Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.
President Barack Obama will unveil the revised Clean Power Plan on Monday, August 3.
The new plan’s objective is to cut greenhouse gas emissions from US power stations by nearly a third within 15 years.
The measures will place significant emphasis on wind and solar power and other renewable energy sources.
However, opponents in the energy industry have vowed to fight the plan.
They say Barack Obama has declared “a war on coal”. Power plants fired by coal provide more than a third of the US electricity supply.
The revised plan will aim to cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 32% by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.
Each US state will have an emission-cutting goal assigned to it and must submit a proposal to the Environmental Protection Agency on how it will meet the target.
The measures would give the president the moral authority he needs to argue for global reductions in greenhouse gases at a major conference in Paris later this year.
However, several state governors are already saying they will simply ignore the plans.
In face of the criticism, the White House said the release of the plan was “the starting gun for an all-out climate push” by the president and his cabinet.
In a video released by the White House, Barack Obama said the new limits were backed up by decades of data showing that without action the world faced more extreme weather and escalating health problems.
“Climate change is not a problem for another generation. Not anymore,” the president said.
“My administration will release the final version of America’s Clean Power Plan, the biggest, most important step we have ever taken to combat climate change.”
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she would defend the plan if she was elected to replace Barack Obama.
“It will need defending. Because Republican doubters and defeatists – including every Republican candidate for president – won’t offer any credible solution,” she said.
“The truth is, they don’t want one.”
One Republican presidential candidate, Marco Rubio, said the plan would be “catastrophic,” while another, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, said the plan was “irresponsible and over-reaching”.
Correspondents say the emphasis on renewable energy sources marks a significant shift from the earlier version of the plan that sought to speed up a transition from coal-fired power to natural gas plants, which emit less carbon dioxide.
It is believed the revised plan will aim to keep the share of natural gas in US power generation at current levels.
Power stations are the largest source of greenhouse gases in the US and account for about one third of all such US emissions.
Malaysia PM Najib Razak has announced that debris found on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion is to be transported to France to find out whether it is from the missing airliner MH370.
Initial reports suggest the 2-meter long wreckage is very likely to be from a Boeing 777, the prime minister said.
Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH370 is the only Boeing 777 to have disappeared over an ocean.
There were 239 people on board when the plane went missing in March 2014.
Razak Najib said French authorities were taking the debris to the southern French city of Toulouse – the site of the nearest office of the French body responsible for air accident investigations (the BEA) – to verify it as quickly as possible.
A Malaysian team of investigators and representatives from the government and the airline was travelling to Toulouse, and a second team to the site of the find on Reunion, the prime minister said.
Najib Razak said the location was “consistent with the drift analysis provided to the Malaysian investigation team”.
“As soon as we have more information or any verification we will make it public…
“I promise the families of those lost that whatever happens, we will not give up.”
Aviation experts who have studied photos of the debris found on Reunion on July 29 say it does resemble a flaperon – a moving part of the wing surface – from a Boeing 777.
On July 30, a municipal employee found what appeared to be a very badly damaged suitcase on the Reunion coast, according to local media.
The item was found at Saint-Andre, the same location as the earlier debris.
Reunion, a French overseas department, is about 370 miles east of Madagascar.
The search efforts for MH370, led by Australia, are focused on a broad expanse of the southern Indian Ocean – around 2,500 miles to the east of Reunion.
After MH370 disappeared from radar screens, experts analyzed data from faint “pings” the aircraft sent to satellites to narrow down its last known location.
It was this information that identified the search area in the southern Indian Ocean, west of Perth.
A spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry said: “We have noticed the reports and are wasting no time in obtaining and checking the information.”
More than half of those on board the missing plane were Chinese citizens.
A group of relatives of many of the Chinese passengers said in a statement that they wanted “100%” certainty about where the part is from, and that the search for the airliner should continue.
President Barack Obama has arrived in Ethiopia on the second leg of his African tour.
Barack Obama is the first serving US leader to visit Ethiopia.
The president is due to hold talks with government officials and to discuss the civil war in South Sudan with regional leaders.
Barack Obama will also be the first US president to address the 54-member African Union at its headquarters in Addis Ababa on July 28.
He flew to Ethiopia after a two-day visit to Kenya.
There he had discussed trade and security but also called for greater human rights and warned of the dangers of corruption.
Barack Obama was greeted at Addis Ababa’s international airport by Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn.
On July 27, Barack Obama is due to discuss ways to bring South Sudan’s 19-month-old civil war to an end.
