Nats double down on commitment to coal, Joyce rants against wind and solar | RenewEconomy

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If there were any questions over the National Party’s commitment to the coal sector after the loss of Matt Canavan from the resources portfolio, they were quickly answered by new deputy leader David Littleproud who reasserted his party’s commitment to a new coal generator in Queensland on his first day in the job.

In an interview with ABC’s RN Breakfast program on Wednesday, Littleproud trotted out the three consistent assertions of the coal lobby; that you can reduce emissions using more coal, that more coal generation is necessary to lower electricity prices and that baseload power is a necessary feature of the future energy system.

Each of these three assertions have been repeatedly debunked, but it confirms that it’s business as usual in a Morrison cabinet that will continue to face internal divisions over a need to act on climate change and the fossil fuel advocates within its ranks.

It is understood that Queensland Nationals MP Keith Pitt is the front runner to take over Canavan’s former positions as the minister for resources and Northern Australia when new ministerial appointments are announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday.

Pitt himself has been an outspoken advocate for a new coal-fired power station in Queensland, so while Canavan – who liked to describe himself as “Mr Coal” – has exited the federal cabinet, the pressure to push forward with the Collinsville project is likely to continue.

Pitt has also been a strong supporter of a nuclear industry in Australia, and will have the backing of failed Nationals leadership candidate Barnaby Joyce, who again argued for nuclear power to be considered as part of Australia’s efforts to reduce emissions as part of a bizarre Facebook rant against renewable energy.

“We have to recognise that the public acceptance of wind towers on the hill in front of their veranda is gone, and the public dissonance on that issue is as strong as any other environmental subject,” Joyce said.

“If zero emissions are the goal then surely nuclear energy should be supported, but it is not. If wind towers are a moral good and environmentally inoffensive, why can’t we have them just off the beach at Bondi so we can feel good about ourselves while going for a surf? It would cause a riot.”

“Do you want a 3,000ha solar farm next door to you? Lots of glass and aluminium neatly in rows pointing at the sun. I am not sure others will want to buy that view off you when you go to sell your house.”

The coal industry might have lost its most enthusiastic advocate from the federal cabinet, but the Nationals were quick to show that it won’t lead to any changes on the party’s energy and climate change policies.

In his interview, Littleproud, who is also tipped to take on the now vacant agriculture portfolio, told the ABC that investments in new coal generators would help lower emissions and lower electricity prices.

“You need to make sure that you create an environment in the marketplace with a mix of renewables and coal-fired power stations, and if you can improve the emissions of coal fired power stations, you should make that investment if it means that we hit our targets and we reduce energy prices,” Littleproud claimed.

It has been well established for some time that the cheapest source of new electricity generation capacity are renewable sources like wind and solar.

A recent update to the CSIRO’s GenCost assessment of the costs of different generation technologies re-confirmed that new wind and solar are, by far, the cheapest sources of electricity generation. Even when additional storage is accounted for, prices of firmed renewables are competitive with fossil fuel generators when the costs of carbon emissions are considered.

Renewables are already helping to drive down electricity prices.

This week, the ACT, which has recently achieved its 100 per cent renewable electricity target, is also set to see an almost 7 per cent fall in its electricity prices this year, as the territory’s investments in wind and solar projects have helped deliver lower electricity prices for Canberra households, ensuring they continue to pay some of Australia’s lowest electricity prices.

But this also didn’t stop Littleproud asserting that it is possible to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while still embracing coal.

“You can invest in clean coal technology in and reduce emissions,” Littleproud said.

“I’m not disputing the science, what I’m saying is I’m not gifted academically to have that science background myself.” – @D_LittleproudMP when asked about his recent statement that he didn’t know if climate change was man made. #abc730 @leighsales #auspol pic.twitter.com/sFh44eNP2a

— abc730 (@abc730) February 4, 2020

Again, there are fundamental limits to how much emissions from coal-fired power stations can be improved. Even with a complete transition to the Coalition’s favoured high-efficiency low-emissions (HELE) coal power station technologies, the most generous estimates put the amount of emissions reductions at 20 per cent.

