Senate passes major tax reform package – Trending Stuff

The U.S. Senate voted just before 2 a.m. ET Saturday to pass a sweeping tax overhaul worth roughly $1.4 trillion, putting the Trump White House a big step closer to its first major legislative victory – and many Americans closer to a tax cut.

The vote was 51-49, with Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee the only member of the GOP to side with the Democrats in opposition.

The bill is still not yet finalized. Saturday’s vote means the Senate and House have passed similar tax reform plans, but negotiators from both chambers will start meeting Monday to agree on a single piece of legislation that both chambers must approve before it is sent to President Donald Trump for his signature.

Here’s how the latest legislation would affect you:

What deductions can I claim under the Senate bill that just passed?

The Senate bill does away with federal deductions for state and local income and sales taxes, but allows deductions of up to $10,000 in local property taxes. The legislation originally eliminated federal deduction for all state and local taxes, but the property tax exemption was later added at the insistence of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who said she was “delighted” about the change.

What about personal deductions?

Like the House bill, the Senate bill nearly doubles the standard deduction level to $12,000 for individuals (up from $6,350) and $24,000 for couples (up from $12,700).

Any other deductions I could claim?

The Senate bill retains the current limit for the home mortgage interest deduction to interest paid on the first $1 million of the loan. (The House bill reduces the limit to $500,000 for new home purchases.) The Senate version also preserves the deduction for medical expenses not covered by insurance (the House bill does not), but ends deductions for moving expenses and tax preparation.

Why does the Senate bill allow deducting medical expenses not covered by insurance?

Because the Senate bill also repeals ObamaCare’s individual mandate, while the House bill does not. If ObamaCare’s mandate is repealed, thousands of people are expected to drop their health insurance, raising the cost for those who decide to keep it. 

And the personal exemption?

The Senate and House bills both eliminate the $4,050 personal tax exemption.

Will the tax brackets change at all?

The Senate bill keeps seven tax brackets, but reduces them to 10, 12, 22, 24, 32, 35 and 38.5 percent. (The current brackets are 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, 35, and 39.6 percent.) The House measure condenses seven brackets to four: 12, 25, 35 and 39.6 percent.

I own a small business. What would this mean for me?

The Senate bill allows owners of so-called “pass-through” businesses (that is, businesses that aren’t incorporated) to deduct 23 percent of their earnings, and then pay at their personal income tax rate on the remainder. This issue was a key concern of Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., both of whom announced this week that they would support the bill.

What about corporate tax rates?

Like the House bill, the Senate bill cuts the current 35 percent rate to 20 percent, but the Senate bill calls for a one-year delay in dropping the rate.

When will tax reform take effect?

President Trump and congressional Republicans have vowed to make tax reform law before the end of the year. If that happens, most of the provisions would come into force on Jan. 1.

Will tax reform affect my returns for this year?

The changes will not have any impact on your taxes for 2017, which are due to the IRS by April 17, 2018 (you get an extra 48 hours to file because the traditional April 15 due date falls on a Sunday).

So when will the differences in the bills be hashed out?

The House will vote on a motion to go to conference on the tax bills on Monday evening. The Senate is expected to vote on a similar measure soon after. Congress is scheduled to adjourn for its Christmas break on Dec. 15, but House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he will keep the House in session beyond that date if necessary to get tax reform passed.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/

Hurricane Irma ‘extremely dangerous’ Category 5 storm, evacuations ordered for Florida Keys – Trending Stuff

Hurricane Irma continued to fortify Tuesday as an “extremely dangerous” Category 5 storm, prompting states of emergency in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida — with the strong storm forcing evacuations from the Florida Keys.

Irma’s maximum sustained winds had increased to near 185 mph, and the storm was located about 180 miles east of Antigua, moving west at 14 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its 2 p.m. ET advisory.

“Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days,” the NHC said. 

Irma’s center was expected to move over parts of the northern Leeward Islands late Tuesday and early Wednesday, and the storm’s eye was then expected to pass about 50 kilometers from Puerto Rico late Wednesday.

Fox News Senior Meterologist Janice Dean said Irma is now “one of the strongest hurricanes we have witnessed in the last decade.”

Outside of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, the NHC said Irma is the strongest hurricane in the history of the Atlantic basin according to agency records.

Hurricane warnings were issued for 12 island groups in the Caribbean, including the British Virgin Islands, where the governor urged those who could to flee the small island of Anegada before the storm.

TRACK HURRICANE IRMA AT MYFOXHURRICANE.COM

Irma is the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Rita in 2005, officials said. “Puerto Rico has not seen a hurricane of this magnitude Carlos Anselmi, a National Weather Service meteorologist in San Juan, told The Associated Press.

“Florida and the Southeast U.S. should be paying close attention to the forecast and any changes over the coming days, while South Florida and the Florida Keys should be preparing for potential impacts from a dangerous Category 4 hurricane this weekend.”

– Janice Dean, Fox News Senior Meteorologist

The prediction for Irma remains tricky during the weekend as it approaches South Florida Saturday night into Sunday. As a trough moves into the region, the storm is expected to make a turn to the north, according to Dean.  

“Florida and the Southeast U.S. should be paying close attention to the forecast and any changes over the coming days, while South Florida and the Florida Keys should be preparing for potential impacts from a dangerous Category 4 hurricane this weekend,” she said.  

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello warned that all decisions made within the next couple of hours can make a difference between life and death.

