14 states allege failure to enforce smog rules
Sacramento, Calif. – Fourteen states and the District of Columbia are suing the Trump administration over what they say is a failure to enforce smog standards.
The lawsuit announced Thursday says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not designated any areas of the country as having unhealthy air, missing an Oct. 1 deadline. Such areas must take steps to improve their air quality.
EPA spokeswoman Michele Huitric could not immediately comment on the lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was joined in the lawsuit by the attorneys general of Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency also joined the suit.
Trump’s visit sparks museum boycott
Jackson, Miss. – Two prominent black lawmakers said they won’t participate in the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum on Saturday because President Donald Trump will be there.
The long-planned Saturday ceremony will mark Mississippi’s bicentennial of admission into the union. But what was intended as a moment of racial unity and atonement in the state with the largest share of African-Americans is descending into racial and partisan strife after Republican Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant invited fellow Republican Trump to attend.
Representatives John Lewis of Georgia, a civil rights pioneer, and Bennie Thompson of Mississippi said in a joint statement on Thursday that the president’s remarks about women, the disabled, immigrants and professional football players show disrespect for the legacy of those who are honored at the museum.
The White House later issued a statement calling it “unfortunate” that Lewis and Thompson won’t join the president in honoring the “incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history.”
In other headlines
Should Southerners expect some snow?: Forecasters called for a mix of snow and sleet Friday in several states, causing heartache for Southerners who have endured epic traffic jams at the first sign of wintry weather.
The good news is that while up to an inch of snow may fall by Friday night, the ground temperatures should be warm enough to melt it quickly. The weather service issued winter weather advisories for areas from Louisiana to Georgia, including Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Hattiesburg, Mississippi; and Birmingham, Alabama. Snow may hit parts of Louisiana and Mississippi by the Friday morning commute.
N.Y. Catholic Church pays $40M to sex abuse victims: Just over $40 million in compensation has been paid to 189 people who identified themselves as victims of clergy sex abuse, the Archdiocese of New York said in a report released Thursday. The archdiocese noted that the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program ended Nov. 30, but some additional claims are still being processed. Money for the payouts came through a long-term loan. Some of the victims’ claims date back decades. The payouts averaged $211,600.
Houston residents may need to raise homes after Harvey: More than 1,600 Houston residents whose properties flooded during and after Hurricane Harvey may need to elevate their homes if they want to continue living there. The city’s Public Works Department is getting ready to notify property owners in floodplains that their structures have been declared “substantially damaged.”