National / International News
It's going to be a big week in New York for the policy of climate change.
Just a day after 300,000 people took to the streets of Manhattan to bring more attention to the need for climate change action, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund announced it was divesting from fossil fuel investments.
"What's clear is that this is a symbolic announcement," says Marketplace's Scott Tong. "But the amount of selling off would pale in comparison to the size of most of these big companies."
The reality, Tong says, is that we're in a planet that is supposed to keep global warming to just two degrees Celsius, but is currently on track to double that figure. But one of the other realities, he says, is that accountants could change the world of climate change.
"[The bankers] are everywhere talking about the opportunities of a low-carbon economy," he said. "Solar and wind energy, they say, are worth investing in, because in many places they can compete against coal and gas. There are tens of billions of dollars going towards bonds that invest in low-carbon technologies — not because of polar bears but because the return on investment is good. This is the kind of reality they're trying to send to national capitals."
You'd think that mosquitoes wouldn't like drought, but that's not what's happening in California, where stagnant water breeds more mosquitoes. Cases of West Nile virus have doubled since last year.
According to the Federal Reserve, total student loan debt in the country has recently surpassed $1 billion:
So, how would YOU re-create financial aid, if you could? Would you require work-study programs to bring down the cost of college while in school? A greater number of programs that cover student debt after you graduate?
The eruption has been going for weeks. So far it hasn't been catastrophic, but it has been creating new ground.
The men are described as senior Afghan army officers who were vetted before being allowed to participate in training exercises. They are not considered a threat, officials say.
Can you catch it from sweat on a cab seat? Will blood transfusions help? Who really wants to go to Africa and pitch in? Is it too late? A leading virologist answers burning questions about Ebola.
More than 5,500 firefighters are battling the so-called King Fire in the Sierra Nevada forest area. Some 2,800 people have been evacuated.
Many young people are excited about the 2016 presidential election — and the chance to make history.
Nine years ago, Indiana's then-Governor Mitch Daniels was looking for money to improve the state's roads and bridges. His solution was a public-private partnership in which the Indiana Toll Road Company leased a 157-mile stretch of highway in northern Indiana for 75 years to the tune of $3.8 billion. The deal was supposed to benefit both the state, and the company, a Spanish-Australian partnership.
“The private partners would receive tolls that were paid by motorists and the state would receive a better, improved road and this upfront cash payment,” said Robert Puentes, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. When the recession hit, Americans started driving less, and tolls became less lucrative. And while that became a problem for the Indiana Toll Road Company, the partnership meant that taxpayers weren’t on the hook.
“There's no taxpayer bailout involved in this in any way, shape or form,” said Robert Poole, director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation. “This is one of the advantages of these long-term deals. They shift the risk from the taxpayers to the investors.”
And, despite what’s happening in Indiana, investor interest in these types of projects hasn’t flagged, says Poole, who points to similar toll-road deals currently underway in Orlando, Dallas-Forth Worth, and northern Virginia.