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France probes Peugeot over emissions cheating
France on Monday opened a judicial enquiry into allegations carmaking giant PSA cheated on diesel pollution tests in the latest twist in a huge emissions scandal which hit the industry in 2015. A judicial source told AFP the Paris prosecutor on April 7 opened an investigation into claims that PSA might have rigged controls which could "render its merchandise dangerous for human or animal health". Fraud investigators have levelled similar allegations at PSA's French rival Renault, part government-owned and accused of cheating on pollution tests for diesel and petrol engines for over 25 years with the knowledge of top management.
Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:32:08 -0400
Beloved 600-year-old white oak tree takes final bow
BERNARDS, N.J. (AP) — A white oak tree that has watched over a New Jersey community and a church for hundreds of years began its final bow Monday as crews began its removal and residents fondly remembered the go-to spot for formal photos, landmark for driving directions and the remarkable piece of natural history.
Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:15:46 -0400
The EPA won't be shutting down its open data website after all
Scientists and data experts are closely tracking the websites of federal agencies, noting changes to pages dealing with climate change and energy since President Donald Trump took office. On Monday, they noticed an alarming message posted to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) open data website, indicating it would shut down on Friday, April 28. SEE ALSO: The science march is about 'hope' for a fact-based future Friday is the day the current federal stopgap funding bill expires. The EPA apparently worried that Congress wouldn't pass a new continuing resolution to fund the government, and preemptively planned to end the Open Data service, according to the contractor managing the site, 3 Round Stones in Arlington, Virginia. However, open data advocates may have found that shining a spotlight and harnessing social media can be powerful tools for protecting our national digital resources. Well, let's get to scraping, my friends. pic.twitter.com/8svzlBYSuZ — Steven Rich (@dataeditor) April 24, 2017 The EPA disputes accounts that it ever intended to take down the website. Open Data was made publicly available in 2016 to enable people to easily search decades' worth of federal environmental data. The site hosts information on more than four million EPA-regulated facilities, including coal-fired power plants, steel mills, dry cleaners, and manufacturing sites. Reporters who visited the Open Data website on Monday encountered a pop-up notification advising them that the site would be shut down on Friday. Later attempts to visit the site resulted in "service unavailable" and "proxy error" screens. Bernadette Hyland, a data scientist and CEO of 3 Round Stones, alerted the public to the changes on Sunday via Twitter and in a Medium post, which has since been updated to include a statement from the EPA. .@splcenter Breaking news on @EPA #pollution #opendata going offline https://t.co/I0JtspAfr6 #EndangeredData #environmentalJustice @altUSEPA — Bernadette Hyland (@BernHyland) April 24, 2017 The EPA told 3 Round Stones, "If Congress does not pass a budget, we will be facing a government shutdown and won't be able to give technical direction to continue any work," Hyland wrote in the Medium post, which received over 8,600 page views in 24 hours. A related tweet earned 137,000 impressions. Social media backlash swiftly followed, and reporters flocked to the site to figure out what, if anything, was happening to the troves of federal environmental information hosted there. By Monday afternoon, visitors to Open Data received a different pop-up notification, which clarifies that data on the site will still be available come Friday. Image: screenshot/opendata.epa.gov"The website isn't going anywhere, and this episode has little to nothing to do with contingency plans in case of a shutdown," J.P. Freire, a spokesman for the EPA, said in an email. He accused the site's contractor of sending "inappropriate and unauthorized communications on EPA's behalf." Another EPA spokesman, John Konkus, said "rumors about the website, opendata.epa.gov, are just that — rumors." Hyland, who stands by her original account, said the last 24 hours have been particularly encouraging. Not only did people speak out in defense of data science — but the federal government also responded. It's the best example of "social media working in a positive way to have a positive outcome that I've ever personally experienced," she said in an interview. She added that last Saturday's March for Science events likely helped inspire some of the public support for Open Data. "I think we benefitted in a way from that momentum," Hyland said. "The need for open access is at the forefront of everybody's awareness." WATCH: The first zero emissions ship looks pretty badass
Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:56:06 -0400
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