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Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

California’s government boycotts automotive companies in an emissions standards dispute; rape charges against WikiLeaks’s founder dropped in Sweden.

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California narrows its car shopping list

  • California’s state government will no longer purchase motor vehicles from automotive companies that refuse to recognize its authority to set emissions standards. [KTLA 5]
  • Earlier this month, several carmakers, including Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, and General Motors, took the White House’s side in an ongoing battle over whether California can set its own emissions standards. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • By revoking California’s ability to regulate vehicles’ tailpipe emissions, a crucial source of air pollution, the White House set up a consequential fight over federalism and environmental protection. [New York Times / Coral Davenport]
  • Along with 22 other states, California is suing the federal government over the decision. [The San Francisco Chronicle / Dustin Gardiner]
  • California spent over $133 million on vehicles from companies participating in the Association of Global Automakers, the carmakers’ group, between 2016 and 2018 — including electric vehicles like the Chevy Bolt. [Reuters / David Shepardson]
  • But the state agency will now be purchasing Ford, Honda, BMW, and Volkswagen cars instead, after those automakers agreed to recognize Californian emissions standards. [Bloomberg / Emily C. Dooley]
  • California will also stop purchasing gas-powered sedans as a part of the larger initiative, championed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, to reduce emissions in the state. [The Sacramento Bee / Sophia Bollag]
  • Both of these policies will take effect on January 1, 2020. [CNBC]

Assange no longer faces rape charges in Sweden

  • Rape charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange were dropped today in Sweden. [The Guardian / Ben Quinn]
  • Assange was charged with sex offenses in 2010 and attempted to avoid those charges by hiding out in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London in 2012 until about two months ago, when he was evicted. [Washington Post / William Booth and Karla Adam]
  • Throughout the investigation, Assange maintained that the charges were unfounded and, while he sought asylum in the London-based embassy, the Swedish government paused the investigation due to the inability to properly interview Assange. [BBC]
  • WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson tweeted that the dismissal of charges against Assange opens up a window to pursue Assange’s main concern: “the belligerent prosecution of the United States and the threat it poses to the First Amendment.” [Politico]

Miscellaneous

  • Pew Charitable Trusts released a report that suggested following the lead of some cities and states combating climate change by taking it to their developers. [New York Times / Christopher Flavelle and John Schwartz]
  • ABC will host a Jeopardy special that pits some of the all-time highest earning contestants against each other to determine the “Greatest of All Time” champion. [USA Today / Gary Levin]
  • Walmart looks to return to the Arkansas town it hails from and build a walkable, sunshine-filled headquarters that doubles as a town square. [Curbed / Patrick Sisson]
  • Why “OK boomer” is more than just the newest retort of young people to the older generation. [Vox / Aja Romano]
  • South Dakota’s newest campaign against drugs has a slogan that is generating laughs and some controversy. [NBC News / Tim Stelloh]

Verbatim

“We look forward to providing all the support we can to Kevin and Tim and their families.”

[American University of Afghanistan statement about the release of professors Kevin King and Timothy Weeks from Taliban custody since 2016]


Listen to this: Impeachment TV

The House impeachment inquiry just had its biggest day yet. It was so big Today, Explained couldn’t fit it all into one episode. [Spotify]


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