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  • Climate change poses growing threats to vulnerable Africa, UN says

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    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 09:00:00 -0400
  • Putin rejects Donald Trump's criticism of Biden family business

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that he saw nothing criminal in Hunter Biden's past business ties with Ukraine or Russia.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 08:58:33 -0400
  • Power shut off in California as winds, fire danger increase

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    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 08:46:28 -0400
  • Rubicon’s Nate Morris Named Fulbright Specialist Scholar

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    Program Administered by U.S. Department of State and J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship BoardAtlanta, GA, Oct. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nate Morris, the founder and CEO of Rubicon, has earned the prestigious designation as a Fulbright Specialist Scholar, a program run by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.Rubicon is a technology innovator in the waste and recycling industry. “Rubicon’s model for improving waste efficiency will serve to teach and inspire future leaders,” said Heather Nauert, former acting Undersecretary for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy and Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State. “Nate will be an excellent ambassador for American innovation.”Morris will serve a three-year term as a Fulbright Specialist Scholar once the program’s initiatives resume. Because of COVID-19, its activities have been suspended until the U.S. Department of State determines it is safe to resume operations.“It is an honor to represent the United States and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to share best ideas and practices as it relates to entrepreneurship and the environment,” said Morris. “It is a prestigious and iconic program.”“I welcome the opportunity to share my experiences creating a mission-driven business and working with some of the world’s leading visionaries, business leaders, and investors with my host institution,” said Morris. “These lessons will be valuable to budding entrepreneurs looking to use business to solve some of the most pressing challenges in their country.” The Fulbright Specialist Program, part of the larger Fulbright Program, was established in 2001 by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program pairs highly qualified U.S. academics and professionals with host institutions abroad to share their expertise, strengthen institutional linkages, hone their skills, gain international experience, and learn about other cultures while building capacity at their overseas host institutions.Specialists, who represent a wide range of professional and academic disciplines, are competitively selected to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster based on their knowledge, skill sets, and ability to make a significant contribution to projects overseas. Those individuals that have been approved to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster are then eligible to be matched with approved projects designed by foreign host institutions from more than 150 countries and other areas. Once abroad, Specialists partner with their host institution to conduct project activities in support of the host institution’s priorities and goals.  The Fulbright Specialist Program aims to provide a short-term, on-demand resource to international host institutions, giving them greater flexibility in how they participate with the Fulbright program. Specialists are strongly encouraged to continue to work with host institutions in the years following their initial exchange, creating opportunities for ongoing cooperation and consultancies.Of those who have participated in the program, 86 have received the Pulitzer Prize; 75 have been MacArthur Fellows; 60 have received a Nobel Prize; 37 have served as heads of state or governments; 10 have been elected to the U.S. Congress; and one has served as secretary general of the United Nations.Morris, an entrepreneur from Kentucky, is passionate in the belief that innovation in the technology sector can be effective in eliminating waste in all its forms and, at long last, address the global threat posed by waste. He is a passionate advocate for “American Innovation” and the key role that must play in developing a sustainable American infrastructure in a post COVID-19 world.Founded with a $10,000 line of credit, Rubicon now operates in 20 countries on 5 continents. The company helps Fortune 500 organizations, main street businesses, and municipalities around the world move toward zero waste. Under Morris’s leadership as Chairman and CEO, Rubicon has become a catalyst for groundbreaking change across the waste management sector. Rubicon has been recognized as “One of the World’s Most Innovative Companies” by Fast Company and as an “Industry Disruptor” by Inc. Magazine.A ninth-generation Kentuckian, Morris was born in Lexington and raised by a single mother with help from his grandmother and grandfather, an Army veteran and former President of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 862.Morris was the first Kentuckian to be named to Fortunate Magazine’s “40 under 40” list and to be recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He is also the youngest inductee ever to the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. About RubiconRubicon is a software company that provides smart waste and recycling solutions for businesses and governments worldwide. Using technology to drive environmental innovation, the company helps turn businesses into more sustainable enterprises, and neighborhoods into greener and smarter places to live and work. Rubicon’s mission is to end waste, in all of its forms, by helping its partners find economic value in their waste streams and confidently execute on their sustainability goals. Learn more at www.rubicon.com.Rubicon’s inaugural Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report, Toward a Future Without Waste, can be found at www.rubicon.com/esg-report/. CONTACT: Dan Bayens dan@contentcreative.com (859) 489-3022

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 08:45:00 -0400
  • Time for Brexit deal is short, and significant gaps remain - UK PM Johnson's spokesman

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    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 08:42:24 -0400
  • Severed families, raided workplaces and a climate of fear: Assessing Trump's immigration crackdown

