Scientists reported that the Earth's temperature in 2016 is the highest on record. The second highest? 2015, which beat 2014's record.
This is the first time that three consecutive years are the warmest ones on record, adding to concern among scientists and some of the general population about how rising global temperatures will affect the way people exist on the planet.
This finding comes right before President-elect Trump takes office. He has previously promised to give global warming and climate change less weight, even having a climate change denier head his EPA transition team.
Scientists say the fact that the years are all consecutive points to the bigger problem.
“A single warm year is something of a curiosity,” said Deke Arndt, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief of global climate monitoring told the Times. “It’s really the trend, and the fact that we’re punching at the ceiling every year now, that is the real indicator that we’re undergoing big changes.
The biggest effects of the warming can be seen in places like the Arctic, where temperatures were 20 to 30 degrees higher than normal in several places and ice has been visibly melting. And on the other end of the spectrum, India experienced its hottest day in its recorded history in May: 123.8 degrees.
According to NASA, the planet's temperature increased by more than half a degree between 2013 and 2016, which may sound innocuous, but is drastic and the largest change in NASA's recorded history. Discuss
Tomorrow, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president (as you've probably heard). As part of the ceremony, he'll swear on the Bible—in this case, two Bibles. The president-elect announced earlier this week that he plans to use his own Bible in addition to the same Bible used by Abraham Lincoln during his first inauguration in March of 1861.
The significance of Lincoln's Bible speaks for itself. As for Trump's own Bible, it's a Revised Standard Version he says his mother gave him when he graduated from Sunday school back in 1955.
Swearing on a Bible is a presidential inauguration tradition that goes back to George Washington. But not all presidents have chosen to swear on the Bible: Theodore Roosevelt, John Quincy Adams and Lydon B. Johnson are among those who didn't use a Bible in their inauguration ceremonies. Trump will be the fifth president, including Barack Obama, to swear on two Bibles.
Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts will conduct the ceremony. Discuss
A Secret Service discrimination case that has spanned more than 20 years was settled out of court for $24 million yesterday.
More than 100 black Secret Service agents argued that the security agency discriminated against black people by promoting less-qualified candidates over them from 1995 to 2005. The lawsuit began during the Clinton administration and was foisted off and delayed for several years as administrations and heads of the Secret Service changed.
Ray Moore, the lead plaintiff in the case, was part of President Clinton's security team and recalled putting in a bid for promotion 200 times and never being successful. White agents trained by him were often successful in being promoted over him.
Other plaintiffs also said they experienced the same thing, being passed over by unexperienced white agents who had lower performance ratings.
They also said the agency allowed a system of racism, including calling foreign leaders under their protection the n-word and, but the agents were told not to complain for fear of ruining their careers.
The agency has agreed to the settlement, but admits to no wrongdoing and no guilt of having an institutional bias within the ranks.
Jeh Johnson, the Homeland Security secretary who oversees the Secret Service, had his agency reopen this case to find a resolution before President Obama's term ended. In a statement, he said: “I am pleased that we are able to finally put this chapter of Secret Service history behind us. Had the matter gone to trial, it would have required that we re-live things long past, just at a time when the Secret Service is on the mend.”
The claim began with eight original plaintiffs, who will each get up to $300,000.
As part of the settlement, the Secret Service will have a new hotline for agents to report incidents and those incidents will be tracked when it comes time for those people to be promoted. Discuss
The main suspect in a brutal nightclub massacre on New Year's Day in Turkey has been linked to ISIS.
Just an hour into the new year, a lone gunman began shooting in Reina, crowded nightclub, killing at least 39 people and injuring at least 70 more. The club is a hotspot in the country and is a large hub of tourists. The act was immediately called one of terrorism and no one immediately came forward to claim responsibility.
The suspect escaped and a two-weeklong search for him began.
He was captured in Instanbul on Monday during a police raid and identified as Abdulgadir Masharipov, from Uzbekistan. Officials say he admitted being guilty to the crime and his fingerprints were matched at the scene.
The day after the attack, ISIS came forward to take responsibility, calling it revenge for Turkey's involvement in Syria.
Masharipov was captured with four other people. He had a pistol and almost two hundred thousand dollars in various currencies with him. Discuss
Next week, the Obamas are moving out of The White House, and the Trumps are moving in. And, just like any big move, it involved saying goodbye to some old stuff. The Trumps told the former first family that they didn’t want to keep the family’s playground on the grounds, so the Obamas donated it to a homeless shelter.
Noor Salman, the widow of Pulse Nightclub shooter, Omar Mateen, was arrested yesterday on federal charges of aiding and abetting by providing material support to a terrorist and obstruction of justice. She was formally charged today in court.
In November, Salman was the subject of a New York Times article where she reiterated that she knew nothing of her husband's plans.
"I was unaware of everything. I don't condone what he has done. I am very sorry for what has happened. He has hurt a lot of people."
Salman's attorney told NPR the same thing following her client's arrest:
Noor Salman had no foreknowledge nor could she predict what Omar Mateen intended to do that tragic night. Noor has told her story of abuse at his hands. We believe it is misguided and wrong to prosecute her and that it dishonors the memories of the victims to punish an innocent person.
According to a report done by an NPR reporter, there have been some inconsistencies in Salman's story:
For example, she said she didn't know that the attack was coming, but she also told authorities that she tried to talk him out of the attack. She was with him when he bought ammunition last week. She actually joined him at the Pulse nightclub before the attack, although it's possible she didn't know that he was there to case the place. So a grand jury is looking at all of this. It's not clear if they'll bring charges, but they're certainly considering that.
It was always our goal, and we said from the beginning, we were going to look at every aspect of this case, every aspect of this shooter's life, to determine not just why did he take these actions, but who else knew about them, was anyone else involved, is there any other accountability that needs to be had here in this case.
Salman and Mateen were both native to California and Salman moved to California after the shooting.
Salman faces life in prison as a maximum sentence if convicted. Discuss