Rejoining Paris climate agreement a Day One priority for Joe BidenReversing Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement, which took effect late last year, will be among the first priorities of the Biden administration – a development his team says will put the US “back in position to exercise global leadership in advancing the objectives of the Agreement”.Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, welcomed the move, writing on Twitter that the return of the US to the climate accord will be “the starting point for our renewed cooperation”, adding “way more is to come”.I am delighted that on day one of this new administration, the US will rejoin the #ParisAgreement.This is the starting point for our renewed cooperation.And way more is to come.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) January 20, 2021Reversing Trump’s emissions standards rollbacksAs well as kick-starting the 30-day process of rejoining the Paris Agreement, Joe Biden plans to issue several other presidential orders targeted at taking “critical first steps to address the climate crisis, create good union jobs, and advance environmental justice”.High on the agenda is directing federal departments and agencies to reconsider vehicle fuel economy and emissions standards, methane emissions standards, and appliance and building efficiency standards.A relaxation of regulations for vehicle emissions and industrial methane were hallmarks of the Trump presidency, widely criticised by environmentalists and even some within the industry.Last week, French oil major Total pulled its membership of the American Petroleum Institute, an influential lobbyist group, citing among other reasons the API’s support for this deregulatory agenda. Other oil majors, including BP, Shell and Exxon, also opposed the rollback of methane emission rules at the time. The president-elect campaigned on an agenda of sweeping reforms to US energy policy focused on emissions reduction (Credit: Michael F Hiatt/Shutterstock) Hours after being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States later today, Joe Biden will make a series of Day One executive orders addressing climate change and the clean energy transition.The president-elect was voted into office having campaigned on an agenda promising sweeping reforms designed to “revitalise the US energy sector” – and his transition team today previewed a list of immediate actions aimed at tackling climate issues and “reversing the previous administration’s harmful policies”.Outgoing President Donald Trump faced criticism during his four-year stint in office for failing to address the growing urgency of environmental concerns, scaling back regulations intended to reduce emissions from US industry and transport, and opening protected federal lands to new resource extraction. US president-elect Joe Biden will immediately seek to reverse Trump-era policies during his first hours in office as climate issue ride high on the agenda Blocking oil lease sales in the Arctic National Wildlife RefugeBiden also plans to issue a temporary moratorium on all oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in north-east Alaska.Drilling in the ANWR has been targeted by industry for decades, but up until a 2017 tax law it remained protected by environmental regulations, due to its importance as a natural habitat for wildlife including polar bears, caribou and migrating birds.President Trump successfully fast-tracked an auction process during his final months in office in an effort to complete the first of two legislated lease sales ahead of inauguration day.However, only $14.4m was raised after interest turned out to be minimal at a time when oil companies are facing huge financial pressures as a result of lost demand and low commodity prices during the pandemic.Only three separate bidders took part in the auction, with 11 of the 13 bids made by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), a state government organisation which made the purchases with a view to potential industry partnerships at some point in the future.Yesterday, the US Bureau of Land Management issued 10-year leases for nine of the 11 successful bids, after AIDEA withdrew its interest in two of the tracts.While completion of the sales makes it difficult for a new administration to reverse the process, Biden is nevertheless expected to introduce strict permitting regulations that will make further development of the plots more difficult for the companies involved. Revoking Keystone XL permitIn a further rebuke to his predecessor, Biden will revoke the presidential permit granted to the Keystone XL oil pipeline, cancelling development of the near-2,000km-long transport infrastructure linking Canadian oilfields to refineries in the US.In 2017, President Trump began a process of overturning an Obama-era block on development of the pipeline, heralding “a new era of American energy policy” and an “historic moment for North American and energy independence”.The $8bn pipeline project was tipped to move 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from production sites in Alberta, Canada to Nebraska, US, where it would connect to an existing pipeline network supplying US refineries around the Gulf Coast.But it has been opposed by environmental groups who want to see a shift away from petroleum fuels, as well as by land owners concerned about environmental damage caused by the pipeline’s construction.Responding to the news that Biden plans to revoke the project permit, TC Energy, which owns the venture with backing from the Government of Alberta, said it was “disappointed” with the decision, adding it will now suspend the project and “consider its options”.Senior Canadian officials, including Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have expressed concern about the project’s expected cancellation. In a statement, Trudeau’s office confirmed he had spoken to president-elect Biden on the issue, and “made the case for the project” to the incoming administration.
