Poll: A third of young people want more climate education at school in UK

UK survey of 7-17 year-olds also highlights concern their views are not listened to by policymakers on climate change and environmental issues

Almost a third of young people want sustainability and climate change to be covered in more detail at school, a UK survey of 7-17 year olds has found.

The poll, which was carried out by Censuswide on behalf of Zurich Insurance, also shows enthusiasm among young people for significant policy changes to prevent further damage to the climate.

Half of the young people polled supported restrictions on non-recyclable plastics, while 24 percent believed businesses should be taxed in accordance with their carbon emissions, and more than a fifth said they would support a tax on ‘fast fashion’, the survey results show.

Pubished today, the findings underline the high levels of concern among younger generations about climate change and a desire for further government intervention to avoid environmental catastrophe, yet one-in-four of those surveyed did not feel young peoples’ voices were being heard by policymakers on green issues.

Meanwhile, in a separate Opinium survey – which was also commissioned by the insurer – more than a third of 18-24 year-old Britons said they felt that efforts to tackle climate change had been neglected during the pandemic, with as much as 70 per cent supporting the extension of some Covid-19 lockdown measures to help combat climate change.

Laura McAlpine, head of sustainability at Zurich Insurance, said the survey results showed young Britons wanted the recovery from Covid-19 to support climate and environmental aciton.

“Climate change presents a threat to our way of life – and one that is no less real as we navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said. “While it’s important that we do all we can to help a safe return to normality, it’s clear that for most Brits, we must do this in a way that helps protect the environment.”

“As insurers we take our role very seriously, she added. “We have an opportunity to help drive a sustainable Covid-19 recovery, to improve global resilience by building back better, supporting our customers and our communities.”

German prostitutes furious over sex work bans amid COVID-19

German prostitutes are mad as hell at being sidelined by COVID-19 — and they’re not going to take it anymore.

“Politicians treated us shabbily during the coronavirus times. They deliberately overlooked us. Nobody cares what’s going on with us prostitutes! But we are at least as ‘system-relevant’ as hairdressers,” Stephanie Klee, 58, founder of the Federal Association of Sex Services told Deutsche Welle.

“Many [prostitutes] didn’t know how they were going to fill their fridge the next day. They had no savings and had to borrow money.”

German officials banned sex work in all German states on March 16. Brothels, red-light districts and “sauna clubs” were closed — at least, officially. Though the country is slowly rolling back the bans in certain states, prostitutes have taken matters into their own hands.

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United Airlines fills NFL, MLB flights with ‘young, white, blond’ female crew: suit

Maybe they should change their slogan to “Fly the Friendly — and very white — Skies.”

United Airlines packs its planes with young, white, blond, blue-eyed female crew — all chosen for their “sexual allure” — whenever the National Football League and Major League Baseball take charter flights, a new lawsuit alleges.

Meanwhile, flight attendants who are too old and too dark are barred from the plum routes, according to Bloomberg News, which reported the suit on Saturday.

So they get none of the perks that go with the sports-team flights, including higher salaries, premium accommodations, complementary tickets and “extremely valuable” infield passes, according to the lawsuit.

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‘Cuba honors its commitment to South-South cooperation,’ says Foreign Minister

Havana (PL) Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez affirmed on Saturday that his country honors its commitment to South-South cooperation through solidarity in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘The Henry Reeve Brigades, inspired by those principles, support and save lives,’ explained Rodriguez on Twitter, referring to the Day of South-South Cooperation, created by the UN General Assembly in 2012.

The Foreign Minister recalled that countries commemorate the Day of South-South Cooperation in a context worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cuban authorities sent over 40 medical brigades to some thirty countries of the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Specialized Doctors in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics, created in 2005 by the leader of the Revolution Fidel Castro.

Among other goals, collaboration among developing countries seeks to boost and strengthen the self-sufficiency of States by increasing their creative capacity to find solutions and technological capacities to development problems and formulate the necessary strategies to address them.

Canadians choose Cuba as a safe post- covid destination, highlights minister

Havana – The Canadian members of the Travelzoo travel website selected Cuba as the Caribbean destination they would most like to visit in the next two years, reported Juan Carlos García, Cuban Minister of Tourism.

In his official Twitter account, the minister affirmed that this election responds to the security offered by the destination, the hygiene protocols adopted in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and travel offers.

The information in the electronic newspaper, aimed primarily at tourism professionals, states that, through a recent survey, Travelzoo defined as key to returning travelers to the Caribbean the ability of destinations in that region to provide timely and accurate information on travel restrictions.

The cleaning and disinfection protocols implemented, the safety of visitors, a low or decreasing number of positive cases to COVID-19 and the availability of flights were other factors highlighted by the respondents when choosing the tourist destination.

