Connect with us
[adrotate group="1"]

Latest News

Bankrupt PG&E reaches $13.5 billion settlement with California wildfire victims

(Reuters) – California’s bankrupt power producer PG&E Corp (PCG.N) said on Friday it had reached a $13.5 billion settlement with victims of some of most devastating wildfires in the state’s modern history. FILE PHOTO: Employees of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) work in the aftermath of the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S., November 14,…

Published

on

Bankrupt PG&E reaches $13.5 billion settlement with California wildfire victims

(Reuters) – California’s bankrupt power producer PG&E Corp (PCG.N) said on Friday it had reached a $13.5 billion settlement with victims of some of most devastating wildfires in the state’s modern history. FILE PHOTO: Employees of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) work in the aftermath of the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S., November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester/File PhotoThe agreement helps smooth the way for the beleaguered company to emerge from bankruptcy. It filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, citing potential liabilities in excess of $30 billion from wildfires in 2017 and 2018 linked to its equipment. “With this important milestone now accomplished, we are focused on emerging from Chapter 11 as the utility of the future that our customers and communities expect and deserve,” Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson said in a statement. State fire investigators in May determined that PG&E transmission lines caused the deadliest and most destructive wildfire on record in California, the wind-driven Camp Fire that killed 85 people in and around the town of Paradise last year. They likewise concluded that PG&E power lines had sparked a separate flurry of wildfires that swept California’s wine country north of San Francisco Bay in 2017. The agreed settlement is subject to a number of conditions and requires confirmation by the United States Bankruptcy Court, the company said. It faces a tight deadline as it needs to exit bankruptcy by June 30, 2020 to participate in a state-backed wildfire fund that would help reduce the threat to utilities from wildfires. “We share the state’s focus on helping mitigate the risk of future wildfires and we will continue to do everything we can to help reduce those risks across our system,” Johnson said in the statement. PG&E had previously reached a $1 billion settlement with cities, counties and other public entities and an $11 billion agreement with insurance carriers related to the wildfires. It has come under renewed criticism this year for precautionary power outages to guard against the risk of wildfires posed by extremely dry and windy weather. Governor Gavin Newsom, state regulators and consumer activists have lambasted the actions as being too broad, with Newsom blaming PG&E for doing too little to properly maintain and secure its power lines against wind damage. Utility executives have acknowledged room for improvement while defending the sprawling cutoffs as a matter of public safety. Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina Gibbs
Read More

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

code

Latest News

Deepika Padukone: Bollywood star questioned in drugs case

Published

on

By

Deepika Padukone: Bollywood star questioned in drugs case

Publishedduration19 minutes agoimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionDeepika Padukone is one of Bollywood’s highest-paid starsBollywood star Deepika Padukone is being questioned by India’s narcotics board in an investigation linked to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.Padukone is among six people to be summoned – two other actresses will also be questioned on Saturday.Rajput’s girlfriend, Rhea Chakraborty, was arrested earlier this month for allegedly buying drugs for him – claims she has denied.The case has fuelled months of media coverage and speculation in India.Actresses Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Kapoor are among those who will be questioned on Saturday, according to news reports. Another actress, Rakul Preet Singh, was questioned on Friday. Rajput, 34, was found dead in his flat in Mumbai on 14 June. Police at the time said he had killed himself.But his family later registered a police complaint against Chakraborty, accusing her of abetment to suicide and other crimes, all of which she has denied.The case is now being investigated by three federal agencies.With investigators drip-feeding nuggets of information to the media, rumours and conjecture over what happened and who is responsible have been rife. What is the case?The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) seems to be pursuing two investigations – the first into Rhea Chakraborty, her brother and Rajput’s former house manager. All three were arrested for allegedly organising and financing the actor’s alleged consumption of cannabis. They have denied any wrongdoing. The second investigation, which followed on from the first, is into claims of widespread use of drugs in Bollywood, according to local media. image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionActress Sara Ali Khan is among those summoned by the narcotics agencyOfficials have been sparing with the details of the investigation, which has only added to the air of mystery. Within days of Rajput’s death, attention switched to Chakraborty, who found herself at the centre of a storm of allegations and conspiracy theories. As part of their investigation, NCB officials said they were looking into WhatsApp chat messages in which Chakraborty was supposedly discussing narcotics. While marijuana is illegal in India, a derivative of it – called bhang – is legal and commonly used. What does Deepika Padukone have to do with it?It’s not really clear yet. Narcotics officials say their questioning is based on WhatsApp chats involving Padukone and her managers, according to local media reports. But it’s still unclear what these messages contain.Some say she’s being targeted because in January she visited a university where a group of students had been attacked on campus allegedly by a mob of rival students linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). BJP supporters had accused the actress of cynically mining publicity for her new film and on Twitter, they had asked people to boycott it.image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionSushant Singh Rajput started dating Chakraborty in 2019Social media users have also been asking why only actresses – and not actors – have been called in for questioning. But a case that began with an investigation into an actor’s death has spiralled into something else altogether in the weeks since. And now with a string of Bollywood insiders in sudden focus, the media circus around the case has only grown, taking over national headlines and social media feeds in the country. What has the reaction been?The aggressive approach of television channels has led many to point out the absurdity of their coverage.Over months, the media have spared none of the people around Rajput – his therapist, friends, family, colleagues and even his former cook have all been sought out for interviews and exclusives.And with a lack of official information, news channels have spent hours dissecting what little, seemingly random, details are leaked. In an attempt to show that Chakraborty was supposedly involved in Rajput’s finances, one television channel tried to interpret alleged messages from her phone. image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionChakraborty has been hounded by the mediaThe anchor pointed to one such message, which said “Imma bounce”, and concluded that this meant a bounced cheque – much to the amusement of social media users, who quickly pointed out that this was millennial slang for “I’m going to leave”. While the unyielding media focus has prompted laughs and memes online, it has also spurred plenty of criticism.Many have questioned whether all the hours spent on this have distracted people from other pressing issues India is battling at the moment – a Covid-19 caseload that is the second-highest in the world, an economy that has sharply contracted and rapidly deteriorating relations with China.
Read More

Continue Reading

Latest News

Kentucky’s only Black female legislator arrested in Breonna Taylor protest

(CNN)Kentucky state Rep. Attica Scott, the state’s only Black female legislator, was among 24 people arrested Thursday by the Louisville Metro Police Department during Breonna Taylor protests, the Democratic lawmaker confirmed to CNN after her release from custody Friday morning.Scott — who in August had pre-filed legislation to end the use of no-knock warrants in…

Published

on

By

Kentucky’s only Black female legislator arrested in Breonna Taylor protest

(CNN)Kentucky state Rep. Attica Scott, the state’s only Black female legislator, was among 24 people arrested Thursday by the Louisville Metro Police Department during Breonna Taylor protests, the Democratic lawmaker confirmed to CNN after her release from custody Friday morning.Scott — who in August had pre-filed legislation to end the use of no-knock warrants in Kentucky, known as “Breonna’s Law” — and her 19-year-old daughter Ashanti were charged with unlawful assembly, failure to disperse, and rioting, police records show.”I’m very traumatized,” Scott said. She says she’s innocent of all charges and was peacefully seeking authorized sanctuary at a church before the curfew time.According to police, a group of protestors began “causing damage” in downtown Louisville — including breaking windows of a restaurant and tossing a flare into a library — before the county-wide 9 p.m. curfew kicked in.”Protestors made their way to the First Unitarian Church at 809 S 4th Street. People gathered on the property of the church, which allowed them to stay there as the curfew had expired,” a police department statement said.Scott says she was arrested at 8:58 p.m., two minutes before the curfew started, as she and other protesters crossed the street to seek sanctuary at the church. “How could I have been breaking curfew before curfew even began?” she asked.The curfew, enacted by Mayor Greg Fischer on Wednesday ahead of the announcement by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron on a grand jury decision in the Taylor case, doesn’t apply to those commuting to houses of worship.”In Breonna’s name, neither I or my teenage daughter who was arrested with me tried to burn down a library that our people need,” Scott said at a press conference earlier Thursday morning. “Those are some ridiculous charges that are levied against us.”Scott recorded video of herself walking to the First Unitarian Church of Louisville, showing police officers and police vans on street corners as they walked past a library on their way towards the church.Five minutes into the video, Scott and fellow demonstrators were blocked by a group of police in the street between them and the church.”Where do you want us to go?” the video shows Scott yelling out to police, some in riot gear. Three minutes later an officer approaches Scott.”Ma’am is your phone recording?” the officer said.”Yes, it is,” she replies.”You might want to turn it off so it doesn’t get broke, OK? Turn it off and put it in your pocket, okay? Alright, go ahead and turn it off and put it in your pocket, I’m trying to be as nice as I can,” the officer says before the video cuts off.In a press conference Friday afternoon, LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder explained an “unlawful assembly” was declared because members of a protest group had started damaging property.”Even though this was prior to curfew, it means people must disperse,” he said.”An extra responsibility” to fight for justiceScott beat a 34-year incumbent in 2016 to become the first Black woman in nearly 20 years to serve in Kentucky’s legislature. She says she’s a certified anti-racism trainer and has a background in community organizing and civic engagement.”That’s who I am at core, so it’s natural,” she says about protesting, but the 48-year-old says she had never been arrested before Thursday night.”I actively tried never to be in that position,” she said. When asked if she regrets getting arrested with her daughter Thursday night, she said, “Absolutely not.”Thursday wasn’t the first time Scott and Ashanti, a McConnell Scholar at the University of Louisville, protested together.Scott said the two came out May 29, when outcry over the shooting reached a boiling point. Gunfire erupted during protests in Louisville and audio was released of Taylor’s boyfriend’s call to 911 the night she was killed.”That’s when I decided to dedicate my everything to seek justice for her, and with Breonna’s mother,” Scott said.On Wednesday it was announced the grand jury would not indict any LMPD officers for the death of Breonna Taylor. Instead, one officer who allegedly fired shots into her apartment was indicted on first-degree wanton endangerment charges, because some of the shots went into a neighboring apartment.”I was, I am heartbroken, disappointed but not surprised,” she said when asked about the Jefferson County grand jury’s decision. “It’s just very clear justice was not served for Breonna Taylor, her family and the community.””The real heartbreaking thing is my daughter said, ‘Mom, I wanted to be an EMT to help people and see things on the ground level but now I don’t know that’s the case, because being an EMT didn’t save Breonna Taylor.”Scott plans to continue protesting.”I’m a mom, I’ve communicated with Tamika Palmer, Breonna’s mother, and I have the responsibility as a woman, a Black woman, a mother, to keep the fight going,” she said.Scott spoke with CNN before joining Taylor’s family, their attorneys and social activists in a news conference that called for the attorney general to release documents related to his office’s investigation into the case.”This is just the beginning of our work moving from protest to politics,” she told CNN.
Read More

Continue Reading

Latest News

Analysis: Trump has trashed European confidence in the US. The damage might be irreparable

London (CNN)It’s no secret that Donald Trump is no big fan of the European Union. Over the past four years, the US President has talked positively about Brexit and claimed that the bloc was created in order to “take advantage of the United States.” So it’s perhaps no great surprise that several of his ambassadors…

Published

on

By

Analysis: Trump has trashed European confidence in the US. The damage might be irreparable

London (CNN)It’s no secret that Donald Trump is no big fan of the European Union. Over the past four years, the US President has talked positively about Brexit and claimed that the bloc was created in order to “take advantage of the United States.” So it’s perhaps no great surprise that several of his ambassadors to several European nations have behaved in ways that are not exactly diplomatic, in the traditional sense. Earlier this week, it emerged that Pete Hoekstra, the US ambassador to the Netherlands, hosted an event at his embassy for Forum for Democracy (FvD), a far-right, anti-immigration and anti-EU party that is gaining popularity in the country. Dutch magazine De Groene Amsterdammer, which first reported on the event, described it as a fundraiser for the party. A US state department spokesperson told CNN that this event was not a fundraiser, but a “town hall discussion and Q&A session” with FvD. They added that during his stint in the Netherlands, Hoekstra has hosted “15 town halls with eight different parties,” suggesting that this event with FvD was nothing unusual. Not everyone agrees. “Hosting a political party event, fundraiser or not, you can see it as political support from the United States for a particular point of view. Normally, diplomacy is about government-to-government interactions, not promoting particular viewpoints and giving the impression of having political allies,” said Marietje Schaake, a former Dutch MEP and international policy director at the Stanford Cyber Policy Center. “The Trump administration has shown time and again that its allies are the Euroskeptics like [Nigel] Farage and FvD, not the governments of the day,” Schaake added. Hoekstra is just one of a number of divisive ambassadors appointed in Europe by Trump who appear to be eroding trans-Atlantic ties, enraging their hosts and representing Trump’s personal interests in Europe. “Europe has traditionally been a place where political appointees go, but usually it’s understood that they represent the US government,” said Tyson Barker, a former US State Department official in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. “What we have seen since 2016 is people representing Trump and his personal interests, rather than the US.” CNN recently reported that Woody Johnson, Trump’s ambassador to UK, was being investigated after allegations that he’d used his position to lobby for the British Open golf tournament to be held on one of Trump’s golf courses. Asked about the specific allegations, Johnson did not deny them and called it an “honor of a lifetime” to serve as ambassador. After the publication of CNN’s report, Johnson tweeted, “I have followed the ethical rules and requirements of my office at all times.” Trump said he “never spoke to Woody Johnson about doing that.”Johnson has also been open in his support of Brexit, suggesting it presents an opportunity for the UK and the US to grow closer, claiming this would strengthen Britain’s hand when dealing with the EU. This pattern has also been noticed in Germany, where former ambassador Richard Grenell waded into territory that diplomats traditionally avoid, such as tweeting that “German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately,” within hours of starting the job. Trump’s hard line on Iran has been particularly difficult for the EU to swallow, as the nuclear deal from which Trump withdrew was originally signed under the auspices of the EU, its most significant triumph on the geopolitical stage. Grenell also gave an interview to right-wing outlet Breitbart, where he said he wanted “to empower other conservatives throughout Europe.” Given the role of a diplomat is to deal with whichever government represents the country they are in, to speak so unambiguously about your political preference is highly unusual. Under Trump’s presidency, the US has also strengthened its relationship with EU countries that are generally considered to be delinquent member states, threatening the bloc’s unity. Most notably, Trump