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Pope Francis to World Leaders: 'Listen to the Cry of the Earth'

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Pope Francis, who has a strong belief in the science of climate change, called upon world leaders on Wednesday to "listen to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer most because of the unbalanced ecology."

Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I, the head of the Orthodox Christian Church, will issue a joint message to commemorate the annual "World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation" on Friday, the Associated Press reported.


In 2015, the Pope designated Sept. 1 as "a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation," framing the preservation of the environment as a moral responsibility.

Similarly, Bartholomew—who backed Francis' 2015 encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si—once said:

"There has never been so much turmoil on our planet, but there has never been greater opportunity for communication, cooperation and dialogue. Basic human rights such as access to water, clean air and sufficient food should be available to everyone without distinction or discrimination. We are convinced that we cannot separate our concern for human dignity, human rights or social justice from the concern for ecological preservation and sustainability."

Pope Francis has long pressed for strong climate action. In May, during their meeting at the Vatican, the pontiff gifted President Trump a copy of the climate encyclical right as POTUS considered whether the U.S. should exit from the Paris climate agreement. Trump, a notorious climate skeptic who does not agree with Francis about the global phenomenon, apparently didn't take the Pope's message to heart—he controversially withdrew the U.S. from the Paris accord just a month later.

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"We are disappointed with the jury's initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer," Bayer spokesman Dan Childs said in a statement reported by The Guardian. "We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto's conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman's cancer."

Some legal experts said that Chhabria's decision to split the trial was beneficial to Bayer, Reuters reported. The company had complained that the jury in Johnson's case had been distracted by the lawyers' claims that Monsanto had sought to mislead scientists and the public about Roundup's safety.

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"Although the evidence that Roundup causes cancer is quite equivocal, there is strong evidence from which a jury could conclude that Monsanto does not particularly care whether its product is in fact giving people cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about the issue," he said.

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Hardeman's lawyers Jennifer Moore and Aimee Wagstaff said they would now reveal Monsanto's efforts to mislead the public about the safety of its product.

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University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias told Reuters that Tuesday's decision showed that the verdict in Johnson's case was not "an aberration," and could possibly predict how future juries in the thousands of pending cases would respond.