President Barack Obama announces his decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline proposal. President Obama cited concerns about the impact on the environment, saying it would not serve the interests of the United States
“Here in North Carolina’s third-largest city, officers pulled over African-American drivers for traffic violations at a rate far out of proportion with their share of the local driving population. They used their discretion to search black drivers or their cars more than twice as often as white motorists — even though they found drugs and weapons significantly more often when the driver was white. Officers were more likely to stop black drivers for no discernible reason. And they were more likely to use force if the driver was black, even when they did not encounter physical resistance.”
The strength it takes to survive and thrive while black can almost seem superhuman
Secretary of State John Kerry suggested on Thursday that the United States would play a greater role in alleviating the increasingly high-profile Syrian refugee crisis, which the United Nations believes to be the worst refugee dilemma in 25 years. “We could do a lot more to protect those people,” Kerry told The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein. Speaking from the State Department, Kerry acknowledged that while America has donated over $4 billion in humanitarian assistance to help Syrians, the situation in their war-ravaged country and in neighboring states remains dire for millions. Kerry did not suggest that the U.S. should be taking in more refugees. Rather, he indicated that any increased American effort would focus on working with existing refugee camps in other countries.
Markers throughout Exit Glacier show how much it’s receded over time. The impacts of climate change are real, and the people of Alaska are living with them every day. It’s never been more important for us to work together to address this challenge. -bo
President Barack Obama pauses to view the Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska, which according to National Park Service research, has retreated approximately 1.25 miles over the past 200 years
President Barack Obama makes a selection at the Sweet Darlings ice cream shop
President Barack Obama takes a boat tour to see the effects of climate change at the Kenai Fjords National Park
Doug Mills: President Obama looks from his boat at Bear Glacer during his boat tour of Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. @POTUS
President Obama announced on Sunday that Mount McKinley was being renamed Denali, restoring an Alaska Native name with deep cultural significance to the tallest mountain in North America. The move came on the eve of Mr. Obama’s trip to Alaska, where he will spend three days promoting aggressive action to combat climate change, and is part of a series of steps meant to address the concerns of Alaska Native tribes. The central Alaska mountain has been called Mount McKinley for more than a century. In announcing that Sally Jewell, the secretary of the interior, had used her power to rename it,
Mr. Obama was paying tribute to the state’s Native population, which has referred to the site for generations as Denali, meaning “the high one” or “the great one.” The peak, at more than 20,000 feet, plays a central role in the creation story of the Koyukon Athabascans, a group that has lived in Alaska for thousands of years. The White House also announced on Sunday that Mr. Obama was expanding government support for programs to allow Alaska Natives to be more involved in developing their own natural resources, including an initiative to include them in the management of Chinook salmon fisheries, a youth exchange council focusing on promoting “an Arctic way of life,” and a program allowing them to serve as advisers to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
President Barack Obama addresses the National Clean Energy Summit at the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The White House expanded its push for greater renewable energy adoption, announcing fresh financial incentives for solar panels, smart grid technology and other alternative energies for homeowners and builders
Tara Culp-Ressler: The Obama Administration’s Strategy On Heroin Addiction: Treat It As A Public Health Problem
The Obama administration unveiled a new strategy to combat heroin abuse on Monday, pledging $2.5 million in additional funds to target five “high intensity drug trafficking areas.” The plan, which aims to pair law enforcement officials with health experts, is notable for its emphasis onconnecting heroin users with treatment rather than focusing on putting them behind bars. In the 15 states participating in the pilot program, a
public health official will coordinate “heroin response teams” and help track the number of overdoses in their region. More first responders will be trained about how to administer naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdoses from heroin and prescription painkillers. The new strategy “demonstrates a strong commitment to address the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic as both a public health and a public safety issue,” according to Michael Botticelli, the Obama administration’s director of national drug control policy.
