British teenager’s parents win first battle in campaign to avenge his death

The death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn caused a diplomatic feud between the UK and the US.

British teenager’s parents win first battle in campaign to avenge his death

The family of Harry Dunn, a British teenager killed when his motorcycle was struck by the wife of a U.S. diplomat, have reached a “resolution” in a civil claim for damages.

A Virginia court had been asked to rule between Dunn’s parents and his alleged killer, Anne Sacoolas. The details of the verdict have not been made public, according to the BBC, but were hailed as a “milestone” by a Dunn family spokesperson.

“An agreement has been reached successfully between the parties and they can put this part of the campaign behind them,” said the spokesperson, Radd Seiger. “The family’s courage and determination to see this through has been incredible”.

“They will now turn their attention to the criminal case and the long-awaited inquest into Harry’s death which will follow the criminal case.”

Dunn was 19 years old when he died in a traffic accident outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire in August 2019. An apparent wrong-way driver struck the young man on his motorcycle, and Dunn died in the ensuing crash. The woman behind the wheel was Sacoolas, the wife of a U.S. diplomat only three weeks into his U.K. posting. Following the accident, Sacoolas left the United Kingdom after being granted diplomatic immunity by the U.S. government, Sky News reported.

Public outrage at Sacoolas’ departure was channeled by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who described it early last year as a “denial of justice.“

In December 2020, the Crown Prosecution Service authorized Northamptonshire Police to charge Sacoolas with causing death by dangerous driving. But the subsequent extradition request for Sacoolas to be returned to the U.K. was rejected by the U.S. government, causing a diplomatic feud.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss stated that the resolution of the civil case was “absolutely not” the end of efforts to get Sacoolas back to the U.K. “We continue to press for justice for Harry,” she said.

Source : Politico EU More   

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Biden says US will quadruple climate aid to poor countries

The relative frugality from Washington on climate aid is seen as a major obstacle to securing more ambitious action.

Biden says US will quadruple climate aid to poor countries

U.S. President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the United States would provide more than $11 billion of climate aid annually by 2024 to assist poorer countries vulnerable to extreme weather and rising temperatures.

But the president did not specify in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly how he plans to convince Congress to increase aid from a previously announced $5.7 billion commitment, which doubles Obama-era aid levels.

The relative frugality from the U.S. on climate aid is seen as a major obstacle to securing more ambitious action as countries head into November global climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland. But how Biden will realize his pledge to quadruple U.S. climate aid compared with second term Obama-era levels is an open question, telling the general assembly that his administration “will work with the Congress” to hit that mark.

“We also have to support the countries of people that will be hit the hardest and that have the fewest resources to help them adapt,” Biden said, saying that spending combined with leveraging private financing would bring rich countries closer to the $100 billion in annual climate finance it promised to poorer nations.”This will make the U.S. the leader of public climate finance.”

The U.N.climate conference is viewed as a political watershed moment for the world’s bidto keep temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The U.N. said last week that achieving current commitments to cut greenhouse gases would still warm the world 2.7 degrees Celsius in 2100.

Nations had in recent weeks amplified public pressure on the U.S. to boost climate aid targets. Rich nations have fallen more than $20 billion short of meeting a previous 2009 pledge to supply poorer nations with $100 billion of yearly climate assistance, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Republicans, who could take back either the Senate or the House — or both— in 2022, have historically shunned doling out more money for global climate initiatives. And while Democrats hold a thin majority in Congress, much of Biden’s climate agenda is unresolved. Hundreds of billions of dollars hang in the balance as Congress weighs two massive bills that would fund everything from electric vehicle incentives to subsidizing more renewable power.

“The scientists and experts are telling us that we’re fast approaching a point of no return, in the literal sense, to keep within our reach the final goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” Biden said. “Every nation needs to bring their highest possible ambition to the table when we meet in Glasgow.”

The U.S. is the world’s largest economy and has sent more heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere than any country, largely by burning fossil fuels. Analyses show that the “fair share” of U.S. climate spending based on the size of its economy and greenhouse gas emissions that have heated the planet is upwards of $40 billion annually.

The U.S. is far below that mark. Biden’s fiscal year 2022 budget request asked for $2.5 billion for international climate programs.

“What the administration has pledged to date fails to meet the scale of the challenge,” Brandon Wu, director of policy and campaigns with ActionAid USA, said in a statement, referring to Biden’s new pledge.

Several environmental groups last week asked Biden to spend at least $12 billion annually on climate aid by 2024. Rachel Cleetus, policy director with the Union of Concerned Scientists’ climate and energy program, said in a statement that Biden’s new goal is a “welcome and much-needed sign that the United States is finally taking its global climate responsibilities seriously,” but that Congress must also pass Biden’s domestic climate agenda to improve the “United States’ credibility on the world stage.”

Source : Politico EU More   

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