This post is currently collecting data… ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CPFB) cited CUNA’s Regulation Impact Study in its assessment on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule. CUNA also submitted a comment letter in January on the assessment, noting that ongoing compliance costs continue to affect credit union lending.The assessment found that TRID has made progress towards several of its goals but resulted in sizable implementation costs.CUNA’s Regulatory Impact Study was cited as key source of data and information as a study that, “collected costs data and analyzes the cost that regulations, including the TRID rule, have had on credit unions and how these effects have changed over time.”The evidence available for the assessment indicates that the TRID rule improved consumers’ ability to locate key information, compare terms and costs between initial disclosures and final disclosures, and compare terms and costs across mortgage offers. This is placeholder text continue reading »
China has touted its massive dam network as a remedy for its devastating annual floods, but record deluges have once again killed hundreds of people and submerged thousands of homes this year.Millions of people have been affected this time — with hundreds of thousands evacuated, roads submerged, tourist sites closed and soaring economic costs.Here are five questions about why China still endures severe flooding every year. What impact is climate change having?The burden on China’s dams is likely to grow as climate change makes extreme weather events more common.As the Earth’s atmosphere gets warmer, it holds more moisture, making downpours more intense, Benjamin Horton, director of the Earth Observatory of Singapore, told AFP.Water levels reached historic highs in 53 rivers this summer, according to China’s ministry of water resources.Authorities warned this week that the Three Gorges Dam is facing the largest flood peak since it began operating in 2003.Heavy rains are set to send 74,000 cubic meters of water per second rushing into the Three Gorges reservoir, the official Xinhua news agency reported.”This summer’s floods ring an alarm bell for China that climate change is here,” Li Shuo, a climate analyst for Greenpeace East Asia, told AFP. Do the dams work? China has historically relied on dams, levees and reservoirs to control and divert the flow of water.From June to early August, around 30 billion cubic meters of floodwater were intercepted by dams and reservoirs in Asia’s longest river, the Yangtze, mitigating flooding downstream in areas including Shanghai, China’s emergency management ministry said. Could ‘sponge cities’ help? The country’s rapid development and breakneck urbanization has also exacerbated flooding.Urban sprawl has covered more and more land in impermeable concrete — increasing the risk of rapid water buildup on the surface during heavy rain.Horton also said that some of the country’s big lakes have been drastically reduced in size.One of the solutions proposed by the government has been the “sponge city” program that began in 2014.It seeks to replace impermeable urban surfaces with porous materials like permeable pavements, more green spaces, drainage areas and reservoirs to stop water accumulating on the ground.”The objective is that stormwater goes into drains or the green areas, and affects the built areas less,” Cecilia Tortajada, a researcher of water policy at the National University of Singapore, told AFP. But the country’s vast infrastructure has been unable to contain all the flooding, with authorities in the eastern city of Chuizhou, Anhui province, forced to blow up two dams last month to release water from the rising Chuhe river over cropland, state broadcaster CCTV reported.And fears re-emerge periodically over the structural integrity of the Three Gorges Dam on the upper Yangtze, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam, built in an area crisscrossed by geological fault lines. Who suffers the most from flooding? But sponge cities will be little consolation for rural communities in the path of diverted water, which have suffered severe damage to their homes and crops.”While urban dwellers in China’s megacities are largely spared from the rising water, much of the country’s hinterlands along the Yangtze River were put on the frontline,” Li said.Entire villages are routinely allowed to flood, with residents evacuated, in order to spare densely populated cities.Over the last week more than 165,000 hectares of crops were damaged in severe flooding in Sichuan, officials said.The Mengwa Flood Diversion Area, home to four townships and nearly 200,000 people, was inundated after officials ordered the opening of 13 sluice gates on the Huaihe river in July, state media reported. What more can be done? China is also turning to increased flood surveillance and early evacuation to mitigate the human cost of flooding.In addition to conventional weather monitoring technology, Anqing city in China’s Anhui province is using virtual reality goggles linked to river-monitoring cameras that use 5G internet to transmit images to inspectors, according to Xinhua.The number of people dead or missing as a result of flooding from June to early August this year fell to 219 — less than half the average figure each year in the past five years, the ministry of emergency management said last week.However, the economic costs of flooding have soared 15 percent this year, reaching 179 billion yuan ($26 billion), officials said at a press conference this week.Tortajada said that ultimately, flood prevention will also require global action against climate change.”While countries are getting better prepared, the world as a whole is not prepared,” she told AFP. Topics :