Katie Valentine: Here’s How The Government Plans To Cut Emissions From Landfills
The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans Friday that aim to reduce landfill emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases by nearly a third, in an attempt to more tightly regulate a sector that accounts for nearly a fifth of total U.S. methane emissions. The proposals seek to update methane regulations on new and existing landfills. If enacted, the EPA says the regulations would reduce methane emissions from municipal solid waste landfills by487,000 tons a year beginning in 2025. Since methane is about 25 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide, that reduction would be equal to cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 12.2 million metric tons — the amount emitted by more than 1.1 million homes.
Under the proposed rules, landfills would have to start capturing two-thirds of their methane and other hazardous emissions by 2023. That’s 13 percent more than they’re currently required to capture. The proposed regulations would apply to the more than 2,000 active municipal solid waste landfillsin the United States, which together make up the nation’s third-largest source of methane emissions. These emissions are produced when organic matter, such as food waste, decomposes in a landfill. Once the EPA’s proposed rules are filed in the federal register, they’ll be subject to a 60-day public commenting period.
For the first time since the Ebola outbreak was declared in Sierra Leone, the country has recorded zero new infections. There were no new Ebola cases reported last week according to the WHO. At the height of the outbreak Sierra Leone was reporting more than 500 new cases a week. Last week, for the first time since May last year, there were zero new cases.
But authorities are warning against complacency. OB Sisay, Director of the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC), said: “This does not mean Sierra Leone is suddenly Ebola free. “As long as we have one Ebola case we still have an epidemic. People should continue to take the public health measures… around hand-washing, temperature checks, enhanced screening.”
President Barack Obama disembarks Air Force One upon arrival at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 18, 2012. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama talks with, from left, Tony Blinken, Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, and Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer in the Outer Oval Office before making a statement in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Aug. 18, 2014. Photo by Chuck Kennedy
President Barack Obama meets the Weithman family: Joe, Rhonda, and their children, Rachel, 9, and Josh, 11, in their home in Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 18, 2010. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama talks with Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, and Trip Director Marvin Nicholson in an elevator at the Bridgeport Arts Center in Chicago, Ill., Aug. 12, 2012. Photo by Pete Souza
President Obama is getting seriously serious about supercomputing — here's why that's awesome: bit.ly/1Tbpo40
Max Plenke: Obama’s Getting Serious About The Future Of Supercomputing. Here’s Why That’s Awesome
Gird your technological loins, world: President Barack Obama is paving the way for the Usain Bolt of computers with the processing power of the human brain. A technology program called the National Strategic Computing Initiative seeks to invest heavily in high-performance hardware. The goal is to position the United States as the king of the supercomputing mountain. The speed it’s going for: one exaflop, or almost 30 times faster than the fastest computer in the world, China’s Tianhe-2, below. He’s thinking about saving the world. Or at least making it better. With an exaflop of computing power, scientists and researchers would be able to run incredibly complex and accurate simulations, like simulating the global climate to make global warming predictions.
The ability to handle a lot of data might be the supercomputer’s largest contribution. Think of all the simulations you can run: modeling aircraft, modeling guns, predicting weather anomalies or even figuring out long-term dilemmas, like what the agricultural industry’s impact will be in, say, 50 years.Medicine takes all kinds of analysis, deep dives into our DNA and biological informatics — things that take a level of computing power we’ve scratched but haven’t come close to mastering. The White House’s Precision Medicine Initiative would use high-performance computing to collect and create huge amounts of health and genomic data to tailor treatment for individuals.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk in the Blue Room of the White House before the start of the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony on Aug. 12, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama hugs Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient actor Sidney Poitier during the award ceremony in the East Room of the White House, on Aug. 12, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Joseph Medicine Crow shows a drum to President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama during a reception for recipients and their families in the Blue Room of the White House on Aug. 12, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama greet guests at a reception for Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients and their families in the Blue Room of the White House on Aug. 12, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama waits in the Blue Room of the White House for the start of an East Room ceremony to present 16 individuals the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Aug. 12, 2009. Standing in the background, from left, are Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients; Muhammad Yunus, Stuart Milk, nephew of slain San Francisco councilman Harvey Milk, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Dr. Janet Davison Rowley, and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama talks with Stephen Hawking in the Blue Room of the White House before a ceremony presenting him and 15 others the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Aug. 12, 2009. The Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor. Photo by Pete Souza