Connect with us

Stock Markets

California regulator rejects desalination plant despite historic drought

Published

on

4/4

© Reuters. The site of a possible $1.5 billion water desalination plant for the city of Huntington Beach is shown along the Pacific Ocean in Huntington Beach, California, U.S., May 11, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Mike Blake

2/4

By Daniel Trotta

COSTA MESA, Calif. (Reuters) -California regulators on Thursday rejected a $1.4 billion desalination plant on environmental grounds, dealing a setback to Governor Gavin Newsom, who had supported the project as a partial solution for the state’s sustained drought.

The California Coastal Commission voted 11-0 to reject the proposal by Poseidon Water, controlled by the infrastructure arm of Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management, to build the plant on a low-lying coastal site at Huntington Beach, near the town of Costa Mesa, about 30 miles (50 km) south of Los Angeles.

The plant was designed to convert Pacific Ocean water into 50 million gallons (189.3 million liters) of drinking water a day.

That is enough for 400,000 people, but the plant would use a process that staff experts at the commission said would devastate marine life and expose the plant to future risk of sea level rise while producing expensive water too costly for low-income consumers.

Environmentalists who have opposed the project for years burst into celebration after the vote in a Costa Mesa hotel conference room.

Representatives of Poseidon issued a statement expressing disappointment but made no comment on whether they would attempt to revive a project in which they have invested more than 20 years and $100 million.

Any new proposal for the site would face difficult odds or have to undergo significant redesign, so thorough was the staff report in detailing its flaws.

“It was a defining day for the for the Coastal Commission,” said Susan Jordan, a plant opponent and director of the California Coastal Protection Network. “When you have a project like this that is so damaging over the next half century, you really can’t allow that to move forward.”

The commission’s staff experts said the facility would destroy marine life in about 100 billion gallons of seawater per year, and the company’s ability to mitigate that damage with wildlife habitat restoration fell far short of state requirements.

“California continues to face a punishing drought, with no end in sight,” Poseidon said in a statement after the vote. “We firmly believe that this desalination project would have created a sustainable, drought-tolerant source of water.”

Environmentalists have long said desalination harms ocean life, costs too much money and energy, and the plant would soon be made obsolete by water recycling.

Though the vote was unanimous, with one member abstaining, commissioners said they would be willing to support other desalination projects.

“We have a dire need for more water, but we have to do it the right way,” said commissioner Effie Turnbull-Sanders, one of Newsom’s four political appointees on the commission.

Days after the staff recommendation for denial was published last month, Newsom spoke publicly in favor of the project, telling the editorial board of the Bay Area News Group: “We need more tools in the damn tool kit” to produce water for a thirsty state.

Newsom, a Democrat who is up for re-election this year with the drought on many Californians’ minds, disappointed environmental supporters by backing the project.

Commission Chair Donne Brownsey, also a Newsom appointee, said she did not expect to governor to dismiss the commissioners who defied him.

“He’s going to be disappointed. But I’m hoping he saw that we wanted to open the door to a path to success in the future for desalination,” Brownsey said.

The commission has approved 11 other desalination plants, including another one that Poseidon has operated down the coast in Carlsbad since 2015.

The Carlsbad desalination plant, the largest in the United States, turns ocean water to drinking water in 90 minutes, but it was built on more elevated geography and approved before statewide desalination regulations came into effect.

Stock Markets

Glass Lewis backs McDonald’s directors in boardroom fight with Carl Icahn

Published

on

2/2

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign with the logo is on display near a McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow, Russia May 16, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

2/2

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON (Reuters) – Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis on Tuesday recommended McDonald’s Corp (NYSE:MCD) investors vote for the company’s directors, dealing a setback to billionaire investor Carl Icahn’s efforts to replace two directors.

“The Dissident (Icahn) has failed to make a sufficiently compelling case to warrant the boardroom changes it is seeking here,” Glass Lewis wrote in the report seen by Reuters.

A representative for Icahn did not immediately have a comment.

The report came one day after Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass Lewis’ larger rival, also recommended that shareholders back the company’s nominees. McDonald’s shareholders will meet on May 26.

Icahn nominated candidates to the fast-food restaurant’s board to hold the company accountable for pledges it made a decade ago on sourcing pork.

McDonald’s says it has worked to change its pork sourcing. But it is behind schedule on a plan to stop buying pork from suppliers that confine pigs in small crates during pregnancy. Both ISS and Glass Lewis say Icahn has raised awareness for animal rights.

“We acknowledge (Icahn’s) efforts to seek improvements to animal welfare conditions is a worthy and noble endeavor,” Glass Lewis wrote. But the advisory firm also criticized Icahn, saying he had taken a “decidedly simplistic and myopic view of ESG concerns, with no substantive regard given to the economics of the Company’s business nor to the creation of shareholder value.”

McDonald’s said Icahn’s two nominees lack the broader expertise needed to serve on the company’s board. Glass Lewis wrote that Icahn’s candidates “lack the requisite background, qualifications and experience for serving on the board of a large multinational firm” like McDonald’s.

