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What is the Paris climate agreement? 9 things to know

Published: Thursday, June 01, 2017 @ 2:55 PM

U.S. Withdraws From Paris Climate Deal

President Donald Trump will announce plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

>> Read more trending news 

“Trump will argue that the Paris pact is a bad deal for American workers and was poorly negotiated by the Obama administration,” according to the AP.

Here are nine things to know about the Paris climate agreement:

What is it?

The Paris climate agreement, also referred to as the Paris climate accord, the Paris climate deal or the Paris agreement, is a pact sponsored by the United Nations to bring the world’s countries together in the fight against climate change.

» Related: Trump resisting pressure from Europe, pope on climate deal 

What is the overall mission?

Countries that sign on to the pact agree to limit the century’s global average temperature increase to no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above the levels from the years 1850-1900 (the pre-industrial era).

The agreement also imposes a more rigid goal of limiting temperature increases to only 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial era levels.

What is each country responsible for?

Under the agreement, every country has an individual plan (or “nationally determined contribution”) to tackle its greenhouse gas emissions.

For example, under the Obama administration, the U.S. vowed to cut its emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2025.

» Related: 22 GOP senators want US to pull out of Paris climate accord

When did the agreement go into effect?

The agreement went into effect on Nov. 4, 2016, 30 days after at least 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of the world’s global emissions ratified it.

Is it legally binding?

According to the U.N.’s website on climate change, the agreement has a “hybrid of legally binding and nonbinding provisions.”

But there’s no clear-cut consequence or penalty for countries that fall short of their pledged goals.

How many nations are part of the accord?

As of May 2017, of the 195 negotiating countries that signed the agreement, 147 parties have ratified it.

» Related: Georgia impacted by Paris climate deal 

How does withdrawal from the agreement work?

According to The New York Times, the Trump administration can either request a formal withdrawal, which takes four years, or it could withdraw from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change altogether.

If the U.S. withdraws from the underlying convention, it would signal the country’s departure from any United Nations-sponsored climate discussions. 

How would U.S. withdrawal affect national and global efforts against climate change?

According to The New York Times, a U.S. withdrawal could “seriously weaken global efforts to avoid drastic climate change.” 

Instead of cutting emissions to 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 (the nation’s original pledge under the Obama administration), an analysis by Rhodium Group estimated that emissions would fall just 15 to 19 percent below 2005 levels. 

» Related: EU official says EU, China to reaffirm support for climate pact 

“Pulling out of Paris is the biggest thing Trump could do to unravel Obama's climate legacy,” Axios' Jonathan Swan wrote early Wednesday. “It sends a combative signal to the rest of the world that America doesn't prioritize climate change and threatens to unravel the ambition of the entire deal.”

The effects of U.S. withdrawal on global efforts will depend heavily on how other countries react, but the nation could still face some diplomatic consequences for leaving, including possible carbon tariffs imposed on the U.S., The New York Times reported.

Would the U.S. be the only U.N. country not supporting the deal?

No, but the only other two U.N.-member countries that aren’t supportive of the Paris climate agreement are Nicaragua and Syria.

At the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Nicaragua representative Dr. Paul Oquist said the agreement didn’t go far enough, adding that voluntary responsibilities are a path to failure, TelesurTV reported.

According to the Financial Times, Nicaragua is responsible for only.03 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Syria, which is in the middle of a civil war, was responsible for .19 percent of global emissions in 2011, when the war began.

In 2014, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States was responsible for approximately 15 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more at the official website for the Paris climate agreement.

Electricity generating wind turbine on the Champs Elysees as part of the 2015 Climate Change summit held in Paris, France(davidf/Getty Images)

Trump physical results: 6 things to know

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 5:16 PM

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16:  U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he stops by a Conversations with the Women of America panel at the South Court Auditorium of Eisenhower Executive Office Building January 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. The three-part panel features ÒAmerican women from various backgrounds and experiences who will speak with high-level women within the Trump Administration, about what has been accomplished to date to advance women at home, and in the workplace.Ó  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he stops by a Conversations with the Women of America panel at the South Court Auditorium of Eisenhower Executive Office Building January 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. The three-part panel features ÒAmerican women from various backgrounds and experiences who will speak with high-level women within the Trump Administration, about what has been accomplished to date to advance women at home, and in the workplace.Ó (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is in excellent health and likely to finish his term in office without any medical issues, a presidential doctor said Tuesday at a news conference, four days after the president underwent a physical exam.

>> Read more trending news

“The president's overall health is excellent," White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson said Tuesday.

Here are six things to know about the results of the president’s physical:

Jackson: ‘He had great findings across the board’

Trump is in “very, very good health,” Jackson said Tuesday. 

“(I have) no concerns for his heart health,” the presidential physician said. “There are many good things that came from his exam, I think he had great findings across the board. “

>> White House physician releases official report

Jackson said Trump’s good health is likely to last through “the remainder of this tern, and even for the remainder of another term, if he’s elected.” He said he based his assessment on the president’s cardiac results.

“He falls into a category that portends years of event-free living,” Jackson said. “He has incredibly good genes, and that’s just the way God made him.”

Cognitive screening showed no issues

Jackson said he conducted a cognitive screening on Trump at the president’s request, although he felt the test was unnecessary.

“I’ve spent almost every day in the president’s presence,” said Jackson, whose office is near Trump’s. “I’ve got to know him pretty well and I had absolutely no concerns about his cognitive ability or neurological functions.”

He said that in all his conversations with Trump, the president has been “very articulate.”