Sir Digby Jones, former director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, has given his support to Northern Foods’ £450,000 initiative to sponsor undergraduates on food science courses.In a visit organised by Improve, the food and drink sector skills council, Sir Digby met food technologists at Fox’s Biscuits in Batley, which is part of Northern Foods.He said: “This is an exemplary initiative, but we still need more employers to take responsibility for improving the skills of their own workforce.”The Northern Foods foundation will offer a grant of £1,000 a year, for at least five years, to 30 food science undergraduates at Leeds, Nottingham and Reading University.
A fire stopped production at Warburtons’ Hereford Street bakery, in Bolton, as 60 firefighters fought to put out the blaze, which is thought to have started in an industrial oven.Ten fire engines, from stations across Manchester, were called to the bakery at 2.50pm yesterday (Thursday), to deal with the blaze in a production area within the building. One hundred staff were evacuated from the site and there were no reports of any injuries.A spokesperson for Warburtons told British Baker that the fire was contained to its ChippidyDooDaa snack plant, which suffered damage to around 15-20% of the site. The plant came on line earlier this year, marking Warburtons first entry into the bagged snacks market.Due to the planned £25m redevelopment of the Hereford Street bakery site, a lot of equipment had already been removed from the bakery. However, one small bread plant was affected to a minimal degree. The spokeperson confirmed that production had stopped while a clean-up operation was carried out, and that it was unclear when production would start again.She explained that bread deliveries were not affected at all, and that distribution at its Bolton bakery was fully operational with all deliveries sent out this morning. She added that Warburtons wanted to thank both the fireservice and also its own employees, from its sites across the country, who did “a sterling job” to ensure there was no impact on orders today.Fire investigation officers are currently working with Warburtons to determine exactly how the fire started, but it is thought to have been accidental. Firefighters have been working to make the building safe to allow production to recommence as soon as possible.As of 7.45am this morning (Friday), two fire crews were still in attendance, damping down at the site.This is the first time Warburtons has suffered a major fire since January 2004, when a blaze destroyed much of its Wednesbury, West Midlands, bakery, after empty baskets at the back of the building caught fire.>>Warburtons intent on minimising redundancies
Source: GreggsGreggs has opened two new shops at St Pancras International station in London.The openings, on 12 and 14 December respectively, have created a total of 23 jobs, with all remaining jobs advertised internally.Both shops, open 6am-10pm Monday to Saturday and 6am-9pm on Sundays, will provide takeaway and click-and-collect services.The range available in the shops includes vegan-friendly products, such as the Vegan Steak Bake and Vegan Sausage Roll.To celebrate the new shops, the first 250 customers through the door at the first opening on 12 December were treated to a free mince pie.“We’re pleased to welcome Greggs to St Pancras International,” said Wendy Spinks, commercial director at station operator HS1 Ltd. “These new additions will give our customers even greater choice when it comes to food on the go.”Greggs has announced plans to open 20 new shops across the UK during the final quarter of 2020.“We’re delighted to be able to invest in St Pancras International, bringing new jobs to the area and providing both new and existing customers with a modern and convenient new shop,” said Roisin Currie, retail and people director for Greggs.
