He hasn’t ripped up the Paris accords … yet. But today’s executive order — removing Obama-era curbs on emissions and requirements to consider climate change in federal planning — could make it difficult to keep carbon-cutting promises made at the 2015 conference. President Trump, who once called climate change a hoax, has already made moves to deregulate mining and drilling, and approved two major oil pipelines. The administration didn’t indicate whether the new policy, which one senator called “a declaration of war” on clean energy, will create jobs.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Start the clock. British Prime Minister Theresa May has signed a letter of official notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and it’s been delivered to European Council President Donald Tusk, meaning the U.K. is now formally beginning its departure from the EU. May has signalled a willingness to compromise in severing the 44-year relationship with Europe, which is granted two years of negotiations under the treaty. The letter comes just one day after Scottish MPs backed Nicola Sturgeon to negotiate a new independence vote before Brexit’s official end date.
They’re hitting close to home. The Senate Intelligence Committee will question presidential adviser Jared Kushner over two meetings he had during the White House transition: One with the Russian ambassador and one with the head of a sanctioned state-run Russian bank. It’s part of a larger investigation into Russian interference with the election, which President Donald Trump has labeled “fake news.” Meanwhile, Democrats are demanding committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes recuse himself after news broke that he’d discussed classified information with an unidentified source on White House grounds.
There’s nothing to do but wait. Cyclone Debbie made landfall as a Category 4 storm, damaging Queensland property with 163-mph winds. Thousands have sought shelter amid power cuts and screaming gusts, and while the Australian government has activated its disaster response plan, authorities expect they won’t be able to assess the damage for hours. The storm has since been downgraded and is expected to lose steam and become a Category 1 howler by early Wednesday, but officials fear that Debbie will have caused injuries or even deaths before then.
Pack your bags. European Commission officials say that once the U.K. formally leaves the EU, a process that will officially be triggered tomorrow by Prime Minister Theresa May, British airlines will only be allowed to operate direct flights from Britain to the EU. That could severely curb the business of British companies that currently fly between EU cities, like EasyJet, which is planning a $12.5 million restructuring in order to operate in Europe. It could also hurt EU airlines that fly between U.K. cities if Britain decides to retaliate.
Know This: Data on all 3.7 million registered voters in Hong Kong was stored on two laptops — which have reportedly been stolen. London Mayor Sadiq Khan is calling for a “cast-iron guarantee” that EU nationals currently living in Britain will be allowed to stay post-Brexit. And Michigan has allocated $87 million to replace lead-contaminated water pipes in Flint.
Remember This Number: $4 million. That’s the estimated value of a 220-lb gold coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint and known as the Big Maple Leaf. The coin was stolen yesterday from Berlin’s Bode Museum, though it’s unclear how the thieves managed to carry it away or why they left thousands of other objects in the same cabinet untouched.
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It knew how to make an impression. The fossilized footprint, discovered on the remote Dampier Peninsula, measures 5’9” — that’s about one Laura Dern — and likely was left by a long-necked sauropod. Over five years, a University of Queensland research team found tracks from 21 different types of dinosaurs preserved in one 16-mile area, which they’ve dubbed “Australia’s Jurassic Park.” Paleontologists were first tipped off about the footprints by local Aboriginal Australians, who reportedly hoped their ancestral land, now granted National Heritage status, could be preserved from development.
They’re making clicktivism count. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced a new feature called Town Hall that lets U.S. residents easily find, follow and contact their local, state and federal representatives over policy issues. Some are hailing the tool as potentially revolutionary for its attempt to harness the power of social networks for something other than mere likes and shares. Not all representatives have listed contact information on Facebook, though, and the missing data still hasn’t been added to Town Hall. The social network also plans to start issuing local election reminders.
You can teach a horn-dog new tricks. A new study has confirmed what many women already knew: Some men are awful at judging attraction or sexual interest, instead projecting their own desires onto women. Thankfully, the research team believes people can be trained to shift their focus away from appearances and toward emotional cues, like body language. While it may sound obvious, an earlier study showed that men who ignore emotional cues are far more likely to be sexually coercive and aggressive, so there’s plenty of incentive to improve emotional perception.
It would have been a bridge too far. Last week, the Trinidadian rapper filmed scenes on Westminster Bridge for her new music video “No Frauds” wearing an opulent beaded headdress, ornate corset dress and Alexander McQueen boots. The next day, London saw a terrorist attack unfold on the same bridge — and now Minaj says she’ll reshoot the video, deciding it would be in poor taste to include the bridge scenes. “No Frauds,” a collaboration with Drake and Lil Wayne, is expected to be included on Minaj’s forthcoming album.
Watch those Huskies! After late drama on Sunday saw Stanford beat No.1 Notre Dame, and Mississippi State overcome No.1 Baylor in overtime, Monday’s Elite Eight games were a relative cakewalk for favorites South Carolina and UConn, who strolled past Florida and Oregon respectively. As the teams head to Dallas for Friday’s Final Four matchups, the Mississippi Bulldogs — in their first ever Final Four — hope they can go one better by reaching the final. Standing in their way, however, is a formidable UConn team on a staggering 111-game win streak.