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    Donald Trump was on the defensive about his immigration policies in the final presidential debate, with a question about 545 migrant children taken by the U.S. government who may never be reunited with their parents. Immigration authorities say they cannot find the children’s families, many of whom have been deported to Central America. Taking children away from their families at the border was part of a broader strategy aimed at discouraging immigrants from coming. The cruelty of the family-separation policy traumatized migrant children and spurred nationwide protests. A federal judge ordered the government to reunite the separated families on June 26, 2018.Four years ago, candidate Trump was on the offensive about enforcement, portraying immigration as a threat to American security. Trump laid out his platform in an Aug. 31, 2016, campaign speech. This overview examines President Trump’s record on three big promises made in that speech. 1: The ban“[I]mmigration will be suspended [from] places like Syria and Libya.”In a 2017 executive proclamation, the Trump administration indefinitely barred immigrants from Iran, Syria, North Korea, Chad, Libya, Yemen and Somalia from entering the U.S. The rule, a revised version of the “Muslim ban” previously struck down as discriminatory, was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2018. Though the specific countries included in the ban have changed since then, the ban has dramatically limited immigration from several Muslim-majority countries. Immigrant visas to people from war-torn Yemen dropped from over 1,000 per month in 2016 to less than 100 per month in 2018. Student and tourist visas from the banned countries also plummeted.The Trump administration reduced refugee admissions allowed into the U.S. by capping the number who may be resettled in the country at 15,000 in 2020, down from 85,000 in 2016. This also disproportionately affected those from Muslim-majority regions. 2: Extreme enforcement“All immigration laws will be enforced.”This promise was, perhaps, doomed from the start. The federal government lacks capacity and popular support to fully enforce U.S. immigration laws, which one federal court called “a maze of hyper-technical statutes and regulations.” Doing so would also require surveillance and militarization that most Americans would find unacceptable.Under Trump, a system prioritizing the removal of people found guilty of a crime was replaced with instructions to deport “all removable aliens,” including those who had been allowed to stay in the U.S. by discretion of an immigration judge.To this end, the administration pledged to hire an additional 10,000 enforcement agents. Hiring has fallen short – both Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have fewer agents now than they did in 2016. Two numbers that have grown under Trump are the number of child migrants held in state custody and the daily total of immigrants imprisoned in prisonlike detention centers. The U.S. detains more migrants than any other country, a trend that has been growing since the Clinton administration. The daily average hit a historic peak of over 50,000 in October 2019. That population has since declined during the pandemic. 3: The wall“We will build a great wall … and Mexico will pay.”Despite an executive order signed just days into his term calling for securitizing the border, Trump has fortified less new mileage along the U.S.-Mexico border than his two predecessors. George W. Bush added about 450 miles along all four southern border states – California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas – under a bipartisan 2006 congressional agreement called the Secure Fence Act. Around 100 more miles of the border were fenced under Barack Obama. As of August 2020 Trump had covered just 5 previously unfenced miles along the U.S.-Mexico border. Double barriers or replacement fencing have also been constructed on several hundred miles since 2016.The government does not fully disclose the length or location of border walls on its website, making these figures difficult to pin down. But Trump’s 5 new miles bring the total length of fenced U.S.-Mexico border to around 660 miles. The Mexican government has refused to bankroll any of this project. So has Congress, which in 2018 rejected Trump’s request of US$18 billion to build 864 miles of border wall. Trump’s subsequent diversion of funds from the defense budget for a border wall by declaring a “state of emergency” was ruled improper by a federal appeals court earlier this month. Crackdown through criminalizationLargely stymied by the courts and Congress in implementing some of his promised anti-immigration policies, Trump and his administration advanced a strategy of harsh law enforcement and regulatory changes to crack down on immigrants.ICE regularly conducts dramatic SWAT-style raids in migrant-heavy workplaces like poultry plants and occasionally detains people near “sensitive locations” like churches, something ICE’s own guidelines recommend against. When immigrants go for a routine ICE check-in, they may be apprehended and deported. “Zero tolerance” rules expose even legal permanent residents to removal by making a long list of actions into deportable offenses, including using welfare services, admitting to addiction problems or failing to inform the government quickly of a change of address. By the numbers, President Barack Obama still removed more people each year, partly because unauthorized border crossing by Mexican nationals across the southern border was higher during the Obama years. But Trump’s immigration enforcement is more random and punitive, vastly increasing criminal prosecutions for immigration-related offenses and removing people who have been in the U.S. longer. Trump has also tried repeatedly to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The Trump administration has also dramatically restricted the federal system allowing migrants to apply for asylum under international and domestic law and has treated asylum seekers as if they were criminals. The administration finally shut it down entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many such actions have been challenged as unconstitutional, among them family separation and sending asylum seekers to Mexico to wait while their claims are processed, and the cases will be heard by the Supreme Court next year. The balanceAll told, Trump has made over 400 changes to immigration policy, largely fulfilling his 2016 promises and creating a climate of fear even among immigrants who are legal residents and citizens.However, because these changes happened almost entirely through executive ordersr – not legislative action – they can be undone by a future president, even without congressional support. But the human cost to migrant parents and children cannot so easily be reversed.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Miranda Cady Hallett, University of Dayton.Read more: * Thousands of asylum seekers left waiting at the US-Mexico border * Migrant caravans restart as pandemic deepens the humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexico borderMiranda Cady Hallett does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 07:59:30 -0400
  • Brexit decision entirely separate from U.S. election outcome says PM Johnson

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    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 07:53:38 -0400
  • Japan rejects nuclear ban treaty; survivors to keep pushing

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    Japan said Monday it will not sign a U.N. treaty that bans nuclear weapons and does not welcome its entry into force next year, rejecting the wishes of atomic bomb survivors in Japan who are urging the government to join and work for a nuclear-free world. The United Nations confirmed Saturday that 50 countries have ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, paving the way for its entry into force in 90 days. The announcement was hailed by anti-nuclear activists, but the treaty has been strongly opposed by the United States and other major nuclear powers.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 07:42:07 -0400
  • Putin pours cold water on Trump's Hunter Biden hopes

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    If President Trump were looking for a little last-minute boost from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Putin had nothing for him on Sunday. In televised remarks on state TV, Putin "took the time to knock down what he made clear he regarded as false allegations from Trump about the Bidens," Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Reuters reports. Putin said Trump's story about Hunter Biden getting money from the widow of a former Moscow mayor was news to him, even though Trump tried to tie Putin to the alleged payment.In Ukraine, Putin said, Hunter Biden "had or maybe still has a business, I don't know. It doesn't concern us. It concerns the Americans and the Ukrainians." And regarding the money Hunter Biden made working for a Ukrainian company, he added, "I don't see anything criminal about this, at least we don't know anything about this (being criminal)."U.S. intelligence has determined that Russia is secretly working to boost Trump and damage Biden in the 2020 race, much as Russian intelligence boosted Trump and damaged Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. But with Biden leading substantially in the polls, Russian state TV has started mocking Trump as Putin's poodle while Putin has started saying a few positive things about Biden. Biden isn't reciprocating, telling 60 Minutes on Sunday's broadcast that Russia is America's biggest threat but China is its top adversary.> Which country is the biggest threat to America?> > Russia, says Joe Biden. But China is our biggest competitor. https://t.co/itlQnd75E0 pic.twitter.com/9YHlYTvxR8> > — 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) October 26, 2020Trump's Hunter Biden allegations are probably too little, too late, and too tame anyway, even if they were true, anti-Trump GOP strategist Mike Madrid tells Politico. "Whatever October surprise or whatever money he's got, he needed to spend yesterday," he said. "He's got a bigger time problem than a money problem and he's got a huge money problem. It's time. He's running out of time."More stories from theweek.com Trump loses on the merits Who won the final 2020 debate? Call it a draw. Get ready for Trump TV, America

