Tropical Gardening: Global warming means palms in surprising places

We are still in Italy but soon to be home. Visiting the Amalfi Coast south of Rome made us homesick, mainly because it looks tropical with lots of palms, bananas and other plants that create a tropical ambiance. It just goes to show that one can create a feeling by the plants used in the landscape.

Frustration grows over Waipi‘o

Two groups of people with differing views of who should be allowed access to Waipi‘o Valley think an event today at the Waipi‘o lookout will remain peaceful, although disagreements have led to tension in the past two weeks.

Ian lashes South Carolina as Florida surveys devastation

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A revived Hurricane Ian battered coastal South Carolina on Friday, ripping apart piers and filling neighborhoods with calf-high water, after the deadly storm caused catastrophic damage in Florida and trapped thousands in their homes.

Biden vows Russia won’t ‘get away with’ Ukraine annexation

WASHINGTON — The United States and its allies hit back at Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions on Friday, slapping sanctions on more than 1,000 people and companies including arms supply networks as President Joe Biden warned Vladimir Putin he can’t “get away with” seizing Ukrainian land.

US defense chief in Hawaii amid distrust after fuel spill

HONOLULU — U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Hawaii this week amid lingering community frustration and distrust after jet fuel from a military storage facility last year spilled into Pearl Harbor’s drinking water, poisoned thousands of military families and threatened the purity of Honolulu’s water supply.

Putin illegally annexes Ukraine land; Kyiv seeks NATO entry

KYIV, Ukraine — Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties Friday to illegally annex more occupied Ukrainian territory in a sharp escalation of his war. Ukraine’s president countered with a surprise application to join the NATO military alliance.

Russians push baseless theory blaming US for burst pipeline

The Kremlin and Russian state media are aggressively pushing a baseless conspiracy theory blaming the United States for damage to natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea in what analysts said Friday is another effort to split the U.S. and its European allies.

Biden vows US commitment to Pacific Islands at summit

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday told visiting leaders from more than a dozen Pacific Island countries that the U.S. was committed to bolstering its presence in their region and becoming a more collaborative partner as they face the “existential threat” of climate change.

Inflation hits record 10% in 19 EU countries using euro

FRANKFURT, Germany — Inflation in the European countries using the euro currency has broken into double digits as prices for electricity and natural gas soar, signaling a looming winter recession for one of the globe’s major economies as higher prices undermine consumers’ spending power.

Army officers appear on Burkina Faso TV, declare new coup

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — More than a dozen members of Burkina Faso’s army seized control of state television late Friday, declaring that the country’s coup leader-turned-president, Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba, had been overthrown after only nine months in power.

Biden’s student loan reforms are a looming disaster

Amid the stir caused by President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel student loan debts, far too little attention has been paid to another far-reaching reform: the administration’s change to a lending program known as income-driven repayment (or IDR). If widely applied, Biden’s proposal would provide additional relief to millions of borrowers — and make the U.S. student loan system even costlier and more dysfunctional than it already is.