Tag Archives: needed

Ocasio-Cortez tells world's mayors drastic action needed on climate crisis

Ocasio-Cortez tells world's mayors drastic action needed on climate crisisIn a passionate address to leaders of 94 cities in Copenhagen, the congresswoman called ‘runaway’ pursuit of profit unsustainableUS congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warned that tackling the climate crisis will involve making dramatic economic changes in a passionate closing speech at the C40 World Mayors summit in Copenhagen on Friday.In her first overseas appearance as an elected politician, the 29-year-old was invited to speak after the C40, which represents the mayors of 94 cities worldwide, and which this week pledged support for a global version of her flagship Green New Deal policy.“It is unsustainable to continue to believe [in] our system of runaway, unaccountable, lawbreaking pursuit of profit,” she told the conference.Instead, she said, the world needed to adopt “a cooperative, collaborative” system, “whose economy … benefits the middle and lower classes and marginalised people”.“Our current logic created this mess and operating in the same way will not get us out.”This uncompromising message won her a powerful round of applause. But it was when she came to the impact climate change had had on her own life, and on her family in Puerto Rico, that she became emotional. “I speak to you as a human being, a woman whose dreams of motherhood now taste bittersweet because of what I know about our children’s future,” she said, her voice breaking as if she was struggling to hold back tears. “That our actions are responsible for bringing their most dire possibilities into focus.” From the moment she began speaking, the main hall at the summit became completely still, and when she finished, the ovation she received far exceeded that received by the veteran climate campaigner and former vice-president Al Gore, Denmark’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen; or the UN secretary general, António Guterres. “She got a rockstar welcome in that audience,” Nicholas Reece, a city councillor from Melbourne, Australia, said. “There’s just something about her which is really mobilising and electrifying people around the world, particularly young people.” After her speech, Ocasio-Cortez joined the weekly Fridays for Future rally outside Copenhagen city hall, where she called on the gathered activists to “make sure the politicians sweat a little bit”.A substantial crowd, combining local activists with mayors and youth delegates from the summit, had turned out to meet her. “We have to face the oil and coal industry, the CO2-emitting industry, Wall Street, Bolsonaro, Donald Trump,” she said to cheers from the crowd. “We can’t and won’t win by staying home.”Emilie Baliozian, a youth delegate who had come to the summit from Paris, watched Ocasio-Cortez’s speech despite the pounding rain. “It was so empowering. It was clearly directed to us. I know it, she’s going to be president one day, because we’re going to be the voters of tomorrow,” she said. “It’s super cool that she came all this way,” said Selma White, 14, a regular at Copenhagen’s Fridays for Future protests. “It’s really inspiring.” Ocasio-Cortez arrived in Copenhagen on Wednesday morning and immediately began posting images of the city to her 4 million followers on Instagram. She was invited to attend a royal dinner hosted by Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, and his wife, Princess Mary, at the city’s Christiansborg Palace on Thursday evening. But she stayed away from the summit itself until the moment she delivered her speech.• This article was amended on 12 October 2019 to correct the spelling of Emilie Baliozian’s name.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

How much destruction is needed for us to take climate change seriously?