Authorities warned the storm could dump up to 10 inches of rain on parts of the Caribbean, cause flash floods that were dangerous and landslides and create waves of up to 23 feet.

“This is not an opportunity to go outside and try to have fun with a hurricane,” U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp warned. “It’s not time to get on a surfboard.”

While Irma’s potential effect on the U.S. mainland isn’t yet fully understood, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced a state of emergency Monday to ensure “local governments have ample time, resources and flexibility to get prepared for this dangerous storm.”

“In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best and while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared,” Scott said in a statement.

FLORIDA GOV. RICK SCOTT DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY AHEAD OF HURRICANE IRMA

Scott triggered 100 Florida National Guard members Tuesday to assist with preparing for Irma, while officials issued mandatory evacuations for visitors and residents of the Florida Keys.

Monroe County officials said a required visitor evacuation is anticipated to start at sunrise on Wednesday.   Though a time has not yet been set an evacuation for residents also will be issued.  

Officials strongly encouraged tourists and residents to start evacuation plans today, and said the people leave the Keys, the less traffic they were likely to encounter.

“If ever was a storm to take in the Keys, this is it,” Monroe County Emergency Management Director Martin Senterfitt said in a statement. “The sooner people leave, the better. ”

U.S. 1 was the only route in and out of the island chain off the southern peninsula of Florida.

Some residents across South Florida spent Labor Day stocking up on supplies if Irma nears, rather than purchasing items.

“Obviously, get ready beforehand. We’ve got food, as you can see,” shopper Jacqueline Kimbrough told WSVN of her preparations. “We have our music. We have a good time. We don’t worry about it and we pray.”

People across South Florida were spending Tuesday stocking up on supplies, causing many stories to run out of water and generators, WSVN reported

Customers at a Costco in Miami Lakes were lined up outside the wholesale store until the moment doors opened up at 10 a.m., and lines snaked throughout the store. 

Further north on Florida’s Gulf Coast, residents weren’t taking any chances, and spent Monday making sure their disaster kits are ready for whatever the storm brings.

“Definitely better now than when it is too late,” Chance Burnett told FOX 13 Tampa as he loaded cases of water bottles into his trunk.

“We’ve got a great deal of cases of water and a lot of canned foods, tuna, Chef Boyardees,” said Burnett. “And then, we’re on our way to Home Depot and we are going to stock up on flashlights and batteries.”

At Home Depot in Tampa, tarps, gas containers and generators were among the most popular items being bought by shoppers. The generator shelves were restocked on Monday morning, but were already sold out by the afternoon.

Assistant store manager Chrissy Lenze told FOX 13 the store expects a new shipment this week, and they have plenty of other supplies.

“Mostly plywood, water, flashlights, tarps for later, sandbags to prepare,” Lenze said. “We want to be the last ones to close, first ones to open during a storm.”

On Puerto Rico, which will feel Irma’s effects by Wednesday, residents braced for electricity outages after the director of the island’s power company said that storm damage could leave some areas without electricity for four to six months.

Ricardo Ramos told radio station Notiuno 630 AM “some regions will have electricity [back] in less than a week.” The infrastructure of the utility has deteriorated significantly during a recession, and Puerto Ricans experienced an island-wide outage last year.

Both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands anticipated 4 inches to 8 inches of rain and winds of 40-50 mph with gusts of around 60 mph.

The Category 5 storm to hit on the United States was Hurricane Andrew in 1992. An were left homeless and the storm caused more than $20 billion in the Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana. Fifty-five people were murdered.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/

‘Potentially catastrophic’ Hurricane Irma nears eastern Caribbean islands – Trending Stuff

(CNN)As Floridians cleared supermarkets of bottled water and drained gas pumps, people in the northeastern Caribbean were making last minute-preparations before strong Hurricane Irma hit their islands.

Late Tuesday, the massive Category 5 storm was almost upon islands like Antigua and Barbuda with near-record 185 mph sustained winds. In its 11 p.m. ET advisory, the US National Hurricane Center said the eye of the hurricane was 50 miles in both islands.

The center of the storm was moving to the west-northwest at 15 mph.

The hurricane center said the extremely dangerous core of Irma would hit the northern Leeward Islands — that include Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Anguilla — Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

It’s too early to tell whether the storm will make landfall on the US mainland, but predictions show it could turn toward Florida over the weekend.

Forecasters’ most immediate concerns are for the people of the northeastern Caribbean, the hurricane center’s Michael Brennan said.

“Anguilla, all of the way toward (Antigua and) Barbuda, all of the way up even toward the British Virgin Islands (are) in grave danger of an eye wall hit at (at least) 150 mph — which devastates the island, regardless of what island it is,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said Tuesday.

Those islands are under hurricane warnings, as are Puerto Rico, the US and British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Martin/St. Maarten, and St. Barts.

One Twitter user in St. Barts posted a photo of rain coming down and winds beginning to sway the leaves of the palm trees Tuesday evening.

The hurricane center warned the storm is “potentially catastrophic,” especially if the worst conditions hit islands at high tides.

Fishermen get boats out of water

Irma’s forecast track currently has it near or over Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Anguilla by early Wednesday, and the British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday afternoon.

The Dominican Republic issued a hurricane warning Tuesday evening that included coastal cities from Cabo Engaño to the northern border with Haiti.

Preparations to protect life and property in those areas “should be rushed to completion,” the hurricane center said in an 11 p.m. ET advisory.

