UPDATE 8/12/19:

More than 1,600 species are protected by the federal government's Endangered Species Act. Now, thanks to new changes from the Secretary of Interior, the Trump White House is literally putting a price tag on which species to protect and which could see their fate's permanently sealed in order to protect the bottom line of corporate interests.

The Trump Administration has been trying to gut the act for months. The latest changes have been blasted as disastrous by a number of governors, environmental groups and Democrats in Congress.

After all, as the Associated Press notes, this is the same act that helped to save the Bald Eagle, literally the creature chosen to represent America as a living symbol.

"As we have seen time and time again, no environmental protection - no matter how effective or popular - is safe from this administration," said Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM).

The original story begins below.


If you care about saving the environment, November 2018 can't come fast enough.

Republicans in Congress are moving fast to reverse and alter portions of the Endangered Species Act, which has helped bring several species back from the brink of extinction for nearly 45 years.

Weakening the act is bad for the environment and bad for people. At least 10 animals, including America's iconic bald eagle, could have gone extinct without it.

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Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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