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News in Brief: General Strike Fever Hits Wisconsin, and More

General Strike Fever Hits Wisconsin

General Strike Fever Hits Wisconsin

After a week of protesting in the state capital, some labor groups in Wisconsin are considering a statewide general strike to challenge legislation that would limit collective bargaining rights. At least one union has voted to support its workers in the event of a general strike, and other unions are considering the option, according to local media Channel 3000. Protests against similar legislation have been organized in Indiana and Ohio.

General Strikes Spread Across the World

Thousands of workers in Egypt continued to strike this week in defiance of the new military government’s announcement that strikes would no longer be tolerated, according to Libcom. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that Greece has been “paralyzed” by a general strike, and youth in Athens are participating in the national tradition of staging street fights with police.

Uranium Mining Proposed in the Grand Canyon

A government report to be released tomorrow will make recommendations on a slew of proposals to mine the Grand Canyon for uranium, according to The Guardian. Foreign companies have submitted more than 2,000 claims to prospect on the outskirts of the popular tourist attraction and national monument. The government is conducting an environmental assessment on the potential impacts of mining, and environmentalists say any mining activity will threaten biodiversity. Uranium is used to make nuclear fuel and weapons.

Oil Lobbyists to Donate Directly to Candidates

A lobbying group representing oil giants like Chevron and Exxon Mobile is planning to begin donating directly to political candidates this year because the Obama administration is considering implementing pollution controls and reducing subsidies to the oil industry, according to Bloomberg. The American Petroleum Institute, a powerful lobbying group, announced that it would “add another tool to the toolkit” by donating to political candidates separately from industry executives and employees, who gave out $27.6 million to conservative candidates last year.

Appeals Court to Consider Lifting Stay on California Gay Marriages

Yesterday, attorneys in the legal battle that overturned California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriages filed a petition asking a federal appeals court to lift the stay that has prevented same-sex marriages in the state, according to a release. The filing coincided with the Obama administration’s announcement that its Justice Department will not defend the anti-gay rights Defense of Marriage Act against legal challenges. The case against Proposition 8, a ballot initiative overturned by a federal judge in San Francisco last year, is tied up in appeals as the California Supreme Court considers legal questions about the case.