In his review of the National Electricity Market, chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel compared the emissions intensity of different generation technologies, showing that the HELE coal-fired power stations promoted by the Nationals will still produce 0.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent for each megawatt-hour of electricity produced, and is only slightly below the NEM’s current average emissions intensity.

When the science, and the international commitments made under the Paris Agreement, are calling for governments to achieve zero net emissions by 2050, a 20 per cent cut in coal power station emissions is going to be grossly insufficient.

It’s a position that leaves the Nationals at odds with science, but also the business community which is undergoing an accelerating exit from the coal industry. This includes BlackRock, which manages USD$7 trillion (A$10.15 trillion) in investments, which announced in January that it was divesting its portfolios from thermal coal companies.

Littleproud argued for the need for “baseload” power, suggesting that coal-fired power stations are necessary, as Australia currently lacks sufficient levels of battery storage.

“We’ve still got to have baseload, the thing is that we don’t have battery storage to the capacity that we need to be able to keep the lights on,” Littleproud said.

With the emergence of new energy management technologies, a growing market for energy storage that is outpacing growth in coal generation in Australia, demand response platforms and the falling prices of renewables, the concept of baseload is quickly becoming outdated.

With system planners recognising the crucial role that a ‘flexible’ energy system will have into the future, pushing new inflexible baseload power stations, like a new coal generator, into the energy system will only be counterproductive.

Chair of the Energy Security Board, which has been tasked with redesigning Australia’s energy market in response to the widescale transformation underway in the energy sector, labelled Australia’s existing “baseload” generators as “dinosaurs”, singling out coal-fired generators Bayswater and Liddell saying that their inflexibility made them poorly suited to a future energy system.

There has been a surge of installations of large-scale battery storage systems, and new investments continue to be made in deploying storage projects, while coal-fired generators are readying to exit the market.

The renewed push from the Nationals for a new coal generator appears to have been bolstered by the findings of a $10 million feasibility study into a potential new coal-fired power station in Collinsville. The feasibility study was funded as part of the government’s Underwriting New Generation Investments initiative and has yet to be released publicly.

“Collinsville, there’s a there’s now a report that’s come back to say that that business case should advance and then obviously, that will be backed by the economics of it,” Littleproud told ABC’s RN Breakfast.

The saga of the Collinsville power station has been a source of tension within the Coalition party room. Outgoing resources minister Matt Canavan had been desperate to get the project off the ground, and confronted prime minister Scott Morrison when he thought progress on the proposal was progressing too slowly.

Those tensions continue to play out in the party room, with a fiery confrontation occurring during the first coalition party room meeting of the year, and after a summer dominated by bushfires and calls for stronger climate action.

Several Nationals members shouted down calls from moderate Liberal MPs, who called for the Morrison government to demonstrate that it was taking climate change seriously.

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READ IN FULL: Parktown Boys’ High School releases statement following death of pupil at orientation camp

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Parktown Boys’ High School have released a statement outlining its version on the turn of events at a Grade 8 orientation camp where a 13-year-old pupil died.

Enoch Mpianzi’s body was found on Friday after he went missing during a water activity at the camp.

He was last seen on Wednesday when a makeshift raft he and other boys were on, overturned on the Crocodile River.

In a statement posted in the school’s Facebook Page, the school said the camp was aimed at introducing the new Parktonians to one another and creating an environment that focused on teamwork and achieving of common goals through various activities.

Here is the full, unedited statement:

The Parktown Boys’ High School Grade 8 Orientation Camp took place at Nyathi Bush and River Break in the North West Province. The Grade 8 group arrived at camp on Wednesday the 15th of January. The camp is aimed at introducing new Parktonians to each other and creating an environment which focuses on team work and the achieving of common goals through various activities offered at the camp.

