Worlds biggest investor accused of dragging feet on climate crisis

BlackRock, which controls $6.5tn in assets, urged to use its influence on planets biggest polluters When a letter from BlackRocks founder and chief executive, Larry Fink, landed in inboxes in January saying that the worlds biggest investor would no longer invest in companies that are not compliant with the history of embarrassing big companies. But while the message was fake, the concern behind it was not: environmental campaigners see BlackRock as a key obstacle to progress on meeting climate crisis goals. Now they are stepping up the pressure on the worlds biggest asset owner which faces its shareholders at its annual meeting on Thursday to use its influence on some of the worlds biggest polluters, as it has done previously …

Felicity Huffman pleads guilty in college admissions scandal

Actor has apologized after being charged with paying $15,000 to have a proctor boost daughters SAT score Felicity Huffman tearfully pleaded guilty Monday in she admitted to participating in the nationwide scam, in which authorities say parents bribed coaches, rigged entrance exams or both to game the admissions system. Huffman pleaded guilty in federal court to paying an admissions consultant $15,000 to have a proctor correct her older daughters answers on the SAT. She also considered going through with the plan for her younger daughter before ultimately deciding not to, authorities say. She arrived at court holding the hand of her brother Moore Huffman Jr and did not say anything to journalists. In court, she wore a gray dress and …

‘It’s urgent’: controversial history France in the World comes to America

Editors Patrick Boucheron and Stphane Gerson discuss their book, a rejoinder to populists and nationalists that has fuelled debate over identity and culture One Monday in April, the editors of France in the World were preparing to launch their book in America. Then, as the world watched, French history happened. billions were pledged for restoration and Emmanuel Macron vowed work would be neglected by their government, besieged by globalisation and nationalism, set defended white supremacists who marched to save a Confederate statue. In conversation, Gerson points to a new history of America, Jill Lepore of Harvard: that in a time of surging populism, amid domestic and international fracture, historians must not retreat from the public square. France in the World …

Canada says Facebook broke privacy laws and ‘refused to act responsibly’

Top watchdog promises to force change following investigation into Cambridge Analytica data sharing scandal Facebook broke Canadian privacy laws when it collected the information of some 600,000 citizens, a top watchdog in the country said on Thursday, pledging to seek a court order to force the social media company to change its practices. Canadas privacy commissioner, Daniel Therrien, made his comments while releasing the results of an investigation, opened a year ago, into Cambridge Analytica. Though Facebook unintentionally uploaded email contacts of up to 1.5 million new users since May 2016, adding that the contacts were not shared with anyone and we are deleting them. Letitia James, the New York attorney general, said on Thursday in a statement that when …

Measles cases hit 25-year high in US amid anti-vaxx movement

Number of cases approaches 700 as experts warn other vaccine-preventable illnesses could see a comeback Measles in the US has climbed to its highest level in 25 years, closing in on 700 cases this year in a resurgence largely attributed to misinformation that is turning parents against vaccines. This is alarming, said Dr William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert. Not only is measles dangerous in itself, but its return could mean other vaccine-preventable diseases seemingly consigned to the past might return as well, he said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 695 cases had been reported in 22 states this year, as of Wednesday afternoon. That was up from 626 reported Monday and makes this the countrys …

North American drilling boom threatens big blow to climate efforts, study finds

Global Energy Monitor says slew of new pipelines in the US and Canada represent a bet that the world wont get serious about climate change More than half of the worlds new oil and gas pipelines are located in North America, with a boom in US oil and gas drilling set to deliver a major blow to efforts to slow Global Energy Monitor, which tracks fossil fuel activity. A total of $232.5bn in capital spending has been funneled into these North American pipeline projects, with more than $1tn committed towards all oil and gas infrastructure. If built, these projects would increase the global number of pipelines by nearly a third and mark out a path of several decades of substantial …

Atlantic City: ‘Trump turned this place into a ghost town’

