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US heat wave just preview of future: study

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WASHINGTON — The US East Coast is sweltering in a record-hot summer but it could endure twice as many sweaty days by mid-century without action on climate change, an environmental group said Wednesday.

The US capital, Washington, is on track for 50 days in 2010 in which the mercury crosses 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius), a number that could rise as high as 100 by 2050, the National Wildlife Federation said in a study.

The group, which supports action against climate change, said that the number of hot days in 2050 could be kept to 55 if polluters reduce carbon emissions.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has calculated that global temperatures between January and June 2010 were the warmest on record since 1880 when reliable readings began.

July was also abnormally hot throughout the eastern and southeastern United States.

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The National Wildlife Federation said the temperatures should be a wake-up call for the US Congress, which last month put on hold legislation that would set up the first nationwide plan to curb carbon emissions.

“The message is that there is a price that we pay for not taking action on global warming,” said Tony Iallonardo, a spokesman for the group.

“There’s a price in terms of lives and in terms of the structure we’re going to have to put in place to prepare better for global warming, including getting seniors and at-risk populations ready for the health risks,” he said.

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Climate skeptics often voice concern about the costs of transitioning to a low-carbon economy and point out that hot temperatures are not consistent.

The US East Coast was hit by record snowfall last winter. Parts of the western United States have had a cooler than usual summer.

“It’s not that the entire planet is warmer simultaneously,” Iallonardo said. “Some places will have heat waves at times and others will not, but certainly as a whole the data is showing us that the planet is warming.”

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The UN’s climate panel has warned that without steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, the global thermometer could rise by 6.0 degrees Celsius (10.8 degrees Fahrenheit) compared with pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, making large swathes of the planet unlivable.

However, some scientists say it is difficult to judge climate shifts in time-frames shorter than centuries.


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American, Italian and Russian blast off for ISS

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US, Italian and Russian astronauts blasted into space Saturday, headed for the International Space Station, in a launch coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, NASA's Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency set off on a six-hour journey to the orbiting science lab from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1628 GMT.

A NASA TV commentator hailed a "textbook launch" minutes after blastoff in "sweltering" weather in Baikonur, where daytime temperatures reached 43 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

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Megan Rapinoe trashes ‘disgusting’ Trump for his ugly racist tweets in CNN interview

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In an interview with CNN's Van Jones that will air on Saturday night, U.S. Women's soccer champion Megan Rapinoe condemned President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four progressive congresswomen of color.

"It's disgusting, to be honest. To say it's disappointing is ... it doesn't even come close," said Rapinoe. She added, "The more that we just are upset about it and don't accept that kind of behavior from all sides, then the better place we're going to be."

Trump has faced escalating criticism in the wake of his tweet that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) ought to "go back" to where they came from if they disagree with his agenda (three of them were born in the United States). The controversy escalated when attendees of his rally in Greenville, North Carolina chanted "Send her back!" about Omar.

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Conservative suggests Trump’s racist rhetoric will incite worse than ‘send her back’ chants: ‘One shudders to wonder’

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In a column for the Washington Post, conservative Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Kathleen Parker said the refusal by Republican lawmakers and the evangelical community to condemn Donald Trump's racist rhetoric is paving the way for something far worse than mere "send her back" chants.

Under a headline that bluntly states, "Those who don’t condemn Trump’s racism are complicit in his bigotry," Parker gets right to her opinion of the president, writing, "Going out on a limb here: President Trump is a racist. And a sexist. And a xenophobic nationalist. Among other things. Not to name call or anything."

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