Category Archives: World News

Love it: Husband-wife win silvers in stunning night at track

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — None of them could believe it.

Not the woman who pulled off the biggest upset of the world championships.

Not the woman she beat.

And certainly not that second-place finisher’s husband _ decathlete Maicel Uibo, who walked away with a silver medal that was almost as big a surprise as the one his wife is taking home.

On a warm-and-fuzzy kind of night at the track where nothing went quite as expected, Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo suffered her first loss in the 400 meters in more than 25 months despite shattering her personal-best time by more than half-a-second. The woman who beat her was 21-year-old Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain, whose time of 48.14 seconds was the fastest since 1985 and the third fastest ever.

When Naser crossed the finish line and saw her time, her jaw dropped in a look of utter amazement _ a far cry from Miller-Uibo’s stony glare at the scoreboard: How could she run 48.37 and lose?

“I still can’t believe the time,” Naser said. “When I saw the time, I went completely crazy. I was training so hard but I never expected to run this fast.”

But this Thursday night at Khalifa International Stadium was a night for expecting the unexpected.

Uibo, the decathlete, certainly didn’t come out of nowhere, but neither was he at the top of the list of medal candidates.

Since winning the NCAA title competing for Georgia in 2015, he had never captured an international decathlon competition. At the last worlds, in 2017, he didn’t finish. At the Olympics in 2016, he finished 24th. He was coming off leg and shoulder injuries that had forced him to miss a big chunk of 2018-19, and that had turned his javelin throw into a crap shoot.

But midway through the second day of the 10-event endurance test, world record holder Kevin Mayer got bounced after failing to record a mark in the pole vault, while another top contender, Lindon Victor, met a similar fate in the discus throw. Meanwhile, Uibo had been slowly climbing up the standings, from sixth, to fifth, to third, to first.

He had a 19-point lead over the eventual winner, Niklas Kaul, when he lined up for the finale, the 1,500-meter race. Uibo needed to hang within 3 seconds of Kaul to win the gold. But Kaul’s personal best was 10 seconds faster than Uibo’s. Kaul, 21 and now the youngest world champion decathlete ever, beat him by 15 seconds.

“I tried to stay with him, but he had more in the tank,” Uibo said. “I had to give that up and try for second.”

A few minutes earlier, Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson completed her victory in the heptathlon; the multi-events were held in conjunction as part of organizers’ plan to move all the action to the nighttime and beat the heat.

In the other final, China’s Gong Lijiao won her second straight world shot put title and Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd took silver.

That marked the third field medal in these championships won by athletes from Usain Bolt’s land of sprints. Who’d have seen that coming?

And speaking of unexpected, how about the bronze medal that landed in the lap of Orlando Ortega.

The Spanish hurdler had been closing the gap with the leaders when he got knocked off course in the 110 final the night before by a flailing Jamaican. Ortega spent most of Thursday in bed, thinking about what might have been. The phone rang. Track officials had decided to make him the co-bronze medalist. The ceremony was scheduled for that evening.

“I took a taxi,” Ortega said. “I said, ‘Please drive very fast, I have a medal ceremony.’”

He made it on time.

So did Naser, who looked more like a 100-meter sprinter as she moved into the homestretch and built a seven-step cushion over Miller-Uibo, who became famous in her homeland, the Bahamas, when she dove across the finish line to beat Allyson Felix in the final of the 2016 Olympics.

There were no such dramatics this time.

“When I saw the distance between us, I said, in my head, ‘I let her get too far away,’” Miller-Uibo said. “I knew I had a lot of strength coming home, but I just couldn’t get her.”

All that was left was to hang out and see how Maicel would do about a half-hour later, as he dragged his exhausted legs to the start of the 1,500 to finish off the evening.

Shortly after her husband crossed, Miller-Uibo walked out and doused him with a bottle of water, then gave him a kiss.

“It’s great we get to celebrate together,” Miller-Uibo said.

They train together, too. Maicel described the relationship as “competitive at times.”

“It’s on and off the track. Anything, really,” he said. “Sometimes we just argue about who our dogs love most.”

