SPOTLIGHT: MIXED GREEN FEELINGS
Even as we've been consumed by a news cycle that includes wars, elections and the biggest European reorder after World War II, our planet is quietly waiting for some attention. Nature reveals that pledges taken by countries during the Paris COP21 climate summit may need a big boost "to maintain a reasonable chance of meeting the target of keeping warming well below 2 Â°C." Researchers have found that the Earth is still facing a temperature rise of 2.6 Â°C to 3.1 Â°C by the end of this century, even if countries comply with their climate change commitment. The consequences of not taking enough action on this front are grave, not least for the Adélie penguins in Antarctica, whose population is in dramatic decline.
Still, there are some pockets of good news. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto agreed Wednesday to a wide-scale energy and climate plan, vowing among other things to generate half their electricity using clean sources by 2025, Bloomberg reports.
That's not the only promising bit of news coming out of Canada on climate. Science magazine reports that the ozone layer over the Antarctic has finally started to heal thanks to measures taken after the 1989 Montreal Protocol. Better late than never.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY & WEEKEND
- Puerto Rico will default on almost $2 billion of debt payment due today.
- World War I Battle of the Somme centenary commemorations.
- Australia holds dead heat election on Saturday.
- Thousands plan to march against "Brexit" on Saturday.
BORIS JOHNSON HALTS BID TO BE UK PM
Former mayor Boris Johnson, one of the most vocal campaigners advocating for Britain's exit from the European Union and a major contender to become Britain's prime minister, abruptly dropped out of the race. Home Secretary Theresa May is now the bookies' favorite to win the Conservative Party leadership, BBC reports. At least one newspaper was letting loose on the front page with all the drama.
AUSTRIAN ELECTION RESULT OVERTURNED
Austria's highest court ordered a rerun of the recent presidential election because of irregularities in counting postal votes. In May, Norbert Hofer of Austria's far-right Freedom Party was narrowly defeated by former Greens leader Alexander van der Bellen. Fresh elections will take place in September or October.
— ON THIS DAY
FATAL CRASH OF TESLA CAR ON AUTOPILOT
U.S. federal highway safety regulators are investigating the death of a driver whose Tesla Model S car was on autopilot when it rammed into a truck in Florida. The case is raising broader concerns about the safety of the emerging self-driving automobile technology.
TURKEY DETAINS SUSPECTS
The three suicide bombers who killed at least 44 people at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport have been identified as citizens of Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, Turkish officials report. Ankara, which has blamed the attack on terror group ISIS, arrested 13 suspects yesterday. Although jihadists from these countries are active in Syria and Iraq, it would mark their first major attack on a Western target.
The similarities between the sugar and tobacco industries are many, Servan Pec writes for Swiss daily Le Temps: "Neither market is transparent. ... Big Tobacco has been able to turn this opacity to its advantage. By coordinating the incorporation of the tax in price hikes, tobacco companies managed to maintain their sales and revenue. Additionally, food giants and tobacco companies like Philip Morris, British American Tobacco (BAT) and Imperial Tobacco gained market shares in developing countries, where health campaigns are not as advanced. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Danone, Nestlé, and other soda, ice cream, and candy manufacturers are very aware that the crackdown on sugar will eventually prove successful. They have therefore adapted their products to include water, fruit juice, and other light products without added sugar."
Read the full article, Is Sugar The New Tobacco?
HINDU HACKED TO DEATH IN BANGLADESH
A Hindu temple volunteer was hacked to death in Muslim majority Bangladesh today, the latest in a series of killings by suspected Islamist terrorists. Shyamananda Das was walking along a highway when three men on a motorcycle fatally attacked him. Last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death in a rice paddy field.
The amount offered to a Cameroonian family in reparations after a car in a motorcade carrying U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Powers killed a 7-year-old child who had darted onto the road. The U.S. State Department, UN, aid organizations in the area and Cameroon's government chipped in to make the payment.
MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD
"These sons of whores are destroying our children. I warn you, don't go into that, even if you're a policeman, because I will really kill you," Rodrigo Duterte said about drug traffickers in front of a crowd of about 500 people at a Manila slum after he was sworn in as president of Philippines. "If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful."
— MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH
- How The Istanbul Airport Attack Unfolded — Hürriyet
- This Video Game Grooms Future World Leaders — La Stampa
- After Brexit, Europe's Elite May Now Opt For Germany — Die Welt
JULY FOOLS' DAY
People in the French city of Rennes woke up to a whale-sized mystery, discovering the body of a sperm whale by the side of the river, right in the middle of the city. While specialists were busy explaining the effect of fishing and climate change on the behavior of cetaceans, Le Mensuel de Rennes reveals that it may all be part of a large-scale environment-related art installation.