Russian journalist to appear in court after 15 months in detention

first_img to go further Follow the news on Russia RSF_en RussiaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses CorruptionJudicial harassment June 2, 2021 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its call for the release of Russian investigative journalist Alexander Sokolov, who will finally appear in court today in Moscow for a preliminary hearing in his case after 15 months in preventive detention on spurious charges. Arrested in July 2015, Sokolov filed a complaint with the Moscow prosecutor’s office after his detention was extended yet again in July of this year, taking it beyond 12 months. This is out of all proportion to the case against him. There was another extension on 18 October, this time until 11 November, two days after today’s hearing. The charges against him have experienced several changes since his arrest along with two other people for their supposed activities within an association that had been dormant for two years. According to the authorities, this association was the prolongation of a group that was banned in 2010 for extremism, so Sokolov was initially charged with “extremist content” and trying to “destabilize the government.” The second of these charges was subsequently dropped for lack of evidence and, after the prosecutor’s office ordered the investigators to beef up the case against him, the main charge was changed to “organizing a terrorist group,” which is punishable by eight years in prison. “We reiterate our call for Alexander Sokolov’s release before his trial,” RSF editor-in-chief Virginie Dangles said. “The weakness of the charges reinforces our belief that he was arrested because of his journalistic activities and not because he posed any danger to society. We hope his detention will not be extended beyond 11 November and that he will get a fair trial.” At the time of his arrest, Sokolov worked for the RBC media group, which was recently brought under government control. He has a PhD in economics for which his thesis was about the investment consequences of the embezzlement of public funds by major Russian companies. His last, well-researched, article was about the embezzlement of 93 billion roubles (1.27 billion euros) in public funds in the construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome. His findings seem to have been corroborated subsequently by an investigation by the Russian Court of Accounts. Around the time of the article’s publication, Sokolov and the two other defendants were arrested for helping to create a website for a group called “For Responsible Government” (IGPR “ZOV”) that was campaigning for a referendum to amend the Russian constitution so that politicians could be held accountable under criminal law. The Russian human rights group Memorial has described Sokolov and his colleagues as “political prisoners.” Russia is ranked 148th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. RussiaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses CorruptionJudicial harassment News News May 5, 2021 Find out more November 9, 2016 Russian journalist to appear in court after 15 months in detention Credit: RotFront Receive email alerts News Help by sharing this information Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption May 21, 2021 Find out more Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing Organisation Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown last_img read more

