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Trump rolls back federal protections for two national monuments; CVS and Aetna eye a huge merger; Yemen’s former president is killed as fighting in the country intensifies.
Trump uses the Antiquities Act, but in reverse
- President Donald Trump took a dramatic step to downsize two national monuments in Utah, relaxing federal protections on more than 2 million acres of land of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. [Washington Post / Josh Dawsey and Juliet Eilperin]
- Bears Ears could lose more than 1 million acres (about 85 percent of its total land), while Grand Staircase-Escalante could lose 800,000 acres (45 percent) of its total land mass. Bears Ears was created by President Obama in 2016, while Grand Staircase-Escalante was created by President Bill Clinton in 1996. [BuzzFeed / Jim Dalrymple II]
- The monuments have been controversial in their own right, with some conservative politicians (especially those in Utah) characterizing the creation of national monuments as federal overreach. [NPR / Kirk Siegler and Colin Dwyer]
- If federal protections are rolled back, these areas could be opened up to commercial development and cattle grazing, which is something Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have supported. The Trump administration has insisted there are no energy resources that can be extracted from the areas, but opponents of the plan say they contain deposits of oil, coal, and uranium. [WSJ / Jim Carlton]
- Trump is using the presidential power of the federal Antiquities Act, which allows presidents Read More Here