Help Support EcoWatch
The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Coronavirus Update: France Enters Nationwide Lockdown
Widespread containment measures are due to go into effect across much of Germany, France and Spain starting on Tuesday. Non-essential businesses and shops will be closed and residents have been urged to remain at home.
- The German foreign minister announced an "airlift" for thousands of German citizens stranded abroad.
- French President Emmanuel Macron ordered a nationwide lockdown and closed France's borders.
- Germany banned religious gatherings and ordered non-essential shops as well as playgrounds closed.
- Volkswagen said the majority of its factories in Europe would suspend production starting Friday.
Updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT)
11:29 Vietnam said it will introduce mandatory quarantine for people arriving from the U.S., Europe and ASEAN countries and suspend the issue of all new visas.
11:13 Iran's health ministry said Tuesday that 135 more people have died from COVID-19, which raises the country's official death toll to over 980. With over 16,000 confirmed cases, Iran is behind Italy and China for the highest number of COVID-19 cases worldwide.
11:00 A nationwide lockdown began in France at noon local time on Tuesday, requiring people to remain in their homes and only go out for the "bare essentials" like groceries, medicine and going to work.
There were reports of many Parisians crowding train stations attempting to leave the French capital for the countryside before the noon deadline. There were also reports of long lines of people outside supermarkets buying supplies in preparation for the lockdown.
The government said tens of thousands of police would patrol French cities, and anyone caught without a written declaration to justify their reason for being out could be punished with a fine of up to €135 ($150), according to Agence France Presse.
French President Emmanuel Macron said in a speech Monday that the lockdown would be in place for at least 15 days. "We are at war" with coronavirus, said Macron. France currently has over 6,600 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 148 deaths.
10:10 The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), a German public health institution, adjusted its coronavirus threat risk for Germany from "moderate" to "high" on Tuesday.
RKI chief Lothar Wieler said the risk adjustment is based on the continual increase in new infections, along with warning signs from public health facilities. Germany currently has over 7,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections.
09:45 The Robert Koch Institute said Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic could last two years, as pandemics tend to run their course in waves.
RKI chief Wieler said it is possible in an "extreme situation" that some of the restrictions enacted by countries would have to stay in place for this duration.
Wieler added that the duration of the pandemic depends on the speed of vaccine development, along with how many people become infected, recover, and develop immunity to coronavirus (SARS CoV 2), the virus that causes COVID-19.
09:21 Turkey's Foreign Ministry said it will start bringing home more than 3,600 Turkish citizens stranded in nine European countries. All of the returnees are expected to be transported home Tuesday on board more than 30 Turkish Airlines flights and will be quarantined after arrival for 14 days.
09:09 Pakistan confirmed its first fatality from a COVID-19 infection, Reuters reported. The death comes as the South Asian country saw a spike in cases Tuesday, with the current total at 187.
08:10 German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany has made up to €50 million ($55.6 million) available to bring home "thousands" of German citizens stuck abroad.
Maas said Tuesday Germany will do "everything possible" to repatriate German citizens stuck in countries heavily affected by the coronavirus, including the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Morocco and Egypt. The foreign minister also advised against all tourist travel to any country.
"Stay at home. Help yourself and others," tweeted Maas.
08:00 German carmaker Volkswagen announced it would stop production at the vast majority of its factories in Germany and the rest of Europe starting Friday. Work is expected to be halted for up to three weeks.
07:46 German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said he expects Germany will have to "deal with the consequences" of the coronavirus outbreak until at least the end of May.
"I wouldn't advise anyone to bank on this being over in eight days," Altmaier told German broadcaster RTL on Tuesday.
07:14 U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech announced they would immediately begin working together to develop a vaccine.
06:31 Actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, were released from an Australian hospital Tuesday five days after they were diagnosed with COVID-19. The couple will now self-isolate in a rented house, according to media reports.
05:55 Kyrgyzstan has banned entry to all foreigners to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The central Asian country currently has no cases of COVID-19. Neighboring Kazakhstan reported an increase in cases from 14 to 27 on Tuesday.
05:43 India has closed the Taj Mahal, the country's top tourist site. The Indian financial hub of Mumbai ordered businesses providing non-essential services to keep half of staff home.
05:30 Japanese authorities will ask all travelers coming from Europe, including Japanese citizens, to self-quarantine for two weeks after arrival in Japan, according to Japanese media reports.
Japan will also begin refusing entry to foreigners who have been in certain areas of Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Ireland.
05:23 Malaysia said it will bar border crossings with Singapore for two weeks starting Wednesday. There were reports of people in Singapore rushing to stock up on food, as Malaysia is a source of many staple items. Singapore's government said there would be no food shortages.
