Federal government allowing permits for seismic blasting in Atlantic Ocean to expire

All manner of marine life, from plankton to the largest of whales, will be spared from months of nonstop thunderous seismic blasts that could kill or harm them because the oil and gas explorers and the federal government are allowing their permits to expire on Nov. 30 — and it would take at least a year for them to obtain new ones — should they wish to, environmentalists say.

“If you had told me two years ago 2020 would begin and end without any seismic air gun testing I would have been elated; that’s why I’m elated now,” Steve Mashuda, the Seattle-based managing attorney for oceans at Earthjustice, said by telephone.

The San Francisco-based nonprofit is one of several environmental nonprofits that in December 2018 sued in a South Carolina federal court to stop the tests — twice as loud as a jet engine — sought from New Jersey’s Cape

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Philly Council OKs bill allowing down zoning for Society Hill

Philadelphia City Council voted unanimously Thursday to pass a measure that will allow down zoning of much of Society Hill.

The bill, introduced in January by City Councilmember Mark Squilla, includes new strict height restrictions for buildings, increased parking requirements, and the elimination of bonuses and exemptions in the name of historic preservation.

Opponents of the bill said it will only serve to prevent any affordable, multi-family housing from being developed in the area, thereby preserving not just its historic character but also its largely white and wealthy residential makeup.

“Letting a handful of residents define Society Hill’s urban context, while ignoring its history of wanton urban renewal that demolished ‘nonconforming’ mid-rises, is the epitome of hypocrisy and the opposite of good preservation policy,” Benjamin She, a volunteer for the urban advocacy group 5th Square, said in prepared testimony.

Society Hill today is in large part the result of urban

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South African government docks minister’s salary for allowing party members join her trip to Zimbabwe | World

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The South African government has docked the defense minister’s salary for allowing members of the ruling party to join her on an official trip, according to the country’s presidency.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula flew with some members of the African National Congress (ANC) to Zimbabwe while on an official diplomatic visit using an aircraft belonging to the country’s air force.

The government says Mapisa-Nqakula, who heads the Ministry of Defense and Military Veterans, misused state resources because of her “error of judgment” and docked her salary for three months starting next month.

Mapisa-Nqakula didn’t act “in the best interest of good governance” and

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South African government docks Minister’s salary for allowing party members join her on official trip

The South African government has docked the defense minister’s salary for allowing members of the ruling party to join her on an official trip, according to the country’s presidency.



Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula wearing a costume: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula looks on during a cabinet meeting January 29, 2020, in Pretoria, South Africa.


© Phill Magakoe/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula looks on during a cabinet meeting January 29, 2020, in Pretoria, South Africa.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula flew with some members of the African National Congress (ANC) to Zimbabwe while on an official diplomatic visit using an aircraft belonging to the country’s air force.

The government says Mapisa-Nqakula, who heads the Ministry of Defense and Military Veterans, misused state resources because of her “error of judgment” and docked her salary for three months starting next month.

Mapisa-Nqakula didn’t act “in the best interest of good governance” and “acted in a way that is inconsistent with (her) position,” a statement from the presidency said.

Her salary for the three months will instead go into a fund

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Newsom signs law allowing transgender inmates to be placed in prisons according to gender identity

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill allowing California transgender inmates to be placed in prisons that align with their gender identity.

“California has some of the strongest pro LGBTQ+ laws in the nation and with the bills signed today, our march toward equality takes an additional step forward,” Newsom said Saturday.

California corrections officers will now be required to privately ask inmates if they identify as transgender, nonbinary, or intersex. The inmates can then request to be placed in prisons that correspond with their gender identity if there are no “management or security concerns” with a particular inmate.

Newsom signed other laws on Saturday requiring local public health officials to more thoroughly track diseases affecting the gay and lesbian community, as well as a bill banning insurance companies from denying coverage based on HIV status.

“These new laws will help us better understand the impacts of COVID-19

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Newsom signs law allowing transgender inmates to be placed in prison by their gender identity

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomOVERNIGHT ENERGY: California seeks to sell only electric cars by 2035 | EPA threatens to close New York City office after Trump threats to ‘anarchist’ cities | House energy package sparks criticism from left and right California seeks to sell only electric cars by 2035 EPA head questions connection of climate change to natural disasters MORE (D) signed a bill Saturday allowing transgender inmates to be placed in prisons based on their gender identity. 

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) will now house inmates based on their gender identity rather than their sex assigned at birth — but only if the state does not have “management or security concerns” with individual inmates. 

The law Newsom signed Saturday requires officers to ask inmates privately during the intake process if they identify as transgender, nonbinary or intersex, then inmates can request to be placed in

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