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Messages to Paris: Thousands March for Climate Action

World leaders converge in Paris to solve Earth’s most daunting challenge.

As the world gathers in Paris to discuss climate change, the reverberations of recent terrorist attacks are hard to ignore. In the aftermath of ISIS’s massacre of more than 130 people on November 13, French authorities have put restrictions in place to clamp down on public demonstrations. In Paris, over 200 activists were arrested after fighting with police at a street leading to the Place de la Republique. Outside of these arrests, protests have been peaceful. Restricted from mass demonstrations because of security concerns, climate change activists placed more than 20,000 pairs of shoes at Place de la Republique as a silent protest.

Around 150 world leaders are due to attend the Paris talks from November 30 through December 11, including President Barack Obama, China’s Xi Jinping, India’s Narendra Modi, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Their job is to forge an accord that could work to avert the most devastating effects of climate change and potentially redefine the economy of the 21st century. According to CBS News, the summit hopes to get world leaders to “agree to deep emissions cuts and to help poor countries cope with global warming.” Failure in Paris could lead to worsening droughts, rising sea tides, food shortages, and other catastrophic events.


Over the weekend, more than 570,000 people gathered worldwide to pressure world leaders to make substantial gains toward protecting the planet. In Paris, its most iconic landmark, the Eiffel Tower, played host to projected images calling for a shift to 100 percent renewable energy and the protection of the world’s forests. The installation’s creator, Naziha Mestaoui, said, “I created this installation so that people everywhere can realize what is possible if we come together. We can protect and regrow our forests, we can tap the natural powers of the sun, the wind, the earth, and the sea, and we can build a safer future if we go 100 percent clean energy for everyone.”

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via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

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Health

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

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The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

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Business
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

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Politics