Environment

The Green Climate Fund has been thrust into the spotlight of late.

President Trump singled it out for scorn in his Rose Garden remarks last week announcing his decision to pull the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. Along with that move, Trump noted, he is ending further U.S. contributions to the "so-called Green Climate Fund — nice name."

Zika is a scary virus because of the terrible birth defects it can cause. Now scientists have a clearer sense of the size of that risk.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified 2,549 pregnant women with the Zika virus in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories between Jan. 1, 2016 and April 25, 2017. The CDC found that 122 of these women — about 5 percent — gave birth to babies with birth defects such as small heads (known as microcephaly).

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Water stagnating at a construction site. A dwindling number of mangroves along the shore. Lakes choked with algae and hyacinth. Sewage pipes leaking into the sea.

These are common sights in India.

Until recently, the best people could do to try to draw attention to such problems was to tweet pictures to the government or write letters to the newspaper — hoping someone with the power to make changes would take note.

Neil Shook was relaxing at home in Woodworth, N.D., on a Saturday afternoon just over a week ago.

"My wife was outside and she yelled at me to come outside and take a look at this," he recalls.

A massive brown cloud covered the horizon to the west. It was a dust storm — although Shook, who's a scientist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, doesn't like to call it dust. "I like to refer to it as soil, because that's basically what it is," he says. "We saw this huge soil cloud moving from west to east across the landscape."

Some of Nevada's largest solar installation companies plan to resume doing business in the state. For the past year-and-a-half Tesla (formerly SolarCity) and Sunrun stopped seeking new customers in this sunny part of the country because the state's Public Utilities Commission chose to phase out incentives for homeowners who install rooftop solar panels.

Hawaii's governor has signed a bill that adopts goals of the Paris climate agreement, despite President Trump's announcement last week that the U.S. is pulling out of the global accord.

"Reducing greenhouse emissions in Hawaii is now the law — the state law," reports Hawaii Public Radio's Bill Dorman. "While the specifics are a bit vague, the political message is clear: to keep pace with environmental commitments made as part of the Paris accord."

If you've ever bought coffee labeled "Uganda" and wondered what life is like in that faraway place where the beans were grown, now's your chance to see how climate change has affected the lives of Ugandan coffee farmers — through their own eyes.

Last week, President Donald Trump announced that the United States will be pulling out of the Paris climate accord. The move comes as a blow to alternative energy advocates who see green power as the most sustainable and environmentally responsible way forward.

creative commons

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - The family of a Virginia inmate who sought emergency medical help days before he died has filed a more than $40 million federal lawsuit against the jail.

Henry Stewart died in August days after filing an emergency grievance form saying he had blacked out twice in less than 24 hours and couldn't hold down food or water.

The lawsuit says Stewart's repeated requests for aid were either ignored or he received substandard care. The medical examiner ruled Stewart died as the result of a perforated gastric ulcer.

The overwhelming majority of bats are friends of humanity. They gobble up the insects that bite us and ruin our crops. They pollinate flowers and they replant forests by spreading seeds around. But as agriculture overtakes rain forests and jungles, humans have come into conflict with one bat species: the common vampire bat.

The Trump administration is taking steps to allow five energy companies to use seismic air guns for oil and gas exploration off the U.S. Atlantic coast even though they would incidentally harass marine mammals. Environmental groups and some coastal communities object.

"The testing would take place over a huge area ranging from the Delaware Bay, south to Cape Canaveral in Florida," NPR's Jeff Brady reports. "Ships would crisscross the ocean shooting loud bursts of sound underwater to map the geology."

Days after President Trump announced that he would be pulling the U.S. out of a global agreement to fight climate change, more than 1,200 business leaders, mayors, governors and college presidents have signaled their personal commitment to the goal of reducing emissions.

In an open letter, the signatories vow to "continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement," even "in the absence of leadership from Washington."

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Let's turn now to Indiana. James Brainard is the Republican mayor of Carmel just outside of Indianapolis. And he joins us from member station WFYI. Thanks for being with us.

JAMES BRAINARD: Oh, it's great to be with you.

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Thousands of protesters gathered around the country in a series of "March for Truth" rallies on Saturday. Demonstrators were calling for a congressional independent commission to investigate connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

In full view of the White House, protesters in Washington, D.C., demanded answers in the ongoing Russia probe. Chants of "Investigate Trump!" and "Resist, resist!" rang across the National Mall.

Some protesters even lined up together to spell out "Investigate Trump."

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Let's talk for a few more minutes about one of the key reasons the president gave for pulling the U.S. out of the climate accord. He said it was to save American jobs such as the jobs in coal.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

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Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is where we start with our Friday political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and The Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times. Good to see you both.

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In explaining his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, President Trump said the deal hurt American industry.

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When President Trump announced this week that he was taking the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, there were swift and vocal reactions from many industries --- but most of the organizations that represent American agriculture were silent.

Chris Clayton, though, a veteran reporter at one of the leading farm publications in the country, took to Twitter:

As he announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, President Trump said he was putting American jobs ahead of the needs and desires of other countries.

"I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris," he said Thursday.

Trump said the agreement was "very unfair" for the U.S., especially the U.S. coal industry. And he alluded to some recent good news for the battered industry: the development of new mines.

Michael Bloomberg is pledging to fill a funding gap created by President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, offering up to $15 million to support the U.N. agency that helps countries implement the agreement.

Friday News Roundup - International

Jun 2, 2017

Afghanistan’s president says cowards were behind this week’s bombing in Kabul. After their latest meeting, Germany’s Chancellor calls out President Trump. And of course, the President makes his decision on the Paris climate accord. A panel of journalists joins Joshua Johnson for analysis of the week’s top international news stories.

GUESTS

Susan Glasser, Chief international affairs columnist, Politico

Eli Lake, Columnist, Bloomberg View

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Jun 2, 2017

Paris deals, Jared’s secret channels and a spate of worrying hate crimes seen across the country. Plus, the ongoing mystery that surrounds covfefe. A panel of journalists joins Joshua Johnson for analysis of the week’s top national news stories.

GUESTS

Ed O’Keefe, Congressional correspondent, The Washington Post

Nia-Malika Henderson, Senior political reporter, CNN

Reid Wilson, National correspondent, The Hill

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