In talks with leaders from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda as well as the Sudanese foreign minister, he is expected to call for tougher sanctions and a possible arms embargo if the warring factions do not agree on a peace deal.
However, a US official travelling with Barack Obama said today’s talks were not expected to lead to a breakthrough.
“This is an opportunity to reinforce the effort that’s on the table and to strategize… on next steps in the event that it doesn’t succeed,” the official told reporters.
Fighting in South Sudan has left thousands of people dead and displaced more than two million.
Security issues will also be on Barack Obama’s agenda as Ethiopia, like Kenya, is battling the jihadist group al-Shabab.
Correspondents say he is also likely to call for greater democracy and human rights while in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia’s ruling party, the EPRDF, and its allies won every single parliamentary seat in May’s elections. Opposition parties claimed the process was rigged.
Some rights groups have criticized Barack Obama’s visit to Ethiopia, warning that the trip could lend credibility to a government accused of jailing journalists and critics.
Amnesty International’s Abdullahi Halakhe said: “We don’t want this visit to be used to sanitize an administration that has been known to violate human rights.”
Human Rights Watch and other organizations urged Barack Obama to put the “pressing human rights concerns… at the forefront of your discussions”.
Donald Trump has insulted Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker because one of Walker’s fundraisers called the billionaire real estate mogul “DumbDumb”.
At a packed rally at Oskaloosa High School on July 25, Donald Trump said: “Finally, I can attack!”
“Wisconsin’s doing terribly. It’s in turmoil. The roads are a disaster because they don’t have any money to rebuild them. They’re borrowing money like crazy. They projected a $1 billion surplus, and it turns out to be a deficit of $2.2 billion. The schools are a disaster. The hospitals and education was a disaster. And he was totally in favor of Common Core!”
The mention of the state-driven education standards — from which Scott Walker, like many Republican governors, has walked away — incited a prolonged boo.
Donald Trump also told a story about Scott Walker giving him a “beautiful plaque” out of gratitude for campaign donations and wondered if: “Wisconsin paid for it.”
Republicans’ hopes of banishing Donald Trump from their presidential primary may have wilted in the heat of the Iowa summer. On his first visit to the caucus state since the McCain insult, Donald Trump drew a crowd of 1,300 in a city of 11,463. He cleaned up his remarks about veterans, from the stage and in the crowd. He talked with characteristic gusto about “killing in the polls and” securing a spot in the party’s first sanctioned debate, scheduled for August 6.
“I’m going to be there, much to the chagrin of many people,” Donald Trump told reporters.
As they lined up for the speech, conservative Iowans fell into two camps. One group adored Donald Trump’s brio, but wished he hadn’t gotten personal with John McCain (R-Ariz.). The larger camp egged Donald Trump on for again refusing to play nice. Although a Washington Post/ABC News poll showed Donald Trump’s ratings slipping after his comments about John McCain, the crowd in Oskaloosa saw another reason to trust him. Some Republican voters, who had dutifully turned out for “anti-establishment” candidates and been disappointed, insisted that Donald Trump was just the man to blow up the system.
In Oskaloosa, Donald Trump told his main audience, of 700, about his July 23 visit to the US-Mexico border. He told an overflow audience that President Barack Obama had failed POWs by winning Bowe Bergdahl’s release from the Taliban but not getting Iran to turn over hostages.
He also won cheers for telling how he denied credentials to the Des Moines Register, Iowa’s largest newspaper, after its editorial board called on him to quit the race. In a back-and-forth with reporters, with the Register’s team kept outside his event, Donald Trump proved that he was comfortable being playful with the facts.
Hillary Clinton has denied using a private email account to send or receive classified information while she was secretary of state, in response to a government inspector’s letter this week.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said at a campaign stop in Iowa: “I did not send nor receive anything that was classified at the time.”
The email controversy has dogged Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency, fuelling worries that the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination has tried to sidestep transparency and record-keeping laws.
At least four emails from the private email account that Hillary Clinton used while secretary of state contained classified information, Inspector General Charles McCullough, who oversees US intelligence agencies, told members of Congress in a letter on July 23.
However, Hillary Clinton said on July 25 she had “no idea” what were the emails mentioned in the letter.
Charles McCullough’s letter said a sampling of 40 of about 30,000 emails sent or received by Hillary Clinton found at least four that contained information the government had classified as secret.
The information was classified at the time that the emails were sent, he said.
The use of her private email account, linked to a server in her New York home for work, has drawn fire from political opponents since coming to light in March.
