California’s secret emissions deal with automakers
Four major automakers covertly negotiated a deal with California to produce more fuel-efficient cars in coming years, undercutting one of the Trump administration’s most aggressive climate policy rollbacks.
Under the new compromise, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW of North America — which represent 30 percent of the U.S. auto market — have agreed to raise mileage requirements to 51 miles per gallon for their U.S. fleets over the next six years. This move comes as the Trump administration works to finalize its own new policy, which would freeze requirements at 37 miles per gallon.
Reporter Juliet Eilperin says the growing gulf between federal and state priorities has created uncertainty for American businesses as state lawmakers change rules that, under past administrations, were more likely to be set at the federal level.
- Major automakers strike climate deal with California, rebuffing Trump on proposed mileage freeze
- States aren’t waiting for the Trump administration on environmental protections
- Trump administration quits fuel efficiency talks with California
Internet gatekeepers pay a psychic toll
Over the past couple of years, social media companies have hired tens of thousands of people around the world to vet and delete violent or offensive content in an effort to shore up their reputations after failing to adequately police content such as live-streamed terrorist attacks and Russian disinformation.
But the firms keep these workers, contracted through giant outsourcing agencies, at arm’s length, often providing inadequate support to address the psychological consequences of the work. And in the Philippines, content moderators are especially vulnerable.
“They have to pause the video, they have to rewind the video. They have to zoom in on the video, to see what’s really happening. They have to see it,” says Silicon Valley correspondent Elizabeth Dwoskin. “And they say they can’t unsee it.”
- Social media companies are outsourcing their dirty work to the Philippines. A generation of workers is paying the price.
- Inside Facebook, the second-class workers who do the hardest job are waging a quiet battle
- A Facebook contractor posted Bruce Springsteen lyrics to protest their working conditions. He was fired two weeks later.
Thank God it’s … Thursday?
In recent years, the idea of a four-day week has been championed primarily by industry executives in business niches, such as software development and sales, as a way to boost employee morale and hourly productivity.
The United States has seen working hours stay flat over the past four decades, while across Europe, trade unions, leftist organizations and academics have begun to propose a broader, economy-wide transition to the four-day week as a way to give workers a larger share of the benefits of growth.
“Traditionally, you hear people talk about taxing the rich and redistributing those gains to the poor,” says economic policy reporter Jeff Stein. “Let’s also talk about redistributing time as a valuable commodity for most people.”
Rachael Bade and Rosalind S. Helderman annotate the Mueller testimony, and Arelis Hernández explains the turmoil in Puerto Rico.
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Lisa Bonos on an author working to make the romance genre more inclusive of people on the autism spectrum. And Travis M. Andrews on why you should stop pretending to like outdoor concerts.
Friday, July 26, 2019