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Emergency Task Forces in Pennsylvania and New Jersey returned from the Surfside collapse search and rescue

Earlier this month, emergency task forces from Pennsylvania and New Jersey assisted with search and rescue operations in Surfside, Florida, and returned home on Friday.

Two states Dispatched dozens of first responders and emergency search and rescue personnel After the collapse of a condominium in Florida resulted in the death of 97 people, assisted rescue efforts. Many people are still missing.

Officials said there would never be a chance to rescue survivors from the rubble.

Pennsylvania Task Force 1 returned after helping to resume work for 17 days. According to the press releaseThe 80-person team is one of 28 federal city search and rescue teams supervised by FEMA, which were deployed to help after the crash.

The team is sponsored by the Philadelphia Fire Department and includes PFD members and first responders throughout the region.

Half of the teams work on site from noon to midnight, while the others work from midnight to noon. They are responsible for recovering the remains and personal property, delaying debris, assisting in crane operations, and mapping and collecting data.

“Too tired. This is a tragic incident, but now, as you can see, we are happy to get home,” Nkosi Wood of the Philadelphia Fire Department Tell CBS3.

Among the first responders sent from Pennsylvania was Memphis, a search and rescue dog from Montgomery County. She is specially trained to find humans in collapsed buildings.

Governor Tom Wolf welcomed the task force back from Florida on Friday. The scene was emotional, several members hugged and wept.

“We know this will be a difficult deployment. They are all. We know it will be a particularly difficult deployment. As always, they did a great job and did a great job there,” Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel told CBS3.

New Jersey He also left the site earlier this week and went home on Friday.

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Norway is sending soldiers to Mali as a contribution to the Takuba task force

The Norwegian government has decided that Norway will contribute to the Takuba task force in Mali and send “a smaller number of soldiers.”

The Norwegian contribution will be included in the Swedish contribution and is scheduled to be in place during the autumn. According to the newspaper VG, Norway has also offered two officers to be part of the Takuba force’s headquarters, the Ministry of Defense stated in a press release on Tuesday night.

Sweden is participating in the operation with a rapid reaction force of about 150 people, plus helicopters and a transport aircraft. 

“The contribution will, even if it is small, give us a better understanding of the situation in the area. It will also strengthen defense cooperation with Sweden. When we send a personnel contribution, it is appropriate that we also contribute with Norwegian staff officers at the headquarters to have the opportunity for insight and influence in the command structure,” Minister of Defense Frank Bakke-Jensen (H) noted.

Last year, Norway said no to France when asked to contribute personnel to the Takuba force due to the lack of support for the move in the Norwegian parliament (Storting). 

The Takuba task force has the aim of strengthening the Malian army’s ability to deal with the growing terrorist threat in the area. The initiative is a result of extremist Islamist groups advancing in Africa and especially in the Sahel belt where Mali is located.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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This post originally posted here Norway Government & Politics News

Gov. Burgum wants to get North Dakota carbon neutral by 2030. It’s a tall task.

And in the two months since the announcement at the state’s largest oil industry conference, both sides have looked for more specifics on what exactly needs to be done to achieve such an ambitious climate milestone in under a decade.

Burgum’s carbon target comes as climate change has lately taken the forefront of nationwide political and economic priorities. President Joe Biden opened his administration with a series of warning shots to fossil fuel producers, as well as ambitious climate goals of his own — among them a plan to slash U.S. carbon emissions in half by 2030. At the same time, Wall Street has increasingly prioritized investment in low-emissions and clean energy projects — a trend that has put stress on the funding channels of the world’s leading fossil fuel companies.

Burgum has been clear that North Dakota will reach its target through “innovation, not regulation.” And governor’s spokesman Mike Nowatzki noted that the 2030 target was issued as “a challenge and invitation” to the state’s leading industries — one that doesn’t include a rubric or rigid government instructions on how to get there.

Much of the vision fits into steps the state is already taking, measures that Burgum has said could turn North Dakota into a vast carbon sink for the rest of the region.

