The United States and China, the world’s two largest polluters, have agreed to limit greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade. President Obama unveiled the deal at a news conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
President Obama: “Today I can also announce that the United States has set a new goal of reducing our net greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2025. This is an ambitious goal, but it is an achievable goal. It will double the pace at which we’re reducing carbon pollution in the United States. It puts us on a path to achieving the deep emissions reductions by advanced economies that the scientific community says is necessary to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change.”
China has also made its first-ever commitment to stop emissions from growing by 2030. The agreement was negotiated in secret over nine months.
The United Nations has issued a new warning over the plight of refugees displaced by war in Syria and Iraq. On Tuesday, U.N. spokesperson Melissa Fleming warned that a funding shortfall threatens up to a million people as winter looms.
Melissa Fleming: “We are very concerned by an over $58 million funding shortfall that could leave as many as one million people without proper help. This is partly due to this sharp increase of internal displacement that we have witnessed in Iraq.”
Close to 13.6 million people have been displaced by the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. The U.N. World Food Program has cut rations for 4.25 million people, and more cuts could be on the way.
A U.S. drone strike in Pakistan has killed at least four people. The victims were described as suspected militants in the North Waziristan tribal district. Meanwhile, at least seven people have died in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen. The Yemeni military claims those killed were on their way to carry out an attack.
Israeli settlers have set a Palestinian mosque on fire amidst worsening unrest in Israel and the occupied West Bank. The torching of the mosque near the West Bank city of Ramallah follows separate Palestinian knife attacks that killed an Israeli settler and an Israeli soldier. On Tuesday, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man in the West Bank after a crowd of protesters threw stones and fuel bombs. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhahu is vowing to crush renewed Palestinian protests, while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has accused Netanyahu of seeking to ignite a “religious war.” The latest round of tensions escalated following new Israeli settlement expansion in occupied East Jerusalem and an attempt by extremist Israelis to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Outrage continues in Mexico over the apparent massacre of 43 students by police and a drug gang in the southern state of Guerrero. On Tuesday, protesters in Guerrero set ablaze the ruling political party’s state headquarters. Riot police clashed with masked demonstrators who threw stones and firebombs and briefly kidnapped a police commander.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says he is prepared to redeploy the National Guard after a grand jury reaches its decision in the Michael Brown case. On Tuesday, Nixon said Guard members will be on standby should protests erupt.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon: “Officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County Police and St. Louis City Police will operate as a unified command to protect the public. The National Guard has been and will continue to be part of our contingency planning. The Guard will be available when we determine it is necessary to support local law enforcement. Quite simply, we must and will be fully prepared.”
According to Nixon, more than 1,000 officers have recently undergone some 5,000 hours in training on crowd control. The deployment of the National Guard in the protests that followed Brown’s killing in August helped fuel criticism of the state’s militarized crackdown. Leaks in the case have suggested Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Brown, will not be indicted. Prosecutors say they expect a grand jury decision later this month.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s announcement on the National Guard comes as Michael Brown’s parents have taken their case to the United Nations in Geneva. Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden have been accompanied by a group of Ferguson activists to testify before the United Nations Committee Against Torture. On Tuesday, they asked the committee to end discriminatory U.S. policing tactics, including racial profiling, and investigate the targeting of communities of color.
The New York City doctor who contracted Ebola after treating patients in West Africa has been released from the hospital after being declared Ebola-free. Dr. Craig Spencer was the city’s first and only known Ebola case. In a news conference upon his release, Spencer said his early detection proves the effectiveness of existing safety protocols. He also urged support for public health workers volunteering in West Africa.
Dr. Craig Spencer: “My early detection, reporting and now recovery from Ebola speaks to the effectiveness of the protocols that are in place for health staff returning from West Africa. I am a living example of how those protocols work and of how early detection is critical to both surviving Ebola and ensuring that it is not transmitted to others. Please join me in turning our attention back to West Africa and ensuring that medical volunteers and other aid workers do not face stigma and threats upon their return home. Volunteers need to be supported to help fight this outbreak at its source.”
Spencer was diagnosed last month after having taken the subway and visiting a bowling alley, sparking initial alarm. With his recovery, there are now no known cases of Ebola inside the United States. Meanwhile, nurses across the country are holding rallies and strikes today to protest what they call the inadequate protection of health workers treating patients hospitalized over Ebola. National Nurses United says hospitals still lack proper equipment and protocols weeks after a pair of nurses contracted the disease at a Dallas hospital.