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|1…………> Keep Open: Coal, Nuke Plants|
|“President Donald J. Trump believes in total energy independence and dominance, and that keeping America’s energy grid and infrastructure strong and secure protects our national security, public safety, and economy from intentional attacks and natural disasters,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Friday.“Unfortunately, impending retirements of fuel-secure power facilities are leading to a rapid depletion of a critical part of our Nation’s energy mix and impacting the resilience of our power grid.”
|“President Trump has directed Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to prepare immediate steps to stop the loss of these resources and looks forward to his recommendations,” Sanders added.
|The move would be unprecedented because the plants in question are at risk of closing down due to increased competition from abundant natural gas and renewable energy sources. The policy would coerce the owners of power grids across the nation to purchase electricity from coal and nuclear plants.
|2…………> Indian Dust Storm: Casualties|
|“We have reports of 16 people dead due to the storm which started on Friday evening. The casualties are from various districts of the state. The Moradabad district reported the highest number of deaths — seven.” T.P. Gupta, an official at the State’s Relief Commissioner Office in Lucknow, told Anadolu Agency.
Mahesh Palawat, the head of private weather agency Skymet, told Anadolu News agency that the intensity of Friday’s dust storm was “severe” in some places. “In most places, there is no prediction of any similar dust storm in the days ahead,” he said.
He said at least 12 people were also injured in the storm.
Local media reported that most of the deaths in the state were due to houses collapsing and trees falling.
|3…………> Ptolemy IV Coin: In Aussie Rainforest|
|A bronze coin minted during the reign of Egypt’s Pharaon Ptolemy IV, who ruled the country between 221 and 204BC, was found more than two millennia later in 1912 Australia, buried a few inches underground in the depths of the far north Queensland rainforest by a man named Andrew Henderson, who had abandoned the gold mining fields of Victoria for a warmer climate.
“Henderson got a block of land in the scrub and he became a settler,” far north Queensland historian, Dave Phoenix said.
“One day in 1912 he was building a fence line and as he was digging a hole for a fence post his shovel hit something metallic.
“He reached into the hole and pulled out this coin.”
Henderson paid little attention to the coin at the time; when he returned home, he put it in a drawer and all but forgot about it for the next 40 years.
|Among the most probable of theories is that the coin dropped out of a miner’s pack as they walked along the Aboriginal trail on the way to the Hodgkinson goldfields west of Cairns.|
|4…………> US Skid Row: UN Report|
|UN report on the persistence of extreme poverty in the US concludes that is a political choice made by people in power, and also criticizes the government policy for making healthcare a privilege rather than a right. Poverty in the United States is widespread and worsening under President Donald Trump, according to a human rights investigator for the United Nations.
Philip Alston, the UN special investigator on extreme poverty, said the Trump administration appears determined to pull the social safety net out from under millions of poor people while rewarding the wealthy with tax cuts.
In his report, Alston called on the US to address the underlying problems facing the underclass rather than “punishing and imprisoning the poor.”
|He noted that welfare benefits are being slashed and access to health care has become more difficult during Trump’s presidency. This, in conjunction with “financial windfalls” for the super-rich and big corporations, has significantly widened the inequality gap.
Since President Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty in the 1960s US social policy towards the poor has been “neglectful at best,” Alston said.
“But the policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship,” he said.
In a country of about 325 million people, nearly 41 million live in poverty — including 18.5 million in extreme poverty. Alston said children accounted for 33 percent of the poor. No other industrialized country had so many children mired in poverty, he said.
The data used to compile the UN report only covers the period through 2016, so there are no comparative figures that could measure poverty levels before and after Trump took office in January.
|5…………> ISIS Aficionado: Miami|
|Vicente Adolfo Solano, 53, a citizen of Honduras residing in Miami, was sentenced to 210 months in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization, after planning to detonate an explosive device at a Miami mall. Solano pleaded guilty on March 14.
|Solano told an individual, who later became a Confidential Human Source (CHS) for the government, that he was upset with the United States and wanted to conduct an attack in Miami. Later, Solano told this CHS that he wanted to join ISIS.
Solano planned to place and detonate an explosive device in a crowded area of a popular Miami mall. Solano discussed his plot with the CHS and two undercover FBI employees. According to the complaint, Solano provided three videos to the CHS, in which Solano makes pro-ISIS statements and expresses anti-U.S. sentiments. Just prior to his arrest, Solano took possession of what he believed was an explosive device, took steps to arm it, and walked toward a mall entrance in order to carry out his attack. Unbeknownst to Solano, the device was inert and did not pose a risk to the public. Solano was taken into custody prior to entering the Mall.
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