Once a month, accountant Michael Byrne pulls on his rubber boots and makes his way to a spot on the banks of the River Thames. He carefully marks out a one-square meter (11-square foot) patch and, with gloved hands, catalogues each bit of plastic he finds, meticulously reporting the data to the environmental group Thames21. On Aug. 20, for example, he and other volunteers found an average of 31 food wrappers, the sticks from 29 cotton swabs, 12 bottle tops, and about 100 pieces of small chewed up plastic in each patch. ... Public awareness of the problem of plastic waste is swelling after alarming forecasts that there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.
A Trump-appointed federal judge who donated to the Trump campaign and worked on his presidential transition team has rejected requests to recuse himself from overseeing a legal battle involving Fusion GPS, the research firm that commissioned the so-called "dossier" of unverified intelligence that contains claims about Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russia. U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden, who sits on the bench in Washington, D.C., made two donations to Trump's presidential campaign totaling $1000 in October 2016 -- both coming within three weeks of Election Day, documents filed with the Federal Election Commission show.
"You see these movies, they're so violent. And yet a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn't involved, but killing is involved," Trump said during a meeting Thursday with state lawmakers. "And maybe they have to put a rating system for that. You get into a whole very complicated, very big deal but the fact is that you are having movies come out that are so violent with the killing and everything else that maybe that's another thing we're going to have to discuss." It was unclear whether Trump was aware that the Motion Picture Association of America already rates films based on graphic sexual or violent content; or if he was suggesting that ratings system needs to be overhauled"
The National Rifle Association (NRA) said Wednesday it opposes any new legislation that would put age restrictions on firearm purchases. "We need serious proposals to prevent violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from acquiring firearms," NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said in a statement. ... Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Wednesday he is working on legislation with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to increase the minimum age to buy a rifle. Flake wrote in a tweet that he is "working with [Feinstein] on a bipartisan bill that will raise the minimum purchase age for non-military buyers from 18 to 21 -- the same age you currently have to be to purchase a handgun."
When President Donald Trump's longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller decided to leave his White House job last fall, many in the West Wing wondered how the president would manage without his personal security chief-turned-confidant, who had been working for Trump nearly 20 years. As it turns out, Schiller didn't go very far. Within weeks of leaving his job as director of Oval Office operations, Schiller's private security firm, KS Global Group, began collecting $15,000 a month for "security services" from the Republican National Committee. ... "These sorts of party accounts are notorious for being operated as slush funds -- lightly regulated and ripe for abuse," said Stephen Spaulding, former special counsel at the Federal Election Commission and now chief of strategy at the nonpartisan advocacy group Common Cause.