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The five largest publicly listed oil and gas majors have spent $1 billion since the 2015 Paris climate deal on public relations or lobbying that is "overwhelmingly in conflict" with the landmark accord's goals, a watchdog said Friday. Despite outwardly committing to support the Paris agreement and its aim to limit global temperature rises, ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP and Total spend a total of $200 million a year on efforts "to operate and expand fossil fuel operations," according to InfluenceMap, a pro-transparency monitor. Two of the companies -- Shell and Chevron -- said they rejected the watchdog's findings.
T-Mobile on Thursday unveiled a limited home internet service that it plans to pilot for 50,000 mobile customers at $50 a month, with the company promising it could build on that, and eventually offer a lot more once its $26.5 billion merger with Sprint finally goes through.For now, the new invitation-only service will focus on areas where the carrier can deliver high-speed internet access to connect up to 50,000 homes in rural and underserved parts of the country. Once it merges with Sprint, however, T-Mobile says it should be able to cover more than half of the US with broadband service by 2024.This seems to be one attempt by T-Mobile to push back against critics of the proposed merger who worry it will leave customers with less choice and the potential for prices to rise. "We're walking the walk and laying the foundation for a world where we can take the fight to Big Cable on behalf of consumers and offer real choice, competition and savings to Americans nationwide," T-Mobile CEO John Legere about the home broadband pilot.The service will be offered only in areas where T-Mobile expects to deliver speeds of around 50 Mbps through fixed unlimited wireless service over LTE, with no data caps. The carrier points to one economist's estimate that showed while customers today pay around $80 a month for wired in-home broadband service, "the new T-Mobile will save customers up to $13.65 billion a year on home broadband by 2024".As context for why it decided to pursue the new service, T-Mobile went on to note in its announcement that almost half of Americans today have no competitive choice for high-speed in-home broadband. "The New T-Mobile," the company declares, "will be armed with spectrum and network assets that will build the highest capacity wireless network in US history, covering millions with 5G, not just a few people in a few blocks of a few cities like the other guys."If you're eligible to participate in the home broadband pilot, T-Mobile plans to start sending out invitations by email and regular mail this week.We mentioned T-Mobile's pending merger with Sprint, and it's also worth pointing out, as a reminder, that it's still under review by federal regulators. T-Mobile has said it feels optimistic everything will be approved in the first half of this year.
Citgo Petroleum, the U.S.-based subsidiary of Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA, is seeking to raise $1.8 billion through a three-year term loan to cover operating expenses and to refinance existing debt, three people close to the deal told Reuters on Thursday. The financing would help Citgo fund operations and replace an existing revolving credit line, following U.S. sanctions and its split from the parent company, which remains under control of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and a military-led management team. Washington imposed sanctions and barred U.S. firms, including Citgo, from importing Venezuelan crude as part of a strategy to starve the Maduro government of oil revenue and force his ouster.
Flooding triggered by last week's so-called "bomb cyclone" storm has already inflicted damage estimated at nearly $1.5 billion in Nebraska, killed at least four people in Nebraska and Iowa and left a man missing below Nebraska's collapsed Spencer Dam. "The rising floodwaters are affecting more Missouri communities and farms, closing more roads and threatening levees, water treatment plants and other critical infrastructure," Governor Mike Parson said in issuing his emergency declaration. "We will continue to work closely with our local partners to assess needs and provide resources to help as Missourians continue this flood fight and as we work to assist one another," Parson said.