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 07:29:17 -0400
  • 10 things you need to know today: October 26, 2020

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    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 06:58:00 -0400
  • Airstrike in northwestern Syria kills over 50 rebel fighters

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    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 06:52:51 -0400
  • Xi's big carbon promise on the table as China's leaders meet

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    China's Communist leadership will discuss Xi Jinping's ambitious carbon neutral pledge in talks that began Monday on the country's economic strategy for the next five years.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 06:52:39 -0400
  • Election 2020 Today: Early voting, White House outbreak

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    ON THE TRAIL: President Donald Trump plans to intensify an already breakneck travel schedule in the final full week of the presidential campaign, overlooking a surge of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and a fresh outbreak in his own White House. Democrat Joe Biden also plans to pick up his travel schedule, aiming to hit the half-dozen battleground states the campaign sees as key to his chances. EARLY VOTE: More people already have cast ballots in this year’s presidential election than voted early or absentee in the 2016 race as the start of in-person early voting in big states has caused a surge in turnout in recent days.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 06:40:48 -0400
  • Canada court to hear witness testimony in Huawei CFO's U.S. extradition case

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    The five days of hearings will focus on alleged abuses of process committed by Canadian and U.S. authorities during Meng's December 2018 arrest at Vancouver International Airport. Meng, 48, is charged by the United States with bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC about Huawei's business dealings in Iran, causing the bank to break U.S. sanction laws. Meng's lawyers have argued that Canadian authorities improperly communicated with their American counterparts, including allegedly sharing identifying details about her electronic devices.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 06:02:34 -0400
  • House already won? Pelosi thinks so, and reaches for more

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    Speaker Nancy Pelosi once predicted she’d have the 2020 House Democratic majority secured by November — of 2019. With control of the House hardly contested, Pelosi is working to fortify Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and win extra House seats in case Congress is called on to resolve any Electoral College dispute with President Donald Trump. Pelosi said she feels so confident Democrats will keep the House this election, she’s already preparing to win the next one in 2022.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 06:00:08 -0400
  • Canada court to hear witness testimony in Huawei CFO's U.S. extradition case

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    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 06:00:00 -0400
  • 2020 Watch: Is Biden remaking the Democratic coalition?

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    On paper, Democrat Joe Biden continues to lead President Donald Trump by a significant margin nationally, but polling suggests the race is tight in key battlegrounds like Florida, Arizona and North Carolina. Meanwhile, Trump is racing across America to reach as many voters as possible — the pandemic and public health guidance notwithstanding — while Biden sticks close to home, relying on surrogates like former President Barack Obama to energize targeted groups of Democratic voters.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 05:27:27 -0400
  • Merkel's party postpones Dec. 4 congress to choose new leader - sources

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    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 05:19:05 -0400
  • Armenia, Azerbaijan accuse each other of truce violations

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    Armenia and Azerbaijan on Monday accused each other of violating the new cease-fire announced the day before in a bid to halt the fighting over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh that has killed hundreds, and possibly thousands, in just four weeks. The new cease-fire was also challenged quickly by accusations from both sides. Azerbaijani Defense Ministry alleged that Armenian forces fired at Azerbaijani settlements and the positions of the Azerbaijani army “along the entire front, as well as on the Armenia-Azerbaijan state border" using various small arms, mortars and howitzers.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 04:58:13 -0400
  • Attack Drones Dominating Tanks as Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict Showcases the Future of War

