Not all trees are created equal when it comes to fighting climate change – and that some actually may do more harm than good, climate scientists say.
A new study, published Thursday in the journal Science, shows that an expansion of forests towards dark green conifers in Europe has stoked global warming. The findings challenge the widespread view that planting more trees helps human efforts to slow the Earth’s rising temperatures. Apparently, not all trees have the same mitigating effect.
“Two and a half centuries of forest management in Europe have not cooled the climate,” a team of scientists led by France’s Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement wrote.
While the area of Europe’s forests has expanded by 10 percent since 1750, the continent’s summer temperatures have increased 0.12 degree Celsius (0.2 Fahrenheit). The scientists say that’s largely because many nations have planted conifers such as pines and spruces whose dark color traps the sun’s heat.
Lighter-colored broad-leafed trees, such as oak or birch, reflect more sunlight. But fast-growing conifers, which are used for everything from building materials to pulp, have long outpaced them.
The authors of the study said such changes have outweighed the role Europe’s forests have played in curbing global warming by reducing their ability to absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from burning fossil fuels.
Did you actually really think she would turn them over? We have now entered the second stage of Clintonian response. The first is placating you, ‘I’ll look into that’, just to put you off. The second is ‘Everybody else is doing it’ or ‘I really don’t understand what the question is’. The third is ‘This is such old news’ or ‘vast right wing conspiracy’.
Hillary Clinton grew sarcastic on Sunday discussing her oft-criticized paid speeches to the financial industry, saying on ABC’s This Week that she would release the transcripts of them when everyone else who’s given private speeches had.
Clinton remarked at Thursday night’s Democratic debate that she would “look into” releasing them, which many observers viewed as a classic dodge.
Clinton has been slammed by rival Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) for her Wall Street ties, and she has been especially criticized for making $675,000 for just three speeches to Goldman Sachs, all the while claiming she has never been influenced by such large sums of money.
“In the debate the other night, you said you’d look into whether or not to release the transcripts of your speeches to financial groups. Have you made up your mind?” host George Stephanopoulos, a Clinton Foundation donor, asked.
Canada is signalling its willingness to re-engage with Iran by lifting a broad ban on financial services, imports and exports, Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion announced today.
“We’ll keep sanctions to be sure the proliferation or nuclear will not happen in Iran, the same for ballistic missiles,” said Dion. “We’ll engage with Iran, step-by-step, open eyes, because we still have a lot of concerns about the role of Iran in the region including for allies like Israel and also the record of Iran on human rights is very questionable to say the least.
“That’s why we’ll continue to champion a resolution in the United Nations to make sure the government oif Iran will respect human rights of the people of Iran,” he said.
In a statement, Global Affairs Canada said it had amended its “broad-reaching autonomous sanctions against Iran to allow for a controlled economic re-engagement, including lifting the broad ban on financial services, imports and exports,” and had also updated regulations to conform with recent changes to the United Nations sanctions regime.
The UN Security Council approved the lifting of sanctions last month after confirming that Iran had complied with promises it made under an international deal struck six months ago.
“I think it’s good for Israel that Canada will be able to speak with Iran,” Dion said. “It was a mistake to think that isolation is better than engagement. And engagement is not agreement.
“When you disagree with a regime you need to engage in a way that may give positive results. It has been the case when the United States and the other engaged with Iran in a very firm way,” he added.
Step by step
Canada broke off ties with Iran in September, 2012, closing the embassy in Tehran citing concern for the safety of Canadian diplomats and staff. Iranian diplomats in Canada were expelled. Dion said today Canada is considering the restoration of diplomatic contacts.
“That will be done step-by-step, it cannot be done overnight,” Dion said. “We need to engage with the country that we have a lot of suspicions about. So we’ll do it step-by-step.”
The statement, issued by Dion and International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland, says: “Canadian companies will now be able to position themselves for new trade opportunities, but we will also maintain rigorous controls on any exports that raise serious proliferation concerns.”
Speaking to reporters Dion said many areas of the Canadian economy stand to benefit in a renewed relationship with Iran.
The daughter of an octogenarian whose ambulance was diverted during a Black Lives Matter protest last winter on I-93 said the defendants — who today avoided jail time with guilty pleas — treated people like her beloved father as “collateral damage.”
“The foolishness, when you hear about adult diapers and cement and people asking, ‘Please get out of the way,’ and you can hear the ambulances in the background, then I’m angry,”’ said Pauline McDonough of Plainville, whose then 82-year-old father was diverted to a Brockton hospital instead of Boston Medical Center when protesters blocked the highway chaining themselves to cement blocks on Jan. 15, 2015.