Load remaining images On Saturday night, Dead & Company concluded their two-night run at the legendary Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin. As per tradition in a multi-night run, the Grateful Dead-inspired band flexed their creativity by expanding upon a wicked first night and adding new flavors for round two. Fifteen shows into the summer tour and Dead & Company welcomed their first guest to the stage on Saturday night, vocalist/guitarist Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, to close the first set.The first set opened with an appropriate “The Music Never Stopped”, led by Grateful Dead original Bob Weir and newfound Dead Head John Mayer, kicking off night two in total celebration mode. A cover of Rob Wasserman‘s “Easy Answers” came next, marking the third performance of this tour and the fourth ever.The Music Never StoppedJohn Mayer and Bob Weir continued to swap vocals between “Alabama Getaway”, “Big River”, and “Jack Straw” before welcoming their guest, Justin Vernon, marking the first of the tour. The Eau Claire native contributed his sultry vocals and silky guitar pickings to “Black Muddy River”, “Friend of the Devil”, and “Bird Song” to close the first set. Vernon is most well known for his signature style of singing in his own indie folk band Bon Iver. Most recently, Vernon announced a new band with Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, who released a Grateful Dead tribute album in 2016, Day of the Dead, and even recorded and toured with Bob Weir as part of his Campfire Band in 2017. On Day of the Dead, Vernon’s first band DeYarmond Edison backed Bruce Hornsby on a studio version of “Black Muddy River”, and the version was revived at Vernon’s own Eaux Claires Music Festival in 2016. While the sit-in might have felt random to longtime Grateful Dead fans, it’s an interesting step forward in the evolution of the band’s live repertoire.“Bird Song” with Justin Vernon[Video: Milwaukee Live]After the scheduled break, Dead & Company returned to the moonlit stage for a rocking second set. Bob Weir, John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti harmoniously sung The Band‘s “The Weight” to open the second set, marking the song’s third performance of the tour and the sixth ever. The high notes continued with “Shakedown Street”, “Althea”, and a “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider” of the ages, turning heads of fans everywhere calling it the “set of the tour”. The percussionists kept the momentum for a far-out “Drums / Space” portion of the evening before the rest of the band returned to the stage.The WeightChina Cat > I Know You Rider[Video: Still Dead]The tour’s second and sixth ever “All Along The Watchtower” came next, as Bob Weir took lead on the Bob Dylan classic. Weir continued with the lead vocal duty to close the show with “Standing on the Moon” and “Sugar Magnolia”. During the latter, Weir’s microphone stopped working and he gave the stand a powerful smack to the ground. After his technician came to revive the microphone stand, Weir jokingly gave it a “test” before taking the first verse of the song. Dead & Company encored with “One More Saturday Night” to close their show.[Video: Uberdemon76]Dead & Company have a bit of a break before they head to George, Washington for a night at the Gorge Amphitheatre on June 29th, before they continue their way throughout the Midwest. Check out their full tour schedule on the band’s official website here.Setlist: Dead & Company | Alpine Valley Music Theatre | East Troy, WI | 6/23/2018I: Music Never Stopped, Easy Answers, Alabama Getaway, Big River, Jackstraw, Black Muddy River*, Friend Of The Devil*II: The Weight, Shakedown Street, Althea, China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, Drums/Space > Watchtower > Standing on the Moon, Sugar MagnoliaE: One More Saturday NightDead & Company | Alpine Valley Music Theatre | East Troy, WI | 6/23/2018 | Photos: Daniel Ojeda
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Bend homeless have struggled to find safety and shelter with little aid from the city.Since the start of COVID, South Bend residents without housing have been kicked out of multiple encampment sites, leading to public protest and criticism from many residents.One local advocate, Araquel Bloss, was crushed by the police’s arrival at the camp, and said it went against the County Health Department’s advice to leave the camp undisturbed, along with its recommendation to provide proper PPE and resources.“All we wanted was help, and they did not come to help,” Bloom said. “They came to arrest and intimidate.”Public outcry and media coverage of the encampment’s dismantlement sparked meetings of the town’s council, headed by Mayor James Mueller, who struggled to create a safe, inclusive and affordable plan to house those in need.Over the summer, group members met virtually to discuss next steps for the South Bend homeless, city sanitation and more long term preparations. Nearly four months later, and there has still been no effective plan created by the city.Although Mueller said he plans to double the current budget for the homeless in 2021, Bloss said this is not enough, because the city has received millions in aid due to the CARES Act.