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Norway Creates Global Climate Investment Fund to Cut Emissions in Developing Countries

coal-fired plant

AP Photo / Branden Camp

Described as a milestone by the government, the fund has sparked criticism from both left and right – for being “too little” and coming “too late”, as well as for being pointless, as the developing countries themselves invest heavily in coal.

The Norwegian government has announced it will establish a new climate fund to cut emissions in developing countries, in line with the Paris Agreement, in which rich countries pledged to annually contribute billions of dollars in aid to cover developing countries’ ever-increasing energy needs.

The new climate investment fund is expected to have NOK 10 billion ($ 1.1 billion) over the next five years and will be managed by Norfund, a private equity company established by the Norwegian parliament in 1997 and owned by the Foreign Ministry. The fund receives its investment capital from the state budget and its mission is to help developing countries fight poverty through supporting economic growth, employment and technology transfer.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg emphasised that this is not a “greenwashing” of Norwegian politics, which is a recurrent criticism of the liberal-conservative coalition among the opposition.

“No, this is a hot real answer to the Paris Agreement. We follow up on what we have committed to, which is to participate in financing in other countries. It is not a replacement for what we are going to do here at home, but an addition,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg told national broadcaster NRK.

The new fund is expected to contribute to the global phasing out of coal production by 2040. As of now, up to 30 percent of global greenhouse emissions are estimated to stem from the use of coal plants.

“The need is enormous and will only increase in the future,” Prime Minister Solberg said.

Solberg encouraged investors to join the Climate Investment Fund when it becomes operational.

“To succeed in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, especially in Asia, we must include other commercial capital,” Solberg underscored.

Development Aid Minister Dag-Inge Ulstein described the Climate Investment Fund as a “milestone in Norwegian development aid history”.

“We know that even if we give one percent to aid, the world’s aid funds alone will never solve global challenges such as climate change,” he emphasised.

CEO Tellef Thorleifsson in Norsund, stressed a great energy need in developing countries with strong growth.

“India alone is planning to develop new energy which will exceed all current consumption in the EU in the next 20 years,” he underscored. “Now we have a new, clear mandate to invest more in the markets where the climate effect will be greatest,” he said.

However, the fund sparked criticism from both left and right. According to the Socialist Left Party, the government is doing too little and too late. Its mouthpiece Kari Elisabeth Kaski demanded that an extra NOK 6 billion ($ 700 million) is earmarked each year.

By contrast, Helge Lurås, editor-in-chief of the news outlet Resett described the fund as “giving even more money abroad”. He dismissed the whole idea as pointless.

“While Norway subsidises so-called green energy, the countries themselves invest in coal power. China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam plan to build 600 new coal power plants in the coming years. China alone accounts for more than half, 368 power plants,” Lurås concluded.

Author: Igor Kuznetsov
Read more here >>> Norway Government & Politics News

L.A. clothing designer creates sustainable underwear brand that supports local business

LOS ANGELES — Greatwood Underwear founder and designer Jermelle F. Pitts has been passionate about quality men’s underwear for as long as he can remember. When starting his own underwear line in 2018, the goal was to create a product that is sustainable.

Pitts set out to create a brand that is based locally in downtown Los Angeles. According to Shon Simon, owner of the clothing manufacturer Pitts works with, all of the manufacturing, textiles, waistbands, and fabric are created in Los Angeles. She said, “He’s the perfect candidate for doing it locally.”

One of the highlights to Pitts’ underwear design is a special lining of a fabric called modal. Simon said, “It is a eco-friendly fabric. It’s antimicrobial, antibacterial, and it holds odor in a way that keeps you fresh.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic originally threatened his business, Pitts ultimately saw an increase in sales in 2020 after the Black Lives Matter movement prompted people to support Black-owned businesses. “However,” Pitts said, “now that it’s not at the forefront of the news anymore, sales have declined.”

Another challenge Pitts faces is being a Black gay designer in an industry that is still not very inclusive. Pitts said, “But everyday you just have to wake up, stay focused, and just go for the plan, and just follow your dream.”

