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‘People are underestimating the force of angry kids’: Greta Thunberg returns to Europe for climate summit

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At COP 25, Thunberg said, “we will continue the fight there to make sure that within those walls the voices of the people are being heard.”

After three weeks of sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Spain, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg arrived Tuesday in neighboring Portugal, where she was welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd of supporters.

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“We’ve all been on quite an adventure,” the 16-year-old Swede told reporters in Lisbon shortly after her arrival. Thunberg has gained global recognition for her solitary protests for climate action outside the Swedish Parliament last year, which led to an international youth-led school strike movement known as Fridays for Future.

In August, Thunberg—who refuses to travel by plane—sailed from the United Kingdom to the United States for a U.N. summit in New York City. She also toured North America, addressing members of the U.S. Congress, joining major protests, and meeting with climate activists. After the U.N. conference, COP 25, was moved from Chile to Spain, she turned to social media to find a low-carbon way to get to Madrid.

Thunberg’s call for travel assistance was answered by the owners and crew of La Vagabonde, a white 48-foot catamaran that uses solar panels and hydro-generators for power. The teenager and her father Svante joined professional sailor Nikki Henderson as well as yacht owners Riley Whitelum and Elayna Carausu and their baby for the three-week journey.

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“I’m doing this to sort of send the message that it is impossible to live sustainable today, and that needs to change. It needs to become much easier.”
—Greta Thunberg, climate activist

“I am not traveling like this because I want everyone to do so,” Thunberg explained to reporters Tuesday. “I’m doing this to sort of send the message that it is impossible to live sustainable today, and that needs to change. It needs to become much easier.”

The Associated Press reported that Thunberg will spend several days in the Portuguese capital before she heads to COP 25, where representatives from governments across the globe are discussing efforts to battle the climate crisis, including national commitments under the 2015 Paris agreement.

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At the conference, Thunberg said, “we will continue the fight there to make sure that within those walls the voices of the people are being heard.”

“I think people are underestimating the force of angry kids,” she added. “If they want us to stop being angry, then maybe they should stop making us angry.”

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Ahead of the conference, which kicked off Monday and is scheduled to run through Dec. 13, youth leaders organized a worldwide climate strike on Friday to pressure the COP 25 attendees to pursue more ambitious policies. Another global strike is planned for this coming Friday.

Chilean Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt—who is still serving as president of COP 25, despite the relocation—said Tuesday that she hopes Thunberg will motivate those attending the conference to back bolder climate commitments.

Schmidt told the AP that Thunberg “has been a leader that has been able to move and open hearts for many young people and many people all over the world.”

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“We need that tremendous force in order to increase climate action,” the minister told Reuters television. “We need Greta in here with all that force.”

Bolstering arguments from both activists and policymakers that the international community needs to step up its efforts to address the climate crisis, the World Meteorological Organization on Tuesday released a new report which warned that inadequate efforts to curb planet-warming emissions could lead to a global temperature rise of 5°C by the end of the century.

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John Oliver unleashes on news sites that sent out stupid push notifications

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver doesn't come back until Feb. 16, but he dropped a new web-exclusive video Sunday complaining to news agencies that they should stop sending out stupid push notifications on their apps.

Oliver told his audience that there are two major criteria when considering a push notification: 1. Is there something I should be doing differently?; and 2. Is this something I need to know now?

Things like declarations of war, earthquakes or acts of terrorism are all perfect examples of things news agencies should inform readers about quickly. But when CNN sent out a push notification about a 115,000 Neanderthal child that was only found "half-eaten" by a bird, Oliver was understandably frustrated.

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Billionaires are now richer than 60 percent of the world’s population: report

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The world's billionaires have doubled in the past decade and are richer than 60 percent of the global population, the charity Oxfam said Monday.

It said poor women and girls were at the bottom of the scale, putting in "12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day," estimated to be worth at least $10.8 trillion a year.

"Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist," Oxfam's India head Amitabh Behar said.

"The gap between rich and poor can't be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies," Behar said ahead of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will represent Oxfam.

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Alcohol-infused gummy bears infuriating candy giant Haribo

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Ander Mendez and his friends were hoping they'd struck it rich when they came up with the idea of selling alcohol-infused gummy bears -- until they found themselves in the sights of sweet giant Haribo.

Now, these three Spaniards say they're afraid of being shut down by the German confectionery king, which is famed for its vast array of jelly sweets and was founded 100 years ago in the western city of Bonn.

In a not-so-sweetly worded legal letter, Haribo has accused their startup of infringing its trademarked little bear.

But these graduates from the northern Spanish port city of Bilbao insist they will carry on producing their "drunken gummy bears" -- "because people like them."

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