FBI raids Trump’s Florida home, seizes documents. Environmental groups say new climate bill does more harm than good. Violence continues in Israel, now in West Bank.
FBI raids Trump’s Florida home
Yesterday morning, the FBI served a search warrant at former President Trump’s Florida resort home at Mar-a-Lago. The raid didn’t become public knowledge until yesterday evening when Trump himself announced that it had taken place. Trump was not at the home at the time of the raid but denounced. He denounced the raid as “unnecessary” and “politically motivated”, despite the fact that FBI head Christopher Wray is one of his own appointees. The Justice Department has not commented on the raid or its purpose.
What were they looking for?
Though there’s been no official comment up to this point, the prevailing assumption is that the raid is connected with an ongoing investigation of Trump’s handling of classified documents from his presidency. The probe got underway last year when it came to light that Trump had removed 15 boxes of documents after leaving the White House. Removing the documents violated laws government presidential record-keeping. The law designates official presidential documents as property of the American people. Trump’s unauthorized removal of the documents was potentially a criminal act. There are also allegations that Trump destroyed certain documents, which would also be illegal.
Trump’s camp maintains that they have been cooperating with the investigation. But the fact that the raid took place would seem to indicate otherwise. Sources say that FBI agents did remove documents from the home and even broke open a safe.
It’s not clear at this stage whether any of these documents are relevant to investigations of Trump’s incitement of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Environmental groups say new climate bill may do more harm than good
Senate Democrats struggled for over a year to pass any meaningful climate legislation. Facing opposition from Republicans as well as members of their own party, the much-slimmed down legislation that passed with much fanfare in the Senate over the weekend is a mere shadow of its former self. Now, grassroots environmental organizations say that while there are some helpful provisions in the bill, on balance it may do more harm than good.
Activists are particularly appalled by provisions in the bill that make huge concessions to the fossil fuel industry. These include mandating more permits for oil drilling and pipelines. These provisions commit the US to decades more of climate-warming fossil fuel projects. Perhaps unsurprisingly, activists are point the finger at coal baron Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) for forcing these inclusions in the bill. Both Manchin and Sinema have received considerable campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry.
Most electric vehicles won’t qualify for tax credit
The bill contains a $7500 tax credit to make purchases of electric vehicles (EVs) more affordable. But US automakers say that the vast majority of EVs sold in the US will not qualify for the full tax credit. The bill stipulates that in order to qualify for the full $7500 credit, the vehicle’s battery must be manufactured or assembled in North America, and the EV itself must be manufactured in North America.
When the bill goes into effect next year, 40% of the metals used in a vehicle’s battery must come from North America to qualify for the full credit. By 2027, that requirement will reach 80%. Additionally, half the batteries’ value must be manufactured or assembled in the North America as of next year to qualify. The requirement becomes stricter each of the following years, reaching 100% in 2029.
If only one of the requirements is met, a car buyer may receive only half the credit.
The purpose of these requirements is to encourage domestic manufacturing of EV batteries and domestic sourcing of materials. China currently leads the world in EV battery manufacture and sourcing of the necessary minerals.
However, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-M) admits that these restrictions were also a concession to Sen. Manchin, who Stabenow says ” frankly didn’t support any credit of any kind”.
Violence continues in Israel, now in West Bank
Less than a day after signing a ceasefire agreement following aerial bombardment in Gaza, the Israeli military conducted a raid in the West Bank city of Nablus. Nablus has been a stronghold of Palestinian militants. Some who have carried out a cluster of recent attacks on Israeli civilians came from the area.
Israeli troops had encircled the home of Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, who was wanted in connection with some of the West Bank attacks. The military claims they came under attack from Palestinians hurling rocks and explosives and responded with bullets. At some point, the military launched a rocket into al-Nabulsi’s home. Al-Nabulsi and two other militants, Islam Sabouh and Hussein Jamal Taha, were shot dead during the raid.
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