Shop Greatwood Underwear https://www.greatwoodunderwear.com/
Visit Greatwood Underwear on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Author: CCG

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

Rusting City of Austin pipe creates sinkhole across three yards in south Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With each rainfall, Michael Sanford’s backyard disappears.

Erosion in Michael Sanford's backyard exposes the City of Austin's storm drainage pipe (Photo by Michael Sanford)
Erosion in Michael Sanford’s backyard exposes the City of Austin’s storm drainage pipe (Photo by Michael Sanford)

“When you see it, it’s like ‘oh my gosh, what’s going on here?’” he said.

A sinkhole has formed around a City of Austin storm drainage pipe, which runs beneath the backyards of several homes in the Villages of Shady Hollow subdivision in south Austin. So far, the sinkhole has affected three properties. In Sanford’s yard, it has grown to more than 11 feet wide.

“This was about two feet wide a week ago,” he showed us as we stood against his fence. “You can see how much wider its gotten.”

While the situation has become much worse due to recent rainfall, neighbors said they’ve been sounding alarms to the city about erosion issues for nearly a year.

They said the tipping point came last June, when Josie Palacio’s long-haired chihuahua fell into a section of the sinkhole, which was then smaller and butted up against another neighbor’s property.

Fearing something even more dangerous and catastrophic, Palacios emailed the city about the erosion. While she said city staff promised her engineers would come out last year, no one did. A response from the city to Palacios in December said an inspection “may not be necessary considering inlets are not breaching.”

Palacios said her long-haired Chihuahua "Belle" died about two weeks after falling in the sinkhole. She said the little dog was older and doesn't believe the incident was the cause of Belle's death (Photo: Josie Palacios)
Palacios said her long-haired Chihuahua “Belle” died about two weeks after falling in the sinkhole. She said the little dog was older and doesn’t believe the incident was the cause of Belle’s death (Photo: Josie Palacios)

Neighbors searched for hours until they found the little dog, named “Belle.”

“She was very traumatized,” said Palacios. “But the good of that is, that’s when it made me say, ‘this is my catalyst to do something.’”

“A very high priority”

Top officials at the city’s Watershed Protection Department Thursday acknowledged the growing sinkhole is a “dangerous” situation. Assistant Director Jose Guerrero and other staff visited the neighborhood Wednesday and put up orange fencing around where the ground is caving in.

We asked Guerrero why a city response has taken this long. He said it simply wasn’t as high a priority last year, adding priorities can change overnight based on storms that have fallen.

“Originally when this came in, we prioritized it at maybe a lower level,” Guerrero told us in a Zoom call, adding it has progressed to a “very high-priority situation now.”

Before we spoke with Guerrero, neighbors had been sending us pictures of the rusted pipe. Guerrero confirmed the galvanized steel pipe is old and has rusted through.

Guerrero also said it’s not best practice to use galvanized steel these days but rather concrete or something else more durable. He said he was working to learn the circumstances of when this specific drainage pipe was built.

A small fraction of Austin Watershed Protection's storm drain system is made up of galvanized metal pipes. Assistant Director Jose Guerrero said this particular pipe had rusted through and is at the end of its life (Photo by Michael Sanford)
A small fraction of Austin Watershed Protection’s storm drain system is made up of galvanized metal pipes. Assistant Director Jose Guerrero said this particular pipe had rusted through and is at the end of its life (Photo by Michael Sanford)

“We would prefer to put in reinforced concrete, as that has the most longevity,” said Guerrero.

On Thursday afternoon, shortly after our interview with Sanford, he said he received an email from a staff member that the city planned to take action.

“We know that this is a critical situation and are taking the necessary steps to remedy the problem, for both the short and long term,” read the email from Kathy Rock of Watershed Protection’s Field Operations Division. “We did meet this morning with a team of staff members who review and assess projects like this. Work assignments have been made and once I receive more detail and a specific timeline, I will get back to you.”

Guerrero said the next step is to replace the pipe, but he could not yet provide a timeline for when that would happen. He did say the city is trying to get permission from an adjacent property owner to work through that person’s land.

