By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - The United Nations will seek ways to toughen environmental laws this week to crack down on everything from illegal trade in wildlife to mercury poisoning and hazardous waste. The U.N. Environment Assembly (UNEA), a new forum of all nations including environment ministers, business leaders and civil society, will meet in Nairobi from June 23-27 to work on ways to promote greener economic growth. That drive includes giving environmental laws more teeth. "We often have environmental legislation that is well intentioned but is not effective," Achim Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Programme which will host the talks, told Reuters in a telephone interview. Many countries sign up for environmental treaties but are often slow to ratify and fail to enforce them in domestic laws, on issues ranging from protecting animals and plants from extinction to outlawing dangerous chemicals or regulating hazardous waste. "Simply signing a commitment is one step, putting the finance, the technology, the laws in place are critical ingredients," he said. The Nairobi talks will include a meeting of chief justices, attorneys general and other legal experts. They will seek ways to improve cooperation, speed up ratification of treaties and try to find models for domestic legislation. "Illegal activities harming the environment are fast evolving and growing in sophistication," UNEP said in a statement. There was insufficient international coordination to catch crime gangs, from illegal fishing to loggers. PITFALLS Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law in Washington, said "there are numerous pitfalls" for environmental treaties. One big drawback is that developed nations often fail to provide promised finance to help poor nations fight everything from toxic waste to illegal logging, he said. "Our experience has shown again and again that this financial support never comes through," he said. And treaties face big hurdles even after they are negotiated. Last year, for instance, nations agreed a new convention to limit mercury, a heavy metal that can damage the human nervous system and cause liver damage and memory loss. So far the United States is the only nation to have ratified the pact, which needs 50 ratifications to enter into force. About 100 other nations including China and most industrialised states have signed - a declaration of intent to formally ratify the pact. "We anticipate to have the minimum 50 ratifications in two and a half years," Steiner said. "That would be a very fast process." Successes have included conventions such as the 1987 Montreal Protocol for protecting the ozone layer. Others have struggled, such as the 1997 Kyoto Protocol for curbing greenhouse gas emissions which only entered into force in 2005. The United Nations will also issue a report on ways to crack down on wildlife crime. Steiner said there was an "enormous increase" in illicit trade, from ivory to timber, with increased links to international crime syndicates and drug cartels. The UNEA, a forum agreed at an Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, marks a shift from a former system in which only 58 nations met yearly to discuss environmental problems. "It is a watershed," Steiner said. (Reporting by Alister Doyle; Editing by Sophie Hares)
Meghan Markle threatened to break up with Prince Harry if he didn't release a statement confirming their relationship, report says
A source told the Times of London's Valentine Low that Harry was "freaking out" about the situation.
Speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney said she will do "everything I can to make sure he's not the nominee."
- The Hill
Former top Pence aide: Trump claim that presidents can declassify docs by thinking about it ‘absurd’
Former top Pence aide Marc Short on Friday rejected a recent claim from former President Trump that presidents can declassify documents by thinking about it, calling the notion “absurd.” “That’s absurd, obviously,” Short told CBS News. “I think it would make it very difficult for the intelligence community to have a classification system if that was…
Trump said he could declassify documents with his mind, but he may have also accidentally admitted to taking them 'intentionally,' NYT reporter says
New York Times Correspondent Maggie Haberman said Trump may have deviated from the narrative that classified documents ended up at Mar-a-Lago accidentally.
Prince William and Kate Middleton realized they needed to 'up their game' after Meghan Markle's first royal engagement, according to a new book
According to Katie Nicholl's book "The New Royals," the Fab Four's relationship transitioned after Meghan Markle's first royal engagement in 2018.
- Boxing Junkie
Floyd Mayweather, 45 years young, knocked out MMA star Mikuru Asakura on Saturday (in the U.S.) in Japan.
After making several stunning appearances at New York Fashion Week, Amelia Gray Hamlin is now turning heads on the runways in Milan. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills daughter recently walked in Giuliano Calza’s GCDS show, where she bared her backside in an unexpected look. “My butt had her first cameo,” Amelia captioned a September 22 Instagram Story video of herself on the runway. While it initially appeared Amelia was modeling a white tank top and jeans, it turns out the pants only had fro
- Fox News
Prince William ‘simply can’t forgive’ Prince Harry for his behavior following royal exit, author claims
Vanity Fair's royal correspondent Katie Nicholl alleged that the Prince of Wales was hoping that his younger brother, the Duke of Sussex, would be "his wingman."
- Orlando Sentinel
Tropical Storm Ian grew overnight in the Caribbean still with a path that could bring it to Florida next week as a hurricane prompting Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency across the Sunshine State. The National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. update puts Tropical Storm Ian’s center about 230 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica and about 430 miles southeast of Grand Cayman with maximum ...
- Business Insider
A man charged in the assault of a flight attendant on an American Airlines plane had to be restrained by fellow passengers and cuffed to a seat
Alexander Tung Cuu Le was arrested and later charged following the incident on a flight from Mexico to Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer says he did 'everything' he could to stop the overturning of Roe v. Wade
"Did I do everything I could to persuade people? Of course, of course," Breyer said during an interview with CNN's Chris Wallace.
Prince George, Princess Charlotte & Prince Louis Are No Longer the Cambridge Kids—Here’s Why They Have a New Last Name
It appears that Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, are the Cambridge kids no longer. Recently, the trio's parents, Kate Middleton and Prince William, received new titles following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8. While at first the pair were named as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall, the new King Charles III then bestowed upon them the title of Prince and Princess of Wales. Chris Jackson/Getty Images In his first address as monarch, King
- USA TODAY
Denver Riggleman, a former adviser to the Jan. 6 committee told "60 Minutes" the White House switchboard called a rioter during breach.
- Fox News
Princess Diana’s and Meghan Markle’s differences in treatment of staff are ‘stark,’ royal expert says
Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle is facing criticism for the way she treated royal staff when living at the palace, in comparison to Princess Diana -- who was described as "kind."
Donald Trump will fight hard against Letitia James' lawsuit. Ex-AG insiders say these are his top 5 defenses.
Former NY AG prosecutors predict a slow-motion legal brawl where Trump will cry foul, claim ignorance, and delay, delay, delay.
- The Advocate
The former president malfunctioned at a campaign event in North Carolina.
The last time a British monarch abdicated, it sparked a constitutional crisis in the UK, but it also led to the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
Prince William had a strong bond with his grandmother, who died on 8 September, and now he's shared the sweet moment that happened after her passing.
- The New Voice of Ukraine
The wife of a Donetsk puppet authority fighter told her husband that dissatisfaction with the actions of dictator Vladimir Putin is growing in Russia, according to an intercept of their conversation published on Facebook by Ukraine’s military intelligence agency HUR on Sept. 24.
- Fox News
Hells Angels funeral for Sonny Barger expected to draw thousands as sheriff warns of possible violence
Local law enforcement is warning about the possibility of violence at the Saturday funeral of Hells Angels founder Sonny Barger at the 99 Speedway in California.