Trump appoints "hawk" national security advisor

US President Donald Trump on Thursday named neoconservative John Bolton, a Fox News analyst, to the influential post of National Security Advisor White House .

] Appointed as he approaches historic negotiations with North Korea and is approaching a crucial deadline for the future of Iran's nuclear deal, including former US ambassador to the UN is a great slayer.

"I am pleased to announce that effective April 9, 2018, John Bolton will be my new national security advisor," tweeted Trump announcing, with the departure of HR McMaster, a new change in size in his team after a cascade of sackings and resignations in recent months.

Known for his mustache, his taste for provocation and his sometimes abrasive style, John Bolton, 69, was one of the most leaders of "hawks" at s George W. Bush and his Ambassador to the United Nations

A strong advocate of the use of force on the international scene, he does not agree with the 70-year-old president on all issues: he is especially a tireless defender of the war in Iraq that Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized in the field.

"I was not expecting this announcement this afternoon but it is obviously a great honor" , he reacted, on Fox News, shortly after his appointment.

One who has sometimes been criticized, especially at the United Nations, for his lack of diplomacy, does he intend to change his style when he arrives at the White House?

"I have my opinions and I will have the opportunity to present them to the President," he replied, defending the need for the White House tenant to have "a free exchange of ideas "with his various advisers.

Unlike the Secretary of State or the Secretary at Defense, the leader of the famous NSC (National Security Council) does not need to be confirmed by a Senate vote to take office.

"Courage, Jim Mattis"

Welcoming "extraordinary work" HR McMaster, Mr. Trump assured that he would always remain his "friend."

For several weeks, HR McMaster, three-star general, had seen his position weakened by the lack of obvious support of the American president and rumors on its possible dismissal.

This announcement comes ten days after the brutal dismissal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who will be replaced by current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, also a hard-line Republican on North Korea or Iran

The appointment of Mr. Bolton, the third to occupy this position since the arrival of Mr. Trump in power, has elicited mixed reactions.

Republican elected Lee Zeldin, Donald Trump's faithful, described a man "extraordinarily qualified" for the position. "There will be no more leaks at the NSC, those who remained from the Obama era will leave and the team will redouble their efforts," he said.

"With the appointment of John Bolton , Trump's foreign policy team will be the most conservative and ideological and the least pragmatic of recent memory, "said Aaron David Miller, a veteran diplomat who worked in Republican-style Democratic administrations.

" Courage, Jim Mattis ", he added in reference to the Pentagon leader seen by many analysts as the last voice of moderation within the Trump team, particularly on North Korea and Iran.

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) research center, expressed his doubts about the ability of the former ambassador to slip into the dress of influential advisor to the leader of the world's leading power.

"A national security advisor must be an i honest intermediary who ensures that the president can examine all points of view. Then he is an advisor with his points of view (…) The question is whether John Bolton has the character and judgment for this position. "

HR McMaster, who left the Pentagon in February 2017 to replace at short notice Michael Flynn, forced to resign because of his contacts with Russian officials during the election campaign, will leave public life.

"After 34 years in the service of our country, I will retiring from the army as of this summer, "he said, in a brief statement.

(With AFP)

The planet waiting for its health check

Experts from around the world are due Friday to report on the state of the planet's biodiversity, facing the sixth extinction of plant and animal species of its existence, the first since the dinosaurs disappeared.

"If we continue like this, yes, the sixth extinction, the first one caused by humans, will continue!" Warned Robert Watson, chair of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which brings together these specialists in Medellin, Colombia

"The good news is (…) that it is not too late," Watson told AFP on the eve of launch of four huge IPBES reports covering the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe-Central Asia.

For three years, some 600 researchers volunteered on these regional assessments, which synthesize the data of about 10,000 scientific publications.

The final result covers the whole of the Earth, except the international waters of the oceans and Antarctica.

These reports also suggest ways to minimize the impact of human activities on the environment.

– 750 scientists and decision-makers –

"The IPBES conference will tell us that the situation continues to deteriorate, "said WWF Director General Marco Lambertini on Thursday to AFP, saying the experts would emphasize" the importance of protecting nature for our own good. "

Before this 6th session, IPBES has already warned that the Earth is facing a "massive extinction" of species, the first since the disappearance of dinosaurs about 65 million years ago and the sixth in 500 million years.