Russia thrash Saudi Arabia to launch World Cup in style

first_img0Shares0000Midfielder Denis Cheryshev celebrates after scoring Russia’s fourth goal against Saudi Arabia © AFP / Francisco LEONGMoscow, Russian Federation, Jun 13 – Russia kicked off their World Cup in style on Thursday, thumping Saudi Arabia 5-0 in front of an ecstatic crowd in Moscow as President Vladimir Putin basked in the glow.Putin declared the tournament open at the 80,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium, saying football “unites the entire world” before watching his team overwhelm their hapless Group A opponents. In a performance beyond the wildest dreams of even the most ardent home fans, two goals from substitute Denis Cheryshev were the highlight as Russia ended a seven-match run without a win in style.Iury Gazinsky got the party started early, heading Russia in front in the 12th minute before Cheryshev rifled home a second shortly before half-time.Russian fans celebrate as they watch their team take on Saudi Arabia at the World Cup © AFP / Maxim ZMEYEVAnother substitute, Artem Dzyuba, made it 3-0 with about 20 minutes remaining before a delicious late goal from Cheryshev with the outside of his left boot and a fifth from Aleksandr Golovin sealed the rout.Victory for Russia, ranked a lowly 70th in the world — three places below Saudi Arabia — was vital for the home nation’s hopes of progressing, with tougher games against Egypt and Uruguay to come.“There are no words to express what I’m feeling right now. I’m happy we won and happy I could help my team,” said man-of-the match Cheryshev.“I felt very happy when I knew I would be here in the squad but I never dreamed of anything like this.”– Williams gesture –Earlier, British pop star Robbie Williams caused a stir during his performance at the opening ceremony by making an obscene gesture to a camera.The former Take That star raised his middle finger at the end of his performance at the Luzhniki after appearing to mouth the words “I did this for free”.Russia is spending more than $13 billion (11 billion euros) on hosting football’s showpiece, the most important event in the country since the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics.Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech before the opening match of the 2018 World Cup © AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEVThe buildup to the tournament has been dogged by controversy and diplomatic scandals and has shone a light on the challenges facing the country.On the day of the curtainraiser, Russia freed the main opposition figure to Putin, Alexei Navalny, from jail after he served a 30-day sentence for organising an illegal protest.But British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell was arrested for holding a one-man protest against the country’s record on gay rights, hours before kick-off.– Big guns –The World Cup favourites — Germany, Spain, France, Brazil — enter the fray from Friday onwards.Brazil and star striker Neymar are seeking a sixth global crown while Germany, who won their fourth World Cup in Brazil four years ago, are determined to draw level with the South Americans.France boast possibly the most talented squad while Lionel Messi is desperate to make amends for Argentina’s defeat in the 2014 final.The preparations of 2010 winners Spain were thrown into disarray after coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked just two days before their opening game on Friday against Portugal. He had angered his federation by accepting the job of Real Madrid manager.Sergio Ramos and new coach Fernando Hierro displayed a united front on Thursday, smiling for the cameras as Spain scrambled to get their campaign back on track.Almost 5,000 kilometres (3,100 miles) away, Lopetegui was being unveiled as the new Madrid coach, describing the day he was sacked as “the saddest day of my life since the death of my mother”.Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, has recovered from a broken bone in his foot in time for the tournament.Egypt’s coach said prolific striker Mohamed Salah is “almost 100 percent” to play in their opening match against Uruguay on Friday after he had intensive treatment on the shoulder injury he suffered playing for Liverpool against Real Madrid in the Champions League final.– Hearts and minds –The money lavished on the tournament will boost Putin’s already sky-high prestige at home by giving many of the 11 host cities their first facelifts in generations.The tournament also offers Putin a chance to project Russia as a global player that is accepted and respected even while being at odds with the United States.He is attempting to do so despite Russia being hit by international sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014.Moscow’s military backing of the Syrian regime and alleged meddling in the 2016 US election on President Donald Trump’s behalf only deepened its worst rift with the West since the Cold War.Putin hopes the most-watched event on the planet provides Russia with the “soft power” needed to capture a sceptical world’s hearts and minds.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


first_imgLocal music producers Reuben Keeney and Rafii aka Sean Tianihad are today celebrating major success in the US Billboard Music Awards.Reuben KeeneyAn album they have been involved in has scooped the top DANCE/ELECTRONIC ALBUM of the year.The artist is Lindsey Stirling, and the album is Shatter Me. She appeared to a capacity audience in Dublin last November. Reuben Keeney will be appearing Outhouse The Marquee here in Letterkenny on the 31st May.This show, Letterkenny’s first all day outdoor Dance event, is expected to attract over 1000 people. Tickets are still available through An Grianan Theatre and all Four Lantern outlets around the county.LOCAL MUSIC PRODUCER REUBEN HAS MAJOR US BILLBOARD SUCCESS was last modified: May 18th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

After Evander Kane suspension, baby Sharks get their shot

first_imgLAS VEGAS — Danil Yurtaykin will start on the Sharks’ top line with Logan Couture and Timo Meier. Lean Bergmann will skate on the second line with Tomas Hertl and Lukas Radil.It may not be ideal for the Sharks to start the regular season Wednesday with two rookies, Yurtaykin and Bergmann, in their top six forward group. But that’s the situation they’re in going into the opener against the Vegas Golden Knights after winger Evander Kane was suspended by the NHL for three games without pay …last_img read more

Do You Know How Lucky You Are to Live on Earth?