Maybe soon, they’ll tease each other over who has the prettier of those two silver medals they’re taking home. The obvious answer for both husband and wife: “I do.”

 

Suspect in Norway mosque attack smirks in court appearance

A Norwegian man suspected of killing his stepsister and then storming an Oslo mosque with guns appeared in court Monday with a smirk on his bruised face as evidence grew that he sought to emulate attacks by white supremacists in the U.S. and New Zealand.

Security experts believe Philip Manshaus is the latest example of an extremist who was radicalized by far-right conspiracy theories spread online, particularly the “great replacement” theory, which falsely warns of a “genocide” in which white people are being replaced by immigrants and Muslims.

Manshaus, 21, was arrested Saturday after entering a mosque in the Oslo suburb of Baerum, where three men were preparing for Sunday’s Eid al-Adha celebrations. Police said he waved weapons and fired several shots.

They did not specify what type of weapon was used. One person was slightly wounded before people inside the Al-Noor Islamic Center held the suspect down until police arrived.

Police then raided Manshaus’ nearby house and found the body of his 17-year-old stepsister, identified Monday as Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, who was reportedly adopted from China as a 2-year old. Manshaus is suspected in her killing, police said, but they did not provide details.

With signs of his struggle still visible in the dark bruises under both eyes and scratches on his face and neck, Manshaus entered a court in Oslo. In a closed-door hearing, he did not admit guilt and asked to be set free, his lawyer, Unni Fries, told The Associated Press.

The court ordered him held in pre-trial detention for four weeks, two of which will be in solitary confinement.

The head of Norway’s domestic security agency PST, Hans Sverre Sjoevold, said authorities received a “vague” tip a year ago about the suspect, but it was not enough to act because they had no information about any “concrete plans” of attack.

Sjoevold told a news conference that the agency and the police receive many tips from worried people every day and the information “didn’t go in the direction of an imminent terror planning.”

“Many of the people who have right-wing attitudes share a violent mindset, but experience shows that very few go from word to action. Therefore, it is a demanding mission to capture and prevent those who have the ability and will to carry out attacks,” Stoevold said.

Norwegian media reported that Manshaus was inspired by shootings in March in New Zealand, where a gunman targeted two mosques, killing 51 people, and on Aug. 3 in El Paso, Texas, where an assailant targeted Hispanics and left at least 22 dead.

Dagbladet, one of Norway largest newspapers, reported that on the day of the attack, Manshaus wrote online that he had been “chosen” by “Saint (Brenton) Tarrant,” the Christchurch gunman.

Saturday’s attack came amid the rising popularity of far-right parties across the Nordics, fueled in part by a surge of migration into Europe in 2015. Groups that were once taboo have gained some social acceptance and influence. Extremists groups increasingly manifest their beliefs openly in ways that were once unheard of.

Magnus Ranstorp, the lead terrorism researcher at the Swedish Defense University, said the rise of violent far-right extremism is being driven by a complex overlapping of elements, including hateful rhetoric and conspiracies on social media and “old Nazis combining with the alt-right, combining a race war with a cultural war.”

Adding to that are state actors, like Russia with its propaganda outlets, and President Donald Trump seeking to sow tensions and break down trust in established elites and the media.

“The leader of free world is part of the problem,” Randstorp said.

“We are in a hybrid threat environment — we are not in peacetime,” Randstorp added. “Liberal democracy is under threat.”

Another security expert, Olivier Guitta, said the recent white nationalist attacks against Muslims do not appear to be revenge for jihadist terrorist attacks. For now, he said, there is no far-right global terror organization in the mold of al-Qaida or Islamic State that attackers “could belong to or claim responsibility for.”

But “both far right and Islamist extremism feed off each other” and both have “the same goal to spread chaos within our Western societies,” said Guitta, managing director of GlobalStrat, an international security consultancy.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg called the attempted assault a “direct attack on Norwegian Muslims.” She suggested that political parties unite to tackle racism and discrimination, including possible legislation designed to thwart hatred against Muslims.

