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HeadlinesNovember 10, 2021

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U.N. Releases Draft Accord in COP26’s Final Stretch as Data Show Global Temp. Set to Climb 2.4C

Nov 10, 2021

In Glasgow, the U.N. climate agency released a draft accord today calling on countries to set more aggressive goals for cutting emissions and to fast-track the phasing out of coal, as well as phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. The document also says countries should stop emitting greenhouse gases “by or around mid-century,” but does not set precise or urgent deadlines and enforcement policies. Negotiators at COP26 will continue talks over the second half of this week before a final deal is reached. This comes as the group Climate Action Tracker found that the planet is on track to see a catastrophic 2.4 degree Celsius rise in temperature this century, even with governments’ pledges to reduce emissions.

“We Will Not Stand Idly By”: Tuvalu Minister Delivers Speech Knee-Deep in Rising Sea Water

Nov 10, 2021

In other news from COP26, the foreign minister of Tuvalu recorded a speech to delegates, delivered while standing knee-deep in seawater to highlight how the low-lying Pacific island nation is facing imminent danger from rising sea levels.

Simon Kofe: “We will not stand idly by as the water rises around us. We’re not just talking in Tuvalu. We are mobilizing collective action at home, in our region and on the international stage to secure our future. On the national level, we are pursuing bold legal avenues to ensure that Tuvalu’s existing maritime boundaries will remain intact and we will be recognized as sovereign, even if our land territory is lost to climate change.”

AOC Says U.S. Must Follow Up Climate Vows with Action, Focus on the Most Vulnerable

Nov 10, 2021

New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez arrived at the Glasgow summit, where she echoed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s message that “America is back” when it comes to the global fight against climate change. But she added that the U.S. has “not recovered our moral authority” on climate action and that the U.S. would have to prove itself by actually slashing its emissions.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “We can’t actually just pursue decarbonization. It has to center a benefit for the working class, for the vulnerable, for frontline communities, people of color, women, underserved communities. And it has to have a justice and jobs focus in order for us to meet our emissions goals.”

GOP Rep. Paul Gosar Posts Animated Video Showing Him Killing AOC, Attacking Biden

Nov 10, 2021

In Washington, D.C., calls are mounting for congressional action against Republican Congressmember Paul Gosar after he posted an animated video on social media where he murders Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacks President Biden. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to request an investigation from the House Ethics Committee and law enforcement. Paul Gosar’s own sister, Jennifer Gosar, called him a “sociopath” and said his behavior could escalate.

Pfizer Seeks OK on Booster for All Adults; Moderna Tries to Exclude Gov’t Scientists from Vaccine Patent

Nov 10, 2021

Pfizer on Tuesday requested federal regulators authorize the COVID-19 booster for all adults. Currently people 65 and older, as well as adults at high risk due to medical conditions or their living or working situations, are eligible for the booster. The FDA is expected to grant Pfizer’s request.

A new study out of Texas shows unvaccinated patients are 40 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than fully vaccinated Texans. When numbers were studied during the Delta variant surge, the likelihood of death for unvaccinated people shrank but still remained exponentially higher, at 20 times that of vaccinated Texans.

In more vaccine news, Moderna is attempting to keep the names of government scientists off its coronavirus vaccine patent, which could have major implications in how the vaccine is distributed throughout the world. Three researchers from the National Institutes of Health worked with Moderna to develop the vaccine, which was also funded with $10 billion in public money.

Survivor of Rittenhouse Shooting Says He Thought He Was Going to Die During Attack

Nov 10, 2021

In Kenosha, Wisconsin, the prosecution rested its case in the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. On Monday, a volunteer medic testified that he feared for his life before the white 17-year-old opened fire with a semiautomatic assault rifle, striking his arm and blowing away most of his right bicep. Gaige Grosskreutz recounted to jurors how he drew his own pistol after seeing the teen gunman fire several shots from his AR-15 during last summer’s racial justice protests. He’s being questioned here by Kenosha Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger.

Gaige Grosskreutz: “I thought that the defendant was an active shooter.”

Thomas Binger: “What was going through your mind at this particular moment?”

Gaige Grosskreutz: “That I was going to die.”

Rittenhouse fatally shot two people that night: Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum. The defense will continue making its case today.

Police Officers Says Gregory McMichael Did Not See Ahmaud Arbery Commit Crime Before Killing Him

Nov 10, 2021

In Georgia, a Glynn County police detective testified Tuesday that Gregory McMichael, a former police officer and one of the three white men who is charged with hunting down and murdering Ahmaud Arbery, told him he never saw Arbery commit a crime. Another officer, Jeff Brandeberry, testified McMichael never said he was trying to perform a “citizen’s arrest” of Arbery, which is a major part of the defense’s arguments. He’s questioned here by prosecutor Linda Dunikoski.

