GAYLE SPINAZZE – Doomsday Clock Now Closer to Midnight Than Ever in Its History; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Cite Worsening Nuclear Threat, Lack of Climate Action & Rise of â€œCyber-Enabled Disinformation Campaignsâ€ in Moving Clock Hand.
TRUDY RUBIN – When it comes to Western political leaders, we have definitely arrived at The Time of the Woman. Hillary Clinton is the first serious female candidate for U.S. president, Theresa May just took over as British prime minister, and Germany’s Angela Merkel remains the most powerful European politician. Moreover, the nationalist Marine Le Pen will most likely make the final round for French president in 2017. So why not a woman to succeed Ban Ki-moon for secretary-general of the United Nations when he steps down later this year?
MEL GURTOV – The Paris accord gives us something to celebrateâ€”a serious undertaking by virtually every country, rich or poor, to commit to reducing carbon emissions such that our warming planet does not rise another 2 degrees Celsius, and if possible no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. The hope is that the combination of global commitments, technological advances, and business investments will literally turn the tide on climate change. But of course the devil is in the details, and in each countryâ€™s politics.
SAM ROSS-BROWN – As national efforts heading into the Paris summit fall short of averting catastrophic warming, how far cities can go to close the gap is hard to know.
MARK TRAN – Amid warnings that land deals are undermining food security, the head of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has compared “land grabs” in Africa to the “wild west”, saying a “sheriff” is needed to restore the rule of law. JosÃ© Graziano da Silva, the FAO’s director general, conceded it was not possible to stop large investors buying land, but said deals in poor countries needed to be brought under control.
FIONA HARVEY – Climate change is already contributing to the deaths of nearly 400,000 people a year and costing the world more than $1.2 trillion, wiping 1.6% annually from global GDP, according to a new study. The impacts are being felt most keenly in developing countries, according to the research, where damage to agricultural production from extreme weather linked to climate change is contributing to deaths from malnutrition, poverty and their associated diseases.
KYODO NEWS: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has decided to visit Hiroshima on August 6 as the Japanese city marks the 65th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing, according to a senior U.N. official. The plan, expected to be formalized around July, would make Ban the first U.N. chief to attend an annual commemorative ceremony at the city’s Peace Memorial Park.