Some of the protesters wore adult diapers expecting to snarl traffic for hours, authorities said.
“Once all of the risks that were presented to these individuals and they still chose to disregard that, almost like there was going to be collateral damage. … We believe that Black Lives Matter is certainly a noble cause. … But you know, it’s a bigger picture than that. We have loved ones and all lives matter. And my dad’s life mattered,” McDonough said.
McDonough’s father, Richard McGrath, survived a serious accident that day in Easton but died in August from heart failure.
Ten protesters today pleaded guilty to willfully impending an emergency vehicle and were given six months unsupervised probation and 60 hours of community service even though prosecutors requested 90 days behind bars.
Afterward, the group said they had no remorse.
“We understood that there would be consequences of this action. But we are neither remorseful nor grateful,” said group spokesman Noah McKenna. He said the “real story” is the systemic violence against black bodies.
Tommy Chong, the irreverent comedian who has dazzled audiences for decades, said he learned a thing or two behind bars that informed his decision to pick Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.
Chong, one half of the “Cheech & Chong” pot-themed comedy duo and a regular on “That 70s Show,” received a nine-month sentence in 2003 for selling bongs online. In an interview with the Washington Examiner, he explained that his criminal history assisted his decision to support Sanders over Clinton.
“I got like a lie detector from being around as long as I have, especially being in prison,” Chong said. “I met with a lot of con artists and they would say things they knew you wanted to hear, but Bernie he says things that are real and without judgment.”
Chong said his “lie detector” does begin to spike when he listens to Clinton talk sometimes.
Newly uncovered internal memos reveal the Obama administration knowingly exaggerated charges of racial discrimination in probes of Ally Bank and other defendants in the $900 billion car-lending business as part of a “racial justice” campaign that’s looking more like a massive government extortion and shakedown operation.
So far, Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has reached more than $220 million in settlements with several auto lenders since the agency launched its anti-discrimination crusade against the industry in 2013. Several other banks are under active investigation.
That’s despite the fact that the CFPB had no actual complaints of racial discrimination — it was all just based on half-baked statistics.
A confidential 23-page internal report detailing CFPB’s strategy for going after lenders shows why these companies are forking over millions of dollars in restitution and fines to the government despite denying any wrongdoing.
Affluenza teen Ethan Couch is now in “big-boy jail.”
Following a judge’s order Friday morning, the teen was moved from a juvenile detention facility to adult jail in downtown Fort Worth, Sheriff Dee Anderson said.
He was denied bail and is being housed in the Tarrant County Jail’s maximum-security unit after undergoing a medical screening.
“He’s getting ready to be 19 years old. He’s an adult. He doesn’t need to be housed with juveniles,” Anderson said. “I would feel comfortable with him in a more secure environment, obviously.”
Couch gained notoriety after he was sentenced to 10 years’ probation for killing four people in a drunken-driving crash in 2013. He made national headlines again in December, when he fled to Mexico with his mother, Tonya, apparently to avoid punishment after a video that appeared to show him violating probation went viral.
Mexican authorities returned him to Texas last week after he dropped his legal fight to remain in that country.
A hearing will be conducted Feb. 12 to determine whether Couch will remain in the jail.
Tonya Couch didn’t fight extradition to the U.S. and was brought back to North Texas on Jan. 7. She faces a charge of hindering apprehension of a felon. She is free after posting bail but is under house arrest at the home of another son.
On Feb. 19, juvenile court Judge Timothy Menikos is scheduled to hear arguments about moving Couch’s case to adult court, where prosecutors said he would face harsh punishment if he violates his probation again.
From the moment Couch vanished, Tarrant County officials expressed a desire to have the teen behind bars.
“Any mess-ups from now on, he’s going to be over with us,” Terry Grisham, spokesman for the Tarrant County sheriff’s office, said in December. “He’s going to see what the big-boy jail is like.”
Ohio Gov. John Kasich joked that he should run in the Democratic primary instead of the GOP one after a Democrat in New Hampshire told Kasich he was the only Republican he’d consider supporting, CBS reported Saturday.
“I ought to be running in the Democrat primary, I got more Democrats for me,” Kasich said. “You have any Republican friends?”
Later on, he became the first candidate to hit the 100-town-hall milestone in New Hampshire, which was celebrated at a crowded town hall on Friday night with “funfetti show” machine and Market Basket sheet cakes. The White Stripes rock song “Seven Nation Army” blared as Kasich bounded onto the stage after an introduction from Mike Vrabel, a former New England Patriots linebacker.
“That has never happened before in American history,” Kasich remarked about the indie hit being played at a Republican town hall.
