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Brazil Announces 60-Day Ban on Clearing Land With Fire
The ban was announced Thursday morning but went into effect the day it was signed. It follows an international outcry over the record number of fires burning in the world's largest tropical rainforest. Bolsonaro has been blamed for encouraging deforestation with his promises to open the Amazon to mining and farming.
The ban was signed the same day that a forestry expert issued a dire warning in Brazil's O Globo newspaper, as The Guardian reported.
"The worst of the fire is still to come," Tasso Azevedo, an environmental expert and advocate who coordinates the deforestation monitoring group MapBiomas, wrote.
Azevedo explained that much of the area burned in July and August had first been cleared in April, May and June. Forest cut down in the summer has not yet burned. He recommended increasing protection for indigenous territories and conservation areas, and for a burn ban lasting until the end of the dry season in late October.
"What we are experiencing is a genuine crisis which could become a tragedy foretold with much larger fires than the ones we are now seeing if they are not immediately halted," he wrote.
The ban announced Thursday roughly follows the timeline Azevedo recommended, but environmentalists expressed doubts that it would be effective, BBC News reported. They pointed out that many fires are already started illegally, and the problem is a lack of enforcement.
The ban does allow for burning to preserve plant health, prevent wildfires and for subsistence agricultural techniques used by indigenous people.
Also on Wednesday, Bolsonaro announced that South American leaders would meet Sept. 6 in Colombia to discuss the Amazon, which covers eight countries, CNN reported.
Bolsonaro has already accepted four planes from Chile to help battle the blazes, BBC News reported. He has also deployed 44,000 soldiers. But he refused $22 million from the G7 countries.
According to the most recent data from Brazil's space agency, there have been more than 83,000 fires between Jan. 1 and Aug. 27 of this year, up 77 percent from the same period in 2018, BBC News reported. The Brazilian Amazon lost an area half the size of Philadelphia in July and an area the size of Hong Kong in August, according to The Guardian.
The Amazon rainforest is an important sink for carbon dioxide. It produces almost 20 percent of the earth's oxygen and also pumps moisture into the atmosphere, CNN explained.
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'How Dare You Put Our Lives at Risk': Pennsylvania Democrat Brian Sims Rips GOP Members for 'Coverup' of Positive COVID-19 Tests
Brian Sims, a Democratic representative in the Pennsylvania legislature, ranted in a Facebook Live video that went viral about the hypocrisy of Republican lawmakers who are pushing to reopen the state even though one of their members had a positive COVID-19 test.
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In another reversal of Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is having the National Park Service rescind a 2015 order that protected bears and wolves within protected lands.
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By Linda Lacina
World Health Organization officials today announced the launch of the WHO Foundation, a legally separate body that will help expand the agency's donor base and allow it to take donations from the general public.
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Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
By Nicholas Joyce
The coronavirus has resulted in stress, anxiety and fear – symptoms that might motivate a person to see a therapist. Because of social distancing, however, in-person sessions are less possible. For many, this has raised the prospect of online therapy. For clients in need of warmth and reassurance, could this work? Studies and my experience suggests it does.
Telehealth Versus Traditional Therapy<p><a href="https://www.cigna.com/hcpemails/telehealth/telehealth-flyer.pdf" target="_blank">Private insurance companies</a> like Cigna and Aetna, have come around; they now provide coverage for what they see as a "legitimate" service. And <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-wells-2019-consumer-survey-finds-majority-of-consumers-open-to-telehealth-adoption-continues-to-grow-300906438.html" target="_blank">surveys show</a> consumers are receptive to telehealth counseling: no driving to an appointment, no searching for a parking space, no worries about childcare while they're away, no need to switch providers if they move, and no problem if the specialist happens to be far away.</p><p>Online therapy opens doors for clients who wouldn't otherwise seek help, <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/empirical-examination-of-the-influence-of-personality-gender-role-conflict-and-self-stigma-on-attitudes-and-intentions-to-seek-online-counseling-in-college-students/oclc/941976505" target="_blank">particularly patients</a> who feel stigmatized by therapy or intimidated by a stranger sitting across the room from them. Often, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1089/1094931041291295" target="_blank">people open up</a> more easily in telehealth sessions. Firsthand accounts have detailed <a href="https://www.romper.com/p/i-tried-online-therapy-for-a-month-this-is-what-happened-13630" target="_blank">positive experiences from consumers</a>.</p>
Overcoming Prejudices About Online Counseling<p>Now COVID-19 is forcing most traditional psychotherapists to adapt their practice to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/expressive-trauma-integration/202003/covid-19-etherapy-in-times-isolation" target="_blank">online counseling</a>. After experiencing the medium, they are <a href="https://www.wecounsel.com/blog/why-every-therapist-in-private-practice-needs-a-telehealth-option/" target="_blank">overcoming their prejudices</a>. Many will convert some or all of their caseloads to telehealth after the pandemic ends. Most of our clients seem to be good with it: responding to a satisfaction survey, 85% of USF students strongly or somewhat agreed their telehealth experience was comparable to an in-person visit.</p><p>All this allows a continuity of care for clients that before was impossible; there is, however, a caveat. Because of the coronavirus, some of my clients at USF who live out-of-state have moved back home. That means, legally, I can no longer serve them. Even though they are still USF students, my license is valid only in Florida.</p><p>For telehealth to work effectively, our national system of licensing and regulation law needs to adapt. Although the federal government temporarily halted HIPAA regulations to promote telehealth during this time, not all states are allowing out-of-state practice. The coronavirus may not be here forever, but spring break and Christmas holidays always will. We need seamless telehealth across state lines.</p>
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Kevin Frayer / Stringer / Getty Images
By Jessica Corbett
Even after the world's largest economies adopted the landmark Paris agreement to tackle the climate crisis in late 2015, governments continued to pour $77 billion a year in public finance into propping up the fossil fuel industry, according to a report released Wednesday.
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