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World To Cut CO2 Emissions With Or Without The Participation Of USA

By: Zofeen Ebrahim of IPS

In a last-ditch effort, Germany and China are trying to influence the United States not to walk away from the Paris climate change accord it signed along with 194 nations.

In December 2015, nearly every country committed to take action to reduce planet-warming emissions.
“We are trying to influence the US through different channels and people, at the foreign ministry level to the EPA and even the Chancellor [Angela Merkel] has repeatedly called up President [Donald] Trump to remain in this landmark agreement,” said German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks at the two-day 8th Petersberg Climate Dialogue being held in Berlin.

Terming the Paris Agreement a “hard-won milestone”, the Chinese special envoy Xie Zhenhua said his country was “true to word and resolute in deed”. Like his German counterpart, he too reiterated that all signatories should “stick to it” and “not retreat”. China is resolute in its commitment, he said and added the need for transparency to “build mutual trust and confidence” was also paramount.

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1/3 of North America’s Honey Bee Colonies Were Lost Last Year

By: Sean Rossman of USA Today 
America’s beekeepers watched as a third of the country’s honeybee colonies were lost over the last year, part of a decade-long die-off experts said may threaten our food supply.

The annual survey of roughly 5,000 beekeepers showed the 33% dip from April 2016 to April 2017. The decrease is small compared to the survey’s previous 10 years, when the decrease hovered at roughly 40%. From 2012 to 2013, nearly half of the nation’s colonies died.

“I would stop short of calling this ‘good’ news,” said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland. “Colony loss of more than 30% over the entire year is high. It’s hard to imagine any other agricultural sector being able to stay in business with such consistently high losses.”

The research, published Thursday, is the work of the nonprofit Bee Informed Partnership and the Apiary Inspectors of America.
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Real Life Hover Board Reaches Heights of 10,000ft and Speeds Up To 90 mph 

By: Kelly Mclaughlin For Mailonline

A Frenchman whose hoverboard invention is being considered by the US Army for usage by combat soldiers was spotted flying his super-fast device over a lake in Arizona.
Franky Zapata, a former professional jet ski driver, was seen flying his Flyboard Air hoverboard over Lake Havasu earlier this month.

In footage of the flight, Zapata is seen hovering dozens of feet above the Lake Havasu beach as onlookers watched the amazing flight.


Wearing a protective helmet and flight suit, he zooms past palm trees and over water and sand during the minute-long video.

Upon finishing the flight, Zapata lands on a nearby platform and is helped down by a nearby onlooker.
FLYBOARD AIR: KEY STATS

The Flyboard Air claims to allow users to fly untethered through the sky to an incredible height of 10,000ft (3,048m).
That’s equal to the height of nearly seven Empire State buildings stacked on top of each other.
It uses an ‘Independent Propulsion Unit’ to fly for about 10 minutes and has a top speed of 93mph (150 km/h).  
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Germany Marches Against Trumps Arrival 

By: Saphora Smith of CNBC

Thousands of protesters took to the streets Wednesday to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s arrival in the city he previously likened to a “hellhole.”

“If you don’t want Trump in Belgium clap your hands,” chanted some, while others opted for “hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go.”

Marchers carried colorful flags and banners inscribed with slogans such as “Fight Donald Trump and his billionaire friends” and “stay out of our hole,” a reference to an interview Trump gave last year in which he described Brussels as “like living in a hellhole right now.”

According to capital police, 9,000 people attended the rally.

The president and first lady Melania Trump arrived in Brussels Wednesday for the fourth leg of his first foreign trip as commander-in-chief. He will spend just over 24 hours in the city before flying to Sicily for the G7 summit.

The main reason for his visit to this city — the heartland of the European Union — is to attend a NATO summit in which he is expected to push for members to boost defense spending to the equivalent of two percent of their GDP, in an effort to better share the cost of the alliance’s budget.

But for the Belgians protesting in the streets on Wednesday, the president was not welcome in their country as long as he continued to push “his war agenda.”