Guerrero added while the work could involve up to 10 or 15 homes, the department will start working at the three most affected homes. That’s right at the heart of Sanford’s backyard. The homeowner told KXAN time for repairs is of the essence.

“What if a kid, a pet is walking somewhere along that pipeline that looks safe, and that ground gives way?” he asked. “You’re going to fall down in that pipe, and it’s going to be tragic.”

Austin’s Watershed Protection Department said it has more than 10 miles of galvanized metal pipe in the city, which is less than 1% of its storm drain system. Our investigative team is working to learn about this aging infrastructure citywide and will continue to provide updates.

This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Anniversary: Inti Creates Is 25 Years Old

Inti Creates

This week marks Inti Creates’ 25th anniversary. Yes, the Japanese video game company was founded on 8th May 1996.

Over the past 25 years, it’s worked on games like Mega Man Zero, Mega Man ZX, Gal Gun, Azure Striker Gunvolt, Mighty Gunvolt, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon and Blaster Master Zero. In addition to this, it’s helped out with series such as Shantae and even titles like Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.

In a post on social media, the official English account for Inti Create thanked fans for all their support over the years:

Just last month, Inti Creates locked in the release date for Blaster Master Zero 3. It’ll be arriving on the Nintendo Switch on 29th July – bringing the Zero series to a conclusion.

What are your own memories of Inti Create over the past 25 years? What is your favourite game and series from this company? Tell us down below.

This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

The WFH Exodus Creates an Opportunity for Small Cities

Author: Aarian Marshall
This post originally appeared on Business Latest

Much has been made of the pandemic-era exodus to Lake Tahoe, Martha’s Vineyard, or Aspen. White-collar workers, freed of the constraints of the office, last year decamped for more skiing- and hiking-friendly climes—the pandemic’s Zoom towns. The locals were annoyed. The labor market was reordered. American life changed irrevocably. Or so the story goes.

But more recent data suggests that Zoom Town USA looks a lot more like Alameda County, California, across the bay from San Francisco. Eighteen percent of those who moved out of San Francisco last year landed there, just a subway, bus, or ferry ride away. Ditto for smaller cities surrounding Boston—Natick, Worcester, and Weymouth.

According to Postal Service data crunched by the real estate firm CBRE, those who picked up stakes during the pandemic were less likely to hightail to the hinterlands than to move to neighboring, less-dense cities, slightly farther from the downtown core. A CityLab analysis found that 84 percent of the people who moved out of the country’s 50 largest cities between March 2020 and February 2021 stayed within the same metro area. An additional 7.5 percent stayed within the same state.

An analysis from the University of Chicago published last week suggests that these office exiles will continue to work from home. Using a series of surveys from 30,000 working-age Americans, researchers estimate that 20 percent of post-pandemic workdays will happen at home, compared with 5 percent before the virus.

That suggests one legacy of the virus could be an upside for smaller cities and bedroom communities. More people might stick around home base—and spend money there. The same Chicago research estimates that the long-term shift to working from home will reduce spending in city centers by 5 to 10 percent. But people will spend somewhere.

“People who are working from home still want to go out, either during the day or after work, and they still want to spend their money on interesting things and interesting places,” says Bill Fulton, who directs Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research. “If you move from San Francisco, you’re not going to want to spend all your money at Applebee’s, right?”

Tracy Hadden Loh, a fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies real estate development, puts it another way: “I think annoying people with laptops are going to be everywhere. They’re coming for your favorite spot.”

The changes have elected officials, city planners, and developers mulling how to plan for this still-hazy future—and asking plenty of questions. Who will live here? Who will work here? Who will drive or take transit here, and when? Most essentially: What kinds of housing should we be building and for what sorts of people?

MassINC, a Massachusetts think tank that focuses on pro-middle-class economic development in the state, this month suggested that employers considering a “hybrid” working model—a mix of in-office and work-from-home employment—consider putting satellite offices in the state’s smaller cities, many of which have empty storefronts. It’s a win-win, the think tank says: Companies get bigger office space, without the Boston rents, and smaller places get more tax revenue from commercial tenants and the money workers spend while hanging around a few days a week.

