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New vehicles sold in the US will have to average about 38 miles per gallon of gasoline in 2031 in real-world driving, up from about 29 mpg this year, under new federal rules unveiled Friday by the Biden administration.

The final rule will increase fuel economy by 2% per year for model years 2027 to 2031 for passenger cars, while SUVs and other light trucks will increase by 2% per year for model years 2029 to 2031, according to requirements released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The final figures are below aproposal released last year.

Administration officials said the less strict requirements will allow the auto industry flexibility to focus on electric vehicles, adding that higher gas-mileage requirements would have imposed significant costs on consumers without sufficient fuel savings to offset them.

President Biden has set a goal thathalf all of new vehicles sold in the US in 2030are electric, part of his push to fight climate change.

Gasoline-powered vehicles make up the largest single source of US greenhouse gas emissions.

The 50% sales figure would be a huge increase over current EV sales, which rose to 7.6% of new vehicle sales last year, up from 5.8% in 2022.

Even as he promotes EVs, Biden needs cooperation from the auto industry and political support from auto workers, a key political voting bloc, as the Democratic president seeks reelection in November.

The United Auto Workers union has endorsed Biden but has said it wants to make sure the transition to electric vehicles does not cause job losses and that the industry pays top wages to workers who build EVs and batteries.

Bidens likely opponent, former President Donald Trump, and other Republicans have denounced Bidens push for EVs as unfair for consumers and an example of government overreach.

The new standards will save almost 70 billion gallons of gasoline through 2050, preventing more than 710 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by midcentury, the Biden administration said.

Not only will these new standards save Americans money at the pump every time they fill up, they will also decrease harmful pollution and make America less reliant on foreign oil, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. These standards will save car owners more than $600 in gasoline costs over the lifetime of their vehicle.

The highway safety agency said it has sought to line up its regulations so they match newEnvironmental Protection Agency rules that tighten standards for tailpipe emissions.

But if there are discrepancies, automakers likely will have to follow the most stringent regulation.

In the byzantine world of government regulation, both agencies essentially are responsible for setting fuel economy requirements since the fastest way to reduce greenhouse emissions is to burn less gasoline.

Fuel economy figures used by The Associated Press reflect real-world driving conditions that include factors such as wind resistance, hills and use of air-conditioning.

Because of those factors, the real-world numbers are lower than the mileage standard put forward by NHTSA.

These new fuel economy standards will save our nation billions of dollars, help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and make our air cleaner for everyone,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman.

John Bozzella, president and CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a leading industry group, said the Biden administration”appears to have landed on a CAFE rule that works with the other recent federal tailpipe rules.”

Bozzella was using an acronym for the fuel standards, which are officially known as the corporate average fuel economy rules.

At some point,’ Bozzella added, well need to talk about whether theres really a need for CAFE (standards) in a world rapidly moving toward electrification of the vehicle fleet.

The fuel-economy standards are a relic of the 1970s,’ Bozzella said, a policy to promote energy conservation and energy independence by making internal combustion vehicles more efficient. But those vehicles are already very efficient. And EVs dont combust anything. They dont even have a tailpipe.’

Dan Becker at the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group, slammed the new rules as inadequate.

The highway safety agency is supposed to set strong standards for gas-powered vehicles, he said, but instead it sat on its tailpipes, leaving automakers free to make cars, SUVs and pickups that will guzzle and pollute for decades to come and keep America stuck on oil.’

The administration caved to automaker pressure, with a weak rule requiring only a 2% improvement per year in fuel economy, Becker said, adding that the rule falls short of the agencys own requirement to set fuel-economy standards at the maximum technologically feasible level.

NHTSA said its rule includes a 10% improvement per year for commercial pickup trucks and work vans.

Automakers can meet the requirements with a mix of electric vehicles, gas-electric hybrids and efficiency improvements in gas and diesel vehicles.

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Justin Timberlake addresses ‘tough week’ at first concert since drink-driving arrest

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Justin Timberlake addresses 'tough week' at first concert since drink-driving arrest

Justin Timberlake has performed his first gig since his arrest for alleged drink-driving, telling the crowd it had been a “tough week”. 

The US star is currently on his The Forget Tomorrow World Tour and performed in Chicago on Friday night after being arrested earlier this week.

He told the screaming crowd: “We’ve been together through ups and downs, lefts and rights.

“It’s been a tough week, but you’re here and I’m here, and nothing can change this moment right now.”

The singer appeared emotional as he added: “I know sometimes I’m hard to love but you keep on loving me and I love you right back.”

Timberlake was in Long Island in New York state – having reportedly had dinner with friends – when he was pulled over by police in the early hours of Tuesday.

Officers said the 43-year-old had failed to pause at a stop sign and was seen not being able to stay in his lane.

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Timberlake’s car caught on CCTV

Timberlake was held overnight and formally charged with a DWI (driving while intoxicated) misdemeanour at Sag Harbor Village Justice Court on Tuesday morning before being released.

According to a source talking to Page Six, the officer who pulled Timberlake over “was so young that he didn’t even know” who the star was.

A second source told the celebrity news outlet that during the arrest, Timberlake said: “This is going to ruin the tour.”

Justin Timberlake.
Pic: Sag Harbor/Reuters
Image:
Timberlake’s mugshot after his arrest. Pic: Sag Harbor/Reuters

Timberlake, who rose to fame with boyband NSYNC before finding huge success as a solo artist with hits including Like I Love You, Cry Me A River, SexyBack and Mirrors, is due to perform in Chicago again on Saturday night.

