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A series of complex challenges, including a lack of funding and political will as well as rising insecurity linked to extremist groups al-Qaida and the Islamic State in Burkina Faso, are obstructing progress on Africa’s Great Green Wall, according to experts involved in the initiative. There have been some modest gains for the project, which plans to build an 8000-kilometer (4970-mile) long forest through 11 nations across the width of Africa to hold back the ever-growing Sahara Desert and fend off climate change impacts, but many involved with the plan are calling for renewed momentum to combat both insecurity and environmental decline. It's believed that the increased food security and jobs that the Great Green Wall could provide would help alleviate some political instability.

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Crews battled a four-alarm fire at a Phoenix recycling plant for several Sunday before it was brought under control. Phoenix Fire Department officials said they were called to the scene around 5:45 a.m. Video from Phoenix TV stations at the scene showed large plumes of black smoke over central Phoenix as firefighters worked to put out the flames. Fire officials said multiple explosions believed to be caused by magnesium have been reported after the fire started. A hazmat situation was prompted when firefighters poured water onto the burning metal. Electricity in the area was cut off as a precaution after crews spotted a power pole on fire. Authorities said there were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire wasn’t immediately determined.

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Hyundai Motor Group officials confirmed Friday the company will spend $5.5 billion on a huge electric vehicle plant near Savannah that will employ thousands _ a deal Georgia’s governor called the largest economic development project in the state’s history. Hyundai Motor Group CEO Jaehoon Chang made the announcement with Gov. Brian Kemp at the site of the future factory in Bryan County, where state and local officials purchased a flat, sprawling tract for $61 million last year in hopes of luring a major manufacturer. Hyundai said it plans to employ at least 8,100 workers at the Georgia plant, where it will assemble electric vehicles as well as vehicle batteries.

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Ulf Allhoff-Cramer, farmer, stands in a rye field in front of his tractor in Detmold, Germany, Wedenesday, May 18, 2022. The organic farmer holds the VW car company partly responsible for damage to his farm. Together with Greenpeace, he wants to go to court to get VW to stop producing combustion vehicles by 2030. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)

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Ulf Allhoff-Cramer, farmer, sits in a pasture next to one of his cows in Detmold, Germany, Wedenesday, May 18, 2022. The organic farmer holds the VW car company partly responsible for damage to his farm. Together with Greenpeace, he wants to go to court to get VW to stop producing combustion vehicles by 2030. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)

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Red state officials are coming out swinging against growing Wall Street efforts to consider environmental risk in investment decisions. Their target is “ESG,” which stands for environmental, social and governance. The principles call on investors to consider factors other than traditional financial metrics in their decisions. The acronym has become the latest culture war fodder in conservative media and in state government this year. The movement against green investing indicates how the GOP has become more willing to damage its relationship with big business to fight ideological foes. Opposition has been particularly strong in red states where fossil fuels make up a large part of the economy.