Republicans have accused Hillary Clinton of trying to avoid disclosure laws through her use of private systems.
Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner to represent the Democratic Party in the November 2016 election, has repeatedly said she broke no laws or rules by eschewing a standard government email account.
Hundreds of people have attended Sandra Bland’s funeral in Lisle, Illinois.
The African-American woman died in a Texas prison cell nearly two weeks ago after being taken in custody.
According to the autopsy report, Sandra Bland committed suicide by hanging herself. But her family rejected this and ordered a separate post-mortem.
Sandra Bland, 28, was found dead on July 13, three days after she was arrested.
She was taken in custody after a confrontation with the officer who had stopped her for not signaling when changing lanes.
State officials and the FBI are investigating the woman’s death.
Mourners including local politicians queued for more than an hour outside the DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lisle to file past an open coffin and attend the funeral, Reuters news agency reported.
So many mourners came that an overflow crowd had to watch a live video feed in the basement, it said.
Some of those present had never met her.
Footage of the July 10 arrest, released by the Texas Department of Public Safety, shows Sandra Bland’s car being pulled over for failing to signal, followed by an altercation with the lone officer.
Sandra Bland was taken into custody and charged with assaulting a police officer.
The US National Archives released photos showing former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney after the attacks on September 11, 2001.
The never-before-seen 9/11 photos show George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and senior officials in their immediate response to the attacks.
The photos, taken by then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s staff photographer, show the scene inside the president’s Emergency Operations Center as officials worked the phones amid the fallout.
Dick Cheney is seen in several photos watching on a small square television in his office as smoke billows from the World Trade Center, and other photos show him with his glasses off and hands clasped.
Photo US National Archives
Former CIA Director George Tenet, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell are seen in the photographs, along with first lady Laura Bush.
Many photos show blank or grim expressions as officials speak among themselves or watch President George W. Bush address the nation hours after the attacks.
The photos were released as part of a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Colette Hanna, a documentary coordinating producer for films appearing on Frontline.
More than 350 photos from 9/11 can be viewed on the US National Archives’ Flickr page here.
President Barack Obama has urged Kenya to hold “visible” trials to tackle corruption, which he said could be the “biggest impediment” to further growth.
After talks in Nairobi, Presidents Barack Obama and Uhuru Kenyatta said they were “united against terrorism” and efforts to deal with it.
However, the two leaders differed sharply in their positions on gay rights.
While Barack Obama spoke strongly against discrimination, Uhuru Kenyatta said Kenya did not share the same values.
There were “some things that we must admit we don’t share – our culture, our societies don’t accept,” Uhuru Kenyatta said.
“It’s very difficult for us to be able to impose on people that which they themselves do not accept.”
Earlier President Barack Obama praised Africa’s economic and business potential in a speech.
“Africa is on the move… People are being lifted out of poverty, incomes are up (and) the middle class is growing,” he told a business summit.
He also visited a memorial for those killed in the 1998 US embassy bombing.
The trip, which began on July 24, is Barack Obama’s first visit as president to Kenya, where his father was born.
Barack Obama said he was encouraged by statements President Uhuru Kenyatta had made about the need to root out corruption.
People were being “consistently sapped by corruption at a high level and at a low level” and there was a need for “visible prosecutions,” Barack Obama said, to show Kenyans that action was being taken.
“They don’t have to be a forensic accountant to know what is going on.”
Police officers and civil servants had to be paid properly to help curb corruption, but sometimes it just required “breaking the habit”.
President Barack Obama also said the US is providing additional funding and assistance to Kenya’s security forces for counter-terrorism.
The US and Kenya are working to establish direct flights.
The Obama administration will also propose a federal rule banning the sale of almost all ivory across state lines as part of efforts to fight poaching in Africa.
US citizens have been urged by the Pentagon not to carry out armed patrols outside military recruitment centers.
Civilians acting as unofficial guards have appeared outside some centers since five service personnel were shot dead last week in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Military personnel are generally barred from carrying firearms at recruitment centers and bases.
The Pentagon says it appreciates the support but armed civilians could pose an unintended security risk.
In a statement spokesman Peter Cook said: “While we greatly appreciate the outpouring of support for our recruiters from the American public, we ask that individuals not stand guard at recruiting offices as it could adversely impact our mission, and potentially create unintended security risks.
“We continue to partner with and rely on first responders for the safety of the communities where our service members live and work.”
According to officials, the Chattanooga gunman – 24-year-old gunman Muhammed Youssef Abdulazeez – acted alone when he attacked two military facilities, killing five service members.
