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Koch brothers and Saudi oil execs lobbied Trump to remove chemical plant safety rules

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New documents reveal that the Houston chemical plant, whose post-Harvey burning could have been prevented, was successfully lobbied by American and foreign interests to remove regulations.

In an International Business Times investigation, reporters found that along with the plant itself, an oil company from Saudi Arabia joined forces with Koch Industries and ExxonMobil to lobby against chemical industry regulations.

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The Arkema plant and its allies in the chemical industry, Congress and the foreign oil industry opposed safety regulations that would have “[simplified] covered processes in order to make accidental releases less likely or the impacts of such releases less severe” if they’d been implemented.

On Thursday, shortly after safety experts warned about imminent explosions caused by the plant’s cooling system being flooded, two explosions occurred at Arkema. FEMA officials said the fumes from the explosion are “incredibly deadly.”

The explosion resulted in the hospitalization of 15 sheriff’s deputies who inhaled fumes from the resultant fire, the New York Daily News reports.

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Millions around the world joined #ClimateStrike — demanding bold climate action

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Masses of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change that teen activist Greta Thunberg said was "only the beginning" in the fight against environmental disaster.

Some four million people filled city streets around the world, organizers said, in what was billed as the biggest ever protest against the threat posed to the planet by rising temperatures.

Youngsters and adults alike chanted slogans and waved placards in demonstrations that started in Asia and the Pacific, spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, before culminating in the United States where Thunberg rallied.

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Trump announces new sanctions on Iran — and deploys US troops to the Middle East

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The United States announced Friday that it was sending military reinforcements to the Gulf region following attacks on Saudi oil facilities that it attributes to Iran, just hours after President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions on Tehran.

Trump said the sanctions were the toughest-ever against another country, but indicated he did not plan a military strike, calling restraint a sign of strength.

The Treasury Department renewed action against Iran's central bank after US officials said Tehran carried out weekend attacks on rival Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which triggered a spike in global crude prices.

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‘Do a lot of stupid sh*t as quickly as possible’: Ambassador Power breaks down ’The Trump Doctrine’

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The former ambassador to the United Nations explained "The Trump Doctrine" during a Friday evening interview with comedian Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time."

Samantha Power, the author of the new book, The Education of an Idealist, was asked by Maher about the foreign policy mantra of the Obama administration.

"Obama's foreign policy doctrine was famously summarized as 'don't do stupid sh*t," Maher noted. "Trump's, of course, is 'Do stupid sh*t.'"

"Do stupid sh*t as quickly as possible," Power clarified.

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