Responding to the sentencing of Hong Kong activist Ma Chun-man, also known as “Captain America 2.0”, to five years and nine months in prison for “inciting subversion” under the national security law, Amnesty International’s Deputy Secretary General Kyle Ward said:
“In the warped political landscape of post-national security law Hong Kong, peacefully expressing a political stance and trying to get support from others is interpreted as ‘inciting subversion’ and punishable by years in jail.
“It is outrageous that Ma Chun-man has been sentenced to more than five years in prison simply for chanting slogans and sharing his political views online. The Hong Kong government must stop criminalizing mere acts of expression without any demonstrated connection to the use of force or imminent violence.
Source: Hong Kong: ‘Captain America’ sentencing exposes ‘dangerously disproportionate’ restrictions on rights – Amnesty International
Failure to plan means you are planning to fail, as the old saying goes. By all accounts, the UK’s shambolic hosting of the COP26 summit has been a masterclass in failing to plan.
That’s entirely in keeping with the style of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has turned winging–it into an art form. But that style simply doesn’t work for international summits that are months, even years, in the making.
Just as serious as the no shows by the likes of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping is the fact that leaders are still light–years away from seriously addressing the real cost of the energy transition needed to reach ‘net zero’.
Source: The Brief – Planning to fail – EURACTIV.com
In face of a French-led push to revive nuclear power in Europe, a group of five EU countries led by Germany have banded together to urge the European Commission to keep nuclear out of the EU’s green finance taxonomy.
“Nuclear power is incompatible with the EU Taxonomy Regulation’s ‘do no significant harm’ principle“, says the joint declaration for a nuclear-free EU taxonomy signed by Austria, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal.
Source: Five EU countries form anti-nuclear alliance at COP26 – EURACTIV.com
As Czechia looks to decarbonize its coal-based economy, it sees nuclear energy as the backbone of its future energy mix. The Czech government plans to build a new nuclear power plant unit that is expected to be operational in 2036. Still, experts warn of delays and high costs, already observed in Slovakia or Hungary.
Source: Experts dampen hopes of Central Europe’s nuclear future – EURACTIV.com
European cities are increasingly giving their inhabitants a voice on local matters by asking urbanites how to spend municipal budgets and engaging them on innovative platforms.
Local leaders believe engaging citizens can strengthen democracy and speed up Europe’s green transition, as most of the requests from the public relate to sustainability and the environment. Some even claim giving inhabitants more say on it can hinder authoritarian tendencies.
However, according to its critics, these tools are not enough to stop populism and could even be used to mask local leaders’ discretionary decisions.
Source: Participatory budgeting: hype or democratic panacea? – EURACTIV.com
The past year’s crisis underscored the need for a more united Europe. We must seize this opportunity to make the Conference on the Future of Europe a true forum with citizens to work together to achieve a more sovereign and democratic Europe, says UEF President and Renew MEP Sandro Gozi.
The European Community project is a successful example of cooperation. More than 60 years ago, the seed was sown for this great idea, this magnificent economic, political, and social tool that turned a continent, disjointed by the war, into a place of peace.
The European Union’s (EU) effective response to the health, economic and social crisis caused by COVID-19 ought to be an accelerator of long overdue reforms of all kinds within the EU’s structure.
Source: We can strengthen European democracy by giving the European Parliament more powers – EURACTIV.com
India faces a difficult choice that will have consequences for the world.
No country’s energy needs are expected to grow faster in coming decades than India’s. Even under the most optimistic projections, a part of the demand must be met by dirty coal power — a key source of heat trapping carbon emissions.
India can either compromise on development needed to lift millions from poverty, or it can continue burning coal from the country’s vast domestic reserves, said India’s top environmental official Rameshwar Prasad Gupta in New Delhi, the week before the United Nations climate summit at Glasgow, known as COP26.
Source: Can world’s climate target and India’s development coexist?
Negotiators at this year’s U.N. climate talks in Glasgow appeared to be backing away from a call to end all use of coal and phase out fossil fuel subsidies completely, but gave poor countries hope for more financial support to cope with global warming.
The latest draft proposals from the meeting’s chair released Friday call on countries to accelerate “the phaseout of unabated coal power and of inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels.”
Source: Climate talks back off from call to end all coal use
One of the biggest problems among U.S. troops and veterans, rising suicides, is made worse by another growing scourge in the ranks: hunger.
That was the conclusion experts delivered to a House Agriculture subcommittee in a hearing Wednesday on the eve of Veterans Day.
“Veterans dealing with very low food security have an almost four-fold increase in odds of suicidal ideation,” Nipa Kamdar, a health sciences specialist, told the Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations.
Source: Some troops are driven to suicide by hunger, experts say – Roll Call
Instead of treating Mars and the Moon as sites of conquest and settlement, we need a radical new ethics of space exploration
Within four years, American astronauts will once again plant their feet and flags on the Moon’s dusty surface. They won’t be alone: Chinese, European and Russian space agencies have their sights on our nearest celestial body too, as do space companies such as Moon Express and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin. If their plans come to fruition, astronauts and their robots will claim the most valuable spots and mine the Moon for water, ice and other resources. Our lunar neighbor will never be the same again.
Source: We need a more egalitarian approach to space exploration | Aeon Essays