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U.S. Government’s Longest Shutdown: 22 Days

The shutdown has furloughed 380,000 federal workers and forced an additional 420,000 to work without pay.

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U.S., Shutdown
The dome of the U.S. Capitol is seen beyond a chain fence during the partial government shutdown in Washington, Jan. 8, 2019. VOA

The federal government has entered Day 22 of a partial government shutdown, becoming the longest closure in U.S. history.

Nine of the 15 Cabinet-level departments have not been funded. The Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the government’s largest agencies, are the most notable exceptions and continue to operate since they were funded through Sept. 30.

U.S., Shutdown
The Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum is seen shuttered during the partial government shutdown, Jan. 4, 2019, in Washington. VOA

The previous record for the longest shutdown occurred during Bill Clinton’s presidency. That one lasted from Dec. 15, 1995, through Jan. 6, 1996.

The current shutdown appears destined to last at least a few more days, Democratic lawmakers rejecting President Donald Trump’s demands to include $5.7 billion for a border wall in a spending bill.

Also Read: U.S. Passes A Bill Promising Federal Workers’ Their Pay After The U.S. Shutdown Ends

The shutdown has furloughed 380,000 federal workers and forced an additional 420,000 to work without pay. (VOA)

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Spain Takes a Step Forward to Combat Climate Change

Spain Declares Climate Emergency, Gets Climate Plan Ready

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Climate Change
People march during a worldwide protest demanding action on climate change in Barcelona, Spain. VOA

Spain’s new government declared a national climate emergency on Tuesday, taking a formal first step toward enacting ambitious measures to fight climate change.

The declaration approved by the Cabinet says the left-of-center Socialist government will send to parliament within 100 days its proposed climate legislation. The targets coincide with those of the European Union, including a reduction of net carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

Spain’s coalition government wants up to 95% of the Mediterranean country’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2040. The plan also foresees eliminating pollution by buses and trucks and making farming carbon neutral.

Climate Change
Young environmentalists demonstrate to demand measures against climate change. VOA

Details of the plan are to be made public when the proposed legislation is sent to parliament for approval.

More than two dozen countries and scores of local and regional authorities have declared a climate emergency in recent years.

Scientists say the decade that just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on Earth, capped off by the second-warmest year on record.

Also Read- Music Streaming Giant Spotify Works On New Feature To Share Story Alongside Public Playlists

Also Tuesday, young climate activists including Greta Thunberg told the elites gathered at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland they are not doing enough to deal with the climate emergency and warned them that time was running out. (VOA)