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US Takes First Step To Leave Paris Agreement

The United States will become the first country to leave the Paris Agreement in one year.

The Trump administration announced its decision to withdraw from the global pact two years ago but just filed the official paperwork earlier in the week.

The Paris Agreement was officially agreed to by every nation on the planet in 2015 and outlines a basic framework on how to address climate change on a global scale.

The move to withdraw is part of an ongoing effort by President Trump to appease corporate interests and financial concerns in the name of “red tape reduction”.

All of this comes at a time when scientists are urging rapid action to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. On Tuesday, 11,000 scientists officially declared a global climate emergency.

“Scientists have a moral obligation to warn humanity of any great threat,” said Dr Newsome from the School of Life and Environment Sciences. “From the data we have, it is clear we are facing a climate emergency.”

While concerns about global warming were first published in 1912, it wasn’t until the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its first report in 1990 that the world’s scientists united in their warnings of danger.

The vast majority of climate scientists agree that we have roughly eleven years left to limit fossil fuel use before “untold human suffering” is unavoidable, including extreme heat waves, drought, floods, plaques, poverty, starvation, famine, and war.

While only 61% of Americans say they are concerned about climate change, 70% of Americans believe environmental protections are more important than economic growth.

Yet, the majority of Republicans in Washington are on record as skeptics of science, so the administration’s decision falls directly into the party’s orthodoxy despite the ominous warnings.

Murray Energy files for bankruptcy as U.S. coal decline continues

Murray Energy Corp, one of the largest privately-held U.S. coal miners, whose founder is an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump, became the latest in a string of coal companies to file for bankruptcy on Tuesday as generators shift to cleaner-burning natural gas and renewable energy.

As part of a restructuring, founder Robert Murray, a Trump ally and climate change denier, will step down as chief executive and a lender group will take on more than 60% of about $1.7 billion in claims.

“Although a bankruptcy filing is not an easy decision, it became necessary to access liquidity and best position Murray Energy and its affiliates for the future of our employees and customers and our long-term success,” Robert Murray said in a statement.

The bankruptcy comes even after the Trump administration weakened or eliminated dozens of environmental regulations that Murray and other executives had called burdensome for the coal industry.

Early in the Trump presidency, Murray presented the administration with a wish list of environmental regulations he wanted slashed as coal companies have struggled due to growing use of renewables and cheap natural gas.

Eight other coal companies have filed for bankruptcy over the last two years as natural gas has taken over as the primary fuel for U.S. power plants, while coal’s share of generation has collapsed.

The United Mine Workers of America said its members are preparing to fight for their wages and benefits should Murray seek relief from its obligations during reorganization.

“We have seen this sad act too many times before,” said UMWA President Cecil Roberts. “But that does not mean we will sit idly by and let the company and the court dictate what happens to our members and our retirees.”

West Virginia’s Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said an additional 14,000 miners were at risk of losing their healthcare benefits and 82,000 pensions are under threat, which “underscores the urgent need” for Congress to pass legislation to protect miners’ benefits.

Coal’s share of U.S. power generation is expected to fall to 22% in 2020, compared with roughly 25% this year. As recently as 2003, coal accounted for half of the country’s electricity generation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Kelly Hyman

Kelly Hyman’s Journey from Child Actress to Top Class Attorney

Standing at 5’9″ in flats or bare feet, with shoulder length long blonde hair and bluish green eyes, American attorney Kelly Hyman may come across as someone who is about to walk the red carpet more than someone you would meet in a courtroom

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After being discovered by Charlton Heston and landing the role of Loretta on “The Young and the Restless” – Attorney Kelly Hyman set her sights on becoming the next Eric Brokovich.

Standing at 5’9” in flats or bare feet, with shoulder length long blonde hair and bluish green eyes, American attorney Kelly Hyman may come across as someone who is about to walk the red carpet more than someone you would meet in a courtroom.  That’s probably because before she went on to receive accolades like receiving the AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell three years in a row (the highest possible rating for attorneys), and before being named one of the top 25 class action trial lawyers in her home state of Colorado, Kelly Hyman was enjoying a successful career as a child actor.