Two species of vertebrates have disappeared on average each year for a century. Another is about to disappear with the recent death of Sudan, the famous white rhinoceros from Kenya and the last male of its species, decimated by poaching and of which only two females remain.

This week, more than 750 scientists and policymakers from 116 IPBES member countries (now numbering 129, with Armenia joining the meeting) drafted a synthesis of each of the four reports, also intended to guide leaders in the protection of biodiversity .

Each word in these thirty-page long texts was negotiated in closed-door debates at a major hotel in Medellin, Colombia's second largest city.

Moving from transportation to education, through agriculture, these "summaries" are not binding. These are "suggestions", however, told AFP the executive secretary of the IPBES, Anne Larigauderie.

– A fifth report Monday –

According to the WWF, between a quarter and half of the species of 33 of the world's most biodiverse regions could be threatened by climate change by 2080.

"Biodiversity and climate change are two sides of the same coin of the ecological crisis we face ", Monday, IPBES will launch a fifth report, the first of its kind on the state of the world's soils, increasingly degraded by pollution, deforestation, mining and unsustainable agricultural practices that impoverish them.

Delegates of IPBES are found in a country that has more than 56,300 species of plants and animals, the most bio-diverse on the planet after Brazil. is eight times bigger and.

In inaugurating this summit meeting on March 17, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos stressed that "what happens to one happens to all."

"If we are aware of this, we can be more responsible for protecting the environment and preserving peace," said Santos, whose country is slowly emerging from more than half a century. century of armed conflict

burx-fpp / plh

Wind cheating: three years in prison required for former leader

Five years in prison, three of which were closed on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 to Orleans against the former leader of France Éoliennes in a vast affair of fraud involving on the marketing of defective domestic wind turbines which killed 600 people. The public prosecutor Jean-Dominique Trippier, representing the public prosecutor's office, justified his request for a prison sentence that was firm and unimaginable by the existence of " a major social disorder ". He asked that this sentence be accompanied by a test consisting of the former CEO of France Éoliennes to compensate the 600 civil parties.

Defective wind turbines, customers not delivered

It also asked the court to impose a fine of 200,000 euros and a definitive ban on running any business. " You are perfectly harmful for the economic life and you must be removed definitively ", considered Jean-Dominique Trippier. " White-collar crime does not exist, you are a delinquent, just like the traffickers of narcotics ", again launched the public prosecutor, at the end of an indictment essentially targeting the former CEO of France Éoliennes. Sentences ranging from one year to six months in prison and a fine of 50,000 euros were also required against two other directors of the company.

Between 2006 and 2009, the France Éoliennes company, based in Fay- aux-Loges (Loiret), approached individuals and farmers from all over France, to convince them to install a wind turbine on their property. It soon became clear that wind turbines made in China were of poor quality. They provided a power of 3 kilowatts (kW), when France Aeolian promised 5 kW. Some customers have never been delivered. In others, the equipment, charged between 15,000 and 50,000 euros, never worked properly and sometimes proved dangerous. Created in 2006, the company was finally placed in liquidation in July 2009. It then had a liability of five million euros.

Energy-related CO2 emissions rise again in 2017

Global carbon dioxide emissions from energy use rebounded in 2017 after three years of stagnation, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported on Thursday.

These emissions from the electricity sector, transport or building, rose by 1.4% last year to 32.5 gigatonnes, according to provisional data from the Paris-based energy agency.

This increase is the result of "robust" world economic growth (+ 3.7%), low prices for fossil fuels and lower energy efficiency efforts, says the IEA.

These same factors led to a 2.1% increase in global energy demand last year.

"Significant growth in 2017 of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions indicates that current efforts to combat climate change are far from enough, "IEA executive director Fatih Birol said in a statement.

This rise, which comes after three years of stagnation in emissions, contrasts with the "net" reduction "necessary" to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement on the climate, the agency stresses.

Adopted at the end of 2015, this agreement commits the international community to act to keep the rise of the thermometer at 2 ° C or even 1.5 ° C.

