Alty News: Egypt Targets ISIS; The Downsides to Drug Decriminalization | Buzz Blog

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Alty News: Egypt Targets ISIS; The Downsides to Drug Decriminalization

Posted By on February 17, 2015, 10:52 AM

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Egypt targets Libya after the Islamic State released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians.

Top of the Alty World

"Egypt Makes Libya the New Front in Anti-ISIS War, 4 Years After NATO Left Chaos Behind"—Democracy Now!

China is so excited about Internet censorship that they composed an anthem to the state-sanctioned practice called  “The Mind and Spirit of Cyberspace Security.”—ProPublica

Decriminalization of drug offenses can still disproportionately hurt low-income people and communities of color.—Slate 

Documents suggest JP Morgan Chase may be profiting off of forced evictions in China.—Rolling Stone

Top of Alty Utah

A proposed 10 cent gas tax increase has received strong support on the hill.—Utah Political Capitol

A poll shows a majority of Utahns want a non-partisan school board.—Utah Policy

The House advanced a bill to bring back the firing squad in Utah—Salt Lake City Weekly

Canyon conservationists grapple with the Mountain Accord that will determine the fate of development in the Wasatch mountains.—Salt Lake City Weekly


Utah Politico Hub takes issue with a Paul Rolly column in The Salt Lake Tribune that dramatically described a four-minute showdown on the House Floor that didn't happen, in which Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, stared down Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, until he changed his vote on a sexual consent bill.

Except that’s not what happened. You can pull up the video and watch it yourself. You don’t have to take my, or Rolly’s, word for it. The vote opened and Thurston’s vote is the lone vote in opposition. Then, instead of four minutes passing, it took Thurston just about 45 seconds to change his vote from “No” to “Yes.” 45 seconds. Not four minutes of staring while everyone else waited. In fact, the body was still waiting for Representatives Fred Cox, Brian King, and Jim Dunnigan to cast their votes, all of who didn’t vote until after Thurston changed his vote.—Utah Politico Hub
The Long View

The Texas Observer takes a look at three "holdout" families in Texas who refused to sell their land to the fracking industry.

Almost everyone takes the money. You’d be crazy not to. According to industry estimates, oil and gas companies paid more than $15 million in royalties to Texans across the state in 2012. That doesn’t include initial signing bonuses, which can be enormous. Houston-area oil and gas heir Daniel Harrison III collected $1 billion in cash in 2013 when Shell Oil Co. leased his 100,000-acre ranch in the Eagle Ford.

But across the shale plays—primarily the Barnett in the north and the Eagle Ford in the south—there are some who reject the landmen’s offers. Known in the industry as “holdouts,” these mineral rights owners dare to challenge Big Oil in Texas. It’s a kind of principled madness that often baffles neighbors, family members and the industry itself. Unlike many fracking foes, the holdouts stand to benefit personally from oil and gas drilling. Yet they risk much more than money fighting to keep the fossil fuels in the ground. Some lose their health, their homes and their faith in the government as an arbiter of competing rights. Rarely are they able to stop the companies from drilling. For this uncommon breed, no amount of money can buy peace of mind.—Texas Observer

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