Sweeping new ban that came just six days after mass shooting in Christchurch is a stark contrast to the political stalemate in the US Vigil at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Thursday in Dunedin, New Zealand for 50 people killed when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch on 15 March. Photograph: Dianne Manson/Getty Images New Zealand’s sweeping new ban on a range of semi-automatic rifles and large ammunition magazines, which came just six days after a mass shooting in Christchurch, has been hailed as the “fastest response ever by a government after a tragedy”. In the US, where conservative politicians have blocked even moderate gun control for 25 years, New Zealand’s swift action was greeted as a powerful inspiration – and a reminder of how far behind the country is. “Sandy Hook happened six years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York congresswoman, wrote on Twitter, referring to the 2012 shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 children and six educators dead. Sandy Hook happened 6 years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ #HR8.Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market.This is what leadership looks like ⬇️ https://t.co/TcdR63anBt— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 21, 2019 “This is what leadership looks like,” David Hogg, one of the students from Parkland, Florida, who founded the March for Our Lives movement for gun control after a shooting at their school last February, tweeted, sharing a video of the announcement by New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern. Some Democratic presidential candidates have already pledged to support a ban on assault weapons – though one that would probably be much more limited that New Zealand’s. “We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States,” tweeted the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who has been attacked for his mixed record on gun control in the past. “We had an assault weapons ban once, and we should have it again,” Senator Kamala Harris of California, tweeted a few days after the Christchurch attacks. “These weapons of war do not belong on our streets, in our schools, or at our houses of worship. This is a fight I will take on as president.” Pro-gun activists in the United States said that New Zealand’s aggressive action to ban ownership of previously legal guns, and enact a mandatory buyback, would never be viable in the United States. “The US isn’t New Zealand,” Dana Loesch, a prominent gun rights activist and National Rifle Association spokeswoman, tweeted. “They do not have an inalienable right to bear arms and to self-defense, we do.” In another tweet, she wrote: “To ‘follow these examples’ the US would need to repeal the Second Amendment, ban all semi-auto, force gun stores to show all purchases to gov’t, and spend $200 million taxpayer dollars to confiscate firearms.” I sure see a lot of people who like to say "nobody is coming for your guns" celebrating this confiscation effort. https://t.co/e3quZ8v7gi— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) March 21, 2019 Rebecca Peters, who helped lead the successful campaign to reform Australia’s gun laws in the 1990s, said she believed New Zealand’s government action was the “fastest response ever” by government officials after a mass shooting. It took the British government seven months after the massacre of 16 children in Dunblane, Scotland, in March 1996, to announce a partial ban on handguns, which parents of the children had demanded as part of the Snowdrop Campaign. It took the Australian government 10 days after the Port Arthur massacre in April 1996 to announce the National Firearms Agreement. New Zealand announced the new ban on military-style weapons – one with broad support from the prime minister and the opposition – after only six days. “It’s a small parliament. It’s a small country. And obviously, they have very high support for it,” Peters said. In a press conference on Thursday, Ardern promised increased penalties for continued ownership of the banned weapons. New Zealand’s minister of police said police were “gearing up” to enable military-style weapons to be taken out of circulation. Police will be supported by the New Zealand defense force, he said, and would consult gun licensing records. Ardern promised the country would continue to consider broader gun control measures on Monday, including issues such as licensing, registration and storage. New Zealand’s swift action is a stark contrast to the political stalemate in the US, where conservative politicians have blocked any substantial gun control laws for 25 years, despite frequent high-casualty mass shootings. The US’s last substantial action on gun control, in 1994, was a federal ban on military-style “assault weapons”. But the ban was written to expire in 10 years, and did not require Americans who already owned military-style guns to give up their weapons – it simply tried to regulate the manufacture and sale of new guns. When it expired in 2004, an in-depth evaluation of the loophole-ridden legislation found that it could not be clearly credited with any of the nation’s drop in violence. The consensus among Democratic politicians was that the ban had backfired politically against their party, and that gun control was not a winning issue for the American left. They largely abandoned the issue for more than a decade. Since the ban lifted, military-style rifles have become popular high-end acquisitions for American gun owners, and have become popular for target shooting, even as they have become infamous as the mass shooter’s weapon of choice. Some gun rights advocates argue that military-style rifles are necessary for self-defense, including self-defense in the home. While there are restrictions on “assault weapons” in some parts of the US, in many places today, Americans can buy an AR-15-style rifle before they are legally allowed to buy a beer.
The Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has said intelligence agents arrested his chief of staff after a pre-dawn raid, signalling that president Nicolas Maduro may be cracking down on the opposition's challenge to his rule. Mr Guaido invoked the constitution in January to assume the interim presidency after declaring Maduro's 2018 re-election a fraud, and has been recognised by dozens of Western nations as the country's legitimate leader. Mr Maduro, who has overseen a dramatic collapse of the country's economy, has called Mr Guaido a puppet of the United States and said he should “face justice”, but has not explicitly ordered his arrest.
Late-night TV host Samantha Bee ripped into the growing field of Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls Wednesday night. The 'Full Frontal' host commented on everything from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's campaign slogan, to former Vice President Joe Biden not making a decision on his third potential presidential run. The TBS star also went after former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
It's nearly impossible to read the news these days without running across mentions of economic inequality. In recent months, politicians have debated the merits of raising marginal tax rates on the wealthy, a move proponents say could reduce economic inequalities. Likewise, economic inequality takes center stage when columnists discuss the extreme riches of some of today's business owners, like Jeff Bezos, who could purchase every home in Austin, Texas, according to real estate brokerage Redfin.
US-backed forces pressed an offensive against the Islamic State group in its last redoubt in Syria on Thursday, denying reports the jihadist enclave had fallen. "Mopping up operations continue in Baghouz camp," the command of the Syrian Democratic Forces said in a brief statement. The SDF, which launched a final assault against the village of Baghouz in eastern Syria on February 9, denied reports that the IS enclave had completely fallen to its forces.