“We could see storm surges of 7 to 11 feet — that’s certainly life-threatening — and very, very heavy flood rain” in the far northeastern Caribbean islands as well as winds that could cause catastrophic damage near the eye wall, Brennan said.

Hurricane warnings are issued to areas that are expected to experience hurricane-force winds (at least 74 mph).

On Antigua, home to roughly 80,000 people, fishermen used machines to lift their boats onto docks and other residents flocked to stores to stock up on food and other supplies ahead of the storm, video broadcast by ABS TV Antigua and distributed by Reuters shows.

The US Virgin Islands, with about 100,000 people, declared a state of emergency Tuesday and ordered the National Guard into active service.

John Klein, owner of White Bay Villas & Seaside Cottages on Jost Van Dyke island in the British Virgin Islands, told CNN they were rebooking the guests.

“We have backups for (our utilities), but in a storm of the magnitude it’s not best for the guests to be there because they may get stuck,” he said.

Computer models show the system possibly near the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands on Thursday and Friday, and Cuba on Friday and Saturday — and potentially turning north toward Florida by the weekend.

Puerto Rico: Long lines

Hundreds of people rushed to the stores, emptying shelves of food and drinking water just as Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard on Monday.

For hours, people also lined up outside hardware stores hoping to get plywood, batteries and power generators. If Irma knocks out power, Puerto Ricans said they are worried it would take weeks or months before the power is restored.

“It (power) is something absolutely necessary, especially due to Puerto Rico’s weather. We will need to have the A/C or a fan on all night,” a woman told CNN affiliate WAPA.

Last month, the director of Puerto Rico’s power utility, Ricardo Ramos Rodríguez, said several factors have made the island’s electric system “delicate and vulnerable,” WAPA reported.

One of those is the shortage of employees. Many workers recently retired or left their jobs for better prospects on the US mainland, Ramos Rodríguez said.

Public schools and officials at the University of Puerto Rico campuses have canceled classes, and many businesses are closed.

“Make a U-turn and die in the ocean, Irma. The Caribbean islands don’t need more problems!” Twitter user mujertropical wrote about the storm.

Getting ready in the Sunshine State

While Irma’s exact path is uncertain, Florida — where storm-wary shoppers were standing in long lines outside some stores Tuesday — is bracing for the storm.

Miami-Dade County will start evacuating special-needs residents on Wednesday, and may announce other evacuations soon, Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.

“I would rather inconvenience our residents” with evacuations than suffer loss of life, Gimenez said.

Schools and county offices are to be closed on Thursday and Friday.

And the state’s Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, said it will order visitors to evacuate by sunrise Wednesday, and residents should begin to evacuate 12 hours later.

In Florida, people were standing in lines at stores to buy water and other goods on Tuesday.

In Miami, supermarkets and other stores were already selling out of water and nonperishable food.

“I’ve been through hurricanes and they are like ‘Oh it’s going to hit right here’ and then it hits 30, 40 miles up the coast and it sort of changes the way everything goes, so better safe than sorry,” Greg Andrews told CNN affiliate WPLG.

The lines at Costco in Pembroke Pines appeared to be several hours long, Javier Aragon tweeted.

In Clearwater, along Florida’s Gulf Coast, a Publix store still was selling six-packs of water but had run out of larger cases, Carrie Hart said. Hart told CNN that workers there were trying to calm shoppers.

On Twitter, she described a “mad run” on the remaining six-packs.

“@publix is out of cases. Expecting more tonight. Store 1300. They are doing their very best people. Calm down,” she tweeted.

Irma could head to Florida by the weekend, Myers said Tuesday.

?? #irma #cat5 #175mph

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“Just enormous damage if we get this storm, this big, over portions of Florida,” Myers said.

After declaring a state of emergency across Florida, Gov. Rick Scott said President Donald Trump had “provided the full resources of the federal government as Floridians prepare for Hurricane Irma.”

White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert tweeted that the President had declared emergencies for Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Scott also ordered 7,000 National Guard troops to report for duty by Friday morning. Of those, 100 were activated Tuesday to begin helping with preparations, he said.

“I can’t stress this enough. Get prepared,” Scott said at a news conference. “Learn your evacuation zone. Listen to your own sailors. This storm has the potential to devastate this state. You have to take this seriously.”

Near-record winds

Irma has become one of the strongest storms recorded in the Atlantic, and is threatening to slam into Caribbean islands including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with “potentially catastrophic” force on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Irma was churning west Tuesday evening in the Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph — well above the 157 mph threshold for a Category 5, the hurricane center said.
The last storm with sustained winds that strong in the Atlantic was 2005’s Hurricane Wilma, which weakened before it brushed Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, turned right and crossed Florida. Irma’s Atlantic wind speeds are behind only 1980’s Hurricane Allen, which peaked at 190 mph at sea.

Why Irma could be especially intense

Irma is a classic “Cape Verde hurricane,” meaning it formed in the far eastern Atlantic, near the Cape Verde Islands (now known as the Cabo Verde Islands), before tracking all the way across the Atlantic, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.
And Cape Verde storms frequently become some of the largest and most intense hurricanes. Examples include Hurricane Hugo, Hurricane Floyd and Hurricane Ivan.

Another storm, Tropical Storm Jose, is 1,500 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

“Interests in the Leeward Islands should track the future progress of Jose,” the hurricane center said.

Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

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Hurricane Irma now Category 3 storm, forecast to be ‘extremely dangerous’ – Trending Stuff

Hurricane Irma strengthened Thursday to a Category 3 storm with 115 mph sustained winds and is predicted to be an “extremely dangerous” storm for the next several days, according to the National Hurricane Center.

In its 5 p.m. ET advisory, the NHC said the storm was situated over the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, about 720 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands, moving west-northwest at 12 mph.  

“Fluctuations in strength, both up and down, are possible, but Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane for several days,” the advisory read.

Earlier in the day, the weather service said Irma is expected to be “an extremely dangerous hurricane for the next several days,” and is predicted to be a category 4 storm east of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean by next week.

TRACK THE STORM AT MYFOXHURRICANE.COM

Fox News Senior Meterologist Janice Dean said Thursday it is still too early to tell whether Irma will pass well north of the Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico, or have consequences there by next Wednesday or Thursday.

TROPICAL STORM HARVEY REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: EERIE SILENCE, NEIGHBORS PITCHING IN

“What we do know is that it will be an exceptionally strong hurricane, and all interest across the Lesser Antilles/Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and the U.S — both Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coast — need to monitor Irma’s path,” Dean said.

Any impacts to the U.S., if any, are a complete 10 to 11 days away, according to Dean. Forecaster should get a better idea where the storm is moving, once Irma moves father across the Atlantic.  

There are no watches or warnings in effect and the storm doesn’t pose an immediate threat to property, the hurricane center said.

HARVEY HEROISM: CITIZENS STEP UP TO HELP OTHERS DURING DEADLY STORM

Irma is the ninth named storm of this year, and comes after Harvey devastated Texas with record amounts of rain.

Earlier this month, forecasters said the Atlantic hurricane season would be “above-normal,” with 14 to 19 named storms before the peak season.

An average Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, generates 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three big hurricanes, according to the NOAA.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/

U.S. Colleges Have $500 Billion to Invest. Now Where Are All the Green Deals? – Trending Stuff

If you thought that the University of California system would #x &promote 201C; sustainable &#x 201D; investing, you &#x 2019;d be proper. The catch is, the racks in the sustainable investing aisle aren &#x 2019; t particularly well-stocked with chances.

U.S. college endowments completely hold more than $500 ­ billion in possessions, a growing part of which they &#x 2019; ve designated to sustainable or &#x 201C; effect &#x 201D; investing. They likewise deal with something of a paradox: Where, precisely, does one invest that loan? The simple response, and one popular amongst smaller sized endowments, is to purchase funds of stocks considered green.

Another choice is genuine properties, states Jagdeep Bachher, who manages the University of California &#x 2019; s $100 billion portfolio, that includes retirement funds for among the nation &#x 2019; s biggest public university systems in addition to the school &#x 2019; s $10 billion endowment, the 12th biggest in the United States &#x 201C; Institutions slouch at some level, &#x 201D; he states. &#x 201C; We await pitch books to appear. &#x 201D; But that isn &#x 2019; t acceptable for the Regents of the University of California . The factor: Staving off the worst results of worldwide warming will need a lot more financial investment than is being released &#x 2014; trillions of dollars more in coming years, inning accordance with quotes from the International Energy Agency. That &#x 2019; s why the system has actually ended up being popular in a group of institutional financiers releasing cash to green jobs.

The group has actually dedicated to putting more than $1 billion into tidy energy- and water-related jobs that the Obama White House promoted 2 years back. In addition, the financiers assisted develop an advisory group called Aligned Intermediary Inc. , which works like a co-op for them, sourcing financial investments.

The offers Aligned Intermediary determines huge: They vary from $50 million to $500 million, inning accordance with co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Peter Davidson. Its members, which likewise consist of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union Trust and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, look for genuine returns from direct financial investments in facilities &#x 2014; renewable resource, water, even trash &#x 2014; along with from loans to jobs that help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. &#x 201C; The financial returns exist, &#x 201D; Davidson states. &#x 201C; The accountable investing concept exists. It &#x 2019; s a market flaw that we have to fix. &#x 201D; The University of California has actually dedicated $500 million to these kinds of tasks. While the group &#x 2019; s initially deal, a financial investment of about $50 million including water facilities in the Western U.S., is on the books, information sanctuary &#x 2019; t been revealed.

For endowments, these kinds of direct financial investments have benefits. They skirt personal equity and hedge funds &#x 2019; questionable 2-and-20 costs, and the jobs &#x 2019; schedules encounter the years, considerably longer than a normal fund life of approximately 10 years.

Endowments such as Yale &#x 2019; s assisted begin the pattern towards illiquid, alternative financial investments 3 years back, with a relocation into personal equity and hedge funds. Yale and Harvard &#x 2014; the most affluent college funds, with more than $60 billion jointly &#x 2014; were likewise leaders in purchasing genuine possessions, especially forest. Yale has actually even invested straight in a 22-turbine wind farm in Maine. The school &#x 2019; s endowment in a 2009 report proclaimed 4 green financial investments that have actually partially ended up being losers. One solar business, for instance, declared bankruptcy. Green funds that wager on tidy energy and innovation, released in the previous years, have actually underperformed.

While there &#x 2019; s need for financial investments that assist address international environment difficulties, chances #x &aren 2019; t specifically simple to #x &discover 2014; and most endowments, specifically independent schools, run in opacity, so it &#x 2019; s challenging to recognize case research studies. Williams &#x 2014; the wealthiest U.S. liberal arts college, with a $2.3 billion endowment &#x 2014; offers a fascinating glance into the troubles.

