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29 Aug

A Foreign Perspective, News and Analyses

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

Recommended:

Irish Examiner>>

France 24>>

Spiegel>>

The Age>>

The Observer>>

In a first, climate goals will decide whether oil refinery can expand (Click to Listen)

The government announced on Friday it would step in and ultimately decide whether a controversial plan to expand an oil refinery should move forward.

Environment Minister Isabella Lövin, of the Green Party, told reporters at a press conference that the potential climate impact of the expansion is so great, the government must weigh in.

The expansion would allow oil company Preem to refine more crude oil at its site in Lysekil and create some 150 new jobs. But the refinery would also see its C02 emission double and, as a result, become Sweden’s largest single emitter of greenhouse gases.

The case was making its way through the Land and Environment Appeals Court. But now, the court will still hear the case and issue an opinion but it’s the government who’ll have the final say.

‘Leaders know that more eyes are on them, much more pressure is on them,’ says Swedish activist in Guardian interview

Greta Thunburg: ‘It’s insane that a 16-year-old has to cross the Atlantic in order to take a stand, but that’s how it is.’

Greta Thunburg: ‘It’s insane that a 16-year-old has to cross the Atlantic in order to take a stand, but that’s how it is.’ Photograph: Vanessa Carvalho/REX/Shutterstock

Unprecedented pressure exerted by young activists will push world leaders to address the unfolding climate crisis, even with a recalcitrant US under Donald Trump, Greta Thunberg has told the Guardian.

Thunberg, the teenager whose school climate strikes have ignited a global youth-led movement, said that her journey to New York on a solar-powered yacht was symbolic of the lengths young people will take to confront the climate crisis.

“It’s insane that a 16-year-old has to cross the Atlantic in order to take a stand, but that’s how it is,” she said. “It feels like we are at a breaking point. Leaders know that more eyes on them, much more pressure is on them, that they have to do something, they have to come up with some sort of solution. I want a concrete plan, not just nice words.”

Thunberg’s vessel emerged from the mist of an unseasonably drizzly day to be met by a throng of supporters and media at a marina near the southern tip of Manhattan on Wednesday. Her arrival was heralded by a flotilla of 17 sailboats, charted by the UN, that intercepted her vessel near the Statue of Liberty.

Supporters chanted “welcome Greta” as the Swedish teenager stepped off the yacht, shook some outstretched hands and said that it felt like the ground was shaking beneath her feet.

“It’s so overwhelming, I’ve gone from nothing but me and the ocean to this,” Thunberg told the Guardian. Despite the adulation from the crowds, Thunberg said she didn’t relish being cast as the global figurehead of the climate movement.

“My role is to be one of many, many activists who are pushing for climate action,” she said. “I don’t see myself as a leader, or icon or the face of a movement.”

Related Articles:

Meet generation Greta: young climate activists around the world

Greta Thunberg tells Trump to ‘listen to the science’ after arriving in New York – as it happened

‘Let’s do it now’: Greta Thunberg crosses Atlantic and calls for urgent climate action

Greta Thunberg: ‘They see us as a threat because we’re having an impact’

When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez met Greta Thunberg: ‘Hope is contagious’

Germany’s AfD turns on Greta Thunberg as it embraces climate denial

New study shows kids in District of Columbia are the most underprivileged in the country, facing daily threats of homelessness and food insecurity

People pass through the courtyard of some Sibley Plaza apartments in Washington, DC.

People pass through the courtyard of some Sibley Plaza apartments in Washington, DC. Photograph: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post/Getty Images

A common refrain in America’s capital city goes something like this: there’s Washington, and then there’s DC. Washington is where Congress passes bills, tourists visit the White House and Donald Trump stars in a daily political soap opera.

But DC – the District of Columbia, in which the city sits – is where more than 700,000 people live. People go to work, families share meals and children go to school. And many of those children, living just a few miles from the US Capitol, are facing the daily threat of homelessness and food insecurity.

