Global forest loss amounted to 18.7 million hectares (46 million acres) in 2014, a decline of about 9 percent relative to 2013 and 20 percent compared to 2012, according to data released today by a team of researchers from the University of Maryland and Google. The much-anticipated data, published this morning on Global Forest Watch, a platform for mapping 'big data' related to forests, reflects changes in tree cover, including deforestation, harvesting of tree plantations, fire damage, and forest die-off from disease and pests. It will be used by analysts, policymakers, conservationists, and others to track progress — or lack there of — on efforts to conserve forests ahead of November climate talks in Paris, where forests are expected to play a major role in the development of an emissions mitigation framework. The data, which does not include forest gain including reforestation and forest recovery, reveals some interesting trends including persistently high forest loss in boreal regions — where most forest loss is linked to logging, fires, and beetle outbreaks — and the tropics, which is dominated by outright deforestation, typically for pasture, agriculture, or plantations. Among the planet's biomes, the tropics accounted for the largest share of loss at 10 million hectares in 2014.
When St. Louis last week started the process to raise its minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2018, some policymakers and activists hoped the move would spur St. Louis County to follow suit.“It would be great if the county came along with us,” said St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed. “I think that is one of the major issues with the bill.
A working group created by the Missouri Supreme Court to look at reforms to the municipal court system will study whether some of the courts should be consolidated.The group released its interim report Tuesday. The two-page document outlines the areas the group plans to study over the next three months, and the material it has already gathered to inform its work.
Updated 9/1/2015, 10:13 p.m. -- Roderick Nunley has become the sixth death row inmate executed in Missouri this year.He was put to death by lethal injection at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre for the 1989 murder of 15-year-old Ann Harrison.
Updated 9/1/2015, 10:13 p.m. -- Roderick Nunley has become the sixth death row inmate executed in Missouri this year.He was put to death by lethal injection Tuesday at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre for the 1989 murder of 15-year-old Ann Harrison.
In one corner: both conservatives and liberals at the State Capitol, warning of the need to rein in the frequent seizures of people's cash and property by law enforcement agencies. In the other: law enforcement officials and prosecutors at the Tulsa Police Training Academy, insisting they act responsibly and in the public interest in their confiscations of private assets as part of the war on drug traffickers. The dueling hearings occurred on the same day, Tuesday, underscoring the rift over legislation that would impose more limits on civil asset forfeiture. The practice has allowed city, county and state agencies to garner millions of dollars in money and property over more than a decade. At the Capitol, the hearing was led by state Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, who has introduced Senate Bill 838 and who brought together experts of various political stripes.
The Sierra Club says Ameren's Labadie power plant in Franklin County does not meet state and federal water quality standards and wants it brought into compliance.On Friday, the environmental group filed an appeal with the state, alleging the plant's operating permit does not do enough to protect wildlife or groundwater.
A quirky new bookstore and alternative arts center in Carlsbad is fighting to keep its doors open. Sean Christopher, who opened Lhooq/exrealism in January, had to temporarily close after the city of Carlsbad received a zoning complaint and opened a code-violation case. That case also prompted the city to refuse to renew Christopher's business license. The shop has since reopened, but Christopher has until the end of September to provide the city with proof that the old wooden garage housing the bookstore was used as a commercial space before 1992. Will Foss, building division manager for the city of Carlsbad, says 1992 is the benchmark because it's the year the city did a survey designating all the homes and former-homes-turned-businesses in the rapidly changing Carlsbad Village area as either residential or commercial.