SPOTLIGHT: GOOD AND BAD NEWS FOR THE PLANET
Breathe in ... Last year, an estimated 147 gigawatts was added to the world's renewable power capacity — the largest such global rise ever recorded, making it an "extraordinary" year for renewable energies. According to the Renewables 2016 Global Status Report, investment in green energies around the world also reached a new high, with $286 billion in 2015, for a sector that now employs 8.1 million people.
But hold that breath: If change is afoot, it's still considerably spotty. Data recently released by the World Health Organization shows for instance that air pollution levels are rising in many of the world's poorest countries, with cities in Nigeria and Pakistan beating usual suspects like Beijing or New Delhi. Onitsha, a fast-growing economic hub in Nigeria, has earned the infamous designation as this year's "most-polluted city in the world," with particle concentrations exceeding up to 30 times the WHO recommendations. Breathe out ...
WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY
- World's longest rail tunnel (35 miles) opens in Switzerland.
- LGBT Pride Month begins.
- French rail workers begin open-ended strike.
ISIS RESISTING IRAQI ASSAULT ON FALLUJAH
Battles around the Iraqi city of Fallujah are intensifying and Iraqi forces are facing tough resistance from ISIS fighters in their offensive to retake the city, Al Jazeera reports. Even if ISIS eventually loses the battle, there's growing concern about what will happen to Fallujah afterwards.
ANOTHER MASS SEXUAL ASSAULT IN GERMANY
At least 26 German women reported they were sexually assaulted during a music festival in Darmstadt this past weekend, in attacks that are reminiscent of those in Cologne on New Year's Eve. Three Pakistani men have been arrested, but more are believed to have taken part in the assaults.
— ON THIS DAY
Morgan Freeman and a family massacre in Nepal are linked to June 1. More in today's 57-second shot of history.
OECD WORRIED ABOUT GLOBAL GROWTH
The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has expressed pessimism with the current state of the global economy, warning in a critical Economic Outlook that it is "stuck in a low-growth trap." Read more from Bloomberg.
"Didier Deschamps has bowed to the pressure of a racist part of France," French soccer player Karim Benzema told Spanish sports daily MARCA just 10 days before France begins hosting the European championship.
TOP JEWISH TERROR SUSPECT FREED
Israel's Shin Bet has released Meir Ettinger, its top terrorism suspect, after 10 months of administrative detention, Haaretz reports. Ettinger was accused of carrying out an arson attack against a Palestinian family in July 2015.
Today, gunsmiths in the United States credit 20% of their sales to the female market, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. For Swiss daily Le Temps, Xavier Filliez went to Scottsdale near Phoenix, Arizona, to meet with pro-gun women and discuss pink rifles, bra holsters, and teaching kids to shoot: "Melodie Coffman admits she personally prefers assault rifles like AK-47s. â€˜It's so much more fun,' she says. â€˜Thirty years ago, I was a at supermarket when someone pointed a gun at my temple. I think the trauma came back. Now that we live in a remote area, I want to be ready in case someone breaks into my house,' says Robyn Hazlewood, who came with her partner, Tori Simpsons. â€˜The state of the world forces us to protect ourselves. Everyone has his own fears. For example, my partner Tori is scared of riding a bicycle.'"
Read the full article, America's Gun-Loving Women, Where Feminism Meets Firearms.
LAST PUSH FOR TTIP
The U.S. and the European Commission are "scrambling to rebuild momentum" for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership amid growing opposition on both sides of the Atlantic, the Financial Times reports.
A poll published in today's Guardian puts Brexit supporters in the lead, ahead of the June 23 referendum, with a majority now in favor of Britain leaving the EU.
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TRUMP FANS IN PYONGYANG
A column published on one of the North Korean regime's mouthpieces sings the praises of Donald Trump, who it says "is not the rough-talking, screwy, ignorant candidate they say he is, but is actually a wise politician and a prescient presidential candidate." Read more from Reuters.