first_imgA handful of US lawmakers have a unique argument for asking President Donald Trump not to slash the food stamp program – they themselves once relied on it.The Republican president this week proposed $15 billion in cuts to the $71 billion Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly called food stamps, as part of his $4.8 trillion budget plan.Trump argues that many Americans receiving food stamps do not need them, given the strong economy and low unemployment. His administration already has tightened eligibility guidelines for the food assistance program. In their letter to Trump, nine Democratic lawmakers said they had each participated in the program “during times of financial struggle for our families.”Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi said he was a toddler when his parents, immigrants from India, received food stamps for a couple of years in the 1970s.”My parents don’t like to talk about it,” he said. Krishnamoorthi’s father was an engineering student in New York, whose job as a teaching assistant did not pay much. When that was suspended, “things were really rough” for them, he said.Asking the administration to “remove all intended cuts” to the program, the lawmakers said in their letter: “We are writing today on behalf of the over 36 million American families who currently depend on SNAP, like ours once did, to make ends meet and help the next generation achieve upward mobility.” It was signed by Senator Patty Murray and eight House members: Krishnamoorthi, Barbara Lee, Robin Kelly, Rashida Tlaib, Salud Carbajal, Jahana Hayes, Gwen Moore and Alma Adams.Trump’s proposals for food stamp cuts are not expected to pass. Even when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, the administration could not get lawmakers to approve them, and Democrats now control the House of Representatives.But the Trump administration has already stiffened eligibility guidelines for food stamps, a move projected to end benefits for nearly 700,000 people.Krishnamoorthi said it was important to send a message to the Trump administration that “you really are touching on a support system that a broader swath of society utilizes than you may think.”The congressman said he did not have a memory of the food stamps, “but I remember I was not hungry.”Topics :last_img read more

first_img59 Raff Avenue, Holland Park Qld 4121THIS three bedroom Queenslander on a 413sq m block can hold its own with the best of them.The property at 59 Raff Avenue, Holland Park, oozes timelessness, with its high ceilings, VJ walls and beautiful character details.Jonathan Harper-Hill and Sarah Cantle of Belle Property Coorparoo have it on the market looking for offers over $865,000. Me, Saturday morning, a cup of tea and a book. Done. I just want to hug this room. Love, love, love.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus1 day agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market1 day ago Got to love a room that loves books.They’ve listed it as “ideal for those seeking easy maintenance living in a gorgeous Holland Park setting”.Among its other charms was a renovated kitchen loaded with appliances, a large entertainment deck off the open plan living zone and a private low maintenance garden.The property is open for inspection at 5.30pm to 6.15pm on Wednesday. FREE: Get The Courier-Mail ’s real estate news direct to your inbox No more work needed in the kitchen. I wonder if they’ll leave the paddles?last_img read more

first_img Share CoronavirusHealthInternationalLifestyleLocalNews 50th Earth Day Gives Glimpse of Alternative Future by: – April 22, 2020 Sharing is caring! Clear water is seen in the canals of Venice due to fewer tourists and motorboats and less pollution, as the spread of the Covid-19 continues. Photograph: Manuel Silvestri/ReutersThe skies are clearing of pollution, wildlife is returning to newly clear waters, a host of flights have been scrapped and crude oil is so worthless that the industry would have to pay you to take it off their hands – a few months ago, environmentalists could only dream of such a scenario as the 50th anniversary of Earth Day hove into view.But this disorientingly green new reality is causing little cheer given the cause is the coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged much of the world.Wednesday’s annual Earth Day event, this year largely taking place online, comes as public health restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 have resulted in a sharp dip in air pollution across China, Europe and the US, with carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels heading for a record 5% annual drop.The waters of Venice are now clear, lions lounge on roads normally frequented by safari-goers in South Africa and bears and coyotes wander around empty accommodation in Yosemite national park in California.Meanwhile, nearly eight in 10 flights globally have been canceled, with many planes in the US carrying just a handful of people. The oil industry, a key driver of the climate crisis and direct environmental disaster, is in turmoil, with a barrel of crude hitting an unprecedented minus-$40 on Monday.These would perhaps be the sort of outcomes seen had stringent environmental policies been put in place in the wake of the first Earth Day in 1970, which saw 20 million Americans rally in support of anti-pollution measures. 