first_img(Visited 845 times, 2 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The factors that make life possible came together so beautifully, even materialists have trouble knowing why we’re here.“We are lucky to live in a universe made for us” blares a headline on PhysOrg. Written by creationists? No; Geraint Lewis on The Conversation said that, pondering how we won the cosmic lottery.There are many observational facts about our universe, such as electrons weighing almost nothing, while some of their quark cousins are thousands of times more massive. And gravity being incredibly weak compared to the immense forces that hold atomic nuclei together.Why is our universe built this way? We just don’t know….Our universe appears to balance on a knife-edge of stability. But why?For peace of mind, he escapes into the multiverse hypothesis.Some seek solace in a creator, an omnipotent being that finely-tuned the properties of the universe to allow us to be here. But the move from the scientific into the supernatural leaves many uncomfortable.There is, however, another possible solution, one guided by the murky and confused musings at the edge of science. Super-strings or M-theory (or whatever these will evolve into) suggest that the fundamental properties of the universe are not unique, but are somehow chosen by some cosmic roll of the dice when it was born.This gives us a possible explanation of the seemingly special properties of the universe in which we live.As others have pointed out, though, that’s no solution. In a multiverse, anything not only can happen, but eventually does happen (5/17/14). That spells the death of science, because it collapses into the ultimate Stuff Happens Law. It also dodges the question of where the multiverse came from, and relies on trusting in things that could never be observed even in principle.Earth, specifically, is remarkably beneficial for humans. Sarah Scoles in New Scientist writes that “earth’s composition might be unusual for a planet with life,” according to a team led by Vardan Adibekyan of the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal. Their survey of exoplanets showed that few in habitable zones around other stars have the heavy elements like iron needed for life. They believe the number of favorable planets increases with time, but did we just luck out?Roberto Trotta, on New Scientist, looks for a “sister world” to not feel so alone. He apparently feels uneasy if the universe is “all-there-is” and we are it as far as sentient beings go. He casts a wistful eye at Kepler 452b, the latest candidate earth-like exoplanet, but realizes it’s probably all rock. It’s too hot, and most likely has no water. “This reminds us just how hard it is to find a good world to live on,” he sighs. He trusts that the student-people (i.e., scientists) “hope to spot a world that is just like ours.” Why would that help? “Soon, we might feel less alone in the All-There-Is.” To the Saganesque materialist, the cosmos is all there is, ever was, and ever will be. But not everyone is a materialist.Remarkable CoincidencesTwo very interesting podcasts by design advocates make a compelling case for Earth being designed for life.Doug Axe on ID the Future constructs a design argument from lignin, the third most abundant biopolymer on Earth.Michael Denton describes multiple coincidences from the sun, Earth’s atmosphere, photosynthesis and oxygen that make not only plant life possible, but human life, too (ID the Future).It would seem, given this evidence, that the onus should be on materialists to explain why the universe and Earth were not designed. “Luck” is hardly a scientific explanation.Listen to the podcasts numbered above. They’re really, really interesting and unexpected from a materialist point of view, especially Denton’s. Got evidence? The power of empirical evidence is on the side of creationists. Don’t let materialists intimidate you. Fight back with facts like these. Memorize a few of the points to use as conversation starters.Intelligent design evidence is powerful, but it can only take one so far. Why is the universe so well designed? Who designed it? Can we know the Creator who designed quarks, electrons, oxygen, iron, stars, planets, and atmospheres, and arranged them on a world that permits the beneficial  interactions between photosynthesis, lignin, plants, animals and human beings?“Some seek solace in a creator” Lewis says, but that leaves “many” (speak for yourself, Geraint) “uncomfortable.” He flees from the light to the darkness, because it makes him “uncomfortable.” But there’s little solace in darkness. There’s little comfort in nonsense like “stuff happens.” He kids himself thinking that science is an escape from the “supernatural.” He believes in reason and truth, doesn’t he? Those are immaterial and eternal, therefore supernatural. Everyone is a supernaturalist.Maybe he should reason that there’s solace in a creator because there really is a Creator who promises solace—and delivers. “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Jesus said. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). This same Jesus is identified by three different New Testament authors as the Creator (John in John 1:1-3, Paul in Colossians 1:16-18, and the anonymous author of Hebrews 1:1-2). Recounting one of Francis Schaeffer’s book titles, “He is there, and He is not silent.” We can listen. We can come to the light.Exercise: Solace is an uncommon word. It was used by Joseph Scriven (a man who suffered many sorrows in life) in his uplifting hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, inspired by Jesus’ promise quoted above. Click the link, listen, and sing along. Thou wilt find a “solace” there—especially when contemplating how a mighty, omnipotent Creator can be tender and loving to his humble creatures (John 3:16).last_img read more

