The Monday Politics Thread is Monitoring the Lettuce

Mishmash of how US heat deaths are counted complicates efforts to keep people safe as Earth warms

Even when it seems obvious that extreme heat was a factor, death certificates don’t always reflect the role it played. Experts say a mishmash of ways more than 3,000 counties calculate heat deaths means we don’t really know how many people die in the U.S. each year because of high temperatures in an ever warming world.

AP News

What Really Happens When You End Legacy Admissions

Alumni freaked out when one elite college tried it. And then, something great happened

Rolling Stone

Amid extreme Texas heat, barrels of drinking water left out for migrants by human rights groups have vanished

Exact counts of those who die are difficult to determine because deaths often go unreported. The UN International Organization for Migration estimates almost 3,000 migrants have died crossing from Mexico to the US by drowning in Rio Grande, or because of lack of shelter, food or water.


Trans man wins right to change his name in important legal victory

“It’s too hard to go through life being called a name that doesn’t match who I am,” Jordan Hilliard said.

LGBTQ Nation

Hawaii congresswoman says state underestimated lethality of wildfires

“It’s not like hurricane force winds are unknown to Hawaii, or dry brush, or red flag conditions,” Tokuda said on CNN when asked to address the wildfires in her home state, which were exacerbated by winds associated with a category four Hurricane Dora as it passed far to the south-west.

The Guardian

Who is Fani Willis? The Georgia district attorney who could soon indict Trump

“I would hate to have Fani Willis after me,” one judge told ABC News.

ABC News

Bob Menendez tests Democrats’ loyalty as feds target him again

Menendez has found himself the subject of similar investigations again and again — about once every decade.


Lawsuit targets Wisconsin legislative districts resembling Swiss cheese

If Wisconsin state Rep. Jimmy Anderson wants to visit residents in some of the northern neighborhoods he represents, he first must leave his own district — twice.

From his Fitchburg home in suburban Madison, Anderson must exit his 47th Assembly District, pass through the 77th District, reenter the 47th District, then head north through the 48th District to finally reach a cluster of homes assigned like a remote outpost to his district.

Unusual? Yes. Inconvenient? Yes.

Unconstitutional? Perhaps.

AP News

The Supreme Court is taking a wrecking ball to the wall between church and state

The Court’s Republican majority has ground the Constitution’s establishment clause down to a nub.


Exclusive: Georgia prosecutors have messages showing Trump’s team is behind voting system breach

Atlanta-area prosecutors investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia are in possession of text messages and emails directly connecting members of Donald Trump’s legal team to the early January 2021 voting system breach in Coffee County, sources tell CNN.


At age 12, he fled the Taliban to try to save his family. Then he faced years in US custody

‘I just wanted to get my family out of Afghanistan. I wanted to go anywhere.’

USA Today

Rising political threats take U.S. into uncharted territory as 2024 election looms

Threats against public officials have been steadily climbing in recent years, creating new challenges for law enforcement, civil rights and the health of American democracy.


Presidential hopeful Nikki Haley says we ‘have to stop demonizing’ women who have abortions

The 51-year-old Republican presidential hopeful said at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox that she finds it unlikely that Republicans will be able to pass a federal ban on abortion and they should stop demonizing women who decide to have abortion.

USA Today

New Latino Smithsonian museum moving forward after Republicans threatened funding

If telling a balanced story about Latino contributions to the United States is a difficult task, then doing it in a single building in Washington amid disagreement in Congress over how to tell that history may be downright arduous.

Miami Herald

DHS plans move to shield some undocumented migrants from deportation

The changes create some perverse incentives, such as elevating some illegal immigrants to a more favorable work status than legal guest workers, such as holders of the highly skilled H-1B visa.

Just The News

A Decade Later, Military Veterans Still Have to Fight Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

It’s been over a decade since the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and LGBTQ+ veterans are still dealing with the consequences stemming from dishonorable discharges. A new lawsuit lodged against the Department of Defense is seeking to change that.


Simone Biles Wins First Gymnastics Competition Since Her Two-Year Hiatus

After a two-year hiatus, she returned to the beam at the Core Hydration Classic in Illinois on August 5, scoring a 14.8 for that particular event. According to People, she also scored a 14 with an uneven bars routine, a 14.9 on the floor, and a whopping 15.4 for her performance on vault, absolutely nailing the Yurchenko double pike two years after becoming the first female gymnast to perform the move during a competition in May 2021. If you’re still wondering, she won. 

Teen Vogue

Refugees overqualified and underpaid in Germany

A new study has found that refugees in Germany have overall integrated well into the workforce. But many are overqualified for the jobs that they do.

