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Two children sue over Trump effort to roll back Clean Power Plan

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Two children, backed by the Clean Air Council environmental group, sued U.S. President Donald Trump and two of his Cabinet members on Monday to try to stop them from scrapping a package of pollution-reduction rules known as the Clean Power Plan.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, says the United States is “relying on junk science” and ignoring “clear and present dangers of climate change, knowingly increasing its resulting damages, death and destruction.”

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It was the latest legal action that green advocates have taken to combat Trump administration efforts to roll back environmental regulations through rule changes at agencies like the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The two young plaintiffs, aged 7 and 11, are identified only by their first and last initials in the court papers, which allege that both are suffering from the effects of a rapidly warming climate.

Trump has called climate change a hoax and said in June he would withdraw the United States from a global pact to combat it – calling the deal’s demands for emissions cuts too costly for the U.S. economy.

The lawsuit asks the court to prevent the EPA, Trump and the U.S. Department of Energy, along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, from rolling back any rules that “increase the frequency and/or intensity of life-threatening effects of climate change.”

EPA and Energy Department representatives declined to comment. A White House spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Pruitt said on Oct. 10 he wanted to scrap the Clean Power Plan, put in place under former Democratic President Barack Obama.

On Sept. 29, Perry asked federal regulators to provide price incentives to help keep coal and nuclear power plants open, as a way to address “risks” to the resilience of the electrical grid.

By including the children, the Clean Air Council seemed to model its case after Juliana v. U.S., a pending federal case in which a group of teenagers sued the U.S. government for violating their constitutional rights by causing climate change.

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“The Clean Air Council case is taking the legal theories pioneered in Juliana and applying them to a narrow set of facts related to specific rollbacks of the Trump administration,” said Meg Ward, a spokeswoman for Our Children’s Trust, a group leading the Juliana suit.

(Reporting by Emily Flitter in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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2020 Election

At Joe Biden’s eleventh-hour rally in Nevada, many union members remain uncommitted

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On the eve of the Nevada caucuses, former Vice President Joe Biden, who has referred to himself as "middle-class Joe," had a last-minute chance to connect with middle-class Nevada voters before Saturday's caucuses. At a barbecue with burgers, hot dogs, and ice cream sandwiches, attendees that included firefighters and iron workers gathered for what was advertised as a precinct captain training — or to simply hear Biden's pitch. Indeed, many attendees of the barbecue were still undecided a mere day before caucusing.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Trump’s NSC is ignoring intelligence reports and basing policy on handouts of Trump’s tweets: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, members of the National Security Council under Donald Trump no longer uses their extensive knowledge of international relations, politics, and history to formulate foreign policy security proposals for the president's review -- and are instead using the president's tweets to make policy based upon his desires and social media proclamations.

The report begins with noting that council members are often handed printouts of the president's tweets when they convene and are expected to use his words as their guide to formulate proposals that will likely find favor with the president.

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Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to settle fake accounts scandal

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Wells Fargo has agreed to pay US regulators $3 billion to settle three investigations into the bank's damaging fake accounts scandal, the Department of Justice said on Friday.

The fine settles criminal and civil liability in the case in which the nation's fourth largest bank between 2002 and 2016 pressured employees to meet unrealistic sales goals that led to creating millions of accounts or credit cards without consent.

Wells Fargo admitted it collected millions of dollars in fees and interest, harmed the credit ratings of certain customers, and misused personal information, the Justice Department said in a statement.

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