The Kids Will Be Alright

Schoolchildren across the world skipped classes Friday to protest the lack of global action against climate change.

Much of the inspiration for the worldwide “school strike” was drawn from internationally acclaimed climate activist Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old girl from Sweden who has been skipping school for months now to protest climate change on the steps of the Swedish parliament building.

Thunberg has recently been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in light of her direct action, including the speeches she’s given to the United Nations and in Davos.

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A Win for Women

Iowa’s abortion ban — the most restrictive in the country — was just struck down, and New York is working to protect women’s access to the procedure even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

An Iowa district court struck down the incredibly restrictive law, which banned all forms of abortion after the moment a fetal heartbeat is detected; most women don’t even know that they are pregnant by the time a heartbeat can be registered.

The bill was signed into law last year by the state’s female governor, adding a little extra salt to the wound as well as to the legacy of women oppressing other women.

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Six Years, Nine Months for Murder

Jason Van Dyke, the former Chicago police officer who shot 16-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, received a sentence of six years and nine months for the murder.

Despite outcry from the community and its leaders, Special Prosecutor Joe McMahon — who had recommended a minimum sentence of 18 years — insisted that justice had been served, calling the sentence “significant.”

The paltry sentence was given in light of testimony from multiple black men who experienced their own violent encounters with Van Dyke, indicating a long-standing record of abuse and racial bias.

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Faces of The 116th Congress

Yesterday, the most diverse Congress in United States history was sworn in, with more than 100 women serving in the House for the first time ever.

The swearing in of such an immensely diverse group of people marks a change in the culture and perspective of the United States.

No longer do we only have older, white, Christian men representing our country — instead, we will now be represented by an array of youthful, queer, Muslim, female lawmakers that will help to push this country forward.

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The March of Return Continues

The Great March of Return marked its 40th consecutive week last Friday since the peaceful protest began March 30 last year.

On Saturday, protesters gathered in Gaza to attend the funeral of 26-year-old Karam Fayyad, who was killed during the weekly protest at the Israel-Gaza border.

Thus far, Israeli forces have killed at least 240 Palestinian protesters and have injured another 18,000.

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Teen Activist Confronts U.N. on Climate

Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish activist, confronted the global members of the COP24 climate conference over their inaction on climate change.

Thunberg rose to fame after she stopped going to school so that she could sit on the steps of the Swedish parliament building to demand action on climate change. She says that she’ll return to school once her country begins reducing emissions by 15% a year.

Together, she and her father drove by electric car from Sweden to Poland for the COP24 conference on climate change so that she could address U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres last week.  Continue reading

U.N. Chows Down on CO2

A stark hypocrisy was revealed recently as world leaders gather in Poland for a climate conference only to indulge in meat-heavy meals.

The meat and dairy industries alone represent 14.5% of all human-created greenhouse gas emissions, and reaching our climate goals will be impossible unless we seriously cut back our consumption.

Yet, world leaders have been dining on beef, bacon, fried pork, and cheeseburgers.

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World Falling Behind on Climate Commitments

Ahead of next week’s climate talks, the U.N. has released a report warning that the world’s nations are dangerously behind on their climate commitments.

When the leaders of the world gathered for the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, they agreed to implement measures to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Three years later, the United Nations has found that we are terrifyingly far from maintaining that goal.

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Ohio Wants to Execute People Who Seek, Provide Abortions

The Ohio House of Representatives is considering passing a bill that would outlaw abortions and institute the death penalty for those who receive or administer them.

The bill makes no exceptions for rape, incest, or risk to the mother’s life and would allow authorities to execute anyone who receives or administers the procedure.

House Bill 565 would also expand the definition of a person in Ohio’s criminal code to encompass the “unborn human.”

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Police Try to Blame Man for His Own Death

Jemel Roberson was subduing an active shooter at a bar in a neighborhood outside Chicago when he was shot by the police officers who are blaming him for his death.

It’s a painfully familiar story: a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time, trying to do the right thing.

Roberson was a security guard for Manny’s Blue Room bar in Robbins, Illinois, who was subduing an active shooter in the bar when police entered the building and shot him dead.

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