Skip to main content

Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

Michigan's voting maps will get a makeover, a judge makes a call on a domestic terrorism case, and a parrot may be party to a crime.

This week at Pacific Standard, we brought you stories on how climate activists can change their language to galvanize people to act, how an art therapy project helps teens in one Alaska Native village talk about suicide in the community, and what happened when an American ran for Afghan parliament.

But our small newsroom can only produce so many stories, and this week, as usual, there was much more on our radar than we could cover. Here are a few more news developments we're following.

Michigan's Voting Maps Are Unconstitutionally Gerrymandered, Federal Judges Rule

As a result of a lawsuit brought by Democratic voters and the League of Women Voters, three judges on Thursday ruled that Michigan's congressional and state legislative districts were gerrymandered in favor of Republicans. In the decision, District Judge Eric Clay wrote that the state's 2011 redistricting plan "deliberately dilutes the power" of the plaintiff's votes "by placing them in districts that were intentionally drawn to ensure a particular partisan outcome in each district." The judges ruled that more than 30 districts should be redrawn before the 2020 elections.

Read more about gerrymandering in Michigan in Ginger Strand's Pacific Standard feature from February of this year.

The Coast Guard Lieutenant Accused of Plotting a Terror Attack Will Be Released From Detention

Last month, Christopher Hasson, a self-described white nationalist, pleaded guilty on weapons and drug charges related to an alleged plan to commit a domestic terrorism attack. On Thursday, a federal judge in Maryland said he has not met the necessary standard for continued detention.

When Hasson was arrested in February and police found a huge arsenal of weapons, Jack Herrera wrote for Pacific Standard about how his arrest fit into "a growing pattern of white nationalist violence and homegrown far-right extremism."

A Parrot Interfered in a Police Raid in Brazil

Police in the Brazilian state of Piauí found themselves in an unusual situation on Monday: At the home of two people who were allegedly dealing crack cocaine, the Guardian reports, the parrot kept squawking, "Mamãe, polícia!"—Mom, police! The police believe the alleged drug dealers trained the parrot to act as a lookout.

The parrot has been taken into custody. No word on whether or not the bird will face charges.