In September 2015 the Massachusetts school stated it wouldn &#x 2019; t divest from nonrenewable fuel source holdings, regardless of pressure from trainees. (Protests requiring endowments to divest from nonrenewable fuel sources have actually been a school consistent in the last few years.) Rather the college stated it would look for financial investments with the condition that they can be determined to reveal an effect in lowering greenhouse gas emissions. A year later on, Williams authorities advised an alternative energy fund to its financial investment committee, which authorized the proposition, inning accordance with the alumni publication. &#x 201C; We are striving to try to find these kinds of financial investments, however they are challenging to discover, &#x 201D; states Collette Chilton, the primary financial investment officer. &#x 201C; We &#x 2019; re not quiting, since this is necessary to the Williams neighborhood. &#x 201D;

It &#x 2019; s likewise been tiresome for the University of California to discover the ideal offer &#x 2014; even with the personnel of Aligned Intermediary on the case. Lined up was structured as an advantage corporation, and its functional financing was supplied by humanitarian groups, led by the Planet Heritage, William and Flora Hewlett, and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur structures. The company offers know-how to discover offers, carry out due diligence, and, if required, assist supervise the supervisors running jobs. The University of California sorted through 90 propositions prior to discovering the water offer that closed late in 2015. &#x 201C; You require versatility and you require persistence &#x 2014; and we have these things, &#x 201D; Bachher states. The university will act just when it sees a chance that fulfills all its requirements, he states.

In addition to the offer the University of California tattooed, others remain in the pipeline, Davidson states. They consist of a financial investment in a solar energy designer in North America, anticipated to close in June, and a mezzanine loan to a massive personal wind, solar, and biomass business that runs internationally.

The Ontario pension, a partner, has experience with these sorts of financial investments. It &#x 2019; s put loan in Ararat , a 75-turbine wind farm that opened previously this year, turning into one of Australia &#x 2019; s biggest, and in Toronto-based Firelight Infrastructure Partners LP, which concentrates on wind, hydroelectric, and solar jobs. Both are anticipated to create double-digit returns, states Hugh O &#x 2019; Reilly, president and CEO of the Ontario-based pension fund, which has C$ 19 billion ($14&#xA 0; billion) under management. &#x 201C; We do this to make loan, &#x 201D; he states. &#x 201C; We have a competence in energy and renewable resource. &#x 201D;

Caisse de D&#xE 9;p &#xF 4; t et Placement du Qu&#xE 9; bec &#x 2014; which, with C$ 271 billion under management, is Canada &#x 2019; s second-largest public pension fund supervisor &#x 2014; discovered a triple whammy with its financial investment in an electrical train task in Montreal: a genuine possession that &#x 2019; s long term and will decrease emissions by taking automobiles off the roadway. &#x 201C; We &#x 2019; re a long-lasting financier, &#x 201D; Michael Sabia, president and CEO, stated at a Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in April. &#x 201C; It &#x 2019; s not the next quarter, it &#x 2019; s the next quarter century. &#x 201D;

Laurence Siegel, director of research study at the CFA Institute Research Foundation, is bullish on tidy water and air and alternative energy. The horizon for the return on financial investment is uncertain. &#x 201C; In the long run we &#x 2019; re not going to utilize that much oil, &#x 201D; states Siegel, who worked for 15 years at the Ford Foundation in a financial investment capability. &#x 201C; These other alternative sources of energy are going to have a bigger and bigger market share, so you wish to be invested. Is it 20 years? Is it 100 years? The rate of return isn &#x 2019; t competitive if it &#x 2019; s 100 years. It &#x 2019; s most likely incredible if it &#x 2019; s 20 years. &#x 2019; &#x 2019;

Endowments have actually traditionally bought energy through their outdoors supervisors, who purchase public and personal oil and gas business. &#x 201C; The endowments have actually done an incredibly excellent task in choosing supervisors, &#x 201D; states Ashby Monk, executive director of Stanford &#x 2019; s Global Projects Center and chairman and co-founder of Aligned Intermediary. &#x 201C; That will undoubtedly insert them into the kinds of methods where that gain access to point is the most effective. To buy these type of ingenious possessions, you need to be ingenious in your financial investment company. &#x 201D;

That seems the case for the University of California. Bachher states he feels like he &#x 2019; s in a &#x 201C; lonesome area &#x 201D; with his endowment coworkers. He &#x 2019; s positive. &#x 201C; With time, we will see more endowments included, &#x 201D; he states. &#x 201C; It requires time for individuals to see the risk-adjusted returns. &#x 201D;

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-31/u-s-colleges-have-500-billion-to-invest-now-where-are-all-the-green-deals

Trump authorizes action – CNNPolitics.com – Trending Stuff

On President Donald Trump’s orders, US warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the airbase that was home to the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks, US officials said.

Six people were killed in the airstrike, according to a televised statement by the Syrian’s Armed Forces General Command. Russia condemned the strike as an “act of aggression,” and Assad’s office Friday called it “a disgraceful act” that “can only be described as short-sighted.”

“Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the air field in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched,” Trump said during short remarks to reporters at Mar-a-Lago, where he ordered the strike just hours earlier. “It is in this vital national security of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.”

He added: “There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council. Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically.”