The school’s Headboy, Deputy Headboy and SEC members along with 7 staff members were also present on the camp along with the Headmaster, Malcolm Williams and a Senior Child Development and Protection Consultant, Luke Lamprecht.

In the afternoon the boys were involved in a water activity that was supervised by trained camp facilitators. After the activity there was a hike and supper, followed by a sleep out in the veld.

ALSO READ | Parktown Boys’ High tragedy: Gauteng Education Department launches own investigation

Late on Thursday morning, it became apparent that a boy had gone missing from the camp. Internal emergency procedures were immediately instituted by camp management, staff and members of the community. The Headmaster contacted the father to alert him to staff concerns.

At 15h20 the Headmaster again contacted the father to confirm that all efforts to locate Enock had failed and shortly thereafter transport was arranged to take the family to the venue. Two trained counsellors from the school accompanied the family.

By this time the SAPS Emergency Services had already been called, including the Search and Rescue unit who at the point assumed control of the search.

On Thursday evening the decision was made to curtail all camp activities for the Friday and return the boys to school following breakfast and a briefing by the Headmaster and the Senior Child Development and Protection Consultant.

At 11h00 on Friday the school was informed of the tragic news that the body of Enock Mpianzi had been found by SAPS Search and Rescue personnel.

The Staff, Learners, SGB, and the Parktonian Alumni express their deepest sympathy to the Mpianzi family following this tragic loss. The school community remains in a state of shock and counselling support has been implemented.The Alumni of the school have committed to support the family where possible.

Further details will be communicated once more information becomes available.

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19 of the Best Tech Companies to Work in the U.S. in 2020

19 of the Best Tech Companies to Work in the U.S. in 2020

If you’re looking for a job in the technology sector, you might want to look at these companies.

By 
Trevor English

Glassdoor, one of the world’s top employment rating websites, recently released its annual list of top places to work for 2020. For those of you who don’t know, Glassdoor is a site where you can go and rate your employer, see what other people are getting for financial benefits, and basically learn as much as you’d like to about a company’s culture without actually working there.

All of this data is user-submitted, and it gives the site access to a high degree of employee sentiment for companies across the U.S. and the world. Their list of the best places to work for 2020 is based on user-submitted reviews in the previous year. It takes into account compensation data, culture data, and virtually anything a user provides to create a holistic ranking structure.

While the list includes companies from any industry in the U.S., if you weed out companies only in the tech space, you’re left with the best technology companies to work for in the U.S. Let’s take a look and see just who those companies are. 

19. Yardi Systems

Top Company Ranking: 53

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.3

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “This company truly cares about its employees, everything from great benefits and perks to encouraging a wonderful work/life/fun balance.”

18. CDW

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.3

Industry: IT Services

What employees say: “Working with CDW has provided many opportunities to expand my knowledge and skillset while working with phenomenal co-workers.”

17. SAP

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.3

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “Incredibly well organized, great communication, good pay, and very professional colleagues.”

16. AppFolio

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “Great work-life balance, friendly management, fantastic training, dog-friendly, fun culture.”

15. Adobe

Top Company Ranking: 39

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “The workplace is nice – the gym is top-notch, the cafeteria is great, and other amenities which make it an enjoyable work environment.”

14. VMWare – Part of Dell Technologies

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “Work/Life balance is good, and people are smart and supportive.”

13. Kronos Incorporated

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “Amazing organization and overall management structure with great benefits and an incredible work-life balance.”

12. Salesforce

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software 

What employees say: “The people are great, the culture is amazing, and the workspaces have everything you could ever need!” 

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Internet

What employees say: “Employees are truly empowered, respected, and supported. Lots of opportunities to learn from smart, engaged people.”

10. Compass

Top Company Ranking: 32

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Enterprise Software & Network Solutions

What employees say: “You are encouraged to participate and share your opinions and experience to help continue to make Compass the pinnacle of the industry.”