Continue Reading

Stock Markets

China Eastern crash probe eyes intentional action – sources

Published

on


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Rescue workers work at the site where a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane flying from Kunming to Guangzhou crashed, in Wuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China March 24, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Investigators probing the crash of a China Eastern Airlines (NYSE:CEA) jet are examining whether it was due to intentional action taken on the flight deck, with no evidence so far of a technical malfunction, two people briefed on the matter said.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Tuesday that flight data from one the Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737-800’s black boxes indicated that someone in the cockpit intentionally crashed the plane, citing people familiar with U.S. officials’ preliminary assessment.

Boeing Co , the maker of the jet, and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) declined to comment and referred questions to Chinese regulators.

The Boeing 737-800, en route from Kunming to Guangzhou, crashed on March 21 in the mountains of Guangxi, after a sudden plunge from cruising altitude, killing all 123 passengers and nine crew members aboard.

It was mainland China’s deadliest aviation disaster in 28 years.

The pilots did not respond to repeated calls from air traffic controllers and nearby planes during the rapid descent, authorities have said.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China said on April 11 in response to rumours on the internet of a deliberate crash that the speculation had “gravely misled the public” and “interfered with the accident investigation work.”

China Eastern could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal said the airline had said in a statement that no evidence had emerged that could determine whether or not there were any problems with the accident aircraft. The Chinese Embassy declined to comment.

The 737-800 is a widely flown predecessor to Boeing’s 737 MAX but does not have the systems that have been linked to fatal 737-MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 that led to a lengthy grounding of the MAX.

China Eastern grounded its entire fleet of 737-800 planes after the crash, but resumed flights in mid-April in a move widely seen at the time as ruling out any immediate new safety concern over Boeing’s previous and still most widely used model.

In a summary of an unpublished preliminary crash report last month, Chinese regulators did not point to any technical recommendations on the 737-800, which has been in service since 1997 with a strong safety record, according to experts.

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said in a May 10 Reuters interview that board investigators and Boeing had traveled to China to assist the Chinese investigation. She noted that the investigation to date had not found any safety issues that would require any urgent actions.

Homendy said if the board has any safety concerns it will “issue urgent safety recommendations.”

The NTSB assisted Chinese investigators with the review of black boxes at its U.S. lab in Washington.

Shares of Boeing closed up 6.5%.

A final report into the causes could take two years or more to compile, Chinese officials have said. Analysts say most crashes are caused by a cocktail of human and technical factors.

Deliberate crashes are exceptionally rare. Experts noted the latest hypothesis left open whether the action stemmed from one pilot acting alone or the result of a struggle or intrusion but sources stressed nothing has been confirmed.

In March 2015, a Germanwings co-pilot deliberately flew an Airbus A320 into a French mountainside, killing all 150 on board.

French investigators found the 27-year-old was suffering from a suspected “psychotic depressive episode,” concealed from his employer. They later called for better mental health guidelines and stronger peer support groups for pilots.

Continue Reading

Stock Markets

U.S. accuses casino tycoon Wynn of acting as Chinese agent

Published

on

2/2

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Steve Wynn, Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

2/2

By Rami Ayyub

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday sued Steve Wynn, the former CEO of Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN), to compel him to register as an agent of China and accused him of lobbying then-President Donald Trump at Beijing’s behest in 2017.

Wynn’s lawyers denied the allegations, saying he had never acted as an agent of the Chinese government and “had no obligation to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act” (FARA).

From at least June through August 2017, Wynn contacted Trump and members of his administration to convey a Chinese request that Trump cancel the visa of a Chinese businessperson who had sought asylum in the United States, the department said.

The department’s civil suit alleges it had advised Wynn in 2018, 2021 and April 2022 to register as an agent of China under FARA but he declined to do so. Wynn stepped down as Wynn Resorts CEO in early 2018.

“Where a foreign government uses an American as its agent to influence policy decisions in the United States, FARA gives the American people a right to know,” said Matthew G. Olsen, assistant attorney general for the department’s national security division.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It seeks a declaratory judgment that Wynn has an obligation to register under FARA.

Wynn’s lawyers, Reid Weingarten (NYSE:WRI) and Brian Heberlig, said they disagreed with the department’s legal interpretation of FARA and looked forward to proving their case in court.

In a statement, the Justice Department alleged that Wynn acted at Beijing’s request “out of a desire to protect his business interests in Macau,” where Wynn Resorts operates a luxury hotel and casino.

Wynn conveyed the requests to cancel the businessperson’s visa to the Trump administration on behalf of Sun Lijun, a former vice minister in China’s Ministry of Public Security, the statement said.

It did not name the Chinese businessperson in question, but said the individual left China in 2014 and was later charged with corruption by Beijing.

Wynn conveyed Beijing’s request to Trump over dinner and by phone, and had multiple discussions with senior White House and National Security Council officials about organizing a meeting with Sun and other Chinese officials, the department said.

Continue Reading

News

Stock Markets25 mins ago

Glass Lewis backs McDonald’s directors in boardroom fight with Carl Icahn

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign with the logo is on display near a McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow, Russia...

Economy25 mins ago

Australian banks enter tech arms race as rising rates squeeze profit

4/4 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view of a Commonwealth Bank of Australia branch in Sydney, Australia, April 18, 2018....

