Climate Change & Environment
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Flooding Hamas tunnels could harm Gaza freshwater for generations, warns academic

Israeli environmental experts have called on the defense establishment to carefully weigh the long-term environmental implications of reported plans to flood the immense network of tunnels in the Gaza Strip with seawater to flush the Hamas militants out.

Quoting U.S. officials, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the Israeli army last month set up five large water pumps near the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, which are capable of flooding the tunnels within weeks by pumping thousands of cubic meters of water per hour into them.

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Activists say their voices are stifled by increasing rules and restrictions at COP28

This year's United Nations climate talks may have seen record numbers registered to attend, but activists who have spent years demonstrating at the annual event say their space to voice their demands is shrinking year on year.

Held in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates — where broad laws tightly restrict speech — climate activists have been protesting at COP28's Blue Zone, which is considered international territory. Demonstrators say there have always been strict regulations for protests at COPs, but they say actions this year have been further limited in terms of the number of people allowed to participate and which climate issues they're allowed to address on any given day. It's a stark contrast, activists say, to the growing presence of the fossil fuel industry, where those linked to the industry number around 1,400, according to an Associated Press analysis.

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After fast start, COP28 climate talks now in murky middle of hope, roadblocks

After a first-day blur of rare quick action and agreement, negotiators at a critical United Nations climate summit Wednesday finished up their first week in a more familiar place for them: the murky middle where momentum and roadblocks intertwine.

"Negotiations, as are often the case, are a mixed picture right now. We see big differences between individual states in some areas," German climate envoy Jennifer Morgan said, "but there is a will to make progress."

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UN agency cites worrying warming trend in latest climate change report

The United Nations weather agency is reporting that glaciers shrank more than ever from 2011 and 2020 and the Antarctic ice sheet lost 75 percent more compared to the previous ten years, as it released its latest stark report about the fallout on the planet from climate change.

The World Meteorological Organization served up more evidence of what scientists already know – the Earth is heating – on Tuesday, but this time looking at the trend over a longer period with its latest Decadal State of the Climate report.

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Lebanon's Christians feel heat of climate change in sacred forest and valley

Majestic cedar trees towered over dozens of Lebanese Christians gathered outside a small mid-19th century chapel hidden in a mountain forest to celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration, the miracle where Jesus Christ, on a mountaintop, shined with light before his disciples.

The sunset's yellow light coming through the cedar branches bathed the leader of Lebanon's Maronite Church, Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi, as he stood at a wooden podium and delivered a sermon. Then the gathering sang hymns in Arabic and the Aramaic language.

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Heavy snowfall hits Moscow, disrupts roads and flights

Heavy snowfall has hit the Russian capital, disrupting traffic on roads and flights in and out of three Moscow airports, officials and media reported on Monday.

The snowfall that began Sunday and continued overnight has brought an additional 23 centimeters (nine inches) to already high levels of snow in Moscow, according to deputy mayor Pyotr Biryukov. About 135,000 people and 18,000 pieces of equipment were involved in the snow-clearing effort.

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Top world leaders talk of climate crisis at UN summit

International climate talks turned to a power game on Friday as dozens of world leaders took turns bemoaning the pain of an overheating planet, but two of the world's most powerful men — President Joe Biden of the U.S. and China's President Xi Jinping — were glaringly absent.

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, a top oil producer, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, whose biggest cities are regularly choked under poor air, as well as Presidents Emmanuel Macron of France, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey were among more than 170 world leaders set to address the United Nations climate conference in Dubai over the next two days. The idea is to try to keep the planet from heating too much because of humankind's actions.

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Why hold UN climate talks 28 times? Do they even matter?

Ask most people what the annual U.N. climate talks are and the likely answer will be: "Huh?" Ask those who do know and the answer may be: "Why should I care?"

The negotiations, called Conference of Parties, are nearly two weeks long and in their 28th iteration in Dubai. Delegates use wonky terms like "NDCs" "1.5 degrees" and "loss and damage," not exactly conversation starters at parties. Any final decision is non-binding, meaning countries can agree to something and then not follow through. And when tens of thousands of people travel to the event, a lot of greenhouse gas emissions are produced, which is contrary to the entire point of the conference.

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Resumption of Gaza war casts long shadow over Dubai's COP28 climate talks

As world leaders gathered for the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, the collapse of a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war Friday plunged the conflict back into open combat and cast a long shadow over the talks.

Israel's top diplomat for the Middle East huddled with leaders at the summit as his colleagues went through a book of posters of those held hostage by the militant group Hamas, placing yellow "released" stickers by some while looking at others still held. Meanwhile, just a street away at the Palestinian territories' first-ever pavilion, an official gave a horrified look when Associated Press journalists gave her the news that Israeli airstrikes and ground fighting in the Gaza Strip had resumed.

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On 1st day, UN climate conference sets up fund for countries hit by disasters

The world just took a big step toward compensating countries hit by deadly floods, heat and droughts.

Nearly all the world's nations on Thursday finalized the creation of a fund to help compensate countries struggling to cope with loss and damage caused by climate change, seen as a major first-day breakthrough at this year's U.N. climate conference. Some countries started putting in money right away — if little compared to the overall anticipated needs.

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