Trump withdraws US from Paris climate accord

President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord Thursday, a major step that fulfills a campaign promise while seriously dampening global efforts to curb global warming.

The decision amounts to a rebuttal of the worldwide effort to pressure Trump to remain a part of the agreement, which 195 nations signed onto. Foreign leaders, business executives and Trump’s own daughter lobbied heavily for him to remain a part of the deal, but ultimately lost out to conservatives who claim the plan is bad for the United States.

“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but being negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction under terms that are fair to the United States,” Trump said from the White House Rose Garden.

“We’re getting out. And we will start to renegotiate and we’ll see if there’s a better deal. If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine,” he added.

Lengthy process

In triggering the official withdrawal procedures, Trump will spark a lengthy process that won’t conclude until November 2020 — the same month he’s up for reelection, ensuring the issue becomes a major topic of debate in the next presidential contest.

“The United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord,” Trump said, saying it would include ending the implementation of carbon reduction targets set under Obama and ending contributions to the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund, which Trump said was “costing the United States a fortune.”

“As someone who cares deeply about our environment, I cannot in good conscience support a deal which punishes the United States,” he said. “The Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States.”

The White House began informing members of Congress Thursday afternoon that Trump planned to pull out of the US from the landmark agreement, according to a congressional source.

In talking points delivered to Trump’s allies, the White House characterized the Paris agreement as a job killer that placed undue burdens on American taxpayers.

“The Paris Accord is a BAD deal for Americans, and the President’s action today is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first,” the talking points read. “The accord was negotiated poorly by the Obama administration and signed out of desperation. It frontloads costs on the American people to the detriment of our economy.”

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were calling lawmakers, including House and Senate leaders, in the hours leading up to the announcement to get input on his climate decision, a Republican source said.

The President campaigned against the climate agreement last year as a candidate, and those close to him said he was insistent upon fulfilling his promises, despite urging from some members of his own administration to remain in the agreement.

“The agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of the United States and ships them to foreign countries,” Trump said from the Rose Garden. “This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”

A person familiar with Trump’s thinking said the President was convinced he needed to withdraw from the pact, and there was little chance of talking his out of it.

Opponents of the move say it threatens to isolate the United States in a global effort to curb the warming of the planet, and leave an opening for countries like China to fill the leadership void.

Uncertainty loomed

The uncertainty over Trump’s decision has lent the Paris announcement a reality show-like air, with Thursday’s unveiling a finale to a months-long debate that has split members of the President’s inner circle and led to deep consternation from global allies.

Trump, a former reality star himself, advertised the announcement in a tweet late Wednesday. Earlier in the day, he told reporters he was “hearing from a lot of people both ways.”

Trump had several options for withdrawal, ultimately choosing a step that bridged a divide between remaining in the accord and a drastic, immediate withdrawal from the entire United Nations climate change treaty.

As news emerged Wednesday that Trump planned to quit the Paris deal, business leaders and foreign heads-of-state began castigating the decision as a woeful abandonment of US leadership. Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, said he would resign from White House business councils if Trump followed through. Apple CEO Tim Cook also urged Trump to reconsider.

Inside the West Wing, attempts to sway Trump’s thinking also continued apace. Trump’s daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka, has worked to ensure her father heard pro-Paris voices over the last several months, and has continued to press for a decision short of a full withdrawal.

Ivanka Trump and her allies, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Trump’s chief economist Gary Cohn, have pressed Trump to alter the US commitments to the Paris agreement without fully pulling out of the accord.

But anti-Paris voices, led by chief strategist Steve Bannon and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, appeared to win out. In conversations with his advisers, Trump has cited the affect a withdrawal would have on the states where he won by the largest margins, including in the Rust Belt and the western plains.

That’s a reflection of Trump’s “America First” governing policy, which he’s sought to bolster since taking office. Trump was pressured heavily by his foreign counterparts during last week’s G7 meetings in Sicily to remain in the deal, but his advisers say he felt little obligation to concede to that point of view.

