From the civil rights movement to the Vietnam War protests and the fight for women‚Äôs rights, the youth of America have been at the forefront of leading and advocating for social change, and the young people of today are no different. In a new series titled RISE UP: Celebrating Young Leader Activists, Yahoo News profiles five up-and-coming leaders from the Gen Z and millennial generations, with our second installment featuring 22-year-old Zachary Wood of Potomac, Md. As a teenager, Zachary Wood attended a predominantly white high school in Potomac, Maryland, where he says he frequently encountered passive aggressive forms of racism from his peers.
‚ÄúWe have Holocaust survivors in our congregation,¬†and so many of us are just a generation or two removed from relatives who went through that experience or were forced to leave their country,‚ÄĚ¬†says¬†Maryann¬†Rabovsky, who has served as chairwoman of the synagogue‚Äôs immigration and refugee assistance committee since it was formed three years ago. More recently¬†the group has¬†expanded its work to assist non-Jewish refugees, and to work to help refugees around the world, wherever they are.
For decades, the overwhelming majority of German voters stuck loyally to the two centrist parties that have dominated political life since World War II. But familiarity has bred contempt. October regional elections in the states of Bavaria and Hesse have shown those voters coming unstuck, fanning out instead to non-traditional parties on both right and left. Voters' flight from the political middle ‚Äúis a lasting trend that makes Germany similar to its neighbors in Europe,‚ÄĚ says Gero Neugebauer, who teaches politics at the Free University of Berlin.
The long-buried answer to that question lies not in fossilized shells or bones, but in the preserved chemicals from animals' bodies that have been found in ancient rocks. Ancient chemical traces, known as biomarkers, have revealed that sponges existed at least 635 million years ago and perhaps as far back as 660 million years ago, making them the oldest known form of animal life, a new study finds. That same sponge lineage ‚ÄĒ a group known as demosponges ‚ÄĒ is still around today.
Twenty-one children, adolescents, and young adults ‚ÄĒ all between the ages of 11 and 21 ‚ÄĒ were set to face off against the United States in an Oregon courthouse on Oct. 29.¬† But instead, the highest court in the land has temporarily halted the unprecedented climate trial after the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court ‚ÄĒ in a 38-page request ‚ÄĒ to put things on hold.¬† The young plaintiffs, some still in grammar school, are suing the U.S. government for supporting a national energy system that emits prodigious amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, thus stoking human-caused climate change and endangering their futures. The group argues in
Juliana vs. United States that, as the adverse consequences of such a climate disruption mount, the government is depriving them of their guaranteed rights to life, liberty, and property. Plaintiffs standing in front of a federal courthouse.Image: Robin Loznak/Our Children's TrustBut allowing the trial to proceed is almost certainly a dangerous or uncomfortable proposition for the Trump-led government, which is candidly opposed to widely accepted climate science.¬† A trial would give scientists and government officials an opportunity to take the stand, forcing a federal court to consider sworn testimony about the accelerating rate of climate change, which is now unquestionably human-caused.¬† "The federal government is scared to put climate science on trial," Philip Gregory, an attorney representing the 21 young plaintiffs, said in an interview.¬† "They‚Äôre very, very scared that the public is going to hear witnesses under oath," said Gregory. "Anyone who gets up on the witness stand and takes an oath is forced to tell the truth about the current state of our climate based on climate science."¬† "The federal government doesn't want that." To prevent a landmark trial, Department of Justice lawyers have now argued that defending the U.S. against these young plaintiffs will cause "irreparable harm" to the United States. Specifically, the Justice officials are speaking about the government's inability ‚ÄĒ financially and personnel-wise ‚ÄĒ to take on such a trial.¬† As the U.S. government claims: "It could well be years into the future before the government could appeal as of right to seek relief from such an egregious abuse of the civil litigation process and violation of the separation of powers. That is plainly irreparable harm." SEE ALSO: This scientist keeps winning money from people who bet against climate change "I find this argument absurd," Michael Burger, executive director of Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law who has no role in the case, said over email. "To me, that‚Äôs ludicrous," said Gregory. "It's utterly absurd and has no legal merit," Kassie Siegel, director of the Climate Law Institute who has no involvement in the case, said in an interview. These attorneys are perplexed by the government's unusual argument because the Department of Justice ‚ÄĒ backed by the deep pockets of the federal government ‚ÄĒ largely exists to go to trial, and in many cases, decides whether the case should be tried in the courts. It's what they do. "The Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice conducts hundreds of trials each year," noted Burger.