WASHINGTON — The US government partial shutdown was set to stretch deep into next week after legislators failed on Thursday to make a breakthrough in the row over President Donald Trump’s demand for a US-Mexico border wall. After convening for just a few minutes following the official Christmas break, a still nearly empty Senate adjourned, deciding to renew budget deliberations only next Wednesday, the last day of the current Republican-controlled Congress. That would take the government shutdown, already on its sixth day, into 12. Both sides have dug in, with Democrats refusing to provide $5 billion for Trump’s border wall project and the president insisting he will not fully fund the government unless he gets the money. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders accused Democrats of "openly choosing to keep our government closed to protect illegal immigrants rather than the American people." She said Trump "will not sign a proposal that does not first … [Read more...] about US government shutdown extends into next week
Most wasteful government spending
(From left to right) presumptive Speaker, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), US Vice President Mike Pence, US President Donald Trump, and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) at the White House in Washington, DC. — AFP/VNA PhotoViet Nam News WASHINGTON — An angry Donald Trump told Democratic leaders at the White House on Tuesday that he will shut down the US government because they refuse to approve billions of dollars in funding for his controversial Mexico border wall. The president and top opposition congressional leaders were meant to hold a reassuring Oval Office photo-op. Instead, their blazing row in front of the world’s media gave a glimpse of the dire challenges confronting Trump as he reels from legal scandals and the new reality of his Republican party no longer controlling Congress. Chuck Schumer, the senior Democrat in the still Republican-dominated Senate, and Nancy Pelosi, who is likely to become speaker in the newly … [Read more...] about Trump threatens US government shutdown over Mexico border wall
There’s literally 41 kilogram of plastic garbage for every Vietnamese person annually and it is predicted to rise to 45 kilogram by 2020 while around 10 per cent of the city’s plastic is recycled - a problem because most plastics are not biodegradable. Single-use plastics are the worst offenders and include plastic bags, food packaging, and straws. According to environment experts, most plastics are not biodegradable and typically take more than hundreds years to degrade. The Department of Natural Resources and Environment in HCMC said daily activities produce over 9,000 tons of garbage citywide; of the amount, 6,000 tons are buried in landfills while the rest is treated by Tam Sinh Nghia and Vietstar. The two waste treatment companies said 60 tons of plastic waste are mixed with other litter so they are very dirty; subsequently, the amount of soiled plastic items are just recycled low quality items. Some recyclable things are not used any more; they are buried. … [Read more...] about HCMC to suffer consequence from plastic waste
Viet Nam News by Bích Hường In a business-as-usual scenario, the world’s oceans could contain one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastic than fish [by weight]. The numbers in a report launched at the World Economic Forum 2016 crossed my mind again when I saw images of trash abandoned at beaches and other tourist attractions that went viral on internet after recent public holidays on April 30 and May 1. More similar images are likely to come as Vietnamese enter the peak time of holiday season – summer. When students have a long break, people flock to beaches and tourist destinations. It’s a given that people are disappointed to spend their holidays in places that are filled or surrounded by ice cream sticks, wrappers, cans, water bottles and food waste. The trash not only damages the sight of the tourist areas, but also poses a high risk of environmental pollution to the locality if it is not treated … [Read more...] about Who wants a vacation to a trash filled beach?
Sleeping with her mother and two young siblings in a bamboo hut to guard a farmer’s goats from thieves, Muryani feared for their lives as flash floods burst through the door. “Suddenly the water was so high ... it came very fast,” she said. “I was so worried about my mother, who was already quite old. I was afraid we would drown.” Muryani, 44, who goes by one name only, still lives in the same area, now a small settlement of about 300 residents called Pedak Baru which sits by a river close to Mount Merapi volcano. As floods have become more frequent over the last five years, Muryani and 25 other local women have teamed up with the YAKKUM Emergency Unit, a project that runs activities to help women protect their communities from disasters in Central Java and Yogyakarta. Located along the Pacific Rim of Fire, Indonesia has more than 17,000 islands, and faces many natural threats, including earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. The effects of climate … [Read more...] about With warning drums and river clean-ups, Indonesian women head off disasters