Governments Agree on Rules for Implementing Climate Accord

After two weeks of bruising negotiations, officials from almost 200 countries agreed Saturday on universal, transparent rules that will govern efforts to cut emissions and curb global warming. Fierce disagreements on two other climate issues were kicked down the road for a year to help bridge a chasm of opinions on the best solutions. 

 

The deal agreed upon at U.N. climate talks in Poland enables countries to put into action the principles in the 2015 Paris climate accord.

 

“Through this package, you have made a thousand little steps forward together,” said Michal Kurtyka, a senior Polish official chairing the talks. 

 

He said while each individual country would likely find some parts of the agreement it didn’t like, efforts had been made to balance the interests of all parties. 

 

“We will all have to give in order to gain,” he said. “We will all have to be courageous to look into the future and make yet another step for the sake of humanity.” 

 

The talks in Poland took place against a backdrop of growing concern among scientists that global warming on Earth is proceeding faster than governments are responding to it. Last month, a study found that global warming will worsen disasters such as the deadly California wildfires and the powerful hurricanes that have hit the United States this year. 

Overhaul of global economy

 

And a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, concluded that while it’s possible to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century compared with pre-industrial times, this would require a dramatic overhaul of the global economy, including a shift away from fossil fuels. 

 

Alarmed by efforts to include this in the final text of the meeting, oil-exporting nations the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait blocked an endorsement of the IPCC report midway through this month’s talks in Katowice. That prompted an uproar from vulnerable countries like small island nations and environmental groups.  

The final text at the U.N. talks omits a previous reference to specific reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and merely welcomes the “timely completion” of the IPCC report, not its conclusions. 

 

Last-minute snags forced negotiators in Katowice to go into extra time, after Friday’s scheduled end of the conference had passed without a deal. 

 

One major sticking point was how to create a functioning market in carbon credits. Economists believe that an international trading system could be an effective way to drive down greenhouse gas emissions and raise large amounts of money for measures to curb global warming. 

 

But Brazil wanted to keep the piles of carbon credits it had amassed under an old system that developed countries say wasn’t credible or transparent. 

Push from U.S. 

 

Among those that pushed back hardest was the United States, despite President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord and promote the use of coal. 

 

“Overall, the U.S. role here has been somewhat schizophrenic — pushing coal and dissing science on the one hand, but also working hard in the room for strong transparency rules,” said Elliot Diringer of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, a Washington think tank. 

 

When it came to closing potential loopholes that could allow countries to dodge their commitments to cut emissions, “the U.S. pushed harder than nearly anyone else for transparency rules that put all countries under the same system, and it’s largely succeeded.”  

“Transparency is vital to U.S. interests,” added Nathaniel Keohane, a climate policy expert at the Environmental Defense Fund. He noted that the breakthrough in the 2015 Paris talks happened only after the U.S. and China agreed on a common framework for transparency. 

 

“In Katowice, the U.S. negotiators have played a central role in the talks, helping to broker an outcome that is true to the Paris vision of a common transparency framework for all countries that also provides flexibility for those that need it,” said Keohane, calling the agreement “a vital step forward in realizing the promise of the Paris accord.” 

 

Among the key achievements in Katowice was an agreement on how countries should report their greenhouses gas emissions and the efforts they’re taking to reduce them. Poor countries also secured assurances on getting financial support to help them cut emissions, adapt to inevitable changes such as sea level rises and pay for damages that have already happened. 

Some not hearing alarms

 

“The majority of the rulebook for the Paris Agreement has been created, which is something to be thankful for,” said Mohamed Adow, a climate policy expert at Christian Aid. “But the fact countries had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the finish line shows that some nations have not woken up to the urgent call of the IPCC report” on the dire consequences of global warming. 

 

But a central feature of the Paris Agreement — the idea that countries will ratchet up their efforts to fight global warming over time — still needs to be proved effective, he said. 

 

“To bend the emissions curve, we now need all countries to deliver these revised plans at the special U.N. secretary-general summit in 2019. It’s vital that they do so,” Adow said. 

 

In the end, a decision on the mechanics of an emissions trading system was postponed to next year’s meeting. Countries also agreed to consider the issue of raising ambitions at a U.N. summit in New York next September. 