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Video shows gas attack aftermath 01:23

Shift in policy

Trump’s decision marked a dramatic shift in his position on whether the US should take military action against the Syrian President’s regime — which Trump opposed during his campaign for president — and came after the President was visibly and publicly moved by the images of this week’s chemical weapons attack.

US warships launch cruise missiles at Syria

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US warships launch cruise missiles at Syria 00:33

The strike took place at 8:40 p.m. ET (3:40 a.m. local time), when there would have been minimal activity at the base. It targeted aircraft, aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and “the things that make the airfield operate,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters. The missiles were launched from warships in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at Shayrat Airfield, reducing the Syrian government’s ability to deliver chemical weapons,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

A US defense official told CNN Friday morning that an initial battle damage assessment from the strike was that 58 of the 59 missiles “severely degraded or destroyed” their intended target. The official cautioned that this is just the earliest assessment using radar and that more robust assessments using satellites and other surveillance is still pending.

Thirty-six of the Tomahawks were fired from the USS Ross and the other 23 were launched from the USS Porter, the official added.

Briefing reporters late Thursday night, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the strike did not represent a “change in our policy or our posture in Syria,” even though it marked the first time the US had decided to take military action against the Syrian government.

“There has been no change in that status,” he said. “It does demonstrate that President Trump is willing to act when governments and actors cross the line … and cross the line in the most heinous of ways.”

Tillerson said the administration felt the strike was “proportional because it was targeted at the facility that delivered this most recent chemical attack.”

The US military on Thursday showed reporters an image of the radar track of a Syrian airplane leaving the airfield and flying to the chemical strike area Tuesday. A second image of bomb damage craters at the airbase was also shown to reporters at the Pentagon.

Tillerson said the US has a “very high level of confidence” that the Syrian regime carried out at least three attacks in recent weeks — including on Tuesday — using Sarin and nerve gas.

On Friday, Tillerson told reporters that the administration is monitoring Syria’s response “in terms of whether they attack our forces or coalition forces” or if they seek to launch another chemical weapons attack.

“This particular strike that was carried out on the air base from which the chemical weapons attack was launched was very deliberately considered by the President,” Tillerson said. “It is a response that we believe to be both proportional and appropriate.”

“The future will be guided by how we see their reaction,” he added.

A senior administration official told CNN Friday that the strike should not be interpreted as the beginning of a wider campaign to weaken or remove Assad, but instead is aimed at dealing with the “unacceptability” of Assad’s use of chemical weapons.

This official said the President’s order to his national security team to develop a plan for defeating ISIS remains the priority for the administration. That strategy is actually well on its way to being completed, the official added.

But the strikes represented not only an escalation of the US role in Syria, but could have a ripple effect on the US’ relations with the Syrian regime’s powerful backer, Russia.

Russians were present at the base the US struck, a US defense official said, though the role of those Russians was not immediately known.

Tillerson confirmed that the US military contacted their Russian counterparts about the attack ahead of time, in accordance with deconfliction policies between the US and Russia over military activities in Syria. Russia was given a one-hour notice, according to a senior US official.

Russian President Vladimir Putin described the US airstrikes on Syria as “an act of aggression against a sovereign state” that “dealt a serious blow to Russia-US relations,” according to a Kremlin statement. Russia said it believed Syria had destroyed all of its chemical weapons and the US strikes were based on a “far-fetched pretext.”

Congressional reaction

Lawmakers in the US generally supported Trump’s decision to strike back against Assad Thursday night, but cautioned the President against unilaterally starting a war without first consulting Congress.

A pair of defense hawks — Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham — who have frequently been critical of Trump, roundly praised his decision Thursday night.

“Acting on the orders of their commander-in-chief, they have sent an important message the United States will no longer stand idly by as Assad, aided and abetted by Putin’s Russia, slaughters innocent Syrians with chemical weapons and barrel bombs,” McCain and Graham said in a joint statement.

Rubio: Russia should be embarrassed, ashamed

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Rubio: Russia should be embarrassed, ashamed 01:16

But Sen. Rand Paul called on Trump to consult on Congress.

“While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked,” Paul said. “The President needs congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution, and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate.”

The US began launching airstrikes in Syria in September 2014 under President Barack Obama as part of its coalition campaign against ISIS, but has only targeted the terrorist group and not Syrian government forces.

The order

Trump met with his national security team before his dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago Thursday, where he made the decision to pull the trigger on the biggest military action of his presidency, national security adviser H.R. McMaster said.

He sat through dinner with Xi as the action was under way.

The decision came two days after he was “immediately notified” of the chemical attack in Syria and asked his team to determine who was responsible. After it became clear Assad was responsible, Trump asked his team to develop options — and settled on one Thursday after “a meeting of considerable length and far-reaching discussion,” McMaster told reporters.

Defense Secretary James Mattis has been updating Trump about the missile strikes in Syria following his dinner with Xi, according to a US official.

Mattis, Tillerson and McMaster were with Trump at Mar-a-Lago at the time. Vice President Mike Pence remained in Washington, where he returned to the White House after dinner.

Trump’s order to strike the Syrian government targets came a day after he said the chemical attacks — whose grisly effects were broadcast worldwide where videos captured in the immediate aftermath — “crossed a lot of lines for me” and said he felt a “responsibility” to respond.

Tillerson: No doubt Assad is responsible

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Tillerson: No doubt Assad is responsible 01:39

“I will tell you it’s already happened that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much,” Trump said.