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    STEPANAKERT, Nagorno-Karabakh—Stretched on a gurney, a soldier lies wrapped in gauze. Fifty percent of his body is burned, even inside his throat and lungs, says one of the paramedics in the back of the ambulance, which is making a seven-hour drive from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia’s capital Yerevan. War broke out almost one month ago between Azerbaijan and Armenia over a disputed border territory. The ambulance snuck out of Stepanakert in between air raid sirens, as Azerbaijani shelling of the city picked up again after a six-day break. Only the soldier’s burned lips, a small part of the nose and his burnt eyelashes are showing. His hopes of survival are tied to a beeping respirator and the two paramedics constantly injecting him with morphine and saline solutions.Reporters have been kept away from soldiers and the direct impact of the war in recent days, but plans scrambled by the reinvigorated shelling of Stepanakert lead to The Daily Beast suddenly finding ourselves in the back of this ambulance, being given an accidental glimpse at the human consequences of the war.Kamikaze drones purchased from Israel have been used to devastating effect by Azerbaijan. These small craft also known as loitering munitions are able to surveil targets including tanks, artillery installations or troops before blowing themselves up. Larger Turkish drones are also flying high above the disputed region and launching missile strikes.While the soldier in the ambulance has been unable to tell medics how he was so badly wounded, his head injuries and extensive burns are consistent with what they have seen with drone strikes, one doctor at the hospital in Stepanakert told The Daily Beast.“He was damaged on the front line,” says one of the paramedics in the ambulance, “We see many of these injuries. We need help here. We need to stop the war. It is terrible what is happening.”Before leaving the war zone and entering the relative safety of Armenia, there is a problem with the respirator. A female paramedic starts pumping air into the wounded soldiers’ lungs manually. As they are about to lose the soldier, the ambulance comes to a full stop, while the driver is trying to get the motorized system running again. Shelling can be heard in the distance.The mountains cause the sound to echo, making it hard to tell whether the shelling is close or far, but that does not hide the discomfort of the crew forced to pull over in the midst of another bombing. A Bloody War In the MakingThe war in Nagorno-Karabakh, which was almost entirely controlled by the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh, broke out on Sept. 27. Artsakh is a small mountainous pocket in the Caucasus which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but has been claiming independence for almost 30 years. The population is almost entirely ethnic Armenian and the breakaway state is supported by Armenia. The republic declared independence after the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which lasted from the late 1980s to 1994, claiming 30,000 lives.Since then, the dispute over the region has continued. The two sides fought a four-day war in 2016, but the current battles are the worst fighting the region has seen since the devastating war in the ‘90s. Armenia says it has lost around 900 servicemen, while Azerbaijan does not declare its death toll. However, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, nearly 5,000 people have already died, and there are several reports about the huge loss of military hardware such as tanks on both sides despite two ceasefires negotiated in Moscow with Russia as the main mediator.The ceasefires have already been broken and the crisis is of global significance. Nagorno-Karabakh is located next to regional superpowers such as Turkey, which support Azerbaijan militarily and politically in the conflict. At the same time, Russia has a defensive pact with Armenia, making the situation tense. The Republic of Artsakh is also located next to Iran, a major player in the region.“We must be attentive that the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan does not become a regional war,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, according to BBC.The war is also attracting increased attention in Washington, D.C. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had leaders from both Azerbaijan and Armenia over for seemingly fruitless talks, while Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), among others, has called for an immediate ceasefire.“Azerbaijan’s aggressive actions, fully supported by Turkey in Nagorno-Karabakh and against Armenia, must stop,” said Markey. “Since Azerbaijan continues its attempts to resolve this conflict through the illegal use of military force, the international community will be left with no choice but to move to recognize the independence of the Republic of Artsakh.” He Is About to DieBack in the ambulance, the soldier is fighting for his life. Occasionally he seems to regain consciousness for just long enough to gasp with pain. Before the ambulance took off towards the Armenian capital Yerevan, the stream of ambulances carrying wounded soldiers with empty stares and missing limbs from Stepanakert had been temporarily forced to stop. The air raid sirens started screaming over Stepanakert for the first time in several days, as Azerbaijani forces struck the city with what was reportedly both airplanes and artillery. Doctors, nurses and patients ran to the basement in one of the city’s hospitals while explosions were heard nearby, shaking the bunker.One doctor in the bunker, who did not want to give his name due to restrictions on speaking to the media, told The Daily Beast that around 1,000 soldiers and 300 to 400 civilians had been declared dead at three hospitals in Artsakh, to his knowledge. These numbers point to far more casualties than the 900 officially reported by the Ministry of Defense in Artsakh, especially as some soldiers’ bodies are never retrieved from the front line.“We see many soldiers with burn and head injuries,” says the doctor pointing to a room in the bunker where a soldier with severe brain injury is undergoing surgery. “The Turkish drones used by Azerbaijan are often giving the soldiers brain damage.”He is referring to the Azerbaijani use of Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drones, which are penetrating the Artsakh defenses, despite assistance from Armenia. “We Cannot Shoot it Down”Open source analysis gathered by Forbes magazine has tracked the destruction by drones of around 200 tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and armored personnel carriers, plus 300 soft-skinned military vehicles as well as radars, short-range air defense systems, and missile launch vehicles.The Armenians have no such drone army with which to strike back at Azerbaijaini targets.In an interview with The Daily Beast, Suren Sarumyan, a spokesman for the Artsakh Defense Ministry, claimed that the Republic of Artsakh has been able to shoot down several drones but he accepted that the unmanned aerial assault vehicles were taking a toll.“Drones do make an impact on the front line, but our soldiers are among the strongest in the world because they stand firm and fight hard,” said Sarumyan, “The secret to that is that our soldiers defend their home, and it is very difficult to defeat them, even with all the world’s drones.”While the military claims they can shoot down drones such as the Bayraktar TB2, Vladimir Vartanyan, a military analyst who is part of the press department of the Republic of Artsakh, disagrees.“We can see them on our radar, but [the Turkish drones] fly too high for us to shoot them down,” he said. He explained that much of the Artsakh defenses are remnants from 1991 to 1994 and badly in need of an upgrade “We use everything that we have now because this is total war,” he said. “In my opinion, we need to buy some Russian systems, which have experience in shooting down these drones in Syria.”With Azerbaijan reported to be making large territorial gains in the southern part of Nagorno-Karabakh, Vartanyan said: “It is essential that we start to shoot them down very quickly.”Azerbaijan has previously confirmed that it is using Turkish drones in the war, according to Middle East Eye.Ian Williams, an expert in missile defense and missile proliferation at the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The Daily Beast that what we see right now in Nagorno-Karabakh is the evolution of warfare.“We have for a long time declared tanks to be dead without it happening. However, the Armenian tanks have not done well in the current crisis,” said Williams. “Drones are relatively cheap for countries that would not normally be able to afford air support. The current crisis shows us what kind of damage they can do to an opponent without drones.” He Might Not Make itA paramedic holds the soldier’s head as the ambulance makes its way up and down through the mountains. The respirator is working again, and the sound of it pumping air into the soldier’s lungs resumes. On the way to Yerevan, one of the paramedics gets the news that a friend has died near the front line. An atmosphere of grief descends on the ambulance as reports continue to come in of air attacks in several cities in the Republic of Artsakh.As Yerevan approaches, the soldier starts to move his arms involuntarily while his chest spasms. The situation is eased by another morphine shot, but the paramedic shakes his head when asked whether the soldier will be safe once he reaches the hospital in Armenia’s capital.“The injuries might just be too much,” he says.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 04:56:24 -0400
  • Curb the Brexit Enthusiasm. The Hurdles Are Still High

