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Australia river agency pilloried amid mass fish deaths

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The authority that oversees Australia’s largest river system was accused of “maladministration”, “gross negligence” and ignoring climate science Thursday, as its waterways were carpeted with hundreds of thousands of dead fish.

A Royal Commission report into the Murray-Darling Basin Authority — which happened to coincide with a series of mass fish kills — was scathing in its assessment, accusing the body of illegality.

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The Murray-Darling Basin is a river network sprawling for one million square kilometres (400,000 square miles), about twice the size of Spain.

It affects the livelihood of millions of people, but it had been over-exploited for years and seriously depleted by drought.

A South Australian inquest said the authority acted unlawfully in setting water levels while it “completely ignored” climate change projections.

“Politics rather than science ultimately drove the setting” of limits on the amount of water that could be taken out of the river, the report said.

The commission charged that the authority failed to be guided by “environmental priorities”, as required by law. “It is an unlawful approach. It is maladministration.”

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An investigation by the national broadcaster the ABC in 2017 found billions of litres slated for environmental flows was being used to irrigate farmland in New South Wales.

A review of water management compliance in 2017 found inconsistent and poor enforcement in some states.

The report comes as debate rages over a series of mass fish kills over the past few weeks in rivers connected to the Murray-Darling.

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Up to a million were killed last month — with scientists pointing to low water and oxygen levels as well as possibly toxic algae — in drought battered eastern Australia.

The royal commission recommended a complete overhaul of the water river management plan, with revised levels based on “the best available scientific knowledge”.

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2020 Election

‘Deeply hurt’ Ex-Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale tweets out Bible verse about being persecuted

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Former Trump re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale is "deeply hurt" after being demoted Wednesday night by Jared Kushner, according to Politico.

"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them," Parscale tweeted Thursday afternoon.

Romans 12:14:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

— Brad Parscale (@parscale) July 16, 2020

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GOP officials admit 2020 platform is basically whatever’s on Trump’s Twitter account

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President Donald Trump has shaped the Republican Party into his own image in less than four years on the job, and that doesn't seem likely to change anytime soon.

Nearly half of the House Republicans on the job when Trump took office in 2017 have either retired, resigned, been defeated or are retiring in 2020, and many of the GOP newcomers are devoted Trump loyalists, reported Politico.

“Whether the president wins or loses, his policy views and style have firmly taken over the Republican Party — nationalism and white grievance, those kinds of things,” said Matt Moore, former chairman of South Carolina's GOP. “I don’t think that Trumpy politics will be leaving the stage anytime soon.”

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Coronavirus data disappears from CDC dashboard after Trump hijacks info

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The Trump administration on Tuesday forced all hospitals and states to make a significant and immediate change in how they report coronavirus patient data, hijacking the information to be funneled into the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Experts warned the move could allow the administration to politicize the data, hide it, be less transparent, all of which interferes in the real-time usage of information to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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