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According to the state’s Energy and Environmental Resource Center, North Dakota’s distinctive geology has the capacity to store between 76 billion and 252 billion tons of carbon dioxide, potential that Burgum said could be used to absorb the carbon output of other states. With the higher end of that storage range, Burgum noted, North Dakota could store the entire country’s carbon output for fifty years.

On top of this “geologic jackpot,” North Dakota is home to a growing list of energy ventures that could chip away at the state’s carbon footprint.

“We’ve got a lot of good things happening here,” said Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford. “Hearing all this is what brought the governor to the 2030 goal of carbon neutrality.”

Sanford said that to reach the goal, the state will need an all-fronts approach that includes cutting carbon emissions, expanding renewable energy and a major focus on carbon capture.

North Dakota is home to multiple ambitious carbon capture ventures, including the recently unveiled, $ 1.5 billion plan to retrofit the state’s largest coal-fired power plant, Coal Creek Station. That project would pair the carbon storage technology with new wind energy development, a combo that Sanford called a chance to “have our cake and eat it too.”

The importation of carbon from other states is also key to the governor’s goal. Two companies, the Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions and the Texas-based Denbury Resources, are each planning large-scale pipelines to transport carbon dioxide from out of state, allowing North Dakota to either permanently trap the carbon in the ground or inject it into oil fields to ramp up production in aging wells.

There’s not a consistent standard dictating who gets credit for that carbon—North Dakota or the state who produced it—and the governor’s office believes shipping carbon across the boarder should factor into the 2030 goal.

“Would it not count for something for us to be sequestering that much CO2?” Sanford asked. “That’s got to be a positive on a scorecard for us somewhere.”

Government climate goals can vary substantially, and a lack of consensus on how to report progress can lead to confusion when it comes to measuring carbon footprints. According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, 23 states have established statutory or executive greenhouse gas emissions targets, encompassing a breadth of different benchmarks and timelines.

Warren Leon, the director for the Clean Energy States Alliance, said the biggest difference between Burgum’s proposal and the goals adopted in other states, “is the almost exclusive reliance on carbon capture and storage.” For most states, carbon capture is expected to play a modest role on the road to 100% clean energy, while Leon observed that in North Dakota the technology is expected to carry the bulk of the load.

Leon and the Clean Energy States Alliance have maintained a state-level clean energy tracker of their own, though North Dakota doesn’t appear on the list because its target wasn’t established through formal means like legislative statute or executive order.

Ben Lilliston, the head of rural strategies and climate change at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minnesota, noted that government climate goals are often criticized for being overly vague and said it’s tough to gauge whether North Dakota’s target is achievable without seeing a more specific plan. Among other details, Lilliston said he would like to see breakdowns of the relative weight carried by carbon storage versus emissions cuts, more on the implications for energy, agriculture and other economic sectors, as well as regular reporting plans to monitor progress along the way.

“There’s a real feeling of urgency that we need to be focusing on cutting emissions,” said Lilliston, noting that for many in the environmental community, balancing out emissions with carbon storage isn’t enough. “We can’t sort of capture our way out of this or sequester our way out of this.”

Both Lilliston and Leon said that they are unaware of any other state that has set a timeline for net-zero or carbon neutrality as early as 2030. Among the states that have adopted formal carbon neutral goals, Michigan has set a deadline for 2050 and California aims to reach the mark by 2045, according to the Clean Energy States Alliance tracker.

Within North Dakota’s energy and agriculture sectors, Burgum’s target has required some smoothing over. Sanford said that part of the process since the announcement has been assuring industry leaders that the target won’t disrupt their current business models.

“Frankly, it’s ‘Don’t be alarmed,’” the lieutenant governor said of their message to industry. “This is just accumulating a scorecard for ourselves as North Dakotans of what you are already doing. This is not to put new regulations on you or change what you are already doing.”

For North Dakota’s top oil lobbyist who introduced Burgum at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in May, the governor’s announcement came as “a complete surprise.”

“The reaction was, I think, well okay, what does that mean?” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.