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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Brexit optimism is in the air. The U.K. and the European Union have resumed trade talks after a highly theatrical fallout, promising to ramp up the speed and intensity of negotiations with a view to settling on a draft deal by next month. “An agreement is within reach,” EU negotiator Michel Barnier said last week, boosting the pound to its highest level against the dollar since August. The mood is good, but the reality is complicated. What any agreement will contain is still a bit of a mystery, and that’s largely because the biggest obstacles have yet to be overcome, and they’re very political and very emotional ones. It’s one thing to quibble over how much of a car’s components can be sourced from abroad to count as “European” for tariff purposes; it’s quite another to get both sides to agree on new rules for business subsidies and social and environmental standards after 40 years of free trade. What the Brits see as their sovereign, post-Brexit right — maximum access to EU markets, minimum regulatory oversight — the EU understandably sees as an existential competitive threat. Even economically small issues such as fishing quotas are politically huge for both sides. While concessions are necessary (Reuters reports one on fisheries is looming) they’re hard-won.For a sense of how little progress has been made, look to parliamentary politics. Even as technocrats talk about tariff barriers and quotas, a draft law is working its way through the U.K. parliament that would aim to tear up the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement signed with the EU last year. That bill has prompted a rebuke from the House of Lords and the Scottish Parliament, and triggered a legal challenge from the EU. If it became law, it would likely kill all chances of a trade deal. While dismissed by some as a negotiating tactic, it does seem to chime with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s own personal indecision over what kind of deal, if any, he could sell to his domestic support base.Over in Brussels, the EU’s own parliament is also cracking the whip. In June it adopted a report on Brexit with “strict” demands on a level playing field for regulatory standards and subsidies. It has threatened to reject any treaty that doesn’t respect the last point. “We will not ratify a deal at any cost,” Christophe Hansen, a Christian Democrat from Luxembourg who sits in the same center-right bloc as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, tells me. (We don’t even know yet whether all 27 EU members will have to ratify this treaty, too.)The pressure to approve any deal will be immense for both parliaments. Time is running out before the transition period ends on Dec. 31. With so many other priorities piling up, from Covid-19 to more joint borrowing, patience will run out. The EU’s member states are good at nudging their European deputies in certain directions when their interests are at stake.But that’s why the European Parliament is flexing its muscles now, rather than after a draft treaty lands in everyone’s inbox. Its members meet regularly with Barnier and aren’t shy about expressing concerns over their red lines. That includes fishing, with several deputies warning against giving the Brits too many concessions on single-market access to maintain quotas. “The European Parliament is really there at the negotiating table,” according to Valentin Kreilinger of the Jacques Delors Institute, a Paris-based think tank. Given the importance of getting a deal that’s acceptable to both sides — and considering the economic chaos a no-deal Brexit would probably unleash— political buy-in will become crucial as the clock ticks down. In an ideal world, the Brits would back down from using their parliament to overturn previously agreed treaties, while the EU’s parliament would help find acceptable compromises that could be sold to constituents as better than the alternative. Now, that would call for intense negotiations.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the European Union and France. He worked previously at Reuters and Forbes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 03:15:15 -0400
  • Climate at a crossroads as Trump and Biden point in different directions

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    The two US presidential contenders offer starkly different approaches as the world tries to avoid catastrophic global heatingAmong the myriad reasons world leaders will closely watch the outcome of a fraught US presidential election, the climate crisis looms perhaps largest of all.The international effort to constrain dangerous global heating will hinge, in large part, on which of the dichotomous approaches of Donald Trump or Joe Biden prevails.On 4 November, the day after the election, the US will exit the Paris climate agreement, a global pact that has wobbled but not collapsed from nearly four years of disparagement and disengagement under Trump.Biden has vowed to immediately rejoin the Paris deal. The potential of a second Trump term, however, is foreboding for those whose anxiety has only escalated during the hottest summer ever recorded in the northern hemisphere, with huge wildfires scorching California and swaths of central South America, and extraordinary temperatures baking the Arctic.“It’s a decision of great consequence, to both the US and the world,” said Laurence Tubiana, a French diplomat and key architect of the Paris accords. “The rest of the world is moving to a low-carbon future, but we need to collectively start moving even faster, and the US still has a significant global role to play in marshaling this effort.”Few countries are on track to fulfill commitments made in Paris five years ago to slash their planet-heating emissions and keep the global temperature rise to “well below” 2C of warming beyond the pre-industrial era. The world has already warmed by about 1C since this time, helping set in motion a cascade of heatwaves, fierce storms and flooding around the planet.Progress might have been different had Trump not triggered US withdrawal from the fight in 2017, complaining from the White House’s Rose Garden that the Paris deal “handicaps the United States economy in order to win praise from the very foreign capitals and global activists that have long sought to gain wealth at our country’s expense. They don’t put America first. I do, and I always will.”Tubiana conceded the “Trump administration’s dangerous anti-climate stance has had a negative impact on international climate efforts”, pointing to backsliding by the rightwing governments of Australia and Brazil, which have variously sought to downplay or dismiss the need to cut emissions more rapidly.Scientists say the world needs to halve its greenhouse gas emissions within the coming decade and essentially eliminate them by 2050 to avoid the worst ravages of the climate crisis. The four years that make up the span of the next US presidential term will be a crucial window of time in which emissions will have to be forced sharply downwards by major economies.Trump has shown no inclination to use the US’s hefty influence to aid this effort, instead using a recent UN speech to attack “China’s rampant pollution”, just minutes before the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, used the same forum to announce the world’s largest carbon emitter would peak its emissions before 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060. There needs to be a “green recovery of the world economy in the post-Covid era”, Xi said in a speech broadly welcomed by environmentalists.To avoid the more dire versions of climate breakdown, the world will need to cut its emissions by about 7% each year this decade – a task that will only be achieved in 2020 due to a paralysis wrought by the pandemic that has shut down restaurants, factories, retailers, offices and other businesses.The prospects of achieving this steep challenge would dim further with another Trump term, with the US and China now openly trading insults over each other’s climate policies. “It would be pretty much game over for the international system if he’s re-elected,” said John Podesta, who advised Barack Obama on climate policy. “China would feel zero pressure to do more and it would dampen ambition around the world. We’d miss the chance to avoid warming at a catastrophic level.”The European Union has attempted to take up some of the climate leadership mantle that was forged for the US by Obama and then dumped under Trump. But diplomats see US engagement as crucial if meaningful progress is made at UN climate talks in Glasgow, shunted to next year due to the pandemic, where countries are due to explain how they are ramping up their climate efforts.“Who wins between Trump and Biden will be hugely significant,” said Peter Betts, a former British government civil servant who acted as chief EU negotiator in the Paris talks. “If it’s Biden, he will convene an international summit to talk about climate, with the subtext that he’s there to talk to China. He will lean on all of the US’s allies around the world – Japan, Australia, Canada - while the EU and UK will raise their ambitions anyway. So a crucial element will be some sort of understanding with China.”A Trump win, conversely, won’t completely sink the global climate effort, Betts said, but will lock in a longer, more damaging and more expensive resolution to the crisis. “If it’s Mr Trump, it’s going to be a harder path,” Betts said. “It’ll be harder for the EU to build momentum and harder to get other countries to do more if the world’s second largest emitter isn’t.”The world will “breathe a sigh of relief” if Biden wins, Podesta said, but the tangible impact will be minor if the former vice-president isn’t able to implement an ambitious $2tn plan to create millions of new jobs in renewable energy and eliminate emissions by 2050. “When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, he thinks ‘hoax’,” Biden has said, referencing the president’s infamous dismissal of climate science. “I think ‘jobs’.”In a US where the green economy employs 10 times as many people as the fossil fuel industry, Tesla’s market value has overtaken ExxonMobil’s and a pandemic-driven downturn has caused mass joblessness, Biden’s agenda polls well. But it would still be blocked if the US Senate is retained by Republicans who are largely opposed to climate action and have accused Democrats, without basis, of attempting to deprive Americans of hamburgers and flights in order to reduce emissions.“The main thing Biden has to do is get the US’s own house in order,” said Podesta. “He would rejoin Paris on day one or day two, but the US wouldn’t have much credibility of he can’t make progress on getting to zero carbon. It’s not just about showing up, it’s about what you do.”A victorious Biden would be warmly welcomed by other national leaders alarmed by the climate crisis, Tubiana said, but not much time would be spent celebrating the US’s return from the wilderness. “There is no turning back, the sun is setting on the fossil fuel industry,” she said. “In a year of undeniable climate impacts, the urgency of keeping warming below 2C has never been more clear.”