“He wants Europe to spend more money on war when he should be investing in peace,” said Ludo De Brabander, one of the organizers of the demonstration. “If all the EU member states pay two percent of their GDP on military spending, that’s billions of dollars that should be spent helping the poor, not investing into a war machine,” he added.

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South Korea Shoots Warning Shots Towards North Korea 

By: Andrew Griffin 

South Korea has fired into North Korea after an “unidentified object” was sent towards the country.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the South Korean military bolstered its air surveillance and broadcast a warning to North Korea in response to the object. It provided no other details.

The mystery flying object may have been a drone, local media speculated.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, without citing a source, reported that South Korea fired about 90 machine gun rounds into the air and toward North Korea. It said South Korea was analyzing whether a North Korean drone had crossed the border.

In 2014, South Korean officials discovered what they described as several North Korean drones that had flown across the border. Those drones were crude and low-tech, but were still considered a potential new security threat. 

The Koreas face off across the world’s most heavily armed border, and the two sides occasionally clash. In 2014, they traded machine gun and rifle fire after South Korean activists released anti-North Korean propaganda balloons across the Demilitarized Zone that bisects the Korean Peninsula, but no casualties were reported. 

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Philippine President Declares Martial Law Over Over The Southern Part Of The Country

By: Jim Gomez of Time 

 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared the country’s south under martial rule for 60 days and cut short a visit to Moscow on Tuesday after Muslim extremists allied with the Islamic State group laid siege to a southern city.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella told a news conference in Moscow that martial rule took effect Tuesday evening in the southern region of Mindanao “on the grounds of existence of rebellion.”

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said troops raided the hideout of a top terrorist suspect in southern Marawi city on Tuesday, sparking a gunbattle that prompted the militants to call for reinforcements from an allied group, the Maute. He said dozens of gunmen occupied city hall, a hospital and a jail and burned a Catholic church, a jail, a college and some houses in a bold attack that killed at least two soldiers and a police officer and wounded 12 others.

Several militants were killed in the fighting in Marawi city in Lanao del Sur province, about 830 kilometers (520 miles) south of Manila, but others continued to lay siege to the largely Muslim city of more than 200,000 people, officials said, adding that power was cut in the city in a chaotic scene.

“The whole of Marawi city is blacked out, there is no light, and there are Maute snipers all around,” Lorenzana said in the news conference in Moscow, which was broadcast live in the Philippines.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said he informed his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, of Duterte’s decision to fly home early to deal with the crisis. Cayetano said he would stay behind in Moscow, where a number of agreements are to be signed between the governments.

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19 Dead at Ariana Grande Concert From Alleged Terrorist Attack 

By: Bill Dalrymple II and Hannah Al-Othman of Buzz Feed

Nineteen people were killed and dozens more were injured at an Ariana Grande concert Monday in Manchester, England, in what officials have described as a possible terrorist incident.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed that 19 people were killed and around 50 others were injured. It was initially described it as a “serious incident,” but officials later said it was “being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise.”

According to British Transit Police, officers responded to reports of an explosion in the foyer of the Manchester arena at 10:30 p.m.

Additional details about the incident were not immediately available, though multiple people reported hearing loud explosions or bangs in the area. The Manchester Arena’s official Twitter account tweeted that the incident happened “outside the venue in a public space” as people were leaving.

Lucy Powell, a politician who is defending the Manchester Central constituency for the Labour party, tweeted that the apparent explosion was a “major incident targeted at our city.”

Video from the scene appear to show people trying to escape the venue shortly after incident.

Following the incident, a representative for Grande told Billboard that she was “okay.” Grande’s representative did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News request for comment.

Bia, who was performing Monday night at the arena as well, tweeted that she was okay.

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Theresa May’s New Educational Decision To Negatively Effect Over 1M families 

By: Greg Wilford of The Independent 

Almost one million children from poor backgrounds will lose the right to free school meals if Theresa May pushes through cuts in the Conservative manifesto, an educational think tank has warned.

