A Note from Baghdad

An aspiring filmmaker is forced to trade his camera for a gun.

It's three o'clock in the morning and the sound of mortars and Katyusha rockets are my soundtrack. Gunfire is intermittent. Some is very close and some is far away. It does not matter anyway. I locked my building's gate with an American-made lock and a large, stifling chain of steel. It cost me more money than usual because it is strong and works well. The door of the small apartment, where I am right now, is also locked.It is a wooden door, and behind it there is a metal door, also locked with an American lock. Everything seems good at this moment. I only hope that the situation does not get worse.The curfew is everywhere on the news channels and in the media; all I know for a fact is that gunmen are touring the city, killing without mercy. I receive messages on the phone about incidents from friends in different parts of Baghdad, which is being strained by what is happening. I am writing now with a loaded Russian-made rifle next to me. There are lots of bullets waiting in my camera case; I hope they stay waiting. It is chaos out there; many killings-too many. The dead are numerous, and the living are just waiting their turn. It is a cinematic scene, and everyone is waiting for a role.
There are lots of bullets waiting in my camera case; I hope they stay waiting.
The streets are relatively quiet compared to a few hours ago but can I, trapped within these walls, be hopeful? How? With my worries? With the monster of death that could come at any moment to my home to harvest the ones I love? Or with the news that I may receive on the phone that one of my friends is...? What a farce.I am angry, but I am not desperate at all. I am just angry. I am aware that this conflict will not continue forever; it will end. The how that will end this nonsense concerns me very much. Will I cry, or laugh, or what? Everything I worked for does not seem reachable at this moment.We are waiting the verdict on this dividing nation. I am not pessimistic. I am only dreaming of a better tomorrow; a gunfire-free tomorrow. If that happens, I'll write my film, or shoot what I wrote so far. I will love. I will keep my promises.CONTEXT This was originally part of an email sent by Hussein to a group of his friends struggling to survive in Baghdad.TRANSLATED by Fady Hadid
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

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"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

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The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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