Paris climate talks extended until at least Saturday
The international summit to address climate change outside Paris, COP21, was scheduled to end on Friday, but French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday morning that the talks will be extended for at least one day.
“I will not present the text Friday evening, as I had thought, but Saturday morning,” he told BFM television. “There is still work to do…. Things are going in the right direction.” Fabius presented a draft agreement on Thursday night, but a bloc of developing nations — China, India, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia — rejected it as trying to shift the burden of combating climate change from rich Western nations to less-wealthy nations. AP
Obama signs law replacing No Child Left Behind
The new law returns to states much control over K-12 education, prohibits the federal government from mandating academic requirements like Common Core, and keeps the required math and reading testing of No Child Left Behind but removes the federal penalties for underperforming schools. “This bill makes long-overdue fixes to the last education law, replacing the one-size-fits-all approach to reform with a commitment to provide every student with a well-rounded education,” Obama said. Noting the broad bipartisan support for the bill, he proclaimed Thursday’s signing “a Christmas miracle.” USA Today via The Week
Canadian Prime Minister greets first plane of Syrian refugees
Just before midnight on Thursday, a Canadian military plane landed at Toronto’s Pearson airport with 163 Syrian refugees, the first government airlift designed to help meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to settle 10,000 Syrian refugees in Canada by the end of the year, and 15,000 more by the end of February.
Trudeau was on hand to greet the first planeload, along with several federal ministers, the premier of Ontario, and the mayor of Toronto, among other dignitaries. “This is a wonderful night, where we get to show not just a planeload of new Canadians what Canada is all about, we get to show the world how to open our hearts and welcome in people who are fleeing extraordinarily difficult situations,” Trudeau said. A second flight is set to arrive in Montreal on Saturday. CBC News
Connecticut to ban gun sales to the federal watch lists
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D) announced plans on Thursday to sign an executive order in his state banning the sale of firearms to people on federal terrorism watch lists.
While some critics believe the regulations are unfair to innocent people who are placed on watch lists and that the law wouldn’t have prevented shootings such as the San Bernardino massacre. Republicans have noted that a ban on gun sales to passengers on federal no-fly lists would not have prevented the San Bernardino tragedy because the shooters were already in the U.S.
Malloy said Thursday that a ban on gun sales to people who are prohibited from boarding flights makes sense as the nation struggles to deal with repeated mass shootings, including a 2012 incident at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six adults. The Hill
Chinese tycoon reported missing
One of China’s richest men, Guo Guangchang, is reported to be missing. Financial magazine Caixin said that staff at Mr Guo’s company, Fosun International, had been unable to contact their boss since Thursday afternoon.
Fosun, one of China’s biggest private conglomerates, halted trading of its Hong Kong shares following the reports. There is speculation that Mr Guo, described as China’s Warren Buffett, has been detained by the police. Caixin quoted social media messages saying he had last been seen with police in Shanghai.
A source close to the Fosun Group told the BBC that Mr Guo had not been contactable via an internal company-wide mobile app. “It’s very likely he’s been asked by the Chinese authorities to co-operate in an investigation. He is not being investigated himself,” the source said.
He declined to speculate about the details of the investigation. Fosun said it would release further details later. Mr Guo was linked to a corruption court case in August. BBC Asia-Pacific analyst Michael Bristow says Mr Guo’s empire extends across the world, while the publisher Forbes estimates his fortune at $7bn. BBC
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