and climate change have been proven to be a substantial factor in causing climate impacts to Montana’s environment and harm and injury,” unquote.
The case was brought by 16 children and young adults, ranging in age from 5 to 22. This is Rikki Held, the lead plaintiff in the case, known as Held v. Montana.
RIKKI HELD: This ruling is just so important in Montana and for outside and supporters. … This is such a huge issue. And for the judge to say that Montana is significantly contributing to global climate change just kind of leaves me with this feeling that our actions do matter.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined now by two guests. Olivia Vesovich is one of the other plaintiffs in the landmark Montana climate case, 20-year-old student at University of Montana. She’s in Missoula right now. And in Eugene, Oregon, we’re joined by Julia Olson, chief legal counsel and executive director with Our Children’s Trust.
Julia, let’s begin with you. Talk about the significance of this case. And why Montana?
JULIA OLSON: Good morning, Amy.
This is a historic decision. It’s the first of its kind ever in U.S. history. And why Montana? Montana is one of the states in our country that has had laws on the books that requires it to promote fossil fuel energy and fossil fuel development at a time when we’re in a climate emergency. And their laws also require them to ignore the consequences of that and the ways in which greenhouse gas emissions from those fuels fuel the climate crisis.
And so, these young people used the Montana Constitution, which protects not just the right to a clean and healthful environment, but also the right to dignity, to health and safety and happiness and equal protection of the law. And they sued the state, challenging these laws and their implementation, and, in June, had a seven-day trial. And we just won this historic ruling saying that that legal regime, and the conduct under it, is unconstitutional.
AMY GOODMAN: So, are the laws automatically struck down, Julia?
JULIA OLSON: They are. They’re struck down. And not only did the court declare them unconstitutional, but said that the state was enjoined from implementing them.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to bring Olivia Vesovich into this conversation. You’re one of the Montana youth plaintiffs in a city I hold dear, Missoula, Montana, where my first college roommate was from, went to Hellgate High. Olivia, talk about your response to the judge’s ruling? Where were you when you heard?
OLIVIA VESOVICH: I was out running errands. I’m going on a camping trip to Oregon, actually, next week, and so I was out running errands, and I saw an email from Mat dos Santos, one of our lawyers. And I pulled over off of like a busy road, and I just — I got onto a side street, and I just sat in the car on this Zoom call hearing the most life-changing news that I’ve ever heard.
AMY GOODMAN: So, how did you get involved with this, Olivia? How old were you when this case started? And why do you care so much about the issue of the climate and the fate of the planet?
OLIVIA VESOVICH: I was 16 when I joined this case, and it was because my science teacher knew that I was deeply involved in climate organization in Missoula. And he heard about this case, and he reached out to me, and he asked me if I would like to join. And the minute that I heard about what this case was and what it meant for my state and what it meant for the world, or what it could mean, I immediately wanted to join and share my story of how climate change has impacted me, how it’s harmed me, because I think so many youths are impacted by climate change, and we don’t even know the full extent of it because we have become so used to what climate change means. And that’s a horrible thing to say.
And I think that joining this case gave me hope that I didn’t have to be used to any of the symptoms of being [inaudible] from wildfire smoke or having to deal with respiratory — other respiratory issues from pollution, and knowing that this case was going to allow myself to share my message but also to be a voice for the youth, because so many youths do not have this option and opportunity to become so — to have such an impact on climate change. And I knew that this case was going to be, because any time in the United States that we’ve been granted civil rights, that’s become — that’s been from a court case. And I knew that this was a very high likelihood that it would be. And it is.
AMY GOODMAN: This is particularly poignant, Olivia, this decision coming down this week in the midst of the worst wildfire in a hundred years in U.S. history in Hawaii on Maui. We are counting the dead now. It’s over a hundred, could be so many more. Your thoughts about this, learning about this, as you talk about fires in Montana and Canada, and how that affects you?
OLIVIA VESOVICH: My heart is just so completely and utterly broken for the people of Hawaii right now. I am utterly devastated that they are going through this, because it is a fate I would wish upon no one. And that is just one of the most horrible things that I could even imagine. And to know that their — the recovery isn’t even being dealt with in the best way possible is also heartbreaking. And, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask Julia Olson — you also are involved with a case in Hawaii, where 14 young people filed a lawsuit against Hawaii and other entities. Explain.
JULIA OLSON: So, the state of Hawaii has been a leader in climate change in some ways. They have put laws on their books that require the state to decarbonize their energy system by about 2045. And they understand, being islands and dependent on the climate system, as it has been in the past, for their water and their food and their livelihoods, how much they’re affected. And what we’re seeing with the fire on Maui, that’s going to be increasing in the years and decades that come.
And so, the problem with Hawaii is their greenhouse gas emissions from their transportation system are increasing. And so these 14 youth in Hawaii are suing the state, similar to the Held plaintiffs in Montana, using the Hawaii Constitution, which also protects their rights to a healthy environment, to public trust resources and to health and safety and equal protection of the law. And we have a trial date set for June 24th, 2024, to really put forward the evidence of how the Department of Transportation and the state of Hawaii are making their transportation emissions worse and increasing, rather than going in the right direction. And they’ll miss their targets. And so we’re holding them accountable for that.
