Climate change: COP24 deal to bring Paris pact to life

Negotiators in Poland have finally secured agreement on a range of measures that will make the Paris climate pact operational in 2020. Last-minute rows over carbon markets threatened to derail the meeting – and delayed it by a day. Delegates believe the new rules will ensure that countries keep their promises to cut carbon. The Katowice agreement aims to deliver the Paris goals of limiting global temperature rises to well below 2C. « Putting together the Paris agreement work programme is a big responsibility, » said the chairman of the…

Climate change talks agree details to implement Paris deal

Nearly 200 nations have agreed rules on implementing the 2015 Paris agreement. After marathon talks in Katowice, Poland, the rulebook was approved unanimously on Saturday evening. The final session was delayed by more than 30 hours amid an ongoing stand-off over the question of carbon credits and carbon markets to reduce emissions. Rich nations often reduce emissions by paying for carbon-cutting projects in other countries. But these programmes are very difficult to police. Source: BBC

French ‘yellow vests’ protest in their thousands for fifth Saturday

PARIS (Reuters) – Thousands of protesters took to the streets of French cities on Saturday in the fifth weekend of demonstrations against Emmanuel Macron’s government, ignoring calls to hold off after a gun attack in Strasbourg this week. In Paris, police were out in force to contain outbursts of violence. But the demonstrations were noticeably smaller than in previous weeks, possibly a response to the Strasbourg attack or to the cold, rainy weather. Police fired water cannon and teargas in the afternoon to disperse groups of protesters in sporadic, brief…

Marijuana and CBD companies can’t advertise on Facebook and Google, so they’re getting creative

David Bozin used to get cuts and scratches on his arms when it came time to bathe his golden retriever, Jax, who rebelled against the prospect of being dunked in water. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Then he learned that dogs, like humans, respond to the properties of cannabidiol, also known as CBD, a cannabis compound that helps the body relax without producing intoxicating effects. Bozin got to work on a line of CBD-infused dog products, including a dry shampoo and puppy treats, that he calls ZenPup. But in…

Thousands of French ‘yellow vests’ protest for fifth Saturday

PARIS (Reuters) – Thousands of protesters took to the streets of French cities on Saturday in the fifth weekend of nationwide demonstrations against Emmanuel Macron’s government, despite calls to hold off after a gun attack in Strasbourg earlier this week. In Paris, police were out in force to contain outbursts of violence. But the demonstrations were noticeably smaller than in previous weeks, possibly a response to the Strasbourg attack or to the cold, rainy weather. Police fired water cannon and teargas in the afternoon to disperse groups of protesters in…

Australia recognises West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, embassy not moving yet

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia formally recognises West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reversing decades of Middle East policy, but will not move its embassy there immediately, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday. Israel described the move as a step in the right direction. Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said the announcement was born of Australian “petty domestic politics.” “Australia now recognises West Jerusalem, being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of government, is the capital of Israel,” Morrison said. “We look forward to moving our embassy…

Qatar is ‘counting on’ Kuwait and other allies to resolve Gulf crisis, foreign minister says

Kuwait maintains an important role in reuniting the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries amid the ongoing blockade of Qatar, Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani said Saturday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « The (Kuwait) Emir has had a big leadership role in calming the situation which is highly appreciated by Qatar. We continue to count on the role of Kuwait and on the countries in the region to bring it back together, » the minister told attendees at the annual Doha Forum. Relations between the…

France ‘yellow vest’ protesters defy government to gather

« Yellow vest » protesters have gathered in Paris and other cities for a fifth consecutive Saturday of demonstrations. About 69,000 police have been mobilised across France to prevent a repeat of the violence of previous weeks. The movement, initially against a rise in fuel taxes, now addresses other issues, including education reforms. Protesters defied a government call to suspend the action following Tuesday’s attack on Strasbourg’s Christmas market where a gunman killed four people. Seven people have died in the « gilets jaunes » (yellow vest) protests so far,…

Fire at Chester Zoo leads to evacuation of visitors

Media playback is unsupported on your device Visitors were evacuated from Chester Zoo when a large fire broke out in one of its attractions. The zoo tweeted the blaze was in its Monsoon Forest habitat. One person was treated for the effects of smoke inhalation but there were no other reports of injuries. Fifteen fire crews have been tackling the blaze. In a statement, the zoo said: « Sumatran orangutans and other mammals are all accounted for. We are working hard to account for all other species. » Police said…

Brexit: Theresa May told not to ‘run down clock’ on deal

Theresa May is trying to « run down the clock » and minimise Parliament’s role in Brexit, a former minister has said. Jo Johnson – who resigned as transport minister over the PM’s handling of negotiations – said MPs should be given a vote on her Brexit deal next week. His comments come as Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said it is still possible to get « a version » of Mrs May’s Brexit deal approved by Parliament. Another cabinet minister, Amber Rudd, called for cross-party co-operation. MPs were due to…

