USA: Yesterday, the Dept of Homeland Security said ‘two can play this game’ and clapped back at New York over the Green Light Law. Reminder: New York has a law that lets undocumented immigrants get a driver’s license - but also prevents ICE and the CBP from taking a peek at New York’s DMV databases without a court order. Now, it looks like the Trump team is temporarily barring New Yorkers from enrolling in Global Entry, reportedly because info in the DMV databases is needed to vet applicants. In other news, around 150 bizes (including Amazon and Nike) signed a letter opposing anti-LBTQ+ laws in Tennessee. And meanwhile, the man accused of killing 22 people in the El Paso Walmart shooting was charged with hate crimes.
WORLD: Recently, it came out that the doctor who alerted Chinese authorities of a potential “SARS-like” virus - the Wuhan coronavirus - back in December has died of the disease. Initially, the doctor was accused of creating rumors by Wuhan police after info about the virus was posted on social media. Now, as the death toll reaches at least 638, many are angry at the Chinese gov for unfairly attacking the doctor and potentially lying to the public about the severity of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, recently, it was revealed that a US operation killed the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Qasim al-Rayim. Stay tuned.
CLIMATE: We’ll remind you: a couple years ago, the Trump team carried out the largest reversal of national monument protections in US history. Meaning much of the land around national monuments would lose protections and potentially be developed. Fast forward to yesterday, and the Trump team finalized plans to allow development on previously protected land in Utah. Now, it looks like this land could be used by energy developers and ranchers. Speaking of which, a new study found that bumblebee populations recently dropped by 46% in North America. Because, hotter temps. And in other news, New York’s statewide ban on plastic bags goes into effect at the end of February. This comes as the US is facing a paper bag shortage.