On Wednesday, global figures began reiterating their own commitment to the Paris deal as Trump prepared to withdraw. Chinese premier Li Keqiang, visiting Germany, said his country would remain committed to combating climate change, despite US moves.

And European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker declared Europe was ready to act as a global climate leader in the US absence.

“The vacuum that would be created has to be filled, and Europe has aspirations for a natural leadership in this whole process,” he said in Berlin.

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Trump withdraws US from Paris climate accord

President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord Thursday, a major step that fulfills a campaign promise while seriously dampening global efforts to curb global warming.

The decision amounts to a rebuttal of the worldwide effort to pressure Trump to remain a part of the agreement, which 195 nations signed onto. Foreign leaders, business executives and Trump’s own daughter lobbied heavily for him to remain a part of the deal, but ultimately lost out to conservatives who claim the plan is bad for the United States.

“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but being negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction under terms that are fair to the United States,” Trump said from the White House Rose Garden.

“We’re getting out. And we will start to renegotiate and we’ll see if there’s a better deal. If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine,” he added.

Lengthy process

In triggering the official withdrawal procedures, Trump will spark a lengthy process that won’t conclude until November 2020 — the same month he’s up for reelection, ensuring the issue becomes a major topic of debate in the next presidential contest.

“The United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord,” Trump said, saying it would include ending the implementation of carbon reduction targets set under Obama and ending contributions to the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund, which Trump said was “costing the United States a fortune.”

“As someone who cares deeply about our environment, I cannot in good conscience support a deal which punishes the United States,” he said. “The Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States.”

The White House began informing members of Congress Thursday afternoon that Trump planned to pull out of the US from the landmark agreement, according to a congressional source.

In talking points delivered to Trump’s allies, the White House characterized the Paris agreement as a job killer that placed undue burdens on American taxpayers.

“The Paris Accord is a BAD deal for Americans, and the President’s action today is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first,” the talking points read. “The accord was negotiated poorly by the Obama administration and signed out of desperation. It frontloads costs on the American people to the detriment of our economy.”

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were calling lawmakers, including House and Senate leaders, in the hours leading up to the announcement to get input on his climate decision, a Republican source said.

The President campaigned against the climate agreement last year as a candidate, and those close to him said he was insistent upon fulfilling his promises, despite urging from some members of his own administration to remain in the agreement.

“The agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of the United States and ships them to foreign countries,” Trump said from the Rose Garden. “This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”

A person familiar with Trump’s thinking said the President was convinced he needed to withdraw from the pact, and there was little chance of talking his out of it.

Opponents of the move say it threatens to isolate the United States in a global effort to curb the warming of the planet, and leave an opening for countries like China to fill the leadership void.

Uncertainty loomed

The uncertainty over Trump’s decision has lent the Paris announcement a reality show-like air, with Thursday’s unveiling a finale to a months-long debate that has split members of the President’s inner circle and led to deep consternation from global allies.

Trump, a former reality star himself, advertised the announcement in a tweet late Wednesday. Earlier in the day, he told reporters he was “hearing from a lot of people both ways.”

Trump had several options for withdrawal, ultimately choosing a step that bridged a divide between remaining in the accord and a drastic, immediate withdrawal from the entire United Nations climate change treaty.

As news emerged Wednesday that Trump planned to quit the Paris deal, business leaders and foreign heads-of-state began castigating the decision as a woeful abandonment of US leadership. Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, said he would resign from White House business councils if Trump followed through. Apple CEO Tim Cook also urged Trump to reconsider.

Inside the West Wing, attempts to sway Trump’s thinking also continued apace. Trump’s daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka, has worked to ensure her father heard pro-Paris voices over the last several months, and has continued to press for a decision short of a full withdrawal.

Ivanka Trump and her allies, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Trump’s chief economist Gary Cohn, have pressed Trump to alter the US commitments to the Paris agreement without fully pulling out of the accord.

But anti-Paris voices, led by chief strategist Steve Bannon and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, appeared to win out. In conversations with his advisers, Trump has cited the affect a withdrawal would have on the states where he won by the largest margins, including in the Rust Belt and the western plains.

