Sometimes we learn things in the oddest ways: I was reading an article a few minutes ago on Donald Trump’s latest ‘great build’ – a supposed-to-be-luxurious hotel (and the city’s most expensive) in Washington D.C. – and I was stopped by this statement: “…As press was ushered into the renovated building—passing the unironically titled “PRESIDENTIAL BALLROOM”—the smell of white paint was still thick…”
Wait, I thought: Is the smell of white paint unlike the smell of other paints? Google (bless its probing little algorithm) quickly put my wondering mind to rest: Yes, there are differences in how different paints smell; And some are so different, and unhealthy for the environment, that federal restrictions have been placed on their creation and use.
I was floored by this information in part because I can’t recall having painted a room (or much of anything) for well over 20 years. And not being a particularly ‘handy’ type, where home improvements are concerned, while I don’t go out of my way to avoid information on that topic, I don’t often stumble upon occasions – such as the article on Trump’s soon-to-grandly-opened Washington hotel – when brush- or hammer-related articles cross my path. (I don’t even own a saw, though I would, I dare say, know one if I saw it!)
Still, I was glad to learn that the U.S. federal government has identified and set out to control paints that, while doing a brightening job, are dulling the potential of our environment to continue functioning as we need it to.
China’s Minister of Public Security met this morning (March 14) in Beijing with James Comey, director of the FBI. The two intend, according to Xinhau, the Chinese news service, to “enhance mutual trust and respect each others’ core interests to promote building a new model of major-country relationship.”
Gua told the news service he anticipates the two security agency leaders will “fully implement the consensus reached by [China President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama]” when they met in Paris last November at the summit meeting on the climate.
At that meeting, the two nations’ leaders “agreed to have more pragmatic cooperation in cyber security and anti-terrorism,” Xinhau said today.
But on another area of security, the two countries are poles apart: The construction by China of military installations on disputed islands in the South China Sea. Tensions have ratcheted up recently as China has reclaimed land in massive dredging operations, turning sandbars into islands equipped with airfields, ports and lighthouses, CNN reported on March 8.
The Washington Post reported on November 30 that after arriving in Paris the day before, “President Obama’s motorcade glided along the Seine through largely deserted streets [the French were banned from driving in the capital while the summit was going on] before stopping in front of Le Bataclan, the concert hall were scores of people were killed in the terrorist attacks on Nov. 13.” He placed a white rose on the street atop “the mound of flowers and candles already there then, after a few minutes of silence with his hands folded before him, Obama walked away, briefly placing hand on the shoulders of French President Francois Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo,” the Post reported.