Venezuelan intelligence officers Thursday arrested the chief of staff of Juan Guaido, the opposition leader recognized by the US and other countries as interim leader, Guaido and the opposition-ruled congress said on Twitter. Roberto Marrero was grabbed by SEBIN officers when they staged a pre-dawn raid on his Caracas home, according to Guaido and a recorded voice message by Marrero published on social media. The United States has repeatedly warned Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government against arresting Guaido or his aides, and Washington's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo quickly called for Marrero's release.
Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday she deeply regretted her decision to seek a Brexit extension from the European Union and she urged lawmakers, who have twice previously rejected her plan, to back her now. "I passionately hope that (lawmakers) will find a way to back the deal I have negotiated with the EU, a deal that delivers on the referendum and is the very best deal negotiable, and I will continue to work night and day to secure the support" for the deal. Earlier on Wednesday, May asked the EU to allow Britain to delay its departure date by three months to June 30, and EU leaders are expected to discuss the matter at a summit on Thursday.
Kentucky governor Matt Bevin on Tuesday signed a bill that bans abortions chosen on the basis of an unborn child's sex, race, or disability.A court filing in the U.S. District Court in Louisville indicated that the governor has signed the bill, which included an "emergency clause" stipulating that it would go into effect immediately.Physicians must now certify in writing that the patient did not request the abortion for a reason related to the baby's sex, race, or disabilities. Flouting the new law puts doctors at risk of losing their medical license or being prosecuted for a felony, although the mother of the unborn child would not be targeted.The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the bill in federal court as an unconstitutional restriction on a woman's right to abortion.“Instituting laws that instantly affect critical patient care should not be a cat-and-mouse game,” the group said, asking that it be notified when the bill is signed.Another new law that bans abortions after about six weeks or when a heartbeat can be detected forced Kentucky's sole abortion clinic, EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville, to cancel some appointments on Friday until a federal judge intervened.“EMW and its abortionists have responded with a novel claim: Women have a constitutional right to undergo race-based abortions, gender-based abortions, and disability-based abortions. In plaintiffs’ view, somewhere in the Fourteenth Amendment’s penumbra lies a protection for eugenics,” the governor's lawyer M. Stephen Pitt wrote in defending the ban on eugenics-based abortions. “This is a perverse distortion of Roe v. Wade.”
U.S. Supreme Court justices appeared poised to side with a black Mississippi death row inmate put on trial six times for a 1996 quadruple murder who accused a prosecutor of repeatedly blocking black potential jurors, though the court's only black member sounded skeptical. Justice Clarence Thomas, who had not posed a question during an oral argument in three years, asked several in the case involving Curtis Flowers, 48, who has argued that his constitutional right to a fair trial was violated. Thomas, an idiosyncratic conservative and only the second African American ever appointed to the court, signaled through his questions he might vote against Flowers, who otherwise drew broad support among the other justices, both liberal and conservative.
A key witness in a high-profile corruption case implicating allies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been arrested after backing out of a deal to testify for the state, police said Wednesday. Michael Ganor was arrested on Tuesday after informing police of his intention to "change the version he gave during the investigation" into corruption suspicions around the purchase of submarines from Germany's ThyssenKrupp for Israel's navy, police said. Police said in November there was evidence to press charges against a number of suspects, including Netanyahu's cousin and lawyer David Shimron.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on Tuesday released 50 migrants recently detained at the border near Mcallen, Texas due to a lack of space in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers they would otherwise be sent to while awaiting their asylum hearings.CPB officials told the Los Angeles Times that the migrants released Tuesday represent just the first wave of a group of hundreds whom they will be forced to release in the coming days due to a lack of resources.Border Patrol spokesman Carlos Diaz said the 50 migrants were given notices to appear in court and released to local charities after their processing center in McAllen was overwhelmed by the number of migrants arriving each day.“It is a crisis,” an unnamed CPB official told the Times. “It’s not a self-proclaimed crisis.”The unnamed official's assessment of the situation at the border echoes those of President Trump and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, who have raised alarms in recent months about the particular challenges posed by the high numbers of Central American families arriving at the border every day.“In February, we saw a 30 percent jump over the previous month, with agents apprehending or encountering nearly 75,000 aliens,” Nielsen told the House Committee on Homeland Security earlier this month. “This is an 80 percent increase over the same time last year. And I can report today that CBP is forecasting the problem will get even worse this spring as the weather warms up.”“Over 60 percent of the current flow are family units and unaccompanied alien children, and 60 percent are non-Mexican,” she added, likely referencing the provision in U.S. immigration law that requires asylum-seekers native to non-contiguous countries be allowed to remain in the U.S. while their asylum applications are adjudicated.