 

Speaking hours before the final gavel, Canada’s Environment Minister Catherine McKenna suggested there was no alternative to such meetings if countries want to tackle global problems, especially at a time when multilateral diplomacy is under pressure from nationalism. 

 

“The world has changed, the political landscape has changed,” she told The Associated Press. “Still, you’re seeing here that we’re able to make progress, we’re able to discuss the issues, we’re able to come to solutions.”  

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Архієпископ Климент (Кущ) остерігається «помсти за томос» у Криму

Архієпископ Климент також зазначив, що має намір боротися за свою паству, в тому числі і через суд

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Адвокат відвідав у СІЗО Москви полоненого українського моряка Лісового – Полозов

Один з захисників військовополонених українських моряків відвідав члена екіпажу рейдового буксира «Яни-Капу» Володимира Лісового, повідомив у Facebook адвокат Микола Полозов.

За його словами, зустріч відбулася 14 грудня в кабінеті слідчого у Слідчому управлінні ФСБ РФ до початку слідчих дій.

«Володимир почуває себе добре, ніяких скарг або прохань не висловлював. Передачу йому віддали. За його словами, він на даний момент не має потреби ні в чому. Як і інші моряки, яких раніше змогли відвідати адвокати нашої команди, Лісовий заявив, що вважає себе військовополоненим», – написав Полозов.

Він прогнозує, що захисники інших українських моряків зможуть з ними побачитися протягом двох наступних тижнів.

«Через об’єктивні причини (зокрема, особливості організації роботи ізолятора), у СІЗО «Лефортово» ускладнений доступ адвокатів. Зустрічі адвокатів з військовополоненими українськими моряками, принаймні до Нового року, будуть обумовлені графіком слідчих дій», – зазначив Полозов.

Раніше сьогодні він повідомив, що адвокат Еміль Курбедінов відвідав у московському СІЗО захопленого в полон українського моряка, командира бронетанкового катера «Нікополь» Богдана Небилицю.

Читайте також: «Лефортово – в’язниця ФСБ». Розповіді тих, хто відвідав українських моряків

25 листопада російські силовики у Керченській протоці відкрили вогонь по українських кораблях, захопили їх і 24 членів їхніх екіпажів. Троє моряків при цьому були поранені. Усіх захоплених українців утримують у СІЗО в Москві. Українська влада визнає їх військовополоненими.

Дії Росії в районі Керченської протоки критикують у низці європейських країн і США. У НАТО заявили, що уважно стежать за розвитком подій у Керченській протоці і закликали до стриманості й деескалації напруги.

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Євстратій: офіційна назва об’єднаної церкви – Православна церква України

А титул предстоятеля цієї церкви – «митрополит Київський і всієї України»

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Republicans Say Little About Obamacare Ruling

Republican lawmakers have been mostly silent on Friday’s court ruling that the Affordable Care Act, known commonly as Obamacare, is unconstitutional. Democrats, however, have said they’ll hold the GOP to its commitment to retain popular provisions of the law, such as guaranteed coverage for those with pre-existing health conditions. 

“The GOP spent all last year pretending to support people with pre-existing conditions while quietly trying to remove that support in the courts,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said in a tweet Saturday. “Next year, we will force votes to expose their lies.” 

U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat who will assume the speaker’s role next year, said the House “will move swiftly to formally intervene in the appeals process to uphold the lifesaving protections for people with pre-existing conditions and reject Republicans’ effort to destroy” the law. 

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas ruled Friday that a change in tax law last year eliminating a penalty for not having health insurance invalidated the entire ACA. The decision is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the ACA will remain the law during the appeal.  

U.S. President Donald Trump had promised during his presidential campaign to dismantle the ACA, a program that made affordable health insurance available to millions of Americans.  

‘Great news’

The president took to Twitter Friday night:  “Wow, but not surprisingly, ObamaCare was just ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a highly respected judge in Texas. Great news for America!” 

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the judge’s decision “vindicates President Trump’s position that Obamacare is unconstitutional. Once again, the President calls on Congress to replace Obamacare and act to protect people with pre-existing conditions and provide Americans with quality, affordable health care.”  

Americans with pre-existing conditions, before ACA, faced either high premiums or an inability to access health insurance at all.  

Schumer said in a statement Friday that the ruling “seems to be based on faulty legal reasoning, and hopefully it will be overturned. Americans who care about working families must do all they can to prevent this district court ruling from becoming law.”   

