5 Things to Know Today: January 26, 2017
Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today
In case you missed it, if you're trying to petition the White House, double-check that your voice is getting heard, there's a (good) reason to start stockpiling Mexican tequila, and Roxane Gay protests doing business with the alt-right in a big way.
1. The White House's Public Petition Page is Having Some Problems Today
A petition urging President Donald Trump's administration not to halt or reduce the United States' refugee resettlement plan was posted to Whitehouse.gov January 24, a day before several media outlets reported that Trump was expected to sign an executive order stopping refugee admission and resettlement for the next 120 days, particularly restricting Syrian refugees, and cutting the number of refugees admitted annually in half. However, many would-be supporters have said the petition is stuck at one signer. Other petitions appear to be experiencing similar issues today. An identical petition regarding refugee policy was launched on MoveOn.org yesterday and as of this writing had more than 47,400 signatures.
2. BBC: Trump may pay for border wall by taxing tequila
It might sound cute, but a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports, mentioned by White House spokesman Sean Spicer as a way to fund the $12 to $15 billion border wall Mexico is not paying for, could hurt more than your happy hour options. In a series of tweets, U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham pointed out that "any tariff we can levy they can levy" and that Mexico is the United States' third-largest trading partner. The countries exchange $1.6 billion worth of goods per day.
3. Fast Coexist: In five years, 33 percent of Americans won’t be able to afford water.
A research article from Michigan State University predicted that "the percentage of U.S. households who will find water bills unaffordable could triple from 11.9 percent to 35.6 percent" in just five years. With such a dramatic decline in customers able to pay, water utility companies will likely struggle too, and may ultimately hike rates for remaining customers.
4. NPR: Iowa’s pipeline leaked nearly 140,000 gallons of diesel.
An underground pipeline that runs through the Midwest has leaked around 138,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The leak was discovered in a farm field in Worth County, Iowa yesterday morning. While a spokesmen from Iowa’s Department of National Resources told the Des Moines Register “It’s a big one—it’s significant," the diesel has apparently not reached a nearby waterway or wildlife protection area.
5. Slate: Roxane Gay is rescinding her book deal with Simon & Schuster following their decision to publish alt-right leader's book
Milo Yiannopoulos is one of the alt-right's most recognized figures, and made news with a $250,000 book deal in late December. Though the publishing house's CEO told staff and authors that Yiannopoulos' forthcoming book would not “incite hatred, discrimination or bullying,” the Bad Feminist author was not impressed. In a statement she said she was pulling her book How to Be Heard from Simon & Schuster imprint TED books because "I’m not interested in doing business with a publisher willing to grant [Yiannopoulos] that privilege."