Chicago loses 2nd firefighter in a week
CHICAGO — A firefighter died Wednesday while battling a blaze in a high-rise building on Chicago’s north side, authorities said.
Lt. Jan Tchoryk, 55, “went down the stairs on the 11th floor,” said Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt.
The fire was reported before 8am on the 27th floor of the Gold Coast condominium and apartment building.
- Advertisement -
Tchoryk is the second Chicago firefighter to die this week. Jermaine Pelt, 49, died Tuesday and two other firefighters were injured while battling a house fire on the South Side.
“Our men and women who are first responders in the city are heroic,” said outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “You are brave. They risk their lives for us every day. They deserve our endless thanks and support, not just on a tragic day like this, but every single day.”
States’ greenhouse gas lawsuit dismissed
NEW ORLEANS — A lawsuit that Louisiana and other Republican-leaning states have filed to challenge the numbers the Biden administration uses to calculate greenhouse gas damage was dismissed by a federal appeals court on Wednesday.
The unanimous decision by three judges on the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans was the latest defeat for states challenging Biden’s “cost of carbon” policy.
- Advertisement -
It leaves the administration free to continue using a damage cost estimate of about $51 per tonne of carbon emissions when developing environmental regulations. This estimate is currently under review and may increase.
The Biden cost estimate was used during the Obama administration. President Joe Biden restored it on his first day in office after the Trump administration lowered the number to about $7 a ton or less.
A federal judge in Louisiana last year ordered stopping the government’s approach after states sued, arguing the policy threatens to drive up energy costs while reducing state revenue from energy production.
- Advertisement -
The 5th Circuit blocked the judge’s order and the US Supreme Court declined to intervene.
On Thursday, the Court of Appeals dismissed the case, saying the contesting states lacked standing because they failed to show that the regulations caused the economic damages cited in their lawsuit.
Biden plans visit to UK, Ireland
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will travel partially to Britain and Ireland next week to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, a US-brokered deal that helped end decades of deadly sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.
Biden will first visit Belfast, Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, on Tuesday and Wednesday to acknowledge progress since the deal was signed and underscore the US willingness to support Northern Ireland’s economic potential, the White House said.
He will then spend Wednesday through April 14 in the Republic of Ireland, holding engagements in Dublin, County Louth and County Mayo, where he will deliver a speech celebrating the “deep, historic ties” between the US and Ireland, said the White House.
Signed on 10 April 1998 – Good Friday – the landmark agreement helped end three decades of sectarian violence over the question of Northern Ireland joining Ireland or remaining in the UK.
The anniversary will mark the celebration of enduring peace, but also concerns about deep-rooted divisions and political instability. And the specter of violence hasn’t entirely gone away – last month British intelligence agencies raised Northern Ireland’s terrorism threat level from ‘serious’ to ‘severe’.
Recently asked if this would affect his visit plans, Biden, who is proud of his Irish heritage and has long wanted to visit Ireland, said not.
“No, they can’t keep me out,” he said.
Senate Democrat is running in Nevada
LAS VEGAS — Sen. Jacky Rosen, a Nevada Democrat who took a moderate path during her first term in office, announced Wednesday that she will seek re-election in the multi-year battleground state.
Rosen focused on her efforts to promote bipartisanship and “big problems to solve” for the country, including “cutting costs for the middle class, defending abortion rights, tackling the climate crisis.” [and] Social Security and Medicare protection.”
The announcement is welcome news for Democrats ahead of a challenging 2024 Senate map. They must not only defend incumbents in the red states — Montana, Ohio and West Virginia — but also in several swing states.
So far, no Republican challenger has come forward. According to Federal Election Commission reports, Rosen ended 2022 with $4.4 million in her campaign accounts.
The 2024 election will win a re-election victory over Republican Adam Laxalt, two years after Rosen’s fellow Nevada Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, despite the GOP managing to flip the governor’s mansion in the state.
Rosen, 65, was a first-term congresswoman from a Las Vegas-area district when she defeated GOP Senator Dean Heller in 2018.