“Today’s misguided ruling will not deter us,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the leader of an alliance of states opposing the lawsuit, said in a statement Friday.  “Our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and well-being for all Americans.”  

New law unlikely for now

Some legal observers believe Congress is unlikely to pass a new law while the case is in the courts. Many senior Republican lawmakers have said they did not plan to also strike down provisions such as pre-existing condition coverage when they repealed the law’s fines for people who can afford coverage but remain uninsured. 

If the case reaches the Supreme Court, it would be the third time the high court considers a challenge to ACA provisions. The law’s opponents lost the first two cases. 

Polls have regularly shown wide public support for the guarantee of health insurance coverage regardless of pre-existing health conditions, an issue Democrats successfully leveraged in last month’s midterm elections to win control of the House of Representatives.

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Johnson & Johnson’s Stock Falls After Report on Asbestos in Baby Powder 

Johnson & Johnson saw its stocks suffer their biggest drop in 16 years, following a media report that alleged the company concealed for decades that trace amounts of asbestos was in its baby powder. 

Shares of the U.S. pharmaceutical and cosmetics group fell 9 percent Friday, wiping out tens of billions of dollars from the company’s market capitalization.

Linked to ovarian cancer

The report Friday, by Reuters news service, cited documents released as part of a lawsuit by plaintiffs claiming that Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder can be linked to ovarian cancer.

It said that the company’s executives knew the baby powder contained trace amounts of asbestos, from as early as 1971, but deliberately chose not to make the information public.

The Reuters report also alleged that Johnson & Johnson tried, unsuccessfully, to stop regulators from lowering the maximum level of asbestos allowed in talc-based cosmetics.

Report is strongly denied

Johnson & Johnson strongly denied the report Friday, calling it “one-sided, false and inflammatory.”

“Simply put, the Reuters story is an absurd conspiracy theory,” the company said in a statement. “Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is safe and asbestos-free.”

The controversy has long dogged the company, which has been battling more than 10,000 cases claiming its Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products cause ovarian cancer.

Investors worry the lawsuits will cost the company billions of dollars in damages and loss of future sales of Johnson & Johnson products.  

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«Укрзалізниця» у 2019 році планує підвищити тарифи на пасажирські перевезення

«Укрзалізниця» у наступному році планує двічі підвищити тарифи на пасажирські перевезення в Україні. Це випливає із проекту фінансового плану «Укрзалізниці» на 2019 рік, попередньо схваленого наглядовою радою компанії.

Зокрема, згідно з документом, передбачається індексація тарифів на перевезення пасажирів у межах країни з 1 квітня на 12% і з 1 жовтня на 12%.

Також підвищення цін очікується з квітня в міжнародному сполученні в середньому на 13-21% залежно від категорії поїзда і типу вагона.

Читайте також: «Укрзалізниця»: «Щоб пасажирські перевезення стали беззбитковими, тариф треба підняти удвічі»

Цього року «Укрзалізниця» двічі підвищувала тарифи на пасажирські перевезення. Загалом тарифи подорожчали приблизно на чверть.

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«Укрзалізниця» запускає новий поїзд «Запоріжжя – Дніпро – Ужгород»

«Укрзалізниця» з 16 грудня запускає новий поїзд, сполученням Запоріжжя – Дніпро – Ужгород, повідомив в.о. голови компанії Євген Кравцов.

«У неділю запускаємо новий поїзд. Він забезпечить сполучення Дніпра, Запоріжжя, а також Білої Церкви із Закарпаттям. «Нічний Експрес» № 3/4 «Запоріжжя – Дніпро – Ужгород» у перший рейс відправиться 16 грудня», – написав Кравцов у Facebook 14 грудня.

За його словами, новий маршрут стане «потужним імпульсом для розвитку туристичної України». Поїзд, зокрема, буде зупинятись у Львові, Воловці і на станції Мукачево.

«Вагони у цьому сполученні пройшли капітально-відновлювальний ремонт, а графік складений з урахуванням побажань пасажирів», – додав Кравцов.

Із Запоріжжя поїзд виїжджатиме о 14:40, прибуватиме в Ужгород об 11:06. З Ужгорода він виходитиме о 13:20, прибуватиме в Запоріжжя о 10:14.

