Alarm as Earth hits ‘Overshoot Day’
Mankind marks a dubious milestone today – the day by which humanity has consumed all earth can sustainably produce for this year, with NGOS warning the rest of 2022 will be lived in resource deficit. The date – dubbed “Earth Overshoot Day” – marks a tipping point when people have used up “all that ecosystems can regenerate in one year”, according to the Global Footprint Network and WWF. “From January 1 to July 28, humanity has used as much from nature as the planet can renew in the entire year. That’s why July 28 is Earth Overshoot Day,” said Mathis Wackernagel, president of the Global Footprint Network. It would take 1.75 Earths to provide for the world’s population in a sustainable way, according to the measure, which was created by researchers in the early 1990s. Global Footprint Network said Earth Overshoot Day has fallen ever sooner over the last 50 years.
Record hot, Mediterranean: 5°C above average in July
The record temperatures that hit Europe in the past two months continue to have an impact on the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. According to the Copernicus marine environment monitoring service, the sea surface temperature, recorded on July 22, shows “an increase of up to 5°C along the coasts of France and Italy” – worse than 2003. That year was, until now considered the hottest year for the Mediterranean, when the increase in temperatures was 3°C. The increase in temperature leads to alien species arriving in our waters from the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, via the Suez Canal. Also marine species living in the southern Mediterranean move towards the north.
Canadian government says pope’s apology not enough
The Canadian government made clear it Wednesday that Pope Francis’ apology to Indigenous peoples for abuses in the country’s church-run residential schools didn’t go far enough, suggesting that reconciliation over the fraught history is still very much a work in progress. The official government reaction came as the Pope arrived in Quebec City for meetings with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Governor General Mary Simon at her Quebec residence on the second leg of his week-long visit to Canada. The government’s criticisms echo those of some survivors and concern Francis’ omission of any reference to the sexual abuse suffered by Indigenous children in the schools, as well as his original reluctance to name the Catholic Church as an institution bearing responsibility. Indigenous peoples have long demanded that the pope assume responsibility not just for abuses committed by individual Catholic priests and religious orders, but for the Catholic Church’s institutional support of the assimilation policy and the papacy’s 15th century religious justification for European colonial expansion to spread Christianity. More than 150,000 Native children in Canada were taken from their homes from the 19th century until the 1970s and placed in the schools in an effort to isolate them from the influence of their families and culture.
Italy: centre-right agreement on premier and division of colleges
The leaders of the Italian centre-right reached “full agreement” on the premier question and also on how to divide the candidacies in the 221 single-member constituencies “on the basis of the consensus attributed to the parties”. This was reported in a joint media release issued at the end of four-hour summit in Montecitorio. The agreement provides that the premier will be indicated by the party that will get the most votes in the coalition.
Ukrainian Black Sea ports resume work
Three Ukrainian Black Sea ports resumed work Wednesday, Ukraine’s navy said, following a UN-backed deal aimed at releasing 25 million tonnes of cereals stuck in Ukraine. The ports had been blocked by Russia’s invasion. The Ukrainian navy said work had resumed in the ports of Odesa, Chernomorsk and Pivdennyi. Kiev and Moscow last week agreed a mechanism with the help of Turkey and the United Nations to allow blocked Ukrainian grain to be exported from the three ports.
‘Moscow leaves dead bodies in order not to compensate families’
Kiev has accused Russia of abandoning the bodies of its soldiers who died in Ukraine to avoid paying compensation to their families. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko says that the Russians “do not take the corpses from the battlefield because, according to their legislation, the family of every dead soldier receives 7.421 million rubles (about €121,000) plus a monthly allowance. On the other hand, the families receive nothing if their loved ones are missing: no body means no money. “
President Orban’s visit to Austria under a cloud
Hungarian President Victor Orbvan starts a visit to Austria today under a cloud over his remarks, made over the weekend at an annual forum in Romania, about the world becoming “mixed-race” as a result of immigration and amorous relations between individuals. He also made a backhanded reference to Nazi Germany’s use of gas chambers as a tool of mass murder inducing International Auschwitz Committee vice-president, Christoph Heubner, to call on Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer to take a stand against such hate speech when Orban is on an official visit to Vienna later today. European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas Wednesday denounced the comments, writing on Twitter, “Hatred has no place on our lips nor in our societies.” A long-time Orban advisor, Zsuzsa Hegedus, resigned on Tuesday in the aftermath of the fallout from Orban’s words over the weekend, calling Orban’s speech “a pure Nazi text”. Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu also stepped up to denounce the comments
Crowds of protesters storm Iraqi parliament
Hundreds of protesters have breached a high-security zone in Baghdad and broken into Iraq’s parliament building. The supporters of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr oppose the nomination of a rival candidate for prime minister. Sadr’s political alliance won the most seats in last October’s general election, but it is not in power due to political deadlock following the vote. Police reportedly fired teargas and water cannon at the protesters, as these sang, danced and lay on tables.
Ex-cops get jail for George Floyd killing
Two former Minneapolis police officers were sentenced to prison on Wednesday for their roles in the May 2020 killing of George Floyd, a Black man whose death sparked protests against racial injustice across the United States. US District Judge Paul Magnuson sentenced J. Alexander Kueng to three years in prison and Tou Thao to three and a half years on federal charges. Kueng and Thao were convicted in February of violating Floyd’s civil rights, and failing to intervene to stop the use of “unreasonable force” by another officer, Derek Chauvin. The latter, a 19-year veteran of the force, who kneeled on the neck of a handcuffed Floyd for nearly 10 minutes until he passed out and died, was convicted of murder and is serving more than 20 years in prison.
US: 6-year-old boy shootsand kills little sister
A six-year-old boy from Muncie, in the US state of Indiana, has accidentally shot his five-year-old sister, killing her. Local press reports say the boy took one of two loaded guns in the home safe and shot the girl to death. The parents have been arrested for negligent conduct.
Germany advances to the Women’s Euro 2022 final
Alexandra Popp scored twice to power Germany to a 2-1 win over France Wednesday and into the final of the European Championship against England. With the game level at 1-1 and both teams missing chances to score, Germany captain Popp leaped above the French defense in the 76th minute to send a bouncing header into the French goal. She scored the opening goal for Germany in the 40th but the lead lasted less than five minutes before France equalised. Popp has scored in all five of Germany’s games so far – a new record. Germany plays host nation England in Sunday’s final at Wembley Stadium. Popp and England’s Beth Mead are the joint top scorers with six goals each.