But Ness added that his organization supports the “fabulous” vision to reduce the carbon footprint of North Dakota oil production — a step he said may proves critical for sustaining financial investment in the state. When it comes to the implications for his industry, it may be too soon to know.

“The nuances of the details of the wording mean a lot to various people, oftentimes very different things,” Ness said. “At this point it’s a little early to tell.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Adam Willis, a Report for America corps member, at [email protected]

Cam Norrie told how to beat Rafael Nadal as Brit faces tough French Open task – EXCLUSIVE

Chris Evert has claimed the key to beating Rafael Nadal is breaking his rhythm because it is impossible to beat the Spanish legend at his own baseline game. Cam Norrie faces the Mission Impossible of beating the ‘King of Clay’ in the third round of the French Open on Saturday.

Nadal has won the title 13 times – and has only ever lost two matches in Paris since his 2005 debut plus has beaten Norrie twice already in 2021 in Melbourne and Barcelona.

And seven-time French Open champion Evert, now a Eurosport analyst, has urged the British No 2 to mix up his game against his fellow left-hander in a bid to create a seismic sporting shock.

“I don’t think anybody can really stay back at the baseline and try to out-rally or out-hit Rafa,” said the American legend.

“Somebody has to come up with something new in their bag of tricks. Maybe coming into the net if they are a good volleyer, or maybe using the drop shot, or just mixing up the rhythm of Rafa.

MUST READ: Nadal gives rivals ominous French Open warning after dominant win

“I think it helps if a player has a big serve because if you get free points off your serve then you have a better shot.

“But you have got to work so hard to try and break Rafa’s serve, and Rafa is also one of the best returners of serve in the game too.

“I think if he serves really well, and wins free points off his serve, mixes up the pace, then I think it’s just about the only shot for Cameron Norrie.

“He can’t be six-feet behind the baseline and trading ground strokes with Rafa – he’s just too good.”

Evert, now 66, won 18 Grand Slam singles titles between 1974 and 1986. But she also enjoyed a famous rivalry with left-hander Martina Navratilova – and Evert recalled she had to change her game to compete with the Czech-born American.

“Martina had beaten me 13 times in a row, so the 14th time was in Miami and I beat her,” she said. “That year, I won the French in ’85. My coach Dennis Ralston kept telling me during my 13 defeats, take the net away from her, come in on her backhand as that is her weaker shot.

Norrie has played and lost to Nadal twice already this year in Melbourne and Barcelona – and is ready to make it third time lucky.

“It can be absolute carnage going into the forehand,” said the British No 2.

“But I think especially with my backhand I can do a lot of damage and just use my legs to my advantage. I am looking forward to taking it to him again.”

Twenty-time Grand Slam winner Nadal said: “I know he has a style of game that is not easy to play against. I need to be ready to play my best.”

Watch the French Open live on the Eurosport App

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Boris to unleash Brexit secret weapon as IDS spearheads Global Britain task force

The Prime Minister is recruiting an external adviser to identify new opportunities following the UK’s departure from the European Union. Their specific role will be to find and highlight the benefits that leaving the bureaucratic bloc has handed the UK.
Their job will complement former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith’s Global Britain Taskforce which is examining how the UK can reshape its economy to the benefit of everyone.

Its hotly anticipated report should be published in the coming months and is hoped will suggest how the government can “level up” the economy by distributing wealth evenly across the nation.

The new role will report to former Brexit chief negotiator Lord Frost – who is now the Cabinet Secretary.

He told Parliament this week: “We have high hopes of outside input into this process.

READ MORE: Sturgeon’s currency plans torn apart by man who split Czechoslovakia

Lord Frost agreed with this assessment and told the Parliamentary Committee that Brexit has created the “huge advantage” of being able to design our own laws.

He added: “It is really important that we exercise that freedom in as useful and productive a way we can.”

He also used his appearance at the European Scrutiny Committee to slam “indoctrinated” UK officials for still operating like the bureaucratic EU.

A revolution was needed to “normalise” EU law still on Britain’s rulebook and return them to UK common law traditions, which are “lighter touch” and less risk averse, he claimed.

