Morning briefing: Toxic algae covers river in foamy slime near state capital

2017-06-19 | The Daily Cardinal

Take a look at the stories from around our area and world that are making news today.

Toxic algae covers river in foamy slime near state capital: CNN Wire reports: "Residents of Madison, WI were shocked to see their local waterway turned into a river of toxic, foamy slime Friday. A giant blue-green algae bloom was flowing down the entire length of downtown Madison in Lake Mendota and the Yahara River. The city warned residents it’s highly toxic. Scientists say humans and mother nature are to blame for the bloom, which was caused by the spring’s hot weather combined with increased phosphate run-off. Officials with the Clean Lakes Alliance say just one pound of phosphorus in runoff can produce 500 pounds of algae. Bikers along the Yahara River said it looks like suds spewing out of a washing machine."

Supreme Court to hear potentially landmark Wisconsin case on partisan gerrymandering: Robert Barnes of the Washington Post writes: "The Supreme Court declared Monday that it will consider whether gerrymandered election maps favoring one political party over another violate the Constitution, a potentially fundamental change in the way American elections are conducted. justices regularly are called to invalidate state electoral maps that have been illegally drawn to reduce the influence of racial minorities by depressing the impact of their votes. But the Supreme Court has never found a plan unconstitutional because of partisan gerrymandering. If it does, it would have a revolutionary impact on the reapportionment that comes after the 2020 election and could come at the expense of Republicans, who control the process in the majority of states. The court accepted a case from Wisconsin, where a divided panel of three federal judges last year ruled last year that the state’s Republican leadership in 2011 pushed through a plan so partisan that it violated the Constitution’s First Amendment and equal rights protections. The issue will be briefed and argued in the Supreme Court term that begins in October." Read more.

Theresa May condemns 'sickening' attack on Finsbury Park Muslims: Sarah Tilotta, Angela Dewan, Laura Goehler and Steve George of CNN write: "A man died and 10 people were injured after a van was rammed into a crowd of worshipers near a mosque in north London in the latest terror attack to hit the UK this year. Eyewitnesses reported chaotic scenes as the incident unfolded just after midnight, when evening Ramadan prayers had finished. A 48-year-old man was wrestled to the ground by members of the public and then arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder, London's Metropolitan police said. British Prime Minister Theresa May made clear that the attack targeted Muslims and condemned it as 'every bit as sickening' as deadly Islamist terrorist attacks that hit the country in recent months. The van rammed into the worshipers on Seven Sisters Road, a busy thoroughfare in Finsbury Park, north London, near a Muslim community center and a mosque. Neil Basu, senior national coordinator for terrorism at the Metropolitan Police, confirmed witness accounts that the man found dead at the scene was already receiving first aid when the attack happened. He said it was unclear whether he died as a result of the attack. Eight other people were taken to hospital, two of whom were seriously injured, he said. Two people were treated at the scene." Read more.

17-year-old Muslim girl assaulted and killed after leaving Virginia mosque: Faiz Siddiqui, Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Bailey of the Washington Post write: "Police found remains Sunday thought to be those of a missing Virginia teenager who they say was assaulted and disappeared overnight after leaving a mosque in the Sterling area, and a 22-year-old man has been charged with murder in connection with the case. The mosque, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Sterling, and relatives identified the girl as 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen of Reston. Fairfax County police identified the man charged with murder in her death as Darwin Martinez Torres of Sterling. According to accounts from police and a mosque official, a group of four or five teens were walking back from breakfast at IHOP early Sunday when they were confronted by a motorist. All but one of the teens ran to the mosque, where the group reported that the girl had been left behind, according to Deputy Aleksandra Kowalski, a spokeswoman for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. 'Immediately thereafter, the ADAMS’ personnel notified both Loudoun County and Fairfax County authorities who immediately began an extensive search to locate the missing girl,' the mosque said in a statement." Read more.

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GOP considers cancelling August recess to salvage agenda: Alexander Bolton and Niv Elis of The Hill write: "Alarmed by the stalemate on healthcare reform, lack of progress on tax reform and appropriations bills that are far behind schedule, Republican lawmakers across Congress are increasingly willing to consider cancelling the month-long August recess. Senate Republican negotiators reported that they are not close to a deal on healthcare reform and that scheduling a vote by July 4, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pushed, is likely unrealistic. That impasse has held up work on a budget resolution, which is necessary to move tax reform and the annual appropriations bills. Once Republicans vote on a budget resolution for 2018, it will wipe out the special vehicle they plan to use to pass healthcare reform with a simple majority vote — a vehicle that was set up by the budget resolution for 2017. Lawmakers calculate there are only 45 legislative days until the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30. With the party still sharply divided on health and tax reform, it looks increasingly possible that Republican lawmakers will leave town in July for a month-long break without any major accomplishments under their belts." Read more.

A pro-Trump group is using Obama's voice out of context in radio ad for Georgia's special election: Andrew Kaczynski of CNN writes: "An outside group that supports President Donald Trump is running a radio ad in Atlanta ahead of Georgia's special election Tuesday that takes the voice of former President Barack Obama out of context to make the argument that Democrats take black voters for granted. Great America Alliance, a pro-Trump non-profit group that previously ran ads attacking former FBI director James Comey during his testimony, is running an ad that quotes Obama narrating his autobiographical book 'Dreams From My Father.' The ad, however, does not mention that in the selected passage, Obama is actually quoting someone else who is speaking about the black community and Chicago politics before the early 1980s. The ad begins with narration from conservative activist Autry Pruitt. 'Hi, my name is Autry Pruitt, a fellow black American working hard every day, just like you. It may seem out of season, but all of a sudden, Democratic politicians have started coming around again. We normally only see them every other November, swarming around and making promises to get our vote. But nothing ever changes for us, does it? Here's what President Barack Obama had to say about it.' Then Obama can be heard saying, 'Plantation politics. Black people in the worst jobs. The worst housing. Police brutality rampant. But when the so-called black committeemen came around election time, we'd all line up and vote the straight Democratic ticket. Sell our souls for a Christmas turkey.'" Read more.

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