This week at Pacific Standard, we brought you stories on the controversial genetically engineered chestnut tree, what being a man's "type" has to do with harassment and rape (hint: not much), and how the outdated definition of "refugee" is leaving people behind. We've also kept an eye on the first round of Democratic presidential debates.
Here are a few more stories we've been watching this week.
The Trump Administration Is Suppressing Findings on the Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture
A Politico investigation has revealed that, under the Trump administration, the Department of Agriculture has not publicized its scientists' findings that show the hazards of climate change. At least 45 peer-reviewed studies related to climate change—including research on the effects of increasing temperatures and carbon dioxide levels on crops and health— have not been promoted, according to the investigation.
"The intent is to try to suppress a message—in this case, the increasing danger of human-caused climate change," Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State University, told Politico.
Boston Approves a Straight Pride Parade
Boston on Wednesday approved the event application from a group called Super Happy Fun America (motto: "It's great to be straight") to hold a "Straight Pride" Parade. "We would like to congratulate the City for embracing progress and recognizing the rights of straights," the group writes in a post on its website, calling the parade "a seminal moment in the history of civil rights in America."
"Boston's values are clear: respect, diversity, and acceptance of all," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said on Twitter earlier this month. He noted that "permits to host a public event are granted based on operational feasibility, not based on values or endorsements of beliefs," adding that the city "cannot deny a permit based on an organization's values."
Residents of a German Town Bought Up Beer So Neo-Nazis Couldn't Have It
After alcohol was banned from a German rock festival last weekend in an effort to prevent violence, locals decided to do their part to keep the neo-Nazis who attended the festival from drinking: They bought up beer from the supermarkets in the town of Ostritz. "We wanted to dry the Nazis out," one activist told the German newspaper Bild. "We thought, if an alcohol ban is coming, we'll empty the shelves at the [supermarket]."
The town already has a reputation for far-right activism, the BBC reports. "For us it's important to send the message from Ostritz that there are people here who won't tolerate this," one local woman told the public broadcaster ZDF, according to the BBC.