Across the country, police have reinforced security measures in connection with Eid, which runs through Thursday.

The suspect’s thwarted plans recall those of the Norwegian right-wing extremist who in 2011 killed 77 people in 2011. Anders Behring Breivik is serving a 21-year prison sentence for carrying out a terror attack.

Breivik ranted about Europe being overrun by Muslim immigrants and blamed left-wing political forces for making the continent multicultural.

Almost 4% of Norway’s 5.3 million people are refugees, and roughly 12% of the population consists of immigrants or children of immigrants, according to official figures.

Bolton says US ready to negotiate post-Brexit trade pact

LONDON (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser says the United States is ready to negotiate a post-Brexit trade deal with the U.K. “in pieces” to help speed the process.

John Bolton met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday. Johnson’s Downing Street office says the two “spoke about Brexit and a range of other issues – including Iran, Hong Kong and 5G” network security.

Bolton told reporters afterward that a piecemeal approach to trade negotiations is “not unprecedented” and talks between the U.S. and the U.K. could concentrate first on areas where the two sides agree.

He said: “I think here we see the importance and urgency of doing as much as we can agree on as rapidly as possible.”

Britain is preparing to leave the European Union on Oct. 31.

UN climate report: Change land use to avoid a hungry future

GENEVA (AP) — Human-caused climate change is dramatically degrading the Earth’s land and the way people use the land is making global warming worse, a new United Nations scientific report says. That creates a vicious cycle which is already making food more expensive, scarcer and less nutritious.

“The cycle is accelerating,” said NASA climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig, a co-author of the report. “The threat of climate change affecting people’s food on their dinner table is increasing.”

But if people change the way they eat, grow food and manage forests, it could help save the planet from a far warmer future, scientists said.

Earth’s land masses, which are only 30% of the globe, are warming twice as fast as the planet as a whole. While heat-trapping gases are causing problems in the atmosphere, the land has been less talked about as part of climate change. A special report, written by more than 100 scientists and unanimously approved by diplomats from nations around the world Thursday at a meeting in Geneva, proposed possible fixes and made more dire warnings.

“The way we use land is both part of the problem and also part of the solution,” said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a French climate scientist who co-chairs one of the panel’s working groups. “Sustainable land management can help secure a future that is comfortable.”

Scientists at Thursday’s press conference emphasized both the seriousness of the problem and the need to make societal changes soon.

“We don’t want a message of despair,” said science panel official Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial College London. “We want to get across the message that every action makes a difference.”

Still the stark message hit home hard for some of the authors.

“I’ve lost a lot of sleep about what the science is saying. As a person, it’s pretty scary,” Koko Warner, a manager in the U.N. Climate Change secretariat who helped write a report chapter on risk management and decision-making, told The Associated Press after the report was presented at the World Meteorological Organization headquarters in Geneva. “We need to act urgently.”

The report said climate change already has worsened land degradation, caused deserts to grow, permafrost to thaw and made forests more vulnerable to drought, fire, pests and disease. That’s happened even as much of the globe has gotten greener because of extra carbon dioxide in the air. Climate change has also added to the forces that have reduced the number of species on Earth.

“Climate change is really slamming the land,” said World Resources Institute researcher Kelly Levin, who wasn’t part of the study.

And the future could be worse.

“The stability of food supply is projected to decrease as the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events that disrupt food chains increases,” the report said.

In the worst-case scenario, food security problems change from moderate to high risk with just a few more tenths of a degree of warming from now. They go from high to “very high” risk with just another 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) of warming from now.

“The potential risk of multi-breadbasket failure is increasing,” NASA’s Rosenzweig said. “Just to give examples, the crop yields were effected in Europe just in the last two weeks.”

Scientists had long thought one of the few benefits of higher levels of carbon dioxide, the major heat-trapping gas, was that it made plants grow more and the world greener, Rosenzweig said. But numerous studies show that the high levels of carbon dioxide reduce protein and nutrients in many crops.

For example, high levels of carbon in the air in experiments show wheat has 6% to 13% less protein, 4% to 7% less zinc and 5% to 8% less iron, she said.

