US terrorism alert warns of politically motivated violence

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security Department has issued a national terrorism bulletin warning of the lingering potential for violence from people motivated by anti-government sentiment after President Joe Biden’s election. The bulletin suggests the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol may embolden extremists and set the stage for additional attacks. The department isn’t citing a specific threat. But DHS points to “a heightened threat environment across the United States” that it believes “will persist” for weeks after Biden took office. The wording suggests national security officials see a thread between recent violence over the past year motivated by antigovernment grievances, whether over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results or police use of force.last_img read more

Renewables, geography make it feasible for Texas to quit coal, Rice study finds

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Houston Chronicle:Texas might have the perfect environment to quit coal for good.Texas is one of the only places—potentially in the world—where the natural patterns of wind and sun could produce power around the clock, according to new research from Rice University.Scientists found that between wind energy from West Texas and the Gulf Coast, and solar energy across the state, Texas could meet a significant portion of its electricity demand from renewable power without extensive battery storage. The reason: These sources generate power at different times of day, meaning that coordinating them could replace production from coal-fired plants.“There is nowhere else in the world better positioned to operate without coal than Texas is,” said Dan Cohan an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University who co-authored the report with a student, Joanna Slusarewicz. “Wind and solar are easily capable of picking up the slack.”Texas is the largest producer of wind energy in the United States, generating about 18 percent of its electricity from wind. Most of the state’s wind turbines are located in West Texas, where the wind blows the strongest at night and in the early spring, when demand is low. The resource, however, can be complemented by turbines on the Gulf Coast, where wind produces the most electricity on late afternoons in the summer, when power demand is the highest. Solar energy, a small, but rapidly growing segment of the state’s energy mix, also has the advantage of generating power when it is needed most — hot, sunny summer afternoons.Coal still generates about 25 percent of the state’s power, but its share is shrinking. Since 2007, coal used in generating electricity has decreased 36 percent. Last year, Vistra Energy of Dallas shut down three coal-fired plants in Texas, citing changing economics in the power industry that make it difficult for coal to compete.More: Texas has enough sun and wind to quit coal, Rice researchers say Renewables, geography make it feasible for Texas to quit coal, Rice study findslast_img read more

