EU pushes cut in car emissions, boost for electric vehicles

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 6:45 AM
Updated: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 6:45 AM


            Cars and trucks queue on the highway A5 in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. The World Climate Conference with 25 000 people participating starts on Monday in Bonn, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Cars and trucks queue on the highway A5 in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. The World Climate Conference with 25 000 people participating starts on Monday in Bonn, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

BERLIN (AP) — The European Commission said Wednesday it wants to cut emissions of carbon dioxide from cars by 30 percent by 2030 and boost the use of electric vehicles by making them cheaper and easier to charge.

The proposal stops short of imposing fixed quotas for emission-free vehicles and is more modest than goals already set out by some EU members. Still, European automakers said the commission's targets were too drastic, and Germany's foreign minister warned against the proposal.

Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic insisted that the plan is the most "realistic" compromise between Europe's ambitions to blaze trails on clean energy and the costs that the continent's powerful car manufacturers will have to bear to overhaul workforces and production.

Current targets require automakers to achieve the average permitted emission for new models in the European Union of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer for cars, or 147 grams for light commercial vehicles by 2021.

The new proposal foresees a further reduction of 15 percent by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030, compared to 2021 levels.

Car companies that fail to meet those targets face substantial fines of 95 euros ($110) per excess gram of carbon dioxide — per car. Automakers that manage to equip at least 30 percent of their new cars with electric or other low-emission engines by 2030 will be given credits toward their carbon tally.

The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, an industry body, criticized the 2025 target, saying "it does not leave enough time to make the necessary technical and design changes to vehicles, in particular to light commercial vehicles given their longer development and production cycles."

The lobby group also said the targeted cut of 30 percent by 2030 was "overly challenging" and called for a 20 percent reduction instead, saying that was "achievable at a high, but acceptable, cost."

"The current proposal is very aggressive when we consider the low and fragmented market penetration of alternatively-powered vehicles across Europe to date," the group's secretary general, Erik Jonnaert, said.

Germany's foreign minister wrote to the commission last week to say the new rules shouldn't "suffocate" the ability of automakers to innovate.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said all European countries benefit from the jobs the auto industry creates and warned that the time frame for emissions cuts "mustn't be too restrictive."

The letter caused friction within the German government, which is currently hosting a two-week United Nations meeting on implementing the 2015 Paris climate accord.

"The contents of this letter weren't coordinated within the Cabinet," a spokeswoman for Germany's environment ministry, Friederike Langenbruch, told reporters in Berlin.

Germany is predicted to fall short of its own climate goals, in large part due to continued high emissions from coal-fired electricity plants and vehicle traffic.

The European executive's plan also includes 800 million euros in funding for the expansion and standardization of electric charging stations Europe-wide.

_____

Charlton reported from Paris.

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Newest cellphone is only that -- a phone

Published: Friday, March 09, 2018 @ 9:54 AM

FILE PHOTO (DTL/Morguefile.com license https://morguefile.com/license)
DTL/Morguefile.com
FILE PHOTO (DTL/Morguefile.com license https://morguefile.com/license)(DTL/Morguefile.com)

Your kids are begging for the latest and greatest cellphones to hit the market.

They may not like a new one that’s being introduced, but you sure will like them to have it.

It is called  Light Phone 2 and it has only a few functions. First and foremost is a phone, ABC News reported.

It can call and it can text. But it cannot use Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or any other social media.

>> Read more trending news 

Light Phone 2 can also message, use maps and call for an Uber, the Telegraph reported.

Basically, it’s an old-fashioned flip phone without the flip phone look.

It also uses E-Ink for the display and operates on a modified version of the Android operating system, the Telegraph reported.

“Unlike a flip phone, however, to children the Light Phone is seen as ‘cool’ amongst their peers,” Joe Hollier, co--founder of Light told “Good Morning America.” “We have been working with parents on the idea of a parental app to support their child’s Light Phone 2 as well.”

Light launched it’s first phone in 2016. It could only make calls and store nine numbers, the Telegraph reported. The company sold 10,000 devices, but they were too simple for many and were not practical for some, the Telegraph reported.

Light Phone 2 are expected to ship next year and will cost about $250, the Telegraph reported.

If you want to get in on the new technology, the company launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise $250,000. So far it has exceeded that amount by 335 percent and has more than $836,000 pledged from supporters.

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This man bit into an iPhone battery and it exploded in his face

Published: Thursday, January 25, 2018 @ 5:13 AM

Apple Admits To Slowing Phones Down As Their Batteries Age

If you needed a reason not to bite your iPhone battery, here it is.