But better farming practices — such as no-till agricultural and better targeted fertilizer applications — have the potential to fight global warming too, reducing carbon pollution up to 18% of current emissions levels by 2050, the report said.

If people change their diets, reducing red meat and increasing plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and seeds, the world can save as much as another 15% of current emissions by mid-century. It would also make people more healthy, Rosenzweig said.

The science panel said they aren’t telling people what to eat because that’s a personal choice.

Still, Hans-Otto Pörtner, a panel leader from Germany who said he lost weight and felt better after reducing his meat consumption, told a reporter that if she ate less ribs and more vegetables “that’s a good decision and you will help the planet reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Reducing food waste can fight climate change even more. The report said that between 2010 and 2016, global food waste accounted for 8% to 10% of heat-trapping emissions.

“Currently 25%-30% of total food produced is lost or wasted,” the report said. Fixing that would free up millions of square miles of land.

With just another 0.9 degrees F of warming (0.5 degrees C), which could happen in the next 10 to 30 years, the risk of unstable food supplies, wildfire damage, thawing permafrost and water shortages in dry areas “are projected to be high,” the report said.

At another 1.8 degrees F of warming (1 degree C) from now, which could happen in about 50 years, it said those risks “are projected to be very high.”

Most scenarios predict the world’s tropical regions will have “unprecedented climatic conditions by the mid-to-late 21st century,” the report noted.

Agriculture and forestry together account for about 23% of the heat-trapping gases that are warming the Earth, slightly less than from cars, trucks, boats and planes. Add in transporting food, energy costs, packaging and that grows to 37%, the report said.

But the land is also a great carbon “sink,” which sucks heat-trapping gases out of the air.

From about 2007 to 2016, agriculture and forestry every year put 5.7 billion tons (5.2 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide into the air, but pulled 12.3 billion tons (11.2 billion metric tons) of it out.

“This additional gift from nature is limited. It’s not going to continue forever,” said study co-author Luis Verchot, a scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia. “If we continue to degrade ecosystems, if we continue to convert natural ecosystems, we continue to deforest and we continue to destroy our soils, we’re going to lose this natural subsidy.”

Overall land emissions are increasing, especially because of cutting down forests in the Amazon in places such as Brazil, Colombia and Peru, Verchot said.

Recent forest management changes in Brazil “contradicts all the messages that are coming out of the report,” Pörtner said.

Saying “our current way of living and our economic system risks our future and the future of our children,” Germany’s environment minister, Svenja Schulze, questioned whether it makes sense for a country like Germany to import large amounts of soy from Latin America, where forests are being destroyed to plant the crop, to feed unsustainable numbers of livestock in Germany.

“We ought to recognize that we have profound limits on the amount of land available and we have to be careful about how we utilize it,” said Stanford University environmental sciences chief Chris Field, who wasn’t part of the report.

 

Thailand’s fugitive ex-premier gets Serbian citizenship

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbian media say fugitive former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has received Serbian citizenship.

State news agency Tanjug said Thursday that the Serbian government granted her the citizenship “because it could be in the interest of Serbia.”

With the Serbian passport, Shinawatra can travel without a visa to over 100 countries, including most of the states in the European Union.

She fled Thailand in 2017, days before being sentenced to five years in jail on graft charges. She reportedly went to London via Dubai, where her billionaire brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, resides.

They were both elected premier, but were toppled in military coups — Thaksin in 2006 and Yingluck in 2014.

Among others, Thaksin also has citizenship of another Balkan country, Montenegro, which he received in 2009.

Walmart wrestles with how to respond to active shooters

By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Like most retailers, Walmart is accustomed to the everyday dealings of shoplifters. Now, it’s confronting a bigger threat: active shooters.

Three days after a man opened fire at one of its stores in El Paso, Texas, and left at least 22 dead, the nation’s largest retailer is faced with how to make its workers and customers feel safe.

