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One million animal and plant species have been pushed to the brink of extinction by human activity: UN report

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Humans are destroying the rest of the natural world at an unprecedented rate, according to an alarming new report.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services published a global assessment Monday that shows one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction by human activity, reported BBC.

“We have documented a really unprecedented decline in biodiversity and nature, this is completely different than anything we’ve seen in human history in terms of the rate of decline and the scale of the threat,” said Dr. Kate Brauman, a University of Minnesota scientist who helped lead the writing of the report’s assessment.

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Humans have harmed the earth throughout history, but that damage has rapidly worsened in the past 50 years, which saw the world’s population double, international trade increase by 10 times over and the global economy expand by four-fold.

That growth has led to the clearing of nearly 250 million acres of tropical forest, mostly from cattle ranching in South America and palm oil plantations in Southeast Asia, between 1980 and 2000.

Only about 13 percent of wetlands that existed in 1700 remain today, and only about 3 percent of the world’s oceans are free from human pressure.

About 25 percent of all animals and plant species are threatened by human activity, and around a million species could face extinction within decades.


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McConnell in a pickle after GOP senator blasts Trump’s executive orders as ‘unconstitutional slop’

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President Donald Trump on Saturday signed four executive orders that may provide economic relief for some Americans as Congress remains at an impasse.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) backed Trump's moves, despite their dubious legal grounding.

“Struggling Americans need action now. Since Democrats have sabotaged backroom talks with absurd demands that would not help working people, I support President Trump exploring his options to get unemployment benefits and other relief to the people who need them the most," McConnell said in a statement.

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Trump signs executive order which may provide $400 a week of enhanced unemployment for some

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President Donald Trump on Saturday signed executive actions extending financial relief to Americans hit by the coronavirus pandemic as polls showed a large majority of voters unhappy with his handling of the crisis.

The four measures marked a presidential show of strength after Trump's Republican party and White House team failed to agree with opposition Democrats in Congress on a new stimulus package aimed at stopping vulnerable Americans from falling through the cracks.

"We've had it and we're going to save American jobs and provide relief to the American workers," Trump said at a press conference in his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he was spending the weekend.

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2020 Election

Lincoln Project only needed 19 words to show 4 fatal flaws with Trump’s payroll tax holiday

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President Donald Trump on Saturday signed an executive order creating a payroll tax holiday that he hopes will become permanent.

"President Trump pledged on Saturday to pursue a permanent cut to the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare if he wins reelection in November, a hard-to-accomplish political gambit that some experts see as a major headache for the future of the country’s entitlement programs," The Washington Post reports. "Trump unexpectedly promised the policy action as he signed a directive that aims to help cash-starved Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic. The order allows workers to postpone their payroll tax payments into next year but doesn’t absolve their bills outright — though the president said he would seek to waive what people owe if he prevails on Election Day."

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