Born in Miami Beach, Florida and then raised by her single mother, first in Southern California, and later moving to New York City, Kelly Hyman is probably most known for her role as Loretta on the iconic daytime television program “The Young and The Restless” as well as lending her voice to the now infamous “Gimme a break” commercial for Kit Kat.  Her Hollywood looks and ability to navigate the screen continue to serve her now in her prominent legal career.  Leveraging her legal skills and her background as a performer, she now appears as a regular legal contributor and voice of reason on difficult and controversial topics like the nationally covered Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax case, voters’ rights, free speech and key concerns among today’s working women.

Interview:

You grew up in California and had a successful career as a child actor.  How did you get into acting, and what were some of your favorite projects?

My mother was a single mother who was struggling financially. She was however a tennis pro and was teaching Charleston Heston tennis lessons in southern California. My mom asked Mr. Heston if he could help get me an agent and he did. I started doing commercials at age 5.  One of my favorite projects that I worked on was a movie called “Doin’ Time on Planet Earth” with Adam West from Batman. I remember my first day on the set and Adam West was dressed up as a police officer and not knowing who he was, my mother, who was born in Australia,  approached him and said, officer, and he smiled and said yes, my mom then asked him for the location of where I needed to check in for my day on the set, and Adam, pointed to the direction where I needed to go and told her to keep walking straight and it will be on the left side. My mother smiled and stated, thank you officer, and he, playing the role of the police officer, smiled, and stated that it was his pleasure.  It was an experience I will always cherish and never forget. I always smile when I think about it.

How did you transition from acting to law?

I knew that I always wanted to go to law school, and one of my dear friends from college suggested that I apply.  I realized that I reached a point in my acting career where I wanted to take a break and go to law school.

What made you pursue consumer protection law? 

I have always wanted to make a difference in this world and help people. Protecting people and fighting for their rights enables me to help them, and therefore have a positive effect on their lives.  Having a positive impact on people is my biggest motivation.

You have been called “a Modern Day Erin Brokovich” by the media, how do you feel when you hear that?  Was she an inspiration to you?

It is great to hear that people consider me a modern-day Erin Brockovich, she is truly an inspirational female role model, and it is incredibly humbling to be compared to someone that has created the kind of legacy that she has. She has fought for and helped so many people and continues to help people and have a positive effect on people’s lives even to this day.

She is an inspiration to me because she wants to make a difference in people’s lives and truly help them. Justice works when people stand up for what they believe in.

What would you consider to be your most interesting case that you fought and won?

When I worked at a law firm in Florida, I worked on tobacco litigation and mass tort litigation where I represented people that were harmed by medical devices and drugs. These cases were interesting because I knew that my clients were harmed, and I wanted to help them. I represented women that had transvaginal mesh implanted and they had serious complications because of it. Knowing that I was helping undo a wrong and make a positive impact on these women’s lives is something that I will always truly cherish. Knowing that they received justice for their harm is something that I am most proud of in my legal career. Knowing that I was helping people and making a positive difference in their life is one of the things that I’m so thankful for every day. Knowing that I am helping people get justice for their harm.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Follow your dreams. You can achieve everything that you want. The only limitations that you have are the ones that you put on yourself. Be brave, be bold and be you.

Trump signs order banning Huawei in US

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that effectively prohibits US companies from using any telecoms equipment manufactured by China’s Huawei.

The executive order, which has been under consideration for a year, cites the International Emergency Economics Power Act, a law enacted in 1977 that gives the president broad power to control trade in response to a national emergency.

The order does not mention any countries or companies by name. It instead creates a review process that allows the US commerce secretary to review any transactions involving companies that are viewed as posing a security threat to the country, which would include Huawei.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said during a daily briefing in Beijing on Wednesday that “for some time, the US has been abusing its national power to tarnish the image of and crack down on specific Chinese companies.” Nevertheless, the United States has been actively pushing other countries not to use Huawei’s equipment in next-generation 5G networks that it calls “untrustworthy.”