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AP-CLIMATE-CHANGE-HEAT-WAVE

Summer swelter: Persistent heat wave breaks records, spirits

A heat wave that’s already lasted more than a week keeps on baking the US, Asia and even the Arctic. At least eight US states Thursday hit 100 degrees, that’s after 12 did that on Wednesday. Records keep falling. A city in the Russian Arctic hit nearly 90 degrees. This early summer heat wave looks and feels more like August. Scientists say it has all the hallmarks of climate change. In Macon, Georgia, the temperature ramped from 64 to 105 degrees on Wednesday and then hit 104, a further record, on Thursday.

WOLVES-MINNESOTA

Minnesota releases updated draft gray wolf management plan

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Wildlife managers say Minnesota’s gray wolf population is resilient and robust, and they’ve released a draft updated plan to keep it that way. The Department of Natural Resources on Thursday laid out a blueprint for the next 10 years to strengthen conservation and minimize conflicts between people and predators. It calls for maintaining a statewide population of 2,200 to 3,000 wolves. That’s in line with recent estimates of about 2,700 and around where it’s been since the late 1990s. The plan does not take a position on whether Minnesota should resume wolf hunting if they’re removed from federal protection.

TWIN METALS MINE

Feds issue draft assessment that could doom Minnesota mine

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has issued a draft environmental assessment to lay the foundation for a proposed 20-year moratorium on copper-nickel mining upstream from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Formally, the proposal would “withdraw” about 352 square miles within the Rainy River watershed in the Superior National Forest around Ely from new mineral leasing for 20 years. The plan threatens to doom the proposed Twin Metals mine near Birch Lake, which drains into a river that flows into the Boundary Waters. But it would not affect a separate project, the proposed PolyMet mine, which lies in a different watershed.

ELECTION 2022-MINNESOTA-GOVERNOR

Jensen seeks tax cuts to help Minnesota cope with inflation

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen is calling for tax cuts and a clampdown on government spending and regulations to help Minnesotans cope with inflation. Though his plan was short on specifics on how he’d get there, Jensen told reporters Thursday his goal is to return around $4,000 to $5,000 for every family of four. Democratic Gov. Tim Walz a day earlier renewed his call for one-time tax rebate checks of $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for couples to help them cope with high gas and other prices. Jensen and Republican legislative leaders are calling for permanent tax cuts instead.

GEORGE FLOYD-OFFICERS-CIVIL RIGHTS-CHAUVIN

Feds want 25 years for Chauvin for violating Floyd’s rights

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to give former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin a 25-year sentence for violating the rights of George Floyd, as well as the rights of a 14-year-old Black boy who was restrained in an unrelated case. Chauvin pleaded guilty in December to violating Floyd’s rights when he knelt on the Black man’s neck during a May 2020 arrest. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson has already accepted a plea agreement, which calls for a sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years. Prosecutors say Chauvin should face the high end because of the serious nature of the crime and other reasons. Chauvin was convicted on state charges of murder and manslaughter and is serving a 22 1/2-year sentence.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-SMOKIES TRAFFIC STOP

Black man wrestled to ground, jailed after traffic stop

A Black man from Mississippi is appealing his conviction on charges stemming from a traffic stop in North Carolina in 2020 during which a white National Park Service officer took him to the ground for not putting his hands behind his back while being frisked. Marvin Minor, who faced multiple charges, was sentenced to four months in prison by a magistrate after he was convicted on March 29 in U.S. District Court. The appeal was filed on June 6, shortly before Minor’s sentence was to end. The appeal makes multiple references to the fact that the traffic stop involving Minor occurred two months after George Floyd was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer.

AP-US-MOON-DUST-AND-COCKROACHES

NASA: Give us back our moon dust and cockroaches

BOSTON (AP) — NASA wants its moon dust and cockroaches back. The space agency has asked Boston-based RR Auction to halt the sale of moon dust collected during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that had subsequently been fed to cockroaches during an experiment to determine if the lunar material contained any sort of pathogen that posed a threat to terrestrial life. NASA said in a letter to the auctioneer that it still belongs to the federal government. RR said Thursday that the material from the experiment was expected to sell for at least $400,000, but has been pulled from the auction block.

POLICE BOARD-LAWSUIT

Ex-staffer sues Minnesota police board for discrimination

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A former staffer for the Minnesota board that licenses police officers is suing the agency, alleging she was the victim of racial discrimination. Starr Suggs spent 28 years with the Peace Officers Standards and Training Board. She told KSTP-TV the last straw came in February as a crowd gathered outside to protest the police killing of Amir Locke. The protest remained peaceful. But Suggs, the only Black employee, said she was disturbed by the reaction of her white colleagues. Her experience that day is now one of several incidents detailed in a lawsuit she filed against the POST Board last month.

The Associated Press

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