Ryan Zinke: US interior secretary to leave administration

US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is leaving his post at the end of the year, President Donald Trump says, in the latest high profile departure from his administration. In a tweet, President Trump thanked Mr Zinke for his service, saying he had « achieved much during his tenure ». He said he would appoint a new interior secretary next week. Mr Zinke, an ex-Navy Seal and a former Montana congressman, has been embroiled in allegations of ethics violations. The White House revolving door: Who’s gone? Trump’s cabinet: The people around…

Mother and daughter, 8, die in Nottinghamshire fire

A mother aged 33 and her eight-year-old daughter have died in a house fire in Nottinghamshire. A 34-year-old man and a young boy were taken to hospital with serious injuries and a woman aged 53 escaped unhurt. Police believe they were members of the same family. Police and fire crews were called to the fire in Woodhill Road, Collingham, near Newark, shortly after 07:00 GMT. A section of the road has been blocked off while an investigation takes place. Four crews tackled the blaze, which has now been extinguished. ‘Hit…

Robinhood plans to re-brand its new 3 percent savings account after widespread critcism

div > div.group > p:first-child »> Financial technology startup Robinhood is re-launching a new savings account plan that came under withering scrutiny from regulators, and drew accusations about potentially misleading investors. In a blog post released Friday, Robinhood’s founders acknowledged that its new plan, which aimed to offer no-fee checking and savings accounts with no minimums, ATM fees, penalty charges or foreign transaction fees, « may have caused some confusion. » The plan was announced with great fanfare on Thursday, but immediately came under fire from Wall Street and federal…

Tech from self-driving cars could solve border security without Trump’s $5 billion wall

The U.S.-Mexico border stretches 1,954 miles. About 700 of those miles have some sort of barricade or fence. The rest of the border is rugged landscapes and natural barriers like the Rio Grande River. div > div.group > p:first-child »> While the debate over Donald Trump’s proposed wall continues, government money is flowing, and tech companies are looking to cash in. Companies like Quanergy and Anduril are working on electronic border solutions that would be more effective and cheaper for taxpayers than building a physical wall. CNBC traveled to the…

Europe must fight illiberal forces, Draghi warns

PISA, Italy (Reuters) – The spread of illiberal ideology is threatening the euro but it is an illusion that leaving it would offer an easier path, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Saturday. European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi speaks during a news conference at ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany December 13, 2018. REUTERS/Kai PfaffenbachWarning that a half-finished monetary union could be at risk in the next crisis, Draghi made the case for sweeping changes in how the currency bloc operates and spreads around financial risk. “The…

U.N. climate talks run into overtime, but deal « in reach »

KATOWICE, Poland (Reuters) – United Nations’ climate talks to agree on the rules of the 2015 Paris Agreement dragged on into an extra day on Saturday as ministers tried to overcome the last political hurdles after working through the night. Participants take part in plenary session, during the final day of the COP24 U.N. Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland, December 14, 2018. REUTERS/Kacper PempelThe schedule for the closing plenary, when sparks could fly among nations if there are issues in the text still open to opposition, has been…

‘Yellow-vest’ protesters defy government to gather in Paris

« Yellow vest » protesters have gathered on the Champs-Elysées in Paris for a fifth consecutive weekend of demonstrations. Thousands of police will be deployed in case of violent clashes and disruptions that have marked previous protests. The movement began five weeks ago, initially against a rise in fuel taxes, but has since spread to take in other issues, including education reforms. Dozens of people have already been arrested this Saturday. However, so far the number of arrests is much lower than the 500 made around the same time last…

‘Yellow-vest’ protesters gather on Paris Champs-Elysées

« Yellow vest » protesters have gathered on the Champs-Elysées in Paris for a fifth consecutive weekend of demonstrations. Thousands of police will be deployed in case of violent clashes and disruptions that have marked previous protests. The movement began five weeks ago, initially against a rise in fuel taxes, but has since spread to take in other issues, including education reforms. Dozens of people have already been arrested this Saturday. However, so far the number of arrests is much lower than the 300 made around the same time last…

Australia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but embassy not moving yet

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia formally recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reversing decades of Middle East policy, but will not move its embassy there immediately, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday. Palestinians pass by a section of the controversial Israeli barrier on their way to attend Friday prayer of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma “Australia now recognizes West Jerusalem, being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of government,…

Ukraine Orthodox priests to establish independent church

Ukrainian Orthodox priests are due to hold a historic council in Kiev to create a new national church – a move condemned as schism by Russian clergy. This comes after the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodoxy, recognised the independence of the Ukrainian Church from Moscow. In protest, the Russian Orthodox Church cut ties with Constantinople. It also fears that its churches in Ukraine could be seized. Orthodox Church split: Five reasons why it matters What about the council in Kiev? It will be held…

