Illinois bans book bans, India to stop building new coal plants, Colorado to make prison phone calls free

In today’s edition of Squirrel News, we’re talking about landmark legislation preventing book bans in Illinois, a groundbreaking move to halt the creation of new coal-fired power plants in India, and a campaign in Colorado to keep incarcerated persons better connected to theirs families free of charge.

Illinois set to be the first US state to ban book bans

The landmark legislation is being hailed as “a triumph for our democracy”, representing a counter-movement to growing efforts to restrict books across the US.

Source: AP News

India amends power policy to prevent the creation of new coal plants

The removal of the key clause from the final draft of India’s National Electricity Policy marks a win for climate activists in the country.

Source: Reuters

Colorado lawmakers push to make prison phone calls free

With daily 15-minute phone calls adding up to a bill of $438 a year, many families can’t afford to speak with incarcerated loved ones – something this bill aims to change.

Source: Denver Post

A tiny Latino-majority city is the blueprint for energy independence

Residents of Chelsea, Massachusetts put actionable data into the hands of decision makers, resulting in the creation of a town microgrid and energy resilience.

Source: Next City

Platypus returns to Australia’s oldest national park for first time in 50 years

Thanks to a years-long conservation project, the species was reintroduced on Friday following its disappearance from the area over half a century ago.

Source: Reuters

British Vogue releases its first braille edition

The May issue of the publication has also been made available in audio format to increase access for blind and partially sighted people.

Source: The Guardian

New York passes law outlawing discrimination based on weight

The city joins a growing movement across the US aiming to make a person’s size a protected trait on par with gender and race.

Source: BBC News

Honey production sweetens snow leopard conservation in Kyrgyzstan

A new program by two snow leopard conservation NGOs is helping herders diversify away from livestock toward beekeeping, agroecology, ecotourism and handicrafts.

Source: Monga Bay

Empty department store gains new lease of life as a high school

When toxic materials were found in their building, students at Burlington High School needed a fast solution. The answer came in the form of a disused Macy’s store.

Source: BBC News

Chile’s firefighting goats are protecting native forests from blazes

The Buena Cabra project in the southern Chilean city of Santa Juana is employing the goats as part of a trial of sustainable methods of wildfire management.

Source: Reuters

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