Нещодавно в «Укрзалізниці» заявили, що від 20 грудня цього року запускають новий поїзд № 90/89 Львів – Перемишль.

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‘Young Miracle:’ Baby Recovers from Ebola in Congo Outbreak

They call her the “young miracle.” A baby who was admitted to an Ebola treatment center just six days after birth has now recovered from the virus.

Congo’s health ministry calls the baby the youngest survivor in what is now the world’s second-deadliest Ebola outbreak.

The ministry late Thursday tweeted a photo of the infant, swaddled and with her tiny mouth open in yawn or squall, surrounded by caregivers who watched over her 24 hours a day for weeks.

The baby’s mother, who had Ebola, died in childbirth, the ministry said.

The infant was discharged Wednesday from the treatment center in Beni. “She went home in the arms of her father and her aunt,” the ministry said.

Experts have reported high numbers of children with Ebola in this outbreak, which Congo’s health ministry says has 515 cases, 467 of them confirmed, including 255 confirmed deaths.

The tiny survivor is named Benedicte. In video footage shared by UNICEF, she is shown in an isolated treatment area, cradled in the arms of health workers in protective gear or cuddled by Ebola survivors, called “nounous,” who can go without certain gear such as masks. The survivors are crucial with their reassuring presence, the health ministry said.

“This is my first child,” her father, Thomas, said. “I truly don’t want to lose her. She is my hope.” He gazed at his daughter through the clear protective plastic.

Infected children

Children now account for more than one-third of all cases in this outbreak, UNICEF said earlier this week. One in 10 Ebola cases is in a child under 5 years old, it said, and children who contract the hemorrhagic fever are at greater risk of dying than adults.

While Ebola typically infects adults, as they are most likely to be exposed to the lethal virus, children have been known in some instances to catch the disease when they act as caregivers.

Few cases of Ebola in babies have historically been reported, but experts suspect transmission might happen via breast milk or close contact with infected parents. Ebola is typically spread by infected bodily fluids.

The World Health Organization also has noted that health centers have been identified as a source of Ebola transmission in this outbreak, with injections of medications “a notable cause.”

Dangerous conditions

So far, more than 400 children have been left orphaned or unaccompanied in this outbreak as patients can spend weeks in treatment centers, UNICEF said. A kindergarten has opened next to one treatment center in Beni “to assist the youngest children whose parents are isolated” there, it said.

Health experts have said this Ebola outbreak, the 10th in Congo, is like no other as they face the threat of attack from armed groups and resistance from a wary population in a region that had never faced an Ebola outbreak before. Tracking suspected contacts of Ebola victims remains a challenge in areas controlled by rebels.

The latest WHO assessment, released Thursday, simply calls the circumstances “unforgiving.”

And now, Congo is set to hold a presidential election Dec. 23, with unrest already brewing.

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Андрухович, Бондар і Дерманський стали переможцями Книги року ВВС-2018

Українська редакція британської медіакомпанії BBC оголосила переможців премії «Книга року ВВС-2018»:

«Книгою року» став роман Юрія Андруховича «Коханці юстиції»;
переможцем у номінації «Дитяча книга року ВВС-2018» журі обрало книгу Сашка Дерманського «Мері»;
у новій номінації «Книга року ВВС – Есеїстика-2018» перемогла збірка Андрія Бондаря «Церебро».

Юрій Андрухович, Сашко Дерманський і Андрій Бондар отримають винагороду в тисячу фунтів у гривневому еквіваленті кожен.

Видавці книг-переможців – Meridian Czernowitz (Чернівці), А-БА-БА-ГА-ЛА-МА-ГА (Київ) і Видавництво Старого Лева (Львів) – матимуть право використовувати логотипи «Книги року ВВС» у своїх наступних виданнях.

Премії «Читач року-2018» отримали Ольга Крамарь за рецензію на книгу Юрія Андруховича «Коханці юстиції» і Марина Марченко за рецензію на книгу Андрія Куркова «Сірі бджоли». Обидві переможниці отримають у подарунок електронні книги.

Минулого року Українська редакція BBC назвала книгою року збірку оповідань Катерини Калитко «Земля загублених, або маленькі страшні казки».

«BBC Україна» оголосила переможців премії «Книга року» учотирнадцяте. Конкурс проводять у партнерстві з Європейським банком реконструкції і розвитку.

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