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Massive New York march aims to focus world’s eyes on climate change

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World leaders including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were set to join farmers, fishermen, children and others in a massive demonstration on Sunday to demand action on climate change.

Organizers are expecting 100,000 to join the People’s Climate March in midtown Manhattan ahead of this week’s U.N. General Assembly, which brings together 120 world leaders to discuss reducing carbon emissions that threaten the environment.

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The New York rally was expected to be the largest on a day of events in 161 countries including the United Kingdom, France Afghanistan and Bulgaria.

The gathering will include celebrities such as musician Sting, scientists in lab coats, labor groups, 20 marching bands and floats powered by biodiesel vehicles or pulled by hand, said Jamie Henn, spokesman for 350.org, which organized the event with more than a dozen other environmental, labor and social justice groups.

“You can’t fight climate change sitting on your couch and holding your breath,” Henn said.

Organizers said the massive mobilization is aimed at transforming climate change “from an environmental concern to an ‘everybody issue.'”

The United Nations on Tuesday is set to host a climate summit where world leaders will continue talks toward a pact 200 nations are working on that would rein in the rising greenhouse gas emissions. Negotiators aim to complete that deal in late 2015.

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In London, actress Emma Thompson and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood were among celebrities who took part in a march of thousands of people who processed through central London towards a rally by parliament.

“Politicians are not showing the will. There is not a problem with the science, there is a problem with the political will,” said Ben Phillips, campaigns director for Oxfam. “That is why it is so important that people are marching here today.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is expected to join the marchers, on Sunday unveiled a new plan for the city to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050.

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All 3,000 city-owned buildings that use significant amounts of energy would be retrofitted with energy saving heating, cooling and light systems by then, he said, though meeting the commitment will also require significant investments by private landlords.

“Climate change is an existential threat to New Yorkers and our planet. Acting now is nothing short of a moral imperative,” de Blasio said.

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The 2-mile (3.2-km) route sanctioned by the New York Police Department winds past Times Square, where dozens of giant billboards flash even at midday and attempts at eco-friendly signs – lit by wind power – have been spotty.

Organizers bill the event as the largest gathering focused on climate change since 2009, when tens of thousands of people gathered in Copenhagen in a sometime raucous demonstration that resulted in the detention of 2,000 protesters.

(Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau at the United Nations, Kylie MacLellan in London and Natasja Sheriff in New York; Editing by Scott Malone, Bill Trott and Mark Potter)

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Ted Cruz doesn’t want people shamed with body bags for going to beach: ‘Please stop the hate’

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In early May, Florida attorney Daniel Uhlfelder made news by dressing up as the Grim Reaper in an attempt to scare people from crowding beaches during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Days later, he escalated by laying out body bags on the steps of the Florida capitol building in Tallahassee.

He escalated further on Saturday by announcing he would be handing out body bags to Florida beachgoers and started a fundraiser with the funds going to two progressive Political Action Committees.

https://twitter.com/DWUhlfelderLaw/status/1264412394794647552

The effort caught the eye of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

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Poultry workers denied service over COVID-19 fears as businesses reopen: report

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On Monday, the Huffington Post explored how poultry workers in North Carolina are being denied service even as businesses reopen from COVID-19 lockdowns.

"The hair salon SmartCuts reopened its doors in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, on Memorial Day weekend after a long closure due to the coronavirus. But not every customer was welcome to hop in a chair like old times," reported Dave Jamieson. "A sign posted on the shop window explained: 'Due to the number of Tyson employees who have tested positive for Covid19, and given the close contact experienced during our services, we are unable to serve Tyson employees. We sincerely apologize for this decision, and we ask for your understanding.'"

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DOJ investigating why consumers are paying record prices for beef during pandemic: report

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On Monday, Politico reported that the Justice Department and Agriculture Department are looking into what they consider to be suspicious price increases of beef for American consumers — on the suspicion that the recent spike in prices may be a result of price-fixing.

"Supermarket customers are paying more for beef than they have in decades during the coronavirus pandemic," reported Leah Nylen and Liz Crampton. "But at the same time, the companies that process the meat for sale are paying farmers and ranchers staggeringly low prices for cattle."

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