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Officials believe that a man mowed down several pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer at the Parliament building Wednesday, BBC News reported.
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  • Declaring an end to what he's called 'the war on coal,' President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that eliminates numerous restrictions on fossil fuel production, breaking with leaders across the globe who have embraced cleaner energy sources. The order makes good on Trump's campaign pledge to unravel former President Barack Obama's efforts to curb global warming, eliminating nearly a dozen measures in an effort to boost domestic energy production, especially oil, natural gas and coal. Environmental activists, including former Vice President Al Gore, denounced the plan. But Trump said the effort would spark 'a new energy revolution' and lead to 'unbelievable' American prosperity. 'That is what this is all about: bringing back our jobs, bringing back our dreams and making America wealthy again,' Trump said during a signing ceremony at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters, where he was flanked on stage by more than a dozen coal miners. Throughout the election, Trump accused the former president of waging 'a war' against coal as he campaigned in economically depressed swaths of states like West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The miners 'told me about the efforts to shut down their mines, their communities and their very way of life. I made them this promise: We will put our miners back to work,' the president said. 'My administration is putting an end to the war on coal.' But Trump's promise runs counter to market forces, including U.S. utilities converting coal-fired power plants to cheaper, cleaner-burning natural gas. And Democrats, environmental groups and scientists said the executive order ignores the realities of climate change. 'There is much our nation can do to address the risks that climate change poses to human health and safety, but disregarding scientific evidence puts our communities in danger,' said Rush Holt, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the nation's largest general scientific society. California Gov. Jerry Brown was more blunt. 'Gutting the Clean Power Plan is a colossal mistake and defies science itself. Erasing climate change may take place in Donald Trump's mind, but nowhere else,' Brown said. While Republicans have blamed Obama-era environmental regulations for the loss of coal jobs, federal data shows that U.S. mines have been shedding jobs for decades under presidents from both parties as a result of increasing automation and competition from natural gas. Another factor is the plummeting cost of solar panels and wind turbines, which now can produce emissions-free electricity cheaper than burning coal. According to an Energy Department analysis released in January, coal mining now accounts for fewer than 75,000 U.S. jobs. By contrast, renewable energy — including wind, solar and biofuels — now accounts for more than 650,000 U.S. jobs. Trump's order initiates a review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. The regulation — Obama's signature effort to curb carbon emissions — has been the subject of long-running legal challenges by Republican-led states and those who profit from burning oil, coal and gas. The order also lifts a 14-month-old moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The Obama administration had imposed a three-year moratorium on new federal coal leases in January 2016, arguing that the $1 billion-a-year program must be modernized to ensure a fair financial return to taxpayers and address climate change. The order covers a range of other Obama-era rules, including repeal of measures to consider the 'social cost' of carbon emissions in all regulatory actions and crack down on methane emissions at oil and gas wells. The rule also eliminates an Obama-era rule restricting fracking on public lands and a separate rule that requires energy companies to provide data on methane emissions at oil and gas operations. In all cases, business groups had complained to Trump — a self-celebrated business tycoon — that the rules were overly burdensome and expensive. The American Petroleum Institute, the chief lobbying arm of the oil and gas industry, said Trump's new 'common-sense' regulations will help continue a domestic energy boom that 'benefits American consumers, workers and the environment.' Rewriting the Clean Power Plan and other regulations is likely to take years to complete and will face legal challenges from environmental groups and Democratic-leaning states such as California and New York. A coalition of 16 states and the District of Columbia said they will oppose any effort by the Trump administration to withdraw the Clean Power Plan or seek dismissal of a pending legal case before a federal appeals court in Washington. Brown said in an interview he is confident the Obama-era rule will be upheld in court. 'Climate change is real and is a great threat that cannot be ignored,' Brown said. The Trump administration has yet to decide whether it intends to withdraw from the international climate agreement signed in Paris, which sets ambitious goals to reduce carbon pollution. Trump's order could make it more difficult, though not impossible, for the U.S. to achieve its carbon reduction goals. The order does not withdraw a 2009 finding by the EPA that greenhouse gases endanger the public health and welfare. The finding, along with a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, forms the basis of the Clean Power Plan. Some conservative groups have pushed to withdraw the so-called endangerment finding, but Trump's EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, has said the finding 'needs to be enforced and respected.' Trump has called global warming a 'hoax' invented by the Chinese, and insisted he would protect clean air and water while boosting energy jobs. Pruitt alarmed environmental groups and scientists earlier this month when he said he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. The overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed studies and climate scientists agree the planet is warming, mostly due to man-made sources, including carbon dioxide, methane, halocarbons and nitrogen oxide. Gore blasted Trump's action as 'a misguided step away from a sustainable, carbon-free future for ourselves and generations to come.' But he said no one — not even Trump — 'can stop the encouraging and escalating momentum we are experiencing in the fight to protect our planet.' ___ Associated Press writer Michael Biesecker contributed to this report. ___ Follow Daly and Colvin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MatthewDalyWDC and https://twitter.com/colvinj
