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The U.S. Global Research Program Explained

Since 1989, USGCRP has submitted annual reports, called Our Changing Planet, to Congress.

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Climate Change, U.S.
A firefighter sprays water as flames from the Camp Fire consume a home in Magalia, Calif., Nov. 9, 2018. A new federal report warns that extreme weather disasters are worsening in the U.S. The report, issued Nov. 23, also frequently contradicts President Donald Trump. VOA
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On Friday, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released the National Climate Assessment, a report that says the impacts of climate change, including powerful storms, droughts and wildfires, are worsening in the United States.

The report also said these more powerful, longer-lasting weather disasters are triggered, at least in part, by global warming. It said such weather disasters are becoming more commonplace around the country and warned that without aggressive action they could become much worse.

Climate change, U.S.
Waves from Hurricane Florence pound the Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle, N.C. VOA

What it is: The USGCRP is a federal program mandated by Congress to coordinate federal research and investments in understanding the forces shaping the global environment, both human and natural, and their impacts on society. As the leading federal authority on global change science, USGCRP and its member agencies play a key role in engaging and educating citizens about climate and related global change.

What its mandate is: USGCRP was established by presidential initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 to “assist the nation and the world to understand, assess, predict and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.”

What agencies are included: The USGCRP is composed of 13 federal agencies and departments that conduct or use research on global change and its impacts on society, in support of the nation’s response to global change.

Hurricane, climate change, disasters, U.S.
Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey overflow from Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston, Texas, VOA

What the USGCRP’s main functions are:

1. Advance global change science
2. Prepare nation for change
3. Assess U.S. climate
4. Coordinate internationally
5. Link climate and health
6. Provide data and tools
7. Make science accessible

Also Read: Climate Change To Get Worse In The Future: Study

What its history is: Since 1989, USGCRP has submitted annual reports, called Our Changing Planet, to Congress. The reports describe the status of USGCRP research, provide progress updates and document recent accomplishments, in particular the broad spectrum of USGCRP activities that extend from Earth system observations, modeling and fundamental research through synthesis and assessment, decision support, education and public engagement. (VOA)

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U.N. Donald Trump’s Impeachment may be Possible: Key Lawmaker

Comey testified to a House panel on Friday about his role in 2016 election-related investigations of Trump's campaign.

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U.S.A., Trump
House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., arrives for a House Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 7, 2017, on oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. VOA

A key U.S. lawmaker said Sunday that Democrats in the House of Representatives could pursue impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump, saying that the U.S. leader had “surrounded himself with crooks” and was part of a broad “conspiracy against the American people” to win the 2016 election.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat set to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee when Democrats take control of the chamber next month, told CNN that lawmakers have to decide “how important” allegations are against Trump, but should pursue impeachment charges “only for serious offenses.”

U.S.A., Trump
In these 2018 photos, Paul Manafort leaves federal court in Washington, left and attorney Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York. VOA

Nadler offered his thoughts two days after federal prosecutors accused former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, “in coordination with and at the direction” of Trump, of orchestrating $280,000 in hush money payments shortly before the 2016 election to two women who alleged they had affairs with Trump so they would stay silent before Election Day.

Nadler said that if proven, the allegations against Trump were “certainly impeachable offenses.” That could lead to his removal from office, if the Senate were to convict him by at least a two-thirds vote, a doubtful proposition with Republican control of the Senate continuing in the Congress that takes office in January.

Nadler said lawmakers will have “to look at all this,” along with weighing what special counsel Robert Mueller concludes about allegations that Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia to help him win and that, as president, Trump obstructed justice by trying to thwart the ongoing 19-month probe.

The U.S. Justice Department has a standing guideline against indicting sitting presidents, although they can be charged after leaving office. Nadler said, however, “There’s nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the president from being indicted. Nobody should be above the law.”

U.S.A., Trump
Stormy Daniels speaks during a ceremony for her in West Hollywood, Calif.. VOA

Trump has dismissed the latest allegations against him in connection with the payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal and allegations of Trump campaign contacts with Russia to help him win the election.

He used Twitter on Monday to repeat his frequent statement of “NO COLLUSION” between his campaign and Russia.

“So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution,” Trump said. He went on to say “it was done correctly and there would not even be a fine,” further adding that if there were any problems then Cohen would be the one who was liable.

“Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced,” Trump said.

Trump has called for the end to the Mueller probe, but a Republican lawmaker, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, told ABC News, “I’ve always supported the Mueller investigation and continue to do so because I think it’s in the best interest of everyone involved, including, by the way, the president.”

U.S.A., Trump
Seven-page government sentencing document for Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer. VOA

Aside from Cohen, who is set to be sentenced Wednesday and faces several years of imprisonment, Mueller so far has secured guilty pleas or won convictions of Trump’s first national security adviser, his former campaign manager, his former deputy campaign manager, a foreign policy adviser and other lesser figures.

On Sunday, Trump assailed former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, whom Trump fired while he was heading the Russia investigation before Mueller was named to lead the probe.

U.S.A. Trump
Former FBI Director James Comey, with his attorney, David Kelley, right, speaks to reporters after a day of testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

Comey testified to a House panel on Friday about his role in 2016 election-related investigations of Trump’s campaign and that of his challenger, Democrat Hillary Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state.

Also Read: SpaceX Drops Plan To Make its Falcon 9 Even More Reusable

“On 245 occasions, former FBI Director James Comey told House investigators he didn’t know, didn’t recall, or couldn’t remember things when asked,” Trump claimed on Twitter.

“Leakin’ James Comey must have set a record for who lied the most to Congress in one day. His Friday testimony was so untruthful! This whole deal is a Rigged Fraud headed up by dishonest people who would do anything so that I could not become President. They are now exposed!” (VOA)