Minneapolis police station set on fire on the 3rd day of Floyd murder demonstration in U.S.

| May 29, 2020

On the 3rd day – Thursday – of protest on the murder of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man, demonstrators broke into a Minneapolis police precinct station after the department abandoned it, setting it ablaze and igniting fireworks as three days of violent protests spread to cities across the U.S.

Gov. Tim Walz late Wednesday called it an “extremely dangerous situation” and urged residents to leave the area.

A police spokesman confirmed late Thursday that staff had evacuated the 3rd precinct station, the focus of many of the protests, “in the interest of the safety of our personnel” shortly after 10 p.m.Read More »

Photos of mass graves in Brazil show the stark toll of the coronavirus

| May 29, 2020

The Parque Taruma cemetery during the coronavirus outbreak in Manaus, Brazil.

Brazil now has the second-highest number of reported coronavirus cases, surpassing Russia.

Blue, turquoise, and white crosses mark the dead in mass graves in Manaus, Brazil, a visual reminder of the toll the novel coronavirus has had on the country.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which also forecasts the US death toll and has been used by the White House, has estimated that if no changes are enacted, 125,833 people in Brazil could die from the coronavirus by August 4.Read More »

Venezuela’s Racist Opposition Wants to Import Trump’s Model

teleSUR | May 28, 2020

New York police officers scuffle with protestors during a protest in response to the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died while in the custody of the Minneapolis police, in New York, USA, 28 May 2020.
New York police officers scuffle with protestors during a protest in response to the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died while in the custody of the Minneapolis police, in New York, USA, 28 May 2020. | Photo: EFE

The recent events in the city of Minneapolis (Minnesota) follows a chain of brutality and racial extermination that is becoming more acute each year.


The Juan Ramon Lugo Afro-Revolutionary Movement condemns the systematic racial extermination taking place against the African-American population in the United States. Donald Trump’s arrival to power is exacerbating this extermination.

Read More »

Earth’s one of the coldest places is experiencing a record-breaking heat wave

A Journal of People report

A satellite image showing wildfires in the Novosibirsk Region, south Siberia on April 27, 2020: NASA

One of the coldest regions on earth has been experiencing a record-breaking heat wave in recent weeks amid growing fears about devastating wildfires and melting permafrost.

Khatanga, a town in Siberia’s Arctic Circle, registered highs of over 80 degrees Fahrenheit this week, according to Accuweather, far above the 59 degrees F historical average, as the whole of western Siberia basked in unseasonable warmth.

While locals flocked to popular spots to sunbathe, experts sounded alarms about the possible implications for the region’s wildfire season this summer, with some blazes already breaking out in recent months.Read More »

Predicting the pandemic’s psychological toll: why suicide modelling is so difficult


The Conversation | May 29, 2020

We’ve recently heard experts raise concerns about a looming mental health crisis, warning COVID-19’s psychological toll on Australians could be like a second wave of the pandemic.

Suicide modelling from the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre has predicted a potential 25-50% increase in the number of people taking their lives in Australia over the next five years. The researchers expect this projected increase to disproportionately affect younger people.

Any suicide is a tragedy and prevention must be a priority.Read More »

Coronavirus weekly: where next for globalisation after the crisis?

by ,  and

The Conversation | May 27, 2020

The Chinese army marches past the entrance to the Forbidden City on the occasion of the 2020 session of the National People’s Congress on May 22 in Beijing. Nicolas Asfouri/AFP

As lockdown measures start to be eased in most countries around the world, the experts of The Conversation’s global network have focused this week on the major trends that are reshaping trade and the global economy.

Just before the pandemic struck, the economy was already losing momentum. However, the crisis is unlikely to put a stop to globalisation: rather, coronavirus is the starting point for a reconfiguration of the global system. Value chains are shortening in some sectors, China is seeking to extend government control over its economy, and global consumption has been undermined by the recession in the US.

Academics in our network analyse the impact of the pandemic on globalisation.

Read More »

How to stay safe in restaurants and cafes


The Conversation | May 28, 2020

Now we have fewer cases of COVID-19, and restrictions are lifting, many of us are thinking of rejuvenating our social lives by heading to our local cafe or favourite restaurant.

What can we do to reduce the risk of infection? And what should managers be doing to keep us safe?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease spread directly from person to person, carried in droplets from an infected person’s breath, cough or sneeze. If the droplets come into contact with another person’s eyes or are breathed in, that person may develop the disease.

Those droplets can also fall onto surfaces, where the virus can survive for up to 72 hours. If someone touches these surfaces, then touches their face, they can also become infected.Read More »

Business as usual or sustainable model: What is post-COVID-19 dilemma?

by Digvijay Singh Bisht

Down To Earth | May 22, 2020

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic helped curtail environment’s anthropogenic oppression — and that has many green crusaders and environment defenders like me rejoicing. We couldn’t achieve in decades what this virus has in a span of a few months.

Improving air quality in polluted cities; reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by bringing industries to a standstill; repairing the ozone layer; healing the marine ecosystem; and noise pollution reduction — these are some major changes that are hard to miss. On the top of it, everyone now knows how many of our daily activities aren’t environment friendly, and why nature must be heard.

The same is reiterated in print, discussions, webinars and online lecture series with panels of seasoned experts. But the real sad part is in the end, all knowledge and recommendations are merely small talks. Little of these learnings have been pushed forward and there have been no major action.Read More »

COVID-19 and SDG 6 goals: All that we need to learn and do

by Mahreen Matto, Sumita Singhal

Down To Earth | May 22, 2020

The world is facing an unprecedented global threat due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on sustainable development prospects are emerging as a matter of concern.

The pandemic has underlined the need for global action to address people’s basic requirements, save our planet and to build a fairer and resilient world. This is what the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the global blueprint to end poverty, protect our planet and ensure prosperity is about.

At the heart of the agenda, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), most of which are interconnected.Read More »

Peninsular India may get locusts after 46 years. Blame the wind

by Akshit Sangomla

Down To Earth | May 27, 2020

The winds blowing over India to the north of the Western Ghats have carried locusts to Madhya Pradesh. Photo: Ishan Kukreti / CSE
 The winds blowing over India to the north of the Western Ghats have carried locusts to Madhya Pradesh. Photo: Ishan Kukreti / CSE

Winds are the major carrier of desert locusts that are currently devastating crops and green areas in India’s northwest and central regions, experts have said.

“The winds that enter India to the north of the Western Ghats split into north-westerlies continuing towards central and northeastern India in one branch and towards the southeast in another branch,” Raghu Murtugudde, a climate scientist at the University of Maryland in the United States, told Down To Earth.

“This split is caused by a relative higher pressure ridge extending from Andhra and Tamil Nadu to Gujarat. So, the winds are going to the north and south of this pressure ridge. The locusts must have taken the southern branch of this split,” he added.Read More »