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The Rundown

Tennessee's New Free Community College Program Is Lit

Your daily guide to what’s working, what’s not and what you can do about it.

by Impact Staff
May 26 2017, 2:34pm

Photo by Melissa Johnson via Unsplash

Fuck Yeah, Tennessee: This Week Tennessee became the first state ever to provide tuition-free community college no strings attached. Gov. Bill Haslam signed the Tennessee Reconnect Act as part of his overall Drive to 55 initiative, which aims to increase the number of state residents with college degrees or certification to 55 percent by 2025. This new program opens up opportunities for financial mobility because college-educated and degree holding workers earn higher salaries on average. A better-educated community means better jobs for the future too.

Three strikes you're out: Just days after his inauguration President Trump issued an executive order to ban people from six majority-Muslim countries from entering the country. However, Americans were not having it and turned up in droves to protest the flawed directive. A judge from New York the blocked the first travel ban, which sent Trump and team back to the drawing board.

In March a federal judge from Hawaii blocked Trump's second travel ban once again on grounds of religious discrimination. Now, for a third time, Trump's new travel ban has been shut down. In a 10-3 split, a federal appeals court upheld the ruling to block the order indefinitely. Trump says he plans to appeal the decision in the Supreme Court, and true to form is apparently not willing to take no for an answer.

Read more: Climate Causes Epic Landslide, and Not The Stevie Nicks Kind

Free Speech (and American democracy) are under serious attack: Montana had a special election to fill in the vacancy left by Ryan Zinke after Trump tapped him to head the Department of Interior. The winner of the race is Republican and millionaire tech-mogul Greg Gianforte, the guy who tackled a reporter asking him about healthcare and was charged with assault. Sound the ominous drums. Montana has been a red state for decades, and Trump won it by over 20 points during the general election so Giaforte's win isn't too much of a surprise. What's most troubling is that it's a part of a bigger trend of open hostility towards a core pillar of democracy that's under increasing attack.

A dish best served cold: Ben & Jerry, the kings of cold confectionery treats, have taken decisive stances on social justice issues. The company backed marriage equality, the black lives matter movement and Bernie Sanders' political revolution taking on the establishment special interests. Their latest campaign is in support of the fight for marriage equality in Australia. The government down under has been pretty backward in terms of progressive LGBTQ legislation. Now the ice cream giants aren't allowing customers to order to scoops of the same flavor until same-sex marriage is legalized throughout the country. That's the sweet taste of justice.

You can't sit with us: The G7 begins today, May 26. It's not as fly like a G6, but still very important. World leaders from the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan make up the Group of Seven aka G7. The squad will meet to discuss global issues like climate change, which is a huge topic of debate given President Trump's threats to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement. Other important items on the docket are international security and relations with Russia, who was kicked out the group in 2014.

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