AMY GOODMAN: Julia, can you also talk about your case, Juliana v. United States, a landmark youth climate lawsuit that accuses the U.S. government of perpetuating the climate crisis and endangering the lives of citizens? CNN recently published an article titled “Biden is campaigning as the most pro-climate president while his DOJ works to block a landmark climate trial.” Explain.
JULIA OLSON: Yeah, absolutely. So, Our Children’s Trust has been representing youth on climate and suing government since 2010. And in 2015, we filed a case on behalf of 21 youth, under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, against the federal government for its active role in causing the climate crisis. And today, for example, the United States supplies 23% of the world’s fossil fuels. And under the Biden administration, it has made the U.S. the largest oil and gas producer, following on the Obama and Trump legacies, as well. And so, this case is trying to hold the federal government accountable for its role in causing the climate crisis.
The richest tenth of U.S. households are responsible for 40% of all the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, a study published Thursday revealed, underscoring what progressives say is the need for regulations and taxes on carbon-intensive investments.
Published in PLOS Climate, the study—which was led by University of Massachusetts, Amherst sustainability scientist Jared Starr—analyzed 30 years of U.S. household income data and the greenhouse gas emissions generated in creating that income.
"We find significant and growing emissions inequality that cuts across economic and racial lines," the paper notes. "In 2019, fully 40% of total U.S. emissions were associated with income flows to the highest earning 10% of households."
"Among the highest-earning 1% of households (whose income is linked to 15-17% of national emissions), investment holdings account for 38-43% of their emissions," the publication continues. "Even when allowing for a considerable range of investment strategies, passive income accruing to this group is a major factor shaping the U.S. emissions distribution."
In London, the soup demonstration follows a move from the conservative U.K. government, headed by Prime Minister Liz Truss, that allowed for a new round of oil and gas exploration in the North Sea and reversed a 2019 ban on fracking.
Mel Carrington, a spokesperson for Just Stop Oil, tells the New York Times’ Alex Marshall that the group intended to generate publicity and spark debate. She says they selected Sunflowers because they knew it was protected by glass and wouldn’t be damaged by the soup.
The then-Member of the US House of Representatives from Florida’s 6th district receives a “0” rating from the Human Rights Campaign on LGBTQ-related legislation. A year before, he co-sponsored a bill preventing federal government from acting against discrimination against same-sex couples based on their “religious belief or moral conviction.”
DeSantis is accused of “straight-washing” the three-year anniversary of the Pulse massacre, in which gunman Omar Mateen killed 49 attendees of an LGBTQ+ nightclub, after issuing a statement making no reference to the LGBTQ+ and Latino identities of most of the victims. He later calls this a mistake, blaming a recently departed (and gay) colleague.
A year into his Florida governorship, DeSantis hints at personal progress by marking the four-year anniversary of Pulse, saying: “The State of Florida will not tolerate hatred towards the LGBTQ and Hispanic communities, and as Floridians we stand united against terrorism and hate of any kind.” Spoiler alert: he soon changed his tune.
On the first day of Pride month, DeSantis signs in the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, forbidding trans people from playing in women’s and girls’ scholastic sports. On the second day of Pride month, he vetoes proposals to provide $150,000 in state funding for counselling for Pulse survivors, and a $750,000 housing programme for homeless LGBTQ+ youth.
Conceivably galvanised by national right-wing support to his anti-trans law, DeSantis signs in the Parental Rights in Education bill, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay, Don’t Say Trans’ law. Similar to Russia’s ‘Gay propaganda law’ and the UK’s own Section 28, the law bans classroom discussion and “instruction” on sexuality and gender.
DeSantis signs four bills rolling back LGBTQ+ rights, including the criminalisation of providing gender-affirming care for minors, restrictions on drag performances, and a ‘Don’t Say Gay’ expansion — it now impacts all school grades from pre-school upwards. His signing of Senate Bill 1580, meanwhile, permits healthcare providers to deny a patient care on the basis of “conscience-based objections”. Imagine a religious zealot denying you PrEP — how would you feel?
The real-life Disney villain (the entertainment conglomerate opposes ‘Don’t Say Gay’) of course confirmed his presidential hopes back in May. If he beats other Republican hopefuls (including Trump), DeSantis will go up against President Joe Biden in the November 2024 election. If successful, his spate of Floridian anti-LGBTQ+ laws, which have escalated in their severity over the past few years and been dubbed the ‘Let Kids Be Kids’ package, could go federal — and their influence global.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and controversial right-wing groups like Moms for Liberty have played a key role in influencing education changes in Florida.
The recent start of the new school year in the Sunshine State was clouded with uncertainty as educators struggled to understand how to implement the state’s new education laws.
In an effort to prevent the wave of changes in Florida, a group of LGBTQ+ parents came together on Tuesday to announce a new group. The name of the new network is “Parenting with Pride.” The goal of the group is to protect LGBTQ+ communities in Florida’s public schools, in contrast to organizations like Moms for Liberty.
It’s the newest initiative brought by Equality Florida to support the LGBTQ+ community.
Parenting with Pride is a grassroots effort to influence Florida’s education laws. More than 1,000 families are already on board. They hope to ditch new restrictions on LGBTQ+ education in the state like pronoun restrictions and the expansion of the state’s Parental Rights in Education law.
“My son deserves to be able to share his family life with his peers and his teachers should be able to support them without losing their jobs,” Florida parent Heather Wilkie said.