Deutsche Welle

Polish guards are in ‘hybrid warfare’ patrolling country’s dangerous border

Guards equipped with machine guns and handcuffs as Belarusian soldiers assist with illegal migrant crossings

The Telegraph

Six dead and more than 50 rescued after boat carrying migrants sinks in Channel

At least six people have died and more than 50 were rescued after a boat carrying migrants sank in the Channel.

Evening Standard

Commercial ships told to stay far away from Iran due to a heightened possibility of attack or seizure

A US Navy official on Saturday warned shippers traversing waters near Iran to stay “as far away” as possible from the Islamic Republic’s territorial waters amid fears that a boat could be seized in the coming days.

Already this year Iran has seized two oil tankers, one traveling through the Strait of Hormuz and another in the Gulf of Oman, including one carrying crude oil for Chevron. Iran has claimed, without evidence, that the seizures were carried out due to regulatory and safety issues.


West African bloc scraps crisis meeting on Niger coup

As ECOWAS leaders fail to meet, concerns over the deteriorating health of deposed President Bazoum mount.

Al Jazeera

At least 10 killed in southwest Congo as intercommunal violence worsens over land rights and taxes

The incident is the latest in a cycle of violence that killed at least 300 people between June 2022 and March 2023 amid disagreements between Teke and Yaka communities about tax increases and access to farming land, according to Human Rights Watch.

AP News

Hundreds march in Berlin hemp parade promoting legalized cannabis

Organizers have been demanding legal permission for drugs like marijuana and hashish, which are derived from the cannabis plant, for many years. They are also campaigning for easier access to medical cannabis and for the widespread use of hemp. The cannabis plant belongs to the botanical genus or category of the hemp family.


Polish prime minister to hold referendum on EU’s immigration plan

Mateusz Morawiecki to ask voters if they want to accept ‘thousands of illegal immigrants’ under the bloc’s proposed new rules

The Guardian

Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict heats up — again

A conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region has simmered between Armenia and Azerbaijan for three decades. Despite ongoing peace talks, a recent border skirmish has led to fears that the standoff could heat up anew.

Deutsche Welle

Beijing condemns US for receiving ‘troublemaking’ Taiwanese presidential front runner William Lai

Lai made a brief stopover in New York en route to Paraguay, prompting accusations that Washington was supporting separatists on the island

South China Morning Post

Miss Universe Organisation cuts Indonesia ties over sex abuse claims

Miss Universe Organisation (MUO) has cut ties with its Indonesian franchise after several contestants alleged sexual abuse days before the pageant’s crowning ceremony in Jakarta.


Argentina Holds Key Primary Election With Markets on Edge

With markets anticipating a change of government in the October election, the key focus will be on how the business-friendly opposition party performs against the incumbent Peronist bloc, as well as the support for a third-party outsider candidate.


Palestinians fear new Saudi envoy linked to normalization with Israel

The Saudi decision will make it difficult for the Palestinian leadership to condemn a normalization agreement with Israel.

Jerusalem Post

Israel will not allow Saudi Arabia to open Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem

A complex Saudi-Israel normalisation deal still appears to be far off

The Telegraph

Germany marks 62nd anniversary of construction of Berlin Wall

Berlin and its surrounding area are marking the 62nd anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall on Sunday by paying tribute to all the victims of the former East German border regime.


Government ministers to attend Omagh bombing 25th anniversary memorial service

A service will take place at the memorial garden in Omagh on Sunday afternoon.

Evening Standard

Guatemalan presidential candidate Sandra Torres leans on conservative values, opposing gay marriage

Torres made a recent campaign stop in jeans and a national soccer team jersey at a school in San Juan Sacatepequez, an impoverished suburban city of more than 250,000, where she told several hundred supporters that she wanted the government to respect life from conception. She promised she would never accept same-sex marriage, quickly adding that she wasn’t homophobic.

AP News

LGBTQ+ People Are Facing Increased Persecution, Violence, Ethiopian Activists Say

Law enforcement authorities in Ethiopia are targeting venues frequented by LGBTQ+ people in the nation, particularly in the capital city, Addis Ababa, in an effort to root out so-called homosexual activity, while LGBTQ+ Ethiopians are being subjected to violence by private citizens.

The Advocate

Malaysian Festival Demands the 1975 Pay $2.7 Million After Gay Kiss Controversy

The organizer of Malaysia’s Good Vibes Festival is seeking over $2 million in damages from the 1975 after frontman Matty Healy’s on-stage protest against the country’s anti-LGBTQ laws resulted in authorities canceling the event.