Without providing any evidence or details, Netanyahu said Iran had gleaned "sensitive information". Polls put Netanyahu's right-wing Likud and Gantz's centrist Blue and White party neck-and-neck, with election day three weeks away. Iran denied that its intelligence services had hacked Gantz's phone.
Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich attempted to counter Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call to discuss the injustices of slavery, and its lasting systemic impact on generations of African-Americans, by claiming that the United States does not get “enough credit” for ending slavery. While discussing reparations to descendents of enslaved people on Fox News’ "Outnumbered" on Tuesday, Ms Pavlich claimed that the US was the first country to abolish slavery. “They keep blaming America for the sin of slavery but the truth is, throughout human history, slavery existed, and America came along as the first country to end it within 150 years,” she said.
Glyphosate, the world's most widely used herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto's weedkiller Roundup, is the subject of fierce controversy across the globe and is classified by the World Health Organization as "probably" being carcinogenic. A California court on Tuesday found that Roundup was a "substantial factor" in Edwin Hardeman, 70, getting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after spraying the weedkiller on his garden for decades.
Want to charge your AirPods wirelessly so you never have to fuss with cables and connectors again? Good news, Apple's Wireless Charging Case for AirPods is finally here! You can buy it right now on Apple's website for $79... but you definitely shouldn't. Huh!? Why not!? Because the NeotrixQI Wireless Charging Cover for Apple AirPods slides right over the AirPods case you already have, and it adds wireless charging for just $19. That's $60 less than Apple's new case!Here's all the key info from the product page: * 【WIRELESS CHARGING】: Enjoy Wireless Charging for your AirPods! Place your AirPods into wireless charging case and put it on Qi wireless charger for wireless charging experience. It prepares your AirPods for Apple AirPower wireless charger. * 【FULL PROTECTION】: The AirPods original case perfectly fits into the wireless charging case. It can be used as protective case and protects your AirPods from scratch and dirt. Hard plastic made not like silicon material and it doesn't collect dust and lint. * 【COMPATIBILITY】: The case and AirPods will continue to work just like normal. You'll still have access to the sync button. Works with all Qi standard wireless chargers. It can share with the same wireless charger for your iPhone8/X. * 【SAFE CHARGING】: Eliminate safety concerns with overvoltage protection, temperature control, and more, by using highly efficient components and an advanced chipset. * 【WARRANTY】: 12 months defective warranty, 30-days replacement guarantee and friendly customer service.
The majority of victims from Friday's attack in the South Island city were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The youngest was a boy of three, born in New Zealand to Somali refugee parents. The first two victims buried, father and son Khaled and Hamza Mustafa, came from war-torn Syria.
A Danish MP said on Tuesday she was ordered to remove her infant daughter from parliament's chamber, sparking surprise in a country often hailed as a pioneer in women's rights. "You are not welcome with your baby in the parliament's chamber," speaker Pia Kjaersgaard, an outspoken former leader of the far-right Danish People's Party, allegedly told MP Mette Abildgaard. "I didn't ask for permission to bring her since I had previously seen another colleague bring a child into the chamber without any problems," Ms Abildgaard, whose Conservative party is part of the ruling centre-right coalition, wrote on Facebook. Ms Abildgaard, who is in her 30s, said she found herself in an exceptional situation with her five-month-old daughter, and had never brought her into the chamber before. But she said the infant was "in a good mood and had a pacifier in her mouth." Mette Abildgaard responded to the incident on Facebook Ms Kjaersgaard passed the message to an assistant, who then asked Ms Abildgaard to remove the baby from the room. Ms Abildgaard handed the child to an assistant and returned to the chamber to vote. "MPs should be in the chamber, not babies or children," insisted Ms Kjaersgaard when questioned by news agency Ritzau. She said clear rules would be issued on the subject. The Scandinavian country is often held up as a champion of gender equality and women's rights, and as a child and family-centred nation with generous parental leave. Ms Abildgaard noted that she was entitled to a year's maternity leave with full pay, but that she had chosen to return to work. Her Facebook post garnered more than 600 comments within the space of a few hours. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds her baby after speaking at the UN General Assembly Credit: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri "A chamber that represents mothers, fathers and babies ought to be open to mothers, fathers and babies," one person wrote. In 2016, an Icelandic lawmaker made headlines after breastfeeding her infant while speaking at the podium in parliament. And in September, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became a symbol for working mothers when she brought her baby to the UN General Assembly in New York.