04:14 Facebook said it would send home all contract workers who review content until further notice. The company said this could impact response times and there may be more mistakes. The contract staff will continue to be paid.
Content reviewing cannot be be done at home due to "due to safety, privacy and legal reasons."
03:35 Here's a round-up of recent measures set to be implemented by European countries to stem the spread of coronavirus (SARS CoV 2):
In Germany, residents will wake up to bans on religious gatherings and ceremonies with closures of playgrounds and non-essential stores. Local and regional train services will be reduced. The country closed its borders Monday to France, Austria, Luxembourg, Denmark and Switzerland.
The French government put its citizens on partial lockdown — from Tuesday at noon people will only be able to leave their homes for grocery shopping, work or to take a walk. The measures will remain in place for 15 days.
In Finland, school and universities will be replaced with distance learning from Wednesday for four weeks. Kindergartens will stay open with advice that children should stay home where possible. Public gatherings will be limited to 10 people.
Switzerland ordered a state of emergency ordering shops, restaurants, bars, leisure and other facilities to shut down until April 19. The measures do not include healthcare operations as well as supermarkets.
The UK issued coronavirus guidelines, saying people should practice social distancing, but schools will not be closed for the moment.
Spain and Italy's governments have already implemented similar lockdowns after the countries were hit hard by virus outbreaks. Currently there are 27,980 recorded cases of coronavirus in Italy and 9,942 in Spain.
03:00 The Philippines suspended trade on its local stock exchange, becoming the first country to do so over coronavirus fears.
02:20 Hundreds of prisoners escaped from four prisons in Brazil just a day before day-release privileges were set to be suspended, reported Sao Paulo state prison authorities.
The suspension of privileges was necessary because those returning to jail and "would have a high potential to install and propagate the coronavirus in a vulnerable population, generating health risks for servers and custodians" said authorities.
Law enforcement was dealing with the situation.
02:10 From midnight on Thursday all people entering Hong Kong will be quarantined for 14 days.
02:00 The UN security council has canceled all meetings that were due to go ahead this week.
01:52 Thieves took 50,000 protective face masks from a warehouse for hospital supplies in the German city of Cologne. "We're talking about items that normally worth pennies, but there is obviously a market for them now," said a spokeswoman for the city's hospitals.
01:35 New Zealand announced a NZ$12.1 billion ($7.3 billion, €6.26 billion) stimulus package to help its economy. Finance Minister Grant Robertson conceded "recession is almost certain" but the package would help soften the economic blow.
01:25 Online retail giant Amazon is benefiting from the virus, hiring 100,000 staff.
01:17 Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a nationwide quarantine. He also called on world leaders to "wake up to this pandemic and take drastic measures in time." The number of cases in Venezuela has risen to 33.
01:10 South Korea reports 84 new cases, bringing the total up to 8,320.
01:00 Colombia will close all land, sea and river borders from midnight until the end of May. President Ivan Duque announced the measures on Twitter. Chile and Peru announced a total closure of their borders on Monday.
00:50 Mongolia reported three new coronavirus cases among citizens repatriated from virus-hit South Korea and Germany.
00:40 There could be up to 1,500 coronavirus patients hospitalized by the end of the week, said President of the German Hospital Society (DKG) Gerald Gass to German media outlet Funke Mediengruppe. Gass said that German hospitals are well prepared for such an increase in patients.
00:30 Ukraine became the latest European country to announce shutdowns of bars, restaurants and shopping malls. The measures to fight the virus came as President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to act "harshly and urgently."
The government introduced restrictions on public transport, including closing the country's three metro systems in Kiev, Kharkiv and Dnipro until April 3.
00:20 China had 13 deaths and 21 new infections Monday, reported its National Health Commission, up from 16 new infections on Sunday.
00:10 Here's a summary of global figures:
- 181,546 confirmed cases
- 7,126 global deaths
- 78,088 recovered
00:05 Follow yesterday's developments here: Coronavirus latest: French President Macron says 'we are at war' as he orders lockdown
Reposted with permission from DW.
- There's No Shame in Overreacting to the Coronavirus - The Atlantic ›
- Fauci on coronavirus: "We'll be thankful that we're overreacting" - Axios ›
- Flattening the Coronavirus Curve - The New York Times ›
- Opinion: Europe′s steep coronavirus learning curve | Opinion | DW ... ›
- Coronavirus: Germany brings in unprecedented restrictions on ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- The U.S. Isn't in a Second Wave of Coronavirus – The First Wave ... ›
- What Does 'Recovered From Coronavirus' Mean? - EcoWatch ›
- Black and Hispanic Americans Suffer Disproportionate Coronavirus ... ›
- As Trump Pushes U.S. to Reopen, Internal Document Projects 3,000 ... ›
In a troubling sign for the future of the Italian Alps, the snow and ice in a glacier is turning pink due to the growth of snow-melting algae, according to scientists studying the pink ice phenomenon, as CNN reported.