“The indignity of not providing water, sanitation, restrooms or even PPE is disgraceful,” Bloss said. “Other cities have taken the CARES Act funding and used it to create systemic change. The city knows they need housing but continues building condos.”Without the city’s aid, it has fallen on the shoulders of the South Bend community and local organizations, volunteers like Bloss, and more recently, a mystery donor.In late August, an anonymous donation was made through Our Lady of the Road, an outreach of The Catholic Worker house, to aid in their mission to provide housing, mental health and addiction services for those in need.This anonymous individual’s donation has since helped kickstart a “shelter first initiative” that has housed over 64 individuals in just 3 weeks — with the hope to aid many more.Margaret Pfeil, director and volunteer at Our Lady of the Road, said the donation was providential and acknowledged the hard work of her volunteers spreading the words about the organization.“The work being done is the fruit of many intentional efforts and relationships, created through dialogue and the grassroots movement,” Pfeil said.While the mystery donation has helped momentarily, Pfiel and Bloss realize the donation will not last forever. The community continues to urge the Mayor and Council to create an effective, long lasting plan, such as subsidized housing initiatives, or long term, low barrier shelters.“There should be no divide in coming together for the greater good,” Bloss said. “Invest in the people and you will get your investment back ten fold.”Saint Mary’s junior MaryKate Dempsey, a student volunteer at the Center for the Homeless is unsatisfied with the way the city has handled the issue.“I am extremely frustrated with the city’s response,” Dempsey said. “These are South Bend residents. These are people.”During her time at the center, she spoke about feeling alarmed by the lack of resources available even before the pandemic.“I can’t imagine what they are going through right now.”Saint Mary’s students gathered this past weekend to create hygiene kits for the homeless, organized by the Office for Civic and Social Engagement. The director of the office, Rebekah Go, said the homeless situation in South Bend is a complex problem that needs a speedy solution.“It is not black and white, that’s just not life,” Go said. “Immediate needs need to be met.”Tags: COVID-19, homeless community, mayor james muller, Office for Civic and Social Engagement, Our Lady of the Road, South Bend Center for the Homeless
Photo: Michael NegreteJeremiah Bishop is a winner. He’s taken gold at the Pan American Games in 2003, triumphantly finished as a USA National Champion in 2008 for both cross country and marathon mountain biking, and most recently he made the 2012 Olympic Long Team, an eight member training pool out of which two riders will be selected to represent the U.S. in the Olympics. Despite his crowning achievements, Bishop embodies a strong sense of humility. He grew up with little money or opportunity, and surrounded by bad influences. The outlook was bleak. When the odds were against him, Bishop bucked the system. One day he straddled a little red mountain bike lent to him by a childhood friend, dropped the bike into low gear, and marveled at its power as he pedaled up a huge hill and never looked back. But in 2002 Bishop hit a physically limiting mental flatline, struggling to further improve. That year Bishop and his long time friend and inspiration, Chris Eatough, teamed up on the TransAlp Challenge, an eight-day behemoth of a stage race through the Alps in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and finishing in Italy—60,000 vertical feet of climbing in eight days. It was the toughest race he’d ever attempted. Along the way he learned that—while already being a pro—if he were to ride harder he could be more. He could be a champion.“Just imagine the hardest, most gutted out you’ve ever felt on a mountain bike: that was the first day. I said to myself, ‘This is a little more than I thought I was getting into.’ And this type of racing, point-to-point mountain bike racing, we thought we’d do pretty good, and we got our asses handed to us. We got served up some serious beat down that day.I cramped pretty bad and Chris was pushing me. I mean, we probably squeaked into 6th place on the first stage, a relatively short stage compared to what was coming.After the second day we were a little bit closer, and on the third day I was starting to pull with renewed strength when we got into the flat sections and we were riding with some of the lead groups. The fifth day, I started to feel stronger. Not just a little bit stronger. I was able to climb away from Chris. He wasn’t slowing down; I was just speeding up. I was actually able to stay with the lead group, and I would have to stop and wait for Chris. We had to ride together, so we stuck together for our best overall performance, but we realized we weren’t going to win the race.We got to the final stage and Chris was looking at the profile, and it had a really big 4,000-vertical-foot downhill, and he said, ‘I think we can win this stage.’ We looked at the map—it’s mostly singletrack—most of the race up until that point had been dirt road, which was immensely frustrating for two East Coast mountain bikers that can jump a knee- high log like it’s a sneeze and can navigate rock gardens like it’s second nature. I felt really strong and pushed it really hard. I was helping Chris get just over the tops of the climbs, you know, giving him a little bit of a push, just to get us up to that lead group.We made contact with the lead group right at the top, right before the final, major descent, and we just dropped in like a pair of bombers. We lost the two German guys who were leading the race and, yeah, we took off—just dropped the descent. We really put some time into those guys. Probably close to five minutes.We got out of the singletrack and we had some full-fledged downhill through several villages, a good straightaway of maybe 20 kilometers, and then the finish in the down of Garda. I was leading and we came around a really tight bend. The buildings in Europe are built right up against the corners of the alleys and streets. I angled and swung wide—Chris was on my wheel—and there was a car coming right at me. I locked up both brakes. First Chris hit me and then I hit the car and kind of slid one leg under the car. The car was luckily stopped at that point, and we dented the door. I got up so fast that I almost bounced up off the ground even though I had sprained my ankle and was all scratched up. I looked back and Chris was adjusting his jersey and had blood on his elbow and his knuckles and was spinning his front wheel. His front wheel was wobbly and mine was actually pretty messed up too, so I undid my front brake (we had cable brakes at the time), and we got back on and we slowly got back up to speed.We pinned it down on the last stretch of road. I was like a steam engine all the way to the finish.That race was a rebirth for me. I knew I was tough before that point. What changed was that I realized how hard I needed to train to get that level out of my engine. That meant I needed to train like a monster. I mean, I needed to do some really ridiculous training. Now I do that. It’s part of the job, and it works.”Bishop and Eatough were the first Americans to ever win a stage of the TransAlp Challenge.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An 33-year-old Peconic man was killed when crashed the truck he was driving in Hampton Bays over the weekend.Southampton Town Police said the driver of a Dodge Ram 1500 with a Illinois registration struck a tree off the roadway on Flanders Road, west of Red Creek Road, shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday.The victim, who was identified as Julio Tocay, was pronounced at the scene.Southampton Town Detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information regarding this incident to call them at 631-702-2230.
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The Civil Society Coalition for Reform on the Security Sector is calling on the government to refrain from declaring a civil emergency or martial law as part of its efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.The coalition, comprising at least nine advocacy groups, said the government should optimize the tools based on Law No. 24/2007 on disaster mitigation and Law No. 6/2018 on health quarantine. Article 51 (2) of the Disaster Mitigation Law stipulates that the president must declare a disaster emergency before a national emergency.The president, therefore, must issue a decree to declare a disaster emergency that “will provide a legal basis for a social restriction policy”, the coalition said in a statement released on Monday. The contagious respiratory disease has infected 1,414 people and led to 122 deaths as of Monday in Indonesia. Of them, 75 people have recovered.To step up the country’s efforts in handling the outbreak, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the government will issue a policy of “large-scale social restriction” and a tightened physical distancing policy.According to Article 59 (3) of the health quarantine law, large-scale social restriction comprises temporary closure of schools, offices, religious activities and activities at public places.“As I said earlier, a policy for a civil emergency is necessary,” Jokowi said after a meeting on Monday.However, the declaration of a civil emergency would “prepare us if the situation gets very concerning”, said presidential spokesperson Fadjroel Rachman.“For this stage, it is still a large-scale social restriction in line with Law No. 6/2018 and a legal discipline according to the National Police chief edict issued on March 19,” Fadjroel said in a statement released on Monday. (dfr)Topics : Read also: Jokowi considers civil emergency policies“Large-scale social restrictions should be issued according to the Health Quarantine Law to avoid the unnecessary securitization of health issues.”The coalition also called for better-coordinated measures to handle the rapid spread of COVID-19 by establishing a clear chain of command. Like many other countries, Indonesia has been struggling to curb the spread of COVID-19 since its first two confirmed cases were reported in early March.