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Coronavirus Won’t Stop the Trump Administration From Destroying the Environment

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One of the most consistent and dangerous hallmarks of Donald Trump’s presidency thus far has been the Trump administration’s continued efforts to roll back environmental regulations. The administration has gutted more than 90 environmental rules and regulations since the president took office, from headline-grabbing moves like pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, to cutting emissions standards, clean water rules, and bans on pesticides, among other rollbacks. (This is all on top of the administration routinely downplaying and lying about climate change, of course.) And is the administration’s parade of harmful environmental moves about to stop now just because the country is the midst of a global pandemic? Apparently not!

The New York Times reports that federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department are on an “aggressive timeline” to roll back half-a-dozen environmental regulations over the next month alone, as the Trump administration races to make all the anti-environmental moves they can before Democrats potentially take power after the November election. The planned environmental rollbacks include weakening fuel efficiency standards and regulations on toxic ash and mercury emissions, as well as ensuring that federal infrastructure projects will no longer have to take climate change into consideration. Employees at the Interior Department are also under “strict orders” to immediately complete a rule change that eliminates protections for migratory birds, by removing punishments for oil and gas companies who “incidentally” kill birds during their operations.

Perhaps most crucial to the current moment, however, is the EPA’s intention to force through a rule that would limit what scientific studies the EPA can use when writing or revising public health rules. The agency would now prioritize studies that make their underlying data publicly available, supposedly in order to boost transparency. But as studies often rely on confidentiality agreements with their subjects, especially when it comes to things like health data, critics fear the rule would instead be used to significantly curb scientific and medical research and have dangerous health and environmental impacts. “This means the EPA can justify rolling back rules or failing to update rules based on the best information to protect public health and the environment, which means more dirty air and more premature deaths,” Paul Billings, senior vice president for advocacy at the American Lung Association, told the Times in November.

Those concerns have now been thrown into even sharper relief amid the coronavirus outbreak, given that the rule could be used to block research on COVID-19 when dealing with the current outbreak or future pandemics. “A lot of the science needed to effectively respond to this pandemic would not be available if this rule existed today,” James Goodwin, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Progressive Reform, told the Independent, pointing to studies that have led EPA guidance on issues like which hand sanitizers can effectively kill the coronavirus. In a letter to EPA head Andrew Wheeler calling for the rule to be revoked, Senator Tom Carper, the ranking Democrat on the Committee on Environment and Public Works, wrote that “the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the importance of ensuring rapid access and response to scientific information, as well as the utilization of that information.” “Unfortunately, if this rule is finalized, I fear the result will be just the opposite,” Carper added. (EPA spokeswoman Andrea Woods claimed to the Times that these fears are “unfounded,” saying the regulation “would not limit or impede E.P.A.’s authority to undertake” responses to the coronavirus or other emergencies.)



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Gwyneth Paltrow Throws a Socially Distant Birthday Parade for Her Son

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Gwyneth Paltrow is showing people across the country how to hold a birthday in the time of corona. 

The Goop founder is celebrating her son Moses Martin‘s 14th birthday, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Martin-Paltrow family had to get a bit creative with their party. Rather than the typical birthday cake and family get-together, Moses had a special parade thrown in his honor. 

A stream of cars decorated in posters and balloons came in and out of the family’s well-manicured driveway, where his friends shouted their remarks. Gwyneth danced as the birthday song played while Moses stood in his pajamas and a purple birthday hat. At one point, a person holds a blue birthday bag out of their sun-roof for Moses to run and grab. 

Though it wasn’t the traditional birthday party, Moses was more than happy to begin a new year of life with his friends at a socially distanced party. 

Many other people have also been sending love from afar. On Instagram, Reese WitherspoonKate Hudson and more of his mom’s famous friends commented on Gwyneth’s page with wishes of happiness and celebration. “Moses! Happy birthday sweetheart!!! We love you,” Hudson wrote, before adding a heart. 

Gwyneth Paltrow / Instagram

And there was no one more excited about Moses’ big day than his own mother. She posted a handful of photos of her teenage son with a heartwarming caption. Paltrow shared, “This kid is the best and he is 14 today. Unbelievable. He is the kindest little man and he has the most unique way of looking at the world and expressing himself. Mosey, I could not be more proud of you in every way. You conquer all you set out to do, you never quit, you are immensely talented and a great friend. I hope you never stop hugging me goodbye when you go into the next room. I love you.”

Happy Birthday, Moses!





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Bob Dylan’s “Murder Most Foul” Is His First No. 1 Song on Any Billboard Chart

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Bob Dylan won a Nobel Prize in literature in 2016, but today marked a new accomplishment: his first No. 1 hit. According to Billboard, Dylan’s new song “Murder Most Foul” has topped its Rock Digital Song Sales chart—his first No. 1 under his own name on any chart.

Dylan surprise released the 17-minute “Murder Most Foul,” which addresses the JFK assassination, on March 27. According to Nielsen data, it sold 10,000 downloads between its release and April 2. The song was his first new music since his 2012 album Tempest. As Billboard points out, others have had No. 1 hits with songs Dylan wrote: Peter Paul & Mary in 1963 with “Blowin’ in the Wind,” and the Byrds in 1965 with “Mr. Tambourine Man.” His highest charting singles previously were a handful of No. 2 slots. “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” reached No. 2 on the Hot 100 in 1965 and 1966, respectively, and “Things Have Changed” rose to the No. 2 spot on the Adult Alternative Songs chart in 2000. He has a summer tour of the United States scheduled to begin in June.



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Ari Lennox – BUSSIT (Official Music Video)

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“BUSSIT” Out Now:
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Lyrics:
Have off my clothes when you arrive
You could seduce me with your eyes
Don’t want the smoke don’t waste my time
I be open for you
Work out my spine, I need you in
You scared of love but fuck your
Ain’t no gettin’ away from this if you wanted to
Flowin’, changin’, take part in this ocean
Like water, I run right through ya
I know that ya into me
Ride it and let me see
Ride don’t be scared of me

I like all the ways you do
Boy you killin’ me
Buss it to the tenth degree
I know that ya into me
Ride it and let me see
Ride don’t be scared of me

I like all the ways you do
Boy you killin’ me
I know that ya feelin’ me
Buss it to the tenth degree
So deep I feel you in my mind
So good I want it all the time
Buss in my garden, fertilize
Wanna grow with you
If it’s on we should get it on
‘Cause we all night long
Come first then break up that
In me is where you belong
I know that ya into me
Ride it and let me see
Ride don’t be scared of me

I like all the ways you do
Boy you killin’ me
I know that ya feelin’ me
Buss it to the tenth degree
I know that you into me
Ride it and let me see
Ride don’t be scared of me

I like all the ways you do
Boy you killin’ me
Buss it

#AriLennox #BUSSIT #Dreamville #ROTD3

Music video by Dreamville, Ari Lennox performing BUSSIT. © 2020 Dreamville/Interscope Records

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