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Once again, the US Supreme Court appeared divided today on a challenge to the Obama Administration. Do the EPA's proposed regulations on coal-fired power plants exceed its authority to protect public health? Does the Clean Air Act require the agency to consider the cost?

Also, Afghanistan's president makes case for delayed troop withdrawal, and a new book, The Looting Machine, gives the lie to the cliché that "Africa's rising" — even though the continent is experiencing unprecedented growth.

Photo: Greg Goebel

Afghan President Makes Case for Delayed Troop Withdrawal 6 MIN, 22 SEC

Afghanistan's new president, Ashraf Ghani, addressed a joint session of Congress today, telling lawmakers his country owes a "profound debt" to the more than 2200 American soldiers who lost their lives in battle. He also thanked President Obama for agreeing to delay the drawdown of American troops. "Thanks to the flexibility shown by President Obama and Congress, we've made up for the loss and regained momentum. Without breaking – by even one day – the promise of President Obama to the American people that the US combat role would end on December 31, 2014. Thank you for staying with us."

Steve Clemons is editor-at-large for the Atlantic and senior fellow at the New America Foundation.

Steve Clemons, New America Foundation / The Atlantic (@SCClemons)

Coal, Clean Air and Presidential Power 32 MIN, 10 SEC

Mercury, which damages the brains and nervous systems of children from the time they're in the womb, is just one of the toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants. New EPA regulations would require high-tech scrubbers to limit emissions. Arguments before the US Supreme Court today pitted the coal industry against the Environmental Protection Agency. Twenty states joined the opposition to power-plant regulation, while 17 other states said it's needed. But does the Clean Air Act require the agency to balance the potential health benefits against the cost of the technology? Did the justices provide any clues about rulings to come on Obamacare and actions against climate change?

David Savage, Los Angeles Times (@davidgsavage)
Andrew M. Grossman, Baker Hostetler (@andrewmgrossman)
Lisa Garcia, Earthjustice (@Earthjustice)
Kate Sheppard, Huffington Post (@kate_sheppard)

Savage on Court conservatives being skeptical about EPA mercury rule
Cato's amicus brief in Michigan v. EPA
Earthjustice on EPA case
Mitch McConnell's letter to nation's governors on implementing EPA's new regulations
California Governor Jerry Brown responds to McConnell's coal letter
Sheppard on McConnell's crusade against EPA rules, Kentucky's reaction
The Hill on Tribe's fight over the EPA climate rule on power plants

Why the "Africa Rising" Narrative Is Misleading 10 MIN, 44 SEC

Elections are set for this weekend in Nigeria, one of the African countries experiencing astonishing economic growth. But a but a new book gives the lie to the cliché that "Africa's rising." Tom Burgis is author of The Looting Machine: Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers and the Theft of Africa's Wealth.

Tom Burgis, Financial Times (@tomburgis)

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