By Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will unveil as soon as Monday the final version of a sweeping - and controversial - regulation to cut carbon emissions from the electricity sector. The proposal is the signature piece of President Barack Obama’s climate change policy. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said this week that the final rule will be "stronger in many ways than the proposed rule." But the Clean Power Plan has been sharply criticized by the energy and manufacturing industries and some energy-producing states, and opponents have already vowed to challenge the regulation in court.
Florida plant detectives are on the trail of a slippery foe, an invasive African land snail that is wily, potentially infectious, and can grow as big as a tennis shoe. In the four years since Giant African Snails were discovered in Miami, they have slowly but surely spread to new territory, alarming residents in the southern suburbs and the neighboring county of Broward. Since 2011, Florida has spent $10.8 million on the Giant African Snail eradication program, according to state agriculture department spokesman Mark Fagan.
By Howard Schneider WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve will not need to see balanced risks to the economy to proceed with an interest rate hike in September, according to former Fed officials and a review of central bank statements through recent turns in policy. In its latest statement, released Wednesday, the Fed said it continued to judge the risks to the U.S. economy as "nearly balanced," meaning it still sees a greater threat of a new downturn than it does of accelerating inflation and excessive growth. Prior to its decision to begin raising rates at that meeting, the Fed had for several months judged the risks to the economy as "roughly equal." It kept that characterization at the June meeting, and for nearly a year after that.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Lead negotiators from the European Union and International Monetary Fund begin an intensive round of talks with Greece on Friday to hammer out details of a third international bailout worth some 85 billion euros ($93 billion). Greece needs the money to keep paying its debts and remain in the euro currency.
The Taliban appointed Mullah Akhtar Mansour as their new leader, a statement said Friday, marking a historic power transition for the militant movement that has waged a 14-year insurgency in Afghanistan. The Taliban also announced his deputies -- Sirajuddin Haqqani, who leads the Taliban-allied Haqqani network and has a $10 million US bounty on his head, and Haibatullah Akhundzada, the former head of the Taliban courts. The announcement comes a day after the insurgents confirmed the death of their elusive leader Mullah Omar, who led the fractious group for some 20 years.