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Aurora Almendral

Manila, Philippines
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About Aurora
Radio clients: NPR News, PRI’s The World, BBC World Service, WNYC, NJPR, NPR’s Snap Judgment, Deutsche Welle

Phoners / two-ways / live-to-air: NBC, NPR; Sky News (UK); CBS Radio New York; Deutsche Welle (Germany); CBC News Radio; Radio New Zealand; WNYC (New York)
English Spanish Tagalog
Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast) Vox Pop
Fact Checking

BP's profits aren't breaking records anymore, but they're still astronomical

02 May 2023  |  qz.com
BP reported a first quarter profit of $4.96 billion, surpassing analysts' expectations but lower than the previous year's same period. The profits indicate stabilization in prices after 2022's volatility due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. BP's performance was driven by its gas marketing and oil trading sectors, despite lower energy prices and refining margins. The company announced a $1.75 billion share buyback. BP faced criticism for reducing its climate goals and planning to increase oil production, amidst broader industry scrutiny over record profits and perceived profiteering from the global energy crisis.

Radon: Testing your home for the earth’s evil vapors

26 Apr 2023  |  qz.com
Radon, a colorless, odorless gas resulting from the decay of uranium and thorium, is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the US after smoking. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established an action level of 4 picocuries per liter of indoor air for radon and designates January as National Radon Action Month. Despite the risks, public response to radon testing and mitigation has been lukewarm. Radon test kits are available for around $20, and mitigation can involve sealing cracks or installing ventilation systems. The EPA suggests homeowners consider repairs for radon levels between 2 to 4 picocuries per liter. Historical cases like Stanley Watras's home built over a radon-emitting crack have highlighted the issue, and while some scientists argue the EPA's warnings are overly cautious, the agency maintains its stance on the dangers of radon exposure.

Why is Big Oil afraid of state courts?

24 Apr 2023  |  qz.com
The US Supreme Court ruled that climate change-related lawsuits against oil companies should remain in state courts, a decision seen as a victory for plaintiffs. Over 20 states and cities have sued companies like ExxonMobil, Suncor Energy, and Chevron for misleading the public about the impact of fossil fuels on climate change. The oil companies sought to move these cases to federal courts, but their arguments were rejected. The cases, based on consumer fraud claims, could lead to trials in state courts and spotlight the companies' deceptive marketing despite knowing the harm of their products. The next steps involve motions to dismiss in state courts, with the potential for lengthy legal battles and more lawsuits as climate damages increase.

The US is laying new power lines too slowly for its renewables transition

13 Apr 2023  |  qz.com
Renewable energy generation in the US has increased significantly, but the expansion of the power grid's transmission capacity is not keeping pace, growing at only 1% over the last five years compared to the required 5.7% annual growth to meet decarbonization goals. The US Department of Energy suggests a 60% expansion by 2030 and a potential tripling by 2050. Challenges include securing permits, land access, state opposition, and integrating numerous small renewable projects. The US lags behind other countries in high-voltage power lines, with only 1,529 miles compared to China's 19 times more.

The world spends 6,000 times more on environmentally harmful subsidies than on carbon offsets

16 Feb 2023  |  qz.com
A report by Earth Track estimated that governments globally spend at least $1.8 trillion annually on subsidies for polluting industries such as fossil fuels, agriculture, and water management, compared to the carbon offset market's value of $300 million in 2018. The report suggests that eliminating or redirecting these harmful subsidies towards climate and environment projects could significantly contribute to stopping biodiversity loss and achieving net-zero emissions, which require about $700 billion globally per year.

A tiny Spanish port has become a new hub for Russian oil

30 Jan 2023  |  qz.com
Ceuta, a Spanish enclave, has become a key hub for Russian crude oil trade amid EU sanctions and a price cap on Russian oil. The sanctions and price cap, which aim to reduce Russia's oil revenue and impact its invasion of Ukraine, have led to a shift in trade routes, with increased ship-to-ship transfers off Ceuta's coast. Despite sanctions, Russian oil exports by ship remain above 500,000 metric tons per day, with revenues on January 23 at EUR425 million, a 28% decrease from February 24 the previous year. The EU is considering lowering the price cap further, with a ban on imports of refined Russian oil products to the EU set for February 5.

What are climate reparations, and which countries should pay?

09 Nov 2022  |  qz.com
Following intense talks, UN member states agreed to include a debate on 'loss and damage' at COP27, marking a significant step in addressing reparations for countries most affected by climate change. The concept of loss and damage encompasses both economic and non-economic costs of climate disasters, which have been increasingly severe. Vulnerable countries, led by the Alliance of Small Island States, have pushed for recognition of loss and damage since the 1990s, and the US and EU have agreed to start negotiations on the issue. Estimates suggest that vulnerable nations will need up to $580 billion annually by 2030 for unavoidable climate losses. The article also reflects on the inadequacy of the $100 billion a year pledged by rich countries in 2009 for climate financing, which falls short of the actual costs of climate adaptation and has not been fully met.

The postal service is already one of the US’s main abortion providers

27 Jun 2022  |  qz.com
Following the FDA's decision to allow mailing abortion pills and the US Supreme Court's overturning of Roe vs Wade, the USPS has become a key player in abortion access. Medication abortions, which account for over half of all US abortions, often involve pills sent by mail. State bans on abortion are being circumvented through online clinics, VPNs, and receiving pills from pro-choice states. Lawsuits challenge state restrictions, with GenBioPro Inc. suing Mississippi, claiming federal drug approval supersedes state laws.

Russian oligarchs’ yachts are becoming targets of global ire

02 Mar 2022  |  qz.com
Russian oligarchs' yachts are being targeted globally following the invasion of Ukraine, with movements tracked by activists and governments seeking to seize assets. The US, UK, and EU have taken measures against Russian elites, with President Biden announcing a task force to pursue their ill-gotten gains. A Ukrainian sailor attempted to sink the yacht Lady Anastasia in protest against the Russian state-owned weapons supplier's owner, Alexander Mikheev.


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Feb 2015

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