“When you kill innocent children — innocent babies — babies — little babies with a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many, many lines. Beyond a red line, many, many lines,” Trump said.

‘Red line’

Trump’s decision to launch the strikes, the most significant military action of his young presidency, came nearly four years after the US first concluded that Syrian forces had used chemical weapons in Syria.

The Obama administration concluded that Syria had violated the “red line” Obama had set a year earlier in discussing the use of chemical weapons, but ultimately decided against military action against Syria in favor of a Russian-brokered deal to extricate the country’s chemical weapons stockpile.

Trump at the time said the US should “stay the hell out of Syria” and urged Obama on Twitter to “not attack Syria” in the wake of the 2013 chemical attack.

“There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your ‘powder’ for another (and more important) day,” he tweeted in September 2013.

Trump repeatedly criticized Obama during his presidential campaign for not acting on his “red line” threat, but the real estate mogul also argued against deepening the US’ military involvement in Syria, particularly as it related to Assad.

Trump argued last May in a TV interview that he would “go after ISIS big league,” but said he did not support targeting Assad’s regime, arguing the US has “bigger problems than Assad.”

Syria’s six-year civil war has claimed the lives of at least 400,000, according to a United Nations estimate released a year ago. More than 5 million Syrians have fled the country and more than 6 million more have been displaced internally, according to UN agencies.

2016 rhetoric

But guided by his “America First” ideology and rejection of the US’ propensity for “nation-building,” Trump did not argue in favor of stepped-up US intervention during his campaign for president.

Instead, he signaled the opposite: He argued that the US should remain laser-focused on defeating ISIS and vowed to try and partner with Russia, which has heartily backed Assad’s regime, in order to defeat ISIS and bring the conflict to an end.

Those views appeared steeped in his longstanding criticism of the Iraq War, which he called a “stupid” decision, lamenting the billions of dollars funneled toward that war effort instead of on domestic programs, like infrastructure spending.

While Trump rejected the isolationist label some placed on him during the campaign, he made clear that his preference was for limiting the US footprint around the world and refocusing US foreign policy around core national security interests.

Categories CNN

Truck rams crowd during Mardi Gras parade; 28 injured

(CNN.com)One guy is in custody after a collision at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans hurt at least 28 people, five critically, authorities said.

Police Chief Michael Harrison said it seemed the defendant, who had been driving a pickup that hit on two automobiles before running to the group, was probably highly intoxicated. One of the wounded, the youngest is 3 and the oldest are in their 40s.
Not one of the injuries was life threatening, authorities said.
    Where the Krewe of Endymion parade was under way the event happened close to the junction of Orleans and Carrollton Avenues.
    Here would be the most recent developments in this report:
    A total of 21 individuals were hospitalized, including one female officer. She was in great spirits, the leader said.
    Seven individuals who have been damage refused medical transfer.
    A few of the by-standers who assisted care for the injured were emergency responders who have been tourists in town for Mardi Gras, the leader said.
    Harrison said there’s no sign the injury was an act terrorism.
    Video from CNN affiliate WDSU confirmed a grey pickup truck that had crashed right into a dump-truck on a median close to the junction.
    Witnesses informed the station the pick-up hit several vehicles before hitting folks in the group observing the parade and came down among the roads.
    “I saw the gray truck flying down Carrollton Avenue,” women witness informed WDSU. “He sped up and he lost control and you could see was getting ready to turn and I knew he was going to run into all those people.”
    The injury occurred around 6:42 p.m. (7:42 p.m. ET).
    The Endymion parade is among the largest parades leading up to Mardi Gras, which is among the most family, plus Tuesday -oriented. Parents brought their kids to the function.
    The parade, held in the Mid City area much in the French Quarter, contains three dozen tractor-pulled floats, a number of these double- and triple deckers.
    Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday,” is a day of revelry which includes parades, celebrations and gastronomic indulgence prior to the Christian fasting time of Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. It marks the day of the Carnival period.
    Mardi Gras has additionally come to consult with the weekend of festivities and events instantly previous Lent.
    The day can also be called Carnival Tuesday Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday, according to where the party is happening.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/25/us/new-orleans-mardi-gras-parade-accident/index.html

    Categories CNN

    Surprise! Trump hands the mic to supporter at Florida rally

    (CNN.com)In what seemed to be an improvised instant, President Donald Trump encouraged among his assistants to join him onstage and consider the mic in a rally in Melbourne, Florida, on Saturday evening.

    As the guy climbed up, the President addressed protection issues by stating to the group, and maybe to Secret Service agents, “I am not concerned about him. I am just worried he is planning to give a kiss to me. I am not concerned about other things.”
    Gene Huber, sporting a black Donald Trump tshirt, embraced the President and spoke for several minutes.
      “Mr. President, thank you so, sir. We the individuals, our motion is the main reason why our president of the United States is standing here in front of us to-day,” Huber said. “When President Trump during the election promised all these things that he was going to do for us, I knew he was going to do this for us.”
      “A star is born,” Trump said as Huber came back to the group. “I would not say that the Secret Service was delighted with that, but we understand our folks, right? Our folks are known by us. Great man. And therefore several others.”
      Afterwards, Huber was interviewed by CNN’s Pamela Brown and mentioned he had been waiting since 4 a.m. ET to get in to the rally. He considered Trump picked him to climb onstage after seeing his interviews ahead of the rally with Television reporters.
      Huber stated Trump inspires him so he keeps a six-foot cardboard cut-out of the President in his home.
      “I salute that every single day and I pray and I tell him, ‘Mr. President, I pray for your safety today,’ ” Huber said. “And I’m not lying,I do that every single day to the president, but he’s cardboard.”
      He posted a picture of the cut-out on Twitter, stating: “The Best Vistor I could actually have! President Trump stumbled on Florida to see me! Wow, never will overlook this! @realDonaldTrump @thebestcloser”
      As the interview with Brown wrapped-up, Huber inquired, “And can I just say one quick thing?”
      “Quickly,” Brown answered.
      “I appreciate the interview,” Huber stated. “Permit just be a small, small pleasanter to our president. Many thanks so significantly.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/18/politics/trump-gene-huber-rally/index.html