When Trump won the election, photographer Brian Rose made straight for the gambling town to show the reality behind his billionaire boasts. The broken city he captured speaks volumes about todays America When $700m worth of junk bonds which meant the Taj had to come up with $94m a year just to pay off its debts, and $1m a day to be profitable Trump insisted the casino would make Atlantic City great again, returning the area to its prohibition-era glory days. When photographer Trump Entertainment Resorts. His grim shot of a pigeon lying dead on the ground outside, beneath large pictures of strenuously grinning Trump employees, perfectly captures an area that now seems bereft of opportunity. I actually went back …

Helicopter crushes flowers as crowds flock to ‘super bloom’

Park officials say many wildflower tourists have been well-behaved, but some have ignored pleas to stay on trails In one of the most famous literary descriptions of wildflowers, the English poet William Wordsworth traffic nightmares along city streets in nearby towns, and paid no heed to the desperate pleas of park officials: #DontDoomTheBloom. Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve (@PoppyReserve) Officers are watching for people illegally entering the park through barbed-wire fencing, trampling flowers. It only takes a few to wreck the habitat for years to come. There are areas in the Reserve that haven’t recovered from trampling in 2017.#CaStateParks March 18, 2019 The helicopter jaunt was illegal, and an investigation is under way. Jorge Moreno, a spokesman for the California …

Julin Castro: the US should launch a Marshall plan in Central America

Exclusive: 2020 candidate is calling for US to emulate 1948 aid program as alternative to Trumps proposed wall in interview with the Guardian The US should launch a 21st-century Marshall plan in Central America to help stricken countries combat gangs and poverty to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants to Americas southern border, the Democratic presidential candidate Julin Castro has proposed. Castro, a former mayor of the Texas city of San Antonio and cabinet member under Barack Obama, is calling for the US to emulate undocumented immigrants seeking to enter the US illegally in recent years. But he added there would also be attention given to Mexico and other emerging economies such as Brazil. Throughout our history the United States …

Joe Biden tops 2020 Iowa Democratic presidential poll ahead of Sanders

Des Moines Register poll puts former vice-president on 27% of likely Democratic caucus-goers, Sanders on 25% The former US vice-president Joe Biden has topped a poll of Iowa voters on Saturday that also showed Senator Bernie Sanders gaining momentum against him in the number two spot. Biden, who has not announced whether he is running in the 2020 election, is the first choice for president of likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers with 27% in the Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll. Sanders, 77, got 25%. If Im Joe Biden sitting on the fence and I see this poll, this might make me want to jump in, J Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co, which conducted the poll, told the Des Moines …

Canada approves Huawei extradition process, sparking ire from China

China has demanded the release of Meng Wanzhou, the companys chief financial officer, who is in Vancouver under house arrest Canada has approved extradition proceedings against the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, prompting a furious reaction from China. Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huaweis founder, was detained in Vancouver last December and is under house arrest. In late January, the US justice department charged Meng and Huawei with conspiring to violate US sanctions on Iran. Meng will appear in a Vancouver court on 6 March, when a date will be set for her extradition hearing. Today, department of Justice Canada officials issued an authority to proceed, formally commencing an extradition process in the case of Ms Meng Wanzhou, the …

Who said it Michael Cohen, or Henry Hill from Goodfellas?

In his explosive testimony, Cohen said President Trump called him a rat for choosing to tell the truth, much like a mobster would when one of his men decides to cooperate with the government. Take our quiz to see if you can tell the difference between the lawyer and the mobster I could go anywhere. I could do anything. I knew everybody and everybody knew me. I was part of something. And I belonged. Henry Hill Michael Cohen [He] had never asked me to whack somebody before. Michael Cohen Henry Hill I was living a fantasy. Michael Cohen Henry Hill [He] was the kind of guy who rooted for the bad guys in the movies. Henry Hill Michael Cohen Being …