The discounter has long dealt with violent crimes at its stores across the country, including one that took place less than a week ago in Mississippi where a disgruntled employee killed two co-workers and wounded a police officer. In early November 2017, three customers were killed at a Walmart in Colorado in a random shooting by a lone gunman.

The El Paso store shooting, however, was the deadliest in the company’s history, Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove confirmed. No workers were killed but two are recovering from injuries.

“No retailer is immune to a violent act,” Hargrove said. “That’s why we take training so seriously.”

Robert Moraca, vice president for loss prevention at the National Retail Federation, said he’s fielded lots of calls from retailers around the country over the weekend, many of whom just wanted to go over their security protocols.

“We naturally have a heightened security awareness,” he said.  He noted that most retailers have active shooting training programs for workers so there’s not “a lot of knee jerk reactions.”

Walmart launched computer-based active shooter training in 2015 for all its employees and then in 2017, it made its workers take it on a quarterly instead of annual basis. Last month, Walmart started incorporating virtual reality technology in its active shooter training.

The training focuses on three pillars: avoid the danger, keep your distance and lastly, defend.

In store locations with high crime, Walmart has off-duty policemen who patrol the parking lots. It also uses a wide variety of technology including towers that have surveillance cameras in its parking lots, Hargrove said.

But most of its efforts are focused on curbing shoplifting, including putting more unarmed greeters at the door. Hargrove noted that like with any catastrophic event, Walmart is reviewing its protocols.

Melissa Love, a 26-year-old store associate in Long Beach, California, said Walmart’s active shooter training is inadequate and does not make her feel prepared. She said employees essentially watch a video and there is no chance to practice.

“It’s kind of boring to be honest. It wasn’t like you were going to learn anything,” said Love, who has worked at Walmart for three years. “It’s like, oh, we have to do this again, and nobody takes it seriously enough. You wouldn’t know what to do if it actually happens.”

Jesus M. Villahermosa, Jr., who leads a security consulting firm, says there’s not much that retailers can do to stop the next active shooter. But he noted that retailers make the mistake of doing their active training on computers.

“You don’t give people a chance to ask questions,” he said.

In the end, however, he says it’s not the responsibility of a retailer like Walmart to save people’s lives.

“You need to have your own plan,” he said. “You don’t need to be paranoid; you just need to be prepared.”

One Walmart employee in El Paso said she had worked for years at the store where the shooting occurred but now works at another store nearby. The employee, who spoke on condition that only her first name, Gabby, be used because the company has discouraged people from speaking publicly about the shooting, said she drove to work on the day of the shooting but spent four hours trying to cross the border back to her home in Ciudad Juarez because of heightened security.

“I am always prepared that the Lord will take me when and how he decides to, but I am afraid for the people who love me if something were to happen to me at work,” she said.

 

Trump freezes Venezuelan government assets amid tensions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration froze all Venezuelan government assets in a dramatic escalation of tensions with Nicolás Maduro that places his socialist administration alongside a short list of adversaries from Cuba, North Korea, Syria and Iran that have been targeted by such aggressive U.S. actions.

The ban, blocking American companies and individuals from doing business with Maduro’s government and its top supporters, took effect immediately Monday and is the first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere in more than three decades, following an asset freeze against Gen. Manuel Noriega’s government in Panama and a trade embargo on the Sandinista leadership in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

While the order falls short of an outright trade embargo — notably, it spares Venezuela’s still sizable private sector — it represents the most sweeping U.S. action to remove Maduro since the Trump administration recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s rightful leader in January. Critically, it also exposes foreign entities doing business with the Maduro government to U.S. retaliation.

“The apparent goal is to give the U.S. the ability to apply the law beyond its borders to allies of Maduro like China, Russia, Cuba, Iran and Turkey,” said Russ Dallen, the Miami-based head of Caracas Capital Markets brokerage. “Should those foreign entities continue doing business with Maduro they can have their U.S. assets seized.”

The executive order signed by President Donald Trump justified the move by citing Maduro’s “continued usurpation of power” and human rights abuses by security forces loyal to him.