How much destruction is needed for us to take climate change seriously?Whether human civilization stays intact amid this worsening weather depends on recognizing our shared humanity – and designing policy accordingly‘We have more than enough money to fight the climate crisis, at home and abroad. It’s just going to all the wrong places.’ Photograph: Noaa/AFP/Getty ImagesNews of Hurricane Dorian’s first casualty came early on Monday morning from the Bahamas Press. A seven-year old boy named Lachino Mcintosh drowned as his family attempted to find safer ground than their home on the Abaco islands. Dorian is reportedly the strongest hurricane to have ever hit the Bahamas and the second most powerful Atlantic storm on record. Five deaths have been reported so far, and more are likely. The Bahamian MP and minister of foreign affairs, the Honorable Darren Henfield, offered a bleak update form the area he represents to reporters: “We have reports of casualties, we have reports of bodies being seen.”Rising temperatures don’t make hurricanes more frequent, but they do help make them more devastating. Each of the last five years have seen Category 5 storms pass through the Atlantic, brewed over hotter than usual waters. How many more people have to die before political leaders treat climate change like the global catastrophe it is?Donald Trump has been rightly criticized for golfing as Dorian devastated the Bahamas and drifted toward the US. But it’s as good a metaphor as any for the way elites across political lines have approached the crisis they have helped create and continue to fuel. One of the cruelest realities of global warming is that the people whohave done the least to contribute to it tend to be among the first and worst hit. Nations like the United States have amassed tremendous wealth both by burning fossil fuels and exploiting land and labor from the places most threatened by rising temperatures through slavery, colonialism and their living legacies. Similar inequalities play out within nations, including in the US, where most people’s own carbon footprints are dwarfed by those of the billionaires and fossil fuel executives best equipped to insulate themselves from heavy weather.Internationally, climate-vulnerable countries have for decades made the case that more ambition is needed, focusing policymakers’ concerns on to issues of equity. The Bahamas is part of a group within the UN known as the Alliance of Small Island States (Aosis), comprising countries already being hammered by climate impacts who have got comparatively few financial resources to deal with them. The Aosis chair and Maldives energy minister, Thoriq Ibrahim, argued at COP 24 last year that it would “be suicide not to use every lever of power we have to demand what is fair and just: the support we need to manage a crisis that has been thrust upon us”.That support has not been forthcoming. In its special report released last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that keeping warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius – a level already dangerous for low-lying states – would require an annual investment in decarbonization of $ 3tn through 2050. And that’s just to mitigate warming. Trillions more will be required to adapt to the climate impacts already locked in, ensuring that when hurricanes like Dorian do hit they do less damage. Repairing the loss and damage of storms and other disasters is expected to cost $ 300bn a year by 2030, jumping to $ 1.2tn a year by 2060. As the world’s largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases and its biggest economy, the United States has both the ability and an outsized responsibility to decarbonize rapidly and make it possible for countries do the same – a climate debt.Back in 2009, industrialized nations pledged to mobilize $ 100bn toward mitigation and adaptation efforts by 2020, a response to persistent demands from climate justice organizers. As of last September, only $ 3.5bn had actually been allocated to the fund and just $ 10.3bn pledged to the multilateral body that’s supposed to be the main vehicle for dispersing that money, the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Before he left office, Obama promised $ 3bn toward the GCF. Just $ 1bn of that ever materialized before Trump withdrew that vow. That’s a fraction of the estimated $ 15bn a year the federal government spends subsidizing fossil fuel development. At the end of August, the US Import-Export Bank approved $ 5bn in financing for a natural gas project in Mozambique. We have more than enough money to fight the climate crisis, at home and abroad. It’s just going to all the wrong places.Greenhouse gases don’t fit neatly within borders. Efforts to curb them can’t either. Like other wealthy countries, the US has a responsibility to pay its fair share for the damage it’s caused to the planet – not through predatory loans or disastrously managed charity but through solidarity. Bernie Sanders’ plan for a Green New Deal pledges $ 200bn to the GCF, makes climate a centerpiece of American trade and foreign policy and ends fossil fuel financing through institutions like the Import-Export Bank. An extensive, recently released blueprint of a Green New Deal for Europe lays out a rapid and just transition away from fossil fuels, accounting for the emissions rich countries export abroad through trade and the need for a thoroughly democratic response to the climate crisis that doesn’t let the governments who have engineered this crisis call all the shots on how the world handles it.It’ll be tempting, as Dorian drifts toward Florida, for observers in the US to forget the death and destruction it has left behind elsewhere. That would be a mistake. Jeff Bezos’s escape plans notwithstanding, we’re all stuck on this warming planet together. Whether human civilization stays intact amid all this worsening weather depends on recognizing our shared humanity – and designing policy accordingly. Platitudes for the planet won’t cut it. * Kate Aronoff is a freelance journalist covering climate change and US politics



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Venezuela Faces the Loss of Citgo — and Desperately Needed Dollars

