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Mexico’s Senate passes climate change bill

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Mexico’s Senate has unanimously passed a climate change bill aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050, following Britain in creating legally binding emissions goals.

The law — approved late Thursday and which still needs to be signed by President Felipe Calderon — seeks to promote policies and incentives to reduce carbon emissions, decrease the use of fossil fuels and make renewable power more competitive.

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It will set up a National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change to coordinate efforts from various ministries as well as a fund for efforts at tackling climate change.

It also seeks to encourage citizens to help conserve Mexico’s environment.

The senators underlined how the country of 112 million was already experiencing the effects of climate change, including a record drought in many areas this year and heavier and more frequent rains in other regions.

The law was welcomed by environmental groups, amid concerns about Mexico’s ability to enforce legislation.

“It’s something that out of necessity we have to apply… We hope that Mexico will keep being a leader on climate change,” Juan Beazaury, Mexico representative for The Nature Conservancy environmental organization, told AFP.

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Calderon has made the global fight against climate change a key theme of his six-year presidency, due to end this December.

Mexico was 13th in the world for producing greenhouse gas emissions between 2009 and 2012, according to the bill.

In 2009, the United States attempted, unsuccessfully, to pass a similar climate change bill.

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[Photo of a Mexican farmer in his drought claimed ranch via AFP Photo/Jesus Alcazar]


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Marriott ceases Cuban operations after new Trump sanctions

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Marriott has been ordered by the US Treasury Department to close its Four Points Sheraton hotel in Havana by the end of August and abandon plans to open others in Cuba, a spokeswoman for the American hotel group told AFP on Friday.

"We entered the Cuban market in 2016, with permission from the US government," the spokeswoman said.

"Our operating license was reviewed and renewed in 2018. We have recently received notice that the government-issued license will not be renewed, forcing Marriott to cease operations in Cuba."

Marriott's entry into the Cuban market came during the administration of US president Barack Obama, a Democrat.

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California says film, TV production can resume June 12

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California will allow film, television and music production to resume from June 12 if conditions permit after months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the governor's office said Friday.

Film and television productions in the Golden State have been shuttered since mid-March.

The reopening will be subject to approval by local health officers, the California Public Health Office said.

"To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers," it said.

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Susan Collins skipped Trump’s visit to Maine after president threatened colleague Lisa Murkowski

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Protesters were expected to meet President Donald Trump on his Friday afternoon visit to Maine, but Senator Susan Collins, caught in the middle of a hotly contested re-election race this fall, did not.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Instead, the embattled Republican senator will be in Washington, where she has "several federal and non-federal events on her schedule," a Collins spokeswoman told NBC News.

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