Federal judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional

(Reuters) – A federal judge in Texas on Friday ruled the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, was unconstitutional based on its mandate requiring that people buy health insurance, a decision in a case that could reach the U.S. Supreme Court. A sign on an insurance store advertises Obamacare in San Ysidro, San Diego, California, U.S., October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Mike BlakeU.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth agreed with a coalition of 20 states that a change in tax law last year eliminating a penalty for not having…

Australia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: PM Morrison

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia formally recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reversing decades of Middle East policy, but will not move its embassy there immediately, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday. Palestinians pass by a section of the controversial Israeli barrier on their way to attend Friday prayer of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma “Australia now recognizes West Jerusalem, being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of government,…

‘Forge Brexit consensus,’ UK MPs urged

MPs across the political divide should « abandon outrage » and attempt to « forge a consensus » over Brexit, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has said. In the Daily Mail, Ms Rudd wrote: « Brexit is in danger of getting stuck ». It comes after the PM’s bid to make her Brexit deal more acceptable to MPs suffered a blow when EU leaders said it was « not open for renegotiation ». Meanwhile, ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage has told the BBC that he thinks there might be another…

Strasbourg Christmas market shooting: Fourth victim dies

A fourth victim has died following the gun attack on the Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg, the Paris prosecutor’s office has said. He was named as Italian journalist Antonio Megalizzi by Italy’s PM. The suspect in Tuesday’s attack, Cherif Chekatt, was shot dead by a police patrol after he opened fire from a doorway on Thursday evening. The Christmas market reopened to the public on Friday and was visited by President Emmanuel Macron. Italian PM Giuseppe Conte tweeted (in Italian) his profound sorrow for the death of…

Brexit: Amber Rudd urges MPs to ‘forge a consensus’

MPs across the political divide should « abandon outrage » and attempt to « forge a consensus » over Brexit, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has said. In the Daily Mail, Ms Rudd wrote: « Brexit is in danger of getting stuck ». It comes after the PM’s bid to make her Brexit deal more acceptable to MPs suffered a blow when EU leaders said it was « not open for renegotiation ». Meanwhile, ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage has told the PCF that he thinks there might be another…

Trump names new acting chief of staff

US President Donald Trump has named Mick Mulvaney, the director of the office of management and budget, as acting White House chief of staff. Mr Mulvaney, 51, replaces General John Kelly, who is leaving by the end of the year. In a tweet, Mr Trump described Mr Kelly as a « great patriot », who had served the country with distinction. But earlier this year, General Kelly was forced to deny he had called Mr Trump an « idiot ». This came after the quote was included in a book…

Australia recognises West Jerusalem as Israeli capital

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that his government will recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. However, he said Australia’s embassy would not move from Tel Aviv, until a peace settlement was achieved. He added Australia also recognised the aspirations of the Palestinians to a state with a capital in East Jerusalem. The status of Jerusalem is one of the most contested issues between Israel and the Palestinians. US President Donald Trump drew international criticism last year when he reversed decades of American foreign policy by recognising…

Hastings cliff fall: Rock crashes into bedroom

A large rock which fell from a cliff came crashing into the bedroom of a seafront flat. The occupant of the first-floor flat, in Hastings, East Sussex, was not at home when two boulders weighing several tonnes tumbled into a building on Thursday. One caused damage to the room, while the other landed on the flat roof of a ground floor shop in White Rock. Fire crews evacuated the building and deemed it structurally unsafe. Hastings Borough Council said the tenant of the flat had been found alternative accommodation along…

Johnson & Johnson shares drop after asbestos report

Shares in Johnson & Johnson plunged more than 10% on Friday, after Reuters reported that the US pharmaceutical giant had known about asbestos tainting its talcum powder for decades. The report comes as the company faces thousands of lawsuits claiming that its talc products caused cancer. Reuters’ review of documents found the company was aware of trace amounts of asbestos since at least 1971. J&J lawyers said: « Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is safe and asbestos-free. « The Reuters article is one-sided, false and inflammatory. Simply put, the Reuters…

Ivory Coast painter gives new life to e-waste

ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Desire Koffi often walks through Koumassi, a popular district of Ivory Coast’s main city Abidjan, to collect old mobile phones that he buys from people for 500 CFA francs ($0.8726) a pair. Back home, the 24-year-old Ivorian artist dismantles the phones with a hammer to pull out the screens and keyboards. He uses them for his paintings. One can take him up to three or five days of work. Koffi grew up in Koumassi and says he was drawn to recycling and incorporating e-waste in his art, after…