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21 Feb, 4 tweets, 2 min read
As Texans cranked up their heaters early Monday to combat plunging temperatures, a record surge of electricity demand set off a disastrous chain reaction in the state’s power grid. Reuters shows how a unique confluence of problems caused the shutdown 1/4
Texas’ grid operator underestimated its need for reserve power capacity before the crisis, then moved too slowly to tell utilities to institute rolling blackouts to protect against a grid meltdown, energy analysts, traders and economists said 2/4
Before dawn on Monday, the state’s grid operator was ‘seconds and minutes’ away from an uncontrolled blackout for its 26 million customers, its CEO said 3/4
Texas is the only continental U.S. state with an independent, isolated grid. It is also the only major grid that doesn’t have a capacity market, a system that provides payments to operators to be on standby to supply power during severe weather events 4/4

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More from @Reuters

22 Feb
Kenya is battling some of the worst locust plagues in decades but startup The Bug Picture hopes to transform the pests into profits and bring 'hope to the hopeless' whose crops and livelihoods are being destroyed by the insects Image
Scientists say warmer seas are creating more rain, waking dormant eggs, and cyclones that disperse the swarms are getting stronger and more frequent. Swarms can travel up to 150 km a day and can contain between 40-80 million locusts per square kilometer ImageImageImageImage
The Bug Picture is working with communities around the area of Laikipia, Isiolo and Samburu in central Kenya to harvest the insects and mill them, turning them into protein-rich animal feed and organic fertilizer for farms ImageImageImageImage
Read 6 tweets
22 Feb
U.S. Supreme Court paves way for Trump's financial records to be disclosed to a grand jury by refusing to block lower courts
The justices rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold a lower court ruling directing the former president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury…
Supreme Court rejects Stormy Daniels' bid to revive her defamation lawsuit against Trump over a tweet in which he accused her of a 'con job' after she described being threatened over publicizing her account of a sexual relationship with him…
Read 5 tweets
20 Feb
Naomi Osaka’s 6-4 6-3 win over Jennifer Brady in the Australian Open final gave the Japanese juggernaut her fourth Grand Slam crown, with her career still budding at the age of 23 1/4
Osaka joined Monica Seles and Roger Federer as winners in their first four Grand Slam finals.

‘I hope that I can have one grain of how their career has unfolded. But you can only wish and you can only just keep going down your own path,’ she said 2/4
Having added a second Australian Open title to her two U.S. Open crowns, Osaka said she would rather ‘live in the moment’ than set ambitious targets for further Grand Slam glory 3/4
Read 4 tweets
19 Feb
It is official: The United States has rejoined the Paris climate agreement, reinvigorating the global fight against climate change
Scientists and foreign diplomats have welcomed the U.S. return to the treaty, which became official here 30 days after President Joe Biden ordered the move on his first day in office
Since nearly 200 countries signed the 2015 pact to prevent catastrophic climate change, the United States was the only country to exit. Former President Donald Trump took the step, claiming climate action would cost too much
Read 4 tweets
19 Feb
Sunday is traditionally a quiet day for Chuck Pryor's Houston funeral home, but on this Sunday in February, almost a year after the global pandemic reached Texas, the phone was still ringing 1/6
Pryor took the call: COVID-19 had taken yet another American life - pushing the nation's death toll closer to the half-million mark - and another grieving family required the services of the exhausted funeral director and his staff 2/6
The sheer number of coronavirus deaths has overwhelmed many U.S. funeral homes.

Some family-owned businesses have handled a crushing case load, with some seeing the same number of deaths in a couple of months as they would normally handle in a full year 3/6
Read 6 tweets
19 Feb
A head shorter than his peers, Fallou Diop quickly vanishes into the crowd of jockeys preparing for early morning drills in the western Senegalese village of Niaga 1/7 Image
When the racing begins, however, his crouched silhouette is far ahead of the field, aided by an effortless riding style. 'When I start riding I get a bit stressed, but after a moment, it's over,' Diop says 2/7 ImageImageImage
Diop is one of Senegal's most promising jockeys, having won the country's top racing prize when he was just 17.

He hopes to begin racing in France next year, realizing a dream coveted by some of Senegal's foremost riders 3/7 Image
Read 7 tweets

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