Addressing the committee, he said: “Lots of our bureaucracy and our regulatory systems have had to operate within a prescriptive EU law framework.

“We have internalised principles of EU law and EU ways of thinking about things for the last 50 years, which is harder to eradicate because it’s quite subtle.”

Since his role as chief Brexit negotiator ended in January, Lord Frost has stayed in Mr Johnson’s cabinet – taking a number of key roles.

In February he replaced Michael Gove as the UK chair of the partnership council – a body set up to settle disputes resulting from the trade agreement with the bloc.

He also took Mr Gove’s role chairing the withdrawal agreement joint committee which has been engulfed with the ongoing dispute about the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Lewis Hamilton needs worthy opponent but Max Verstappen's 2021 task is too tough

We came into the Formula 1 2021 season expecting to see Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominate once again, much like we’ve seen since the emergence of the V6 Hybrid era in 2014.
To put it in perspective, no other constructor has taken victory since the start of the 2014 season, and the stats are eye-wateringly good for the seven-time Constructors’ champions, and a mighty six of those came with Hamilton.

It eclipses Ferrari’s five-season run of title success with Michael Schumacher at the wheel at the turn of the century (I promise, F1 is not boring.).

And to quote Damon Hill, “Lewis is like Goliath, beating his chest with the question: ‘Who will challenge me?'”, he said on the F1 Nation podcast. “The great champions need someone they can spar with.”

And of course, all great champions need a worthy opponent, someone at the same level, someone who can really challenge for the win, so they don’t have to rely on being as ‘flawless’ as they can to make it happen.

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And actually, to add salt to the wounds of Red Bull, it looks like Verstappen is actively helping to make Hamilton even better, reigniting his fierce racing style – making the Briton have something to actually defend, rather than sleepwalk his way to a title.

Of course I am not suggesting a seven-time world champion has been sleepwalking his way to wins, he is ultimately one of the greatest racing drivers in history, there’s no denying that – but he hasn’t had the challenges maybe he could’ve had over the past few seasons.

No one is here to predict the future, but it’s very hard to discount Hamilton as the mighty driver that he is. He’s broken pretty much every single record put in front of him, most recently becoming the first driver in F1 history to hit triple figures for pole positions.

Formula One will oversee a huge shake-up in the rules, including a budget cap, major changes to the way F1 cars produce their performance from aerodynamic downforce, and the cars will become heavier.

The goal is to try and make the championship title fight closer and have more unpredictable racing on track, something I can’t wait to see.

So perhaps Verstappen will have to put champagne on ice this season in terms of title chances, however I do think we will see the championship go down to the wire – but it’ll be next season we can expect to see Verstappen shine.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Max Verstappen's 'demoralising' defeat in Spain makes challenging Hamilton a tough task

Max Verstappen continues to drive the wheels off his Red Bull in 2021. But in Spain he ended up on the losing end of the bargain when he was caught and passed by Lewis Hamilton, who once again denied the Dutchman the race win.
Verstappen started Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona in barnstorming fashion as he outmuscled polesitter Hamilton into Turn 1 and established a healthy lead over his rival, who was able to match the Red Bull for pace, but couldn’t do enough to close the gap.

At the time, Verstappen and Red Bull looked in great shape for a race win as they continue their quest to take the title fight to Hamilton and Mercedes.

But, as the race unfolded, it became apparent that Mercedes’ race-day package was the vastly superior setup, as Hamilton went long with his stint on the soft tyres, then showcased his dominance by wiping out the Dutchman’s 22-second advantage before eventually passing him with six laps to go to claim the victory.

It meant that Hamilton took his third win from four Grands Prix so far this season, with two of those victories seeing him passing Verstappen in a markedly faster car in the closing stages of the race.

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“That’s tough for Verstappen, who has been toe-to-toe with Hamilton the whole time,” Palmer continued.

“This one I think was a bit harder to take.

“When you lead the race for so long, fundamentally not winning, it is tough.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed