Seattle government – Seattle WTO http://seattlewto.org/ Tue, 04 Oct 2022 20:39:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://seattlewto.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-3-120x120.png Seattle government – Seattle WTO http://seattlewto.org/ 32 32 PHOTO TEST | Iranian diaspora protest Iranian government https://seattlewto.org/photo-test-iranian-diaspora-protest-iranian-government/ Tue, 04 Oct 2022 20:39:39 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/photo-test-iranian-diaspora-protest-iranian-government/ by Alex Garland The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald continues its legacy of showcasing our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and reposting stories aligned with the Globalist’s mission. The Iranian people have been protesting against their dictatorial government for […]]]>

by Alex Garland

The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald continues its legacy of showcasing our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and reposting stories aligned with the Globalist’s mission.


The Iranian people have been protesting against their dictatorial government for three weeks, and here in Washington, members of the Iranian diaspora are making their voices heard. As the people of Iran protest, so do their friends and family in King County. For the first time, on Saturday, October 1, more than 1,000 Iranian Americans and their community allies gathered in Westlake Park in downtown Seattle for a rally and march.

Protests in Iran began three weeks ago when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was beaten by ‘morals police’ for wearing her hijab improperly. Mahsa Amini died of her injuries, and with her death, the Iranian people have reached breaking point.

Dena, from Iran, has been in Seattle for three years. “This is by far the biggest demonstration after the revolution in Iran. In Iran, every town, village, even small towns are protesting what happened in the past 43 years after the revolution. They demand justice for all women and all men. … The solution is a free country without mullahs, without ayatollahs, without Islam. Religion should not be compulsory. It’s freedom, you can choose what you believe,” she said.

Photo showing Dena and her husband raising their fists and making peace signs while listening to a rally speaker
Dena and her husband protest against the confusion of Church and State in Iran. (Photo: Alex Garlande)
Photo shows protesters marching through downtown Seattle.
More than 1,000 Iranian Americans and their community allies gathered in Westlake Park in downtown Seattle for a rally and march. (Photo: Alex Garlande)
Photo showing Navid cutting his passport with scissors.
Navid cuts up his Iranian passport to protest the killing of Mahsa Amini by Iran’s ‘morals police’ (Photo: Alex Garland)

An Iranian, Navid, came on stage with his Iranian passport and a pair of scissors. Angry at the treatment of women in his native country, Navid cut his passport to pieces on stage while carrying a neatly folded American flag over his shoulder. “We have to change the regime in Iran now,” he said. Asked about his passport, Navid replied, “It’s not our passport; they choose everything for us. This is not for me; it’s not for anyone.

Speakers led the rally in song as a young Iranian woman danced on stage, her long hair flowing freely in both defiance and celebration. Chants in Farsi, Arabic and English echoed through downtown buildings as people in the crowd held up signs showing their support for women and denouncing Ali Khamenei, Iran’s current supreme leader, in power for 43 years.

Boshra, an 11-year-old US citizen and refugee from Iran, explained why she was at the protest. “The reason I came to the United States, in the most minimalist way, was Mahsa Amini, which is the name of the girl who was beaten to death for [having] some of her hair out of her scarf. … She’s not the only one who lost her life for not having a choice in her body,” she said. “Women, men, LGBTQ+: None of us want this diet. It is a dictator’s regime, and we have become one voice to say that we do not want it. We are here to be the voice of the voiceless in Iran, my sisters and brothers who are being killed. … One of the things we were shouting was ‘Silence is violence’, because it is. We want freedom for Iran, basic human rights.

Photo showing Boshra carrying a protest placard with pictures of the names and faces of two women facing the death penalty for their gender identity as well as Mahsa Amini.
Boshra stands in Westlake after the protest with a placard bearing the names and faces of two women facing the death penalty for their gender identity and Mahsa Amini who was killed by vice police in Iran. (Photo: Alex Garlande)
Photo showing Somaye Dadgari speaking into a microphone while making a peace sign.  Other protesters carry signs stating, "Iranian Lives Matter" and "Freedom is not free."
Somaye Dadgari (far right with peace sign) leads songs in Westlake to protest against the Iranian regime. (Photo: Alex Garlande)

One of the protest organizers, Somaye Dadgari, is Iranian but has been in the Seattle area for seven years.

“We’ve been through a lot over the past 43 years. … We want a revolution, there is no other option. people inside [Iran] started protesting, they were beaten and shot, so we will be their voice and we will not stop,” Dadgari said. “We have this protest every night in Bellevue from 6-8pm. We will continue until the regime changes, that’s the only thing we want.”

As the rally grew and began to spill out into the streets, Seattle police arrived on the scene and guided the protest as it marched from Westlake to Pine to 1st Avenue to Pike to to 3rd Avenue and back to Westlake, where the crowds began to disperse.


Alex Garland is a photojournalist and reporter. Follow him on Twitter.

📸 Feature Image: More than 1,000 Iranian Americans and their community allies gathered in Westlake Park in downtown Seattle for a rally and march. (Photo: Alex Garlande)

Before you move on to the next story …
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Slog PM: Government avoids shutdown, resale of sailors’ tickets cost fans over $1,000 and whales roam near Port Angeles https://seattlewto.org/slog-pm-government-avoids-shutdown-resale-of-sailors-tickets-cost-fans-over-1000-and-whales-roam-near-port-angeles/ Sat, 01 Oct 2022 00:29:00 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/slog-pm-government-avoids-shutdown-resale-of-sailors-tickets-cost-fans-over-1000-and-whales-roam-near-port-angeles/ Weekend weather: Haters will say, “Bring the cold, bring the gloom,” but you and me? We know better. We love the sun and we’re grateful for a beautiful, warm September whether it’s a matter of climatologists or not… Weather nerds in Seattle want you to believe that fall is right around the corner and the […]]]>

Weekend weather: Haters will say, “Bring the cold, bring the gloom,” but you and me? We know better. We love the sun and we’re grateful for a beautiful, warm September whether it’s a matter of climatologists or not… Weather nerds in Seattle want you to believe that fall is right around the corner and the skies blue is a fluke. But no. This weekend will still be warm. Temperatures will hit the upper 70s this Saturday and Sunday, according to the Weather Channel.

What is the move: I know I know. you want to sit and watch Hocus Pocus to ring in October, but in case sunny skies lure you out of your apartment, EverOut has put together a handy list of cheap things to do around town this weekend. I might just take my cat to Caturday this time, in her stroller, of course.

A day without cars: Tomorrow, the U-District partnership close traffic on the avenue so the public can enjoy the iconic street as it should be: car-free. In addition to greatly reducing your risk of becoming a traffic accident, you can head to the U-District tomorrow for a $4 food walk, booze, and two concerts. Sounds fun, thought I’d share.

Bird watching: It was a good week to have a pair of binoculars and some free time. When someone saw a rare sharp-tailed sandpiper off the 520 pontoon bridge, word spread through the birdwatching community, and as the Seattle Times already brilliantly said, birdwatchers have “throught” to the site, hoping to catch a glimpse of the little shorebird themselves.

I’m so preceptive: I couldn’t tell you why, but I had a feeling something was up with the Mariners. Nothing to do with sports Twitter. Anyway, I was right. As per usual. After a win last night, the Mariners moved closer to the playoffs. Now the team only has to win one game out of the remaining seven of the season.

Good luck getting to see them though. With excitement for the Ms at an all-time high, tickets have become harder and harder to come by. Fans purchased all tickets from official sources, giving resellers a great opportunity to make a profit. According to KOMO, some sports capitalists have priced Mariners resale tickets over $1,000 to see Friday’s game where the team could qualify for the playoffs.

L Pod takes an L: At the height of the southern resident orca population, scientists counted 98 whales. This summer, scientists counted only 73 of the endangered animals. Over the past year, pod J gained a healthy baby girl, pod K lost two whales and had new offspring, and pod L, the largest pod, saw its highest numbers. low since 1976. KING 5 has all the history.

More whale news because I love them sm: A pod of about 15 passing orcas were irritated by two humpback whales yesterday near Port Angeles, KIRO 7 reported. Captains from the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) called it a very rare sighting. Captains saw orcas chasing humpback whales, then the humpback whales turning the tables and chasing the orcas back. The show, with breaches, tail spins and lots of whale sounds, lasted about three hours. It could have ended badly for humpback whales, even though they are generally larger. Orcas sometimes tire of their usual diet of porpoises, seals and sea lions and hunt humpback whales. With 15 on one side against two on the other, my bet would be on the guys who got the nickname “killer whale”. Just say. However, the PWWA said it had not seen an orca kill a humpback whale in the Salish Sea.

Okay, one more thing about animals: In a heartwarming found family story, a herd of cows in Germany adopted a little piglet named “Frieda” who lost her pig family, likely while crossing a river, according to NPR.

Torture porn: In case you weren’t put off by Netflix’s latest serial killer fetish series by the fact that victims’ families said this series re-enacted them, this reporter said Netflix got it wrong crap ! And she told the story first! And not so you can have fun with the horrible deaths of black gay men!

No government shutdown: Hours before the deadline, the United States House passed a funding plan to keep the government operational until December 16, avoiding a government shutdown. The bill also includes funding for relief in Ukraine and disaster relief here in the United States. Some have been angry that the bill does not specifically earmark the money for the deadly and destructive Hurricane Ian, but rather for disaster in general.

Speaking of Hurricane Ian: According to CNN, Ian is no longer a hurricane. It is now a lower storm classification known as a “post-tropical cyclone”. This downgrade comes after making a number out of South Carolina and Florida. The storm has killed at least 42 people in Florida, but we won’t know the full toll from the storm for weeks after rescue teams searched and families reported the loss of loved ones, according to Bloomberg.

Sanibel Causeway: This storm will cost a lot of money in infrastructure repairs. For example, the hurricane destroyed parts of the Sanibel Causeway, which connects Florida to approximately 6,500 people who live on Sanibel Island. Authorities ordered residents of Sanibel Island to evacuate, but the island’s mayor said about 200 households remained behind, resulting in at least 12 reported deaths.

For your ears:

]]> Senate passes spending plan to help avoid government shutdown https://seattlewto.org/senate-passes-spending-plan-to-help-avoid-government-shutdown/ Wed, 28 Sep 2022 03:25:01 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/senate-passes-spending-plan-to-help-avoid-government-shutdown/ WASHINGTON — The Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to move forward with a temporary spending package needed to keep the federal government going last Friday, coming close to avoiding a shutdown after Democrats dropped an energy proposal which had attracted bipartisan opposition. Sen. Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., the majority leader, had included the energy measure in the […]]]>

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to move forward with a temporary spending package needed to keep the federal government going last Friday, coming close to avoiding a shutdown after Democrats dropped an energy proposal which had attracted bipartisan opposition.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., the majority leader, had included the energy measure in the must-have bill to fulfill a promise that Democratic leaders had made privately to Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., in exchange of Manchin’s last vote. months for the party’s big law on climate, taxation and health.

But the inclusion of the proposal, which would facilitate the construction of oil, gas, solar and wind infrastructure across the country, had irked lawmakers in both parties and complicated the perennial fall push on Capitol Hill to maintain government funding after September 1. 30 year-end.

At least two Democratic caucus members and several Republicans have warned they will vote against the spending measure because of Manchin’s provision, making it unlikely the legislation could go forward while it is included.

Without action by midnight Friday, federal funding will expire; the spending bill under consideration would extend it until December 16.

Shortly before the vote scheduled for Tuesday evening, Manchin announced that he had asked Schumer to remove the language.

“It is unfortunate that members of the United States Senate are allowing politics to endanger our nation’s energy security,” he said in a statement, adding that he believes “we should never come to the brink. of a government shutdown because of politics”. .”

In his own remarks, Schumer said he would continue to work with Manchin toward the passage of authorizing legislation before the end of the year. Other lawmakers from both parties said they would be open to negotiating a compromise.

That cleared the way for a bipartisan vote, 72-23, to move forward on the measure. With the energy proposal scrapped, lawmakers aim to quickly pass the bill through both chambers in the coming days.

Manchin’s plan aimed to streamline the permit approval process for major energy infrastructure projects, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a natural gas project that runs through his home state of West Virginia. Most of the package’s other provisions, including about $12.3 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine for its war against Russia and federal government flexibility to respond to natural disasters, appeared to generate little revenue. opposition.

The funding package, released just before midnight Monday, would end tough negotiations on the dozen or so annual spending bills until after November’s midterm elections. It notably bypasses the Biden administration’s request for emergency funds to fight the coronavirus pandemic and monkeypox, according to a Senate Appropriations Committee summary, due to Republican opposition.

But lawmakers from both parties expressed dismay that Democratic leaders included the energy measure. The spending legislation needed 60 votes to advance in the equally divided Senate, which meant Republican support was needed. And even though he had crossed that threshold in the Senate, he ran into hurdles in the House, where dozens of Democrats had called for the authorization measure to be removed.

Lawmakers from both parties had expressed opposition to the details of the permit legislation, which Manchin released last week. Republicans said the legislation doesn’t go far enough to ensure projects get approved faster, while liberal Democrats are alarmed at provisions that would make it easier to build fossil fuel infrastructure, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline. .

In a floor speech Tuesday, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Minority Leader, called Manchin’s measure a “fake fig leaf” that was written to drain political will for real reform. without creating meaningful change that liberal special interests might not like.

“The path is obvious,” McConnell added. “Drop foreign and partisan language.”

Within hours, Manchin had agreed to withdraw the energy proposal.

Some Democrats, including climate hawks, had signaled their support for the permit package because they said it would help speed up construction of transmission lines and other infrastructure needed to fight climate change and help to deliver on President Joe Biden’s pledge to roughly halve US emissions. by 2030.

But at least two members of the Senate Democratic caucus, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, had announced that they would vote against the interim spending bill because of the legislation of authorizing reform.

Lawmakers aim to finish negotiating a broader spending package in the coming weeks.

“At a time of rising inflation, where everything is more expensive — energy, food, fuel, housing — we need to respond accordingly,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the appropriations committee. of the Senate. “Running on autopilot after December would be irresponsible, and the American people deserve more.”

Ukraine’s recent military success, including reclaiming territory from Russia this month, has rallied lawmakers, who have already approved about $54 billion in military, economic and humanitarian aid this year, behind the prospect of investing more money in the effort. If passed, the current package will mean the United States will pledge the highest amount of military aid to any country in a single year since the Vietnam War, William Hartung said. Principal Investigator at the Quincy Institute.

The new package would set aside $3 billion for training, equipment, weapons and intelligence support for Ukrainian forces, as well as $4.5 billion for the Economic Support Fund, which is intended to help the Ukrainian government to continue to operate. It would also allow Biden to authorize the transfer of up to $3.7 billion in US equipment and weapons to the country.

The bill would ensure that Afghan refugees on conditional release could continue to enjoy the same benefits, but it does not include a path to permanent legal status.

The legislation also aims to address a few domestic needs, including $1 billion for a program that will help low-income families pay for heating costs before winter. In addition to providing $20 million to help solve the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, and $2 billion for a block grant program to help communities rebuild after natural disasters in 2021 and 2022, it would give the federal government more flexibility to spend existing funds to quickly deal with the toll of Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico, storms and floods in Alaska, and other natural disasters.

The measure also includes the terms of a “user fee” agreement negotiated every five years between drug and device makers and the Food and Drug Administration. Leading lawmakers have suggested they will try to pass additional consumer protection measures, potentially related to infant formula, dietary supplements and diagnostic tests, legislative priorities left out of the interim bill.

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EXPLAINER: Italian elections are only part of government formation https://seattlewto.org/explainer-italian-elections-are-only-part-of-government-formation/ Sat, 24 Sep 2022 10:25:07 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/explainer-italian-elections-are-only-part-of-government-formation/ ROME (AP) — A parliamentary election on Sunday will determine who governs Italy next. But it could take weeks before a coalition government is actually in place to run the main industrial economy and key NATO member. Opinion polls indicate that voters could elect the first post-World War II far-right prime minister – and the […]]]>

ROME (AP) — A parliamentary election on Sunday will determine who governs Italy next. But it could take weeks before a coalition government is actually in place to run the main industrial economy and key NATO member.

Opinion polls indicate that voters could elect the first post-World War II far-right prime minister – and the first woman to lead an Italian government – in the person of Giorgia Meloni.

Given Italy’s fractured political spectrum, no party stands a chance of winning enough seats to govern alone. Centrists right and right have forged a campaign pact that could propel Meloni to power. The rival centre-left bloc has failed to secure such a broad alliance with populists or left-centrists, which could put it at a disadvantage.

WHY ELECTIONS NOW?

The elections were due to take place in the spring of 2023, when the parliament’s five-year term was due to end. But populist leaders have seen support for their parties decline steadily both in opinion polls and in various mayoral and gubernatorial races since the last national elections in 2018.

In July, 5 Star Movement leader Giuseppe Conte, right-wing League leader Matteo Salvini and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi snatched support from Prime Minister Mario Draghi in a vote of confidence. This triggered the early demise of the high-profile coalition government and paved the way for snap elections.

Meloni’s meteoric rise in the opinion polls has made the trio of populist leaders nervous about waiting until spring to confront voters. His far-right Brothers of Italy, a party with neo-fascist roots, won just over 4% in the 2018 election. Polls indicate the party could garner as much as 25% on Sunday. Salvini and Berlusconi are now in an electoral alliance with Meloni.

LESS LEGISLATIVE

Many legislators will not be re-elected — regardless of their legislative record — simply because of math. Since the last election, a reform has been adopted aimed at streamlining Parliament and making its operation less costly for taxpayers. In the upper house, the number of senators goes from 315 to 200, while the lower house of deputies will have 400 instead of 630.

PINBALL POLITICS

Almost everyone agrees that Italy’s electoral law is complicated, including the lawmakers who created it. Of the total number of seats, 36% are determined by a first-past-the-post system: whoever gets the most votes for a particular district wins. The remaining 64% of the seats are distributed proportionally, on the basis of lists of candidates determined by the parties and their alliances.

Legislators have likened the proportional part of the electoral system to a game of pinball, especially in the Chamber of Deputies. Under the “pinball effect”, a candidate who, for example, came first in a specific constituency might see another candidate who finished second elsewhere suddenly move to their constituency, knocking the first-place candidate upside down by one seat.

Confused? As well as many voters. With the exception of first-past-the-post ballots, many Italians essentially vote for alliances and parties, not candidates, and have no say in determining their specific representative in the legislature.

WHEN DOES ITALY GET A NEW GOVERNMENT?

Governments across Europe are grappling with an energy and cost-of-living crisis – primarily triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – that is expected to worsen this winter. But over the next few weeks, the caretaker government of Mario Draghi will likely be grappling with Italy.

President Sergio Mattarella, as head of state, will hold consultations with party leaders to determine which political forces are ready to team up in a coalition. Then Mattarella will ask someone – if the opinion polls prove correct, probably Meloni – to try to put together a government with a solid majority in parliament.

Whoever is bugged reports to the President with a proposed Cabinet slate, if a coalition is cobbled together. In 2018, Mattarella overruled the selection for economy minister because the proposed candidate had questioned Italy’s continued participation in the group of countries that use Europe’s common currency, the euro.

Sentiment grew so tense that the leader of the 5 Star Movement, which was trying to form the coalition, demanded Mattarella’s removal. The squabbles between the 5 Stars and the Right League, the proposed coalition’s junior partner, dragged on, and it took three months before this government was sworn in.

A MATTER OF TRUST

All new governments must win a mandatory vote of confidence in Parliament. The new legislature must hold its first session within 21 days of the election. Thus, the incoming Parliament should be in place by mid-October. After designating the presidents of its chambers, the vote of confidence can take place.

HOW LONG DO ITALIAN GOVERNMENTS LAST?

In theory, for the entire legislature. But post-war governments have generally exhausted their resilience long before that.

To cite the latest example: since the 2018 elections, Italians have had three governments. Two were led by 5-star leader Giuseppe Conte, who first teamed up with League leader Matteo Salvini, In Conte II, Enrico Letta’s Democratic Party replaced the League as junior partner.

When Conte’s second government fell in early 2021, Mattarella tapped Draghi to lead a pandemic unity government. The unity of this coalition collapsed, victim of rival agendas between its main partners: the 5 stars, the democrats, the League and Forza Italia of Berlusconi.

The only senior leader who refused to join a coalition government in the outgoing legislature was Giorgia Meloni. Pollsters say voters could reward her for her consistency, staying staunchly in opposition.

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UK government lifts fracking ban despite opposition https://seattlewto.org/uk-government-lifts-fracking-ban-despite-opposition/ Thu, 22 Sep 2022 10:16:10 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/uk-government-lifts-fracking-ban-despite-opposition/ LONDON (AP) — The British government confirmed Thursday it was lifting a ban on fracking in England, saying the move would help bolster the country’s energy security amid Russia’s war in Ukraine. Prime Minister Liz Truss announced days after taking office earlier this month that she would reverse a 2019 ban on hydraulic fracturing, a […]]]>

LONDON (AP) — The British government confirmed Thursday it was lifting a ban on fracking in England, saying the move would help bolster the country’s energy security amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Prime Minister Liz Truss announced days after taking office earlier this month that she would reverse a 2019 ban on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial technique used to extract oil and gas from shale rock.

Britain must “explore all avenues open to us through solar, wind, oil and gas generation – so it is only right that we have lifted the pause to realize all potential sources of domestic gas”, said said Business and Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg. Thursday.

Truss said she “won’t go ahead with anything that involves risk”, but stressed that “energy security is vital”.

Officials also backed an extension of licenses for oil and gas operations in the North Sea, drawing anger from environmental groups on Thursday.

The Conservative government suspended fracking in November 2019 after a series of tremors were recorded in the UK’s only shale wells near Blackpool in north-west England.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said lifting the ban means future applications will be considered “where there is local support”. Developers will need to have the necessary licenses and permissions before they can begin operations.

Fracturing consists of injecting water under high pressure at depth to extract oil or gas from rock. Environmental groups have long opposed the practice, saying it can pollute groundwater and contribute to climate change. Critics also say it’s an inefficient way to generate power, doesn’t help reduce soaring energy bills, and communities oppose it wherever it’s attempted.

Rees-Mogg faced an angry backlash from lawmakers, including some from his own Conservative Party. Opposition parties accused the Conservative government of breaking its own manifesto promise in 2019, when the party promised it would not lift a ban on fracking unless the practice was scientifically proven to be safe amid earthquake concerns.

“Even when the government pulled out all the stops for shale, the frackers produced no energy for the UK, but managed to create two holes in a muddy field, traffic, noise and a colossal amount of controversy,” said Philip Evans, Greenpeace energy security campaigner. .

A government-commissioned study into the risks of shale gas extraction by the British Geological Survey was inconclusive, saying more data was needed. Officials argued that “the current limited understanding of UK geology and shale resources” should not be a barrier to fracking.

“It is clear that we need more sites drilled in order to collect better data and improve the evidence base,” said a statement from the government affairs department. “The lifting of the pause on shale gas extraction will allow drilling to collect this additional data, to better understand the UK’s shale gas resources and how we can safely extract the shale gas in the UK where there is local support.”

The other parts of the UK – Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – are not affected by Thursday’s announcement.

Meanwhile, government approval for more oil and gas operations in the North Sea means more than 100 new licenses are expected to be granted from next month.

Friends of the Earth Scotland said the new round of licensing suggests the UK government is “effectively denying the reality of the climate emergency”.

___

Follow AP’s climate coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment

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UK government caps business energy bills for 6 months https://seattlewto.org/uk-government-caps-business-energy-bills-for-6-months/ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 08:36:11 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/uk-government-caps-business-energy-bills-for-6-months/ LONDON (AP) — The British government said Wednesday it will cap wholesale energy bills for businesses this winter to ensure businesses don’t go bankrupt in the face of soaring energy prices. Authorities said the government would pay nearly half of all business energy bills for six months from October 1 to ensure businesses “are able […]]]>

LONDON (AP) — The British government said Wednesday it will cap wholesale energy bills for businesses this winter to ensure businesses don’t go bankrupt in the face of soaring energy prices.

Authorities said the government would pay nearly half of all business energy bills for six months from October 1 to ensure businesses “are able to get through this winter”.

“We will review it after six months. We will ensure that the most vulnerable businesses like pubs, like stores, continue to be supported after this,” said Prime Minister Liz Truss, who is in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly. .

Treasury chief Kwasi Kwarteng said the government measures would “prevent businesses from collapsing, protect jobs and limit inflation”.

Officials did not provide details on the cost of the assistance package, but it is expected to be in the billions of pounds (dollars).

The news follows similar measures announced earlier this month to cap domestic energy prices to help millions of people heat their homes amid a cost of living crisis.

Soaring gas and electricity bills, along with sharply rising food prices, have pushed UK inflation to its highest level in decades. The Bank of England expects the economy to go into recession next year.

The consumer price index reached 10.1% in July, although it fell slightly to 9.9% in August. The British had been accustomed for years to an average inflation rate of around 2%.

The government, which predicted the measures would reduce the UK’s runaway inflation rate, is expected to push through emergency relief package legislation once Parliament returns in October.

The British Beer and Pub Association said the announcement of the move on Wednesday would be a “lifeline” for many businesses.

“This intervention is unprecedented, and it is extremely welcome that the government has listened to hospitality businesses facing an uncertain winter,” said Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UK Hospitality.

Truss announced on September 8 a two-year “energy price guarantee” for consumers, which caps average household bills for heating and electricity at 2,500 pounds ($2,872) a year. The average household is expected to reach 3,500 pounds ($4,000) a year from October, an 80% jump from the current average annual bill of 1,971 pounds ($2,236).

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Center-right leader urged to form new government in Sweden https://seattlewto.org/center-right-leader-urged-to-form-new-government-in-sweden/ Mon, 19 Sep 2022 13:21:40 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/center-right-leader-urged-to-form-new-government-in-sweden/ COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The leader of Sweden’s third-largest party — the center-right Moderates — was formally invited on Monday to try to form a government that could include Sweden’s populist Democrats, either in a coalition government , or outside to obtain a majority. In Sweden’s September 11 elections, the country’s four centre-right parties won […]]]>

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The leader of Sweden’s third-largest party — the center-right Moderates — was formally invited on Monday to try to form a government that could include Sweden’s populist Democrats, either in a coalition government , or outside to obtain a majority.

In Sweden’s September 11 elections, the country’s four centre-right parties won 176 seats while the centre-left coalition that included the ruling Social Democrats won 173 seats. Following this, Andreas Norlen, the speaker of Sweden’s 349-seat parliament, the Riksdagen, asked Ulf Kristersson, the leader of the moderates, to see if he could form a coalition government.

Norlen, who has held talks with all party leaders to find out who might try to form a government coalition, said he had not set a date by which Kristersson should come back with an answer because it could take time. .

“My message to the speaker is that everything is fine,” Kristersson told reporters after meeting Norlen. “I want to form a government that unites, not divides.”

The leader of the Swedish Democrats, Jimmie Akesson, said after meeting Norlen on Monday that “it would suit Sweden to have a majority government. It’s my point of view.

The question now is which coalition can achieve a majority. One of the centre-right parties has said it does not want to be part of a coalition with the right-wing Swedish Democrats, a party founded in the 1980s by far-right extremists that is now the second tallest in the country in parliament.

Different centre-right constellations are possible, but it seems clear that the Swedish Democrats will have significant weight in any centre-right government.

The populist party has attempted to move into the mainstream in recent years, standing this year on a platform of cracking down on crime and tightly limiting immigration.

Sweden has seen an increase in gang violence in recent years and this year there have been 273 shootings, 47 of them fatal, according to police statistics. The shooting also injured 74 people, including innocent bystanders.

Last week, Swedish Social Democratic Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson admitted losing the election. She will continue her interim duties until a new government is formed.

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Government employee burnout levels remain high but falling, new research from Eagle Hill Consulting finds https://seattlewto.org/government-employee-burnout-levels-remain-high-but-falling-new-research-from-eagle-hill-consulting-finds/ Thu, 15 Sep 2022 14:00:00 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/government-employee-burnout-levels-remain-high-but-falling-new-research-from-eagle-hill-consulting-finds/ Most government workers are comfortable talking about burnout, say a four-day work week and increased flexibility would alleviate burnout ARLINGTON, Va., September 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — More than half (56%) of government workers say they are burnt out from their jobs, a significantly higher percentage than their private sector counterparts (47%), according to a new […]]]>

Most government workers are comfortable talking about burnout, say a four-day work week and increased flexibility would alleviate burnout

ARLINGTON, Va., September 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — More than half (56%) of government workers say they are burnt out from their jobs, a significantly higher percentage than their private sector counterparts (47%), according to a new study by Eagle Hill Consulting. While this high level of workforce burnout is concerning, it has decreased since the start of the year (65%). Levels of burnout are higher among women (60%), millennials (60%) and low-income public servants (59%).

When it comes to the cause of burnout, government employees say it’s their workload (49%); a lack of communication, feedback and support (43%); staff shortages (42%); juggling personal and professional life (40%); and time constraints (34%). More than two-thirds of public servants (67%) say a four-day work week and increased flexibility would alleviate their stress.

These results are contained in an Eagle Hill Consulting workforce survey conducted by Ipsos from August 11 -16, 2022. Eagle Hill Consulting’s 2022 Workforce Burnout Survey included 1,003 respondents from a random sample of employees across the United States, including 739 federal employees, state and local. Respondents were asked about burnout and vacations.

“It is encouraging to see that burnout among public servants is decreasing, but the high levels of burnout are still quite concerning,” said Melissa Jezior, President and CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting. “Given the immense demand for government services, it is prudent for public sector employers to constantly assess the state of their workforce. Public employers need workers capable of fulfilling the mission of government. agency, and they need employees who will stay on the job. When government employees are burnt out and stressed, or feel like they can’t perform at their best, they can start looking a job elsewhere.

“Public employees point to practical steps employers can take to reduce burnout – from increased schedule flexibility to better health and wellness benefits. The good news from our research is that most government employees feel comfortable talking to their employer about their level of burnout, so engaging in those conversations is a good place to start,” Jezior said.

The main results of the survey are as follows:

  • When asked how staffing shortages impacted their workload, 82% of workers said it covered the workload of vacancies, 45% said it helped others learn their work, 35% said it trained new hires and 23% said it recruited and interviewed new hires.
  • Most employees (63%) who suffer from burnout feel comfortable telling their manager or employer that they feel burnt out.
  • The main causes of burnout are workload (49%), lack of communication and support (43%), staff shortages (42%), juggling between personal and professional life (40%) and time constraints (34%).
  • When asked how to reduce burnout, 67% said a four-day work week and increased flexibility would help. Other solutions included decreasing workloads (63%), working from home (63%), improving health and welfare benefits (57%), reducing administrative burdens (52% ), providing more on-site amenities (52%), and providing workers with the ability to relocate or work from multiple locations (42%).
  • The research also signals that the big quit is likely to persist, as more than a third of the government workforce (39%) plans to quit their jobs in the next 12 months. Expected exit rates are even higher for millennials (46%) and low-income workers (47%).

Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned company that provides unconventional management consulting services in the areas of strategy and performance, talent and change. The company’s expertise in providing innovative solutions to unique challenges spans the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. A leading authority on employee sentiment, Eagle Hill is headquartered in the washington d.c. metropolitan area, with employees across the United States and offices in Boston and Seattle. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.

SOURCEEagle Hill Consulting

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Venezuelan government defends detention of US nationals https://seattlewto.org/venezuelan-government-defends-detention-of-us-nationals/ Sun, 11 Sep 2022 20:17:03 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/venezuelan-government-defends-detention-of-us-nationals/ CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Venezuelan government has defended the detention of U.S. citizens, rejecting an earlier State Department statement marking the two-year imprisonment of a Navy veteran. President Nicolás Maduro’s government said in a statement on Saturday that it would continue to enforce its laws and reiterated the “spaces and channels” open with the […]]]>

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Venezuelan government has defended the detention of U.S. citizens, rejecting an earlier State Department statement marking the two-year imprisonment of a Navy veteran.

President Nicolás Maduro’s government said in a statement on Saturday that it would continue to enforce its laws and reiterated the “spaces and channels” open with the United States “to seek understanding on issues” relevant to their bilateral relations.

“It is regrettable that the authorities of the United States insist on their claim to confer unacceptable immunity or letters of marque on their nationals, in absolute disregard of the sovereignty and self-determination of the peoples,” the statement said.

The government’s comment came a day after the State Department said it would continue to press Maduro ‘for the immediate and unconditional release’ of Matthew Heath and other US citizens it considers wrongfully detained. in Venezuela.

At least 10 men, including five oil executives and three veterans, are being held in Venezuela. United Nations officials have long complained about the lack of independence of Venezuelan judges and prosecutors and the conditions at the facility where several Americans are being held.

In March, Maduro’s government freed two Americans following a surprise trip to Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, by senior White House and State Department officials. A subsequent trip in June did not result in the release of any detainees.

The State Department issued an advisory in July warning Americans to avoid all travel to Venezuela due to the risk of wrongful detentions and threats from illegal armed groups, especially along the country’s porous borders.

Heath, a former US Marine corporal, was arrested in 2020 at a roadblock in Venezuela and charged with being a terrorist and spying for then US President Donald Trump. His family and supporters claim he is innocent.

The State Department statement released on Friday said Heath was arrested on “specious charges.” His trial is ongoing.

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Seattle council OKs plan to ban gas-powered leaf blowers | National government and new policies https://seattlewto.org/seattle-council-oks-plan-to-ban-gas-powered-leaf-blowers-national-government-and-new-policies/ Wed, 07 Sep 2022 20:14:35 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/seattle-council-oks-plan-to-ban-gas-powered-leaf-blowers-national-government-and-new-policies/ SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle City Council has voted unanimously to plan to phase out gas-powered blowers for city services and contractors by 2025 and businesses and residents by 2027, “or later, if necessary”. The resolution passed Tuesday directs city departments to develop plans and devise a public education strategy around the transition, The Seattle […]]]>

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle City Council has voted unanimously to plan to phase out gas-powered blowers for city services and contractors by 2025 and businesses and residents by 2027, “or later, if necessary”.

The resolution passed Tuesday directs city departments to develop plans and devise a public education strategy around the transition, The Seattle Times reported.

The new policy would require city employees, as well as Seattle businesses and residents, to use electric leaf blowers, rakes and brooms instead.

The resolution calls on city departments to conduct a racial equity analysis, gather feedback from landscaping companies and consider financial incentives for those companies and low-income residents.

Council member Alex Pedersen sponsored the resolution, citing noise, health and environmental concerns.

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“As we make sure the city government leads by example, there will be plenty of time for the private market to follow” whether it’s using other tools “or just letting the leaves rot.” naturally,” he said.

Seattle City Services owns 418 gas-powered leaf blowers and about 70 electric leaf blowers. Parks Department tests in 2019 showed that electric fans could handle dry conditions.

Other cities, including Los Angeles and Washington, DC, have banned gas-powered leaf blowers. LA’s ban was lightly enforced. DC’s ban is succeeding, a Seattle council representative said last month.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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