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White House drops Interior nominee after Murkowski objects | PA Power and Policy

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is withdrawing its planned nomination of Elizabeth Klein to become deputy secretary at the Interior Department amid opposition from Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Klein, who worked at Interior during the Obama administration, was among five women named by then-President-elect Joe Biden to serve as deputy Interior secretaries. But she was never formally nominated and now won’t be, a White House spokesman said Tuesday.

Klein’s withdrawal was first reported by Politico.

Instead, Biden is expected to name Tommy Beaudreau, another former Obama-era Interior official, to be deputy secretary, according to two people familiar with the president’s thinking. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about a nomination that has not occurred.

Beaudreau is a former Interior Department chief of staff and served as the first-ever director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, an agency created after

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Haaland OK’d at Interior, 1st Native American Cabinet head | PA Power and Policy

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Monday confirmed New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as interior secretary, making her the first Native American to lead a Cabinet department and the first to lead the federal agency that has wielded influence over the nation’s tribes for nearly two centuries.

Haaland was confirmed by a 51-40 vote, the narrowest margin yet for a Cabinet nomination by President Joe Biden. Four Republicans voted yes: Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Democrats and tribal groups hailed Haaland’s confirmation as historic, saying her selection means that Indigenous people — who lived in North America before the United States was created — will for the first time see a Native American lead the powerful department where decisions on relations with the nearly 600 federally recognized tribes are made. Interior also oversees a host of other issues,

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The Secret Garden and the healing power of nature

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Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden has been described as “the most significant children’s book of the 20th century.”

First published in 1911, after being serialised in The American Magazine, it was dismissed by one critic at the time as simple and lacking “plenty of excitement”. The novel is, in fact, a sensitive and complex story, which explores how a relationship with nature can foster our emotional and physical well-being. It also reveals anxieties about national identity at a time of the British Empire, drawing on ideas of Christian Science.

The Secret Garden has been read by generations, remains a fixture on children’s publishing lists today and has inspired several film versions. A new film, starring Colin Firth, Dixie Egerickx and Amir Wilson, updates the story in some ways for modern audiences.

2020 movie still, a tree covered in pink flowers
A scene from the new movie version of the book.
Studiocanal

The book opens as nine-year-old Mary Lennox

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IBM partners with White House to direct supercomputing power for coronavirus research

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IBM (IBM) partnered with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Energy to create the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium. The effort, which IBM started just last week, is expected to harness powerful high performance computing, or “supercomputing,” resources that will massively increase the speed and capacity of coronavirus-related research.

“How can we find new treatments? Or ultimately vaccines and a cure?” Director of IBM Research Dario Gil asked in an interview with CNN Business. “Those are the areas we’ll be looking at … We’re going to bring an unprecedented amount of computing power” to address coronavirus.

The system will harness 16 supercomputing systems from IBM, national laboratories, several universities, Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT) and others. Computing power will be provided via remote access to researchers whose projects are approved by the
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