Weeklong negotiations for landmark treaty to end plastic pollution close, marred in disagreements

Published Thu, 22 Feb 2024 10:50:08 GMT

Weeklong negotiations for landmark treaty to end plastic pollution close, marred in disagreements NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The latest round of negotiations to craft a treaty to end global plastic pollution closed late on Sunday after strained talks in Nairobi, Kenya, where delegates failed to reach a consensus on how to advance a draft of the treaty after a week of negotiations.Environmental advocates criticized the outcome of the weeklong United Nations-led meeting on plastic pollution, saying oil-producing countries successfully employed stalling tactics designed to weaken the treaty.Delegates were expected to discuss a draft published in September that represented the views from the first two meetings. The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for Plastics is mandated with creating the first international, legally binding treaty on plastic pollution in five rounds of negotiations.Member states decided to move forward with a revision of the draft, which has become longer during this third round of negotiations and will be even more difficult to advance, participants said. State...

The Albanian opposition disrupts a Parliament vote on the budget with flares and piled-up chairs

Published Thu, 22 Feb 2024 10:50:08 GMT

The Albanian opposition disrupts a Parliament vote on the budget with flares and piled-up chairs TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian opposition lawmakers disrupted the Parliament’s session again on Monday to protest against what they say is increasingly authoritarian rule by the governing Socialists. Democratic lawmakers lit flares and piled chairs on top of each other in the middle of the hall the minute Prime Minister Edi Rama took his seat to vote on next year’s budget. A cordon of bodyguards stopped opposition lawmakers from getting near the seats of the Cabinet.The left-wing Socialists, who hold 73 seats in the 140-seat Parliament, made a quick vote in principle and closed the session in 5 minutes. A debate on each budget item is expected later this week.One of the flares sparked a small fire, that was extinguished by opposition lawmakers.The opposition wants to create parliamentary investigative commissions to probe alleged cases of corruption involving Rama and other top government officials.The Socialists say the opposition’s requests are not in line with constitution...

Not just kid play: Toy companies aim more products at older adults

Published Thu, 22 Feb 2024 10:50:08 GMT

Not just kid play: Toy companies aim more products at older adults NEW YORK (AP) — Toymakers are tweaking original classic games or coming out with new ones that embrace an audience that’s been around for a while: people over 65 years old. The products are being marketed as a way for older folks to sharpen their brain skills as well as allay loneliness by helping them connect with other family members and friends, although some experts have raised doubts about toymakers’ claims. Toymaker Hasbro penned a licensing deal with Ageless Innovation — which designs toys with older people in mind — to come out with new versions of Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit and Life with a tagline “Generations” that offer bigger fonts on tiles and bigger game pieces. The new “Generations” versions of Life and Trivial Pursuit also have expanded their content to cater to younger and older people alike. For instance, the answer to a question in Trivial Pursuit about fitness can be Jack LaLanne or Zumba, depending on the player’s age. The new offerings hit stores in ...

Papua New Guinea volcano erupts and Japan says it’s assessing a possible tsunami risk to its islands

Published Thu, 22 Feb 2024 10:50:08 GMT

Papua New Guinea volcano erupts and Japan says it’s assessing a possible tsunami risk to its islands TOKYO (AP) — A volcano in Papua New Guinea erupted on Monday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, adding it was assessing a possible risk of a tsunami for Japanese coasts.Mount Ulawun on the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea erupted at around 3:30 p.m. (0630 GMT) Monday, spewing volcanic smoke as high as 15,000 meters (50,000 feet), the agency said, quoting the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in Darwin, Australia, The agency said it was assessing a possible impact, including the risk of a tsunami approaching Japan later Monday. First tsunami waves could reach Izu and Ogasawara islands about three hours after the shaking caused by the eruption, JMA said.The agency has not issued any tsunami advisory or warning. It said that no notable change to sea levels has been detected at observation sites in and outside Japan. Papua New Guinea’s Geohazards Management Division, a government agency that monitors earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, did not immediately respond to a ...

No Thanksgiving 'food orgy'? New obesity meds change thoughts of holiday meals

Published Thu, 22 Feb 2024 10:50:08 GMT

No Thanksgiving 'food orgy'? New obesity meds change thoughts of holiday meals For most of her life, Claudia Stearns dreaded Thanksgiving. As a person who struggled with obesity since childhood, Stearns hated the annual turmoil of obsessing about what she ate — and the guilt of overindulging on a holiday built around food.Now, after losing nearly 100 pounds using medications including Wegovy, a powerful new anti-obesity drug, Stearns says the “food noise” in her head has gone very, very quiet.“Last year, it felt so lovely to just be able to enjoy my meal, to focus on being with friends and family, to focus on the joy of the day,” says Stearns, 65, of Somerville, Massachusetts. “That was a whole new experience.”As millions of Americans struggling with obesity gain access to a new generation of weight-loss drugs, Stearns’ experience is becoming more common — and more noticeable at the times of year when cooking, eating and a sense of abundance can define and heighten gatherings of loved ones and friends. Medical experts and consumers say the drugs are shifting n...

