Petitions of the day

Petitions of the dayThe petitions of the day are: Clearstream Banking S.A. v. Peterson 17-1529 Issue: Whether foreign sovereign property held by a foreign financial intermediary in a foreign country may, under any circumstances, be subject to execution in United States courts. Bank Markazi v. Peterson 17-1534 Issue: Whether a foreign sovereign’s property outside of the United States is entitled to […]

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Lawmaker Says Climate Change Increases Antarctic Ice — Nope

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During a hearing earlier this month in the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Rep. Mo Brooks made a claim about how much climate change affects antarctic ice, and it’s just not accurate.

“Would it surprise you to know that as global temperatures rise, assuming for the moment that they do, that that actually increases the amount of ice that is collected in Antarctica?” Brooks said.

“That’s not true, sir,” Phil Duffy, from the Woods Hole Research Center, said.

“That’s not true — well, I made a trip down there to Antarctica and met with National Science Foundation scientists, and they all agreed with global warming, and they emphasized that you’re going to have an increase in the amount of ice in Antarctica because of global warming,” Brooks responded.

OK, so before we get into the nitty gritty here, we should establish that it’s absolutely not true that rising temperatures result in more overall ice in the antarctic. As temps climb, ice melts, and that’s as true in Antarctica as it is anywhere else in the world. Most scientists agree that climate change will result in a shrinkage of antarctic ice overall.

That said, what Brooks is alluding to, and what he later explains in the hearing, is that as the atmosphere gets warmer, it can hold more moisture, which means more precipitation in Antarctica. Since it’s so cold, that precipitation freezes, which means ice builds up in some places.

But that doesn’t mean the net ice volume in Antarctica is climbing. The buildup is vastly outweighed by the amount of ice melting elsewhere on the continent.

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The UK Wants More Women, Minorities In Its Foreign Intelligence Agency

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The U.K.’s foreign intelligence agency is trying to make something clear: You don’t have to look like Daniel Craig or have a name like “Bond, James Bond” to be a British secret agent.

The Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, is launching a TV ad campaign to recruit more women and minorities into its ranks. The agency’s chief says he wants to break away from the 007 stereotype. 

MI6 is also reviewing its nationality policy. Until now, to work for the agency, you had to have at least one British parent or a parent with strong ties to Britain. Now, officials say they’re loosening that requirement with the hope of recruiting children of immigrants.

Currently, women make up less than 40 percent of the agency’s non-senior staff. Minorities account for less than 7 percent of those positions.

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Netflix Surpasses Disney As Most Valuable Media Company

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Netflix is the king of media companies … at least for a day. 

On Thursday, the streaming service’s market cap soared over Disney’s for the first time, making its stock more valuable than the entertainment juggernaut’s. Netflix’s value also rose above Comcast’s earlier this week.

That’s pretty impressive, given Disney’s recent box-office success with the “Star Wars” and “Marvel’s Avengers” franchises. But it may be a sign Netflix’s investments are paying off. It pledged to spend up to $8 billion on original content in 2018. A hike in subscription prices hasn’t appeared to slow the company down, either. 

So Thursday was a good day for Netflix. But in the grand scheme of things, Disney is still the bigger moneymaker. The streaming company brought in $11.6 billion in 2017. During that same period, Disney brought in about $31.9 billion — and that’s just from its network and studio entertainment division. 

At the very least, it shows 2018 has been kind to Netflix so far. It’s added more U.S. subscribers than expected this year and saw a bump in first-quarter revenue. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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8 Women Accuse Morgan Freeman Of Sexual Harassment

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Eight women have accused Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman of harassment or inappropriate behavior. 

As part of a CNN investigation, reporters spoke with dozens of people about Freeman. Allegations against him included unwanted touching, comments about women’s bodies and accusations that Freeman repeatedly tried to lift one woman’s skirt.

In a statement, Freeman said: “Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”

And there’s already been some fallout from these accusations. Vancouver public transportation stopped using announcements with Freeman’s voice. The Screen Actor’s Guild union said in a statement it may take “corrective action” against Freeman. The actor was just given SAG’s lifetime achievement award in January. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN

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What Is ‘Health Equity’? Lawmakers Are Working To Get It On The Table

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Health equity is when everyone — despite race, ethnicity, gender or economic standing — has the opportunity to be as healthy as they can be. Language barriers, cultural differences and socioeconomic barriers make health equity hard to achieve, but lawmakers are working to fix those gaps.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege, so we’re uniting to ensure that all communities have access to quality, affordable health care,” Rep. Judy Chu said in a statement to Newsy.

On Wednesday, the Congressional Tri-Caucus — which is made up of the Congressional Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific American caucuses — introduced the Health Equity and Accountability Act, or HEAA.

The bill addresses racial and ethnic disparities in health care and proposes improvements to data collection, language access services, industry diversity and health care infrastructure in lower-income and minority communities.

The bill has actually been introduced by the Tri-Caucus to every Congress since 2007. Almost 160 different members of Congress have cosponsored the bill, but each time, it’s received little attention and died in the House.

Last year, a spokesman for Rep. Robin Kelly said: “We know we are not going to get a comprehensive bill passed. We know there is no appetite for that. We are focusing on trying to tweak around the edges and on finding partners.”

SEE MORE: How Dental Health Workers Are Filling Gaps In Tribal Dental Disparity

Health professionals have long recognized the importance of addressing health inequities — even before the first introduction of HEAA. Groups like the American Psychological Association have also supported the bill.

And despite HEAA’s past defeats in Congress, some of its provisions have made it into the Affordable Care Act and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Outside of the federal government, health equity advocates say HEAA can be used as a model for state and local governments.

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