The Wider World

Biden vows to cut emissions

GLOBAL WARMING is tied to the emission of carbon dioxide. President Joe Biden promised on Thursday to reduce U.S. emissions by more than half (Flickr/NASA).

President Joe Biden on Thursday promised to set the United States on course to cut its global warming emissions by half or more by 2030.

Speaking to world leaders at a two-day summit in Washington, D.C, Biden said, “This is a moral imperative, an economic imperative. A moment of peril but also a moment of extraordinary possibilities,” according to The New York Times.

The U.S. and other nations such as Japan, Canada and Great Britain have begun reducing emissions, but China, Russia and India – which have rapidly expanding economies – have increased theirs.

Meeting Biden’s goal may mean going from gasoline-powered automobiles to electric cars, and drastically reducing the use of coal.

News: Russian troops leave Ukraine border

VLADIMIR PUTIN is president of the Russian Federation (Wikipedia/Kremlin.ru).

Over 10,000 Russian troops involved in what Moscow calls “drills” have been moved away from the border from neighboring Ukraine, but were told to leave their weapons behind.

According to the Associated Press, the order to keep heavy weapons in place was due to another exercise planned for later this year, the Russian defense minister said.

The United States and other NATO nations are involved in a military exercise as well in the region, called Defender Europe 21.

Tensions between the two nations are high. Russians “volunteers” were behind the forceful annexation of Crimea into the Russian Federation in 2014.

Vaccines winning the fight? For the first time in weeks, the number of new cases of coronavirus are in decline in the U.S. According to The New York Times, new cases fell by 6 percent over a 14-day average, and deaths dropped 2 percent.

Business: More jobs, fewer takers?

SOME PEOPLE are slow to return to work because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has kept people from applying for jobs, even at a time when unemployment is higher than average. That’s the story from USA Today. According to the newspaper, employers are hoping that vaccinations will overcome the concerns of some workers still wary about returning to a workplace.

“People are averse to change right now,” said an executive at a employment agency. “There are very few active candidates” and therefore companies have to recruit.

Capital gains tax plan scares Wall Street: President Joe Biden’s proposal to raise the capital gains tax on the wealthy put the investment community in a bad mood Thursday. The Dow dropped 331.41 points to 33,815.90.  The S&P 500 declined 38.44 points to 4,134.98 and Nasdaq shed 131.81 points to close at 13,818.41.

Sports: “Eyes of Texas” to play on

UNIVERSITY of Texas at Austin football game (Wikipedia).

The now-controversial “Eyes of Texas” song, played at football games played by the University of Texas, will continue to be performed despite protests.

According to Sports Illustrated, members of the school band will be required to play “Eyes,” or join a separate school band in 2022. Controversy has arisen over the past of the tune, an unofficial fight song popular with Longhorn alums.

Critics pointed out that the song was often used in minstrel shows in the South in which white men in blackface performed on stage.

According to SI, wealthy donors to the football program have expressed their support for keeping “Eyes.”

 Thursday’s games:

  • San Diego Padres 3, Dodgers 2: LAD got solo home runs by A.J. Pollock and Sheldon Neuse but lost at Chavez Ravine when Padres pushed across the winning run in the top of the eighth. Dodgers are 14-5 and lead the NL West by two games over San Francisco. San Diego (11-10) is in third.
  • Houston Astros 8, Angels 2: Astros (8-10) jumped off to an early 8-0 lead. Albert Pujols’ HR accounted for all Halo runs. Angels are now 9-8 and in third place in the AL West, having lost four of five games.
  • Dallas Mavericks 115, Lakers 110: Anthony Davis returned to the LAL lineup after missing 30 games, but wasn’t much of a factor as the Lakers lost. He scored four points on 2-for-10 shooting. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 29 points and Dennis Schroder had 25 as the defending NBA champs fell to 35-24. Mavs (32-26) were led by Luka Doncic’s 30 points.

Weather: More clouds, some sprinkles

You got some raindrops on your newly-washed car, didn’t you? You may have a bit more of that in the West Orange County area over the next few days. The forecast for Friday is for clouds in the morning and sun in the afternoon, with a daytime high of 67 (54 overnight low) and a 9 percent chance of rain. Saturday looks similar with partly cloudy skies and a high of 69. In the coastal Huntington Beach area, daytime highs will be just a degree or two cooler.

 

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