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A 'blob' of warm ocean water killed 1 million seabirds in the Pacific, study says

Murre birds dieA  "blob" of unusually warm sea water in the Pacific Ocean was responsible for the deaths of about 1 million seabirds in 2015 and 2016, a study released Wednesday said.

The birds — a species known as the common murre — likely died of starvation due to the warm water, which severely disrupted the birds' food supply.

Scientists say the mass die-off was unprecedented — both for murres, and across all bird species worldwide.

"The magnitude and scale of this failure has no precedent," said study lead author John Piatt, a research biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Science Center, in a statement. "It was astonishing and alarming, and a red-flag warning about the tremendous impact sustained ocean warming can have on the marine ecosystem."


Five takeaways from Parnas's Maddow interview

Lev Parnas interviewRudy Giuliani’s associate Lev Parnas revealed new accusations against President Trump and his administration in an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Wednesday night.

A day after the House published evidence provided by Parnas for the Senate impeachment trial, Parnas unveiled his take on what has been going on behind the scenes with the White House’s Ukraine policy.


Giuliani associate can hand over cell phone contents to House Democrats, judge rules

Lev ParnasA federal judge ruled Friday that Lev Parnas, an associate of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, can provide additional records sought by the House impeachment investigators, including the contents of his cell phone.

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee requested records from Parnas and his business associate, Igor Fruman, in October 2019. The two men are under indictment on allegations of campaign finance violations, and both reportedly played a key roles in assisting Giuliani in his efforts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and Ukraine. Both have pleaded not guilty.

On Monday, a lawyer for Parnas, Joseph Bondy, wrote a letter to U.S. Judge J. Paul Oetken in New York asking the court’s permission to share records obtained by the government with House investigators pursuant to the subpoena.


Sen. Murkowski ‘disturbed’ by McConnell’s approach on impeachment

Murkowski disturbed by McConnell's deal with WH

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she is not comfortable with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying he will work closely with the White House on President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense.

In an interview published Tuesday night by KTUU in Anchorage, the Alaska Republican said, “In fairness, when I heard that I was disturbed.”

The House approved two articles of impeachment against Trump last week, meaning that once the House sends the articles to the Senate, the 100 senators must serve as a jury for an impeachment trial to be presided over by Chief Justice John Roberts.

“To me, it means that we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense,“ Murkowski said, adding: “I heard what Leader McConnell had said; I happened to think that that has further confused the process.”



Europe launches 'Green Deal' as Thunberg denounces climate inaction

Green deal EuropeEurope sought to bolster the world’s faltering battle against climate change on Wednesday with its “Green Deal” to slash fossil fuel dependence, while teen activist Greta Thunberg rebuked global leaders for dragging their feet.

With fires, floods and droughts ruining millions of lives around the world, the European Union’s new executive cast the plan as the bloc’s “man on the moon moment,” kindling hopes among campaigners that other big emitters may follow suit.


Supreme Court halts subpoena to Deutsche Bank for Trump records

Deutsche bank

The Supreme Court on Friday granted President Trump's emergency request to temporarily block a congressional subpoena for his financial records from Deutsche Bank.

The court's order came just hours after the president's legal team asked for a temporary stay of an appellate court decision ordering Deutsche Bank to comply with subpoenas from the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees for a broad range of documents concerning Trump's finances and his businesses.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who oversees the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, issued an administrative stay of that court's decision that will be in effect until Dec. 13 while the court deliberates on whether to grant a longer stay and to give Trump's lawyers time to prepare a formal appeal.


Chile cancels climate and Apec summits amid mass protests

Sebastian Pinera cancels Apec summit amid protests

Chile has pulled out of hosting two major international summits, including a UN climate change conference, as anti-government protests continue.

President Sebastián Piñera said the decision "caused him a lot of pain" but his government needed "to prioritise re-establishing public order".

The COP25 climate summit was scheduled for December, while the Apec trade summit was due next month.

The UN said it was now "exploring alternative hosting options".

Chile's decision comes amid global climate protests, including a week of strikes led by environmental activist Greta Thunberg last month.


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