President Barack Obama meets with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Thomas Brandon, and FBI Director James Comey to discuss what executive actions he can take to curb gun violence
WSJ: Obama Administration Pushes For Deal To Start Flights To Cuba By Year’s End
The Obama administration is working to reach a deal with Cuba by year’s end that would allow travelers to fly on scheduled commercial flights between the countries, U.S. officials say, chipping away at a travel ban without requiring Congress to lift it. The agreement would allow airlines to establish regular service between the U.S. and Cuba as early as December, officials said, marking the most significant expansion of economic and tourism ties between the U.S. and Cuba since the 1950s, when Americans regularly traveled back and forth to Havana. The Obama administration is also exploring further steps to loosen travel restrictions for Americans to the island nation despite the decades-old congressional ban, officials said.
The twin moves, which follow the formal reopening last week of the American embassy in Havana, underscore the White House’s intent to solidify one of President Barack Obama’s major foreign policy achievements by making the Cuba shift nearly impossible for a future president to reverse. Only Congress can lift the long-standing U.S. travel and trade embargoes imposed against Cuba in the 1960s following the rise of Fidel Castro to power. But Mr. Obama has executive authority to grant exceptions to them. He announced several last December—such as allowing Americans to use credit and debit cards in Cuba and expanding commercial sales and exports between the two countries—and is considering others.
Russell Contreras: Judge Orders New Mexico Cops To Stand Trial For Killing Of Homeless Man
A New Mexico judge ruled Tuesday that two New Mexico police officers must stand trial on murder charges in the fatal, on-duty shooting of a homeless man that sparked angry protests in Albuquerque and helped lead police to overhaul use of force policies. Pro Tem Judge Neil Candelaria said after a nearly two-week preliminary hearing that there was probable cause for the murder case against Officer Dominique Perez and former Detective Keith Sandy to go to trial. Prosecutors filed murder charges against the two officers in the killing of 38-year-old James Boyd, who authorities say had schizophrenia.
He was shot during an hours-long standoff in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, where police accused him of camping illegally. He died at a hospital after his arm was amputated. Seven police officers around the country have faced murder charges for on-duty incidents since 2010. One was convicted of manslaughter and assault after a second-degree murder count was dropped. The rest are still in court proceedings. In the New Mexico ruling, the judge threw out an involuntary manslaughter option. Asked by defense lawyer Sam Bregman what standard he used to justify probable cause, the judge said “what a reasonable police officer in that situation would do.” Special Prosecutor Randi McGinn said during the hearing that Perez and Sandy came to the scene with the intent of attacking Boyd during a “paramilitary response.” “They created the danger. It was not Mr. Boyd who came at them,” McGinn told the judge.
President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order, titled “Planning for Sustainability in the Next Decade,” which will cut the Federal Government’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40 percent over the next decade from 2008 levels, in the Oval Office. Behind President Obama are senior advisor Brian Dreese and Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy Kate Brandt
White House: Leading by Example On Climate Change: Our New Federal Sustainability Plan
Late last year, in an historic joint announcement with China, President Obama set an ambitious goal for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change – a clear sign that the United States’ commitment to leadership on climate change at home and abroad is stronger than ever. In the latest effort to continue that push, this morning, President Obama signed an executive order that will help us stay on track to meet the new target pledged in China and ensure that the federal government leads by example as the United States moves boldly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while boosting clean energy. This new sustainability plan for the next decade directs federal agencies to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025.
That means big cuts to the dangerous emissions driving climate change – and also big savings. In addition to 21 million metric tons of emission reductions – the same as taking 4.2 million cars of the road for a year — achieving this goal will save taxpayers up to $18 billion in avoided energy costs between 2008 and 2025. Today’s action builds off of the strong progress the federal government has made over the past six years. Already, federal agencies have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent since the President took office, and increased the share of electricity consumed from renewable sources from 3 percent to 9 percent in 2013. Agencies have also made progress on a number of other fronts, like reducing water use by 19 percent since 2007. But there is much more work to do – and that’s what today’s announcement is all about.
President Barack Obama is given a tour of solar panels on the roof of the Department of Energy (DOE). With President Obama (L-R) are DOE HQ Energy Manager Eric Haukdal, DOE Deputy Secretary Liz Sherwood and Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy Kate Brandt
President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting at the Energy Department
In his ongoing effort to combat climate change both at home and abroad, President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Thursday to reduce the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40%. Although the government contributes only a small percentage of total emissions, the cuts are expected to keep 26 million metric tons of greenhouse gases out of the air by 2025 – equal to taking about 5.5 million cars off the road for a year. The order also directs the government, which is the single largest U.S. consumer of energy, to increase its use of renewable energy to 30% of its consumption, giving a further boost to green industries. The executive order comes just days after an international team of scientists reported that the Totten Glacier of East Antarctica –
the largest and most rapidly thinning glacier in the region – is shrinking because of warm ocean water developing beneath it. The process could have “global consequences,” including rising sea level by at least 11 feet, the researchers wrote Monday in Nature Geoscience. On Thursday morning, Obama toured an installation of solar panels at the Energy Department’s headquarters and discussed the new emissions targets with federal suppliers, part of a larger effort to lead by example on the climate change issue. In November, Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached an agreement on a climate deal to reduce carbon emissions and tackle the growing crisis of global climate change. The pact includes a first-ever commitment by the Asian country to stop its emissions from increasing entirely after 2030.
LOL. Ludacris was receiving recognition for his charity work and Jeb Bush tried to use him to look cool. After everything Luda has said, Jeb doesn’t seem to get it into his mind that he doesn’t like the Bush politicians
CNN: President Obama Preparing Executive Order On Police Militarization
President Barack Obama, responding to concerns over the use of military-style equipment during protests in Ferguson, Missouri over the summer, is asking aides to prepare an executive order that would better track the weapons and gear flowing from the federal government to local police departments around the nation.
The order, which he’s expected to preview Monday afternoon during a meeting with law enforcement and local government officials, would mandate federal agencies to review the way they provide U.S. police with heavy equipment like tanks and aircraft.
…. The White House will also ask for $263 million to provide police departments with body cameras, which advocates say would provide a clearer picture of confrontations like the incident in Ferguson, in which a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager. The funds would also go toward training.