  • The Latest on House Republicans and health care, tax cuts and other issues (all times local): 2:35 p.m. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says 'Obamacare' will stay in place after House Republicans failed to pass an alternative last week. McConnell indicated there are no plans in the Senate take up the issue. The Kentucky Republican told reporters Tuesday that 'It's pretty obvious we were not able in the House to pass a replacement. Our Democratic friends ought to be pretty happy about that because we have the existing law in place and I think we're just going to have to see how that works out.' House Speaker Paul Ryan insisted earlier that they would still try to repeal 'Obamacare.' But McConnell said: 'I want to thank the president and the speaker, they went all-out to try to pass repeal and replacement, sorry that didn't work.' __ 11:30 a.m. Speaker Paul Ryan says next month's governmentwide funding bill should not get ensnared with a fight over taking federal money away from Planned Parenthood. The Wisconsin Republican says 'defunding' Planned Parenthood belongs on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That legislation failed in the House last week but Ryan says it's more suitable since it addresses the organization's eligibility for Medicaid reimbursements. The idea to attach Planned Parenthood funding to the larger bill and risk a government shutdown has been the subject of media speculation but no GOP leader had displayed any enthusiasm for it. ___ 11:10 a.m. House Speaker Paul Ryan says his chamber will take another crack at a health care overhaul. But he's offering no timeline, and no details about how leaders would overcome GOP divisions that sunk their bill Friday. That retreat was a humiliating setback for President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans. Ryan spoke Tuesday after House Republicans met for the first time since he sidetracked his party's health care legislation just before a scheduled House vote. The measure was destined for defeat because of GOP opposition. Republican lawmakers say there's a consensus to keep working on health care. Conservatives say it didn't repeal enough of President Barack Obama's 2010 law. Moderates say it takes coverage away from too many people. Ryan says Republicans would try working out their differences over the measure. ___ 10:25 a.m. A member of the House Freedom Caucus says he will force the House to vote on a full repeal of former President Barack Obama's health care law in a month if the chamber hasn't acted to roll back the statute. Alabama Republican Mo Brooks also said Speaker Paul Ryan indicated the House would revisit the issue and that it would be 'fairly immediate.' Brooks spoke after divided House Republicans met to discuss strategy. Four days ago, Ryan abruptly canceled a vote on a GOP bill annulling much of Obama's law. That bill faced certain defeat due to Republican opponents, including the conservative Freedom Caucus. Brooks wants a vote on a measure that goes further in repealing Obama's overhaul. Ryan's move was a jolting setback for himself and President Donald Trump. __ 3:30 a.m. Congressional Republicans want to pivot to tax cuts and other issues following last week's House health care debacle. But the party remains riven into factions. And they're all over the map about how and when to return to their marquee pledge to eviscerate former President Barack Obama's 2010 health overhaul. House Republicans are scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss their agenda. It's their first gathering since House Speaker Paul Ryan suddenly abandoned plans last Friday for a vote on the GOP legislation. The retreat on the party's top legislative priority was a jarring defeat for President Donald Trump and Republican leaders. It also raised questions about whether the GOP could muster the unity needed on other issues. Republicans have issued mixed messages on what comes next on health care.
  • A woman was paying for parking in Midtown Sunday afternoon when a man slashed her throat and grabbed her handbag, Atlanta police said. Marla Franks was at a pay station at Juniper and 5th streets when the man tried to take her purse off her shoulder, according to an Atlanta police incident report. She resisted and held onto the bag.  “I will hurt you,” police said the man told Franks. She continued holding her purse. 'The man then took a knife and cut her throat about 5 to 6 inches,' Officer Stephanie Brown told Channel 2 Action News. He grabbed the purse and took off running, according to the police report. Fernando Bispo, who witnessed the attack, told police he ran after the man and got him to drop the handbag. Bispo stopped when the man turned the knife on him.  Another witness told police she saw a man jump the back fence of Kindred Hospital and offered to help him when he fell. She later learned about the robbery victim, according to the report. Police have not made any arrests in the incident. Bispo wasn’t injured in the encounter.  Franks had to get 17 stitches but was expected to recover. In other news:
  • Two men have been charged with murder in an October shooting outside a Pappadeaux in Marietta that began with a piece of costume jewelry and ended with a dead husband. Cobb police investigators filed the paperwork on Thursday against Dylan Marquis Ledbetter and Demarious Greene, both of whom were already in custody. The men are connected to violent crimes throughout Cobb and Cherokee counties. Ledbetter is also wanted in Florida on an attempted murder charge. Sentenced: Cobb man paid Filipino girls to perform online sex acts The Cobb murder charges stem from an Oct. 7 shooting. Cynthia and Anthony Welch were heading to their car after a birthday dinner at the Windy Hill Road restaurant when they were stopped in the parking lot. Cynthia Welch previously explained that a man shot her husband of 25 years and snatched the $5 costume necklace off her neck before shooting her and running away. The warrant doesn’t specify who police think pulled the trigger. Cobb man indicted in double murder of his mother and Buckhead teacher  Ledbetter was 22 when he was indicted in January for allegedly trying to run over officers with a car. A week after the Pappadeaux slaying, cops were trying to stop Ledbetter because the car he was driving matched the description of a vehicle connected to the shooting. Officers shot Ledbetter in his arm and leg as they said he sped toward them. Lab results in the Pappadeaux shooting were recently returned from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, and Cobb police were able to file charges in the case. Man facing death in Craigslist slaying of Marietta couple appears in court  Ledbetter has been in jail since Oct. 18. Two days before that, 21-year-old Green was booked into Cherokee County jail on charges of robbery, aggravated assault and other counts. Those Cherokee charges are from an Oct. 12 incident when the men allegedly stole a man’s necklace at gunpoint outside the Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta. Like Cobb County News Now on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.  Ledbetter has also been accused of a similar necklace-snatching crime in Sandy Springs. A woman told police she was holding her 1 year old and just getting home when a man snatched a gold chain off of her and the child. The men are awaiting indictment on the Pappadeaux charges. Authorities have not discussed how they will handle the pending charges in other jurisdictions.