Stock Markets25 mins ago

China Eastern crash probe eyes intentional action – sources

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Rescue workers work at the site where a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane flying from...

Stock Markets26 mins ago

U.S. accuses casino tycoon Wynn of acting as Chinese agent

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Steve Wynn, Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference...

Cryptocurrency26 mins ago

Commissioner Kristin Johnson to sponsor CFTC Market Risk Advisory Committee

Commissioner Kristin Johnson to sponsor CFTC Market Risk Advisory Committee United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner Kristin N....

World26 mins ago

Pollution killing 9 million people a year, Africa hardest hit – study

5/5 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A boy swims in the polluted water of the Makoko community in Lagos, Nigeria March...

Politics56 mins ago

McConnell urges Biden administration to ensure sustained aid to Ukraine

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) listens as another Republican senator speaks to reporters following...

Stock Markets56 mins ago

Prominent hedge funds invested in Twitter before Musk unveiled plans

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Twitter logo and trading information is displayed as a trader works on the floor of...

World56 mins ago

N.Korean leader Kim slams officials’ ‘immature’ response amid COVID outbreak

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face masks walk amid concerns over the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in front...

Stock Markets56 mins ago

Architect of Allianz fraud made $60 million as he lied to investors, U.S. says

3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Allianz Global Investors logo is pictured at the company’s headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany August 16,...

Cryptocurrency1 hour ago

Crypto users react to Terraform Labs legal team purportedly leaving company

Crypto users react to Terraform Labs legal team purportedly leaving company The ongoing saga with Terraform Labs, the blockchain developer...

World1 hour ago

Michigan judge blocks enforcement of state’s pre-Roe v. Wade abortion ban

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pro-Choice supporters of Planned Parenthood rally outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. February...

Stock Markets1 hour ago

U.S. sues to compel former casino magnate Wynn to register as agent of China

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Steve Wynn, Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference...

World1 hour ago

Burkina Faso rescuers find no survivors in flooded mine’s rescue chamber

© Reuters. A view shows one of the galleries during a rescue operation inside Perkoa mine where water is still...

Politics1 hour ago

U.S. lawmakers unveil FDA emergency funds bill to address baby formula shortage

2/2 © Reuters. Empty shelves show a shortage of baby formula at a Target store in San Antonio, Texas, U.S....

Commodities1 hour ago

Oil falls 2% on Powell comments, hopes for Venezuela supply

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Oil pump jacks are seen at the Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas deposit in the...

Commodities1 hour ago

Venezuela’s Maduro, opposition expected to talk; U.S. eases some sanctions -sources

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and his wife Cilia Flores dance during the May Day celebrations in...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

U.S. Senator Manchin backs Michael Barr for top Fed regulatory job

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Federal Reserve building is seen before the Federal Reserve board is expected to signal plans...

Sports & General2 hours ago

Dallas hair salon shooting suspect had delusions about Asians, police say

2/2 © Reuters. An image shows the suspect in the shooting at the Hair World Salon in Dallas on May...

Commodities2 hours ago

Oil Inventories Unexpectedly Drop by 2.4M Barrels Last Week: API

© Reuters. By Yasin Ebrahim Investing.com — U.S. crude oil inventories unexpectedly dropped last week, the API reported Tuesday, following a...

Cryptocurrency2 hours ago

Do Kwon proposes Terra hard fork to save ecosystem

Do Kwon proposes Terra hard fork to save ecosystem On Monday, Do Kwon, co-founder of the troubled Terra Luna blockchain,...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is poised to become the most valuable U.S. startup

3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off carrying three NASA astronauts and one ESA astronaut...

Forex2 hours ago

U.S. considering move to block Russian debt payments -Treasury

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Russian Rouble coins are seen in front of displayed U.S. Dollar banknote in this illustration taken,...

Sports & General2 hours ago

Key moments in the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial

© Reuters. Actor Johnny Depp walks into the courtroom after a break at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax,...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Tesla stops taking orders for Cybertruck outside North America -website

2/2 © Reuters. Tesla’s Cybertruck is displayed at Manhattan’s Meatpacking District in New York City, U.S., May 8, 2021. REUTERS/Jeenah...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Cisco Earnings, Lowe’s Outlook, Target Reports: 3 Things to Watch

By Liz Moyer Investing.com — U.S. stocks roared back after a strong retail sales report and reassurances from Federal Reserve...

Sports & General2 hours ago

Depp lawyer questions Heard about drugs, love notes in defamation case

2/2 © Reuters. Actors Amber Heard and Johnny Depp watch as the jury leaves the courtroom at the end of...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

What happened with Abbott baby formula that worsened a U.S. shortage?

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Abbott Laboratories logo is displayed on a screen at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Where’s the beef? McDonald’s, Wendy’s are sued over burger sizes

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The McDonald’s logo is seen outside the fast-food chain McDonald’s in New York, U.S., October...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Slovak finance minister sets up battle with proposed tax on Russian oil processing

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Slovakia’s finance minister, Igor Matovic, speaks to the media as refugees fleeing from Ukraine arrive in...

Trending