Yosemite and most of the other national parks in California suffer from a malaise that would have sickened legendary conservationist John Muir, who reveled in Yosemite’s awe-inspiring views, among many other pleasures. “Another glorious day,” he wrote in 1911, “the air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue.”More than a century later, California has nine national parks — the most of any state — spread across 6 million acres. From the foggy redwoods in the north to the desert Joshua trees in the south, these parks have long stood apart: Their air pollution levels are the worst in the national park system.Almost all of the national parks in the U.S. have “significant” air pollution issues that include unhealthful air, hazy skies, harm to nature and effects of climate change (such as drought, reduced snowpack and an increase in wildfires), according to a 2019 report from the National Parks Conservation Assn. But most of the … [Read more...] about Opinion: California has the most polluted national parks in the country. That’s unacceptable
The murder of Pawel Adamowicz marks a dark day in Polish history, particularly so because the attack was committed in Gdansk, the city where peaceful protests set in motion the collapse of Soviet-style communism in the late 20th century — and even more so because it was carried out at a charity event that had brought together altruistically minded people from across the political spectrum. Adamowicz had served as mayor of Gdansk for over 20 years and was re-elected just months ago. The assassin has a criminal record and is apparently psychologically disturbed. Yet his statement at the crime scene right after the attack leaves no doubt that he acted on a political motive. The responsibility for Adamowicz's death lies squarely with those who have sowed political discord and stoked hatred in Polish society in recent times. DW's Bartosz Dudek The mayor was intensely disliked by Poland's nationalists, in part for offering to welcome and accommodate refugees in Gdansk. … [Read more...] about Opinion: Gdansk mayor’s murder and Poland’s deadly politics
A GP associated with anti-vaccine opinion for 20 years allegedly told parents how to forge their children’s medical records to fool schools into thinking they had been inoculated. Dr Jayne Donegan, a locum GP in London, hosts paid events to give discredited advice about child vaccinations, claiming they are filled with poisonous chemicals, according to an investigation. She reportedly told a parents’ group that included an undercover reporter how to falsify a personal child health record – or red book – detailing vaccine history and checked by schools and GPs. Dr Jayne Donegan, a locum GP in London, hosts paid events to give discredited advice about child vaccinations ‘So what people do, which I wouldn’t recommend because it would be unethical and I’d get struck off, is people have a red book... and they’ll have a friend who’s got all the vaccines. It won’t work for your GP but it will work for schools and other things. … [Read more...] about Doctor associated with anti-vaccine opinion for 20 years ‘gave parents tips on how to dodge vaccines and hide it from schoolteachers’
Video PlayerClose BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- China's National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA) is soliciting opinions from the public for a draft revision to the law on cultural heritage protection. The public is expected to pool their wisdom for the issues including strengthening protection of cultural heritage, promoting appropriate use, streamlining the ownership system, encouraging social participation and expanding the sharing of resources, said the NCHA on its website earlier this week. Members of the public may submit their opinions via mail, e-mail, and NCHA's Weibo and WeChat accounts before Sept. 9, the statement said. The current law on cultural relics protection was adopted in 1982. Its revision was listed in the legislative plan of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress. … [Read more...] about China solicits public opinions for revising cultural heritage law
An election for the leading position of a German party usually generates little or no interest abroad. But not this time. In recent days, major newspapers such as The New York Times reported more prominently on the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party conference than on the funeral of former US President George H. W. Bush. The world was watching. Across the globe, television stations went into breaking news mode when the next CDU leader was announced. And the reason for the unusual attention has a name: Angela Merkel. For many people, the German chancellor is the world's most important political figure. A world in which the machismo of Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President Donald Trump, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rages unabated. Merkel has been regarded by many as the voice of reason; the last bastion of balance in times that are deeply divided and characterized by dangerously rising nationalism. Within her own country, however, Merkel's splendor … [Read more...] about Opinion: Angela Merkel holds on to chancellery
The greater the crisis, the more motivated the self-appointed saviors. In Brazil, two old men have promised to lead their country out of the dead end it finds itself in. The men: President Jair Bolsonaro, and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was recently released from prison. The whole thing is a Brazilian tragedy that has haunted the country since Lula's successor, Dilma Rousseff, was forced out of office in August 2016. The outlook is bleak: High unemployment, minimal economic growth and a toxic political atmosphere have paralyzed the country. The question is: How long can the world's eighth-largest economy continue like this? And can Lula — who many Brazilians greatly admire for implementing welfare programs that lifted more than 30 million people out of poverty between 2003 and 2011 — lead the country out of its current crisis? Rise and fall The answer: no, unfortunately not — despite Lula's great services to the country, despite his charisma, … [Read more...] about Opinion: Bye-bye Brazil! Bye-bye Lula!