CO2 emissions in most major economies increased in 2017, but declined in some countries. This is particularly the case in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan and the United States.

On the other side of the Atlantic, this is a decline (-0.5%) for the third year in a row, This is explained by the "greater deployment" of renewable energy, combined with a "decline" in electricity demand.

Asia is responsible for two-thirds of the increase in emissions, according to the report. agency.

While China recorded growth of nearly 7% last year, its emissions grew by only 1.7%, mainly due to the deployment of renewable energies. The country also tends to accelerate the replacement of coal with gas.

For the European Union, emissions increased by 1.5%, "reversing some of the progress made in recent years", mainly because of increased use of oil and gas.

Return of solar energy in Spain after a long eclipse

Investors are betting again on photovoltaic power generation in Spain, launching gigantic projects, after having shunned for years one of the sunniest countries in Europe.

The Spanish energy group Iberdrola has launched this month a 425 megawatt project, and on Tuesday, power producer Cox Energy announced the signing of one of the largest long-term purchase agreements in the world with electricity merchant Audax.

This contract provides for the installation of solar parks of 660 megawatt (MW), 495 in Spain and 165 in Portugal, an investment of 400 million euros, according to a statement from both firms.

For comparison, which to become the world's largest solar photovoltaic park in Dubai, is expected to reach a capacity of 1,000 MW by 2020, according to the authorities of the emirate.

In total, there are today 24 gigawatt (24,000 megawatt) projects in the different regions of Spain for which the manufacturers have deposited a bond in order to obtain the administrative authorizations, told AFP José Donoso, general manager of the Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF), an employers' federation.

– Spectacular turnaround –

Spain, along with Germany, was one of the pioneers of photovoltaic power generation, helping to lower its price, says Donoso, but the global financial crisis has broken its momentum .

After an installation boom in 2008, the cash-laden government ended subsidies and new projects in 2010. Since the facilities were only progressing cautiously: 49 MW in 2015, 55 MW in 2016, with a restart to 135 MW in 2017 according to UNEF

Today Germany has more than 40 GW of installed capacity against 5.4 GW in Spain at the end of 2015.

 Solar panels of the company Norsol in Villaldemiro, northern Spain on February 10, 2015 (AFP / Archives - CESAR MANSO)

Solar panels of the Norsol company in Villaldemiro, northern Spain on February 10, 2015 (AFP / Archives – CESAR MANSO)

Spanish companies in the sector have had to look abroad, like Gransolar, prime contractor for the project in Dubai.

But the sector has seen "a turnaround in less than six months" , because of two factors according to José Donoso.

On the one hand, he says, photovoltaic technology now makes it possible to produce electricity at a lower price than conventional energy sources: coal, gas, and nuclear energy.

The cost of producing photovoltaic power has dropped 73% from 2010 to 2017, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an intergovernmental organization that predicts it will continue to decline. [19659002] On the other hand, a call for tenders for projects launched by the government in July 2017 yielded results so disappointing, with a guaranteed price that has capped at 30/31 euros per megawatt / hour, that "it is better to run market risks that depend on regulated demand, "Donoso continues.

" It is much more profitable to invest in capital-intensive technologies (such as photovoltaic technology) than technologies where the material At a cost "like gas or coal," adds Fernando Ferrando, president of Fundacion Renovables, a small association that promotes renewable energy in Spain.

Which explains why one of the big actors of the sector of the energy sector in Spain "which had kept away from this sector, like Iberdrola, enters suddenly with a stake of 425 MG", resumes M Donoso

– Margin of Progress –

For him, "the Spanish market will certainly be one of the largest in Europe in the coming years". He added that a government-led panel of experts proposes installation targets of 30 to 60 GW of production capacity by 2030, depending on the scenario.

The Conservative government has not done so now a priority, accuses Fernando Ferrando of Fundacion Renovables (Foundation for Renewable Energy). "The sun we use it only for tourism not for electricity," he says.

According to his foundation, solar energy still accounts for only 3 to 4% of electricity production in Spain, compared to 20% for wind energy and 16 to 17% for hydro power