Comeback of the Canoe

first_imgPhoto: Hunter DavisDooley Tombras was kneeling in his boat at the top of Triple Falls last spring when he became convinced he was going to paddle off the edge of the earth. Triple Falls is a three-tiered waterfall that drops 125 feet inside North Carolina’s Dupont State Forest. Occasionally, a brazen kayaker runs the falls, but nobody had ever done what Tombras was about to attempt. The 29-year old Knoxville paddler was about to bag the first descent of Triple Falls in a whitewater canoe.“It’s really intimidating to be in a boat at the top of a set of massive waterfalls,” Tombras says. “I’ve never had that perspective before, where it looks like the world just ends. The tourists standing there were looking at me like I was crazy.”It was just another day of work for Tombras, star of Canoe Movie 2: Uncharted Waters, the second whitewater canoe film produced by paddling collective Amongstit (the same group that puts together the popular Lunch Video Magazine). The movie follows Tombras and other whitewater canoeists as they systematically knock out first canoe descents of burly creeks and waterfalls all over North America and Mexico.Whitewater canoeing was relatively popular until the early 2000s when kayaks evolved into smaller, lighter, and more stable boats, which allowed paddlers to run more advanced water. Whitewater canoe design didn’t progress as quickly. Open boats were markedly slower and less maneuverable than kayaks. Whitewater canoes nearly became relics of a bygone era.“Suddenly, it was much easier to run hard whitewater in a kayak, so everyone abandoned their canoes,” says Tombras, who’s been paddling whitewater in a canoe since the mid 90s. “People were fleeing the sport. All I ever heard were stories about people ditching their open boats.”Luckily for Tombras and other die-hard open boaters, the paradigm shifted again two years ago, when Canadian canoe manufacturer Esquif developed the L’Edge, a shorter, more stable canoe with a radical rocker that allows a skilled canoeist to run hard whitewater almost as easily as a kayaker.With the original Canoe Movie, which was released in 2010, the Amongstit crew wanted to introduce the world to whitewater canoeing, detailing its history and some of the key players in the niche sport. With Canoe Movie 2, Hunter Davis, one of the owners of Amongstit, hopes to show the world exactly what can be done in an open boat.“Anything you can do in a kayak, these guys can do in a canoe. You can run class V. You can run waterfalls,” Davis says. “With Canoe Movie 2, we want to blow the doors off of adventure canoeing. We want to show them running these huge drops, and show that they’re not just daredevils throwing themselves off of waterfalls. They’re making big, beautiful moves just like a kayaker.”In the process of filming Canoe Movie 2, Tombras and his cohorts have notched out first descents all over North America, including 40-foot waterfalls in Mexico and wilderness runs in the Carolinas’ Jocassee Gorge. One of the most impressive first descents has to be Road Prong in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s a skinny tributary of West Prong that’s accessed from the Chimney’s parking lot. It’s only runnable after a massive rain, and by all accounts, it’s the steepest river ever run in a canoe. The Road Prong drops 750 feet per mile with no necessary portages. By comparison, the Green River, arguably the most famous steep creek in the country, drops only 300 feet per mile.“It was scary,” Tombras says. “To be honest, I only ran it because the film was rolling.”While the new boats are more maneuverable on the water than the older models, they’re no lighter. Esquif’s L’Edge comes in at 70 pounds, and canoeists often have to carry on their shoulders for long hikes if they want to bag the more remote rivers in the region. For the Road Prong descent, Tombras had to lug his boat up a hiking trail that gained 1,000 feet in elevation before he could dip his paddle in the water.Beyond the added weight, there are still some performance limitations to open boating. Canoeists still only have one paddle and they still have a big hole in the top of their boat, so they’re always going to take on water. It’s a trade off, according to Tombras, who never once considered abandoning his canoe for a kayak.“I like the added challenge and the aesthetic value of running a river in a canoe,” Tombras says. “It’s like telemark skiing or fly fishing. Yes, it’s harder, but that’s part of the beauty.”More paddlers are drawn to the aesthetics of canoeing now that the boat designs have caught up to kayaks. Canoeists are now able to style big drops and tight creeks as well as most kayakers, pushing the limits of what people thought was possible in an open boat. More often than not, those limits are being pushed right here in the Southeast.“There are small pockets of open boaters all over, but the Southern Appalachians are a mecca,” Davis says. “The guys who are pushing the sport are doing it right here in our backyard.”The majority of Canoe Movie 2’s footage was shot on Southern creeks, and it wasn’t just a matter of convenience. According to Tombras, Southeastern rivers are ideal for open boating.“It’s the geology. We have drop and pool rivers, where you can run a big waterfall, then recover in an eddy and dump the water out of your boat before moving on to the next big drop,” Tombras says. “In the Rockies, though, the whitewater is more continuous, so if you’re in an open boat, you could easily get beat down for a mile of nonstop whitewater.”As for Davis, he’s excited about being able to show off some of our local rivers in a cutting-edge film like Canoe Movie 2.“You see a lot of adventure films set in places I’ll never get to go,” Davis says. “New Zealand looks amazing, but I’ll probably never get to paddle there. But I know I can get to the West Prong, which looks just as amazing, and I’ve never seen a film like this set there until now.”Video Bonus: See a teaser of Canoe Movie 2: Uncharted Waters:last_img read more

Press Freedom Day: Journalists want more freedom

first_imgWorld Press Freedom Day, is an annual observance established by the United Nations in 1993 to support and celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom.The U.N. said World Press Freedom Day is also an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom – a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even killed.It has been a ghastly year for the media, as we look back on World Press Freedom Day.Headlines are filled with gruesome attacks, notably the beheadings of James Foley, Stephen Sotloff and Kenji Goto, and the murderous assault on Charlie Hebdo.The deaths of Foley and Sotloff, both kidnapped by Islamic State (also known as ISIS) while working as freelance reporters in Syria, prompted reporters and advocates to create voluntary guidelines for media outlets to work more safely with freelancers in conflict areas.Back in Africa, Media experts have faulted increasing attack on journalists, summoning of editors and retrogressive laws in Kenya as the World marks World Press Freedom Day.MoSound, an East Africa events company, is set to debut our new awards program that will honor the best quality, most innovative content, and rising platforms that are changing the face of Africa.As the world celebrates World Press Freedom Day, Amnesty International says media freedom has increasingly come under attack in many countries across Africa.The rights based organisation has made a strong call to governments to ensure journalists can do their work without fear or intimidation.Amnesty International says journalism is not a crime and state security agencies, particularly in South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe must stop targeting journalists for exposing corruption. More journalists have lost their lives on the path to bringing you newslast_img read more

’SC student injured in hit-and-run

first_imgFollow Kate on Twitter @km_guarino According to the Dept. of Public Safety, a 2008 Honda Civic collided with a 20-year-old male USC student on a bicycle around 10:40 p.m. Tuesday evening and subsequently fled the scene. A security ambassador reported the traffic collision happened at the intersection of 28th Street and Figueroa Street.“The student was treated at the scene by paramedics and then transferred to California Hospital where he was later released,” DPS Deputy Chief David Carlisle said.According to ABC News, the student suffered scratches and was treated for hip and shoulder pain.“He complained of pain in his left hip and shoulder and had abrasions on his wrist and knee,” said Sgt. A. Cruz of Los Angeles Police Department South Traffic Division.Though DPS was on the scene, LAPD South Traffic Division is handling the investigation.last_img read more