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All eyes were on Donald Trump this week as the former president faced the possibility of arrest and criminal charges related to hush money he paid porn actress Stormy Daniels following an alleged affair the pair had in the months after Melania Trump had given birth to Barron. The former president is alleged to have falsified records to cover up the payment.

While the arrest has not come (yet), the chance that it could have at least rankled Trump, who took to Truth Social warning of “death and destruction” should he be charged criminally for his actions. THE NEW REPUBLIC had a good wrap-up of the situation.

Trump Threatens “Death & Destruction” If He’s Charged
Trump argued that filing charges against him would lead to major violence.
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The former president, whose departure from office was marked by the Capitol Insurrection, has already declared his 2024 candidacy, which he recently launched near the site of the federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. THE INTERCEPT wrote about the significance of the site.

What It Means for Trump’s Campaign to Start in Waco
Holding his first rally near the site of an infamous federal raid could be seen as “a coded message to those on the extreme.”
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Criminal charges could throw a wrench into the prospect of a Trump victory, and already Republicans have been decrying the news—and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who has been investigating the hush money payment. THE MAJORITY REPORT this week did a segment on how a Trump indictment puts Republicans in an awkward position.

With that, please enjoy these other critical stories from this week, brought to you by OptOut participating outlets!

Anti-Trans Hate

As Republican lawmakers around the country continue to introduce a spate of anti-trans legislation, OptOut remains committed to covering the evolving story. This week, THE APPEAL wrote about how rapidly these legislative attacks on transgender Americans are escalating.

Anti-Trans Bills Flood States in ‘Centrally Coordinated’ Attack on Transgender Existence
Advocates have expressed shock at a rapid escalation in the severity of anti-trans legislation, which is increasingly seeking to restrict medical care and public expression, including with threats of criminal punishment.
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THE AMERICAN PROSPECT, meanwhile, had an essential piece about how the only response to this right-wing assault is new federal civil rights legislation.

It’s Up to the Feds to Protect Trans Rights
Only national policy can protect all vulnerable Americans from right-wing oppression.
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Check out the latest TRANSLASH PODCAST released a week ahead of the Trans Day of Visibility. Host Imara Jones interviewed trans Jeopardy champion Amy Schneider.

DOWNLOAD the free OptOut app for Android or iOS for more curated content like this every day!

Climate Changing

A new report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change contains dire warnings for the world. The AR6th synthesis report warns that ”Rapid and far-reaching transitions across all sectors and systems are necessary to achieve deep and sustained emissions reductions and secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.” CURRENTLY had more on the story.

Latest IPCC Report — we need to do it all
Latest IPCC report says we have the means to meet climate goals, if world leaders and communities take unprecedented and ambitious action.
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In other news, the Biden administration approved Alaska’s largest oil and gas development in decades. Known as the Willow Project, the project was lauded by ConocoPhillips. The ALASKA BEACON reported on the news:

Biden administration OKs Willow Arctic oil project on Alaska’s North Slope - Alaska Beacon
Environmental groups have already said they will sue to block the Arctic oil development, which would be Alaska’s largest in decades.
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This story was also featured in OptOut’s climate newsletter.

The Pandemic Price Hike

This week, the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing to discuss Moderna’s planned price hike of its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, which was developed with the help of government scientists. STATES NEWSROOM covered the frustrated responses of the senators.

Moderna plan to hike COVID vaccine price to $130 a dose rebuked at U.S. Senate hearing - Rhode Island Current
The CEO of Moderna on Wednesday defended the company’s decision to drastically increase the price of its COVID-19 vaccine later this year, drawing bipartisan condemnation.
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This Week in OptOut

OptOut had a big week with two newsletters and two podcasts. First up was the Gilded Age Podcast interview with digital privacy rights advocate Evan Greer. This was definitely a conversation to listen to!

PODCAST: Evan Greer on Net Neutrality and Online Censorship
Fight for the Future Director Evan Greer talks about online censorship, net neutrality, the battle against disinformation, and punk rock.
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Next, OptOut co-founder Alex Kotch interviewed Janine Jackson, the program director for FAIR, about corporate media bias for OptOutcast this week.

PODCAST: Janine Jackson on Corporate Media Bias
“Who do news media listen to? Who do they decide are good sources?”
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Check out this week’s climate newsletter from Christian Salazar!

Drill, Baby, Drill! Alaskan Oil Extraction
Independent climate news from the OptOut network—fueled by facts, not the oil and gas industry.
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OutOut also published a newsletter dedicated to LGBTQIA+-related stories.

The GOP’s Terrifying Obsession With Erasing LGBTQ+ People
Banning books, drag, and gender-affirming care are overt attempts to ban our very lives.
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The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.

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