“This is an opportunity for these smaller cities to reposition themselves and capture some of the growth from folks who may want to not live right in the middle of the city anymore,” says Andre Leroux, who leads the group’s Transformative Transit-Oriented Development program. Places such as Lowell, Springfield, and Worcester do not need to be smaller branches of Boston, he says. “They can assure their historic places as hubs of their region.”

Alligator creates traffic delay on Fred Hartman Bridge

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — This may be a new one – an alligator blocked traffic along Highway 146 on the Fred Hartman Bridge, during the late morning Wednesday. The lunchtime commuter crowd got a show, as the reptile lounged for a bit along the shoulder of the northbound lanes before being reluctantly removed.

Harris County Precinct 8 deputies, Baytown police and state police animal control officers handled the scene. While law enforcement had the animal’s best interests at heart, the gator wasn’t easily convinced, initially backing away from officials.

Once tethered by a rope, the alligator thrashed and rolled. It took about five officers to bring the animal under control, duct taped and loaded in the bed of a pickup truck.

Finally secured, the roughly 8-foot-long alligator was transported just a short distance, to safety just beneath the bridge. There, the restraints were removed and the animal released on the grassy bank of a small tributary connecting with the ship channel.

The day’s adventure over, the gator quickly waded through the shallows, and swam away to deeper waters.

La Porte police say it’s not uncommon to spot alligators on the road. However, a report of an animal on this bridge hasn’t happened before in recent memory.

Earlier on Wednesday, a cow got loose from a pasture and caused delays on I-10 near the East Beltway. It took the Harris County Sheriff’s Office livestock unit about 20 minutes to corral the cow over to the nearby cemetery, where it rested on the road for a while until its owner could claim it and remove it to safety.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Author: KTRK

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

North West, 7, Expertly Creates A Fake Scar On Her Face With Special Effects Makeup — Pic

Kim Kardashian’s ‘creative baby,’ North West, showed off her talent for special effects makeup by creating a scar on the side of her face! Check out the final result.

North West[1] is quickly showing that she is an expert makeup artist just like the ladies in her family! The sweet seven-year-old was photographed by her adoring mom, Kim Kardashian[2], in an April 11 post the SKIMS mogul[3], 40, shared to Instagram. In the snap, North rocked a pink stripe across the bridge of her nose, and created a horrifyingly realistic scar on her left cheek using special effects makeup!

Kim’s darling little girl, whom she shares with soon-to-be ex[4] Kanye West[5], seriously outdid herself with this makeup job, and her mom couldn’t have been prouder! “My creative baby,” Kim began the caption to her post. “North was testing out some make up [SIC] looks she thinks I should do for some shoots. She also was testing out special effects make up [SIC] tricks and used tissue on her cheek and covered it in foundation to look like a scar. I love seeing the looks she creates!”

This isn’t the first time that North has shown her skill with makeup. In fact, back in November 2020, North got a new job as La La Anthony‘s new makeup artist, giving her mom’s BFF a totally soft glam look[6], which La La loved. Kim has always been proud of her eldest, and recently she’s simply gushed about her on Instagram.

Prior to her latest post, featuring North with her special effects makeup on, Kim took to Instagram on April 9 and shared a series of images from her family’s little getaway. In the pics, Kim and North were captured positively beaming and goofing off[7] with one another as North slid off of Kim’s knee! The two giggled and laughed and looked like the had a total blast in their sweet mother-daughter bonding moment.

There’s no denying just how proud Kim is of her little ones[8] — including son Saint West, 5, daughter Chicago West, 3, and son Psalm West, 1. She absolutely loves to gush about her youngsters in interviews and on social media, and fans cannot get enough of seeing her clear pride and joy in her family! We cannot wait to see what the mother-of-four shares next.