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton hinted earlier Monday that far-reaching U.S. action was close at hand. Speaking to reporters on the eve of an international conference in Peru to show support for Guaidó, he said that the U.S. was readying measures “that will show the determination that the United States has to get a peaceful transfer of power.”

Russia, which has staunchly backed Maduro, denounced the U.S. action. Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Russian upper house’s international affairs committee, said Tuesday the move amounts to “international banditry.” He added in remarks carried by the state RIA Novosti news agency that it represents an “open meddling into Venezuela’s internal affairs.”

The measures are likely to exacerbate suffering in an already moribund economy marked by six-digit hyperinflation and a deep, multi-year contraction that surpasses that of the Great Depression in the U.S.

Previous sanctions targeting the South American nation’s oil industry, the source of almost all of its export earnings, have already accelerated a crash in oil production that started with Maduro’s election in 2013 following the death of his mentor Hugo Chavez.

More than 100 officials and government insiders also have had their U.S. assets frozen and blocked from doing business with Americans. As part of the executive order, Americans or U.S. companies that do business with such individuals face penalties. The same Maduro supporters will also be banned from entering the U.S.

Exceptions will be allowed for the delivery of food, medicine and clothing. Transactions with Venezuela’s still sizable private sector do not appear to be affected either. It’s unclear how the actions will affect American oil giant Chevron, which last month received a three-month exemption from the U.S. Treasury to allow it to continue drilling for oil with state-run oil monopoly PDVSA.

The Maduro government has yet to respond. But Guaidó celebrated the U.S. action, saying it would protect Houston-based oil company CITGO, Venezuela’s most valuable overseas asset, from attempts by Maduro to mortgage its assets.

“Any individual, company, institution or nation that tries to do business with the regime will be seen by the international justice system as collaborating with and sustaining a dictatorship,” Guaidó said in a series of late-night Tweets. “They will be subject to sanctions and considered an accomplice to crimes.”

Geoff Ramsey, a researcher at the Washington Office on Latin America, said that the measures will aggravate a humanitarian crisis even with the exceptions in place to protect the most vulnerable as Western banks avoid processing even legitimate transactions.

“The truth is that no financial institution wants to run afoul of the Treasury Department,” he said.

Instead of doubling down on the same embargo strategy that has failed for decades to produce regime change in communist Cuba, he thinks the U.S. should do more to support ongoing negotiations being sponsored by Norway between Maduro and Guaidó representatives.

Bolton and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross are representing the United States at what host Peru has dubbed the International Conference for Democracy in Venezuela, a gathering of 59 nations that with few exceptions back Guaidó and consider Maduro’s reelection last year to be fraudulent.

Moments after the executive order was announced, Bolton tweeted that he was looking ahead to what he hopes will be a “productive” day in Lima, Peru.

 

Scientists link Europe heat wave to man-made global warming

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The heat wave that smashed temperature records in Western Europe last month was made more likely and intensified by man-made climate change, according to a study published Friday.

The rapid study by a respected team of European scientists should be a warning of things to come, the report’s lead author said.

“What will be the impacts on agriculture? What will the impacts on water?” said Robert Vautard of the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace in France. “This will put really tension in society that we may not be so well equipped to cope with.”

The report concluded that the heatwave in late July “was so extreme over continental Western Europe that the observed magnitudes would have been extremely unlikely without climate change.”

In countries where millions of people sweltered through the heat wave, temperatures would have been 1.5 to 3 degrees Celsius (2.7 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) lower in a world without human-induced climate change, the study said.

Global warming is also making such extreme heat more frequent, the study by experts from France, the Netherlands, Britain, Switzerland and Germany found.

The scientists said that the record temperatures recorded in France and the Netherlands could happen every 50-150 years in the world’s current climate. Without “human influence on climate,” the temperatures would likely happen less than once in 1,000 years.

Vautard said Europe needs to get used to such heat waves, which are likely to become more frequent and intense.

“This will go up and if we don’t do anything about climate change, about emissions, these heat waves which today have an amplitude of 42 degrees, they will have three degrees more in 2050 so that is going to make 45 (degrees) roughly speaking,” he told The Associated Press.

