First Drip (1/15/15): Chiquita reflux, Pope on Hebdo, Boko Haram destruction worse than thought



Duke Energy could pass on the costs of closing its North Carolina ash ponds to customers, says Chairman Edward Finley of the state Utilities Commission. Duke has estimated coal ash disposal costs at $10 billion.

Chiquita Brands International said Wednesday that it would pay back millions in incentives that state and local governments granted to woo the company to Charlotte, raising questions about the use of incentives to spur economic growth. The corporation is moving its headquarters and hundreds of jobs, despite its earlier promise to keep its headquarters in town for 10 years. Mecklenburg County commissioner Bill James, a longtime critic of incentives, questions if it’s worth it. “I mean honestly, what kind of loyalty do you get?” James says. “I don’t want to sound crass, but, no one falls in love with a hooker. And in essence Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte, they’ve been hooking themselves out to these companies.”

Pope Francis said Thursday that his visit to the Philippines, Asia's largest Catholic nation, will focus on the plight of the poor, the exploited and victims of injustice. The leader, during his flight from Sri Lanka to Manila, also commented on the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, saying "You cannot insult someone's religion," but also insisting that it was an "aberration" to kill in the name of God. Tens of thousands greeted him in Manila.

Satellite images show unprecedented destruction in two Nigerian towns that were recently attacked by Boko Haram, Islamist extremists, Amnesty International said Wednesday. Detailed images of Baga and Doron Baga, taken before and after the attack earlier this month, show that more than 3,700 structures were damaged or completely destroyed, and the group said interviews with witnesses as well as local government officials and human rights activists suggest hundreds of civilians were shot; last week, the human rights group noted reports of as many as 2,000 dead.

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