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US to push ahead on climate pact before Trump takes over: Kerry

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday the Obama administration would do everything it could to implement a global agreement to combat climate change before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

Kerry made the comments during a visit to New Zealand just before setting off to Marrakesh, Morocco to take part in climate talks between 200 nations.

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Donald Trump, who calls global warming a hoax and has promised to quit the Paris Agreement, was considering ways to bypass a theoretical four-year procedure for leaving the accord, according to a source on Trump’s transition team.

Kerry declined to speculate on what Trump might do about the Paris Agreement and noted that there was sometimes a difference between campaigning and governing.

But the top American diplomat was clear he thought further action to prevent climate change should be a priority.

“The evidence is mounting in ways that people in public life should not dare to avoid accepting as a mandate for action,” Kerry told journalists at a press conference in Wellington with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key

“Until January 20 when this administration is over, we intend to do everything possible to meet our responsibility to future generations to be able to address this threat to life itself on the planet.”

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Kerry’s visit to Wellington followed a two-day trip to Antarctica where he flew in a helicopter over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which would add to rising sea levels if it melts, and spoke to scientists researching how fast climate change is likely to occur.

The U.S. accounts for just under 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions so is considered a key player in the Paris Agreement, which has been ratified by 109 countries so far.

The accord seeks to limit rising temperatures that have been linked to increasing economic damage from desertification, extinctions of animals and plants, heat waves, floods and rising sea levels.

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(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Stephen Coates)


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Matt Gaetz forgot which network he was on: Surprised CNN anchor said ‘I’ve never been called Sean Hannity’

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Rep. Matt Gaetz seemed to confuse cable news networks during a Thursday appearance

Gaetz was interviewed by CNN's Chris Cuomo, who aggressively challenged Gaetz on the facts as the Florida Republican attempted to defend President Donald Trump.

Despite the fact Cuomo's interview was nothing like the puff segments Gaetz is used to on Fox, the congressman seemed confused by the end.

"Congressman, you are always welcome, wherever I am, at nine or eleven, whenever," Cuomo said.

"Thanks Sean," Gaetz replied.

"Did you just call me Sean?" Cuomo asked. "Did you just call me Sean?"

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California lawmaker who chaired Republican Assembly caucus leaving GOP — to become an independent: report

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On Thursday, the Sacramento Bee reported that California Assemblyman Chad Mayes, the former Assembly Minority Leader, is leaving the Republican Party and registering as No Party Preference.

"Instead of focusing on solutions for the big problems that we've got, we focused on winning elections," said Mayes in his announcement. "For me, I'm at the point in my life where I'm done with gamesmanship."

Mayes, a controversial figure who was implicated in an affair with a fellow public official, represents Yucca Valley. He is the second Republican Assemblyman this year to leave the party, after Brian Maienschein of San Diego, who Maienschein of San Diego.

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‘Quantum physics generator’ incident in Ohio results in evacuation — hazmat found no radiation

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Authorities in Columbus, Ohio evacuated dozens of homes after a man called 911 to report being burned by a

"Firefighters say nothing threatening was found in a northwest Columbus garage," WCMH-TV reported. "According to firefighters, a man called and reported that he received ‘RF burns’ while building some sort of ‘quantum physics generator’ in a garage. The man used words like ‘particle accelerator,’ ‘alpha rays,’ and ‘radiation’ while describing how he was burned."

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