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Last Friday, millions of people in 150 countries across the globe took to the streets to urge world leaders to enact dramatic solutions to combat climate change.

The Climate Strike was inspired, in part, by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old girl from Sweden who has captured worldwide attention for her tireless work to hold lawmakers responsible for the climate crisis.

The strike gave people across the planet the opportunity to make their voices heard before the U.N. General Assembly Climate Summit in New York City on Monday.

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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.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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The Planet

Millions of People Across the World Celebrate World Yoga Day

Over 35,000 people showed up for one single yoga class in India. Thousands followed worldwide.

Image via Flickr user Diamond Mountain

Yoga in America tends to take place in small intimate studios or large public parks, running the gamut from gorgeous to gross. But just yesterday, millions across the U.S. and the world over came together to celebrate the first ever International Yoga Day. In the city of New Delhi, India alone, over 35,000 people stretched out together, hoping to break the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people in a single yoga class.

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Can’t Buy Me Love?

The problems with measuring a country’s worth by gross domestic product or gross national happiness

Former King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuk inspects troops in India

Bhutan usually doesn’t carry too much weight in world affairs. About 750,000 people in a mountainous patch of territory just bigger than Maryland, the aggressively isolationist nation only really opened itself to international diplomacy, trade, and visitation in 1974. Even then, Bhutan, landlocked between China, India, and Nepal, lacked significant resources and its internal reliance on agriculture and handicrafts all but relegated it to obscurity on the world stage. But Bhutan’s found one export—an idea rather than a product—that over the past few years has become a pretty big international hit. They call their grand innovation GNH, Gross National Happiness, a challenge to the world’s obsession with measuring nations’ comparative statuses through Gross Domestic Product numbers. This belief in the value of joy over the size the economy hasn’t been directly adopted by many countries, but its example has spurred a host of new metrics for nations to mark their progress in terms of wellbeing rather than just economic growth. And goals to set policies based on these new metrics may help to change the trajectory of national development strategies and values across the world.

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10 Overlooked Issues That People are Protesting This Week at the U.N.

The U.N. General Assembly is a magnet for protest from every race, color, and creed. Meet some of the people behind the picketing.

This week, heads of state from around the world have gathered in New York City to tackle the most pressing global issues during the opening of the annual United Nations General Assembly. Always compelling, previous editions of the U.N.G.A. have led to some of the most memorable moments in diplomacy: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev removing his shoe in 1960 and famously banging it on a table in an attempt to silence a Filipino delegate; Cuban President Fidel Castro harboring live chickens at his Harlem hotel and delivering an epic four-and-a-half-hour U.N.G.A. speech the same year; and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s 1974 declaration, while bedecked in military fatigues and brandishing a pistol holder, that, "I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun." More recently, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called George W. Bush “the devil” and insisted that the podium “smelled of sulfur” in 2006, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s unveiled his much-ridiculed Looney Tunes-style cartoon Iran bomb diagram just last year.

But alongside the major foreign policy speeches, gridlock, shuttle diplomacy, and preposterously securitized environment, diverse groups of protesters are also omnipresent, raising awareness and demanding action on a bevy of international issues. Some of their concerns are well known and draw large, organized protests, while others are overlooked by the media and bring out small groups of protesters or even just passionate individuals.

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Teachers Matter: U.N. Says We Need Nearly 7 Million New Educators by 2015 to Keep Pace

It's a universal truth that developing nations face basic challenges running their recruiting and retaining teachers.

Teachers matter.

Everyone understands this on a personal level. We can all point to at least one important teacher who made an outsized impact on our lives. Last month I traveled to Paris for the World Teachers' Day event at UNESCO, and I learned how teachers matter enormously on a global level.

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