South African farmer helps Mozambican neighbours

first_imgMozambique’s cashew nut industry isthriving, with the most recent cropsurpassing all others of the last 30 years.(Image: Wikimedia Commons)MEDIA CONTACTS • Filomena MaiopueGeneral director, Incaju+258 21 417723 / 416898• Ben ParkerDirector, Irin News+254 733 860082RELATED ARTICLES• SA invention helps N Darfur women• New bridge to boost African trade• Mount Mabu yields hidden bounty• SA’s women farmers root out hunger• R104m leg up for Zim cotton farmersSource: Irin NewsA colonial-era coconut plantation is being revived in southern Mozambique to provide small incomes to a largely cashless rural community.The initiative is viewed as a pilot project that could be rolled out across the country’s poor isolated communities to generate work for hundreds, if not thousands of people.A year after winning independence from Portugal in 1975, Mozambique descended into a 16-year-long civil war, and emerged from the conflict as one of the world’s poorest nations.Some colonial-era plantations have survived destruction at the hands of charcoal burners and others, but remain under-utilised through a lack of investment, or can’t be developed because of poor road and transport infrastructure.Now, the southern province of Inhambane is about to be revitalised. South African farmer Graham Ford has teamed-up with US NGO TechnoServe, with the consent of the provincial government – as all land in Mozambique is owned by the state – to revive an abandoned coconut plantation near the coastal town of Maxixe.Inhambane, with its tropical climate, is known as a prolific producer of cashews, coconuts and citrus.A small processing factory in the Maxixe community extracts the meat and oil from coconuts collected by local people. These two commodities are then transported about 10km to the highway, where they are loaded onto trucks bound for South Africa.Coconut products from virgin oil to dried flakes have a ready market in the food and healthcare sectors, and gatherers may deliver two sacks of coconuts, stripped of their husks, to the factory every week. This translates into a monthly income of about 1 000 meticals (US$33.50).“Until now the local people have not really used the natural resources around them on a commercial level because they had to take them all the way to the highway. Here they received meagre sums of money by men who took the coconuts to Maputo,” said TechnoServe’s agricultural consultant Rizwan Khan.He said the key to replicating such an initiative, so the poor derived greater commercial benefit, was to situate factories in or near communities.Khan said the international demand for coconut oil was driving the long-term plan to establish similar factories across Inhambane province. With the Maxixe pilot programme serving as a model, and the abundance of coconut trees in the area, the scheme has the potential to lift residents of the province out of poverty.A 2002-2003 government survey identified Inhambane as the poorest of Mozambique’s 11 provinces, with about 80% of the population living below the poverty line. However, a survey conducted in 2008-2009 found poverty levels had decreased to 60% in the province, which was subsequently rated as the seventh poorest.Reviving the cashew nut industryMozambique’s cashew nut industry was severely affected by the lengthy civil war, outbreaks of fungal infections, and insect invasions among its ageing cashew tree population. These factors led to a decline in both quality and quantity.Humanitarian agency Care International is attempting to revive the cashew trade in Inhambane province through its Sustainable Effective Economic Development programme.Care’s Michaela Cosijan, the acting project manager based in Vilankulos on the Inhambane coast, said that cashew nut production was one of the focus sectors, as the resource was being under-utilised.In partnership with the provincial authorities, a campaign has been launched to plant a new generation of cashew trees across the province. An insecticide programme will protect the remaining productive trees.Care is also mobilising farmers to form cooperatives for farmers that will give them a stronger bargaining power for their products’ prices.Paulo Johaui Murrouibe, a cashew nut farmer and one of 3 500 residents in the village of Tsumbo, Inhambane, said :”Previously we sold things as individuals at a low price, and had no ability to negotiate a better deal with the buyers. But now, with Care’s help, we have become organised as a community, negotiating better sales prices and using better farming techniques.”Filomena Maiopue, director of the Mozambican Cashew Institute, told local media recently: “Over the last five years, the average amount of cashew nuts marketed has fluctuated between 70 000 and 90 000 tons. But this year’s figure of 112 000 tons is a great victory for the country, since it is the highest figure attained since independence.”Maiopue also noted that because this figure only takes into account nuts sold through formal channels, the real figure may be even higher. Many farmers hold back a portion of their crop for their own consumption, and there is also an informal market.About half the country’s cashew industry is located in the northern province of Nampula, followed by Zambezia in the centre of the country and Inhambane in the south.“But Inhambane is increasing its production considerably,” said Maiopue, “and in the next campaign we expect it to overtake Zambezia.”last_img read more

