Russia Rearms For A New Era (jdargis)
Russia has made big increases to its military budget, including a jump of nearly $11 billion from 2014 to 2015. According to Moscow, it is making up for years of disinvestment after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But sanctions from the Ukrainian conflict, dropping oil prices and other financial problems have weakened the Russian economy, and analysts expect military spending to slow.
Obama plans curbs on guns (jdargis)
One of the main proposals Obama is poised to adopt would require some unlicensed gun dealers to get licenses and conduct background checks on potential buyers. The change is aimed at occasional dealers, including some who sell online frequently or rent tables at gun shows but do not have a storefront.
Economists Take Aim At Wealth Inequality (jdargis)
Like those of many of his peers who are presenting new research at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association, which began here on Sunday and ends on Tuesday, Mr. Bloom’s findings are bringing to light fresh perspectives on why income inequality is growing and how it is reshaping the national and global economy.
On New Year’s Eve, Shell reportedly had warned residents via a text alert to expect intermittent flaring – a way in which excess gas is burned off.
The company said the practice is “part of normal start-up activities”.
“Doel 1 automatically shut down at 6:00 pm,” AFP reported a spokeswoman for Electrabel as saying. “Everything went according to procedure. There was no impact on safety, and no impact on staff, local residents and the environment.”
Electrabel added that the reactor went offline due to “normal safety mechanism,” so it can restart safely.
Solar's Demise In The UK (Tom K.)
The level of critique by companies and environmental experts might lead one to think that the UK was the only country considering these moves, but that is far from true. Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic have all been looking to cut back on subsidies while even the U.S. is closely considering whether continued tax subsidies make sense in the current economic climate.
Enrollment in his tiny district is down 14 percent from four years ago, to 230 students, which translates into hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost state aid — on top of years of funding cutbacks statewide. Similar double-digit enrollment declines can be found in other small, rural school districts throughout the valley, including the Pleasant View school district in Tulare County, where more than half the migrant student population has left in only three years. Overall enrollment is down at least 17 percent since 2011.
Climate change is projected to increase the stresses on water supplies, and heated disputes are erupting in places where those with deep wells can keep pumping and leave others with dry wells. Even as satellite measurements have revealed the problem’s severity on a global scale, many regions have failed to adequately address the problem. Aquifers largely remain unmanaged and unregulated, and water that seeped underground over tens of thousands of years is being gradually used up.
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