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 02:30:15 -0400
  • Wary of angering public, Iran has few ways to contain virus

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    As coronavirus infections reached new heights in Iran this month, overwhelming its hospitals and driving up its death toll, the country’s health minister gave a rare speech criticizing his own government’s refusal to enforce basic health measures. “We asked for fines to be collected from anyone who doesn’t wear a mask,” Saeed Namaki said last week, referring to the government’s new mandate for Tehran, the capital. Namaki’s speech, lamenting the country’s “great suffering” and “hospitals full of patients,” clearly laid the blame for the virus’ resurgence at the government’s door — a stark contrast to the usual speeches from officials who point the finger at the public’s defiance of restrictions.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 02:03:36 -0400
  • Feeding Houston's hungry: 1M pounds of food daily for needy

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    In car lines that can stretch half a mile, (0.8 kilometers), workers who lost jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic and other needy people receive staggering amounts of food distributed by the Houston Food Bank. On some days, the hundreds of sites supplied by the country's largest food bank collectively get 1 million pounds. Among the ranks of recipients is unemployed construction worker Herman Henton, whose wife is a home improvement store worker and now the sole breadwinner for their family of five.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 02:00:03 -0400
  • Palestinian teen dies after West Bank chase by Israeli army

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    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 01:52:36 -0400
  • Democrats ask Pence to skip Barrett vote over COVID-19 risk

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    A deeply torn Senate is set to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, but Democratic leaders are asking Vice President Mike Pence to stay away from presiding over Monday’s session due to potential health risks after his aides tested positive for COVID-19. Barrett’s confirmation is not in doubt, as Senate Republicans are overpowering Democratic opposition to secure President Donald Trump’s nominee the week before Election Day. Pence has not said if he plans to attend as is customary for landmark votes.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 01:46:01 -0400
  • Biden, Trump focus on battleground states in 11th-hour pitch

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    President Donald Trump plans to intensify an already breakneck travel schedule in the final full week of the presidential campaign, overlooking a surge of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and a fresh outbreak in his own White House. Trump is expected to hit nearly a dozen states in his last-ditch effort to recover ground from Democrat Joe Biden, including Sunday’s trip to Maine and Tuesday’s to Nebraska. Biden, too, plans to pick up his travel schedule, aiming to hit the six battleground states the campaign sees as key to his chances, some with socially distanced in-person events and others with virtual events.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 01:34:38 -0400
  • Australia asks Iran about report academic moved from prison

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    Australia is seeking information from Iran on reports that a British Australian academic who was convicted of espionage has been moved to a mystery location, the foreign minister said on Monday. Kylie Moore-Gilbert was a Melbourne University lecturer on Middle Eastern studies when she was arrested in Iran and sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2018. Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Australian Ambassador to Iran Lyndall Sachs had a consular visit with Moore-Gilbert at Qarchak “a short time ago" and Australian officials “are seeking further information” on the reports she had been moved.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 01:19:21 -0400
  • Early vote total exceeds 2016; GOP chips at Dems' advantage

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    With eight days before Election Day, more people already have cast ballots in this year's presidential election than voted early or absentee in the 2016 race as the start of in-person early voting in big states led to a surge in turnout in recent days. The opening of early voting locations in Florida, Texas and elsewhere has piled millions of new votes on top of the mail ballots arriving at election offices as voters try to avoid crowded places on Nov. 3 during the coronavirus pandemic. The result is a total of 58.6 million ballots cast so far, more than the 58 million that The Associated Press logged as being cast through the mail or at in-person early voting sites in 2016.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 00:43:22 -0400
  • Zeta likely hurricane before hitting Yucatan, heading for US

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    A strengthening Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to become a hurricane Monday as it heads toward the eastern end of Mexico's resort-dotted Yucatan Peninsula and then likely move on for a possible landfall on the central U.S. Gulf Coast at midweek. Zeta on Sunday became the earliest ever 27th named storm of the Atlantic season. The system was centered about 175 miles (285 kilometers) southeast of Cozumel island Monday morning, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 00:21:19 -0400
  • Xi's carbon neutrality vow to reshape China's five-year plan

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    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 23:38:44 -0400
  • Follow in the footsteps of Yu Gong and cross the Taihang mountain in Jiyuan- the 1st Conference of International Hiking across Magnificent Taihang 2020 kicked off on 24 October

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    On October 24, the 1st Conference of International Hiking Across Magnificent Taihang 2020 kicked off in Jiyuan, the south starting point of the Taihang National Park Forest Trail. The event embodied the spirit of the speech delivered by Secretary General Xi Jinping during his visit to Henan and looked to strengthen the "Henan My Hometown" culture and tourism brand. In doing so, it highlighted the ecological environment of the magnificent Taihang mountain and brought the "Yu Gong Removes the Mountains" myth into the new era.