#KicksStalker: ‘Long Live The King’

first_imgJohn Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding PH lifter Perez bags 3 golds in Asian Weightlifting Championships Photo from b/r kicksLeBron James is called “The King” for good measure. After John Wall and Bradley Beal said that Cleveland was afraid of Washington in last year’s Playoffs, James responded quite subtly.ADVERTISEMENT QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 The four-time MVP debuted a pair of LeBron 15, just a few hours after the Wizards duo said their sentiments, that carefully combined the aspects of the lifestyle line of the shoe and the aesthetics of the Soldier.The lifestyle pair features a higher-cut than the court version and has a zipper on its medial side panel with three straps saying, “LONG LIVE THE KING.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJames, though, did not wear the pair on the floor as he opted for the “Ghost” colorway instead.And after James landed the subtle jab through his shoes, the King delivered the finisher, putting up a kingly line of 57 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and two blocks in the Cavaliers’ 130-122 win. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Nextlast_img read more

Mercito Gesta loses title fight to Jorge Linares

first_imgJohn Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC INGLEWOOD, CA – JANUARY 27: Jorge Linares (L) of Venezuela connects with a left hand to the head of Mercito Gesta during their bout at The Forum on January 27, 2018 in Inglewood, California. Jeff Gross/Getty Images/AFPMercito Gesta gave it his all but just couldn’t dethrone Jorge Linares, failing to claim the WBA lightweight championship Sunday (Manila time) at The Forum in Los Angeles.The Cebuano challenger lost to the Venezuelan champion via unanimous decision, 118-110, 118-110, and 117-111.ADVERTISEMENT Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH01:26Lawmakers hail fighting Senator Pacquiao’s victory over Thurman01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Romero Duno KOs Mexican foe in first round MOST READ View comments Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next This was Linares’ third successful title defense as he improved to 44-3.Gesta, meanwhile, dropped to 0-2 in a title fight after also suffering a unanimous decision defeat to Miguel Vazquez in December 2012 for the IBF lightweight belt.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHe dropped to a 31-2-2, 17 KOs. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting LATEST STORIES Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PHlast_img read more