Nutty question: Are there an unusual number of acorns this year?

Published Thu, 22 Feb 2024 10:50:08 GMT

Nutty question: Are there an unusual number of acorns this year? AUSTIN (KXAN) -- Any visitors to Zilker Park this fall may have noticed an extra CRUNCH to their step. Dozens upon dozens of acorns are littering the park. It's not just there either, backyards, lawns, sidewalks, all coated in a nice crunchy layer of nuts. So what's the deal? "Unfortunately, we don't have someone who goes around and studies all the acorns on the ground to see if we're sure enough getting, you know many more this year than other years, but it does anecdotally at least appear that there are a lot of acorns dropping right now," said John Davis, a biologist for the City of Austin.According to Davis, acorns are the seed of oak trees. They typically drop to the ground in the fall. Oaks can be found all across Central Texas, with several varieties.While we were dealing with the hottest summer on record and a severe drought, so were these oak trees. Davis says that during severe weather, many plants and wildlife take some unique actions to survive. In the case of the oak, i...

GasBuddy: Avg. Alb. prices drop 5.1 cents in last week

Published Thu, 22 Feb 2024 10:50:08 GMT

GasBuddy: Avg. Alb. prices drop 5.1 cents in last week ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) -- Average gasoline prices in Albany have fallen 5.1 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.55/g Monday, according to GasBuddy's survey of 546 stations in Albany. Prices in Albany are 17.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand 36.9 cents per gallon lower than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen 6.9 cents in the last week and stands at $4.28 per gallon. Get the latest news, weather, sports and entertainment delivered right to your inbox! According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Albany was priced at $3.25/g Sunday, while the most expensive was $3.89/g, a difference of 64.0 cents per gallon. The lowest price in the state Sunday was $2.69/g while the highest was $5.00/g, a difference of $2.31/g.The national average price of gasoline has fallen 6.2 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.27/g Monday. The national average is down 25.9 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands 36.9 cents per...

5 things to know this Monday, November 20

Published Thu, 22 Feb 2024 10:50:08 GMT

5 things to know this Monday, November 20 ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) -- The countdown to Friday restarts once again. Happy Monday! According to Meteorologist Jill Szwed, we can expect a mostly sunny day with seasonably chilly temperatures. Get the latest news, weather, sports and entertainment delivered right to your inbox! The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office announced they are investigating a stabbing that occurred in Schuylerville. The incident took place late in the afternoon on November 17. Meanwhile, a team led by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute announced they have successfully 3D-printed hair follicles in human skin tissue cultured in a laboratory. The advancement marks the first time this technology has been used for hair follicle generation. These stories, and more, are covered in your five things to know this Monday morning. 1. SCSO investigating stabbing in SchuylervilleThe Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office announced they are investigating a stabbing that occurred in Schuylerville. The incident took ...

Ask Amy: Brother-sister relationship turns threatening

Published Thu, 22 Feb 2024 10:50:08 GMT

Ask Amy: Brother-sister relationship turns threatening Dear Amy: I’ve been with my boyfriend for nine months. He is fantastic.From the beginning, I knew his family was extremely important to him. One of his sisters died a few years ago and his family has struggled to recover.His immediate and extended family are extremely close.He lives with his sister and they are VERY close; closer than any siblings I know. They live together, are best friends, and are inseparable.I love his sister, but have had run-ins with her because she doesn’t like the time he spends with me cutting into their time together.I try very hard to be conscious of the time he wants/needs with family, but recently, it has felt threatening.Last night at their place she told me that I shouldn’t speak up or criticize his cousins or any other family members because, in her words, “You’re not safe yet.”When I got home and thought about it, that comment really hurt me.I know that he loves me, but sometimes I feel like I have to stifle my own thoughts o...

Commission approves €3 billion Austrian state aid scheme to support companies facing increased energy costs in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine

Published Thu, 22 Feb 2024 10:50:08 GMT

Commission approves €3 billion Austrian state aid scheme to support companies facing increased energy costs in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine The European Commission has approved an approximately €3 billion Austrian scheme to support companies facing increased energy costs in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State Aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework. The scheme consists of two measures: (i) limited amounts of aid to compensate companies for the cost increase of various energy sources; and (ii) aid for additional costs due to exceptional natural gas and electricity price increases. Under both measures, the aid will take the form of direct grants. The measure will be open to companies of all sizes and sectors, with the exception of credit and financial institutions among other sectors.   The Commission concluded that the Austrian scheme is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis and Transition Fram...

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