¬† "The Department of Justice trial lawyers ‚ÄĒ who try cases every week ‚ÄĒ would have to try this case," said Gregory. "But that's what they do for a living." What's more, the government did not present any new evidence that proves going to trial will inevitably hit the government with untenable levels of harm or burdens of work.¬† Back in July, the Supreme Court already rejected the Department of Justice's attempts to stop the trial. "They need to show irreparable harm," said Siegel. "Money and damages generally are not irreparable harm." Temperatures compared to average. Blues show cooler than usual.Image: nasa Temperatures compared to average. Yellows,¬†oranges, and reds show warmer than usual.Image: nasa If all had gone according to plan, the trial would have already have started, on Monday, Oct. 29. "There is simply no reason to depart from standard court procedures here," said Burger. "And, to the best of my knowledge, the court has not done so before." ¬† The Supreme court ‚ÄĒ by halting the trial ‚ÄĒ is now acting inconsistently, as it previously gave the case the go-ahead, just months earlier in July.¬† But, notes Siegal, there has been one significant change: The addition of the conservative judge, Justice Brett Kavanaugh. "The only thing that‚Äôs different is the composition of the Supreme Court," said Siegal. Plaintiff Aji Piper in Seattle.Image: Robin Loznak/Our Children's TrustAnd since Kavanaugh's appointment, which gives the Supreme Court a conservative majority, the Department of Justice has now halted or asked the Supreme Court to stop certain trials now taking place in lower federal courts.¬† "The federal government, since the appointment of Justice Kavanaugh, has taken to seeking to have the Supreme Court review decisions by the district courts and to stop district courts around the country from having trials," said Gregory, citing a developing case in New York involving citizenship. The kids' climate trial is another casualty.¬† To be fair, however, the Obama administration also opposed the kid's climate suit against the U.S. But circumstances were a bit different.¬† The Obama government sought to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, but didn't want to hand the reins to the courts.¬† Instead, Obama unveiled climate regulations through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ‚ÄĒ regulations which the Trump administration now intends to eliminate. Last month's global average concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) was about 409 parts per million (ppm). https://t.co/qjYgQZI1Al ‚ÄĒ NASA Climate (@NASAClimate) October 16, 2018 And critically, the Obama government didn't deny nor question the realities of human-caused climate change. "Its argument was not climate denial ‚ÄĒ it was 'let us do things our way,'" said Siegal. It remains unclear how soon the Supreme Court will make up its mind on whether to let the trial resume or not.¬† "They're the masters of their own calendar, shall we say," said Gregory. The high court stopped the trial on October 19. Then, Gregory and his co-counsels provided a required response, quite detailed at 103-pages long, a few days later.¬† "We‚Äôre hopeful they'll make a decision promptly to allow these young plaintiffs to proceed with the trial," said Gregory. Record low sea ice extent continues on the Atlantic side of the #Arctic Ocean. This region has been well below average over the last several months. Daily data on the chart is from the @NSIDC. pic.twitter.com/nD1tGpHmPX ‚ÄĒ Zack Labe (@ZLabe) October 26, 2018 Siegal, like the plaintiffs, is also eager for the trial to get underway.¬† She notes the recent special report released by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ‚ÄĒ the global agency tasked with providing objective analyses of the societal impacts of climate change. The report states in no uncertain terms that modern civilization needs to promptly transition to clean energy to fend off the worst consequences of climate change, which include the melting of Earth's great ice sheets, drought, imperiled crops, and unprecedented heat. "We‚Äôre all in a bus speeding towards a cliff and the administration is driving," said Siegal. "And the Trump administration is flooring it." WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?
SEATTLE/ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk flew to the Seattle area in June for meetings with engineers leading a satellite launch project crucial to his space company's growth. Within hours of landing, Musk had fired at least seven members of the program's senior management team at the Redmond, Washington, office, the culmination of disagreements over the pace at which the team was developing and testing its Starlink satellites, according to the two SpaceX employees with direct knowledge of the situation. Known for pushing aggressive deadlines, Musk quickly brought in new managers from SpaceX headquarters in California to replace a number of the managers he fired.