9. Facebook

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

What employees say: “No day is ever alike, and I get to tackle challenging problems surrounded by the best and brightest minds.”

8. Microsoft

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software 

What employees say: “I love the culture and the people here. We are always learning and have a can-do attitude.”

7. Nvidia

Top Company Ranking: 20

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.4

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “Amazing culture, great work-life balance, and a strong drive to succeed in every area makes NVIDIA one of the best places I’ve ever worked.”

6. MathWorks

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.5

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “They care about training and ensure that everyone is treated well with amazing little benefits from fruits in the morning to free Wednesday breakfast.”

5. LinkedIn

Top Company Ranking: 12

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.5

Industry: Subsidiary or Business Segment

What employees say: “Super invested in employee development, great work/life balance, great benefits for working mothers and maternity/paternity leave.”

4. Google

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.5

Industry: Internet

What employees say: “Work/life balance, benefits, compensation, autonomy, and the quality of your co-workers are unmatched.”

3. Ultimate Software

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.5

Industry: Enterprise Software & Network Solutions

What employees say: “The unlimited PTO, amazing benefits, and feeling like part of a big family are my favorite parts about Ultimate.” 

2. DocuSign

Top Company Ranking: 3

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.6

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

What employees say: “They treat their employees fairly, are dedicated to the success of their employees, have great work-life balance, and very responsive management.”

1. HubSpot

Rating (stars out of 5): 4.6

Industry: Computer Hardware & Software

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Jennifer Aniston’s daily schedule: a 16-hour fast – and celery juice as a treat | Film | The Guardian

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Appearance: Almost the same.

Almost the same as what? Almost the same as how she looked 20 years ago, when she was starring in the hit series Friends, according to the Mail Online.

Amazing. What is the secret of her youthful appearance? Not eating.

That doesn’t sound ideal at all. Well, more specifically, she’s adopted an “intermittent fasting” regime, more commonly known as the 16:8 diet.

Is it like the 5:2 diet, except you starve for 16 days and then binge for 8 days? No, in this case the numbers represent hours. “I noticed a big difference in going without solid food for 16 hours,” Aniston told the Radio Times.

Sixteen hours without food? By the time you’re allowed to eat, it would be past your bedtime! Fortunately, your sleeping hours are counted as part of the fasting period. You just have to delay breakfast until 10am.

I could probably just stay in bed until then, as long as I were allowed to eat what I liked afterwards. You eat anything, but you must stop by 5 or 6pm, when the fasting begins anew.

And does it actually keep you young? Who knows. Some people believe it is supposed to keep you slim, improve blood sugar control, boost brain function and increase life expectancy.

You know what’s guaranteed to make you feel old? Eating dinner at 5pm. Most intermittent fasters prefer the more convenient 12 to 8 eating window, but 10 to 6 is considered optimal.

Optimally joyless, do you mean? Obviously Aniston isn’t completely rigid about the whole thing. She has a “cheat” day once a week where she treats herself outside fasting hours.

And what does she have? Celery juice.

She treats herself to a celery juice? What an example to us all. Indeed she is.

I was being sarcastic. She is certainly an example to Reese Witherspoon, her co-star in the new series The Morning Show. “Jen knows so much about health and fitness that I always defer to her,” she told the Radio Times. “She’s great at wellbeing advice.”

Is there more to her wellbeing regime? In addition to fasting, Jen does meditation, followed by five workouts per week. Witherspoon, the swot, manages six.

I don’t understand how these people find time in their schedule to get drunk. They don’t need to get drunk; they get high on being a better person than you.

Do say: “Fasting, meditation, exercise: what a great way to use up the hours between now and death.”

Don’t say: “Focus, Jen. It’s nearly 6pm, and this box of doughnuts isn’t going to eat itself.”

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BBC criticised for ‘lack of transparency’ on Naga

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Media watchdog Ofcom has said it has “serious concerns around the transparency of the BBC’s complaints process” following its handling of the Naga Munchetty case.