Muhammed Youssef Abdulazeez was shot and killed by police during the attack. His motive was unclear.
Since then, armed civilians – some of them members of private militias – have turned up outside recruitment centers saying they are supporting those inside.
One group appeared in Cleburne, Texas, armed with assault rifles and calling themselves Operation Hero Guard.
In Lancaster, Ohio, armed civilians were ordered off the property after one accidentally discharged his rifle into the pavement.
US officials say there is no indication of further danger to recruitment centers and the government does not intend to change the way they are staffed.
A man accused of making an online threat to kill US Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert has been arrested in Seoul, the Yonhap news agency reports.
The man, identified only by his surname Lee, allegedly posted the threat on the White House website earlier this month.
According to Yonhap, Lee, who denies guilt, was arrested on July 14 at the request of US authorities and found to have draft copies of the letter on his laptop.
Ambassador Mark Lippert was injured in an knife attack in Seoul in March.
He suffered deep gashes to his face and hand when Korean nationalist Kim Ki-jong lunged at him with a knife at a breakfast meeting in a hotel.
Kim Ki-jong is on trial for a string of charges linked to the attack.
Yonhap said that as well as the draft letter – the details of which have not been made public – Lee’s confiscated laptop showed he had visited the White House homepage and was storing a screen grab of when he posted the letter.
Police told Yonhap they believed Lee was acting alone.
According to a South African parliamentary committee, work on President Jacob Zuma’s private home was not worth the $23 million it cost taxpayers.
A visit to the residence in Nkandla also revealed that the upgrades suffered from poor workmanship according to the lawmakers.
The South African government said the refurbishment was for security reasons.
However, a 2014 corruption investigation said President Jacob Zuma “benefited unduly” from state money.
In a more than 400-page report, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela accused Jacob Zuma of unethical conduct.
Thuli Madonsela’s report found that a pool, chicken run, cow enclosure and amphitheatre had also been including in the controversial upgrades, and she recommended that the president repay some of the money.
Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko who released a separate report on May 28 cleared Jacob Zuma of any wrong doing saying all work done on the property was necessary for his protection.
According to Nkosinathi Nhleko’s calculations, the barracks and clinic outside the president’s property cost $10.8 million to build.
Lawmakers from both the governing ANC and opposition parties, who are looking at what steps should be taken following their visit, now agree that the prices were grossly inflated.
“We were also shocked with the workmanship of the clinic… At the moment, I would say that facility requires a lot of work because it is clearly visible that money has been wasted,” said chairperson of the committee Cedric Frolick.
They do not however agree on who should held accountable for the wasteful expenditure – Jacob Zuma supporters insist it should not be him.
Opposition parties, including the Economic Freedom Fighter’s led by Jacob Zuma’s former ally, Julius Malema, have been calling for the president to pay back some of the money spent on non-security features.
The lawmakers have been talking about their initial findings but are expected to report back to parliament.
President Jacob Zuma has refused to do this as he argues that he did not ask for the upgrades.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court has suspended the execution of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy.
Asia Bibi, who has been on death row for nearly five years, was given leave to appeal. No hearing date was set.
She denies insulting the Prophet Mohammed, saying her Muslim accusers were acting on a personal grudge.
Blasphemy is a highly sensitive issue in Pakistan – critics argue laws are frequently misused to settle personal scores, often targeting minorities.
This is the first time in the case that there has been a glimmer of hope for Asia Bibi.
She was the first woman to be sentenced to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and her case is one of the most controversial in Pakistan.
Thousands have protested against her and said they would kill her if she were ever released – including the imam in her own village. Her husband and four daughters live in hiding and say they have received many death threats.
Asia Bibi’s death sentence had been confirmed by the High Court in Punjab province in October, although no date was set.
However, on July 22, the Supreme Court suspended the sentence until the end of the appeal process.
“The execution of Asia Bibi has been suspended and will remain suspended until the decision of this appeal,” her lawyer told reporters outside the court.
He said key witnesses had failed to turn up during hearings by the High Court.
Pakistan has never executed anyone for blasphemy but some people accused of the offence in the past have been lynched by crowds. Lawyers, judges and those seeking to reform the blasphemy laws have also been threatened, attacked or even killed.
Since the 1990s, scores of Christians have been convicted for desecrating the Koran or for blasphemy.
While most of them have been sentenced to death by the lower courts, many sentences have been overturned due to lack of evidence.
Muslims constitute a majority of those prosecuted, followed by minority Ahmadis.