“New Hampshire has changed me,” he said, taking a moment to reflect.g
“Everyone is beginning to talk about Kasich running a positive campaign, can it work? It would be really cool if it worked. And it if it doesn’t, I’m blaming all of you,” he joked.
Kasich also joked with a ballot counter that he came across:
During a stop at Manchester’s Puritan Backroom Restaurant, Kasich made his way through a swarm of fans.
“Can’t you just stuff the ballot for me?” Kasich joked to a woman who told him she was a ballot counter.
“I won’t tell anyone — consider it done,” she replied back to him.
The rape and violence crisis attributed to the influx of “refugees” may not be a problem exclusive to European countries. According to at least one woman, it’s already started in the U.S.
Karen Sherman recently moved to Missoula, Montana, and stood in front of the local courthouse Monday to warn residents about the “civil unrest” they might be facing should the Obama administration’s plans to plant foreign migrants in the town go through, WND reported.
More than 120 protesters gathered to hear Sherman’s account of what happened in her former hometown of Amarillo, Texas.
“Amarillo is overrun with refugees,” Sherman said. She claimed the refugees have been given preferential treatment ahead of Americans to get benefits. “Now they’re expecting us to give them cars,” she said.
Having recently moved from Texas to Montana, Sherman is sounding the alarm to what she believes will be a grave mistake should Missoula accept refugees.
Feminist Gloria Steinem said something not very feminist Friday, suggesting that the reason younger women voters are supporting Bernie Sanders more than Hillary Clinton is because they want to impress boys.
Appearing on HBO’s left-wing talk show Real Time, Steinem and host Bill Maher got into a discussion about why Clinton is struggling so much with younger voters, including women, despite Clinton’s supposedly historic candidacy.
Sanders recently annihilated Clinton among younger voters in the Iowa caucus, winning by 70 points.
“When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys?’” Steinem said. “The boys are with Bernie.”
Even the famously politically incorrect Maher took exception to Steinem’s generalization, saying Steinem would have slapped him if he’d made such a remark.
“Oooh,” Maher said, as the crowd tittered. “Now if I said that, yeah, they’re for Bernie because that’s where the boys are, you’d swat me, come on.”
“No, no,” Steinem protested. “I wouldn’t because boys are saying where–I mean, hello? How well do you know me?”
“Not that well,” Maher said. “I’d love to know you better.”
Steinem, a Clinton supporter, has actually backed Sanders in the past. She helped him in a 1996 re-election fight when he was in the House of Representatives, appearing alongside him and anointing him an “honorary woman.”
Steinem also backed Clinton in 2008, when she was defeated in the Democratic primary by a man named Barack Obama.
Syria will see any incursion on its territory as an act of aggression, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Saturday, days after Saudi Arabia announced it was ready to send in ground troops.
“Any ground intervention on Syrian land without the agreement of the Syrian government is an act of aggression … we regret that those (who invade) will return to their countries in coffins,” al-Moualem told journalists.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A prominent Democratic donor worried about the party’s chances of winning the presidency emailed dozens of fans of Vice President Joe Biden on Friday, urging them to remain prepared to donate if Biden jumps into the race.
The donor, Bill Bartmann, cited new polling showing Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont nearly tied with the Hillary Clinton, eroding the 30-point lead the former secretary of state held at the end of last year. Bartmann and other party insiders are concerned that Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic socialist, is too far to the left to win against a Republican in the Nov. 8 presidential election.
“We cannot afford to lose the White House,” Bartmann wrote in the email, seen by Reuters.
The email drew a string of affirmative responses, also seen by Reuters.
Biden announced in October that he would not seek the presidency, despite support from a group of backers under the name “Draft Biden 2016.” But whispers have continued among some donors who hope that Biden could be convinced to run after all should Clinton’s campaign prove fruitless.
Should be interesting tonight with everyone jockeying for position in New Hampshire. The ones that haven’t factored too much, Bush, Christie and Kasich, have made real pushes in New Hampshire trying to make a dent there. So far, it appears the only one making any kind of headway is Kasich, who is still behind the top three in most polls.
Kasich: I’ve done 100 town halls, I’ve had your hugs, seen your tears. I have a positive message about how we can lift everyone.
Christie: I’ve spent the last 13 years of my life serving the nation. I’m proud to be on stage with these men. I’ve spent 70 days with the people of NH. If you give me your vote on Tuesday I will just that.
Bush: I want to celebrate Reagan whose birthday is today. We need someone to take that positive message forward. I believe I have those skills.
Carson: Media has tried to ignore or bury me. I believe there is still a place for faith, integrity and common sense.
