The Monday Politics Thread Continues to Endorse Science

How Puerto Rico became the most vaccinated place in America

The Caribbean island — in recent years pummeled by deadly hurricanes, rocked by earthquakes, beset by political unrest and saddled by debt — has quietly managed to outpace even New England states with the highest vaccination rates in the country.


Another Voting Rights Bill Just Died in the Senate. What Now, Biden?

“What if the current wave of voter suppression legislation succeeds and keeps tens of thousands of people from voting, or what if in 2024 a partisan legislature in a swing state votes to override the election results and send its own set of electors to Congress?” King asked in his speech on Tuesday. “Then it won’t just be Republicans who distrust elections, and we will be left with a downward spiral toward a hollow shell of democracy, where only raw power prevails and its peaceful transfer becomes a distant memory.”

New Republic

Timber salvaged from New York City buildings reveals ancient climate

Old-growth forests once covered the eastern United States, but they were almost entirely decimated by the early 1900s after centuries of commercial logging. Yet wood from those forests survives, much of it tucked behind the walls of New York City buildings. The tree rings on these timbers are sources of historical climate data, which is why researchers are working to recover them.

National Geographic

Biden Administration Debuts First Gender Equity Strategy, Including Plans to Protect Abortion

The Biden administration released the United States’ first-ever strategy for gender equity and equality, and it includes a plan to codify Roe v. Wade — the Supreme Court case that secured abortion as a constitutional right — to protect abortion rights. 

Teen Vogue

What I Learned From Colin Powell

“This is a time for each and every one of us to look into our own heart, to look into our own community, find someone who is in need, find someone who is wanting, find someone who is looking up to us, and for each and every one of us to reach down, to reach back, to reach across, to lift up a fellow American and put him on the road to success in this wonderful country of ours.“


COVID Vaccine Makers Prepare for a Variant Worse than Delta

Companies are updating vaccines and testing them on people to prepare for whatever comes next in the pandemic

Scientific American

Florida surgeon general booted from at-risk state senator’s office after refusing to wear a mask

Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Florida’s surgeon general, has ties to a fringe right-wing group pushing bogus COVID-19 cures


Biden carries Trump’s hard line toward Beijing to coming summits

As world leaders prepare to gather within days for major meetings in Rome and Scotland, the administration’s China strategy is being put to the test.

NBC News

Maybe White People Should Feel Bad

In her appearance on The View, Condoleezza Rice argued that teaching kids about racism and inequality would make them feel bad. Why shouldn’t they?

The Root

Long-Acting PrEP Could Be Here as Early as 2022

The FDA just gave priority review to an injectable form of the medication.


Why is the idea of ‘gender’ provoking backlash the world over?

In June, the Hungarian parliament voted overwhelmingly to eliminate from public schools all teaching related to “homosexuality and gender change”, associating LGBTQI rights and education with pedophilia and totalitarian cultural politics. In late May, Danish MPs passed a resolution against “excessive activism” in academic research environments, including gender studies, race theory, postcolonial and immigration studies in their list of culprits. In December 2020, the supreme court in Romania struck down a law that would have forbidden the teaching of “gender identity theory” but the debate there rages on. Trans-free spaces in Poland have been declared by transphobes eager to purify Poland of corrosive cultural influences from the US and the UK. Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul convention in March sent shudders through the EU, since one of its main objections was the inclusion of protections for women and children against violence, and this “problem” was linked to the foreign word, “gender”.

The Guardian

Ghana’s president calls for tolerance as parliament considers anti-LGBTQ law

Gay sex is already punishable with up to three years in jail in Ghana, but this new proposal would criminalize being LGBTQ or advocating for LGBTQ rights.

NBC News

New immigration policy aims to protect undocumented immigrants against work exploitation

These new policies go beyond addressing injustices immigrants have been facing for almost 40 years. They aim to hold employers accountable and fight for safe work conditions.

Chicago Sun-Times

The Man Behind Erdogan’s Worst Spat With the West: QuickTake

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is leading Turkey toward the biggest showdown with key Western allies since the Turkish president assumed power two decades ago.

At the heart of the row is a joint call by ambassadors from 10 countries — including the U.S. and Germany — on Turkey to free Osman Kavala, which Erdogan says is a direct attack on Turkish sovereignty.


America’s war in Afghanistan is over, but the country’s true longest war with North Korea continues

The war in Afghanistan is over but America’s true longest war continues. This enemy is more powerful than the Taliban. This is not some ethnic-religious insurgency but a nuclear-armed nation that has withstood the might of the American army and is still standing.

This is a nation that for the past half-century has been predicted to collapse. It has endured mass starvation from famine. It remains largely hidden from the world, its people kept in a state of suspended reality.

It is ruled by a despotic family that has carefully curated a cult of personality. For all its apparent weakness and paranoia, it remains impregnable.

This, of course, is North Korea — a country that remains in a state of war with the US and its allies. The Korean war has never ended. An armistice was signed in 1953 but, nearly 70 years later, there is still no peace treaty.

ABC News

Israel designates Palestinian rights groups as terrorists, U.N. ‘alarmed’

Israeli and international human rights groups condemned the move as an assault on civil society and expressed solidarity with the targeted organizations.

NBC News

Biden administration to allow private groups to sponsor Afghan evacuees

The Biden administration is set to unveil on Monday a program that would allow groups of private individuals to sponsor Afghan evacuees and help them resettle in communities across the U.S., three sources familiar with the plan told CBS News.

CBS News

Survivors of 1965 Indonesia massacres urge UK to apologise

Survivors and descendants of those massacred in Indonesia’s anti-communist purge of 1965-1966 are urging the UK government to apologise for its role in what was described in a secret CIA report as “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century”.

The Guardian

New migrant caravan in Mexico pushes past blockade to head north

Several thousand migrants from Haiti, South America and Central America set off from southern Mexico headed north on Saturday, clashing with law enforcement trying to hold the caravan back.


Ancient solar storm pinpoints Viking settlement in Americas exactly 1,000 years ago

An analysis of wood from L’Anse aux Meadows zeroes in on a cosmic event to reveal that the European seafarers were felling trees in Newfoundland in A.D. 1021.

National Geographic

Otoniel: Colombia’s most wanted drug lord captured

Colombian president says Otoniel’s arrest is the biggest blow to drug trafficking in the country since Pablo Escobar’s death.

Al Jazeera

A Latina’s manifesto ‘For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts’

Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez examines how powerful forces such as racism and colorism affect women — like they did to her — and what readers can do about them.

NBC News

With public defenders as judges, Biden quietly makes history on the courts

Overall, Biden is outpacing every other president since Richard Nixon in confirming circuit court judges, who have the last word in most federal cases.

NBC News