Outside the Outbreak: Arizona faces water cuts, Israel gentrification stokes discord

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Arizona farmers to bear brunt of cuts from Colorado River

FILE – In this July 28, 2014, file photo, lightning strikes over Lake Mead near Hoover Dam that impounds Colorado River water at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona. Water officials in Arizona say they are prepared to lose about one-fifth of the water the state gets from the Colorado River in what could be the first mandated cut. The federal government recently projected the first-ever shortage of river water that supplies millions of people in the U.S. West and Mexico. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Arizona is prepared to lose about one-fifth of the water the state gets from the Colorado River in what could be the first federally declared shortage in the river that supplies millions of people in the U.S. West and Mexico, state officials said Thursday.

Arizona stands to lose more than any other state in the Colorado River basin that also takes in parts of Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Nevada and California. That’s because Arizona agreed long ago to be the first in line for cuts in exchange for federal funding for a canal system to deliver the water to Arizona’s major metropolitan areas.

The Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Central Arizona Project, which manages the canal system, said the anticipated reductions will be painful, but the state has prepared for decades for a shortage through conservation, water banking, partnerships and other efforts.

In Jaffa, gentrification stokes discord as Arabs pushed out

Arab women, one holding a Palestinian flag, shout slogans against Jewish nationalist religious groups that are buying up property in the Arab neighborhood of Jaffa in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 24, 2021. Historic Jaffa’s rapid gentrification in recent years is coming at the expense of its mostly Arab lower class. With housing prices out of reach, discontent over the city’s rapid transformation into a bastion for Israel’s ultra-wealthy is reaching a boiling point. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

A turreted former Catholic girl’s school in Jaffa is being transformed into an exclusive Soho House club. Around the corner, a historic ex-convent is now a five-star hotel. Across the street, the glittering towers of the Andromeda Hill luxury residences overlook the Mediterranean.

But farther down Yefet Street, working class Arabs of Jaffa’s Ajami neighborhood face a starkly different reality. With housing prices out of reach, discontent over the city’s rapid transformation into a bastion for Israel’s ultra-wealthy is reaching a boiling point. The crisis has taken on nationalistic overtones, with some Arab residents accusing the government of trying to push them out to make way for Jews.

No big backlash for states passing anti-transgender laws

FILE – In this Tuesday, March 30, 2021 file photo, demonstrators in support of transgender rights hold flags during a rally outside the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala. Five states have passed laws or implemented executive orders this year limiting the ability of transgender youths to play sports or receive certain medical treatment. There’s been a vehement outcry from supporters of transgender rights – but little in the way of tangible repercussions for those states. (Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

Five states have passed laws or implemented executive orders this year limiting the ability of transgender youths to play sports or receive certain medical treatment. There’s been a vehement outcry from supporters of transgender rights – but little in the way of tangible repercussions for those states.

It’s a striking contrast to the fate of North Carolina a few years ago. When its Legislature passed a bill in March 2016 limiting which public restrooms transgender people could use, there was a swift and powerful backlash. The NBA and NCAA relocated events; some companies scrapped expansion plans. By March 2017, the bill’s bathroom provisions were repealed.

So far this year, there’s been nothing comparable. Not even lawsuits, although activists predict some of the measures eventually will be challenged in court.

Oklahoma House OKs ban on teaching critical race theory

FILE – In this Jan. 5, 2017 file photo, Oklahoma state Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, listens on the floor of the Oklahoma House in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma public school teachers would be prohibited from teaching certain concepts of race and racism under a bill given final approval by the state House on Thursday, April 29, 2021. Rep. West says the bill would set boundaries that teachers shouldn’t cross. Among the concepts that would be prohibited are that individuals are inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously. The bill now heads to the governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki File)

Oklahoma public school teachers would be prohibited from teaching certain concepts of race and racism under a bill given final approval by the state House on Thursday.

The GOP-controlled House voted 70-19 for the bill that prohibits teaching of so-called “critical race theory.”

“Students are being taught that because they’re a certain race or sex, they’re inherently superior to others or should feel guilty for something that happened in the past,” said Rep. Kevin West, a Moore Republican who sponsored the bill. “We’re trying to set boundaries that we as a state say will not be crossed when we’re teaching these kinds of subjects.”

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