Trump proposes carmileage rollback states sue in protest

first_imgWASHINGTON – Citing safety, the Trump administration on Thursday proposed rolling back car-mileage standards, backing away from years of government efforts to cut Americans’ trips to the gas station and reduce unhealthy, climate-changing tailpipe emissions.If the proposed rule becomes final, it could roil the auto industry as it prepares for new model years and weaken one of the federal government’s chief weapons against climate change — regulating emissions from cars and other vehicles. The result, opponents say, will be dirtier air and more pollution-related illness and death.The proposal itself estimates it could cost tens of thousands of jobs — auto workers who deal with making vehicles more fuel efficient.The administration also said it wants to revoke an authority granted to California under the half-century-old Clean Air Act to set its own, tougher mileage standards. California and 16 other states already have filed suit to block any change in the fuel efficiency rules.“The EPA has handed decision making over to the fossil fuel lobbyists … the flat-Earthers, the climate change deniers,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.The proposal would freeze U.S. mileage standards at levels mandated by the Obama administration for 2020, when the new vehicle fleet will be required to hit an average of 30 miles per gallon in real-world driving.The proposed change, halting further improvement requirements, stakes its case on consumer choice and on highway safety claims challenged by many transportation experts.The administration says waiving requirements for greater fuel efficiency would make cars and light trucks somewhat more affordable. And that, it said, would get vehicles with the latest technology into the hands of consumers more quickly.It’s got “everything to do with just trying to turn over the fleet … and get more clean and safe cars on the road,” said Bill Wehrum, assistant administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.The administration will now seek public comment on its proposal and a range of other options, including leaving the tighter, Obama fuel standards in place.Some Republican lawmakers supported the mileage freeze, but environmental groups and many states assailed it.“This has to be absolutely one of the most harmful and dumbest actions that the EPA has taken,” said Healey of Massachusetts, one of the attorneys general from 19 states and the District of Columbia objecting to the change. “It’s going to cost drivers here and across the country hundreds of millions of dollars more at the pump.”The EPA under President Barack Obama had proposed mileage standards that gradually would become tougher, rising to 36 miles per gallon in 2025, 10 mpg higher than the current requirement. California and the automakers agreed to the rules in 2012, setting a single national fuel economy standard.Soon after taking office, President Donald Trump called for a rollback, urging “common sense changes” if the mileage requirements threatened auto industry jobs.However, his administration’s report on Thursday projects that relaxing mileage standards would cost 60,000 auto jobs by 2030. Those losses would hit the estimated 200,000 U.S. jobs that deal with making vehicles more fuel efficient, said Simon Mui of the Natural Resources Defence Council.A Transportation Department spokesperson called the estimate of job losses “rough approximations.”Two former EPA mileage officials said the administration’s proposal departed from years of findings on fuel efficiency, car safety, exhaust emissions and costs.“They don’t offer any meaningful example of what has changed so dramatically” to warrant the reversal, said Jeff Alson, who until this spring was a senior engineer in the EPA’s transportation and air quality office. “In my opinion the only way they got there was, they knew what kind of results they were told to get and they cooked the books to get that result.”Chet France, an EPA senior executive until his retirement in 2012, called the administration’s contention that the mileage freeze would cause only a tiny increase in climate-changing exhaust emissions “bogus.”California Gov. Jerry Brown said his state “will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible.”The Obama administration had planned to keep toughening fuel requirements through 2026, saying those and other regulations on vehicles would save 40,000 lives annually through cleaner air. That argument remained on the EPA’s website Thursday.According to Trump administration estimates, the Obama fuel efficiency standards would raise the price of vehicles by an average of $2,340. That would price many buyers out of the new-vehicle market, forcing them to drive older, less-safe vehicles that pollute more, the administration says.Heidi King, deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said the freeze would reduce highway deaths by 1,000 per year “by reducing these barriers that prevent consumers from getting into the newer, safer, cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars.”But private transportation experts say there are so many factors involved that the 1,000-lives figure is questionable. The affordability argument also ignores thousands of dollars of saving in fuel costs for each driver over the life of a car, opponents of the rollbacks said.Longstanding federal legislation has allowed California to set its own mileage standards given the choking smog that still sometimes blankets Los Angeles and other central and Southern California valley cities.More than a dozen states follow California’s standards, amounting to about 40 per cent of the country’s new-vehicle market.A drawn-out legal battle over the standards could hurt the auto industry as it tries to plan for coming model years.The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a main industry group, sought to stave off any dispute between California and the federal government that could split the U.S. car market: “We urge California and the federal government to find a common sense solution that sets continued increases in vehicle efficiency standards while also meeting the needs of American drivers.”In 2012, when the standards were first adopted, cars were about 50 per cent of new-vehicle sales. Now they’re only about one-third, with less-efficient trucks and SUVS making up the rest.___Tom Krisher reported from Detroit. Don Thompson contributed from Sacramento.last_img read more

Lumentum SAP fall Coty Athenahealth rise

first_imgNEW YORK — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Monday:Coty Inc., up 16 cents to $8.65The struggling cosmetics company named a new CEO and chairman.Athenahealth Inc., up $11.62 to $131.97The struggling medical billing software maker received a $5.7 billion cash buyout offer.Lumentum Holdings Inc., down $18.45 to $37.50Wells Fargo analysts said Apple is the unnamed customer that optical communications company Lumentum said was significantly reducing orders.British American Tobacco PLC, down $3.67 cents to $38.08The maker of Newport cigarettes fell following reports that U.S. regulators are considering a ban on menthol tobacco.SAP SE, down $6.89 to $101.42The German company agreed to pay $8 billion for survey-software provider Qualtrics International.Apptio Inc., up $12.80 to $37.65The business software company agreed to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners for $38 a share in cash.AECOM, down $1.74 to $30.98The engineering and construction company reported quarterly results and an outlook that disappointed investors.Nuance Communications Inc., down 64 cents to $16.85The software company agreed to sell its document imaging division for $400 million.The Associated Presslast_img read more