For Canadians, Cuba tops the list, followed by the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos Islands, Bahamas, and Barbados, in that order. A week ago, the Cuban tourist center Jardines del Rey received the first post- pandemic flight from Canada.

Travelzoo, a travel platform that accumulates more than 30 million members worldwide, considers that tourism in the region could be ready to provide its services after travel restrictions and closures of establishments due to the pandemic. (ACN)

San Francisco hair salons reopen after Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit

Hair salons and gyms in San Francisco will reopen next week after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s infamous visit to a shuttered salon for a blow-out earlier this month caused a political firestorm — and forced its owner to shut down.

Mayor London Breed on Friday announced the California city would move into the second phase of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, permitting business to resume at barbershops, nail salons, massage parlors and indoor hair salons beginning Sept. 14.

It’s unclear if Pelosi’s controversial Aug. 31 visit to a hair salon that has been closed due to local coronavirus guidelines contributed to Breed’s decision to accelerate the timeline for reopening.

“I’m so glad we can move forward earlier than expected to reopen more businesses that have been closed since March,” Breed said in a statement.

“These businesses have been struggling, and starting Monday, they’ll finally be able to serve customers again, with the necessary safety precautions and modifications in place,” she continued.

But the decision comes too late for salon owner Erica Kious, who announced she was closing her business in San Francisco for good after a maskless Pelosi visited her salon for a wash and blow-out last week and accused Kious of setting her up when security footage of the visit leaked.

“I am actually done in San Francisco and closing my doors, unfortunately,” she told Fox News this week.

“I’m actually afraid to go back. It’s a little scary and sad,” she said. “I do have a lot of positive calls and text messages from clients. But other than that, nothing but negativity.”

Kious was furious when she found out, saying, “It was a slap in the face that she went in, you know, that she feels that she can just go and get her stuff done while no one else can go in, and I can’t work.”

But Pelosi insisted she had been “set up” and was the victim of an elaborate sting by the small business, insisting they apologize to her.

“I take responsibility for trusting the word of the neighborhood salon that I’ve been to many times,” she told reporters at an unrelated press briefing in San Francisco. “It was a set-up. I take responsibility for falling for a set-up.”

Kious denied the charges, and a GoFundMe page started to raise funds for the single mom of two’s relocation reached its $300,000 target.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill insisted she followed the rules laid out by the salon and dubiously claimed, “The speaker always wears a mask.”

“This business offered for the speaker to come in on Monday and told her they were allowed by the city to have one customer at a time in the business,” he said.

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Cuba plans first official peso devaluation since 1959 revolution, sources say

HAVANA (Reuters) – Communist-run Cuba will soon devalue the peso’s one-to-one exchange rate with the U.S. dollar for the first time since the 1959 revolution, according to three sources who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject.

As part of the reforms, due before the end of this year, authorities will also unify Cuba’s two domestic currencies, according to two Cuban sources and a foreign businessman, all with some knowledge of the plan.

The peso will be kept and the convertible peso, which is fixed on par with the dollar for state business but exchanged with the public at 24 pesos to buy and 25 pesos to sell, will be eliminated, the sources said.

Cuba’s government has said it will respect the peso’s current rate with the public for a time to allow residents to change their convertible pesos for pesos and do so automatically for convertible peso bank accounts.

“The most important measure is going to be changing the official exchange rate used by the state companies,” Omar Everleny, one of Cuba’s best-known economists, told Reuters.

“There are several proposals. It will never be one on one … It is between 10 and up,” he said.

The peso’s value versus the Canadian dollar, euro and other convertible currencies also is expected to be adjusted downward based on international market rates.

The Cuban economy is largely owned and run by the state, and exchange rates are set by the government.

The measures are part of a package of reforms aimed at fighting an economic crisis caused by tough U.S. sanctions under President Donald Trump and exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and the bureaucratic inefficiency of the island’s Soviet-style economy.

Shortages of basic goods have worsened this year, with long lines a common sight at many stores around the country. The closure of the tourist sector has left many Cubans without work, although flights from Canada resumed last week.

The government hinted in July it would adopt the monetary reforms and other measures such as loosening centralized planning and restrictions on small businesses, first called for by the Communist Party a decade ago.

According to the three sources, there will be a significant increase in state wages, pensions and prices due to the devaluation of the peso by as much as 95%, or to around 20 pesos to the dollar.

Everleny said the devaluation meant companies would have much higher costs and prices would increase, requiring increased wages and pensions.

Economy and Planning Minister Alejandro Gil said in July that reforms were needed to stimulate exports and reduce imports as the local currency is not exchangeable on the international market to purchase goods and pay debt.