>> On AJC.com: How to tell if Apple is slowing down your iPhone — and how to fix it

According to Taiwan News, a man entered an electronics store in China hoping to purchase a replacement battery for his iPhone.

>> Read more trending news 

In an attempt to test its authenticity, the customer reportedly bit into the battery and as he removed it from his mouth, the product ruptured, exploding in his face.

Luckily, no one was injured.

>> Apple admits to throttling iPhone CPU speed as battery ages

CCTV posted footage of the bizarre incident to Miaopai.com, and the video eventually made its way to YouTube.

The episode came soon after outrage over Apple’s admittance to slowing down older iPhone models with aging batteries led to big discounts on replacement batteries around the globe, including in China.

>> Apple faces multiple lawsuits over iPhone battery speed

“However,” Taiwan News reported, “Chinese electronics stores are notoriously replete with fake goods, thus the man was in his own – but obviously wrong – way trying to test its authenticity.”

Lesson of the story: Don’t bite into your iPhone battery

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Apple faces multiple lawsuits over iPhone battery speed

Published: Friday, December 22, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

Apple Admits To Slowing Phones Down As Their Batteries Age

Soon after news emerged that Apple admitted to slowing down iPhone performance as the devices’ batteries age, multiple lawsuits have been filed against the company.

CNBC reported that Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Apple, claiming the company never asked for consent from them to alter the performance of their phones.

>> Read more trending news 

The lawsuit says Apple breached the implied contracts with Bogdanovich and Speas “by purposefully slowing down older iPhone models when new models come out and by failing to properly disclose that at the time that the parties entered into an agreement,” according to WCBS.

The complaint also says that the two are entitled to compensation because the slowdown of their devices cause them to suffer “economic damages and other harm.”

Related: Apple admits to throttling iPhone CPU speed as battery ages

“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components,” Apple said in a statement to The Verge about performance of the devices.

“Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future,” Apple said in the statement.

Apple is being sued after it said it slowed down the performances of older iPhones as the batteries in the devices age.(Sean Gallup/Getty Images/Getty Images)

Bogdanovich and Speas are trying to get the case certified to cover all U.S. owners of iPhones older than the iPhone 8, according to CNBC. Their suit is not the only one against Apple since the company released its statement about iPhone battery speed. WCBS reported that a second class-action lawsuit was filed in Illinois on Thursday night.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the suit was filed in Chicago by two people in Illinois as well as by Ohio, North Carolina and Indiana residents with iPhone models 5 through 7.

The suit says Apple “needlessly subjects consumers to purchasing newer and more expensive iPhones when a replacement battery could have allowed consumers to continue to use their older iPhones.”

Unspecified damages are being sought in the suit.

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Obama had the most-liked tweet of 2017; here's what it said

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 1:44 AM

Obama’s Tweet about Charlottesville Most-Liked Tweet of All Time

Twitter has released its end-of-year stats and revealed that former President Barack Obama had the most-liked tweet of 2017.

>> Read more trending news

His tweet, sent in August after white nationalists marched on Charlottesville, Virginia, has been liked 4.6 million times. The tweet reads, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion,” accompanied by a picture of him looking up at a group of children.

The tweet, a portion of a quote from late South African President Nelson Mandela, was followed up by two more tweets from Obama, which finished the quote.

>> See the tweet here

 “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite,” the quote, in whole, reads.

>> Obama's Charlottesville response becomes most-liked tweet of all time

Obama’s tweet following the Charlottesville march wasn’t his only top tweet. He also took the third spot for most-liked, and the second, fifth, and eighth spots for most-retweeted tweets.

His other top tweets included his tweet to Sen. John McCain after the Arizona Republican was diagnosed with cancer; the final line of his presidential farewell address in Chicago; and his farewell after leaving the Oval Office for the last time.

Other top tweets included Ariana Grande’s tweet after the bombing at her Manchester, England, concert; LeBron James’s tweet when he called President Donald Trump a “bum"; a tweet promising to donate 6 pounds of dog food to Houston dogs affected by Hurricane Harvey for every retweet it received; another tweet asking for retweets to raise donations for Houston;, a photo from Linkin Park of its former frontman, Chester Bennington, after he committed suicide earlier this year; the number to the suicide hotline tweeted by social media star Seth Joseph; and finally, the most-retweeted tweet of the year came from 16-year-old Carter Wilkerson begging for retweets so he could win free chicken nuggets from Wendy’s for a year.

While Trump didn’t win a top spot for any of his own tweets, he was the most-tweeted-about world leader.

President Trump And Twitter

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