While the heat wave broke in Western Europe after a few days late last month, the extreme temperatures have since shifted north and are causing massive ice melts in Greenland and the Arctic.

The scientists calculated the odds of this type of heat occurring now and how often it would have happened in a world without man-made global warming and compared them. They created the simulations by using eight different sets of complex computer models.

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2016 studied this new scientific method of climate attribution and pronounced it valid.

Kathie Dello, a climate scientist from NC State University in North Carolina, said the study helps to pin the blame for the heat wave on climate change.

“If searching for a culprit for the intensity of these recent European heatwaves, climate change is the obvious culprit,” Dello said in an email. “Attribution is just dusting for fingerprints. Climate change will continue to be a menace when it comes to extreme heat, making these events more likely and more intense.”

Another expert not connected to the study, Celine Bonfils of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, said the findings are clear: “record hot weather events are becoming more likely, and human-induced climate change is causing this increase in heat wave frequency.”

The new report agreed with their assessments, saying that every recent European heat wave that has been analyzed “was found to be made much more likely and more intense due to human-induced climate change.”

Scientists link Europe heat wave to man-made global warming

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The heat wave that smashed temperature records in Western Europe last month was made more likely and intensified by man-made climate change, according to a study published Friday.

The rapid study by a respected team of European scientists should be a warning of things to come, the report’s lead author said.

“What will be the impacts on agriculture? What will the impacts on water?” said Robert Vautard of the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace in France. “This will put really tension in society that we may not be so well equipped to cope with.”

The report concluded that the heatwave in late July “was so extreme over continental Western Europe that the observed magnitudes would have been extremely unlikely without climate change.”

In countries where millions of people sweltered through the heat wave, temperatures would have been 1.5 to 3 degrees Celsius (2.7 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) lower in a world without human-induced climate change, the study said.

Global warming is also making such extreme heat more frequent, the study by experts from France, the Netherlands, Britain, Switzerland and Germany found.

The scientists said that the record temperatures recorded in France and the Netherlands could happen every 50-150 years in the world’s current climate. Without “human influence on climate,” the temperatures would likely happen less than once in 1,000 years.

Vautard said Europe needs to get used to such heat waves, which are likely to become more frequent and intense.

“This will go up and if we don’t do anything about climate change, about emissions, these heat waves which today have an amplitude of 42 degrees, they will have three degrees more in 2050 so that is going to make 45 (degrees) roughly speaking,” he told The Associated Press.

While the heat wave broke in Western Europe after a few days late last month, the extreme temperatures have since shifted north and are causing massive ice melts in Greenland and the Arctic.

The scientists calculated the odds of this type of heat occurring now and how often it would have happened in a world without man-made global warming and compared them. They created the simulations by using eight different sets of complex computer models.

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2016 studied this new scientific method of climate attribution and pronounced it valid.

Kathie Dello, a climate scientist from NC State University in North Carolina, said the study helps to pin the blame for the heat wave on climate change.

“If searching for a culprit for the intensity of these recent European heatwaves, climate change is the obvious culprit,” Dello said in an email. “Attribution is just dusting for fingerprints. Climate change will continue to be a menace when it comes to extreme heat, making these events more likely and more intense.”

Another expert not connected to the study, Celine Bonfils of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, said the findings are clear: “record hot weather events are becoming more likely, and human-induced climate change is causing this increase in heat wave frequency.”

The new report agreed with their assessments, saying that every recent European heat wave that has been analyzed “was found to be made much more likely and more intense due to human-induced climate change.”

 

Debate takeaways: Democratic divisions intensify

DETROIT (AP) — From the beginning, Joe Biden knew he would take heat at Wednesday’s presidential debate . He was right — but he was not alone.

The evening marked some of the toughest attacks California Sen. Kamala Harris has faced as a candidate. The exchanges were part of a broader ideological fight for the future of the Democratic Party.

Takeaways from the debate:

BIDEN (OBAMA) 2020

Most candidates claimed to be Democrats of the future. Biden found himself defending Democrats of the past.