Linda Dunikoski: “While speaking with you, did Greg McMichael ever use the word 'burglary'?”

Jeff Brandeberry: “No, ma’am.”

Linda Dunikoski: “Did he ever use the word 'trespass'?”

Jeff Brandeberry: “No, ma’am.”

Linda Dunikoski: “Did he ever tell you, while you’re talking to him, that he was attempting to make a citizen’s arrest?”

Jeff Brandeberry: “No, ma’am.”

Linda Dunikoski: “Did he ever even use the word 'arrest'?”

Jeff Brandeberry: “No, ma’am.”

Linda Dunikoski: “Did he ever even use the word 'detain'?”

Jeff Brandeberry: “No, ma’am.”

Linda Dunikoski: “All right. Did he ever tell you that, 'Oh, we were going to detain this guy and wait for the police to come and investigate'?”

Jeff Brandeberry: “No, ma’am.”

16 U.N. Staffers Detained in Addis Ababa Amid Intensifying Conflict and Humanitarian Crisis

Nov 10, 2021

In Ethiopia, the United Nations says 16 staffers have been detained in the capital Addis Ababa. At least six others have been released. It’s unknown why they were apprehended. This comes as the U.N. warns Ethiopia could descend into a full-scale civil war as violence intensifies between the Ethiopian military and Tigrayan rebel forces after one year of conflict. The agency estimates over 7 million people urgently need humanitarian aid in northern Ethiopia alone, with some 400,000 people in the Tigray region already living in famine-like conditions. The U.N. says it still is not able to access those in need in Tigray.

25 Children Killed in Niger School Fire as Nation Grapples with Deadly Conflict on Southern Border

Nov 10, 2021

In Niger, at least 25 children were killed, and over a dozen more injured, when a fire engulfed their classrooms Monday. Fires are not uncommon at schools in Niger, which are often constructed from flammable materials like straw and wood. It’s the latest tragedy in the West African nation. Just one day earlier, at least 18 people died in a collapsed gold mine in the south of the country.

Separately, Niger had just held two days of national mourning after 69 people, including a local mayor, were killed last week in an attack by gunmen in the country’s volatile southern border region.

U.S. Journalist Faces Terrorism and Sedition Charges in Burma

Nov 10, 2021

The U.N. is urging Burma’s military to give the agency access to over 3 million people in need of life-saving humanitarian aid amid ongoing violence following the February 1 military coup, a growing economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In other news from Burma, U.S. journalist Danny Fenster has been charged with terrorism and sedition. Fenster has been detained since May and is already on trial for three other charges, accused of instigating dissent against the military, visa breaches and unlawful association with an illegal group. The 37-year-old is the former managing editor of Frontier Myanmar, an independent online news outlet. His trial is being held at a military-run court inside prison, where members of the public, reporters and embassy officials are banned from entry.

Pregnant Journalist Killed in Yemen Car Blast

Nov 10, 2021

In Yemen, a journalist has been killed in a car explosion in the city of Aden. Rasha Abdullah al-Harazi worked for a United Arab Emirates-based television channel and was pregnant. An initial police investigation revealed an explosive device had been planted on her car. Her husband, who is also a journalist, was also in the car. He survived but was seriously injured. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

13 Trump Officials Illegally Campaigned in Office; Jan. 6 House Cmte. Issues 10 New Subpoenas

Nov 10, 2021

A new investigation by a federal watchdog found at least 13 Trump officials engaged in illegal campaigning for his reelection while in office, in violation of the Hatch Act. Some of those named in the report include son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, counselor Kellyanne Conway, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and senior adviser Stephen Miller.

Meanwhile, the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection has issued subpoenas to 10 more former Trump officials, including Stephen Miller and Kayleigh McEnany. McEnany made multiple claims about voter fraud, both before and after the 2020 presidential election, including at her first press conference following Trump’s loss to Joe Biden.

Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany: “There are very real claims out there that the campaign is pursuing. … This was a system that had never been tried in American history, mass mail-out voting. It’s one that we have identified as being particularly prone to fraud.”

This comes as a federal judge Tuesday rejected Trump’s latest bid to use “executive privilege” to block the January 6 committee from accessing documents related to his attempts to overturn the election. Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote, “Presidents are not kings, and [Trump] is not President.” The National Archives is expected to release the documents beginning on Friday.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Overturns Ruling Ordering J&J to Pay $465M for Role in Opioid Crisis

Nov 10, 2021

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has overturned a historic 2019 ruling against Johnson & Johnson which ordered the company to pay $465 million for its role in fueling Oklahoma’s opioid crisis. The court said the state’s public nuisance law could not be applied to J&J’s deceptive marketing practices. Oklahoma’s attorney general indicated his office may seek to challenge the ruling.

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