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 22:23:00 -0400
  • Politics latest news: Boris Johnson says children won't go hungry because of 'Government inattention' as free school meal row intensifies

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    Boris Johnson faces Tory revolt over free school meals Coronavirus latest news: Matt Hancock 'does not rule out' vaccine by end of year Angela Merkel could intervene in Brexit talks MPs hold office 'speakeasies' after Speaker shuts Commons' bars Nick Timothy: Brexit and Biden demand a bold new foreign policy Subscribe to The Telegraph Boris Johnson has said children will not go hungry "a result of any Government inattention", as the row over free school meals intensifies. The Prime Minister stressed the Government was also "uplifting Universal Credit" which was "one of the best ways you can help families in these tough times". He added: "I totally understand the issue. It is there, we have to deal with it. The debate is how you deal with it." "We don't want to see children going hungry this winter, this Christmas, certainly not as a result of any inattention by this Government - and you are not going to see that." Mr Johnson was also forced to clarify that he had not spoken to Marcus Rashford since June, after the England footballer rejected claims the pair had communicated earlier today. "What he is doing is terrific," he said during a visit to a hospital. "We support local councils, and indeed we fund local councils and many of the organisations who have been stepping in." Tory councils including Hillingdon - which is in Boris Johnson's constituency - Medway and Wandsworth are among those stepping into the breach. His comments come amid growing anger on the backbenches, after MPs were deluged with emails from outraged constituents. Senior Tories including Sir Bernard Jenkin and Caroline Nokes attacked Number 10's position over the weekend, while Labour has said it will table another motion for Christmas holidays if there is no U-turn.

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 21:51:07 -0400
  • Philippines: Typhoon leaves 13 missing, displaces thousands

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    A fast-moving typhoon blew away from the Philippines on Monday after leaving at least 13 people missing, forcing thousands of villagers to flee to safety and flooding rural villages, disaster-response officials said. The 13 people missing from Typhoon Molave included a dozen fishermen who ventured out to sea over the weekend despite a no-sail restriction due to very rough seas. The typhoon was blowing west toward the South China Sea with sustained winds of 125 kilometers (77 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 150 kph (93 mph).

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 21:28:43 -0400
  • RPT-China to set five-year plan for steering economy through choppy waters

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    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 19:00:10 -0400
  • Early vote total exceeds 2016; GOP chips at Dems' advantage

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    With nine days before Election Day, more people already have cast ballots in this year's presidential election than voted early or absentee in the 2016 race as the start of in-person early voting in big states led to a surge in turnout in recent days. The opening of early voting locations in Florida, Texas and elsewhere has piled millions of new votes on top of the mail ballots arriving at election offices as voters try to avoid crowded places on Nov. 3 during the coronavirus pandemic. The result is a total of 58.6 million ballots cast so far, more than the 58 million that The Associated Press logged as being cast through the mail or at in-person early voting sites in 2016.

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 18:05:42 -0400
  • Zero Hour Is Coming for Emissions. Believe It

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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s only natural to be skeptical when a political leader stands up and makes a promise about a target that’s far off, hard to achieve, and lacks a clear pathway.So one reaction to a report that Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, will pledge next week to reduce the country’s net carbon emissions to zero by 2050 might be: Really?After all, public and private Japanese banks are still funding new coal-fired power stations in Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh, exploiting a loophole in Tokyo’s previous promise to reduce financing to such projects — a fact that’s causing some consternation among European investment funds.For all the publicity garnered by South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s Green New Deal and pledge last month of a 2050 net zero target, Korean engineering companies, too, are working with Japanese funders on Vietnam’s Vung Ang 2 coal plant.Chinese President Xi Jinping also garnered plenty of positive headlines last month for promising to bring the world’s largest emitter to net zero status by 2060 — but China still has 250 gigawatts of coal plants under development, more than the total existing fleets in India or the U.S.Doubts are warranted when so many nations are falling far short of their own climate pledges. At the same time, it can be pushed too far. The promises of political leaders have real-world effects that we’re already seeing. On the path to getting the binding and comprehensive emissions policies that the world needs, there will be plenty of partial, vague and unenforceable pledges. Each of them, though, sets a new baseline that will help create the conditions for further, more ambitious policies.Take the broadly accepted target that the world must stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide at or below 450 parts per million. Until relatively recently, this was generally considered the most radical reasonable option.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2001 synthesis of scientific research took 450ppm as the lower bound of a range of outcomes stretching up to 750ppm. The influential 2006 U.K. government review of the economics of climate change by Nicholas Stern advised aiming for 500ppm to 550ppm. That ambition was considered bold at the time but is now accepted as grossly inadequate. Similarly, limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius was rarely treated as a serious option until the 2015 Paris Agreement set a target “well below 2 degrees Celsius” at the behest of small island states that risk destruction from higher levels of warming.What target skeptics miss is the feedback relationship between the stated goals of political leaders and the behavior of investors, engineers and lower-level officials whose work will help decarbonize the economy.As should be obvious from the $3.5 billion a year spent on lobbying in the U.S. alone, the decisions of political leaders shape the field of what’s possible for businesses. When a politician embraces a net-zero ambition — and especially when, as in the European Union, those words are enshrined into law — the risks associated with carbon-intensive projects go up, while those associated with low-carbon technologies go down. That's particularly the case when, as we’re seeing, the path starts to be followed by leaders in multiple countries. Lower-carbon approaches then become more viable. That shift in the technological frontier in turn makes it easier for politicians to set still bolder targets, because the political and economic costs of doing so have declined.We’re seeing this sort of virtuous circle playing out. As we’ve written, the best guide to the path of power sector emissions in the 2010s wasn’t the International Energy Agency’s politics-as-usual scenario, but the one where radical action was taken to limit atmospheric carbon to 450ppm. Just over a month ago, I greeted PetroChina Co.’s announcement of a 2050 “near-zero” emissions target by fretting that China may be more addicted to coal than oil. That’s still a reasonable concern, but Xi’s 2060 net zero promise two weeks after that column drastically changes the landscape. Within weeks of that speech, influential Chinese academic research institutes have already released a range of roadmaps that would illustrate how to put those words into action, with coal falling from nearly 70% of primary energy at present to 10% or less in 2050.Any targets laid out by politicians will find themselves up against institutional inertia, unintended consequences and political pushback. That doesn’t make them worthless. Political rhetoric changes reality, and even a cursory examination of recent history shows you how quickly that can happen. Not one question was asked on the subject of climate during the 2016 U.S. presidential debates. This year, it’s been one of the most-discussed topics.Turning round an oil tanker takes time. That doesn't mean it’s impossible. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 18:00:12 -0400
  • Azerbaijan and Armenia accuse each other of violating new ceasefire

