what happened last week (whlw) | Subscribe

whlw: no. 237

September 21 – 27, 2020

This is Sham, your very own news curator. I stopped reading the news yesterday at 9pm.

It's official: None of the police officers who shot Breonna Taylor in Louisville, United States is charged for shooting her. Just one of them might get charged for putting the lives of other people in the apartment complex in danger. Maximum punishment? One to five years. A lot of U.S. Americans are now debating whether or not the country's justice & policing system has failed. They lean towards: Yes, it has. If you would like to offer support, follow @BLMLouisville. Also, the U.S. president hasn't paid any income tax in 10 of last 15 years. 

I put in a lot of hours and my heart into every issue of whlw. You're welcome to support me on Patreon (like 155 others!) or via PayPal. Or, honestly, just share this email with friends and the pessimistic people in your life.

Now without further ado, here's what happened last week,

what happened last week

We are finally taking a lot more responsibility for climate change in China

Last week, Chinese president Xi Jinping said 'soooo, we plan to become totally carbon-neutral by 2060'. *looks confused at USA*

Why this matters: China is by far the world's largest climate-party-pooper aka largest greenhouse gas emitter. If what the Chinese president said is true, this is huge with a y. *whispers yuge to herself* 

Thanks to the Fridays for Future movement.

Tell me more
Well, Xi didn’t share too many details about the plan but it was kind of like, ‘just wait and see.’ until the country updates its five-year plan soon (yes, a lot of countries make actual plans to set and reach goals).

But is it a realistic goal?
Yes and no. It’s doable, scientists say. But just because it’s doable doesn’t mean it will be easy. China, now, creates 85 percent of its energy from fossil fuels and burns about as much coal as the rest of the world together. Also, China's still building new coal-fired power plants. So, yeah...

In other China-related news,
there is new evidence that the country has built a lot more detention centres aka prisons for its Uighur Muslim minority than we thought. And they're building more of them.
We are heading to the far side of the moon to study the very first days of the universe

Scientists in the United States have decided to design and send a spacecraft to the far side of the Moon so that they can look back into the very first days of the universe.

Why this matters: We still don’t know much about the beginning of the universe. This is a mission to find out more.

Tell me more
It’s a collaboration between NASA (they like to travel to space often) and the U.S. National Radio Astronomy Observatory (they make radio telescopes like
these). ‘We’ll send a spacecraft to hunt for radio signals that existed 380,000 years after the Big Bang where there were no stars or galaxies in the universe, okay?’ Okay, but why did you call the spacecraft DAPPER?

But why all the way to far side of the moon?
There are so many other radio signals around Earth that no radio telescope could pick up any ancient ones. ‘So, we’re kind of looking for the perfect date spot where we should meet.’ When? In just a few years.

We are trying to stop a war from breaking out between Azerbaijan and Armenia

Azerbaijan and Armenia (both are each other’s neighbors but have already fought a war killing more than 30,000 people in the 1990ies, too) are having another huge fight right now and the entire world is like

We are giving dads the chance to be better dads in France
France decided to give fathers a lot more time aka up to 28 days with their newly-born baby, starting July 2021.

Why this matters: We now know that it is extremely important that the father is spending a lot of quality time with the baby after it is born.

How did this happen?
Thanks to neuropsychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik. He
suggested to the French government that fathers should be able to take up to nine weeks aka 90 days off work to be with their baby. And they listened to 28/90th of what he had to say.

Why is it important?
Fathers who take time off to be with their children become
better at parenting, studies show, and are more likely to help out the mother. And female partners of men who take paternity leave take less anti-anxiety prescriptions. It's a win-win.

What do French people say about this news?
‘Well, it’s a start.’ *
thinks about this meme*
What about the rest of Europe?
Lithuania and Spain are like, ‘been there, done that, duh’. Portugal (gives dads five weeks) and Finland (the all-female led government, *cough* already gives them nine weeks and wants to give them seven months next year) are like, ‘OK, we know you can do better. We believe in you.’ And in Germany, all parents can take up to 14 months of paid leave, which can be shared between both members of a couple. *anxiously looks at the word ’can‘* Sweden has a similar system. *United States (dads take off no more than 10 days) leaves the chat*

Warning: This is good but gender equality has a long way to go still. A lot of women are still being murdered by their partners in France.
We are losing our oldest heritage sites in Africa if we don't do something about climate change
A new study found out that climate change is close to destroying some of Africa's oldest heritage sites

Why this matters: Climate change is already here. And it is 'deleting' mankind's ancient history. 

Which sites are those? --
In other history-related news, last week, archaeologists found
27 coffins in Cairo, Egypt that were buried more than 2,500 years ago. They had never found so many at once.
We are losing the world's largest tropical wetland in Brazil to fire
22% of the Pantanal – a very, very precious tropical landscape in Brazil – is burning. That's around 3.2 million hectares. (BTW, that’s almost double the area that has burnt in the record-breaking fires in California, United States this year.)

Why this matters: The Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland, home to Indigenous peoples and a high concentration of rare or endangered species, such as jaguars and giant armadillos. Small fires happen every year (thanks to lightning strikes) but this year's fires (in the middle of the worst drought in the region in 47 years) have been too dangerous – too long and too wide-reaching.

How dangerous are the fires?
Very. Scientists are like, the region might never recover. 'It's apocalyptic.' The Pantanal might even disappear completely. The ones suffering the most are the animals, especially jaguars, capybaras (they look like this) and alligators.

What does the country's president say?
Nothing. Jair Bolsonaro actually reduced the number of environmental inspectors and blocked funding for fire prevention this year.

On a funny note

A rat named Magawa was given a gold medal in Cambodia. Why? It discovered 39 landmines and 28 other unexploded bombs that could have hurt a lot of people. Here's a proud picture of Magawa. When asked for a comment, the rat replied with "squeek, squeek, squeek."
Speaking of animals, each year, photographers around the world take part in the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards contest and take pictures of animals in the funniest situations.

Here are a few examples:
  1. Me when I anybody gives me capitalist-'work your ass off until you die' vibes.
  2. Me at 2020.
  3. Me when I found out Alicia Keys dropped a new album.
Check out the others here and send me the one that perfectly captures how you feel about this week. Just reply to this mail.
The end,

If you like what I do every week, yay! I put in a lot of hours and my heart into every issue. You're welcome to support me on Patreon (like 155 others!) or via PayPal.
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