The BBC’s director general Lord Hall recently reversed a decision to partially uphold a complaint against the BBC Breakfast host for comments she made about US President Donald Trump.

Ofcom criticised the “lack of transparency” around the original ruling, which sparked a public outcry, and Lord Hall’s subsequent U-turn.

The regulator has decided not to investigate Munchetty’s exchange with co-host Dan Walker, saying it did not break its broadcasting rules around impartiality.

But it said the corporation should have published more details of the reasons behind both the BBC Executive Complaints Unit [ECU]’s original decision and the subsequent change of mind.

Ofcom said: “The BBC ECU has not published the full reasoning for its partially upheld finding. Neither has the BBC published any further reasoning for the director-general’s decision to overturn that finding.”

‘A matter of urgency’

The case “highlights the need for the BBC to provide more transparency on the reasons for its findings”, the watchdog said, adding that it “will be addressing the BBC’s lack of transparency as a matter of urgency”.

Kevin Bakhurst, Ofcom’s director for content and media policy, said: “We have serious concerns around the transparency of the BBC’s complaints process, which must command the confidence of the public.

“We’ll be requiring the BBC to be more transparent about its processes and compliance findings as a matter of urgency.”

In response, a BBC spokesman said: “We note Ofcom’s finding and the fact they agree with the director-general’s decision.”

The BBC’s complaints framework says that, whenever the ECU upholds or resolves a complaint, it publishes a summary of its findings, rather than its full reasoning.

Ofcom received 18 complaints, mostly about the ECU’s original decision, which said Munchetty was wrong to criticise Mr Trump’s motives after he said four female politicians should “go back” to “places from which they came”.

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Letters between the BBC and Ofcom were published by the regulator and revealed a disagreement over whether Ofcom had the right to investigate a BBC programme for breaches of content standards.

The BBC took legal advice on the matter and declined to supply additional information to Ofcom while the regulator was deciding whether to investigate the Breakfast hosts’ comments.

The ECU’s full reasons for partially upholding the original complaint were sent to the complainant, but had not been provided to Ofcom, the watchdog said.

Ofcom said: “We had an exchange of correspondence with the BBC in which we invited the BBC to provide any further background information that it considered relevant for the purposes of helping us to carry out our assessment of the programme against the code.

“The BBC stated that it did not wish to provide any further information at this time. It also questioned whether it was within Ofcom’s remit under the BBC Charter and Agreement to assess this programme.”

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BBC gives more detail on Naga Munchetty ruling

BBC Image copyright Getty Images

The BBC has released more detail on its decision to uphold a complaint against news presenter Naga Munchetty.

The BBC Breakfast host was found to have breached guidelines by criticising President Donald Trump after he said four female politicians should “go back” to “places from which they came”.

The corporation said its editorial guidelines “do not allow for journalists to… give their opinions about the individual making the remarks or their motives for doing so – in this case President Trump”.

The statement added: “It was for this reason that the complaint was partially upheld. Those judgements are for the audience to make.”

It also said that President Trump’s comments were “widely condemned as racist, and we reported on this extensively”.

A letter to the complainant revealed the BBC had said that by commenting on Trump’s “possible motive” and the “potential consequences” of his statement, Munchetty had gone “beyond what the guidelines allow for”.

The BBC added in the letter that “audiences should not be able to tell” the opinions of its journalists on matters of public policy.

The corporation also released a full transcript of the 17 July broadcast.

Munchetty’s comments came after an interview with a supporter of the president.

Addressing the “go home” comment, presenter Dan Walker said: “That was the most telling quote for me last night. I can’t remember who said it but she said I’ve been told to go home many times to go back to where I’ve come from in my life but never by the man sitting in the Oval office.”

She said: “Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism.

“Now I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean.”

news Image copyright Getty Images

Walker then said: “You’re sitting here not giving an opinion, but how do you feel as someone when you’ve been told that before, and when you hear that from him?”

To which Munchetty replied: “Furious. Absolutely furious. And I imagine a lot of people in this country will be feeling absolutely furious that a man in that position feels it’s okay to skirt the lines with using language like that.”

Walker then asked: “So you feel his use of that then legitimises other people to use this…”

“Yes.. yes,” replied Munchetty.

“It feels like a thought-out strategy, to strengthen his position,” noted Walker.

Munchetty added: “And it is not enough to do it just to get attention… he’s in a responsible position.”

BBC Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Dan Walker replaced Bill Turnbull as a BBC Breakfast presenter in 2016

She has received messages of support after the corporation’s complaints unit, the ECU, partially upheld the complaint against her.

On Thursday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the decision as “astonishing”.

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Munchetty is not facing any action or reprimand, BBC News understands.

The broadcaster’s complaints unit found it was “entirely legitimate” for Munchetty to reply to Mr Walker in terms which reflected her own experience of racism and the racist context in which people from ethnic minorities are told to go back to their own countries.

But it said she went on to comment critically on the possible motive or consequences of Mr Trump’s words and “judgements of that kind are for the audience to make”.

Explaining their thinking, the BBC’s letter said: “Due impartiality does not require absolute neutrality on every issue or detachment from fundamental democratic principles. And the president’s remarks were widely regarded as racist and condemned in the UK across the political spectrum.

“Ms Munchetty had been pressed to comment by her co-presenter and had a legitimate, personal reason for feeling strongly on this issue. She was therefore in our view entitled to give a personal response to the phrase ‘go to back to your own country’, as it was rooted in her own experience of racism and in a generally accepted interpretation of that phrase.”

Adding: “But it is also evident that Ms Munchetty, despite at the end of the exchange acknowledging ‘I am not here to give my opinion’, did comment directly and critically on the possible motive for, and potential consequences of, the president’s conduct, which by their nature were a matter for legitimate discussion and debate. This, in our view, went beyond what the Guidelines allow for under these circumstances, and on those grounds I am therefore upholding your complaint.”

The BBC’s spokeswoman said Munchetty was not available for comment.

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Naga Munchetty Trump comments ‘breached BBC rules’

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Image caption Munchetty has been a presenter on BBC Breakfast for the last 10 years

Naga Munchetty breached BBC guidelines by criticising President Donald Trump for perceived racism, the corporation’s complaints unit has ruled.

In July the BBC presenter took issue with comments made by the US President after he told opponents to “go back” to the “places from which they came”.

The BBC said the Breakfast host was entitled to her own views but had gone “beyond what the guidelines allow for”.

It said any action taken as a result of the finding would be published later.

A BBC spokeswoman said the corporation’s Executive Complaints Unit [ECU] had ruled that “while Ms Munchetty was entitled to give a personal response to the phrase ‘go back to your own country’ as it was rooted in her own experience, overall her comments went beyond what the guidelines allow for”.

Off-script

Speaking on BBC Breakfast on 17 July after Mr Trump’s online remarks, Munchetty said: “Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism.

“Now I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean.”

news Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The US president’s comments prompted a wave of criticism

Munchetty said she felt “absolutely furious” and suggested many people in the UK might feel the same way.

“I can imagine lots of people in this country will be feeling absolutely furious that a man in that position feels it’s okay to skirt the lines with using language like that,” she told co-presenter Dan Walker.

Her comments followed Mr Trump posting several messages that made references to the Democrat politicians Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” he wrote on Twitter on 14 July.

Some BBC journalists tweeted their disapproval at the ECU’s ruling.

Presenter Carrie Gracie, who resigned her post as China Editor in a dispute over equal pay, said it had caused “unease” among BBC journalists “for whom ‘go back’ = racist” and called on the ECU to explain its decision.

BBC correspondent Sangita Myska tweeted: “Right now, there is a lot of bewilderment among BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] staff”, adding “there is unique self-censoring that BAMEs do across all industries & workplaces”.

