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New July 2013

Kardashian Butts Into Syria Mess

The notorious vixen has been in her share of controversies before—and had even supported the occasional dictator. But nothing like this.

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Rich countries: Sure, climate change will screw poor countries, but what about us?

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The new report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlights that we are already feeling the pain of global warming across the planet. Heat waves and drought are increasingly in rhythm in every major continent, including our own, while severe flooding is more frequently becoming the business in Africa. If you don’t want to read the IPCC’s 2,500-plus page report, here’s the shorter version: Climate fuckery is not futuristic; we have been fucking up the atmosphere; it is fucking us back. But, as I wrote recently, there are certain people — particularly those with large concentrations of melanin in their skin, and smaller concentrations of money in the bank — who are suffering more of that fuckery than their less-melanated, more-resourced counterparts. The IPCC’s latest makes note of this. Disturbingly, the report’s authors wanted to keep this critical information out of the much-shorter IPCC executive summary — the part that’s supposed to be the most accessible to the public and lawmakers. From New York Times reporter Justin Gillis: The poorest people in the world, who have had virtually nothing to do with causing global warming, will be high on the list of victims as climatic disruptions intensify, the report said. It cited a World Bank estimate that poor countries need as much as $100 billion a year to try to offset the effects of climate change; they are now getting, at best, a few billion dollars a year in such aid from rich countries. The $100 billion figure, though included in the 2,500-page main report, was removed from a 48-page executive summary to be read by the world’s top political leaders. It was among the most significant changes made as the summary underwent final review during a days long editing session in Yokohama. The edit came after several rich countries, including the United States, raised questions about the language, according to several people who were in the room at the time but did not wish to be identified because the negotiations are private. The language is contentious because poor countries are expected to renew their demand for aid this September in New York at a summit meeting of world leaders, who will attempt to make headway on a new treaty to limit greenhouse gases. Many rich countries argue that $100 billion a year is an unrealistic demand; it would essentially require them to double their budgets for foreign aid, at a time of economic distress at home. That argument has fed a rising sense of outrage among the leaders of poor countries, who feel their people are paying the price for decades of profligate Western consumption. Those bolds are all mine. And before I elaborate, I have to add that it’s equally disturbing to me that this information came two-thirds of the way into Gillis’s article. Talk about burying the lede — this erasure is the story, but it was relegated to the story’s third act, meaning many people probably won’t read it. Back to the bolds, starting with the last one: Rich countries argue that $100 billion a year to shield poor countries from climate impacts is an “unrealistic demand.” I do not believe that if the World Bank said that Europe and U.S. will be destroyed without $100 billion in aid each year, that this would have been deleted from the IPCC summary. Arguing that they cannot afford to deal with the poor in the way that the world’s lead economists say they need to means rich countries do not truly understand what they’re up against. It means that they believe they will somehow be immunized from the kinds of violent uprisings over food, land, energy, and water that result when the poor — mostly people of color — are left out of the picture. It means they do not get what is already happening in Syria, the Ukraine, Taiwan, Mexico, and the Sudan, where forced massive migration and civil wars have already started over limited resources, arguably the result of climate change’s impacts. When rich countries can edit the poor out of the most important document on the gravest danger facing Earth, it means that they are not serious about addressing climate change. It means that climate mitigation funds will help protect millionaire beachfront condo owners in South Beach, but have yet to address how it will protect what’s left of Geechee families in South Carolina. Perhaps it even means that rich countries think their money is better spent on technology and “innovation” to shield themselves from climate catastrophe. And those tricks very well might shield some people from flooding, but it doesn’t shield the “poorest” from the kind of reckless capitalism that traps them in a perpetual state of vulnerability. This is an insult to nations who even with meager resources have already started making the difficult investments that their wealthier counterparts don’t have the courage to make. “Bangladesh has invested $10 billion of its own money to adapt to extreme climatic events,” said Dr. Camilla Toulmin, director of the International Institute for Environment and Development in a statement on the IPCC report. “Nepal is the first country to develop adaptation plans at the community level. It is time for the richer countries to pull their weight and do the right thing, by investing at home and abroad in actions that can reduce emissions and protect people and property from danger.” There is little today that says whiteness is supreme more than arguing that it is an “unrealistic demand” for nations with predominantly, if not exclusive, white leadership to pay what is necessary to protect the people of Africa, India, and South America from climate calamity they did not cause. The oppression, the bigotry, and the fuckery of that argument is that it allows rich countries to continue perpetuating unrealistic demands on the world’s “poorest” — those who “virtually have had nothing to do with” climate change. Chattel slavery was an unrealistic demand. Putting Latin American workers in the most dangerous farm and factory jobs, exposing them to pesticides, carcinogens, and other toxic elements so that Walmart can have “roll back” prices — these are unrealistic demands. Asking the poorest of communities to fend for themselves against unprecedented waves of heat, drought, and rising sea levels is an unrealistic demand. In my estimation, there are two things that will destroy us eventually if not resolved soon: white supremacy and climate change. These happen to both be things that the wealthy believe they can afford to ignore. It’s for this reason that the IPCC’s summary just may be their infamous last words.Filed under: Cities, Climate & Energy

