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'Not the greatest crisis': Trump's EPA pick downplays climate threat

'Not the greatest crisis': Trump's EPA pick downplays climate threatTrump nominated EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler last week to run the agency permanently, seeking a strong advocate for his pro-fossil fuels agenda - a choice that cheered business interests and drawn scorn from environmentalists. "I would not call it the greatest crisis," Wheeler said at his confirmation hearing when asked if he believed the increasingly urgent warnings from scientists about the threats from global warming. Wheeler's confirmation is expected to sail through the Republican-controlled Senate despite Democratic opposition.




POSTED JANUARY 17, 2019 5:27 AM

Kenya attack: At least six killed in Nairobi hotel complex terror siege

Kenya attack: At least six killed in Nairobi hotel complex terror siegeIslamist terrorists detonated explosives and fired automatic weapons as they mounted a deadly attack on a hotel and business complex frequented by Westerners in Nairobi on Tuesday. Six people have been confirmed killed in the attack, while a Kenyan police officer told reporters 15 bodies had been taken to the mortuary. A mortuary worker added that identification papers indicated that 11 were Kenyan, one was American and one was British, while the other two did not have documents on them. Nationalities of the dead remain unconfirmed. Hundreds more remained trapped inside buildings  16 hours after the attack began. Local security forces freed scores of civilians as they fought their way into the grounds of 14 Riverside, a compound housing a hotel, restaurant, bars and office blocks in the city’s Westlands district.  But the reported six gunmen were still in control of parts of the five-star Dusit Hotel, part of a Thai-owned international chain that appeared to be the chief target of the attackers. The Somali militant group al-Shabaab, which has longstanding ties to al-Qaeda, claimed credit for the attack, revisiting the city in which they killed 67 people during an attack on the Westgate shopping mall in 2013. Cars are seen on fire at the scene of explosions and gunshots in Nairobi Credit: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya Just as at Westgate, barely a mile way, this was a carefully chosen target designed to bring terror to one of the prosperous parts of an increasingly prosperous city and target Westerners and rich Kenyans alike. Several multinational firms, from America’s Colgate Palmolive to the German chemical giant BASF housed their local headquarters at 14 Riverside. Several British firms were also based there, the consultancy groups Control Risks and Adam Smith International among them. From the outset it was clear that this was a highly sophisticated attack. A suicide bomber blew himself up close to the entrance as two vehicles carrying the attackers breached a security barrier, regarded as one of the most efficient in Nairobi, at the entrance to the complex. Some of the attackers, lobbing grenades and firing automatic rifles, reportedly killed several people at the Secret Garden restaurant, a spot popular for business meetings close to the restaurant, before continuing on to the Dusit hotel.  “There was a big bang and then a lot of gunfire, up to 100 shots or more,” said Philip Coulson, a lawyer working in a nearby office block. “Later, I saw people fleeing and others being carried out with looks of pain or anguish on their face.” Terrified office workers in the complex’s five blocks, said to house more than 1,000 employees, hid under desks and barricaded doors. Others, caught in the open, ran frantically for cover.  “Run, run!” one man shouted from behind a low wall as colleagues stumbled on lawns and crawled along the ground in a desperate bid for safety as shots rang out. “Down! Down!” Extremists launched a deadly attack on a luxury hotel in Kenya's capital  Credit: AP Photo/Brian Inganga Kenya’s security forces earned an ignominious reputation during the Westgate attack, after army units were accused of opening fire on their police colleagues, killing the officer in charge and then embarking on a looting spree. But this time, the initial response appeared more professional and coordinated. Army and police units, assisted by emergency crews, were quick to seal off the perimeter and rescue people from the office blocks, at least some of which appeared to be ignored by the attackers. Many were rescued within hours, fleeing under armed guard with their hands in the air before streaming in their scores across a footbridge to the safety of a nearby university campus. Everywhere signs of extreme emotion were visible. Shaking and often weeping, some survivors — mostly Kenyan, but some Westerners too — embraced anxious relatives waiting outside the police cordon. Others sank to the ground and gave thanks to God. Security forces at the scene in Nairobi Credit: AP Photo/Ben Curtis “After the first blast, after we saw the restaurant had been blown up, we ran and hid under tables,” said Elizabeth Maina, an employee at AC Nielsen, an American global research firm housed in the Belgravia building close to the entrance. “There was shooting everywhere. We called and sent messages to the police. After an hour, we saw men in uniforms and plain clothes enter the room. They shouted ‘police, police’ and led us out.” Workers in office blocks, with plenty of hiding places and lockable doors, were always more likely to survive. Those in the hotel, whose foyer opens out onto a restaurant, bar and swimming pool, would have had much less of a chance — as their attackers surely knew. Just how high the death toll could be is unlikely to become clear until the attack is over, although witnesses said they saw at least five bodies and reported body parts strewn on the ground outside the hotel. “There was no time to count the dead but it is true that there are people who have died,” said one police officer involved in the operation. A woman is reunited with her family after her evacuation from DusitD2 compound Credit: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images Kenya has long been in al-Shabaab’s sights, even before it sent troops across the border into Somalia in 2011 in an attempt to root out the militants behind the abductions of Western tourists on the Kenyan coast, Britons among them.  In 1998, an al Qaeda attack, which involved a number of Somalis, on the American embassy in Nairobi killed more than 200 people. The number of attacks soared after 2011.  Westgate aside, 147 students were killed in an attack on a university in the northern town in Garissa in 2015 while scores more had previously died when suspected al Shabaab militants struck at villages on the northern Kenyan coast. Improved intelligence, aided by tactical and training support from Britain, has seen a halt to large-scale attacks since 2015, although often deadly ambushes on Kenyan forces near the Somali border remain frequent. Despite mounting domestic opposition and al-Shabaab attacks on their bases, Kenyan forces remain in Somalia. The attack on 14 Riverside came on the third anniversary of an al-Shabaab attack on a Kenyan military base in the Somali town of El Adde. Kenya has refused to release details of the death toll, but analysts say they believe more than 140 Kenyan soldiers were killed.