More than 70 percent of Earth's last untouched wilderness lies in the territories of just five countries, scientists said Wednesday -- mostly nations that alarm environmentalists with their lukewarm response to climate change. New research published in the journal Nature found that nearly three quarters of the wilderness that's left belongs to Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia, and the US. "For the first time we've mapped both land and marine wilderness and showed that there's actually not much left," James Watson, professor of conservation science at the University of Queensland and lead paper author, told AFP.
The first manned mission to the International Space Station since a Russian rocket failed to launch earlier this month may take off on Dec. 3, space agency Roscosmos said on Wednesday. A Russian cosmonaut and U.S. astronaut were forced to abort their mission on Oct. 11 and perform an emergency landing after a launch accident that Roscomos said was caused by a faulty sensor. The accident was the first serious launch problem experienced by a manned Soyuz space mission since 1983, when a crew narrowly escaped before a launch pad explosion.
Harry Reid on Wednesday responded to President Trump after the commander in chief used a speech the former Democratic senator from Nevada made 25 years ago to justify a push to end birthright citizenship.
Inside, amid a spill of snacks and half-empty water bottles, Jordan Colvin explains why she didn‚Äôt vote for her husband in the state primary in June. Ms. Colvin is a registered Republican. In an election cycle that‚Äôs been one of the most polarizing in modern times ‚Äď and in an era when Republicans and Democrats¬†can‚Äôt agree on even basic facts ‚Äď the Colvins‚Äôs bipartisan household seems anomalous, almost quaint.
One of the calmest cities in the Middle East has been very busy of late, acting as a hall of odd fellows. In recent weeks, Muscat, the capital of the tiny Arab state of Oman, has hosted Israel‚Äôs prime minister, Iran‚Äôs foreign minister for special political affairs, the Palestinian president, and the United Nations envoy for the Yemen conflict. Each visit was held in secret, of course, which befits Oman‚Äôs historic role as a trusted go-between in the region.
Yusra Ajaj is facing a life or death decision. A widowed mother of three,¬†Ms. Ajaj¬†is considering leaving Jordan, the country she has called home since war consumed her homeland and killed her husband in 2013. In April, the¬†United Nations¬†stopped her monthly cash assistance of $210, which she relied upon to pay rent.
Carolinn Kuebler says she found the perfect way to celebrate one of her favorite holidays. On Oct. 31, she headed to the haunted halls of ‚Ä¶ the Library of Congress. Wearing a festive sweater with a bright orange pumpkin on it, the Washington architect listens intently to ‚ÄúFrankenstein,‚ÄĚ a novel she herself has read several times.
Russia hopes to launch three crew for the International Space Station on December 3, the first manned blast-off since an accident this month, the Roscosmos space agency said Wednesday. Russia, the only country able to ferry astronauts to the orbiting science lab, suspended all launches after a rocket failed on October 11 just minutes after blast-off -- the first such incident in the history of post-Soviet space travel. On the rocket destined for the ISS will be Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, and NASA astronaut Anne McClain.
MOSCOW (AP) ‚ÄĒ Russia's space agency said on Wednesday that an investigation has found that a rocket carrying a crew to the International Space Station failed three weeks ago because of a technical malfunction of a sensor.
Within hours of landing, Musk had fired at least seven members of the program's senior management team at the Redmond, Washington, office, the culmination of disagreements over the pace at which the team was developing and testing its Starlink satellites, according to the two SpaceX employees with direct knowledge of the situation. Known for pushing aggressive deadlines, Musk quickly brought in new managers from SpaceX headquarters in California to replace a number of the managers he fired. The management shakeup and the launch timeline, previously unreported, illustrate how quickly Musk wants to bring online SpaceX's Starlink program, which is competing with OneWeb and Canada's Telesat to be first to market with a new satellite-based Internet service.
Pakistan‚Äôs top court on Wednesday acquitted a Christian woman who was sentenced to death in 2010 on blasphemy charges, a landmark ruling that could ignite mass protests or violence by hard-line Islamists.
China on Tuesday defended its controversial decision to ease a 25-year ban on trading tiger bones and rhinoceros horns after conservationists warned that the government had effectively signed a "death warrant" for the endangered species. The State Council, China's cabinet, unexpectedly announced on Monday that it would allow the sale of rhino and tiger products under "special circumstances".