      Categories CNN

      Why athletes are getting more political in the age of Trump

      Washington (CNN)When Beyonc got political and paid tribute to the “Black Lives Matter” movement at the Super Bowl last year, many sports fans were up in arms, accusing the star of violating what some consider to be an unspoken rule: Keep politics out of sports.

      But in an America that is still reeling from a divisive presidential election cycle, where the rise of President Donald Trump catapulted heated debates over race and social issues into the mainstream, many athletes are becoming politically active in a way not seen in decades. And not everyone is happy about it.
      “Sports is really no longer an escape from the real world that it used to be. Sports is a mirror of our society,” CNN Sports Analyst Christine Brennan said. “I think because Trump is so controversial and because the things he’s saying and doing run counter to what many people believe … athletes are finding their voice in a way that is reminiscent of the 1960s.”

        Piling

        Curry, who was not known for inserting himself into politics prior to 2016, publicly confronted the CEO of Under Armour Kevin Plank, saying, “I agree with that description if you remove the ‘et’ from asset.”
        Cleveland Cavaliers star forward Lebron James slammed Trump’s travel ban last week, saying, it “does not represent what the United States is about.”
        And NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who formally endorsed Clinton, said the ban makes America “a bad horror movie.”
        Six New England Patriots players, including Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty, who protested racism on the field by raising their fists during the national anthem, announced that they will skip the team’s upcoming White House visit, where they will be honored by Trump for winning this year’s Super Bowl.
        While not all six cited political reasons, some specifically pointed to their opposition to Trump.
        “Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House,” McCourty said. “With the President having so many strong opinions and prejudices, I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.”
        Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich both slammed Trump last month in what Brennan describes as “absolutely the stuff of history.”
        “I’m completely against what’s happening. I think it’s shocking. It’s a horrible idea,” Kerr said, reacting to news of the travel ban. “I feel for all the people that are affected. Families are being torn apart, and I worry in the big picture what this means to the security of the world.”
        And before he died in June, Muhammad Ali dove into another political battle and spoke out against what was then candidate Trump’s proposed temporary “Muslim ban.”
        “We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda,” Ali said in December. “They have alienated many from learning about Islam. True Muslims know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody.”

        Back to the 60s

        When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem in August to protest racial injustice, he quickly became one of the most controversial figures in sports like several others before him.

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/10/politics/donald-trump-colin-kaepernick-athletes-activism-sports/index.html

        Categories CNN

        Trump’s travel ban hits legal hurdles: Get up to speed

        (CNN)United States President Donald Trump’s on-again, off-again travel restriction is back with the courts after a turbulent weekend, when an appeals court decided to keep the suspension purchased by a federal judge till a last judgment can be made.

        The now-suspended order bars people of 7 Muslim-majority nations– Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen– from going into the United States for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days and forever stops refugees from Syria.
        So exactly what’s the current with among the brand-new administration’s most questionable relocations up until now?

          “I still cannot think this really occurred,” she informed CNN at the airport Sunday. “I didn’t see this coming at any time quickly, so this is certainly beyond whatever I might think of.”
          Sen. Lindsey Graham shared the news she was heading back to South Carolina by tweeting “Good news! I understand she has great deals of colleagues and pals who cannot wait to see her. I’m delighted she’s practically house.”

          What is the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals?

          The three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based court has a track record as one of the most liberal in the country– to the point where some Republican legislators have actually even pressed to divide it up in an effort to restrict its effect.
          The court will not rule on whether the restriction is constitutional, however whether it will stay suspended in the meantime.

          When could the judgment come?

          The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has actually requested both sides to submit legal briefs prior to the court makes its decision. The federal government has up until 6 p.m. ET Monday night to send its briefs.

          “(Robart’s judgment) contravenes the thought about judgment of Congress that the President must have the unreviewable authority to suspend the admission of any class of aliens,” the Justice Department composed.
          Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, on the other hand, stated Trump isn’t really most likely to obtain his travel restriction executed by Congress if courts strike it down.
          “I do not know that that’s essential,” McConnell informed CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday. “I imply, the courts are going to choose whether the executive order the President provided stands or not, and all of us follow court orders.”

          Any other individuals weighing in?

          People near the White House stated over the weekend that Trump’s attacks will be an issue– especially as his administration shepherds his Supreme Court candidate Neil Gorsuch towards verification.

          What takes place if the court guidelines for– or versus– the restriction?

          No matter exactly what the judgment in San Francisco, the next stop will most likely be the United States Supreme Court .

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/06/politics/trump-travel-ban-update/index.html

          Categories CNN