According to a new WalletHub study, children in the district are the most underprivileged in the country. The study – which looked at a number of factors, ranging from the share of children in foster care to high school graduation rates – found that DC children face worse conditions than children in states like West Virginia (third worst), Louisiana (fifth worst) and Oklahoma (seventh worst).

Judith Sandalow, the executive director of the Children’s Law Center, said the results emphasized the “huge disparity” between the perception of Washington as the seat of the most powerful government in the world and the often harrowing reality for many children in the city.

“Two miles from the White House, there are children going to bed hungry and not knowing where they’re going to sleep tomorrow night,” Sandalow said.

The city has the highest shares of children in single-parent families, children living in low-income households where no adults work and children whose parents lack secure employment, WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said.

She added that DC’s high rates of child food insecurity, infant mortality and childhood depression also affected its ranking.

“Even in one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world, there is significant need,” said Radha Muthiah, head of the Capital Area Food Bank.

Muthiah’s organization serves roughly 400,000 individuals in the DC region, about a third of whom are children, and she said her group has witnessed the effects of growing inequity in the city. According to the DC Policy Center, the top 20% of earners in the city take home about 29 times more income than the bottom 20%.

Experts pointed to the lack of affordable housing as a major driver of this inequity. The office of the DC Chief Financial Officer released data in June showing that the median price for a detached single-family home grew 10.9% in the previous year, reaching a dizzying $809,500. The Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors has also reported that the city’s median home prices set new records this year.

Michael L Ferrell, the executive director of the DC Coalition for the Homeless, said the city’s home prices have escalated to the point that many DC families considered to be “working poor” can no longer afford housing.

“The number one reason is the lack of affordable housing. That’s not just in the district but around the country,” Ferrell said.

While noting that DC’s homelessness rate has decreased in recent years, Ferrell said there’s been a simultaneous decline in the number of affordable housing units.

People walk past Robin Riddick as she makes a makeshift space for sleeping along First Street, NE near Union Station in Washington, D.C.

People walk past Robin Riddick as she makes a makeshift space for sleeping along First Street, NE near Union Station in Washington, D.C. Photograph: Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post/Getty Images

“Certainly I’d say that is largely attributable to higher-income households moving in to the district and other major urban centers as well,” Ferrell added. “Call that one of the unintended consequences. I don’t think that was the plan, but it certainly is the byproduct of that.”

The WalletHub study bears out that paradox. Gonzalez noted the analysts were surprised by the large percentage of DC children living in households with below-poverty income, despite the city’s good economic mobility rank.

“The increasing inequality in the city is actually part of the problem,” Sandalow of the Children’s Law Center said. “Even as the city purposefully becomes a place where wealthier individuals want to live and builds for that group, we have not planned as a city for the families who live here today.”

Sandalow’s organization works with one in nine children living in the poorest neighborhoods of DC, providing legal services and pushing for systematic changes to address the problems it sees. She said that many lower-income families in the city suffer from a domino effect of challenges that often begins with an inability to access affordable housing.

“There’s an extraordinary ripple effect,” Sandalow said. “The dominoes are stacked very close together for low- and middle-income families in DC. And when one domino falls, you can watch them all cascade so that the child’s family stability, health, education and housing all fall apart.”

Far from aiding these compounding issues, proposals from the Trump administration could exacerbate the challenges facing DC families. Muthiah of the Capital Area Food Bank said that if Trump’s proposal to overhaul food stamp eligibility advances, 12,000 families in the DC region could be affected.

Just a few miles from the White House, thousands of working families are worrying about how they will juggle their budgets if Trump has his way.

“We’re concerned that any curtailment of Snap benefits would just take these families that are now treading water and push them under the surface, even when they’re working incredibly hard,” Muthiah said.

But Sandlow warns against falling into despair about the number of problems that the city’s working families face, arguing that there are solutions available to improve their circumstances.

She specifically cited a bill approved by the DC Council last year that limits the use of suspensions as punishment for only the most serious offenses. Such legislation would aid some of the Children’s Law Center’s clients, like the fourth-grade foster child who was suspended after stealing a snack out of his classroom’s snack closet.

