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Politics
Mike Pence at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, MD. Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

Pence Family Gas Station Failures Cost Taxpayers More Than $20 Million

A failed gas station empire owned by the family of Vice President Mike Pence has left communities in his home state saddled with millions of dollars in ongoing cleanup costs, the AP reported this weekend.

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Climate
Many roofs were torn off when high winds from Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico. U.S. Air Force photo by A1C Nicholas Dutton

Hurricane Maria Aftermath: FEMA Admits to Deadly Mistakes in Puerto Rico

The Federal Emergency Management Agency was sorely unprepared to handle Hurricane Maria and the subsequent crisis in Puerto Rico, the agency admitted in an internal performance assessment memo released last week.

FEMA's after-action report details how the agency's warehouse on the island was nearly empty due to relief efforts from Hurricane Irma when Maria made landfall last September, with no cots or tarps and little food and water.

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Health

Kentucky Law Could Restrict Health Care for Miners Suffering From Black Lung Disease

A Kentucky law that goes into effect Saturday could make it more difficult for miners suffering from black lung to claim federal benefits, Vice News reports.

The law mandates that only five of Kentucky's 11 pulmonologists, or lung experts, may examine miners' X-rays in benefit claims.

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Climate
The temperature in Petersburg, Alaska reached 81 degrees on June 20. Dave Bezaire / CC BY-SA 2.0

Record Number of Americans Believe in Climate Change: Poll Taken During Record Heat Wave

More Americans than ever think that there is evidence that the planet is warming, and a record high also believe human activity is at least partially responsible, according to a new survey.

The University of Michigan and Muhlenberg College's annual survey, released Wednesday, finds that 73 percent of Americans think there is "solid evidence" of climate change, while 60 percent of the population now think that human beings have an influence on how the climate is changing.

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Energy
X-ray tech explains a chest x-ray to a coal miner in Harlan County, KY. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Coal Execs Indicted for Lying on Safety Tests

Eight former coal company officials were indicted in a Kentucky court Wednesday on charges that they lied to federal regulators about the levels of breathable dust in their mines, increasing their miners' risk of exposure to the conditions that can cause black lung disease.

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Children play in the water fountains at the Place des Arts on a hot day in Montreal, July 3, 2018. EVA HAMBACH / AFP / Getty Images

Extreme Heat Wave in Quebec May Have Killed 70

The death toll in Quebec's heat wave last week may have reached as many as 70, officials said Tuesday, as temperatures exceeded 100 degrees F.

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Business
Canterbury Cathedral is the mother church of the Church of England. Jules & Jenny / CC BY 2.0

Church of England to Divest From Companies That Neglect Paris Agreement Goals

The Church of England will divest its $16 billion fund from companies that are not aligning themselves with the goals of the Paris agreement, church officials announced Sunday.

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Climate

Floridians Grapple With Sea Level Rise

Two stories this past weekend highlight how coastal towns in Florida are bracing themselves against rising sea levels.

The AP reports on a Miami-area startup that provides sea level rise assessment reports and advice on individual property parcels in vulnerable cities in South Florida. The firm's services, which have included advising one homeowner on building a seawall out of view of her infinity pool, showcase how private homeowners and property managers are beginning to think about the future for their valuable coastal properties as city planners implement changes around them.

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Energy
Xcel Energy's Sherco Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant, near Becker, Minnesota. Tony Webster / CC BY-SA 2.0

Trump's Coal Bailout Could Cause Spike in Deaths From Pollution

The Trump administration's plan to bail out coal and nuclear industries could cause one American death from pollution for every two to four additional coal jobs generated over the next two years, according to new research.

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