POSTED JANUARY 15, 2019 11:29 PM

Charter school educators back striking Los Angeles teachers

Charter school educators back striking Los Angeles teachersLOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles school administrators urged the union to resume bargaining as thousands of teachers walked picket lines for a second day Tuesday, joined for the first time by some of their counterparts from independent charter schools.




POSTED JANUARY 15, 2019 8:38 PM

'Indefensible.' Why Republicans Finally Condemned Steve King

'Indefensible.' Why Republicans Finally Condemned Steve KingWhen Rep. Steve King wondered aloud when white supremacy became offensive, he crossed a line for many in the Republican Party.




POSTED JANUARY 15, 2019 10:09 PM

'We're going to electrify the F-Series,' Ford exec says

'We're going to electrify the F-Series,' Ford exec saysFord F-150 and Super Duty surprises are in the works as Ford executives lay out plans for strengthening the company.




POSTED JANUARY 17, 2019 10:19 AM

Enes Kanter: Turkey 'seeking arrest' of New York Knicks player

Enes Kanter: Turkey 'seeking arrest' of New York Knicks playerTurkish prosecutors are seeking the arrest and extradition of New York Knicks enter Enes Kanter, accusing him pf being a member of an "armed terrorist group". Mr Kanter is accused of ties to Fethullah Gulen, who Turkish authorities allege is behind the failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016, the Daily Sabah reported. Mr Gulen has repeatedly denied any involved in the failed coup.




POSTED JANUARY 16, 2019 7:20 PM

Procter & Gamble’s Toxic Sanctimony

Procter & Gamble’s Toxic SanctimonyRecognized around the world as a symbol of manly civility for more than a century, Gillette will now be remembered as the company that did itself in by sacrificing a massive consumer base at the altar of progressivism. In case you hadn’t seen or heard: Parent company Procter & Gamble launched a Gillette ad campaign blanket-demonizing men as ogres and bullies. At home and at work, in the boardroom, on the playground, and even while barbecuing in the backyard, Gillette sees nothing but testosterone-driven trouble.




POSTED JANUARY 16, 2019 6:30 AM

New York's Gillibrand Takes First Step Toward Presidential Race

New York's Gillibrand Takes First Step Toward Presidential RaceGillibrand plans to make stops this weekend in Iowa, where caucuses a little more than a year from now will mark the start of the nominating race. Gillibrand has positioned herself as a leader of the #MeToo movement. “I’ll fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own, which is why I believe health care should be a right and not a privilege,” Gillibrand said, listing her reasons for running.




POSTED JANUARY 15, 2019 6:43 PM

'El Chapo' paid former Mexican president $100 million bribe: trial witness

'El Chapo' paid former Mexican president $100 million bribe: trial witnessAlex Cifuentes, who has described himself as Guzman's onetime right-hand man, discussed the alleged bribe under cross-examination.




POSTED JANUARY 15, 2019 6:16 PM

In third year, U.S. women's marches turn to 2020 elections

In third year, U.S. women's marches turn to 2020 electionsMillions of people took part in the women's marches in Washington and other cities in the United States and abroad on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after the Republican president was sworn in. Vanessa Wruble, a co-founder of the original Women's March on Washington who left to start March On, a separate grassroots coalition, said the movement has evolved from being a reaction to Trump's presidency. Women's March, a national nonprofit organization that evolved from the initial Washington march, is using its #WomensWave marches in Washington and elsewhere on Saturday to roll out a 10-part policy platform that includes raising the federal minimum wage and protecting reproductive rights.




POSTED JANUARY 17, 2019 3:11 PM

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