The world’s top climate panel has issued its direst appeal to date on the need to stop global warming. In a new report, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says continued emissions of greenhouse gases “will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts.” Unveiling the findings, panel chair Rajendra Pachauri said the window for action is closing.
Rajendra Pachauri: “Now, as it happens, the window of action is really closing very rapidly, so we have a very short window of opportunity. If you look at the total carbon budget to ensure that temperature increase by the end of this century will not exceed two degrees Celsius, we’ve already used up a substantial share of this. What’s remaining for us is only 275 gigatons of carbon. So this clearly shows that we have a very limited window of opportunity, and I think the global community must look at these numbers and show the resolve by which we can bring about change.”
To keep global warming below the target level of two degrees Celsius, the U.N. climate panel says the world must keep fossil fuel emissions to around one trillion tons of carbon dioxide. At current emissions rates, that amount will be reached in just 30 years, maybe even less. Less than $400 billion a year is being spent to reduce emissions or adapt to climate change. By contrast, energy corporations are spending over $600 billion to find new sources of CO2 extraction, and governments are spending that same amount on subsidizing fossil fuel consumption. The IPCC’s report is its fifth and final assessment on climate change ahead of global negotiations in Paris next year. Democracy Now! will be covering the U.N. climate talks from Lima, Peru, next month.
A new report warns Ebola is spreading up to nine times faster in parts of Sierra Leone. The Africa Governance Initiative says cases continue to rise “frighteningly quickly,” some nine times faster than two months ago. However, in neighboring Liberia the rate of new Ebola cases appears to have declined.
A U.S. nurse quarantined after returning from Sierra Leone has defeated her restrictions in court. On Friday, a Maine judge ruled Kaci Hickox has the right to go outside and cannot be confined to her home. Hickox has tested negative for Ebola and has displayed no symptoms. On Sunday, Hickox told NBC News she will still avoid crowded public places out of respect for locals’ concerns.
Kaci Hickox: “I will not go into town into crowded public places. I have had a few friends come visit me in my home, and that’s absolutely fantastic. But on the other hand, my partner is currently in nursing school, and there is definitely zero scientific evidence that says that he shouldn’t be allowed to return to his campus on Monday. The goal was to make sure that we are again talking about science and not politics.”
The al-Qaeda group al-Nusra has seized several areas in the Syrian province of Idlib. Al-Nusra reportedly seized the weapons of rival Syrian rebels during its advance, potentially those supplied by the United States. In a briefing to the U.N. Security Council, Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Kyung-wha Kang said violence continues to escalate throughout Syria.
Kyung-wha Kang: “Armed violence continues to escalate throughout the country. The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate. And the level of violence, death and destructions remain unrelenting.”
Heavy clashes have been reported in Kobani, where Iraqi Kurds have joined the fight against an Islamic State siege. Thousands of Kurds rallied inside Turkey over the weekend in a show of support for Kobani’s defense. At a solidarity rally in New York City, protesters called for increased aid to Kurdish fighters battling ISIS.
Kader Celik: “Today is November 1st, and it’s a global Kobani day to let whole world to know that we are supporting Kobani and we don’t want any other Kurdish people to die there. And we want whole world, all other countries, to help Kobani, help YPG there, help Kurds, like give them support, give them weapons to fight with ISIS.”
In Iraq, the death toll from an ISIS assault on members of a Sunni tribe over the past few days has topped 300. The Albu Nimr tribe had fought ISIS for weeks in Anbar province, but was forced to retreat after running low on supplies and an ignored plea for help from the Iraqi government in Baghdad. The mass killings are seen as a warning by ISIS to groups resisting its advance, as well as a rebuke of U.S.-led strikes.
At least 55 people are dead and more than 120 wounded after a suicide bombing at the Pakistan-India border. The attack targeted the two countries’ main crossing near Lahore. At least three jihadist militant groups have claimed responsibility.
In Burkina Faso, protests that forced the ouster of the longtime president are now opposing an apparent military coup. President Blaise Compaoré stepped down on Friday after demonstrations against his bid to extend a 27-year rule. But the Burkina Faso military immediately dissolved parliament, imposed martial law and installed a top commander as transitional leader. Thousands of people rallied in the capital against the military over the weekend. The United Nations is calling for a peaceful transfer to civilian rule.
Today is the last day of campaigning before Tuesday’s midterm elections. Control of the Senate hangs in the balance and could be decided in a small number of states. In a final push for Democrats, President Obama campaigned in Connecticut on Sunday for Gov. Dannel Malloy. Obama faced his latest in a series of interruptions from audience members opposed to his delay of executive action on immigration reform.
President Obama: “So, listen, here’s the good thing about a democracy, is everybody can speak. As I’ve said before, it’s always ironic that the folks who are shouting don’t understand that we actually support their issue. The folks who don’t support the issue are the ones who are voting against Dan Malloy. So they need to go to the other rally and focus on them.”
Thirty-six of the Senate’s 100 seats are at stake on Tuesday. The states with tight races that could decide Senate control include Arkansas, Kentucky, Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia and Kansas.
A third victim of last month’s shooting at a Washington state high school has died of her injuries. The death of 14-year-old Shaylee Chuckulnaskit follows that of two other girls who were shot in the rampage. Providence Hospital director Anita Tsen announced her passing.
Dr. Anita Tsen: “Today at 4:44 p.m. (PST) Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, known affectionately as Shay to her family and friends, passed away at Providence Regional Medical Center as a result of severe injuries from last Friday’s school shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. The entire Providence family is deeply saddened by this news and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to Shaylee’s family.”
The school shooting in Marysville comes as Washington state prepares to vote on the nation’s only major gun control measure in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Polls show Washington state voters are expected to approve Initiative 594, which would require background checks on all gun sales.
Local authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, have privately conceded they sought a no-fly zone to limit media coverage of the protests that erupted after the police killing of Michael Brown. The federal government granted the request to bar all flights around Ferguson, including news helicopters, on safety grounds. But in new audio recordings obtained by the Associated Press, a federal official says: “They finally admitted it really was to keep the media out.”
The movement to change the name of the NFL’s Washington Redskins has followed the team on the road. Around 5,000 people rallied Sunday outside a football stadium in Minnesota during the Redskins game against the Vikings. It was the largest show of protest at a Washington road game in a long-running movement led by indigenous groups.
Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old with an aggressive form of brain cancer who became an advocate for assisted suicide for the terminally ill, has died. Maynard took her own life at home in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, two days after her husband’s birthday, as she had planned. She had moved from California to Oregon to benefit from a law which allowed her to receive a prescription for lethal medication. Maynard posted on Facebook: “Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more.” In her final video posted last week, Maynard said she wants others to have the same option.
Brittany Maynard: “My goal, of course, is to influence this policy for positive change, and I would like to see all Americans have access to the same healthcare rights. But beyond that public policy goal, my goals really are quite simple, and they mostly do boil down to my family and friends and making sure they all know how important they are to me and how much I love them.”
According to a statement from the nonprofit Compassion and Choices, “[Brittany Maynard] died as she intended — peacefully in her bedroom, in the arms of her loved ones.”