Venezuela Faces the Loss of Citgo -- and Desperately Needed Dollars(Bloomberg) — Venezuela could lose its largest U.S. asset after a court allowed a Canadian gold miner to seize shares of Citgo Petroleum Corp.’s parent to satisfy an arbitration award.A U.S. appeals court ruled on Monday that Crystallex International Corp. may seize U.S.-based stock of Citgo’s parent, which is part of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, to cover a $ 1.4 billion award over the nationalization of gold fields.Unless reversed on appeal or blocked by the Trump administration, the decision would allow Crystallex to auction the shares to satisfy Venezuela’s unpaid debt to the Canadian company. That means the country, in the grip of its worst recession, could lose control of the refiner that processes Venezuelan crude into desperately needed hard currency.It also complicates efforts by interim President Juan Guaido to retain control of Venezuelan assets including Citgo while waging a power struggle with current leader Nicolas Maduro for leadership of the country. Guaido has asked U.S. President Donald Trump to bar creditors from seizing the country’s assets.Read More: Venezuela Must Pay $ 1.4 Billion in PDVH Stock to Crystallex“At this stage, the only action that could stop Venezuela from losing Citgo is either a successful U.S. Supreme Court appeal, which appears unlikely, or a decision by Trump to issue an asset-protection order as Guaido has been requesting,” Francisco Rodriguez, chief economist for Torino Capital, said in an interview.“The UN can also help,” added lawmaker Rafael Guzman, part of the opposition-led National Assembly’s finance committee. “We are going to push for all of them.”Guaido and Maduro are battling for control of Citgo by naming conflicting board nominees for its owner, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA. A state-court judge in Delaware will decide who has legal right to appoint directors for the state-run oil company, which owns Citgo.Guaido himself didn’t immediately return calls for comment on the appeals court’s ruling, nor did Jose Ignacio Hernandez, Guaido’s special attorney general, who was appointed to oversee litigation worldwide. Officials of Maduro’s Information Ministry didn’t return calls for comment, either.Read More: Venezuela Told to Give Shares of Citgo Parent to Gold Miner“For too long Venezuela has refused to compensate Crystallex for its illegal seizure of Crystallex’s assets,” Bob Fung, Crystallex’s CEO, said in an emailed statement. He added the court’s ruling was a “crucial step in getting Venezuela finally to honor its legal obligations.”Venezuela’s crisis follows years of Maduro’s and ex-leader Hugo Chavez’s socialist economic policies and the collapse in the country’s all-important oil industry. Venezuelan officials are scrambling to keep their hands on Citgo to rebuild the economy.Guaido, head of the country’s National Assembly, and Maduro, who has the support of the Venezuelan Army, have held talks in Oslo, Norway, seeking to resolve the crisis. The latest round of negotiations were scheduled to take place earlier this month in Barbados.Crystallex’s gold mining operations near Las Cristinas, Venezuela, were seized without compensation in 2011 when Chavez nationalized the country’s gold-mining industry. The company pursued arbitration and won a $ 1.2 billion award plus interest in 2016.Last year, Venezuela officials handed over $ 425 million as partial payment of the arbitration award, but the company couldn’t cut a deal to satisfy the rest of the debt. So Crystallex pushed ahead with efforts to seize shares of Citgo’s parent.Crystallex officials waged a three-year battle to seize shares of PDV Holding Inc., which owns Citgo. PDVSA owns the holding company. A federal judge in Delaware concluded last year that since Venezuela controls PDVSA, shares of Citgo’s parent were fair game to be seized for the debt.The Philadelphia-based appeals court upheld the trial judge’s finding that PDVSA is Venezuela’s alter ego in part because its run by the country’s military and all profits flow to the country’s coffers.|“It has the potential to be a big blow to Venezuela,” Russ Dallen, managing partner of Caracas Capital, said in an interview. “The pool of creditors that can now attack and go after PDVSA is greatly expanded.”Crystallex isn’t the only company that has sued Venezuela over unpaid debts. Investors have sued over $ 65 billion in defaulted bonds while rival ConocoPhillips sued Venezuela over seizure of its oil assets in the country. The U.S. oil giant won a $ 2 billion arbitration award over the nationalized assets. Last year, ConocoPhillips executives got $ 345 million in cash and commodities in settlement after the U.S. company seized some PDVSA assets in the Caribbean.The case is Crystallex International Corp. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. 18-2797, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (Philadelphia).(Adds details throughout.)\–With assistance from Alex Vasquez.To contact the reporters on this story: Jef Feeley in Wilmington, Delaware at jfeeley@bloomberg.net;Bob Van Voris in federal court in Manhattan at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net;Porter Wells in Washington at pwells30@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, ;Jo-El Meyer at jmeyer154@bloomberg.net, Peter JeffreyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

