Coal-producing states and representatives of the coal industry are pushing back hard against President Barack Obama's efforts to address climate change by restricting power-plant emissions. A number of state attorneys general are preparing a joint legal challenge with the support of the coal industry. "Our coalition, in short order, will comprise of many states, consumers, mine workers, coal operators, utilities and businesses who are united in opposition to this radical and illegal policy," said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
Lawmakers love to come up with snappy acronyms to name their legislation -- but for every cleverly named bill, there are monstrosities such as the SCAN Act ("Scan Containers Absolutely Now") and the FOIA ("FOIA Oversight and Implementation") Act.
President Barack Obama's climate plan aims to reduce U.S. emissions, which currently account for 15% of the world's total, by forcing power plants to reduce their carbon output. These charts offer a snapshot of U.S. energy generation, and show how the country lags behind other nations in terms of renewable-energy generation.
Most of the Republican candidates -- but notably not frontrunner Donald Trump -- attended the Voters First Forum in New Hampshire on Monday, using the event to hone their messages ahead of this week's primary debate. Trump's signature issue -- illegal immigration -- remained a key topic of discussion. "It's like a serious wound. You want to staunch the flow," said ex-Gov. Rick Perry.
A group of 17 nonprofits have asked the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to "prepare a transportation sales tax measure that will reduce emissions, enhance equity, incorporate green infrastructure and integrate a network of waterway trails." The proposal would also include spending priorities for the measure's revenue, which could amount to billions of dollars. Currently, three local sales taxes provide about 70% of LA's transportation funding.
The Pentagon wants to deter cyberattacks on the U.S. by creating a cyberweapon so powerful it would
inspire fears of mutually assured cyberdestruction, the same approach that helped prevent nuclear bombings during the Cold War. "This is a new realm of war," said Peter Singer of the New America Foundation, adding that no deterrence approach is likely to be 100% effective.
The more than 5,000 private foundations started by ultra-high-net-worth philanthropists donated $45 billion in 2014. These foundations have about $560 billion in combined assets, with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation topping the list at $43.5 billion in assets.
The Li Ka Shing Foundation, Carlos Slim Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies were also among the wealthiest foundations formed by ultra-high-net-worth people.
Having accomplished its goal of legalizing same-sex marriage, the nonprofit Freedom to Marry is preparing to close. "The goal is to wind down over the next couple of months in a smart, strategic and collaborative way," said Freedom to Marry founder and President Evan Wolfson. While the nonprofit has accomplished its mission, the larger cause of "equality, inclusion, safety, freedom and respect" remains, he added.
The Republican presidential hopefuls are eyeing their polling numbers closely ahead of this week's GOP primary debate, which only the 10 highest-polling candidates will be able to attend. Current polling suggests that some big-name candidates, including Gov. Chris Christie and ex-Gov. Rick Perry, could find themselves on the wrong side of the line.
The Sustainable Development Goals will require people around the world to change their behaviors, with local volunteers playing a crucial role, says Richard Dictus, executive coordinator of United Nations Volunteers. Volunteers who model the desired behaviors can help influence others to do the same, he says.