By Abdullahi Alim
The 2008 financial crisis spurred a number of youth movements including Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring. A decade later, this anger resurfaced in a new wave of global protests, from Hong Kong to Beirut to London, only this time driven by the children of the 2008 financial crisis.
1. Learn From the Past<p>Young people tend to be comfortable with change. Their instant adoption of technology is an example.<a target="_blank"> However, they may lack an understanding of the more permanent realities – requiring patience and </a>stoicism.</p><p>This wisdom is typically in the hands of individuals who either work within systems or who have accumulated far more tenure. This was effectively echoed by 13-year old activist, Naomi Wadler who <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17Aa6XLZe9A" target="_blank">said</a>, "We can educate our youth a lot better. We're not delving deeper into social justice movements from the past."</p><p>Youth movements that are informed by the success and pitfalls of prior efforts offer a more promising outcome. Take for example, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, co-founded by a 32-year old Alicia Garza.<span></span></p><p>Unlike the civil rights movement of the 1960's, BLM lacks central governance. This means that opponents can't attack its leadership as a means to discredit the whole movement. In the 1960's, this is exactly what happened to the civil rights movement, when critics went after Martin Luther King, stalling the collective efforts of the movement.</p><p>In fact, King spent his final year <a href="https://eu.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/04/04/martin-luther-king-jr-50-years-assassination-donald-trump-disapproval-column/482242002/" target="_blank">mired in public disapproval</a> with over 75% of Americans considering him "irrelevant" including 60% of African Americans.</p><p>By studying the legacy of previous efforts, BLM has managed to rally approximately <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/big-majorities-support-protests-over-floyd-killing-and-say-police-need-to-change-poll-finds/2020/06/08/6742d52c-a9b9-11ea-9063-e69bd6520940_story.html" target="_blank">75% of the American public</a>; a feat that will undeniably ensure the longevity of its cause.</p><p>For the youth climate movement, it too must reconcile the long record of activism that predates its tenure. It ought to model itself as an intergenerational movement by giving greater credence to the activists, environmental scientists and <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/juan-manuel-santos-colombia-indigenous-peoples-coronavirus-pandemic-climate-change-environment-nature/" target="_blank">indigenous elders</a> that have fought for climate justice before its inception and ultimately signal the nuance and maturity that would activate allies within systems of power.</p>
2. Become Part of Systems Change<p>From the college campus to the coworking space, you would be hard pressed to avoid the sight of a social impact competition that invites young people to resolve some of the world's most intractable problems.<br></p><p>Unsurprisingly, this often leads to problematic and incomplete solutions. Take, for example, <a href="https://ssir.org/articles/entry/tackling_heropreneurship" target="_blank">an app for African farmers</a> developed by students who have neither farmed nor been to Africa.<br></p><p>Fortunately, there is a growing shift towards empowering young people to better diagnose the systems that uphold inequality. For example, Oxford University hosts the annual <a href="http://www.oxfordglobalchallenge.com/" target="_blank">Map the System</a> competition to celebrate some of the most promising youth-led mappings and the World Economic Forum's <a href="https://www.globalshapers.org/story" target="_blank">Global Shapers Community</a> convenes more than 7,000 young people under the age of 30 to address local, regional and global challenges.</p><p>To achieve systemic change, young changemakers must first unpack systems into <a href="https://wtf.tw/ref/meadows.pdf" target="_blank">three components</a>; elements, interconnections and functions:</p><ul><li>Elements are essentially the key stakeholders in the system. This can include individuals, land or objects.</li><li>Interconnections are the laws and social norms that bind the elements together.</li><li>Functions are the end-goals.</li></ul><p>Take for example, the persistence of sexual harassment in the workplace as a systems issue. The elements in the system would include the victim, perpetrator and other intermediary bodies including line managers and human resource teams. The interconnections could include forced arbitration laws that prohibit employees from seeking public courts and a managerial culture that protects high performing perpetrators and pressures victims into silence. In which case, the ultimate functions (or rather dysfunctions) of the system discourage victims from pursuing action and enable perpetrators and enablers to enjoy the benefits of career progression without due trial.</p><p>Systemic change is about redesigning the interconnections (the cultural norms and laws). In the example above, it involves challenging the use of private arbitrary courts and uprooting a toxic work culture. Reclaiming this intuition opens a pandora's box that ultimately allows for any given system to operate more inclusively.<br></p><p>Today, young changemakers can rely on online resources like <a href="http://systems-ledleadership.com/" target="_blank">Systems-Led-Leadership</a> to analyze any given system of inequality and then direct their unique skills and knowledge towards the most effective intervention.</p>