“These are absolutely solvable problems,” she said. “We see every day that we can solve the problems and put that family back on stable footing and improve that child’s well-being if … we address the very specific concerns often stemming from a lack of financial resources.”

World Politics

Thursday’s top story: Fury as Boris Johnson says he will suspend parliament with no-deal Brexit looming. Plus, why 500 million bees just died in Brazil

A protester dressed as Boris Johnson demonstrates outside Downing Street after the UK prime minister announced his plan to prorogue parliament.

A protester dressed as Boris Johnson demonstrates outside Downing Street after the UK prime minister announced his plan to prorogue parliament. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Good morning, I’m Tim Walker with today’s essential stories.

Protests erupt in UK over Johnson’s ‘constitutional outrage’

The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, has boosted the chances of a damaging, no-deal Brexit by announcing he will suspend the country’s parliament for five weeks, stifling debate in the run-up to Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU on 31 October. The news sparked protests across the country on Wednesday, as rebel MPs from several parties convened to try to block the move, which the Speaker of the House of Commons described as a “constitutional outrage”.

Opioids payouts from Big Pharma ‘questionable’, say experts

Purdue Pharma, which produces OxyContin, has reportedly offered up to $12bn to settle multiple lawsuits.

Purdue Pharma, which produces OxyContin, has reportedly offered up to $12bn to settle multiple lawsuits. Photograph: Toby Talbot/AP

Experts have greeted news of two vast drug manufacturer payouts over the opioid crisis with a mixture of optimism and skepticism, with the photographer and campaigner Nan Goldin telling the Guardian that a reported settlement offered by the makers of the controversial painkiller OxyContin was “highly questionable”. It was reported this week that Purdue Pharma and members of the Sackler family had offered up to $12bn to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits.

  • Johnson & Johnson. Another pharmaceutical giant, Johnson & Johnson, was on Monday ordered by an Oklahoma court to pay out $572m over its role in the opioids epidemic.

  • Activists arrested. Goldin and 12 other activists supporting safe injection sites for drug addicts were arrested on Wednesday, after barricading the entrance of New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s office building.

Gillibrand drops out of Democratic presidential race

Kirsten Gillibrand: ‘It’s important to know when it’s not your time.’

Kirsten Gillibrand: ‘It’s important to know when it’s not your time.’ Photograph: Scott Morgan/Reuters

Kirsten Gillibrand, the Democratic US senator from New York, has become perhaps the most high-profile candidate yet to drop out of the 2020 presidential race, after failing to break out of the low single-digits in polls and secure a spot in the third round of televised debates. Gillibrand, one of a record number of women in the 2020 field, said in a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday that it was “important to know when it’s not your time”.

  • Remaining candidates. Gillibrand is the sixth contender to exit the Democratic race, leaving a mere 20 candidates still officially in the running, 10 of whom have failed to reach the minimum 2% in two polls required to qualify for the next debate.

Italian president gives Conte mandate to form new government

Italy’s head of state has given two former political enemies the chance to form a new government, capping an extraordinary three weeks that could mark a turning point in the country’s frayed relations with the European Union. President Sergio Mattarella handed Giuseppe Conte a fresh mandate to put together a new coalition of the 5 Star Movement (M5S) and opposition Democratic party (PD).,…….

Read Full Article>>

United States

Violence in the name of Trump

Dozens of supporters of Donald Trump have carried out or threatened acts of violence. Here, the Guardian lists them all

Since Trump embarked on his campaign for the US presidency in June 2015, dozens of attacks or threats involving his supporters have been reported. Here, the Guardian has compiled details of 52 incidents reported since 2015 involving Trump supporters.

This list includes people who:

  • Explicitly declared support for Donald Trump, or used his slogans, during or in connection with acts or threats of violence.

  • Cited Trump or his rhetoric in subsequently explaining acts or threats of violence.

  • Committed or threatened violence against opponents of Trump at political events, or while wearing Trump-branded attire signifying their support for the president.

  • Publicly declared an allegiance to Trump before committing or threatening violence against members of political or racial groups that Trump has denounced

The Latest

Threats or acts of violence committed by Trump supporters (2015-2019)

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