With millions more working from home and fewer people taking daily commutes in cars, you might assume pollution levels in cities dropped dramatically during the pandemic restrictions of 2020. But new research shows the impact was far less pronounced than initially thought, and air pollution in cities around the world declined less than expected during the first widespread lockdown restrictions of early 2020. It had previously been reported, for instance, that the NO2 level in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus was first detected, dropped by 93 per cent during its lockdown. However, when w...
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Morning Joe says Trump could lose more Fox hosts after Mar-A-Lago search: 'The news is going to get worse'
Former President Donald Trump appears to be losing one of his top conservative media allies, and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said Republicans may finally be willing to cut him loose before he sinks their election chances again.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham said on a recent podcast that Americans are "exhausted" by the former president and may prefer to "turn the page" to another Republican presidential candidate in 2024, and the "Morning Joe" host said they'd be wise to do it sooner rather than later.
"I mean, from my point of view, that would be best for America, but from somebody's point of view who is interested in the Republican Party defeating Democrats, it would be in the Republican Party's best interest also if that's what they did," Scarborough said. "He has too many negatives. They say it time and again, that guy is not going to ever win back voters he lost in the suburbs of Atlanta or the Philly suburbs or the Detroit suburbs or any of these suburbs. He's toxic for 55 percent of Americans, and he's just never going to get those people back, so it does make a lot of sense."
The former president has been taking on water since the FBI searched his Mar-A-Lago residence as part of an espionage investigation, and Scarborough said his legal problems could sink GOP candidates this fall.
"It makes sense to warn other Republicans, some whom have flocked to Donald Trump over the past week because they wanted to show how loyal they were to him, I mean, they're having trouble even keeping sort of the defense consistent because he keeps changing his story every three or four hours," Scarborough said. "One story contradicts another story. You know, we're just at the beginning of this. The news is going to continue to get worse. This is like the first round of Mike Tyson versus Allen, the boxing club champion of Princeton from 1967. It is not going to get better over the next 14 rounds."
"You know, it doesn't make sense for Republicans to embrace this guy, then be shocked by one revelation after another revelation after another revelation," he added. "They're going to keep coming."
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Trump's 'flim-flam' may not work as he finds himself in 'a position of weakness' against DOJ: biographer
Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly come under legal and financial scrutiny over the years -- only to eventually escape accountability.
But as Trump family biographer Gwenda Blair writes in an essay for Politico, he will likely not be as lucky when it comes to evading legal consequences for stashing top secret documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Blair begins by running down all the ways that Trump has escaped unscathed again and again when his actions have come under scrutiny from the media, from banks, and from criminal investigators.
Trump's high-wire act may have reached its peak in the 1990s when his businesses were struggling and he owed creditors $1 billion -- but he managed to turn around and blame the banks for giving him so much cash.
"The problem, he said in interview after interview, wasn’t that he’d overspent but that the banks had overlent — and the banks, unwilling to risk losing the Trump name on mortgaged properties, rolled over, lowering their interest rates and extending payment deadlines," writes Blair.
The author then documents how Trump discovered that his "flim-flam" worked in politics, as he used it to escape two impeachment convictions.
That said, Blair believes that these tricks will not work as well on the United States Department of Justice and she argues that Trump now finds himself in a "position of weakness."
"For perhaps the first time in Trump’s entire career, the M.O. that had served him so well seemed to be losing its magic," she concludes. "Maybe not for good, perhaps not even for long. The question now is whether it can save his ass yet again. I wouldn’t bet on it."
Kenyans have elected a record number of women to positions of power in this month's polls, with the list including seven governors, three senators and 26 MPs, in a step towards gender equality.
The East African nation has long struggled to get women into politics, with men accounting for the overwhelming majority of elected officials and female politicians largely consigned to serving as one of Kenya's 47 women representatives.
But the August 9 elections marked a breakthrough for female politicians.
In the populous Rift Valley town of Nakuru for instance, female candidates were elected to eight positions, including governor, senator and woman representative -- with Susan Kihika, Tabitha Karanja and Liza Chelule claiming those victories.
"Now sit and watch and see what women can do in office," said newly elected senator Karanja, who runs Kenya's second largest brewery Keroche Breweries Ltd.
Governor-elect Kihika thanked the voters of Nakuru "for being progressive and electing three women to the leadership of this county".
All three women belong to president-elect William Ruto's United Democratic Alliance party, with the country's incoming leader hailing their wins.
"We celebrate the many women who have broken barriers to climb the political ladder. Best wishes as you embark on your new responsibilities," Ruto said on Twitter on Saturday as results trickled in.
Kenyans voted in six elections, choosing a new president as well as senators, governors, lawmakers, women representatives and some 1,500 county officials.
With the exception of Ruto, all the presidential candidates had female running mates, including his main rival Raila Odinga, who picked former justice minister Martha Karua to join his ticket.
Women secured seven gubernatorial wins, more than doubling their 2017 tally.
They claimed the politically influential counties of Kirinyaga and Machakos as well as Meru, where former woman's representative Kawira Mwangaza ran as an independent candidate and defeated her male competitors.
"Thank you for believing in me and in women leadership," said Mwangaza.
"I am promising you that Meru will be the best county because there will be sustainable development projects," she added.
In addition to winning seven out of 47 gubernatorial races, female candidates claimed three out of 47 Senate seats up for grabs and 26 out of 290 MP positions.
Linet Chepkorir, 24, became the youngest female parliamentarian in Kenya's history following her election as woman representative in the Rift Valley county of Bomet, barely a year after she graduated from university.
The victories capped a months-long election campaign that saw female candidates subjected to a barrage of online abuse, including aggressive sexist language, gender stereotyping, and sexual overtures.
The International Federation for Human Rights and the Kenya Human Rights Commission warned ahead of the poll that such tactics were "consciously deployed to prevent women politicians or candidates from participating in active politics".
About 22.1 million voters were registered in a population of around 50 million. Nearly 40 percent of voters, or 8.8 million, are aged between 18 and 34, a drop since the last poll but still attesting to a vibrant youth contingent.
But observers say the record victories will likely embolden more women to enter the political fray and strengthen the push for gender parity.
According to Kenya's 2010 constitution, each gender must have at least a third of seats in parliament.
But successive parliaments and governments have fallen short of the target.
Efforts to pass a law that would force the dissolution of parliament if the one-third threshold is not met have been repeatedly stymied by male lawmakers.
© 2022 AFP