Migrants who died at sea to Europe doubled
The number of migrants who died at sea trying to reach Europe has more than doubled this year. Ansasays a new report by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) shows that 1,146 people died at sea trying to reach Europe in the first half of 2021. In 2020, 513 had died in the same period and 674 in 2019.
EU launches big climate plan
The European Union has unveiled its most ambitious plan yet to tackle climate change, aiming to turn green goals into concrete action this decade. Reuters reports the bloc’s 27 countries must reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030 – a step towards “net zero” emissions by 2050. This will mean raising the cost of emitting carbon for heating, transport and manufacturing, taxing high-carbon aviation fuel and shipping fuel that has not been taxed before, cement, steel and aluminum. Tighter emission limits for cars will soon make it harder to to sell petrol and diesel car sales in the EU and impossible by 2035. The measures now require the approval of Member States and the European Parliament, a process that could take two years.
NASA, ESA join forces to study climate change
USA Today says the two biggest space agencies in the world – NASA and the European Space Agency – formed the first strategic partnership to observe Earth and its changing environment. “Climate change is an all-hands-on deck, global challenge that requires action – now,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
Amazon now producing more Co2 than it absorbs
A study published in Nature reveals that the Amazon rainforest now emits more CO2 than it can absorb – one and a half billion tons per year to be exact, against the half billion tons that the breath of the vegetation manages to subtract. The balance, one billion tons, is equal to Japan’s total annual emissions, a fact that raises the need to reduce the impact of carbon dioxide on the Earth as quickly as possible.
Insurers plan green replacements for car and property write-offs
According to the BBC, insurers could replace written-off or stolen petrol cars with electric vehicles as part of a wide-ranging plan to improve sustainability. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said the plans could “herald a new approach” to the many thousands of claims settled each year.
Pope returns to Vatican 10 days after surgery
Avvenire reports Pope Francis has returned home to the Vatican on Wednesday, 10 days after undergoing surgery to remove half his colon. Francis, 84, stopped at Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica to give thanks for the success of the operation, and pray for others before returning home. The Pope always visits the basilica after a foreign trip to pray at a beloved icon of the Virgin Mary.
House Republicans demand answers about Biden family ‘cash-grab’
The New York Post reveals a dozen Republican members of Congress have demanded that the White House turn over information related to the business interests of President Biden’s family in order to “understand the extent of the Biden family’s use of its connection to the President to enrich itself.” The impetus for the letter appears to be an upcoming exhibition of 15 of Hunter Biden’s paintings at galleries in Los Angeles and New York City later this year.
‘Snack tax to fight obesity crisis’
A new report is recommending a “snack tax” on sugary and salty food, the Daily Mail reports. The newly-published National Food Strategy for Britain could add £3.4bn to families’ shopping bills every year, with a 9p increase on Mars bars and 87p rise on boxes of Frosties.
Cuba suspends duty on food imports
Grandma reports the Cuban government has authorised the temporary “unlimited” entry into the country of foodstuffs, toiletries and medicines – goods that are scarce on the national market – without paying duty. Prime Minister Manuel Marrero announced on television these imports will be allowed until December 31.
Britney Spears can hire own lawyer in conservatorship case
Los Angeles Times says a judge has ruled US pop star Britney Spears can choose her own lawyer in the fight to end her controversial conservatorship.
The ruling came as Spears again addressed the court demanding that her father, Jamie Spears, be removed from the legal agreement that has controlled her affairs for years.
FC Barcelona-Messi agreement ‘in principle’ reached
FC Barcelona are thought to have finally reached an agreement in principle with Camp Nou legend Lionel Messi over a new long-term contract, including a huge 50% pay cut on his previous deal in light of the club’s widely known financial problems. SPORT writes that Messi understands Barça’s position and has agreed to be paid only half of his previous salary.