WASHINGTON

Obama renews protection for Liberians for two years

Liberian immigrants living in the U.S. without a visa won’t be sent back to the epicenter of the Ebola crisis in West Africa for at least another two years, the Obama administration said Friday.

President Obama signed a memo extending a legal protection called “deferred enforced departure” that continues a protection from deportation that has been in place for more than a decade.

The government first granted Liberians temporary protective status during that country’s bloody civil war, which started in 1991 and ended in 2003.

That original protection expired in October 2007. President George W. Bush then approved deferred enforced departure for the community.

Obama later approved the same protection.

WASHINGTON

Higher U.S. emissions levels show rebounding economy

The Obama administration appears to be losing ground in its efforts to cut U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases, according to new government figures that show pollution levels rising again after several years of gradual decline.

Data released Friday by the Energy Department show factories and power plants putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during the first six months of 2014 compared with the same period in each of the past two years. The figures confirm a reversal first seen in 2013, when the trend of steadily falling emissions abruptly halted.

The higher emissions are primarily a reflection of a rebounding economy. But the shift also underscores the challenge confronting the Obama administration as it seeks to honor a pledge to sharply cut emissions by the end of the decade.

The release of the new data comes just three days after President Obama stood before a United Nations climate summit to highlight U.S. progress in reducing levels of carbon dioxide and other gases.

WASHINGTON

Genetically modified wheat appears in Montana

Unregulated genetically modified wheat has popped up in a second location in the U.S., the Agriculture Department said Friday.

The genetically modified wheat was found on three acres at a university research center in Huntley, Montana, where such genetically modified wheat was legally tested by the seed giant Monsanto 11 years ago.

A similar finding in Oregon last year on more than 100 acres prompted several Asian countries to temporarily ban U.S. wheat imports.

– From news service reports