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Category: Humanity (Page 1 of 8)

Women Peace Security Index for 2023

Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) seeks to promote a more stable, peaceful, and just world by focusing on the important role women play in preventing conflict and building peace, growing economies, and addressing global threats like climate change and violent extremism.

This fourth edition of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Index ranks and scores 177 countries on women’s status. The results show that countries where women are doing well are also more peaceful, democratic, prosperous, and better
prepared to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

This year, nine of the top ten best countries to be women are European, with Scandinavian countries leading the rankings. Denmark leads the 2023 rankings, scoring more than three times higher than Afghanistan.

1 Denmark
2 Switzerland
3 Sweden
4 Finland
4 Iceland
4 Luxembourg
7 Norway
8 Austria
9 Netherlands
10 New Zealand

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The mayor of Pontevedra, Spain is placing pedestrians first

For decades, throngs of cars clogged the cobblestone streets of Pontevedra’s downtown, making this seaside city on Spain’s northwestern tip a hard place to live. Smog, loud noise and narrow walkways drove young families away from a region struggling with a shrinking and aging population.

Family physician turned mayor Miguel Fernandez Lores managed to halt the bleeding by closing many streets to car traffic. Now Pontevedra is a model of success in a growing global movement that’s trying to reclaim streets for pedestrians.

Bloomberg »

This Spanish Mayor Is Putting Pedestrians First

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Conditions on Earth moving outside the ‘safe operating space’ for humanity


Human activities have breached safe levels for six of these boundaries and are pushing the world outside a “safe operating space” for humanity, according to the report, published on Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

The nine boundaries, first set out in a 2009 paper, aim to establish a set of defined “limits” on changes humans are making to the planet – from pumping out planet-heating pollution to clearing forests for farming. Beyond these limits, the theory goes, the risk of destabilizing conditions on Earth increases dramatically.

The limits are designed to be conservative, to enable society to solve the problems before reaching a “very high risk zone,” said Katherine Richardson, a professor in biological oceanography at the University of Copenhagen and a co-author on the report.

She pointed to the unprecedented summer of extreme weather the world has just experienced at 1.2 degrees Celsius of global warming. “We didn’t think it was going to be like this at 1 degree [Celsius]” she said. “No human has experienced the conditions that we’re experiencing right now,” she added. »

» » Earth beyond six of nine planetary boundaries

Child poverty more than doubled in U.S. after expanded tax credits, stimulus checks ended


  • The child poverty rate surged to 12.4% in 2022, up from 5.2% in the year prior, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • The bureau attributed the increase in child poverty to the expiration of expanded child tax credits and the end of stimulus checks.
  • The U.S. had made historic gains in fighting child poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic due in large part to the expanded tax credits. »

African children bearing the brunt of climate change impacts

Children in Africa are among the most at risk from climate change impacts but are being woefully deprived of the financing necessary to help them adapt, survive and respond to the crisis, reports UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The African Climate Summit is taking place next week (4 – 8 September 2023) in Nairobi.

Children in 48 out of 49 African countries assessed were found to be at high or extremely high risk of the impacts of climate change, based on their exposure and vulnerability to cyclones, heatwaves and other climate and environmental shocks, and access to essential services.

Those living in the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea, Somalia, and Guinea-Bissau are most at risk.

At the African Climate Summit, leaders from across the continent are expected to highlight the need for increased investment in climate action.



African Union suspends Niger’s membership until ‘the effective restoration of constitutional order’

AP »

The suspension announcement was the council’s first public communication since it met earlier this month to discuss Niger’s crisis. The body made up of foreign ministers called on the African Union’s other member nations and the international community to reject the “unconstitutional change of government and to refrain from any action likely to grant legitimacy to the illegal regime in Niger.”

A suspension means Nigerien representatives, from the head of state down, no longer can vote on AU proposals or participate in the organization’s committees or working groups. The council’s action was part of a standard playbook the AU and regional bodies have taken in response to coups elsewhere in Africa, Nate Allen, an associate professor at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, said.

East African | Le Monde | DW | France 24 | BBC | VoA |

» Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)  has rejected a plan by Niger’s coup leaders to relinquish power within three years (RFI)

Channel News Asia | France 24

More than 500 civil society groups jointly called on the United Nations to cut ties with Myanmar’s junta

Al Jazeera »

In a joint statement shared by Progressive Voice, the 514 civil society groups acknowledged Griffiths’s post-visit call for “space for safe, sustained aid deliveries”, but said that could not be achieved by working with the military, which has been accused of preventing assistance from reaching those most in need, particularly as a result of the deepening conflict triggered by its coup.

“Principled humanitarian engagement must see OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and other UN humanitarian agencies cut ties with the illegal criminal junta which is weaponizing aid and is the root cause of human suffering in Myanmar,” the civil society groups said.

VoA |

Beyond the movie Oppenheimer, lies a deeper narrative

Join Garry Jacobs, President and CEO of the World Academy of Art and Science, an organization co-founded by J. Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein, and other notable scientists and thinkers whose creations weren’t just scientific feats; they were profound reminders of the need for human security.

Today, as AI poses new ethical challenges, Garry Jacobs invites us to carry forward the founders’ vision by joining the “Human Security For All” campaign, co-launched by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security and the World Academy of Art and Science.

Oppenheimer: The Untold Story

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Is Donald Trump a Fascist?

Robert Reich explains the difference between fascism and authoritarianism.

