Climate change is humans' ‘biggest health threat’ WHO says

In a global call to arms, the World Health Organization described climate change as the “single biggest health threat facing humanity” in a new report.

Millions of people are already feeling its effects — particularly those in low-income communities — prompting countless experts to demand that government officials and policymakers “act with urgency” in regards to the climate crisis.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the intimate and delicate links between humans, animals and our environment,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

In an open letter to heads of state worldwide, 150 organizations as well as 400 experts and health professionals voiced their support for 10 climate and health actions detailed in the WHO report, which was published on Monday. Some of the recommendations include reimagining urban environments and transit systems; encouraging “healthy, sustainable, and resilient” food supply systems; and committing to a “healthy, green, and just recovery” from COVID-19, including global access to vaccines and steps to stave off future pandemics.

The most notable concern, experts added, is the burning of fossil fuel, which contributes to climate change and subsequently, the intensifying of extreme weather — including heat waves as well as storms and flooding — and a rising sea level.

Experts added that air pollution ultimately causes about 13 deaths a minute around the world in addition to fueling climate change, resulting in the destruction of homes and businesses, as well as the exacerbation of food insecurity and world hunger.

—New York Daily News

Cuban authorities deny request for anti-government protest

Cuban local authorities denied a request Tuesday for an islandwide anti-government demonstration planned for Nov. 15 by a broad coalition of young Cubans, artists and dissidents, arguing it was a provocation backed up by the U.S. government aimed at destabilizing the country.

In a letter addressed to one of the leaders behind the initiative, the playwright Yunior Trebol, Havana local authorities said the march is “illegal” and conceived as part of a U.S. plan for regime change. The official government news outlet Cubadebate first published the letter.

The call for a peaceful demonstration in November is increasing the pressure on the Cuban government to allow political opposition in the communist country, at a time when its violent crackdown of protesters drew international condemnation.

In an attempt to keep alive the spark of the unprecedented July 11 protests, a new civil society group named Archipiélago tried to test Cuba’s new constitution, whose article 56 recognizes the right to peaceful demonstrations, and notified authorities in several provinces of their intention to protest, initially on Nov. 20.

Archipiélago, created by a diverse coalition of artists from the groups Movimiento 27N and San Isidro, young intellectuals, professionals and activists, and long-time dissidents like Manuel Cuesta Morúa, said it would reply soon to the government’s denial.

—Miami Herald

Navy recovers copter, sailors' remains from crash off San Diego

SAN DIEGO — A Navy salvage and diving team has recovered the wreckage of a helicopter and the remains of five sailors who were killed in an August crash about 60 miles off the San Diego coast, the Navy said Tuesday.

The salvage team, working from the merchant vessel Bayou, brought the wreckage of the aircraft and the remains of its crew up from a depth of about one mile on Friday, the Navy said. The remains of the sailors were flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for identification.

The helicopter, an MH-60S Seahawk from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8, was conducting routine flight operations off the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln on Aug. 31. According to the Navy Safety Center, the helicopter started vibrating side-to-side upon landing on the ship's flight deck. As a result, the helicopter's rotor struck the flight deck and the aircraft crashed over the side of the ship.

One member of the helicopter's six-person crew survived and was rescued from the water that day. Five Abraham Lincoln sailors were also injured.

The Navy searched for the rest of the aircraft's crew for three days before declaring them dead. Two weeks later, the service began it underwater search and recovery mission.

—The San Diego Union-Tribune

Michigan Trump backers seek ballot drive for review of 2020 vote

LANSING, Mich. — Backers of former President Donald Trump will launch a ballot drive to require a "full forensic audit" of the 2020 presidential election, a rally in Lansing was told Tuesday.

Jon Rocha of Portage, a Republican who is running against U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, said he expects paperwork for the legislative initiative to be filed with the Board of State Canvassers next week.

"This is how a revolution begins," Rocha told several hundred people gathered on the Capitol lawn.

If about 340,000 valid signatures are collected and the measure is approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature, "it is absolutely veto-proof," Rocha said.

Should lawmakers fail to act on the measure, it would go to voters at the November 2022 election, he said.

Though ill-defined, a "forensic audit" is the phrase that has been embraced by large numbers of Michigan residents, and those in other states, unhappy with the result of the 2020 presidential election, in which President Joe Biden, a Democrat, defeated Trump, a Republican. Biden won 306 to 232 in the Electoral College and by more than 7 million popular votes.

In other jurisdictions, a forensic audit has been defined to go beyond ballots and include election tabulators and poll books. Former state senator Patrick Colbeck, a Canton Township Republican who spoke at Tuesday's rally, said it would be designed to not just count how many ballots were cast, but determine how many of those ballots were legitimate.

—Detroit Free Press


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