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Eliminating trans fats from processed foods will remove a cause of heart disease. But replacing trans fats with palm oil may lead to other destructive consequences, including human rights abuses and climate change.

Also, Beijing wins the 2022 Winter Games. On today's Talking Point, the NAACP, the ACLU and the Obama Administration are challenging new limits to voting rights in North Carolina. We hear about efforts to undo a recent 5 to 4 ruling by the US Supreme Court.

Photo: Rain Action Network

Beijing Wins the 2022 Winter Games 6 MIN, 29 SEC

After Krakow, Stockholm, Oslo and other cities famous for skiing dropped out of the competition, China and Kazakhstan were the only countries left with bids to host the Winter Olympic Games in 2022. Today, the International Olympic Commission announced its decision: the venue will be Beijing, China.  Helen Lenskyj is professor emeritus at the University of Toronto and the author of five books on the Olympics.

Special thanks to Paul von Zielbauer for production assistance.

Helen Lenskyj, University of Toronto

Lenskyj on the 2022 Winter Olympics decision

The Dark Side of Going Heart Healthy 33 MIN, 56 SEC

Packaged foods and cosmetics -- from corn chips and chocolate candy to lipstick and eye-liner -- all contain palm oil. It's almost impossible to avoid. It's also hard to exaggerate the damage from palm-oil production: deforestation, increased global warming, and abuses of human rights. But the palm-oil industry's growing fast — especially to replace trans fats, now being eliminated by the FDA to protect consumers from heart disease. With imports of palm oil having increased by 60% palm oil is here to stay. So, what will it take to mitigate all those destructive trade-offs?

Rhett Butler, Mongabay (@mongabay)
David Wilcove, Princeton University
Jonathon Porritt, High Carbon Stock Study Steering Committee
Danielle Morley, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (@RSPOtweets)
Laurel Sutherlin, Rainforest Action Network (@RAN)

Mongabay on palm oil's financiers
High Carbon Stock study of the sustainable palm oil manifesto
RSPO on strengthening relations between labor unions and oil palm plantations
RAN on Obama Administration, Malaysian human trafficking on palm oil plantations
Wall Street Journal on palm-oil migrant workers' abuses on Malaysian plantations
RAN on the 'snack food 20'
Reuters on scientists studying how to save forests, produce palm oil

North Carolina’s Election Law Tests Voting Rights in a New Era 9 MIN, 26 SEC

In a federal court in North Carolina, arguments are wrapping up in a case with potential significance for the voting rights of minorities and young people. Two years ago, the US Supreme Court freed mainly Southern states from having to get federal approval before changing their voting laws.

Photo: David Sachs/SEIU

North Carolina Republicans immediately passed limits on some voting procedures. The NAACP and the ACLU are among those suing to restore federal oversight under the Voting Rights Act — and they’re joined by the Obama Administration. Robert Barnes is Supreme Court reporter for the Washington Post.

Robert Barnes, Washington Post (@scotusreporter)


Warren Olney

Sáša Woodruff
Katie Cooper

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