We have big news from OptOut! Our official reporting newsletter, IMPORTANT CONTEXT, has published two articles you should check out.

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First, there's the moving profile on New York-based LGBTQIA+ legal advocate Andy Izenson, co-founder of the Chosen Family Law Firm, by OptOut LGBTQIA+ Editor Liana DeMasi. Izenson does essential work on the front lines of one of the most critical modern civil rights struggles today.

Queer, Trans Advocate Andy Izenson Wants to Take Us Back to Our Roots
What happens when we go beneath the surface?
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Then, there's the Q&A interview Walker Bragman did with Georgetown global health law professor Lawrence Gostin about the pandemic preparedness treaty being negotiated at the World Health Organization. As the director of Georgetown University’s WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, Gostin has been involved in the negotiations.

What You Need to Know About the WHO Pandemic Treaty With Georgetown Law Professor Lawrence Gostin
Professor Gostin, who has been involved in the negotiations, shares his insights.
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For more on the treaty, check out this story in WHOWHATWHY about right-wing and anti-vaccine opposition to the treaty.

COVID Contrarians Protest WHO’s Efforts to Prepare for the Next Pandemic - WhoWhatWhy
For the anti-government far-Right, international cooperation is poisonous.
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In Other News

THE LEVER had a good rundown of Donald Trump's plans for the fossil fuel industry if he is elected in November.

Trump’s Plot To Blow Up The World
Unpacking Trump’s reelection plans to doom the planet.
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Meanwhile, STATES NEWSROOM reported on the GOP presidential hopeful's plans to work with a staunchly anti-abortion religious group.

Trump says he’ll work ‘side by side’ with group that wants abortion ‘eradicated’ • Nebraska Examiner
Former President Donald Trump said Monday if reelected he will work with a new religious group that says abortion should be “eradicated.”
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Supreme Scandal

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has found himself in hot water lately. What began as a controversy surrounding an upside down American flag flown on his property after the 2020 election–a symbol adopted by Trump-supporting election deniers–has opened up. More recently, the justice was caught on tape expressing far-right views and attacking the media. MAJORITY REPORT did segments on the unfolding scandal.

For more on the exposing of Justice Alito, check out this story from THE INTERCEPT.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Caught on Secret Audio
“One side or the other is going to win,” Alito told a person he thought was a right-wing activist.
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The news about Alito tops off a rough time for the right-wing Supreme Court. Justice Clarence Thomas has also been in the news lately for accepting lavish gifts from right-wing billionaires. The scandals of Alito and Thomas have fueled calls for a Supreme Court code of ethics, like other federal courts and members of Congress are subject to. Not everyone is on board, however. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has vowed opposition to any code of ethics. THE NEW REPUBLIC had the story.

Lindsey Graham Vows to Keep Supreme Court Corrupt
The South Carolina senator said he plans to block legislation to implement a code of ethics at the high court.
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Sick For America

As summer heats up, so too is another wave of COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 virus has already killed roughly 1.2 million Americans and left more than 20 million with long haul symptoms. There are studies linking COVID to a host of serious health complications, including cardiovascular problems and neurological issues.

Despite this, the nation is currently seeing politicians push for bans on mask-wearing–to crack down on pro-Palestine protests. Because of course!

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, for example, has floated the idea. THE NEW REPUBLIC reported.

New York Governor Pitches Dangerous Idea to Crack Down on Protests
Kathy Hochul wants to revive an old tactic to repress the pro-Palestine protests in New York.
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North Carolina recently approved a law restricting mask use. The law prohibits the wearing of masks in public with narrow exceptions.

NC Senate approves bill making it a crime to wear a mask in public • NC Newsline
The North Carolina Senate approved an amended version of House Bill 237 that would prohibit the wearing of masks in public
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