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Anti-consumerist ‘Reverend’: Black Friday boosts global warming

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In an interview with MSNBC host Alex Witt, Reverend Billy Talen of the Church of Stop Shopping linked the journey of millions to storefronts on Black Friday to the global warming that ultimately fueled Superstorm Sandy.

“We have a 1,000-mile hurricane, Sandy, that — you know, you’ve been talking about little else for three weeks, haven’t you?” Talen said. “There’s a message there from Sandy, and that’s, we have to change our lives.”

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Talen, who has toured the country in a parody of religious revivals aimed at getting people to stop being such voracious consumers, also alluded to a 2009 study by Mindclick SGM saying that carbon emissions from shopping on Black Friday were 50 times higher than for the increasingly-popular “Cyber Monday,” where many online retailers spotlight their own bargains.

“The shift toward online commerce is part of the overall trend of IT leading to dematerialization, or virtual goods and services replacing physical goods,” Gigaom reported after the study’s release, adding that an increasing emphasis on virtual conferencing as opposed to physical meetings could reduce global carbon emissions by 500 million tons by 2020.

However, Witt said, the reality is that it’s not just shoppers out on the road in the holiday crush, but also people either looking for jobs or taking what hours they can get in retail positions to support their families.

“There’s all sorts of things that come into a family, whether it be a Hurricane Sandy event, or a losing their job event, that hits a house hard,” Witt said.

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Talen responded by saying that people can’t afford to look at the world via a macro-vs-micro lens.

“We have to be macro now,” he said. “We finally got the politicians to say the phrase, ‘climate change.’ We have to finally make a change. And that change is taking place. There’s a quiet revolution in this country. People are going to sustainable local economies, ma and pa stores, farmer’s markets, swap and thrift and repair it, don’t necessarily throw it away as quickly. We are doing that and it’s not getting reported very [often].”

Watch Witt’s interview with Talen, aired Friday on MSNBC, below.

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‘America is running away like rats’: Watch angry Kurds blame US troops for dead babies as they withdraw

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The Associated Press obtained video of Kurds pelting American military vehicles with fruit as they withdrew from Syria.

The video was first captured by a Kurdish news agency, the AP said in a report on Monday.

“Like rats, America is running away,” one man shouted in Arabic. Another shouted obscenities and talked of babies in Kurdish-held Syria who had died in the Turkish offensive.

The scene encapsulated the Kurds’ feelings of betrayal and added a new indignity to a US withdrawal that has been rushed and involved several close brushes with Turkish-backed forces.

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Activism

WATCH: White House protesters chant ‘impeach Trump’ loud enough for aides to hear

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Protesters gathered in front of the White House on Sunday to call on President Donald Trump to be removed from office.

Videos circulated online showed protesters chanting "impeach Trump" close enough to the White House for staff to hear the demonstration.

In other videos, protesters were blowing loud whistles.

Meanwhile, demonstrators also greeted Trump as he visited his New Jersey golf course. Pro-impeachment protesters were also reportedly out on the streets in Boston and New York City.

Watch some of the video clips below.

Outside the White House right now:

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White House urged diplomats to stay quiet about withheld aid to Ukraine: ‘Nothing to see here’

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As Democrats proceed with impeachment, there are explosive new revelations almost daily related to President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that top diplomats were instructed to keep quiet about the temporary freeze on the $141 million package of aid to Ukraine.

“Keep moving, people, nothing to see here,” Brad Freden, the State Department’s acting deputy assistant secretary of Europe and Eurasia, said in an email.

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