PARIS (AP) — Six nongovernmental organizations have opened the first class-action lawsuit against France for alleged systemic discrimination by police carrying out identity checks. The organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, contend that French police use racial profiling in checks, targeting people who are Black or of Arab descent. The NGOs aren’t demanding monetary damages, and instead seek deep reforms to ensure that racial profiling does not determine who gets stopped by police. They say ‘systemic’ changes are needed in response to a ‘systemic’ problem. Letters officially notifying France’s prime minister and interior and justice ministers were being delivered Wednesday.
- Summer Snake Pop.
Anxious homeowners say Georgia is crawling with snakes this summer. But a University of Georgia wildlife expert says snake numbers are actually much lower in the summer than in the fall.”Snakes tend to mate during the spring or early summer,” said Jeff Jackson, an Extension Service wildlife specialist and a D.B. Warnell School of Forestry professor at UGA. “The young are born or hatched in late August, depending on the species.” “Looking at the food chain and daily survival from predators, we know there are fewer and fewer snakes each day until the annual arrival of new little snakes,” he said. Snakes reproduce only once a year, he said. Most species have a dozen to two dozen offspring. Some lay eggs, while others give birth to their young. Snake eggs are oval, white and rubbery, Jackson said. “The eggs look like lizard and some turtle eggs,” he said. “But the shells are stiffer.” Seeing more snakes during the summer doesn’t mean the population has exploded. “Georgia’s climate is such that you could find snakes year-round if you were an enthusiast,” he said. Most people fear snakes. “Our attitudes toward snakes, for the most part, come from the environments we were raised in,” said Jackson, who played with snakes and other wildlife as a child. “Some people think if they kill a snake, they’re somehow saving the world,” he said. “But this attitude is changing.” Jackson said people who are afraid of snakes usually grab the nearest weapon of destruction when they see one. “If you see a snake, you don’t need a weapon,” he said. “Just stay out of the snake’s way. Be defensive. And watch where you put your hands and feet when you’re outdoors.” He said some people try to find logical reasons to let snakes live. “People always ask ‘What good is it?’ about animals they don’t know or animals they fear,” he said. “They’re out there. They exist. We don’t go hunting for ‘good’ when we see a mockingbird.” Over his 22-year career in wildlife management, Jackson has answered thousands of snake-related phone calls. “People are always asking me what to do when they see a snake in their yard,” he said. “I tell them to do the same thing they do when they see a frog, a turtle or a bird. Do nothing.” Jackson says common sense comes into play when you find a venomous snake near your home. “Doing battle with the snake will put you at a greater risk than walking the other way. But that’s a judgement call,” he said. “A poisonous snake near your home can be an accident waiting to happen. And I’ll admit I’ve turned a few into natural history specimens for my classes.” Jackson suggested arming yourself with knowledge. “Most zoos and nature centers keep a display of local venomous snakes,” he said. “Take a visit with the kids and learn what these snakes look like. Knowledge is power. It’s that basic.” Jackson said relying on a formula (“triangular-headed snakes are poisonous”) can put people and snakes in danger. “If a snake has a triangular head, it has little or nothing to do with whether it’s venomous,” he said. “Plenty of harmless snakes have been killed because they have triangular heads. On the other hand, coral snakes don’t have triangular heads, and they’re highly venomous.” With modern medicine, the fatality rate for snakebites is low. “Of those bitten each year, 99 percent survive,” Jackson said. “Those are great odds. The same number of people are killed each year by uncontrolled pets as by snakebites. Yet dogs are considered man’s best friend.” Of the 39 snake species native to Georgia, he said, only six are venomous.
- Georgia Power proposes closing Hammond, McIntosh coal plants
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Atlanta Business Chronicle:Georgia Power Co. will continue reducing its reliance on coal during the next two decades while stepping up its investments in renewable power and energy efficiency, according to a plan the Atlanta-based utility submitted Thursday.The 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) would keep Georgia Power moving toward the goals the company committed to when it filed its last IRP with the state Public Service Commission (PSC) in 2016. Georgia Power is required to submit a report every three years outlining the mix of energy sources it plans to rely on to meet the needs of its 2.5 million customers for the next 20 years.Specifically, the company is asking to retire four coal-burning units at Plant Hammond near Rome, Ga., and to retire one coal unit at Plant McIntosh near Rincon, Ga, west of Savannah. Georgia Power also proposes not to renew the operating licenses of two hydropower projects on the Chattahoochee River in West Georgia, which would ultimately lead to the dams’ removal.While taking those power supply sources out of the mix, the utility is seeking to procure an additional 1,000 megawatts of energy from renewable sources. If approved, the additional renewable power would increase Georgia Power’s renewable portfolio to 18 percent. The IRP also proposes new energy-saving programs for residential and commercial customers aimed at reducing peak demand by about 1,600 megawatts.The plan would continue to emphasize a mixed array of energy sources, long a mantra with Georgia Power. That includes nuclear power, as the utility remains committed to completing a $27.3 billion nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle despite soaring costs and scheduling delays.“We have invested in a diverse energy mix of nuclear, natural gas, hydro, renewables, coal and energy efficiency resources in order to maintain high levels of reliability for our customers that have resulted in rates that are 15 percent below the national average,” said Allen Reaves, senior vice president and senior production officer at Georgia Power.More: Georgia Power doubles down on renewable power, energy efficiency Georgia Power proposes closing Hammond, McIntosh coal plants