The former vice president repeatedly found himself defending Barack Obama’s policies on immigration and health care when they came under withering attack, a continuation of his near-constant efforts to highlight his service to the first black president.

While his rivals saber-rattled for “Medicare for All,” which would scrap Obama’s signature health care law, Biden called for a more modest public option that would build on the Affordable Care Act.

When former Obama Housing Secretary Julián Castro criticized the high number of deportations under Obama, Biden retorted that Castro’s passion about the issue appeared newfound.

“I never heard him talk about this when he was the secretary,” Biden said.

But he also deflected when asked why he didn’t do more to stop the deportations, saying it was Obama’s call. And that gave Cory Booker an opening.

“You invoke President Obama more than anybody in this campaign,” Booker retorted. “You can’t do it when it’s convenient and then dodge it when it’s not.”

__

HARRIS UNDER FIRE

Harris’ rising profile made her a target for the first time.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet derided her recently released “Medicare for All” plan, which he said was not “honest” and would raise taxes to the middle class “to the tune of $30 trillion.” Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard went hard after Harris’ record on criminal justice from her time as California’s attorney general.

“Sen. Harris says she’s proud of her record as a prosecutor and that she’ll be a prosecutor president, but I’m deeply concerned about this record,” Gabbard said. “Too many examples to cite, but she put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana.”

Harris has shown her deft ability to prosecute a case. But at least at the beginning of the night, she seemed rattled by some of the attacks. She took some of the later hits in stride, reorienting attention back to her criticism of Biden.

__

WILL THERE BE A BOOKER BOUNCE?

Booker needed a good debate to breathe new life into his flagging campaign. He largely succeeded.

The New Jersey senator avoided getting into nitty-gritty policy fights. But he came armed with zingers, talked about big issues and delivered many of the night’s most memorable lines — often at Biden’s expense.

“Mr. Vice President, there’s a saying in my community: You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and ya don’t even know the flavor,” Booker said to Biden when he criticized his criminal justice record as mayor of Newark.

Booker went after Biden for his role in passing a 1994 crime bill that disproportionately impacted African Americans. He also spoke memorably about voter suppression, race and the Democrats’ loss in Michigan to President Donald Trump in 2016.

“We lost the state of Michigan because everyone from Republicans to Russians were targeting the suppression of African American voters — we need to say that,” Booker said.

__

HAVING BIDEN’S BACK

Though he faced attacks from multiple candidates, Biden had a vocal ally in Bennet, who at times made the former vice president’s arguments more effectively than Biden himself.

The Colorado senator aligned with Biden against Medicare for All, the health care plan that has spurred the biggest divide among the crowded Democratic field. After Biden argued for several minutes with Harris about her health plan, Bennet came to Biden’s side, saying “we need to be honest” about the details in Harris’ proposal.

Later in the evening, Bennet had Biden’s back again, after a back-and-forth about segregation and busing. It was a repeat of the attack Harris launched against Biden during the June debate for not supporting federally ordered busing as a means of desegregation when he was a senator decades ago.

“This is the fourth debate that we have had and the second time that we are debating what people did 50 years ago with busing,” Bennet said, noting schools today — including in Detroit — are as segregated as they were then. “We need a conversation about what’s happening now.”

__

CLIMATE CHANGE SHORTCHANGED?

Even with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on stage, the debate over climate change took a backseat. Inslee has made the issue the heart of his campaign and he cast the issue Wednesday is the starkest terms: “The time is up. Our house is on fire.”

As in Tuesday night’s debate, health care and immigration were the first topics to get lengthy amounts of time and attention. Candidates were not asked about climate change until an hour and a half had passed. The discussion lasted for about 10 minutes.

While Democratic voters often say climate change is a major issue that 2020 contenders must address, Inslee’s attempt to fashion his candidacy around the issue has proven difficult. This may have been Inslee’s last chance to use the debate stage as the spotlight. He is among the candidates in jeopardy of not having enough donors or support in polling to qualify for the September debate.