That’s a reflection of Trump’s “America First” governing policy, which he’s sought to bolster since taking office. Trump was pressured heavily by his foreign counterparts during last week’s G7 meetings in Sicily to remain in the deal, but his advisers say he felt little obligation to concede to that point of view.

On Wednesday, global figures began reiterating their own commitment to the Paris deal as Trump prepared to withdraw. Chinese premier Li Keqiang, visiting Germany, said his country would remain committed to combating climate change, despite US moves.

And European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker declared Europe was ready to act as a global climate leader in the US absence.

“The vacuum that would be created has to be filled, and Europe has aspirations for a natural leadership in this whole process,” he said in Berlin.

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2017 Atlantic hurricane season begins

Thursday marks the start of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Are you prepared?

Although all is quiet now in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are calling for an above-average season.

Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11-17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which five to nine could become hurricanes. Two to four of those hurricanes could be a Category 3 or higher.

The numbers include Tropical Storm Arlene, a rare preseason storm that formed in April.

An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

“While I hope this seasonal hurricane outlook gets our attention, we need to remember that it is not all about the numbers,” Local 10 News hurricane specialist Max Mayfield said. “It only takes one hurricane over our community to make for a bad year. South Florida residents need to be prepared regardless of what the seasonal outlook says. Also, these outlooks don’t tell us where or when the hurricanes will be. It would be wise for us to prepare for this and every hurricane season.”

Mayfield is the former director of the National Hurricane Center.

Local 10 News is committed to providing daily tropical updates in the first 10 minutes of every newscast throughout the season, which runs until Nov. 30.

Be sure to download the Local 10 Hurricane Survival Guide to keep you safe before, during and after a storm. 

Remember to stay up to date on the all the latest storm news by downloading the Max Tracker app for iOS and ANDROID.

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Elon Musk to Trump: Ditch Paris deal and I’ll quit as your adviser

Elon Musk says he’ll step down from President Donald Trump’s advisory councils if he decides to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

The CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX tweeted Wednesday that he’s done everything possible to lobby the president to keep the U.S. in the treaty.

“Don’t know which way Paris will go, but I’ve done all I can to advise directly to POTUS, through others in WH & via councils, that we remain,” Musk said.

Asked via Twitter what he’ll do if Trump decides to leave, Musk responded that he would “have no choice but to depart [the] councils in that case.”

Musk is currently one of 18 business leaders who serve on Trump’s business advisory council, formally known as the Strategic and Policy Forum. He is also part of the president’s manufacturing jobs initiative, and has met with POTUS to discuss the need to boost infrastructure spending.

Trump is expected to announce later this week that he intends to pull out of the landmark Paris agreement. The U.S. signed the accord in 2015, committing to reducing carbon emissions by 26% to 28% within a decade.

Tesla is one of hundreds of companies that has asked Trump not to withdraw.

Musk has said he’s raised climate issues with the White House before, but that despite these efforts, he’s come under fire for his willingness to engage with the Trump administration. In April, a Silicon Valley investor took out full-page ads in the Sunday editions of the Washington Post and New York Times that called on Musk to “dump Trump.”

This isn’t the first time Musk has publicly opposed the Trump administration. Musk came out strongly against the president’s executive order on immigration, which temporarily banned travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. Musk said in February that he would remain on Trump’s advisory councils even though he publicly opposed the ban.

“Advisory councils simply provide advice and attending does not mean that I agree with actions by the Administration,” Musk said on Twitter at the time.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, meanwhile, decided to step down to protest the ban.

Silicon Valley has had a complicated relationship with the Trump White House in its early months. Tech giants like Tesla, Google and Apple have had to balance their desire to try to influence policy with their longstanding support for immigration and green energy.

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Memorial Day weather: Strong winds, hail forecast for Southeast

Georgia and the Carolinas are expected to get hit hard by severe storms on Monday, threatening barbecues and other outdoor events for the Memorial Day holiday.