“I’ve never known him to repeat himself around me,” Jackson said. “He says what he wants to say and speaks his mind.”

Infamous slurred speech incident might have been caused by medication

A December incident in which the president sounded as though he was slurring his speech while announcing a policy shift in Israel was probably due to a medication, Jackson said.

>> Related: Trump’s slurred speech: Is it loose-fitting dentures, dry mouth or something else?

“We evaluated him, we checked everything out and everything was normal,” Jackson said, adding that the incident was likely caused because the president needed water.

He said prior to the Dec. 7 incident, he gave Trump Sudafed, which might have “inadvertently dried up his secretions.”

Why Did President Trump Slur His Words in a Recent Speech?

Trump working to lose 10-15 pounds

At 6-foot-3 and 239 pounds, the president has a body mass index of 29.9, just under the number that would designate him as obese, according to information released Tuesday.

“The president, he and I talked and... I think a reasonable goal over the next year or so is (to lose) 10 or 15 pounds,” Jackson said, adding that a nutritionist would be meeting with White House chefs in the coming weeks and that Trump would be put on an exercise routine.

“He’s more enthusiastic about the diet,” Jackson said.

Jackson not concerned about Trump’s stress levels

Despite concerns from the public and reports that have painted a chaotic White House, Jackson said that he has no concerns about the president’s stress levels.

“I talk to him sometimes about stress just because I think it’s my job as his physician to bring it up on occasion,” he said. “I’ve never seen the president stressed out too much. ... He has a unique ability to push the reset button and he just gets up and he starts a new day. (I think it’s) made him healthier from a stress standpoint.”

Jackson did not test Trump’s hearing

Jackson said he didn’t have enough time to test Trump’s hearing, although he planned to conduct such a test in future physicals.

Related

Robert Mueller subpoenas Steve Bannon in Russia probe

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:57 AM

Who is Steven Bannon

Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, to testify before a grand jury as part of the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to the Trump campaign, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news

>> Related: Steve Bannon to testify before House Intel Committee in Russia probe

Steve Bannon to testify before House Intel Committee in Russia probe

Published: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 11:19 AM

Who is Steven Bannon

Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, will testify before the House Intelligence Committee next week in its probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

An unidentified source told Reuters on Thursday that the interview will take place Tuesday behind closed doors. It will focus on Bannon’s time as Trump’s campaign chief and not on his time in the White House, according to Reuters.

In preparation for the interview, Bannon hired Washington attorney Bill Burck to represent him, NBC News reported Friday. Burck was previously hired to represent former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and White House counsel Donald McGhan in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and its possible ties to the Trump campaign, according to Law360.

Burck is representing Bannon only before the committee and not in Mueller’s probe, NBC News reported.

Trump named Bannon, the former chairman of the conservative news website Breitbart News, as his campaign chief in August 2016. After his inauguration, Trump appointed Bannon to fill the newly created position of White House chief strategist.

He left the Trump administration in August 2017, almost exactly one year after joining Trump’s presidential campaign.

>> Related: Steve Bannon out as White House strategist

Days before his exit, Bannon faced scrutiny for an interview he did with the liberal magazine The American Prospect, contradicting the president's warnings to North Korea of "fire and fury" in response to threats. Tension between the pair intensified last week after Bannon was quoted in journalist Michael Wolff’s controversial tell-all book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”

>> Related: 10 stunning claims about Trump White House from 'Fire and Fury'

Bannon told Wolff he thought a meeting set up by the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and others in June 2016 was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” Trump slammed Bannon in a statement after the comments were made public, saying, “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”

Bannon later apologized for the comments.

>> Related: Report: Bannon apologizes for comments about Trump family in new book

Bannon announced Tuesday that he would be leaving Breitbart News for the second time in two years.

>> Related: Report: Steve Bannon stepping down as executive chairman at Breitbart News

"You have not heard the last from me," he wrote in a Twitter post announcing his departure.

Federal judge temporarily blocks Trump administration's plan to end DACA

Published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 @ 5:55 AM

Trump Denies Making Deal on DACA with Democrats

A federal judge in California dealt a blow to the Trump administration’s attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – also known as DACA – on Tuesday by temporarily blocking their ability to do so.

In his ruling, Judge William Alsup said DACA must stay in place until litigation over the program is complete. He also said that the Department of Homeland Security’s “decision to rescind DACA was based on a flawed legal premise.”

The judge’s ruling will allow recipients who didn’t renew by last year’s deadline to submit renewal applications, but no new applications will be allowed to be submitted.

>> Read more trending news 

“Dreamers’ lives were thrown into chaos when the Trump administration tried to terminate the DACA program without obeying the law,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, according to The Hill. “Today’s ruling is a huge step in the right direction.”

“America is and has been home to Dreamers who courageously came forward, applied for DACA and did everything the federal government asked of them,” Becerra continued. “They followed DACA’s rules, they succeeded in school, at work and in business, and they have contributed in building a better America. We will fight at every turn for their rights and opportunities so they may continue to contribute to America.”

The Trump administration announced in September that it was ending the program; however, earlier on Tuesday, during a meeting with Republicans and Democrats to discuss immigration issues, Trump appeared willing to negotiate a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants – a move that stunned both Democrats and Republicans.

“My head is spinning with all the things that were said by the president and others in that room in the course of an hour and a half,” Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said, according to The New York Times.

During the meeting, Trump also appeared to support Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein’s call for a clean DACA bill, which would push off dealing with issues like border security until later.

In a tweet Tuesday evening, though, he did seem to harden his resolve on the border wall, saying that a southern border wall must be part of any “DACA approval.”