Rubio: My kids joined me this week on the campaign trail and it reminded me of what we are fighting for. [shows kids on the screen].
Cruz: I stood against the ethanol subsidy even though it was unpopular, even though media said that it would fail in Iowa. And we won in Iowa. If elected I will stand with the people against he Washington corruption of both parties.
Trump: That’s because you took Ben Carson’s votes [booed]. If I am elected we will win, win, win.
Rubio: Hillary, Dems are for partial birth abortion. They are the extremists not us.
Christie: I pulled funding for PP in NJ. But I am for abortion in case of rape and incest. It’s an act of self-defense. [against the child?]
Q: Hostages, should families be allowed to raise money for ransom.
Cruz: it’s a horrible situation for families, but there’s a reason it’s been a longstanding policy. If you look at what Obama has done, it puts a bounty on Americans traveling abroad. [misstates Bergdahl’s name as James Bergdahl]
T: you can’t negotiate with terrorists, otherwise you will have so many other James Foleys.
B: we need to give vets more choices, to be able to go to private provider. Career civil service reform.
K: bla bla bla
Q: Do you believe that women should be required to sign up for selective service?
B: [he didn’t understand what she was asking him] sure I do. they should have the right to participate in anything they are able to do.
[See he didn’t understand what ‘selective service meant, oh lord.] Read all »
Of course, Debs and the Democrats had been hiding Granny away on Saturday nights until Bernie began kicking her ass. Then and only then did Deb see the need to have more debates, despite many on the Democratic side begging for them for months.
Federal authorities are accusing a Dearborn Heights man of supporting Islamic State extremists and planning to “shoot up” a Detroit church.
Khalil Abu-Rayyan, 21, hasn’t been charged with terrorism-related crimes but faces federal charges of illegally having a firearm while using a controlled substance.
But a complaint unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court reveals the FBI has been investigating him since May “regarding increasingly violent threats he has made to others about committing acts of terror and martyrdom — including brutal acts against police officers, churchgoers and others — on behalf of the foreign terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.”
Besides allegedly using Twitter to express support for the terror group — often referred to as ISIS or ISIL — Abu-Rayyan reportedly told an undercover FBI employee about a plot to target a church.
“I tried to shoot up a church one day,” Abu-Rayyan is quoted as saying in court records. “I don’t know the name of it, but it’s close to my job. It’s one of the biggest ones in Detroit. Ya, I had it planned out. I bought a bunch of bullets. I practiced a lot with it. I practiced reloading and unloading. But my dad searched my car one day, and he found everything. He found the gun and the bullets and a mask I was going to wear.”
Investigators didn’t name the church Abu-Rayyan allegedly eyed, but claim the property covers about two blocks less than half a mile from his work and can accommodate up to 6,000 members. He allegedly purchased a gun and told an undercover FBI employee that attacking a church would be “easy.”
Hillary Clinton used misleading language in Thursday night’s Democratic debate to describe the ongoing FBI investigation into her use of a private email server to conduct official government business while she was secretary of state, according to former senior FBI agents.
In the New Hampshire debate with Senator Bernie Sanders, which aired on MSNBC, Clinton told moderator Chuck Todd that nothing would come of the FBI probe, “I am 100 percent confident. This is a security review that was requested. It is being carried out.”
Not true says Steve Pomerantz, who spent 28 years at the FBI, and rose from field investigative special agent to the rank of assistant director, the third highest position in the Bureau.
“They (the FBI) do not do security reviews,” Pomerantz said. “What they primarily do and what they are clearly doing in this instance is a criminal investigation.”
Noela Rukundo sat in a car outside her home, watching as the last mourners filed out. They were leaving a funeral — her funeral.
Finally, she spotted the man she’d been waiting for. She stepped out, and her husband put his hands on his head in horror.
“Surprise! I’m still alive!”
The man looked terrified. Five days ago, he had ordered a team of hit men to kill Rukundo, his partner of 10 years. And they did — well, they told him they did.
Now here was his wife, standing before him. “I’m sorry for everything,” he wailed.
But it was far too late for apologies; Rukundo called the police. The husband, Balenga Kalala, ultimately pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine years in prison for incitement to murder, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
The happy ending — or, as happy as can be expected to a saga in which a man tries to have his wife killed — was made possible by three unusually principled hit men, a helpful pastor and one incredibly gutsy woman: Rukundo herself.
Here is how she pulled it off:
Rukundo’s ordeal began almost exactly a year ago, when she flew from her home in Melbourne with her husband, Kalala, to attend a funeral in her native Burundi. Her stepmother had died, and the service left her saddened and stressed. She retreated to her hotel room. Then her husband called.