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Trump might appoint an oil executive and anti-animal rights activist to head Interior Department

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Politico reports that Forrest Lucas, cofounder of Lucas Oil, “is a leading contender for Interior secretary should Donald Trump win the White House.”

Lucas’ company makes motor oil and similar products. Environmentalists worry he would push to open more public lands and offshore areas to oil and gas drilling. The Interior Department manages public lands across the U.S.

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But Lucas is more than just your average oil baron: He’s also aggressively opposed to animal rights. “Earlier this year, Lucas financed and produced a feature film called ‘The Dog Lover,’ which portrays dog breeders and puppy mills as being unfairly targeted by animal rights groups,” Politico notes. “Roger Ebert’s website called the movie ‘shamelessly manipulative’ and ‘a pretty bald piece of anti-[Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] and/or PETA propaganda.’” So animal advocates and conservationists are concerned about Lucas’ potential nomination too, as the Interior Department is charged with protecting endangered species and overseeing wildlife refuges.

If Trump named Lucas to run Interior, it would be like raising his short middle finger to the animal rights community. Lucas would, however, be a natural complement to Trump’s rumored top choice for energy secretary: oil and gas tycoon Harold Hamm.

By Ben Adler, Grist


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Elections 2016

California bill to establish nation’s second public bank applauded as ‘historic challenge to Wall Street domination’

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"If California is serious about addressing racial and income inequities, we must create a banking system that centers people not profits."

In a move advocacy groups celebrated as a "historic challenge to Wall Street domination of municipal finances," a pair of California state lawmakers on Thursday unveiled legislation that would establish the nation's second publicly-owned bank and empower the institution to lend to businesses and local governments fighting to stay afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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COVID-19

What is China doing to stop Beijing’s new coronavirus outbreak?

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Over 1,000 flights have been cancelled, schools shut and residents urged not to leave Beijing, as Chinese authorities race to contain a fresh outbreak linked to the capital's largest wholesale food market.

The number of confirmed cases in the capital has shot up to 137 within the last week after two months of no cases, and four other provinces have revealed cases linked to the Beijing cluster.

How did the outbreak begin, and what measures are Beijing taking to contain it?

- What is the origin of the cluster? -

Beijing had turned into a virtual fortress at the height of the pandemic, with people arriving from other regions or countries required to undergo quarantines.

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2020 Election

Democrats and Never-Trumpers gaming out ‘doomsday scenarios’ if president refuses to leave office: report

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According to a report in the New York Times, Democratic strategists and Never-Trumper conservatives fear Donald Trump will refuse to leave office should he lose in November and are making plans and figuring out their legal options should such an unprecedented state of affairs come to pass.

The report, by the Times' Reid Epstein, begins with one such possible scenario.

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