The Prime Minister announced last week that universal free lunches for infants will be stopped if the Tories win the June 8 general election, with free breakfasts on offer instead.

The move will cost families around £440 a year for each child affected and is thought likely to save around £650 million a year, according to the research by the Education Policy Institute (EPI).

The EPI found that those losing hot lunches would include 100,000 from families living in relative poverty, and 667,000 from those it defined as coming from “ordinary working families” of the kind that Theresa May has said she wants to help.

Those from the poorest backgrounds will still be entitled to a free midday meal.

EPI executive director Natalie Perera told The Observer: “Around 900,000 children from low-income families will lose their eligibility for free school meals under these proposals. Around two-thirds of those children are from what the Government considers to be ‘ordinary working families’.

“The typical annual cost for an ordinary working family would increase under these proposals to around £440 for each child aged between four and seven.”

Universal free lunches for infants were introduced under the coalition government by Liberal Democrat education minister David Laws, now the EPI’s executive chairman.

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Ivanka Trump’s Non-Profit Will Receive 100M From Saudis and UAE

By: Jim Zarroli of NPR 

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will donate a combined $100 million to a World Bank fund for women entrepreneurs that was the brainchild of Ivanka Trump.
The announcement by World Bank President Jim Young Kim came during a visit to Saudi Arabia by President Trump, who was accompanied by his wife, Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
“We thought it was a fantastic idea,” Kim said. “But we had no idea how quickly this would build. This is really a stunning achievement. I’ve never seen anything come together so quickly, and I really have to say that Ivanka’s leadership has been tremendous.” The money will help kick off a $1 billion women’s empowerment fund that the World Bank will announce in July, he said.
The UAE’s U.S. ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba, said in a statement that the promised donation reflects “our commitment to empowering women in our region and builds on the progress we have made in our country, where women play a role in every segment of society.”

Trump often excoriated the Clinton Foundation

The donation raised some eyebrows, since candidate Trump regularly excoriated the Clinton Foundation for accepting donations from repressive Middle East regimes such as Saudi Arabia.
USA Today quoted a June 2016 Facebook posting in which Trump said, “Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries!”
During an October debate, Trump also told Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, “Saudi Arabia giving $25 million, Qatar, all of these countries. You talk about women and women’s rights? So these are people that push gays off business – off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly. And yet you take their money.”

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Charity In A Big Way 

By: Lorraine Chow of Eco News 

Norwegian businessman Kjell Inge Røkke is not someone usually admired for environmental stewardship. Described by Forbes as a “ruthless corporate raider,” Røkke made his billions as the majority stakeholder in shipping and offshore drilling conglomerate, Aker.

The twist to this story? Røkke has decided to give “the lion’s share” of his estimated $2.7 billion fortune towards building a 596-foot marine research vessel, the Research Expedition Vessel (REV), that’s also designed to scoop up a major oceanic threat—plastic pollution.

The REV, a collaboration with Norway’s World Wildlife Fund (WWF), will be able to suck up to 5 tons of plastic a day from the waters and melt it down, Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper reported.

“I want to give back to society the bulk of what I’ve earned,” Røkke told the publication. “This ship is a part of that.”

According to Business Insider, the mega-yacht—which will be the world’s largest once built—can carry 60 scientists and 40 crew. The REV will be equipped with modern laboratories, an auditorium, two helipads, a hangar for a remote operated vehicle, an autonomous underwater vehicle as a multifunctional cargo deck aft of the ship, and high-tech equipment for monitoring and surveying marine areas. It is also available for private charters for up to 36 guests and 54 crew, which will help generate extra funding for research.
Røkke, a former fisherman, said the oceans “have provided significant value for society” and directly to him and his family.

“However,” he noted, “the oceans are also under greater pressure than ever before from overfishing, coastal pollution, habitat destruction, climate change and ocean acidification, and one of the most pressing challenges of all, plasticization of the ocean. The need for knowledge and solutions is pressing.”

While onboard, the researchers will attempt to answer some of the most pressing questions facing our seas:

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