  • Rejecting democracy for a strongman
  • Stoking rage against cultural elites
  • Nationalism based on “superior” race
  • Glorifying strength and warriors
  • Disdain of women and LGBTQ+ people
Is Donald Trump a Fascist? | Robert Reich

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It’s official. July was the hottest month on record. By far

AP »

July’s global average temperature of 16.95 degrees Celsius (62.51 degrees Fahrenheit) was a third of a degree Celsius (six tenths of a degree Fahrenheit) higher than the previous record set in 2019, Copernicus Climate Change Service announced Tuesday. Normally global temperature records are broken by hundredths or a tenth of a degree, so this margin is unusual.

The United States is now at a record 15 different weather disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday. It’s the most mega-disasters through the first seven months of the year since the agency tracked such things starting in 1980, with the agency adjusting figures for inflation.

“These records have dire consequences for both people and the planet exposed to ever more frequent and intense extreme events,” said Copernicus deputy director Samantha Burgess. There have been deadly heat waves in the Southwestern United States and Mexico, Europe and Asia. Scientific quick studies put the blame on human-caused climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.

Eight nations of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization are meeting in Belém to discuss the joint goals for rain forest protection

AP »

The Amazon stretches across an area twice the size of India, and two-thirds of it lies in Brazil. Seven other countries and one territory share the remaining third — Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, Ecuador and French Guiana. Presidents from all but Ecuador, Suriname and Venezuela are attending.

Massive destruction of the Amazon forest is a climate disaster and all the countries at the summit have ratified the Paris climate accord which requires signatories to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But that’s about as far as their shared policy goes.

Reuters »

On Wednesday, Amazon countries will meet with leaders of the Congo, the DRC and Indonesia, looking to issue a joint statement from the world’s three major rainforest basins. Norway and Germany, which have funded Amazon preservation, and France, which controls the Amazon territory of French Guiana, will also participate.

1 in 4 new cars sold in California last quarter were EVs

LA Times »

More than 25% of all new vehicles sold in the last quarter were EVs, according to the California Energy Commission, with sales for the three-month period totaling 125,939.

California has sold more than 1.6 million electric vehicles to date and accounts for 34% of all EV sales in the country, according to a market report by the nonprofit Veloz, which raises awareness about electric vehicles.

California leads the nation in promoting electric vehicle sales, having invested more than $5 billion to transition the state away from gas-powered vehicles.

For some 27 years, Christopher Thomas Knight lived alone in the the Maine woods

Michael Finkel, GQ »

“I don’t know your world,” he said. “Only my world, and memories of the world before I went into the woods. What life is today? What is proper? I have to figure out how to live.” He wished he could return to his camp—”I miss the woods”—but he knew by the rules of his release that this was impossible. “Sitting here in jail, I don’t like what I see in the society I’m about to enter. I don’t think I’m going to fit in. It’s too loud. Too colorful. The lack of aesthetics. The crudeness. The inanities. The trivia.”

August 1, 1936 » XI Summer Olympic Games were opened by Adolph Hitler in Nazi Germany

A reminder how Nazi Germany tried to use the 1936 Olympic Games for propaganda purposes. The Nazis promoted an image of a white race and wanted to showcase its superiority above all others. American Jesse Owens had other plans in mind. »

Meanwhile, Jesse Owens had emerged as a track and field sensation in the States. He tied the world record in the 100-yard dash while still in high school, and his performance at the 1935 Big Ten Championships, in which he established three world records and matched a fourth over a span of 45 minutes, remains one of the most extraordinary accomplishments in collegiate sports history.

He wasn’t the only African American athlete making waves. Ralph Metcalfe was a silver medalist at the 1932 Olympics and at one point shared the world record in the 100-meter dash.

And a Temple University sprinter named Eulace Peacock emerged as a highly formidable opponent to Owens, even beating him multiple times in head-to-head competition in 1935, before suffering a hamstring injury that squashed his 1936 Olympic hopes.

Happy Swiss National Day 🇨🇭

On Swiss National Day, Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation, encourages Swiss citizens living abroad to make their voice heard and to participate in political life.

“I wish you all a wonderful August 1st.” | SwissCommunity

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Good Trouble » Ukraine’s Olga Kharlan disqualified from World Fencing Championships for refusing Russian competitor’s handshake


Kharlan, the first fencer to face a Russian or Belarusian since the former’s full-scale invasion of her homeland, won 15-7 in Milan.

Good for Kharlan. She has honour, strength, and dignity.

“My message today is that we Ukrainian athletes are ready to face Russians on the sports field but we will never shake hands with them,” Kharlan said afterwards.

Another Ukrainian hero.

Meanwhile » Le Monde » Russians are bombing wheat silos and historic buildings in Odessa, Ukraine

From July 19 to 24, 2023, the major Black Sea port city and surrounding region were subjected to five successive nights of bombardment, the most violent attack since the start of the Russian invasion.

NY Times |

The era of global warming has ended and “the era of global boiling has arrived”

The Guardian »

“Climate change is here. It is terrifying. And it is just the beginning,” Guterres said. “It is still possible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C [above pre-industrial levels], and avoid the very worst of climate change. But only with dramatic, immediate climate action.”

Guterres’s comments came after scientists confirmed on Thursday that the past three weeks have been the hottest since records began and July is on track to be the hottest month ever recorded.

UN | VoA |

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