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Friday News Roundup - International

Members of the transgender community and students hold placards as they take part in a rally to demand a rapid action on the climate crisis, in Dhaka on July 23.
Members of the transgender community and students hold placards as they take part in a rally to demand a rapid action on the climate crisis, in Dhaka on July 23.

With guest host Todd Zwillich.

A United Nations report says we have 18 months to deal with rising levels of greenhouse gases inside the Earth’s atmosphere. “But today, observers recognise that the decisive, political steps to enable the cuts in carbon to take place will have to happen before the end of next year,” the BBC reported..

More from their reporting:

One of the understated headlines in last year’s IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was that global emissions of carbon dioxide must peak by 2020 to keep the planet below 1.5C.

Current plans are nowhere near strong enough to keep temperatures below the so-called safe limit. Right now, we are heading towards 3C of heating by 2100 not 1.5.

As countries usually scope out their plans over five and 10 year timeframes, if the 45% carbon cut target by 2030 is to be met then the plans really need to be on the table by the end of 2020.

And the United Kingdom has a new leader. We know his name, but who is Boris Johnson?

No, really. He’s now the U.K.’s prime minister, he’s a known Brexiteer, the BBC describes him as one of the U.K.’s most recognizable politicians, but what else is important to know about him?

Here’s The New York Times’ Ellen Barry.

He has walked away from gaffes, deceptions and errors that would have ended the career of any normal politician, brushing criticism away with his trademark bluster and self-confidence. The most recent crisis occurred on Friday, when, despite the titanic efforts of his political handlers to keep him out of hot water until July, when the race for prime minister ends, police officers were called to respond to an altercation between Mr. Johnson and his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, 31, a former communications chief for the Conservative Party. Neighbors reported screaming, breaking of glasses, and Ms. Symonds shouting “get off me” and “get out of my flat.”

A familiar cycle was thrown into gear. Politicians and commentators expressed alarm at Mr. Johnson’s history of loose-cannon behavior, and his poll numbers suffered. But his hard-core supporters seemed to like him even more. This, said one of his biographers, is the key to his political magic.

Sound like any other world leader we know?

What chance does Johnson have to lead the U.K. to an orderly Brexit?

And President Donald Trump made several bizarre statements while taking questions from the press with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Trump said he had been asked by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mediate discussions over the disputed territory of Kashmir. The Indian government denied that any such thing had happened.

Trump also suggested that the United States could “wipe Afghanistan off the face of the earth”. “If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people,” Trump commented, CNN reported. CNN also noted that both the Afghan government and the Taliban decried Trump’s comments.

Further, this week Israel tore down a group of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem.

More from The New York Times

Israel’s minister of strategic affairs and public security, Gilad Erdan, said in a statement that the government had gone ahead with the “demolition of the illegal and mostly uninhabited buildings” after an Israeli court ruled that they constituted “a severe security threat and can provide cover to suicide bombers and other terrorists hiding among civilian population.”

United Nations officials had appealed to Israel to call off the demolition, which Palestinian officials condemned as a “war crime” and “ethnic cleansing.” The office of Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, called it “a serious escalation against our defenseless Palestinian people” and called for international intervention.

United Nations officials said that 17 Palestinians, including an older couple and five children, were being displaced by the demolitions. Footage from the early morning showed distraught Palestinians being led away by security forces.

The decision to proceed with the demolition underscored the legal complexities and human difficulties caused by the absence of internationally recognized boundaries and competing authorities.

We wrap up these global news headlines and more.

GUESTS

Edward Luce, Chief U.S. columnist and commentator, Financial Times; his latest book is “The Retreat of Western Liberalism”; @EdwardGLuce

Courtney Kube, National security and military reporter, NBC News; @ckubenbc

Eli Lake, Columnist, Bloomberg View; @EliLake

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

© 2019 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.

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