Alarm grows about climate breakdown in British Columbia after ‘terrible, terrible disaster’. Plus, a 95-year-old message in a bottle
Last modified on Fri 19 Nov 2021 06.19 EST
Emergency crews in western Canada have been trying to reach 18,000 people stranded by landslides and struggling to find food among bare grocery store shelves after devastating flooding.
With communities in the region braced for more torrential rain in already inundated areas next week, the premier of British Columbia province declared an emergency and gave an emotional address in a press conference on Thursday.
Appearing to fight back tears, John Horgan said: “The positive I’m going to take out of this is that it had shown British Columbians coming together supporting each other.
“This has been a terrible, terrible disaster but I know this: as British Columbians, as Canadians, we stick together. I want to come out of this. I’m going to build a stronger better province and a stronger and better country.”
How many have died? One person is confirmed dead in a landslide that swept vehicles off a road, but with many others missing that number is almost certain to rise.
What’s been done to help the stranded? Troops have been deployed in British Columbia to help stranded residents, support supply chains and search areas hit by landslides and floods.
House Democrats have vowed to vote Friday on an expansive domestic policy package that would overhaul large swaths of the American economy, after the Republican minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, derailed a vote planned for Thursday evening with a rambling, hours-long speech.
After months of fits and starts, gridlock and intra-party warring, Democrats had been on the verge of passing the centerpiece of Joe Biden’s economic vision on Thursday. But final passage of the measure was ultimately delayed by McCarthy, who used his leadership privileges to rail furiously against the legislation, the administration and the Democratic party for more than four hours.
Democrats eventually dispersed and Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, announced they would return early on Friday to vote on the legislation, known as Build Back Better. If it passes the House, the measure would next go to the Senate, where additional hurdles await in the evenly divided chamber.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office derided McCarthy speech as a “temper tantrum”, accusing him of making “unhinged claims” about the bill.
With a paper-thin majority, Democrats can spare only a handful of defections on the package. Only one House Democrat, Jared Golden of Maine, was expected to vote against the bill.
The Women’s Tennis Association is prepared to pull its tournaments out of China if there is not an adequate response to Peng Shuai’s allegation that she was sexually assaulted by China’s former vice-premier, the WTA chief executive, Steve Simon, has told US media.
Peng, a Chinese tennis star and former doubles world No 1, has not been seen in public since she accused the former high-ranking official, Zhang Gaoli, of sexual assault in a Weibo post that was deleted half an hour later.
Concern among the global tennis community and beyond has grown over Peng’s safety and whereabouts since her allegation, with the WTA calling for an investigation and the world’s top players – including Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Kim Clijsters – tweeting #WhereIsPengShuai.
Simon went further yesterday, telling US media the WTA, which has 10 events scheduled in China for 2022 worth tens of millions of dollars, was willing to pull them.
What did Simon say? “We’re definitely willing to pull our business and deal with all the complications that come with it because this is certainly, this is bigger than the business … Women need to be respected and not censored.”
What have China said? There has been no official response. Neither China’s government nor Zhang have responded to media queries or made any public statements.
Anxiety, depression and exhaustion are among the reasons why nurses are quitting the profession, leaving healthcare organizations grappling with staffing shortages.
The sense of burnout has become more common among nurses in the US during the pandemic due to the increased workload, fears of catching the virus and the witnessing of so many deaths, among other reasons, according to several studies.
Now healthcare organizations across the country are trying to keep a shortage of nurses from getting worse and searching for answers on how to provide relief to nurses who are ready to quit.
“Everybody has gone through some amount of stress and emotional distress with the pandemic, and nursing is no different,” said Betty Jo Rocchio, the chief nursing officer for Mercy, a St Louis-based Roman Catholic healthcare organization. “It seems like our nurses have had that double impact, personally and professionally, and we say it’s created professional burnout, but it’s kind of just life burnout.”
More than 20% of nurses said they planned to leave their job within the next six months, according to a recent survey from the American Nurses Foundation.
Half of those said it was because work was negatively affecting their health and wellbeing. “I don’t think nurses take care of themselves,” one nurse told the Guardian.
The Republican congressman Paul Gosar retweeted a violent video that depicts him murdering Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just minutes after being censured by the US House.
Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, has announced he will repeal three contentious farm laws that prompted a year of protests and unrest in India, in one of the most significant concessions made by his government and a huge victory for India’s farmers.
A Republican Senator has asked Saule Omarova, nominated to be comptroller of the currency, if he should call her “professor or comrade”, thereby dusting off the “red scare” playbook to portray Omarova, who was born in Kazakhstan, as a dangerous communist, which was a common ploy in the 1950s.
Tiger King’s Carole Baskin is refusing to speak to a detective in Florida investigating the disappearance of her second husband. The detective said the star had three times refused requests for interviews, and that the investigation was continuing.
They are calling it the great resignation or the big quit. A record 4.3 million workers in the US quit their jobs in August and the trend is continuing. People cite all kinds of reasons for quitting – they want a better work-life balance, they want more challenges, better conditions, more meaning. But what about those left behind? How do you stop your own career getting trampled as your colleagues race out the door? How do you manage your Fomo and quarry some advantage out of the situation?
After the Cop26 conference ended in Glasgow, many activists and climate scientists felt the agreement did not go far enough and that the US government was among those who had not backed strong words with enough actual deeds. But action on a smaller level in the US – in cities and states – is gaining traction and beginning to make a significant difference. Smaller-scale initiatives to cut emissions have been the significant way that the US has made climate progress in the last few years, in the absence of stronger federal leadership.
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Jennifer Dowker describes spotting a glass bottle on the riverbed in Cheboygan, Michigan: “It was four inches long and half an inch wide. I could see something inside, but figured it was mud. I lifted the bottle and, when I looked closely, saw the word ‘this’ pressed against the glass. I swam to my boat and asked Rob to snap a photo, using his jackknife to pull out the bottle’s cork. I used a small hook to pull the paper through the bottle neck. I unfolded it and saw the date – November 1926. We all stood there like, ‘Woah, what just happened?’
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