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    Azerbaijan's defence ministry said on Monday that Armenian forces violated a ceasefire agreed on Sunday and shelled villages in Terter and Lachin regions. Nagorno-Karabakh defence ministry said it was "misinformation" and said that Azeri forces had launched a missile attack on Armenian military positions on the north-eastern side on the line of contact. Armenia and Azerbaijan had again agreed to respect a "humanitarian ceasefire" that was supposed to come into effect on Monday, the US State Department announced, after previous attempts to stem the bloodshed in the disputed region failed. World leaders have been scrambling for weeks to broker a truce, with Russian President Vladimir Putin estimating that close to 5,000 people have been killed so far in weeks of fighting over the mountainous province. Both an initial ceasefire negotiated by France and a second brokered by Russia have already broken down. The latest truce was supposed take effect at 8:00 am local time (04H00 GMT) on Monday, according to a joint statement from the US State Department and the so-called "Minsk" group attempting to bring a negotiated end to the conflict. Azerbaijan on Sunday welcomed the agreement in a statement from its ambassador to the US, Elin Suleymanov, while pointing the finger of blame at Armenia.

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 17:47:04 -0400
  • FBI investigating fire set in Boston ballot drop box

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    A fire was set Sunday in a Boston ballot drop box holding more than 120 ballots in what Massachusetts election officials said appears to have been a “deliberate attack,” now under investigation by the FBI. The fire that was set around 4 a.m. in a ballot drop box outside the Boston Public Library downtown, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin's office said.

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 16:47:58 -0400
  • Brexit talks could see Merkel intervene after France refused fishing compromise

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    Brexit talks face a roadblock this week after France refused to compromise on fishing, with Government sources hoping Angela Merkel will intervene to break the impasse. Sources close to the negotiations said that Emmanuel Macron was refusing to soften his stance and had adopted an “egregious” position on the issue. The UK has proposed adopting a similar arrangement to Norway, whereby fishing quotas would be agreed annually in shared fishing zones. However, sources said that Brussels negotiators, under pressure from France, have “not moved at all” leading to fresh deadlock. The Government hopes the German Chancellor will manage to persuade the French President to budge. A Whitehall source said: “We are relatively optimistic but that doesn’t mean it won’t end in tears. Fisheries is the biggest thing. We are hoping Merkel can unlock Macron on fisheries.”

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 15:45:49 -0400
  • Californians see power shutoffs as winds, fire danger rise

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    Hundreds of thousands of Californians lost power as utilities sought to prevent the chance of their equipment sparking wildfires and the fire-weary state braced for a new bout of dry, windy weather. More than 1 million people were expected be in the dark Monday during what officials have said could be the strongest wind event in California this year. It's the fifth time this year that Pacific Gas & Electric, the nation's largest utility, has cut power to customers in a bid to reduce the risk that downed or fouled power lines or other equipment could ignite a blaze during bone-dry weather conditions and gusty winds.

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 15:08:53 -0400
  • Israel to begin human trials of coronavirus vaccine

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    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 15:01:54 -0400
  • UN: 11 migrants drown off Libya; third shipwreck in week

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    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 14:31:00 -0400
  • Tory MPs want a pandemic equivalent of the European Research Group

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    Tory MPs are moving to set up the coronavirus equivalent of the European Research Group (ERG) if the Government fails to come up with a “plan B” to tackle the pandemic. Steve Baker, a former chair of the ERG, which led the Brexit backbench rebellions, is being urged by as many as 90 Tory MPs to adopt the same approach to put the case for an alternative strategy to perpetual lockdowns. It is understood there are businesses and groups outside Parliament willing to fund a “proper operation” to act as a counterweight to the scientific and medical advisers seen as holding sway over large sections of the Government. Prime Minister Boris Johnson (below), defended his coronavirus strategy last week:

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 13:46:33 -0400
  • Health experts question Pence campaigning as essential work

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    Health policy specialists questioned White House officials' claim that federal rules on essential workers allow Vice President Mike Pence to continue to campaign and not quarantine himself after being exposed to the coronavirus. Campaigning is not an official duty that might fall under the guidelines meant to ensure that police, first responders and key transportation and food workers can still perform jobs that cannot be done remotely, the health experts said. A Pence aide said Sunday that the vice president would continue to work and travel, including for campaigning, after his chief of staff and some other close contacts tested positive.

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 13:33:34 -0400
  • Sudan says it will discuss trade, migration with Israel

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    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 13:27:38 -0400
  • Black D.C. archbishop's rise marks a historic moment

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    Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory is set to become the first Black U.S. prelate to assume the rank of cardinal in the Catholic Church, a historic appointment that comes months after nationwide demonstrations against racial injustice. Gregory’s ascension, announced on Sunday by Pope Francis alongside 12 other newly named cardinals, elevates a leader who has drawn praise for his handling of the sexual abuse scandal that has roiled the church. The 72-year-old Gregory, ordained in his native Chicago in 1973, took over leadership of the capital’s archdiocese last year after serving as archbishop of Atlanta since 2005.

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 12:54:22 -0400
  • AP PHOTOS: New virus curfew brings silence to Milan streets

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    After 11 p.m., Milan is a ghost town. Milan, Italy's business hub and the capital of the wealthy Lombardy region, has seen the sharpest rise in infections as the coronavirus once again is spreading out of control. In its latest update, the Health Ministry reported Saturday that more than 1,127 COVID-19 patients were in ICUs across Italy, including 213 in Lombardy.

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 11:21:03 -0400
  • Foreign students show less zeal for US since Trump took over

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    On a recruiting trip to India’s tech hub of Bangalore, Alan Cramb, the president of a reputable Chicago university, answered questions not just about dorms or tuition but also American work visas. The session with parents fell in the chaotic first months of Donald Trump’s presidency. After an inaugural address proclaiming “America first,” two travel bans, a suspended refugee program and hints at restricting skilled worker visas widely used by Indians, parents doubted their children’s futures in the U.S.

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 11:13:16 -0400
  • UK military seizes tanker that reported violent stowaways

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    The U.K. military seized control of an oil tanker that dropped anchor in the English Channel after reporting Sunday it had seven stowaways on board who had become violent. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel authorized the action in response to a police request, the British Ministry of Defense said.

    Sun, 25 Oct 2020 11:05:05 -0400
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