Walmart says it will no longer sell e-cigarettes

The largest retailer in the United States is ending the sale of e-cigarettes. Walmart said Friday it will no longer sell e-cigarettes at its U.S. stores, citing “growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty,” CNBC reports. The company plans to sell off its current inventory, after which it will “complete our exit.” This comes a week after President Trump announced his administration plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes. Walmart already announced it would stop selling fruit and dessert-flavored e-cigarettes earlier this year at the same time that it raised the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21, The Associated Press reports. When Trump made his announcement last week, there… Read More

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Can Democrats change the game for labor organizing in America?

American unions are not exactly having their best days. Nationally, membership is down to 10 percent of the workforce. While the labor movement isn’t going down without a fight, it remains a shadow of its former self. But among some of the biggest unions, and the more ambitious Democrats, a reform effort is afoot. This effort isn’t simply about rolling back some of unions’ more egregious losses in recent decades. Rather, their theory is that the entire legal framework for how unions operate in the United States is broken and needs to be reworked. “The current law is so broken and so defective” that “the right to organize doesn’t exist… Read More

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Can unions save the environment?

Increasingly, Americans are scared of climate change. Most of us now acknowledge that it’s happening, and almost 40 percent call it a “crisis,” compared with less than 25 percent of us five years ago. But it’s hard to look the issue in the face. Start picturing Miami and Bangladesh underwater, mass extinctions, refugees fleeing the rising tides and encroaching deserts, and you’ll probably want to close this tab and find something more pleasant to read. One reason this stuff is hard to think about is that we just don’t know what we, as individuals, can do about the terrifying reality. Eating less meat and turning down the thermostat seem like… Read More

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Australian protesters turn out in force to kick off global ‘climate strike’ ahead of U.N. summit

Millions of protesters around the world are expected to participate in Friday’s “global climate strike,” a series of rallies urging governments to back measures to combat climate change ahead of a United Nations summit in New York. Large crowds turned out in Australia to kick off the day of youth-led protests, inspired in part by the “Fridays for Future” demonstrations by Swedish teenager Great Thunberg. The estimated 300,000 protesters at 100 rallies in Australia — including 100,000 in Melbourne and 80,000 in Sydney — would make it the biggest protest in Australia since the Iraq War in 2003. This is the Sydney #ClimateStrike. Today is going to be incredible. pic.twitter.com/Ed2jt0YA9O… Read More

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The backlash to the tech backlash

Washington’s love affair with Big Tech is over. Obviously. Can you imagine the Trump White House partnering with Google on art projects like Michelle Obama did? Or Mark Zuckerberg announcing a presidential exploratory committee? There were plenty of solar-flare-level hot takes about Zuck doing just that when he toured America in 2017. Not so much anymore. More importantly, there are nearly a dozen ongoing or announced government investigations of Big Tech companies — at least the ones that aren’t the biggest of them all, Microsoft. The Justice Department, Federal Trade Commission, House Financial Services and Judiciary committees, and four dozen state attorneys general are all on the case. They want… Read More

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Fed policy has been the biggest drag on the economy

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to cut interest rates at the end of its latest meeting Wednesday afternoon. Added to the reduction at the previous meeting in early August, this will be a remarkable course correction for a central bank that, for several years now, was slowly trying to “normalize” rates to a higher level. It’s also a necessary course correction. By all accounts, that “normalization” is the main reason the economy has been slowing down. There’s no immediate reason to fear a recession. But the rate of gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2019’s second quarter has been revised down, as has the rate for 2018. Other signals,… Read More

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