A climber who dug herself out to safety after being buried by an avalanche in New Zealand said Wednesday she was "absolutely broken" by the deaths of two German guides in the accident. Jo Morgan was climbing Mt Hicks in New Zealand's southern alps with mountaineering guides Martin Hess and Wolfgang Maier, both German citizens. "They were buried and I was buried too, but I had my face out so I could continue to breathe," Morgan told Television New Zealand.
The man charged in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre was brought into court in a wheelchair Monday, as some members of the Jewish community and others objected to President Donald Trump‚Äôs plans to visit.
The popular image of a Neanderthal is that of a hunched ape-like creature with its knuckles scraping through the dirt. New research, however, reveals they stood more upright than modern humans. The first scientific comparison between current day homospaiens and neanderthals shows mankind‚Äôs ancient cousin had a straighter spine and stronger longs. Based on the most complete skeleton unearthed to date, it conjures a radically different image to the stooped and barrel chested character of myth. The new research also adds to growing evidence the mysterious species was far more sophisticated than previously assumed and may finally reveal why it died off. Unlike humans, the ribs connected to the spine in an inward direction - forcing the chest out. This made them tilt slightly backwards, with little of the forward curvature of the lower or 'lumbar' vertebral column that is unique to humans. Anthropologist Dr Markus Bastir, of the National Museum of Natural History, Madrid, said: "The differences between a Neanderthal and modern human thorax are striking." The thorax includes the rib cage and upper spine which forms a cavity to house the heart and lungs. Lead author Dr Asier Gomez-Olivencia, a palaeontologist the University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, said: "The Neanderthal spine is located more inside the thorax, which provides more stability. Also, the thorax is wider in its lower part." This shape of the rib cage suggests a larger diaphragm and therefore greater lung capacity. The 'Kebara 2' skeleton, as it was found in¬†in Northern Israel's Carmel mountain range Credit: Madrid Scientific Film/SWNS.COM Senior author Dr Ella Been, of Ono Academic College, Israel, said: "The wide lower thorax of Neanderthals and the horizontal orientation of the ribs suggest they relied more on their diaphragm for breathing. "Modern humans, on the other hand, rely both on the diaphragm and on the expansion of the rib cage for breathing. "Here we see how new technologies in the study of fossil remains is providing new information to understand extinct species." Using CT scans of fossils from the 60,000 year old male Neanderthal dubbed Kebara 2, the international team were able to create the 3D model of his chest. The international team say it redraws the 'hunched, brutish and ape-like caveman' as a straighter backed version of the modern human with more powerful lungs. Their findings published in Nature Communications shed fresh light on how the ancient human moved and breathed. Lead author Dr Asier Gomez-Olivencia, a palaeontologist the University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, said: "The shape of the thorax is key to understanding how Neanderthals moved in their environment because it informs us about their breathing and balance. "The Neanderthal spine is located more inside the thorax, which provides more stability. Also, the thorax is wider in its lower part." The reconstruction of our 'primitive' cousin's ribcage shows it had a straighter spine and stronger lungs Credit: A. G√≥mez-Olivencia et. al/SWNS This shape of the rib cage suggests a larger diaphragm and thus, greater lung capacity. This would have had a direct impact on their ability to survive on limited resources in the harsh environments they occupied, explained corresponding author Professor Patricia Kramer. "Neanderthals are closely related to us with complex cultural adaptations much like those of modern humans, but their physical form is different from us in important ways. "Understanding their adaptations allows us to understand our own evolutionary path better," said prof Kramer, an anthropologist at the University of Washington. The young adult, also known as 'Moshe', was found in Kebara Cave in Northern Israel's Carmel mountain range in 1983. Just the skull is missing. Debate has lingered over the structure of the thorax, the capacity of the lungs and what conditions Neanderthals could adapt to since their existence was discovered almost 200 years ago.
Avast, mateys! Unsheathe your spyglasses and train them on the southern skies. The point is, a cluster of stars out there called NGC 2467 looks like an awesome skeletal nightmare mask in the sky ‚ÄĒ hence its nickname, the "Skull and Crossbones Nebula." Today, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) released a new photo of the nebula's shrieking "mouth" spitting fresh stars across the cosmic sea. A new photo of the Skull and Crossbones nebula was recently snapped by the ESO's Very Large Telescope.