Thousands of young activists in Australia and New Zealand yesterday launched a global protest demanding that politicians and business leaders move swiftly to curb greenhouse-gas emissions to fight climate change.
Coordinators expect more than 1 million young people to join the protests in at least 110 nations, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s demand for urgent action to slow global warming.
“I’m worried about all the weather disasters. Every time we have huge a bushfire here another animal might go extinct,” said Nina Pasqualini, a 13-year-old at a rally in Melbourne, led by the group Extinction Rebellion.
“The government isn’t doing as much as it should. It’s just scary for younger generations,” she said, holding up a placard seeking to stop a proposed new coal mine in Australia.
Global warming due to greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels has brought more droughts and heat waves, melting of glaciers, rising sea levels and devastating floods, scientists say.
Australia just had its hottest summer on record.
Last year, global carbon emissions hit a record high, despite a warning from the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October that output of the gases would have to be slashed over the next 12 years to stabilize the climate.
Against a backdrop of elections to the European Parliament, which began on on Thursday, the Frankfurt school strikers plan to march on the headquarters of the European Central Bank to demand that it stop financing the fossil-fuel industry.
The bank says its mandate is to control inflation and not to favor certain market sectors over others.
Since Thunberg began a single-handed climate protest outside the Swedish parliament in August last year, the Fridays for Future school strike movement has grown exponentially, with groups inspired by her example rapidly clustering into larger, self-organizing networks connected across time zones by social media.
Sophie Hanford, a national organizer in New Zealand, and the Melbourne organizers said they anticipated a huge student-led strike in September that would include adults and workers.
“There’ll definitely be more. This is only the beginning,” Hanford said on New Zealand’s Breakfast television show.
PASTA PUNCHLINE: Billy McLean’s spoof poking fun at misinformation on the coronavirus was meant for friends, but is being eaten up by frazzled Britons It started off as an ad-libbed joke for some friends in a soccer banter group and ended up being heard by vast numbers of Britons within hours. However, the man responsible for a joke WhatsApp audio clip that claimed the UK Ministry of Defence was about to requisition Wembley Stadium to cook the world’s biggest lasagna has said his viral success also shows the risks of believing everything that gets sent to you on the messaging service. Billy McLean, a 29-year-old Londoner who works in software sales, came forward to the Guardian to identify himself as the creator of the much-shared clip
‘AN HONORABLE TASK’: The brigade to Italy is the sixth contingent of doctors the nation has sent abroad to aid governments contending with the COVID-19 pandemic Cuba has dispatched doctors and nurses to Italy for the first time this weekend to help fight COVID-19 at the request of the worst-affected region Lombardy, it said. The Caribbean nation has sent its “armies of white robes” to disaster sites around the world largely in poor countries since its 1959 revolution, with doctors on the front lines in the fight against cholera in Haiti and against ebola in West Africa in the 2010s. Yet with the 52-strong brigade, this is the first time Cuba has sent an emergency contingent to Italy, one of the world’s richest countries, demonstrating the reach of
There are growing concerns for the health of Rokia Traore, a Malian singer who has been on hunger strike at the Fleury-Merogis Prison near Paris since she was arrested on March 10 on allegations of kidnapping her daughter in a child custody dispute. “I am very worried,” said Kenneth Feliho, her lawyer. “She is only drinking. She has not been eating for over a week and her immune system is weak.” Among those calling for the musician’ release are African stars including Salif Keita, Youssou N’Dour and Angelique Kidjo. Damon Albarn, who performed with her in the group Africa Express, wrote: “We demand,
FATAL IDEA: The nation’s drugs regulator is curbing use of hydroxychloroquine, which Donald Trump has promoted for its alleged potential to treat COVID-19 Australia’s drug regulator has been forced to restrict powers to prescribe a drug undergoing clinical trials to treat COVID-19, because doctors have been inappropriately prescribing it to themselves and their family members, despite potentially deadly side effects. The anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and the similar compound chloroquine are currently used mostly for patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, but stocks in Australia have been diminished thanks to global publicity — including from US President Donald Trump — about the potential of the drug to treat COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have potentially severe and even deadly side effects if used inappropriately, including