Wiretap: Hancock bans travel to Indiana; red flag fire warnings; goodbye Yellow Pages

Travel Ban

Roiled by Indiana’s discriminatory religious freedom bill, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has banned all “non-essential, city-funded travel” to the state. “Hancock announced the ban Tuesday, saying Indiana’s law is wrong and Denver will not condone discrimination through the use of taxpayer dollars. Hancock says the new law should be repealed because it creates unnecessary and unwarranted divisiveness,” reports the Associated Press.

Red Flag Blues

Colorado is seeing the season’s first red-flag fire warnings. The Grand Junction office of the National Weather Service asked Durango to be on alert most of the day Wednesday. The formula for “extreme fire behavior” is a warm, dry winter plus strong winds. In other words, weather all the time now, brought to you by fossil fuel. Via The Durango Herald

A Pickup, Two Plants, No Plan

Two barely-adults, an 18- and 19-year-old,  reportedly drove a pickup into a Fort Collins weed dispensary, grabbed two plants, led police on a car chase, crashed, ran through Loveland and were arrested. Two plants? Via The Daily Camera.

Dust Busted

Colorado snow is dust-free for the first time in ten years. At first glance, people might think that is a good thing. Not so, writes Krista Langlois in High Country News. An overall lack of snow and warmer temperatures are to blame.

Mounting Evidence

The Larimer County District Attorney has been swamped with data from police body cameras. One misdemeanor stop yields a gigabyte of storage. Terabytes are flooding in. Overextended workers trying to figure out how to sort, label and store the glut of digital information are falling behind. Costs are mounting. Via The Coloradoan.

Criminal Charges

When an Indiana woman, Purvi Patel, arrived at the hospital with a severed umbilical cord and no baby, the doctor reported her for suspected child abuse. Now, she has the dreadful distinction of being the first woman in the United States to be sentenced with “feticide,” reports The Washington Post. Reproductive justice activists are decrying the criminal charge and fearful of the legal precedent Patel’s case sets.

Quick Fix

Speaking of Indiana, Gov. Mike Pence, who has spent the last few days in a firestorm over the state’s religious freedom laws, is now promising a fix. “Was I expecting this kind of backlash? Heavens no,” he told The New York Times.

Long Distance

Ross Douthat asks a series of tough questions for those liberals opposing the Indiana law. All of them are variations on the same question: How far are liberal critics willing to go in opposition? Via The New York Times.

Right Turn

The Midwest looks to be the real battleground in 2016. So the now the question is: Are Rust Belt Democratic candidates moving to the right to try to win back working-class white voters? Via The National Journal.

Who Cares?

Opposition leader wins presidency in Nigeria. If you’re wondering why you should care, Vox explains why this is actually a very big deal.

Noah’s Arch

Trevor Noah is succeeding Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. But if you read the Twitter, you know that, one day after the announcement, that was the only way he was succeeding. Via The Atlantic.


Critics of the War on Drugs have a reason to celebrate. Yesterday, Obama reduced the sentences of 22 prisoners serving longer terms for drug crimes than current laws permit. But the critics can’t pop the champagne corks quite yet: Obama did not offer commutations to 209,155 prisoners in the same boat. Via The Atlantic.

Grim Future

New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Mendez got bad news from the feds: He will soon be facing corruption charges. Via The New York Times.

Yellow Page Dirge

Looking for an electrician, a plumber or a goat grazer? Goodbye Yellow Pages. Hello Amazon. Now, customers can find contractors workers via the company’s newest section, Home Services. But at what cost to workers? Via Slate.

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