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Report: Solar could power 40% of U.S. electricity by 2035

Solar energy has the potential to supply up to 40% of the nation’s electricity within 15 years — a 10-fold increase over current solar output, but one that would require massive changes in U.S. policy and billions of dollars in federal investment to modernize the nation’s electric grid, a new federal report says.

The report by the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy says the United States would need to quadruple its annual solar capacity — and continue to increase it year by year — as it shifts to a renewable-dominant grid in order to address the existential threat posed by climate change.

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The report released Wednesday is not intended as a policy statement or administration goal, officials said. Instead, it is “designed to guide and inspire the next decade of solar innovation by helping us answer questions like: How fast does solar need to increase capacity and to what level?” said Becca Jones-Albertus, director of the Energy Department’s solar energy technologies office.

Trial of 20 men accused in 2015 Paris attacks begins

In a custom-built secure complex embedded within a 13th-century courthouse, France on Wednesday opened the trial of 20 men accused in the Islamic State group’s 2015 attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead and hundreds injured.

Nine gunmen and suicide bombers struck within minutes of each other at France’s national soccer stadium, the Bataclan concert hall and Paris restaurants and cafes on Nov. 13, 2015. Survivors of the attacks as well as those who mourn their dead packed the rooms, which were designed to hold 1,800 plaintiffs and more than 300 lawyers.

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The lone survivor of the extremist cell from that night, Salah Abdeslam, is the key defendant. Abdeslam, whose brother was among the suicide bombers that night, appeared wearing a black short-sleeved shirt and black trousers, his long hair tied back.

Officer disciplined after watching court hearing on Zoom while on duty

A veteran police officer was disciplined after spending most of a shift watching a colleague’s divorce court hearing on Zoom, the Boca Raton (Florida) Police Department said.

Officer Robert Cohen told internal affairs investigators he didn’t think it would interfere with his work. But investigators say he violated multiple department and city policies.

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Cohen, who has been with the Boca Raton Police Department since 2008, received counseling as discipline.

The incident happened April 19, when Cohen spent seven hours on his personal iPad and phone listening to a remote Zoom court hearing involving another Boca Police employee’s divorce hearing.