UPDATE 1-Netanyahu says Israel ready for Gaza campaign if needed; Palestinians plan huge march

UPDATE 1-Netanyahu says Israel ready for Gaza campaign if needed; Palestinians plan huge marchGAZA-ISRAEL BORDER, March 28 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israel is prepared to wage a broad military campaign in Gaza if needed, after a two-day flareup of cross-border fighting that has thrust his security policies to the fore two weeks before an election. In Gaza, organizers announced plans for a massive protest on Saturday along the border to mark the anniversary of weekly demonstrations at which Israeli forces have, according to Gaza medical officials, already killed nearly 200 Palestinians. Israel launched air strikes and moved troops and armor reinforcements to the Gaza border this week after a rocket attack from the Hamas Islamist-run enclave wounded seven Israelis in a village north of Tel Aviv on Monday.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Netanyahu says Israel ready for Gaza campaign if needed; Palestinians plan huge march

Netanyahu says Israel ready for Gaza campaign if needed; Palestinians plan huge marchIn Gaza, organizers announced plans for a massive protest on Saturday along the border to mark the anniversary of weekly demonstrations at which Israeli forces have, according to Gaza medical officials, already killed nearly 200 Palestinians. Israel launched air strikes and moved troops and armor reinforcements to the Gaza border this week after a rocket attack from the Hamas Islamist-run enclave wounded seven Israelis in a village north of Tel Aviv on Monday. “All Israelis should know that if a comprehensive campaign is required, we will enter it strong and safe, and after we have exhausted all of the other possibilities,” Netanyahu said after visiting the Gaza frontier and meeting with Israeli commanders.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Malnourished Venezuelans hope urgently needed aid arrives soon

Malnourished Venezuelans hope urgently needed aid arrives soonThe 38-year-old is one of many Venezuelans suffering from malnutrition as the once-prosperous, oil-rich OPEC nation has seen its economy halve in size over the last five years under President Nicolas Maduro. Venezuelans’ diets have become ever more deficient in vitamins and protein, as currency controls restrict food imports and salaries fail to keep apace with inflation that is now above 2 million percent annually. Growing malnutrition is one of the reasons Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido has moved ahead with his plans to bring supplies of food and medicine into Venezuela by land and sea on Saturday, despite resistance from Maduro.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

My special needs students needed their teachers in the classroom — not on the picket line

My special needs students needed their teachers in the classroom — not on the picket lineThe Los Angeles Unified School District strike resulted in historic wins for teachers. But students with disabilities were forced to bear the cost.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Radical Changes Needed to Secure Brexit, EU Tells May

Radical Changes Needed to Secure Brexit, EU Tells May(Bloomberg) — The scale of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit defeat has convinced the European Union to demand she radically rethink the U.K.’s red lines as the bloc signaled its willingness to delay Britain’s withdrawal by many months.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Republicans starting to agree with Democrats that more than a wall is needed to secure the border

Republicans starting to agree with Democrats that more than a wall is needed to secure the borderTexas Republican Rep. Chip Roy says that many of his constituents are concerned for their safety without border security.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

U.K. Says Work Still Needed on EU Brexit Backstop Reassurances

U.K. Says Work Still Needed on EU Brexit Backstop ReassurancesMay “has been in contact with European counterparts over the break and you can expect more of that to continue this week,” her spokeswoman, Alison Donnelly, told reporters in London on Monday. The premier is seeking assurances from the EU on the so-called backstop arrangement for the post-Brexit Irish border. It’s a fallback arrangement to ensure the border stays open even if the EU and U.K. can’t devise a future trade deal.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines