Police Tear-Gas Climate Activists in Paris on 'Hottest Day in History of France'
By Andrea Germanos
French riot police tear-gassed climate protesters in Paris on Friday as the county sweltered under record heat.
Activists with Extinction Rebellion (XR) were occupying a bridge over the Seine to demand the French government declare a climate emergency and take necessary action to avert planetary catastrophe.
"We need to civilly disrupt because, otherwise, nothing is going to be done," a British woman who took part in the protest told Euronews.
Video shows the police teargassing the protesters at a close range and then forcibly trying to remove them from the scene.
French police using tear gas or pepper spray on peaceful XR protestors sitting down occupying a bridge in Paris tod… https://t.co/KvEEFHv8AJ— Extinction Symbol (@Extinction Symbol)1561723217.0
350 Europe described the display of police violence as "shocking."
Meanwhile, on the hottest day in the history of France, here’s shocking video of police spraying tear gas in the fa… https://t.co/MJw5cXh3Vf— Eric Holthaus (@Eric Holthaus)1561735457.0
La police doucement, on fait ça pour vos enfants🎶 chantent les militant.e.s de @XtinctionRebel face aux… https://t.co/tz2k0ZfgYd— Décidons Paris (@Décidons Paris)1561722485.0
Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen who ignited the School Strike for Climate movement, said on social media: "Watch this video and ask yourself; who is defending who?"
The action also drew praise from the U.S.-based Sunrise Movement, who gave props to the protesters for "putting their bodies on the line for climate justice."
The XR action took place as temperatures hovered in near 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32° C) in Paris — far cooler than in some other parts of the country.
At almost the same time as French police tear gas #ExtinctionRebellion protesters in Paris, the temperature in the… https://t.co/yLtjIDiiTm— Extinction Rebellion Berlin 🌍 (@Extinction Rebellion Berlin 🌍)1561735125.0
The French meteorological agency said that temperatures topped 45° C (113° F) for the first time on the books, with the threshold being passed in three cities.
The steamiest reading was in Gallargues-le-Montueux, where it hit 45.9 °C (114.6° F) in the late afternoon.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
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It's going to be back-to-school time soon, but will children go into the classrooms?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thinks so, but only as long as safety measures are in place.
Keeping Schools Safe<p>What will safer schools look like?</p><p>In a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2766822" target="_blank">JAMA article</a> published last month, <a href="https://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/1781/joshua-m-sharfstein" target="_blank">Dr. Joshua Sharfstein</a>, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, outlined suggestions — many of which are similar to AAP's.</p><p>Remote learning protocols must stay in place, especially as some schools stagger home and in-building learning. If another shutdown needs to occur, children will rely on distance learning completely, so it must be easy to switch to, he said.</p><p>He suggested giving parents a daily checklist to document their child's health. Kids should be screened quickly on arrival and be given hygiene supplies. Maintenance staff should use appropriate PPE and have regular cleaning schedules. A notification system should be in place if a case is identified, Sharfstein recommended.</p><p><a href="https://www.albany.edu/rockefeller/faculty/erika-martin" target="_blank">Erika Martin</a>, PhD, an associate professor of public administration and policy at University at Albany, said nutrition assistance and health services should be included. She called for tutoring programs with virtual options as well as technology access.</p>
Supporting Staff<p>Teachers and staff will be affected by safeguarding measures, noted <a href="https://directory.sph.umn.edu/bio/sph-a-z/rachel-widome" target="_blank">Rachel Widome</a>, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at University of Minnesota.</p><p>"In order for all of the in-school precautions to work well, we'll be asking a lot of teachers and staff," Widome told Healthline. In addition to their usual workload, they'll now be asked to monitor mask-wearing, ensure children are keeping distance, and be aware of any symptoms.</p><p>Along with Sharfstein, Widome called for an increase in financial support. More employees will likely be required so teachers and staff members can keep up with the added demands.</p>
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What Parents Can Do<p>Parents should ask for and receive frequent updates from schools about plans for the fall. They should also be informed about plans if and when COVID infections are identified, Sharfstein said.</p><p>"I'd like to see parents investing now, during the summer, in doing things that can slow and stop the spread of the virus in their communities," Widome said.</p><p>"Now is a good time for kids to practice wearing masks and get used to them as they may be wearing them for longer stretches if school starts up in person," Widome suggested.</p><p>She recommends parents try different mask designs and materials to see what children are more comfortable wearing.</p><p>"If you are using cloth face coverings, it's good to have extras on hand," Widome added.</p><p>Parents should model healthy behavior at home and while out in public — another thing that could affect how well children adapt to reopening practices, Sorensen said.</p><p>"Children may want to know more about face coverings," added <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/leescott/" target="_blank">Lee Scott</a>, chairwoman of the Educational Advisory Board at <a href="https://www.goddardschool.com/" target="_blank">The Goddard School</a>. "Dramatic play, such as creating or wearing a face covering, may help some children adjust to this concept." Schools can also show children photos of what faculty members look like in their masks so the students are familiar with that appearance.</p><p>Johns Hopkins University recently released its eSchool+ Initiative, a slew of resources surrounding education during the pandemic. These include a <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/reopening-checklist/" target="_blank">checklist for administrators</a>, report on <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/ethics-of-reopening/" target="_blank">ethical considerations</a>, and a tracker of <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/reopening-policy-tracker/" target="_blank">state and local reopening plans</a>.</p>
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