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Video: Biden’s climate team says protecting the planet will create jobs

“My friends, we are in a crisis, just as we need to be a unified nation in response to Covid-19, we need a unified national response to climate change, we must face the moment with the urgency that it requires, as you would during any national emergency. And from this crisis, from these crises, should I say, we must take this opportunity to rebuild and rebuild better than before. This is what this administration is going to do with the help of these good people. “Growing up in my mother’s Pueblo house made me fierce. My life has not been easy. I have fought against homelessness. I relied on food stamps and raised my child as a single mother. These struggles, however, give me perspectives so that I can help people succeed. “The president-elect and vice-president-elect know that matters within the purview of the Interior are not just about conservation. They are linked to justice, good jobs and bridging the racial wealth and health gaps. “I will be fierce for all of us, for our planet and all of our protected lands, and I am honored and ready to serve.” “Clean energy remains one of the most promising sectors for jobs and economic growth in the world. Over the next two decades, countries and businesses will invest trillions, trillions, and not just billions, trillions in electric cars, batteries and wind turbines, solar panels and energy-efficient appliances and energy efficient buildings. They will modernize their power grids using smart technology. Millions of well-paying jobs will be created. “The path to building back better begins with building, manufacturing and deploying these products here, branding them ‘Made in America’ and exporting them around the world.


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Trump appointee rescinds rule protecting government news outlets from federal tampering

WASHINGTON – The head of the U.S. Agency for World Media on Monday overturned a rule that protects government-funded news outlets, including Voice of America, from federal tampering.

The official, Michael Pack, defended the move as a way to improve management, but critics have expressed fears that it could turn news outlets under his jurisdiction into a pro-Trump public relations branch.

Mr Pack said the arrangement, known as a firewall, made his agency “difficult to manage.” He added that the news organizations he oversees – which include Voice of America, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Middle East broadcast networks, Radio Free Asia and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting – “are not commercial information companies ”. He said the firewall rule, which prevented him from overseeing the editorial staff of these media, “threatened constitutional values.”

Mr Pack’s action, announced on Monday evening, raised concern among some lawmakers and former Voice of America officials, who warned the move could undermine the integrity and authority of the organs press releases funded by the United States. The media Mr. Pack oversees provides news to more than 350 million people around the world every week, many in censored companies that have no other access to unbiased information.

David B. Ensor, director of Voice of America from 2011 to 2015, said, “This is terrible news. The firewall distinguishes Voice of America from authoritarian radio and broadcast organizations. “

A lawmaker said the law behind the firewall regulations was still in effect.

“While Mr. Pack can huff and puff,” said Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the New York Democrat who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “he cannot bring down that wall.”

Voice of America acting director Elez Biberaj said Mr Pack’s decision “would not allow government officials to tamper with or distort VOA content,” adding that he was “fully committed to protecting the journalistic integrity of VOA ”.

The concept of a firewall to protect the editorial independence of US-funded news organizations has its origins in the Voice of America charter signed in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. In 1994, lawmakers strengthened the editorial independence of these media outlets after the adoption of the International Broadcasting Law.

In June, days before Mr. Pack took over the management of the U.S. Agency for World Media, his bipartisan board of directors codified editorial protections into federal regulations, which stipulate that a firewall separating political and editorial sides of the agency is “essential to guarantee the credibility and therefore the effectiveness of journalism” of these media.

“The firewall makes it clear that decisions about who writes what is left to journalists and not politicians,” said David Kligerman, who drafted the June regulations and was subsequently suspended from his role as legal advisor at the agency by Mr. Pack. “When you watch the state sponsored broadcast of undemocratic regimes like Russia or China, they don’t have such protections.”

Mr Pack’s attempts to control the editorial operations of the news organizations he oversees have drawn a rare bipartisan reprimand from his leadership.

In one of Mr Pack’s first moves after taking office, he fired the heads of the four news outlets and an internet technology association under his supervision. It also replaced the bipartisan council that oversees organizations with allies in the Trump administration.

Earlier this month, five employees Mr Pack suspended sued him and his key associates, claiming they had broken the law by repeatedly violating the firewall rule. The trial detailed incidents in which Mr. Pack or his associates attempted to exercise control over journalists critical of his tenure. One example was an aide’s attempt to investigate White House Voice of America bureau chief Steve Herman after signing a letter in August saying Mr. Pack risked “crippling the media.”

“Michael Pack turns VOA into a propaganda machine,” said Bricio Segovia, former White House correspondent for the point of sale’s Spanish-language television service, “and he’s not even trying to hide it anymore.”