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African-Americans taking brunt of oil industry pollution: report

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African-Americans face a disproportionate risk of health problems from pollution caused by the oil and gas industry, and the situation could worsen as President Donald Trump dismantles environmental regulations, according to a report issued on Tuesday by a pair of advocacy groups.

The report, issued by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People civil rights group and the Clean Air Task Force, said more than a million African-Americans live within half a mile (0.8 km) of an oil and gas operation, and more than 6.7 million live in a county that is home to a refinery.

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“African-Americans are exposed to 38 percent more polluted air than Caucasian Americans, and they are 75 percent more likely to live in fence-line communities than the average American,” the report said, referring to neighborhoods adjacent to industrial facilities.

“In the current regulatory environment, the disproportionate burden of pollution will only increase for low-income communities and communities of color,” the report added.

Trump’s administration has begun to unravel Obama-era environmental regulations limiting emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, arguing they are overly costly for industry and unnecessary to protect public health.

A White House official declined to comment on the NAACP-CATF report. But Trump has said his pro-energy industry policies are good for blacks and other minorities because they will create jobs.

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Officials for the American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers, which represent the country’s largest fossil fuels companies, did not immediately comment on the report.

CATF and NAACP said in the report that communities should pressure their political representatives for strong environmental regulation.

“Defending the safeguards finalized during the Obama administration and pushing for additional protections against pollution from the oil and gas industry will help improve the health of many African American communities,” the report said.

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It added that communities should lobby to have their nearby oil and gas facility shut down: “We must all learn about the oil and gas facilities that are located in our communities, and advocate for their decommissioning or removal.”

The Boston-based Clean Air Task Force issued a similar study in 2016 that linked ozone smog from natural-gas industry pollution to some 750,000 summertime asthma attacks in children, and 500,000 missed school days, per year.

(Reporting and writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Iran says seized British-flagged tanker ‘free’ to leave

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Iran said on Monday that a British-flagged oil tanker is "free" to leave more than two months after it was seized in the Gulf.

"The legal process has finished and based on that the conditions for letting the oil tanker go free have been fulfilled and the oil tanker can move," government spokesman Ali Rabiei told a news conference.

He did not specify when the Swedish-owned vessel would be allowed to set sail.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps surrounded the Stena Impero with attack boats before rappelling onto the deck of the tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19.

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MSNBC’s Morning Joe fact-checks Trump’s ‘slimy’ lies about Biden: ‘He’s rigging the election!’

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough threw cold water on President Donald Trump's accusations against Joe Biden, as the Ukraine scandal continues to widen.

The "Morning Joe" host ripped the president for pressuring Ukraine's president to dig up dirt on Biden and then leaning on states to cancel Republican primaries to snuff out three challengers' campaigns.

"You talk about an inside game, rigging the process, and we talked about how Donald Trump is rigging the process on the Republican side to make sure that as many states as possible cancel democratic elections for the primary," Scarborough said. "I mean, he's learning from Vladimir Putin the way you get 100 percent of the vote is you just cancel the elections, and that's what Donald Trump is getting Republican operatives to do across the country."

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Trump condemned for moving to ‘roll back the clock’ as letter exposes his attempt to form anti-abortion UN coalition

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"It's not just abortion that they care about, they care about women's ability to exercise autonomy over their bodies and about denying them critical access to the services they need."

Global women's rights advocates raised alarm Monday after a leaked letter showed the Trump administration is pressuring U.N. member nations to join an international anti-abortion coalition.

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