👋 Away Message: It's infrastructure week at WTF HQ! This will be the last edition of WTFJHT until May 31. WTF is taking a much needed break to retool ahead of what is shaping up to be a very consequential midterm cycle (we've also had a few unresolvable scheduling snafus/conflicts here, so I'm just going to take a mulligan on this one). In the mean time, we've built a little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding! I'm going to miss you. You'll hear from us again on Tuesday, May 31. Thanks for being here.
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1/ Texas Democrats plan to flee the state in an effort to block GOP-backed voting restrictions. The Texas lawmakers will head to D.C., risking arrest by leaving the state during the special legislative session. The move would be an attempt to become national symbols in the fight for voting rights, as Republicans in the state move ahead with a bill that would impose new limits on casting a ballot. (Texas Tribune / NBC News / New York Times)
2/ Trump lawyers might be penalized over a Michigan election lawsuit. The lawsuit alleging widespread fraud was voluntarily dropped after a judge in December found nothing but “speculation and conjecture.” (NBC News)
3/ Republicans are pushing to ban what they call “discrimination” against unvaccinated people. Legislation being introduced in states across the country would protect the civil rights of people who refuse to be vaccinated. (Axios)
4/ The EPA approved the use of toxic chemicals for fracking a decade ago, according to new files. The compounds can form PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” which have been linked to cancer and birth defects. The EPA approvals in 2011 came despite the agency’s own concerns about toxicity. (New York Times)
5/ The FDA is expected to announce a new warning about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine related to a rare autoimmune disorder. About 100 preliminary reports of Guillain-Barré have been detected after 12.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were administered, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. (Washington Post / New York Times)
6/ Biden backed Trump’s rejection of China’s claim to the South China Sea. The Biden administration on Sunday upheld a Trump-era rejection of nearly all of China’s significant maritime claims in the South China Sea. Biden also warned China that any attack on the Philippines in the flashpoint region would draw a U.S. response under a mutual defense treaty. (Associated Press)
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