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Syria’s Refugee Soccer Starlets

At the Zaatari refguee camp, where families try to piece their lives together after fleeing Syria’s civil war, a group of young women are showing that soccer may be the key to bridging violent divides.

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Erdogan vows revenge on plotters after victory in Turkish elections

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed victory for his Islamic-based party in key regional elections and warned his foes they would “pay the price” for plotting his downfall. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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UN climate panel warns that global warming will complicate security issues

<!– google_ad_section_start –> A United Nations climate panel for the first time is connecting hotter global temperatures to hotter global tempers. Top scientists are saying climate change will complicate and worsen global security problems, such as civil wars, strife between nations and refugees. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Kidnapped journalists land back in Spain

<!– google_ad_section_start –> El Mundo correspondent Javier Espinosa, 49, and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova, 42, were “freed and handed over to the Turkish military”, the Spanish newspaper had said on its website earlier in the day. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Paris Elects Its First-Ever Female Mayor

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Paris has elected its first-ever female mayor, the Spanish-born Socialist Anne Hidalgo, even as elsewhere in the country more right-wing candidates won their races. Hidalgo received 54.5 per cent of the vote.Read more…

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Cool Pope Francis confesses his sins in full view of cameras and attendant churchgoers.

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Cool Pope Francis confesses his sins in full view of cameras and attendant churchgoers. “At one point, the priest hearing his confession appeared to chuckle,” the Associated Press reports. “Francis, solemn-faced, then rose and started hearing confessions himself.” Image via AP Photo/L’ Osservatore Romano.Read more…

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Warmer temperatures can lead to warmer tempers, UN report to say

Top scientists are saying that climate change will complicate and worsen existing global security problems

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Turkey awaits results of local elections

Counting begins across Turkey as polls test Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s popularity after a string of scandals.

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Bill Murray And The House Of The Rising Sun

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Bill Murray is America’s Coolest Dad. Here he is singing folk classic “House of the Rising Sun” and accompanying himself on the tambo. Thanks, TMZ!Read more…

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Nigerian prisoners killed in Abuja jailbreak

At least 21 detainees shot dead during attempted escape from the cells of the secret police headquarters in Abuja.

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Search for Flight 370 Continues as Plane’s Blackbox Battery Life Dwindles

It’s been over three weeks since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean and investigators have yet to locate any wreckage from the aircraft. On Saturday, Chinese and Australian ships picked up a few white, red and orange “objects in the ocean” that had been … More »

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Kidnapped Spanish journalists’ emotional reunion

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Ricardo García Vilanova and Javier Espinosa greeted with hugs and kisses from family members on arrival at Madrid airportIt was late afternoon yesterday when the families of Ricardo García Vilanova and Javier Espinosa got the reunion they had waited 194 days for. As the pair, tired and visibly skinnier, stepped off the plane at the Torrejón air base in Madrid, they were greeted with hugs and kisses from family members.It was Espinosa, the award-winning El Mundo journalist based in the Middle East since 2002, who broke the news that the ordeal was over. Just after 9pm on Saturday night, he called the newsroom after their captors had delivered them to Turkish authorities. “Hi, it’s Javier Espinosa,” he calmly told the receptionist.

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Spanish Journalists Freed After Six-Month Syrian Captivity

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Spanish newspaper El Mundo’s Middle East correspondent Javier Espinosa (above, right) and photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova (above, left), kidnapped six months ago by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), a radical Islamist group, have been freed.Read more…

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Turkish prime minister: ‘Our people will tell the truth today’

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers withering assessment of opposition parties after casting his vote in local electionsThe Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, voted in nationwide local elections on Sunday, and said he was confident that “our people will tell the truth today”.More than 52 million people are eligible to vote in the elections, which are the first popular test for Erdogan since last summer’s large anti-government protests and allegations of massive corruption inside the Turkish government. The votes in Istanbul and Turkey’s capital, Ankara, in particular, are expected to be a test of the prime minister’s style of ruling.

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America, Inc. at it’s Finest

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