  1. ^ North West (hollywoodlife.com)
  2. ^ Kim Kardashian (hollywoodlife.com)
  3. ^ the SKIMS mogul (hollywoodlife.com)
  4. ^ soon-to-be ex (hollywoodlife.com)
  5. ^ Kanye West (hollywoodlife.com)
  6. ^ a totally soft glam look (hollywoodlife.com)
  7. ^ positively beaming and goofing off (hollywoodlife.com)
  8. ^ her little ones (hollywoodlife.com)

Julia Teti

Yelp creates tool to help support Asian-owned businesses

Yelp on Tuesday unveiled a new tool to help customers identify and support Asian-owned businesses in the wake of increased violence against Asian Americans during the pandemic. 

Miriam Warren, chief diversity officer for the business review website, wrote in a blog post that the new feature will allow businesses the option to identify themselves as “Asian-owned” under the “amenities” section of a business’s web page. [1]

Yelp has previously released options for businesses to identify as Black, Latinx or women-owned. 


The tool, developed in partnership with nonprofit Gold House, which promotes unity and representation for Asians and Pacific Islanders, comes in coordination with the release of Yelp’s latest Economic Impact Report on diverse businesses[2]

The report found that in February 2021, searches on Yelp for Asian-owned businesses in the U.S. increased by 130 percent compared to the same period last year. 

“With the escalation of anti-Asian hate crimes and violence we’ve seen across the nation during the pandemic, there’s never been a more important time to support the Asian American community,” Warren wrote Tuesday. 

The diversity officer noted that in order to protect businesses who choose to identify as “Asian-owned” on Yelp, the company is “proactively monitoring business pages for hate speech against the Asian community to mitigate and remove any hateful, racist or harmful content that violates our content guidelines.” 

Conversations around condemning anti-Asian violence have surged to the forefront in recent weeks, especially after last month’s shooting spree on a series of Atlanta massage parlors, which left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent. 


Additionally, a recent report from California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism showed that hate crimes against Asian Americans in 16 of the country’s largest cities increased by nearly 150 percent in 2020. 

The rise in anti-Asian violence has come as former President TrumpDonald TrumpJoe Biden’s surprising presidency The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden, McConnell agree on vaccines, clash over infrastructure Republican battle with MLB intensifies MORE[4][5][6][7][8][3] and his allies have repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as the “China virus” or “Wuhan virus.” 

Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder and CEO of Yelp, said in his own blog post Tuesday that it has been “heartbreaking to witness” the “alarming rise in xenophobic and racist hate crimes against Asian Americans over the last year, coinciding with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and racist rhetoric tied to the virus.” [9]

“As part of our continued commitment to stand in solidarity with communities of color, we at Yelp condemn this senseless violence and are committed to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, inside and outside our organization,” he added. 

In addition to the new tool to identify Asian-owned businesses, the company announced Tuesday that the Yelp Foundation will double match its employee’s donations made from March through May “to select Asian American and Pacific Islander-serving organizations that are fighting to stop Asian hate,” as well as specific organizations working to end gun violence.

[email protected] (Celine Castronuovo)

Krispy Kreme creates 2 new Oreo doughnuts

Krispy Kreme has created two new doughnuts featuring Oreo.Both doughnuts will be available through April 18: the Oreo Cookie Glazed Doughnut and the Oreo Cookie Over-the-Top Doughnut.

The former is an Original Glazed stuffed with a cookies and creme filling, covered with an Oreo cookie glaze and finished with an icing drizzle and Oreo cookie pieces.The latter is an Oreo Cookie Glazed Doughnut topped with a cookie and creme filling, drizzled with chocolate icing and topped with an Oreo cookie wafer.

SEE ALSO | How to get 1 free Krispy Kreme doughnut every day in 2021[1]

To celebrate the new flavor, Krispy Kreme is running an online special where you can get 50% off a dozen Original Glazed with the purchase of an Oreo Lover’s Dozen. Click here[2] and use the promo code COOKIEGLAZE.The Oreo Lover’s Dozen includes 4 Oreo Cookie Glazed Doughnuts, 4 Oreo Over-the-Top Doughnuts, and 4 Original Glazed Doughnuts.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.