Around 16 million in that Southeast swath are expected to get drenched or pummeled by strong storms, CNN Meteorologist Monica Garrett said.

Storms are forecast in Georgia and the Carolinas in the afternoon hours, with damaging winds and hail expected to be the main threat.

The Northeast will also be wet, Garrett said, with rain moving through the region in the morning but drying out later. There also will be isolated storms in the Mid-Atlantic on Monday, she said.

Residents in Missouri and Tennessee are still trying to recover from what hit them over the weekend.

2 dead, 1 missing in Missouri

Two bodies were recovered Sunday after a car carrying three people drove into water the day before. All three were from Nashville, Arkansas, visiting Branson, Missouri, in affiliation with the HoopsPlay Basketball Tournaments being held there, city officials said.

Rescue personnel are still searching for the driver of vehicle.

The popular tourist destination was deluged with 4 to 6 inches of rain in less than 24 hours.

James Lucas Jr. was driving with his family on Fall Creek Road when they were suddenly caught in a flash flood.

“The creek had swollen out of its banks and was pushing stalled-out cars down the hill into me,” Lucas said.

“Four kids were screaming the whole time, watching people and cars floating by,” he said. “Kinda was really amazing because we all made it safe.”

At least 12 people were rescued from the rapid flooding.

Garrett said Branson will be sunny on Monday, with a chance of rain on Tuesday night.

Long-term power outages

Ferocious winds reached 69 mph in Memphis, CNN affiliate WMC reported Sunday. They were strong enough to topple a memorial at Tom Lee Park.

The storm cut electricity to more than 150,000 residents in the Memphis area — and some of them might not get power for a week, said Memphis Light, Gas and Water.

“Please begin to prepare for a long term outage situation. Make arrangements for elderly, young children,” the power company tweeted. “Full restoration could take at least a week.”

Garrett said storms are clearing now in Memphis where it “looks like a nice Memorial Day.”

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Memorial Day weather: Strong winds, hail forecast for Southeast

Georgia and the Carolinas are expected to get hit hard by severe storms on Monday, threatening barbecues and other outdoor events for the Memorial Day holiday.

Around 16 million in that Southeast swath are expected to get drenched or pummeled by strong storms, CNN Meteorologist Monica Garrett said.

Storms are forecast in Georgia and the Carolinas in the afternoon hours, with damaging winds and hail expected to be the main threat.

The Northeast will also be wet, Garrett said, with rain moving through the region in the morning but drying out later. There also will be isolated storms in the Mid-Atlantic on Monday, she said.

Residents in Missouri and Tennessee are still trying to recover from what hit them over the weekend.

2 dead, 1 missing in Missouri

Two bodies were recovered Sunday after a car carrying three people drove into water the day before. All three were from Nashville, Arkansas, visiting Branson, Missouri, in affiliation with the HoopsPlay Basketball Tournaments being held there, city officials said.

Rescue personnel are still searching for the driver of vehicle.

The popular tourist destination was deluged with 4 to 6 inches of rain in less than 24 hours.

James Lucas Jr. was driving with his family on Fall Creek Road when they were suddenly caught in a flash flood.

“The creek had swollen out of its banks and was pushing stalled-out cars down the hill into me,” Lucas said.

“Four kids were screaming the whole time, watching people and cars floating by,” he said. “Kinda was really amazing because we all made it safe.”

At least 12 people were rescued from the rapid flooding.

Garrett said Branson will be sunny on Monday, with a chance of rain on Tuesday night.

Long-term power outages

Ferocious winds reached 69 mph in Memphis, CNN affiliate WMC reported Sunday. They were strong enough to topple a memorial at Tom Lee Park.

The storm cut electricity to more than 150,000 residents in the Memphis area — and some of them might not get power for a week, said Memphis Light, Gas and Water.

“Please begin to prepare for a long term outage situation. Make arrangements for elderly, young children,” the power company tweeted. “Full restoration could take at least a week.”

Garrett said storms are clearing now in Memphis where it “looks like a nice Memorial Day.”

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