People under 30 in Kazakhstan have only known one leader -- Nursultan Nazarbayev, who announced his resignation this week after shepherding the country from the Soviet era. "The word 'Nazarbayev' means something like the word 'parent'," said 18-year-old film student Madi Makanov, who lives in the country's largest city Almaty. Kazakhstan has a young population, with around 40 percent of people under 24, according to estimates based on UN figures.
A father and son who fled the civil war in Syria for "the safest country in the world" were buried before hundreds of mourners on Wednesday. The funerals of Khalid Mustafa, 44, and Hamza Mustafa, 15, came five days after a white supremacist methodically gunned down 50 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch - a massacre that he broadcast live on Facebook. Hamza’s high school principal described the student as compassionate and hardworking, and said he was an excellent horse rider who aspired to be a veterinarian. Those present included Hamza’s younger brother, 13-year-old Zaed, who was wounded in an arm and a leg during the attack. The boy tried to stand during the ceremony but had to sit back in his wheelchair, one mourner said. "We tried to not shake his hand, and not touch his hand or his foot, but he refused, he wanted to shake everybody’s hand, he wanted to show everyone that he appreciated them. And that’s amazing," said Jamil El-Biza, who travelled from Australia to attend the funeral. Female mourners attend the funeral of two victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack at Memorial Park Cemetery Credit: Getty The Mustafas had moved to New Zealand last year, after spending six years as refugees in Jordan. Mustafa’s wife, Salwa, told Radio New Zealand that when the family asked about New Zealand they were told "it’s the safest country in the world, the most wonderful country you can go ... you will start a very wonderful life there." She added, "But it wasn’t." Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the family should have been safe. "I cannot tell you how gutting it is to know that a family came here for safety and for refuge," she said. Families of those killed had been anxiously awaiting word on when they could bury their loved ones. Police Commissioner Mike Bush said police have now formally identified and released the remains of 21 of those killed. Islamic tradition calls for bodies to be cleansed and buried as soon as possible. The burials began soon after Ms Ardern renewed her call for people to speak of the victims rather than the man who killed them. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern receives a hug from a student during her visit to Cashmere High School which lost two students during a mass shooting Also on Wednesday, a man accused of sharing video footage of Friday’s massacre was jailed by a judge until his next court appearance in mid-April. And Mr Bush said he believes police officers stopped the gunman on his way to a third attack. Ms Ardern’s plea against giving the accused gunman notoriety followed his move to represent himself in court, raising concerns he would attempt to use the trial as a platform for airing his racist views. During a visit on Wednesday to the high school Hamza and another victim attended, Ms Ardern revisited that thought and asked students not to say the attacker’s name or dwell on him. "Look after one another, but also let New Zealand be a place where there is no tolerance for racism," she told students at Cashmere High School. "That’s something we can all do." Another Cashmere student, 14-year-old Sayyad Milne, also died in the attack. About 30 people wounded in the attacks remained in hospital as of Tuesday evening. About 10 of them were in critical condition, including a four-year-old girl. Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian man, has been charged with murder and is next scheduled to appear in court on April 5. Police have said they are certain Tarrant was the only gunman but are still investigating whether he had support from others. Ardern previously has said reforms of New Zealand’s gun laws would be announced next week and she said an inquiry would be convened to look into the intelligence and security services’ failures to detect the risk from the attacker or his plans. New Zealand’s international spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau, confirmed it had not received any relevant information or intelligence before the shootings. Sheik Taj El-Din Hilaly, of Sydney, travelled to Christchurch to attend or lead some of the funerals. Through a translator, he said he felt compelled to support the grieving. A nationwide lockdown on mosques was imposed until Monday, which Hilaly said had upset Muslims whom he had visited in Auckland. Police continue to guard mosques across the country. Philip Arps, 44, appeared in a Christchurch court on Wednesday on two charges of distributing the killer’s livestream video of the attack on the Al Noor mosque, the first mosque that was attacked, a violation of the country’s objectionable publications law. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison. Arps, heavily tattooed and dressed in a T-shirt and sweatpants, hasn’t entered a plea. He remained expressionless during the hearing, his hands clasped behind his back. Judge Stephen O’Driscoll denied him bail. Charging documents accuse Arps of distributing the video on Saturday, one day after the massacre. Bush said they believe they know where the gunman was going for a third attack when officers rammed his car off the road but won’t say more because it’s an active investigation. In a 74-page manifesto he released before the attack, Tarrant said he was going to attack two mosques in Christchurch and then one in the town of Ashburton if he made it that far.