Replying to Ms Myska, presenter Matthew Price tweeted his “solidarity”, saying: “There’s a lot of bewilderment (and some anger) among non-BAME staff too… and I agree there’s general concern about voicing it openly.”

When Munchetty made the comment in July, she received praise online for her “off-script” moment.

BBC

The ECU found Munchetty’s assertion that Mr Trump’s comments were “embedded in racism” went beyond what the BBC allows and upheld a complaint made about the presenter’s comments.

The BBC’s spokeswoman said a summary of the complaint and the ECU’s decision would be published on the BBC’s online complaints pages and that it would “include a note of any action taken as a result of the finding”.

Labour MP David Lammy called the ECU’s decision “appalling“, while journalist Kevin Maguire said it was a “bad, bad day“.

A representative for BBC Breakfast said Munchetty was not available for comment.

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Millennials abandoned cereal: General Mills is betting that kids and older people will bring it back

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New York (CNN Business)General Mills has a cereal problem. It thinks children and aging boomers can help solve it.

To strengthen the category, General Mills is trying a number of different things, like leaning into nostalgic, sugary cereals and exploring new food trends. It’s also banking on changing demographics in the United States to help boost sales, said Jonathon Nudi, group president of North America retail for General Mills, during a recent investor day presentation.
General Mills is betting that kids and older people will help save cereal - CNN
According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, the population of children in the United States has been declining or about flat for the past several years. In 2010, there were 74.1 million children in the US. In 2017 that figure was 73.7 million. The group projects that number will tick back up to 74.1 million in 2020, and hit 75 million in 2025.
    Meanwhile, the US population is aging rapidly. The Census Bureau predicts that in 2035, older adults will outnumber kids for the first time in the United States.
    Those groups have “some of the highest levels of per capita cereal consumption,” Nudi said. By catering to these customers, the company can “drive further category improvement,’ he said.
    While Millennials have generally turned away from cereal as a meal -— instead snacking on it during the day or swapping it out for dessert on occasion — kids and older adults who eat cereal still like it for breakfast.
    The stronger preference for cereal among older adults and children has been going on for “decades,” said Mike Siemienas, a spokesperson for General Mills (GIS).
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    Cereal is popular among parents looking for an easy, convenient way to prepare breakfast for kids, said Alexander Esposito, research analyst at Euromonitor International. And the sweet flavors tend to appeal to children, he added.
    For people over 55, cereal is attractive because it offers certain nutritional benefits, like fiber. While Millennials and younger adults tend to care about “ethical labels,” like organic certifications and may try avoid foods that use genetically-modified organisms, for older adults “the health implications are a bit more real,” Esposito said.
    Plus, people who grew up eating cereal tend to eat less when they enter the workforce and start eating breakfast on the go, noted John Baumgartner, an analyst who covers food for Wells Fargo. When they hit retirement age, they may return to the habit, he added.
    business
    General Mills uses Cheerios in particular to advertise to customers concerned about heart health. A “hearts matter” page on the Cheerios website notes that the Honey Nut Cheerios “makes heart health enjoyable.” The company is doubling down on that messaging this year, Nudi said, “to clearly communicate the health benefits of this product to boomers.”
    Honey Nut and regular Cheerios perform well both with children and older adults, said Siemienas. Two other brands that do well with children are Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms, he added. Older adults prefer Wheaties and Fiber One.
    To capitalize on the trend, General Mills is trying to appeal to both age groups.
    Cheerios is continuing a partnership with Ellen DeGeneres to try to reach to her fans. Reese’s Puffs, geared toward a younger audience, has partnered with rapper Travis Scott. General Mills has also revamped the look of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, decorating the box with “Cinnamojis.”
      Baumgartner pointed out that General Mills just needs to keep cereal sales steady to do well, because it relies on other parts of its business, like snacks and pet food, for growth.
      “They don’t really have to have the cereal category be a growth category,” he said. “As long as it’s flat to slightly up, I think that’s all they really need.”

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