3. Avoid Heropreneurship<p>Daniela Papi-Thornton first coined the term <a href="http://tacklingheropreneurship.com/" target="_blank">heropreneurship</a> to describe a growing trend that credits social change to the "founder" of an organization or movement exclusively.</p><p>This culture has inspired an entire generation of young change-makers who are swayed by the allure of the "heroic" founder and whose behaviors are validated through youth awards, grants and speaking circuits that glorify a role in the limelight. This pervasive culture undercuts the entire spectrum of actors that really creates social change.</p><p>Social change does not necessarily warrant the creation of a new organization or movement. Change-makers should consider the root causes that perpetuate and uphold inequalities and then map the existing players and solutions. This process might point to scaling up the work of an existing organization or helping a local candidate run for office.<br><br>For young people who wish to create social change, their efforts – while extremely important – may go unnoticed. This is an expectation that needs to be managed.<br></p>
4. Know Your Place<p>In 2016, a political action committee entitled <a href="http://canyounot.org/" target="_blank">Can You Not</a> emerged with the aim of discouraging white men from running for office in minority districts.</p><p>Despite the comical graphics, the campaign highlights an important question for young changemakers, particularly if they advocate for issues that they have not lived: in the quest for social change, can the actions of change-makers unwittingly perpetuate injustices, even as they seek to end them?<br></p><p>In the example above, could the notion of a white man effectively assuming the role of a translator between minority communities and government only reinforce their structural underrepresentation in political decision-making? Could the desire to assume office without lived experience also signal little faith in the leadership of the very communities being served?<br></p><p>A more effective approach to social change may be to encourage such actors to take stock of the unintended consequences of misrepresentation. In doing so, they may come to appreciate the importance of "stepping back" to allow others to "step forward." More concretely, this could result in building trusted relationships with the community and eventually empowering more local voices to consider public leadership.<br></p><p>For young changemakers, it is pivotal that they assess their own standing in a given system and avoid perpetuating the very inequalities they wish to tackle.</p>
Strategic Intelligence: Youth Perspectives. World Economic Forum
A More Targeted, Effective Kind of Activism<p>Social media has played its critical part in providing young people with a vehicle to advocate for social reform.</p><p>Whether it's <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/23/greta-thunberg-speech-un-2019-address" target="_blank">Greta Thunberg's speech</a> during the United Nations General Assembly in 2019 or <a href="https://variety.com/2018/politics/features/emma-gonzalez-parkland-interview-1202972485/" target="_blank">Emma Gonzalez</a> rallying crowds for more stringent gun control. younger voices are swaying public opinion and pressuring political systems to operate more inclusively.<br></p><p>The impact of these extraordinary young people is inspiring, but arguably they struggle to provide a course of action for the average young person who is motivated to pursue social change. The inconvenient truth is that social reform is difficult and even more so for a young person who wrestles with challenges related to experience and credibility.<br></p><p>To be more effective, young changemakers must forge greater bonds with late-stage activists as well as potential allies within systems of power. They must also understand the systems that uphold equality and pinpoint the intervention that would most likely inspire systemic change.<br></p><p>Finally, it is pivotal that they invest in a support system and seek to dissolve <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/this-is-how-wellbeing-drives-social-change-and-why-cultural-leaders-need-to-talk-about-it" target="_blank">personal anxieties</a> that may compromise their change-making potential.</p><p>It's time for youth activism to grow up.</p>
- British Queen Praises Young Climate Activists in Christmas Speech ... ›
- Homeland Security Listed Climate Activists as 'Extremists' Alongside ... ›
- 'We Have So Much More to Do': Youth Climate Activists Declare as ... ›
By Jake Johnson
The Supreme Court late Monday upheld a federal judge's rejection of a crucial permit for Keystone XL and blocked the Trump administration's attempt to greenlight construction of the 1,200-mile crude oil project, the third such blow to the fossil fuel industry in a day—coming just hours after the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the court-ordered shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- Construction Begins on Keystone XL Pipeline in Montana - EcoWatch ›
- Trump Approves Keystone XL Pipeline, Groups Vow 'The Fight Is ... ›
- Judge Tosses Major Keystone XL Permit - EcoWatch ›
- Zombie Fires Could Be Awakening in the Arctic - EcoWatch ›
- Siberian Forest Fires Increase Fivefold in Week Since Record High ... ›
- Rewilding the Arctic Could Slow the Climate Crisis - EcoWatch ›
- 550,000 Acres on Fire in Alaska in Latest Sign of the Climate Crisis ... ›
- 'Unprecedented' Wildfires in Arctic Have Scientists Concerned ... ›