Further shows are scheduled across the US, Canada and Europe between June and December.

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According to court documents filed about the star’s arrest, there was “a strong odour of an alcoholic beverage… emanating from his breath, he was unable to divide attention, he had slowed speech, he was unsteady afoot and he performed poorly on all standardised field sobriety tests”.

Timberlake also told officers he had one martini and was following some friends home, and refused to take a breath test.

His lawyer has said he is “looking forward to vigorously defending” the singer.

Timberlake’s next court date is scheduled for 26 July.

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Justin Timberlake addresses ‘tough week’ at first concert since drink-driving arrest

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Justin Timberlake addresses 'tough week' at first concert since drink-driving arrest

Justin Timberlake has performed his first gig since his arrest for alleged drink-driving, telling the crowd it had been a “tough week”. 

The US star is currently on his The Forget Tomorrow World Tour and performed in Chicago on Friday night after being arrested earlier this week.

He told the screaming crowd: “We’ve been together through ups and downs, lefts and rights.

“It’s been a tough week, but you’re here and I’m here, and nothing can change this moment right now.”

The singer appeared emotional as he added: “I know sometimes I’m hard to love but you keep on loving me and I love you right back.”

Timberlake was in Long Island in New York state – having reportedly had dinner with friends – when he was pulled over by police in the early hours of Tuesday.

Officers said the 43-year-old had failed to pause at a stop sign and was seen not being able to stay in his lane.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Timberlake’s car caught on CCTV

Timberlake was held overnight and formally charged with a DWI (driving while intoxicated) misdemeanour at Sag Harbor Village Justice Court on Tuesday morning before being released.

According to a source talking to Page Six, the officer who pulled Timberlake over “was so young that he didn’t even know” who the star was.

A second source told the celebrity news outlet that during the arrest, Timberlake said: “This is going to ruin the tour.”

Justin Timberlake.
Pic: Sag Harbor/Reuters
Image:
Timberlake’s mugshot after his arrest. Pic: Sag Harbor/Reuters

Timberlake, who rose to fame with boyband NSYNC before finding huge success as a solo artist with hits including Like I Love You, Cry Me A River, SexyBack and Mirrors, is due to perform in Chicago again on Saturday night.

Further shows are scheduled across the US, Canada and Europe between June and December.

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Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

According to court documents filed about the star’s arrest, there was “a strong odour of an alcoholic beverage… emanating from his breath, he was unable to divide attention, he had slowed speech, he was unsteady afoot and he performed poorly on all standardised field sobriety tests”.

Timberlake also told officers he had one martini and was following some friends home, and refused to take a breath test.

His lawyer has said he is “looking forward to vigorously defending” the singer.

Timberlake’s next court date is scheduled for 26 July.

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Arkansas supermarket shooting leaves three dead and 10 wounded as gunman arrested

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Arkansas supermarket shooting leaves three dead and 10 wounded as gunman arrested

A supermarket shooting in Arkansas, US, has left three people dead and 10 others wounded.

Parked cars and shop windows were left riddled with bullet holes after a gunman opened fire on Friday, forcing bystanders to dive for cover.

Among the injured were two police officers who shot back at the gunman – before he was arrested.

The incident took place around 11.30am local time at the Mad Butcher supermarket in Fordyce – a city of just over 3,000 people located 65 miles south of Little Rock.

Colonel Mike Hagar, director of Arkansas State Police, told reporters: “It’s tragic, our hearts are broken”.

The gunman was identified by police as 44-year-old Travis Eugene Posey.

Posey was taken to jail and charged with three counts of murder.

Other charges are still pending and no court date has been set, according to the inmate roster.

Pic: AP
Image:
Police on the scene of the attack in the aftermath of the shooting. Pic: AP

Neither Posey’s, nor the officers’ injuries were life threatening, but among the others the injuries ranged from “not life-threatening to extremely critical”, Col Hagar said.

It wasn’t immediately clear what the motive for the shooting was, nor if it took place predominantly inside or outside the shop.

Roderick Rogers, a member of the city council, witnessed the attack.

He said he saw people fleeing for cover in all directions and added: “People were just jumping into cars to get to safety.”

Law enforcement officers work the scene of the shooting. Pic: AP
Image:
Law enforcement officers work the scene of the shooting. Pic: AP

Amiya Doherty said she was in her mum’s car in the car park of the shop when she heard what she thought were fireworks.

But she then saw a man holding a gun and firing and said she ducked out of view.

“I held my sister’s hand and I told her I love her,” Ms Doherty told Little Rock television station KATV.

Images from the scene showed a slew of bullet holes in the grocery store’s window, and spent shell casings strewn throughout the parking lot.

The shooting took place at the Mad Butcher grocery store in Fordyce, Arkansas. Pic: AP
Image:
The shooting took place at the Mad Butcher grocery store in Fordyce, Arkansas. Pic: AP

Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she had been briefed on the shooting.

In a post on social media she added: “I am thankful to law enforcement and first responders for their quick and heroic action to save lives.

“My prayers are with the victims and all those impacted by this.”

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Read more from Sky News:
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The White House said President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting and his team will continue to keep him updated.

David Rodriguez, 58, had stopped at his local petrol station in the town when he heard what he thought were fireworks.

But he too saw people fleeing from the shop and one person lying on the ground.

“The police started to show up, and then there was massive gunfire and ambulances pulling up,” he said.

“The bullets were just flying.”

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