New daily coronavirus infections in Australia’s hotspot state Victoria have fallen to a near four-month low, authorities said on Friday, as other states recorded only imported cases raising the prospect of more domestic borders reopening.The state of Queensland flagged it may open its border with the country’s most populous state New South Wales (NSW) from Nov. 1, if NSW records no local cases for 28 days. NSW has posted six straight days of no local cases.The second most populous state Victoria said seven people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, down from 15 on Thursday and near the four-month low of five cases reported on September 28. The decline in COVID-19 cases comes nearly two months after Victoria imposed a stringent lockdown across its state capital, Melbourne.The bulk of restrictions will only be eased when the average for new daily cases over a two-week window falls below five.The 14-day rolling case average for Melbourne is now down to 12.8, after falling from 15.6 on Thursday.Victoria accounts for 90% of national COVID-19 deaths. Australia, with 890 fatalities, has fared far better than many other developed countries. Topics :
The Florida Legislature on Wednesday considered a few items that could have a major effect on our state.Restoration of Felon Voting Rights:The Florida House approved a plan for implementing a constitutional amendment that restores the voting rights of felons who have fulfilled their prison sentences.However, the vote did not come without some controversy.Democrats argued that the bill would place too many restrictions on felons. Republicans say they are carrying out the words of the amendment as intended.The bill, which passed 71-45, based on party lines, appeared as Amendment 4 on the 2018 ballot.While the constitutional amendment states that voting rights are to be restored to felons “who have completed all terms of their sentence, including parole or probation,” it excludes people “convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.”The two sides disagree on what constitutes “murder,” and “felony sexual offense,” as well as completion of “all terms of their sentence.”They also do not see eye to eye regarding the financial obligations felons must resolve in order to regain their voting rights.The House plan would require that felons repay all of their financial obligations as ordered by judges, including civil judgements. The Senate proposal would require repayment of restitution, including civil liens, but no other financial obligations that have been converted to civil judgements.Sanctuary Cities:The House also passed a bill designed to ban sanctuary cities by a 69-47 vote, also largely down party lines.The bill, known as HB 527, still needs to pass the Senate, which will debate its version of the bill (SB 168) on Thursday, before it goes to Governor DeSantis’ desk.Democrats call the bill “xenophobic” rhetoric that demonizes illegal immigrants by tying them unfairly to crime.According to Democratic Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando, “This bill is not who we are as Floridians. It is stirring up xenophobic hostility towards immigrants. They are good people . . . they are not criminals. They are not what some of the rhetoric around in this state and in this country has made them out to be.”Republicans respond that their goal is for local law enforcement to communicate and work with federal immigration officials. Republican Representative Mike Beltran says, “We’re not saying illegal immigrants are bad people. But they need to follow the law.”The bill requires local governments and police departments as well as colleges, universities and other local entities to honor requests for detainment from federal immigration officials. Democrats fear that could put city and university leaders at risk for not providing federal authorities with information on undocumented immigrants.Texting and Driving:On another matter, the state Legislature decided to postpone voting on a bill that would address texting while driving due to differences in the legislation being considered in the House and Senate.While the Florida House voted for the bill (HB 107) that would make texting while driving a primary offense, the Senate’s measure (SB 76) includes holding or talking on a cellphone while driving as primary offenses. While tablets and laptops would be included, drivers would still be allowed to talk on the phone in hands-free mode.The House and Senate sponsors of the bill are discussing a possible compromise.