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Thirsty Koala Becomes the Face of Australia’s Heat Wave
Chantelle Lowrie was visiting a camp ground near the Murray River in the Australian state of Victoria Saturday when she saw a koala.
"It was 44 degrees Celsius (111.2 F)— very, very hot day," Lowrie told AFP Tuesday. "I stopped because he looked as though he could use a drink of water."
In a video Lowrie posted to Facebook, the koala climbs partway up a tree, pauses to sip from a water bottle extended by Lowrie, then continues to climb.
The video comes as much of Australia suffers through a deadly heat wave that has seen temperatures rise around 16 degrees Celsius (approximately 60.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above average for this time of year. The heat has led to seven deaths by drowning as people rush to the beach to cool off, Reuters reported Saturday. Five of the deaths took place between Christmas Eve and Saturday in Victoria. In two other incidents, a South Korean man died Christmas Day while snorkeling in a lake in New South Whales, and another man died in the surf on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
Temperatures in Australia's south lowered somewhat over New Years', but they are expected to climb again later in the week, with thermometers expected to read 41 C (105.8 F) in Adelaide on Thursday and 42 Celsius (107.6 F) in Melbourne on Friday, The Guardian reported Wednesday.
"We've seen a couple of cooler days for southern Australia, still above average for this time of year but cooler than we've seen," Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) meteorologist Sarah Fitton said. "But we've still just had that heat sitting through central Australia which hasn't gone away. We're going to see north-westerly winds again and that's going to drive that heat that's been sitting in central Australia back across the southern states."
The higher temperatures will put Victoria and South Australia on watch for bushfires.
Heat waves are common in Australia during its summer, but climate change is making them more extreme, AFP reported. The BOM expects that 2018 will be one of the country's five hottest years on record overall, and the third hottest in terms of maximum temperatures, according to The Guardian.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.