July 16 Netherlands
The Royal Dutch Medical Association rejected proposed legislation that would ease the process for individuals to kill themselves, saying such efforts would pressure people to end their lives prematurely. In 2000 the Netherlands became the first country to legalize voluntary euthanasia, but there remains no societal consensus on how to reconcile improved medical technology with calls for legal assistance from people who feel their quality of life is insufficient to justify their continued existence.
July 17 Washington, D.C.
The White House announced “Made in America Week,” showcasing American manufacturing by highlighting companies that produce luxury cowboy hats, survive on contracts with the military, and whose continued existence is threatened by one of the most efficient producers of “Made in America” goods–prison labor. Trump family brands were absent from the showcase, while a recent investigation in Indonesia has uncovered extensive workplace abuse and abject labor conditions for workers manufacturing Ivanka Trump brand shoes.
July 18 Washington, D.C.
The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to all members of the U.S. Senate urging them not to support a bill that would effectively criminalize free speech in the U.S. by making it a felony to support the international boycott of Israel. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which has enjoyed support across political and ideological lines—including as a co-sponsor Oregon Senator Ron Wyden—would impose a $250,000 fine and up to 20 years in prison. The international community is in near unanimous agreement that Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory are illegal.
July 20 Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Treasury Department issued Exxon Mobil a $2 million slap on the wrist for violating 2014 sanctions imposed against Russia after its annexation of Crimea. Current U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was at the helm of the global energy giant at the time of the violation, and earlier this month after wrapping up climate change discussions at the G20 summit, the top U.S. diplomat made a pit-stop at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul to receive a lifetime achievement award for his work as Exxon Mobil’s CEO.