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The administration wants to roll back fuel emission standards that require car companies to produce clean vehicles; Canada is using ancestry websites to DNA-test its detained migrants.
Trump plays dirty with the Clean Air Act
- The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced on Thursday that they will revoke Obama-era fuel economy rules that sought to control car mileage standards and limit fuel usage. [AP / Ellen Knickmeyer and Tom Krisher]
- Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler also said the Trump administration plans to revoke the Clean Air Act waiver, which allows a state to set their own fuel-efficiency standards. This is aimed at California, who has stricter standards than those set in place by the EPA under President Barack Obama. [US News & World Report / Alan Neuhauser]
- The fuel efficiency and emissions standards initially had the goal of increasing every car’s mileage to at least 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Wheeler’s intent is to freeze the increase in 2020 at 41.7 mpg and let that figure stand for at least six years. [USA Today and Detroit Free Press / Todd Spangler and Nathan Bomey]
- There will likely be less production of environmentally friendly cars as a result of the rollback. [NBC / Paul A. Eisenstein]
- The two agencies contend that stricter mileage standards would make cars more expensive and poorer Americans less inclined to buy them. According to Wheeler, this would result in an unsafe driving experience because there would be older car models on the road. [NPR / Merrit Kennedy and Camila Domonoske]
- The Trump administration has been fighting for weeks over how to how to roll back the standards without publishing a version of the report that contained “a wide range of errors, use of outdated data, and unsupported assumptions.” [Washington Post / Brady Dennis, Michael Laris, and Juliet Eilperin]
- Though the Trump administration argues that cleaner cars will lead to more death, experts feel this analysis is indefensible. [NYT / Brad Plumer]
- The rollback seems, in many ways, to be a devastating blow, given that vehicular tailpipe exhaust causes the most greenhouse gas emissions in America. But Obama’s fuel economy standards barely helped with halting emissions to begin with. [LA Times / Matthew Fleischer]
- The rollback likely won’t be permanent if an environmentally conscious administration comes into power. But it will take longer to bounce back from Trump’s damage. [Vox / David Roberts]
Canada is using DNA testing in efforts to deport migrants
- The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) confirmed on July 27 that its immigration officials are using DNA testing and ancestry websites to determine the nationalities of detained migrants in order to deport them. The confirmation came after two immigration lawyers alleged their clients were subject to multiple DNA tests from FamilyTreeDNA.com (which says it has no affiliation to the Canadian government’s actions). [Vice / Tamara Khandaker]
- The CBSA said that ancestral sites are only used when all other options to prove a migrants nationality have been “exhausted.” [AFP]
- The agency also said that it only tests migrants with their consent. However, the two migrants who have come forward claim that “they can’t really say no” because they are threatened with “being deemed non-cooperative.” [Guardian / Ashifa Kassam]
- This method, which follows Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to speed up the process of detaining migrants, raises many concerns about privacy and whether there is any confidentiality in using these online services. [Reuters / Andrea Hopkins]
- There’s also a major, obvious flaw in this tactic: DNA and ancestry do not always match one’s nationality. [BBC]
- A McDonald’s in Canada accidentally served a pregnant woman a cup of cleaning chemicals instead of coffee (she and her baby are fine). It’s apparently not the first time that’s happened. [Newsweek / James Hetherington]
- The sensible clothing retailer Uniqlo has begun selling its vests through a new venue: airport vending machines. Big surprise, the inaugural machine has been placed in San Fransisco (and it’s bringing in loads of cash each month). [Racked / Eliza Brooke]
- The speaker company Sonos is redesigning the New York Stock Exchange’s famous NASDAQ opening bell. Welcome to the Bluetooth-ruled future. [The Verge / Vlad Savov]
- In a rare interview, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie (of the Windsor clan) told the world they’re “anti-plastic” and “real.” [British Vogue / Ellie Pithers]
“This was a McSting.” [Jeff Maysh on “How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions” / Daily Beast]
Watch this: Tattoos, explained
Tattoos have been used to command respect, punish criminals, and mark achievements throughout human history — but what explains their sudden surge in popularity?
Tattooists speak about the origins of tattoo traditions and rituals in this week’s episode of Explained on Netflix.