Scientists look beyond climate change and El Nino for other factors that heat up Earth
Scientists are wondering if global warming and El Nino have an accomplice in fueling this summer’s record-shattering heat. The European climate agency Copernicus reported that July was one-third of a degree Celsius hotter than the old record. That’s a bump in heat that is so recent and so big, especially in the oceans, that scientists are split on whether something else could be at work. Researchers say by far the biggest cause of the recent extreme heat is human-caused climate change, with a smaller contribution from a natural El Nino. But some scientists are searching for an additional factor.
Voters in Ohio reject GOP-backed proposal that would have made it tougher to protect abortion rights
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio voters have resoundingly rejected a Republican-backed measure that would have made it more difficult to pass abortion protections. The vote sets up a fall campaign that will become the nation’s latest referendum on the issue since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a nationwide right to abortion last year. The defeat of Issue 1 keeps in place a simple majority threshold for passing future changes to the Ohio Constitution, rather than requiring a 60% supermajority. Ohio Republicans placed the question on the summer ballot in hopes of undercutting a citizen initiative voters will decide in November that seeks to enshrine abortion rights in the constitution. Tussday’s result marks the latest setback for Republicans in a conservative-leaning state.
Khanun begins blowing into South Korea with strong winds after dumping rain on Japan for a week
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Dozens of flights and ferry services were grounded in South Korea ahead of a tropical storm that has dumped rain on Japanese islands for a week. Strong winds were blowing on the resort island of Jeju during the afternoon and rain was pouring in the area Wednesday. Forecasters expect a punishing impact from Khanun, which is forecast to move up the center of the country with high winds over several hours. Korean forecasters measured Khanun at typhoon strength while Japanese forecasters measured it as a tropical storm. The eye of the storm is forecast to brush by Seoul, and as much as 2 feet of rain could fall in places.
Amazon nations seek common voice on climate change, urge action from industrialized world
BELEM, Brazil (AP) — Eight Amazon nations have called on industrialized countries to do more to help preserve the world’s largest rainforest as they meet in a major summit in Brazil to seek to chart a common course on how to combat climate change. The leaders of South American nations that are home to the Amazon, meeting at a two-day summit that ends Wednesday, said the task of stopping the destruction of the rainforest can’t fall to just a few when the crisis has been caused by so many. The members of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization are hoping a united front will give them a major voice in global talks.
Niger’s military junta, 2 weeks in, digs in with cabinet appointments and rejects talks
NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — As a military junta in Niger marked two weeks in power Wednesday, its leaders are appointing a government and rejecting calls for negotiation in what analysts described as an attempt to entrench their power and show that they’re serious about governing the West Africa country in the face of an escalating regional crisis. On Monday, the junta said that civilian economist Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine would be prime minister. They also refused to admit meditation teams that planned to come Tuesday from the United Nations, the African Union, and West African regional bloc ECOWAS. ECOWAS threatened to use military force if the junta didn’t reinstate Bazoum by Sunday, a deadline that the junta ignored.
Biden pitching his economic policies as a key to manufacturing jobs revival
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Bringing back factory jobs is one of the most popular of White House promises — regardless of who happens to be the president. Donald Trump, Barack Obama and George W. Bush each pledged to boost manufacturing. But factory jobs seemed to struggle to fully return after each recession. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden will make the case in a New Mexico speech that his policies of financial and tax incentives have revived U.S. manufacturing. His claim is supported by a rise in construction spending on new factories. But factory hiring has begun to slow in recent months, a sign that the promised boom has yet to fully materialize.
$1.58 billion jackpot goes to lucky Mega Millions player in Florida
A lottery player in Florida has won the $1.58 billion Mega Millions jackpot. The winning numbers drawn Tuesday night were: 13 19 20 32 33 and the yellow ball: 14. No one has won the Mega Millions jackpot since April 18, enabling the prize to grow to the third-largest in U.S. history. The chance of winning is one in 302.6 million. The $1.58 billion payout is for a sole winner who opts for an annuity doled out over 30 years but people usually prefer a lump sum option. For Tuesday’s jackpot this is an estimated $783.3 million. The prize money is nearly identical in size to the second largest jackpot of $1.586 billion in 2016.
Romanian care homes scandal spotlights abuse described as ‘inhumane and degrading’
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A string of disturbing revelations of “inhumane and degrading” maltreatment of older and disabled people at Romanian care homes have sparked concerns over the country’s capacity to adequately care for its socially vulnerable. The sprawling scandal has erupted over the past month. The discovery of systematic neglect and abuse of residents living in squalid conditions at several care facilities has forced two Cabinet members to resign over what Romanian media have dubbed the “horror homes” scandal. They also revived disturbing memories of an orphanage scandal that captured international attention after the country’s communist dictatorship collapsed in 1989.
Eritrean festivals have been attacked in Europe, North America. The government blames ‘asylum scum’
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — As one of the world’s most repressive countries marks 30 years of independence, festivals held by Eritrea’s diaspora in Europe and North America have been attacked by exiles that the regime dismisses as “asylum scum.” People who fled the Horn of Africa nation say the violence against festivals in Germany, Sweden and Canada are protests against a repressive government that’s been described as the “North Korea of Africa.” Hundreds of thousands of people have fled Eritrea over the years. One exile says a group that formed last year to counter government propaganda has protested at festivals.
Hawaii wildfires burn homes and force evacuations, while strong winds complicate the fight
HONOLULU (AP) — Wildfires in Hawaii fanned by strong winds have burned multiple structures, forced evacuations and caused power outages in several communities. Firefighters have struggled to reach some areas cut off by downed trees and power lines. Some homes have been evacuated on Maui and the Big Island and Hawaii’s acting governor has issued an emergency proclamation. The National Weather Service says Hurricane Dora passing to the south of the island chain is partly to blame for strong gusts that toppled power lines and grounded fire-fighting helicopters. Fire crews on Maui were battling multiple blazes Tuesday concentrated in two areas: the popular tourist destination of West Maui and an inland, mountainous region.
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