praised Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during his trip to the White House last year. Orban “has done a tremendous job in so many different ways. Highly respected, respected all over Europe. Probably, like me, a little bit controversial, but that’s OK,” Trump said at the time. Orban spent the past decade presiding over assaults on his nation’s courts, academic institutions, central bank and press. The EU is currently investigating these assaults and could yet punish Orban by removing some of his rights at an EU level. The message has been well and truly received in Brussels. “Are there any EU-US relations left? The official political line is whatever the differences, there is more that unites us. But if you look at it properly, there are only divisions,” said one senior EU official. “Under Trump, it seems they never miss a chance to try and undermine the EU. They take radical action in areas of joint interest without consulting us, such as on Iran, moving the [US] embassy [to] Jerusalem. There is a growing sense that we simply cannot rely on the US in the same way as before,” the official added. In the eyes of many in Europe, the ambassadors appointed to key nations by Trump are consistent with a larger shift in EU-US relations. “Trump and his diplomats have given the impression that they want to punish the EU for some reason or another,” one German diplomat told CNN. “There is a huge internal debate over whether we can collaborate with the US anymore, even if [Joe] Biden wins, because they are just too unreliable.” The diplomat believes that the decline in relations began prior to Trump taking office. “In my experience, many of the younger politicians now in DC have a view of foreign policy shaped by 9/11 and the war on terror, not World War Two. They don’t really care about Germany or Europe anymore.” Barker explained that this new view of the US has changed what kind of relationship Europeans now want from the transatlantic partnership. “The transition from Bush to Obama to Trump has solidified the European view that America can pivot dramatically every eight years. The question is, how do you safeguard against this when you know the next President could be Kid Rock?” The EU official said that calm minds in Brussels are already trying to answer that question. “From the second we knew Trump was to be President, we started to see it as an opportunity to be more independent in certain areas like defense and geopolitics. You can see already how we are taking a dramatically different approach to China, Russia and Iran than the US.” None of this is to say that the EU is seeking to drift from the US, but many feel now isn’t a bad time for Europe to start thinking more about itself and its place in the world. “I hope the relationship can be repaired, of course. The transatlantic relationship is robust. But the ability for the two sides to work together, both bilaterally and as a united front on the global stage, has been undermined by the Trump administration,” said Schaake. “What that’s done is made the case for a more autonomous, actively geopolitical EU much more of a priority.” CNN contacted the US State Department to ask if it agreed or disagreed with the assertion that American diplomacy under this administration has treated the EU as less of an ally than before. It declined to comment. The crux of the problem for many in Brussels is a growing sense that maintaining or strengthening the transatlantic alliance is less of a priority for US than American interests elsewhere in the world. There is a perception that DC now wants a more transactional relationship with Brussels, which would ultimately see Europeans defer to US priorities on trade, NATO funding and diplomacy For a continent that has for decades relied on its bigger brother as it recovered from some of the bloodiest wars in history, that presents a potentially alarming new reality: This is it, you really are on your own.
Read More

Continue Reading
error: Content is protected !!