33 Views   no discussions Instead, the pain of the Covid-19 shutdown has highlighted how ponderous the world’s response has been – the expected cut in emissions, for example, is still less than what scientists say is needed every year this decade to avoid disastrous climate impacts for much of the world. Share “It’s the worst possible way to experience environment improvement and it has also shown us the size of the task,” said Michael Gerrard, an environmental law expert at Columbia University.How people react to the return of normalcy after the pandemic will help define the crises racking the environment, according to Gerrard. “A key question will be do we have a green recovery, do we seize the opportunity to create jobs in renewable energy and in making coastlines more resilient to climate change?” he said. “The current US president clearly has no inclination to do this.”Some Indian people were seeing the Himalayas for the first time due to the veil of air pollution lifting.The problems in the natural world haven’t suddenly vanished – this week various researchers found that the Arctic is very likely to be free of sea ice in summers before 2050, that the bushfires that torched Australia earlier this year released more carbon than the country’s annual CO2 output and that the first quarter of 2020 was the second-warmest on record.Donald Trump has signaled that he will try to provide a bailout to the US oil and gas industry, with $25bn already handed out by the US government to prop up airlines. In China, it’s not certain that the wildlife-packed “wet markets” where Covid-19 is believed to have originated will be shut down.center_img Guterres, who has made climate change his signature issue since he took over as U.N. secretary-general in January, 2017, said governments should use their fiscal firepower to drive a shift from “the grey to green” economy. “It’s a serious wake-up call,” said Thomas Lovejoy, an ecologist who coined the term “biological diversity”. “We bulldoze into the last remaining places in nature and then are surprised when something like this happens. We have done this to ourselves by our continual intrusion into nature. We have to re-chart our course.”U.N. chief Antonio Guterres urged governments to use their economic responses to the coronavirus pandemic to tackle the “even deeper emergency” of climate change, in a message for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.With global battle lines emerging between investors backing “green stimulus” measures and industry lobbyists aiming to weaken climate regulations, Guterres cautioned governments against bailing out heavily polluting industries.“On this Earth Day, all eyes are on the COVID-19 pandemic, the biggest test the world has faced since the Second World War,” Guterres, a former Portuguese prime minister, said in a statement. “But there is another, even deeper emergency, the planet’s unfolding environmental crisis.”A landmark in the emergence of the environmental movement when it first took place in 1970, Earth Day, which falls on Wednesday, has prompted calls from many companies, politicians, and economists for governments to pursue green recoveries.So far, massive economic stimulus packages launched by the United States, China and European governments have focused mainly on staunching the damage to existing industries and staving off the threat of a global depression.Nevertheless, in the past week, ministers from Germany, France and other EU members have signalled their support for subsequent interventions to align with climate goals, a theme taken up by climate campaign groups around the world.In an early example of governments linking post-virus rescue packages to climate goals, Austrian environment minister Leonore Gewessler said last week that state aid for Austrian Airlines should support climate policy targets.Conditions could include a significant reduction in short-haul flights, the use of eco-friendly jet fuel and adjustments to the flight tax, a ministry spokesman said. Tweet Conservationists warn that returning the world to its pre-pandemic settings will quickly wipe out any environmental benefits of the shutdown. Share “Where taxpayers’ money is used to rescue businesses, it needs to be tied to achieving green jobs and sustainable growth,” Guterres said.“Public funds should be used to invest in the future, not the past, and flow to sustainable sectors and projects that help the environment and the climate.”last_img read more