Experts forecast Cuba’s economic activity will drop by nearly 10% this year, after stagnating in 2019. Government officials have admitted the lack of a convertible currency has forced postponement of debt payments and drastic cuts in fuel, food and other vital imports.

Economists have long argued that the one-to-one official exchange rate – as well as the different rate of the convertible peso and various exceptions by sector – have stymied exports and encouraged imports because a dollar earned is accounted for as a peso and vice versa, making it difficult to decipher if a company is profitable.

The government began allowing the dollar to circulate electronically with a bank card a year ago and is opening dollar stores offering everything from used cars and domestic appliances to food and hygiene products.

The sources said they expected the dollar stores to increase at least in the short term to provide stability and capture greenbacks to import goods.

Many Cubans receive hard currency from abroad and from servicing the tourism industry.

“The monetary reform is very close. This is the moment,” said Everleny, who supports the measures even though he warned they could be traumatic for some.

Police probe possible spy mission after Russian model’s drowning

A Russian Playboy model drowned during a photoshoot near a major European NATO base — and police are investigating whether it was a cover for a secret spying mission, according to a report.

Coast guards found the naked body of Galina Fedorova, 35, on Saturday after she and her photographer swam in the Mediterranean Sea off Sardinia, officials told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Police then quizzed 42-year-old British photographer Yev Taranovs — and confiscated his cameras and a drone used during their shoot, according to The Sun.

“There is interest in the drone footage as this happened very close to a Nato firing range,” a police source told the UK paper of one of Italy’s largest military bases on the Teulada coastline.

“We have to make sure the assignment was not a cover for a spying mission.”

Active since 1956, the base is used by NATO for war games and live firing exercises and is usually off-limits to the public, AFP noted.

Officials also took a computer and mobile phones that were found in their boat alongside bottles of booze, Enrico Lussu, deputy prosecutor based in the Sardinian capital Cagliari, told the agency on Thursday.

“We’re analyzing the contents, which have been copied from the devices, before handing them back to their owner,” Lussu told AFP. “The investigation is continuing and according to a very preliminary report the young woman drowned,” the official said.

Taranovs told police that the two got separated while swimming away from their boat. He was rescued by a nearby boat, but the model — who has posed as a Playboy centerfold as well as magazine covers — was missing.

The photographer was treated for shock after a chopper found Galina lifeless in the water, The Sun said. Taranovs, from London, had earlier posted on Instagram about his trip to “paradise.”

The UK Foreign Office said it was “offering advice and support to a British man in Sardinia,” The Sun said.

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Facebook censors video of Trump urging people to vote twice

Trump told WECT-TVhe remark was criticized as potentially condoning voter fraud, as some jurisdictions may not have the ability to determine if someone’s mail-in vote counted when they present themselves to vote in-person.

Speaking to supporters on the tarmac, Trump made clear he was talking about voting in-person if a mail-in ballot wasn’t counted.

Facebook making drastic changes to political ads policy prior to election
“If you get the unsolicited ballots, send it in and then go make sure it counted,” Trump told supporters.

“And if it doesn’t tabulate, you vote. You just vote. And then if they tabulate it very late, which they shouldn’t be doing, they will see you voted and so it won’t count. So send it in early, and then go and vote. And if it’s not tabulated you vote and the vote is going to count.”

In tweets on Thursday, Trump stressed that he was only urging people to vote in person if they submitted a mail-in ballot “that not been Counted.”

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Pentagon says China has ‘largest navy in the world’ after buildup

The Defense Department says in a new report to Congress that China now has the world’s largest navy, at least in number of battle-ready ships.

“[China] has the largest navy in the world, with an overall battle force of approximately 350 ships and submarines including over 130 major surface combatants,” the report says. “In comparison, the U.S. Navy’s battle force is approximately 293 ships as of early 2020.”

The comparison isn’t necessarily qualitative. For example, the US Navy has 11 massive nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and bases across the world. China has just two non-nuclear aircraft carriers, and lacks a significant overseas presence.

The report, drafted by Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s office, notes that the Chinese military “remains engaged in a robust shipbuilding and modernization program that includes submarines, surface combatants, amphibious warfare ships, aircraft carriers, and auxiliary ships as well as developing and fielding advanced weapons, sensors, and command and control capabilities.”

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“China is the top ship-producing nation in the world by tonnage and is increasing its shipbuilding capacity and capability for all naval classes,” the report says.

China hasn’t been involved in a major war since the Korean War of the 1950s, when it helped turn the tide against US troops on behalf of Communist North Korea.

The report comes as US-China relations plunge over Chinese concealment of early COVID-19 data and over the central government’s elimination of political autonomy in Hong Kong and human rights abuses against the Uighur minority.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo imposed new rules on Chinese diplomats in the US, requiring that they seek official permission before visiting US colleges or speaking with local officials.

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