1Climate case: Young climate activists in Germany announced Wednesday that they are seeking to join a lawsuit before the country’s top court that aims to force the government to do more to combat global warming. The activists are backed by environmental groups such as Greenpeace, who say Germany’s current plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% over the next decade isn’t good enough. Environmental groups accuse the government of shying away from “easy” measures that would significantly cut emissions of planet-heating carbon dioxide, such as introducing a universal speed limit, ending subsidies for heavily polluting cars and easing regulations for on-shore wind farms. Environmental Action Germany, which supports the new case, noted that in recent years courts have forced the government to clamp down on high air pollution caused in part by diesel cars.
2Auschwitz pledge: London Mayor Sadiq Khan pledged $390,000 to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation in Poland this week, arguing that the institution plays a vital role in educating Londoners visiting the site on the horrors of the Holocaust. London joins Paris and dozens of nations in giving money to preserve the site and the remains of the Nazi German death camp. Some 1.1 million people, mostly European Jews, died there during World War II.
3Smelly water: There’s a creeping sense of alarm in Rio de Janeiro after more than a week of foul tasting and smelling tap water in dozens of neighborhoods. Rumors are flying, and residents are hoarding bottled water. People in the metropolitan area have taken to social media to show glasses of water that appears reddish or brownish. Several supermarkets on Wednesday had run out of bottled water. There have been rumors — denied by officials — that the state water utility would cut off supply of water to millions of residents, or that tests have determined the water unfit for consumption. The local paper O Globo has reported a spike in cases of diarrhea, gastroenteritis and vomiting in Rio’s west zone.
4 Syrian conflict: Government warplanes struck a market and an industrial area Wednesday in the last territory in the hands of rebel groups in the country’s northwest, killing at least 15 people, opposition activists said. Most were in critical condition after warplanes struck a vegetable market and industrial area in Idlib city. A new cessation of hostilities agreement between Russia and Turkey, who support the opposite sides in the conflict, went into effect last week. But violence has continued. Russia is a main backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Turkey is a strong supporter of some of the insurgents. Moscow blamed the insurgents for violating the truce. Idlib is controlled by armed rebel groups, including Turkey-backed opposition groups and al Qaeda-linked militants who are the strongest there.
5Migrant caravan: Hundreds of mainly Honduran migrants started walking and hitching rides Wednesday from the city of San Pedro Sula, in a bid to form the kind of migrant caravan that reached the U.S. border in 2018. Some migrants waved Honduran flags and shouted slogans against President Juan Orlando Hernandez as they set out for the Guatemalan border. Most attempts at forming caravans in 2019 were broken up by police and the national guard in Mexico, which has come under increased U.S. pressure to prevent migrants from arriving at the U.S. border. Some migrants said they were aware the voyage would be tough, but said they would try anyway. “We aren’t living here, we’re just surviving,” said Elmer Garcia, 26, a migrant from the town of Comayagua.
Chronicle News Services