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Sunday, 26 September 2021

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Who is 'Insulate Britain'?

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Insulate Britain is a group of activists who shot to prominence in August this year as an off-shoot from Extinction Rebellion.They have caused chaos on stretches of the M25 in September, repeatedly blocking sections of the motorway by running in front of oncoming traffic.They want the government to:Fully fund and take responsibility for the insulation of all social housing in Britain by 2025Produce - within four months - a legally binding national plan to pay for all homes in Britain to become low-energy and low-carbon by 2030 with a future aim of fully decarbonising society and the economy.The government has previously announced plans to phase out the installation of new gas boilers by the mid-2030s, moving to low-carbon or ‘hydrogen-ready’ ones. It has also pledged £3.8 billion in new funding for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, as part of a wider target to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

What does woke mean?

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When the word ‘woke’ was named word of the year in 2019, it reflected the ongoing culture wars around issues on race, gender and climate change.Since then, ‘wokeism’ continues to be used as a provocative expression - often on social media.It is being used more often now as an insult, amid clashes of ‘cancel culture’. Perhaps the most high-profile example in recent months was the fallout from the Oprah interview with Harry and Meghan. Those who sided with the Sussexes over a series of claims about how they were being unfairly treated by the palace were often accused of being too woke.Earlier this year, Boris Johnson was even asked if Joe Biden was woke, to which he replied, “There’s nothing wrong with being woke.”When celebrities led the public in #Blackout Tuesday during BLM protests after George Floyd’s death last year, brands, organisations and individuals were called ‘woke performative activists’ for posting one when it wasn’t believed they had demonstrated consideration for race relations in the past.Watch the video above to find out more about the origins of the word.

Who is Greta Thunberg?

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Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist, who has been campaigning since the age of 15.She is well known for challenging world leaders on their approaches to the climate crisis, famously telling them at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit, “How dare you!” over not taking strong enough action to tackle climate change.Most recently, she has turned her attention to the COP26 UN climate conference to be held in Glasgow this November. Thunberg has said she does not believe Scotland is a world leader on the climate crisis. Scotland’s Climate Change Act 2019 states a desire to reach net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045, but also has existing plans to drill for fossil fuels in the North Sea.Thunberg says: “I think that maybe summarises the whole situation we are in - the fact that these kind of countries who are actually hosting [COP26] is planning to actually expand fossil fuel infrastructure, to open up new oil fields, and so on.”Other young climate activists have risen to continue shining light on the issue. Sixteen-year-old Holly Gillibrand leads Fridays for Future in Scotland, and 18-year old Isra Hirsi, the daughter of US congresswoman Ilhan Omar, is one of the co-founders of the US Youth Climate Strike.

Who are Extinction Rebellion and what do they want?

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Extinction Rebellion have become one of the most well-known environmental groups in the UK in recent years.Their stated aim is to cause “major disruptions” to encourage governments across the world to do more to deal with climate change.Often, this has taken the form of civil unrest in the UK’s major cities.Some of their most high-profile stunts include smashing glass windows at Barclays HQ in Canary Wharf in April, and at JP. Morgan in Embankment in September this year. They claim these particular banks have a “suicidal business model” which is “responsible for funding and accelerating the climate and ecological emergency.”In 2019, they also sprayed red paint over the Treasury in London.This summer, they announced another period of unrest and have so far launched significant protests in Oxford Circus and Covent Garden, building a 4m high pink table that was later dismantled after police issued a dispersal order.Watch the video above to find out who Extinction Rebellion are and what changes they want.

Which countries release the most CO2?

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CO2 is one of the most well-known gases responsible for climate change, released from non-renewable energy resources like fossil fuels. They are burned to produce energy to heat our homes and power machines - but they also cause global warming.CO2 - plus other greenhouse gases such as CFCs, methane and nitrous oxides - are released into the atmosphere, and contribute to the raising of global temperatures. Activists like Greta Thunberg campaign to pile pressure on governments to reduce their level of emissions.She says industrialised countries such as the US and China have a responsibility to reduce their sky-high levels of emissions, which are impacting some of the poorest nations in the world.She said in August 2021: "We cannot allow this injustice to continue. It is immoral that the countries that have done the least are suffering first and worst."Watch the video above to find out which other states are part of the top ten CO2 emitters in the world, and what they are doing to combat climate change.

'Why is the house moving?': Historic 5.9-magnitude earthquake strikes Melbourne

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One of Australia's biggest earthquakes on record caused damage to buildings as it hit Melbourne on Wednesday. The tremors were felt for hundreds of miles, but thankfully no serious injuries were been reported. The earthquake was the largest to rattle Australia since a magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck 130 miles off the northwest coastal town of Broome in 2019.

Lava oozes down La Palma streets after volcano erupts

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The Canary Islands have seen their first volcanic eruption in 50 years.The eruption took place in the Cumbre Vieja mountain range on La Palma island, which began on Sunday 19th May.It has forced the evacuation of about 5,000 people and destroyed about 100 houses.On Tuesday, rivers of lava was seen oozing down streets. 

Driver launches passionate rant at M25 protesters causing delays for fourth time

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As protesters launched another day of demos on Britain's busiest motorway, an irate motorist confronted the activists and told them, 'You're making people hate you'. The unidentified road user told the protesters who stopped traffic on Junction 18 at Rickmansworth, near Watford: 'Why the hell do you think this is the right thing to do?'Credit: @LBC via Twitter / LBC

Homeowner claims 'sneaky' council worker smashed car window then tried to cover it up

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Jay Elton, 31, from Willerby, East Yorkshire, woke up on September 6 to find his car window shattered.After reviewing his doorbell's CCTV footage, he realised that it was caused by a council lawnmower that was cutting the grass in the area that morning.He said it looked like something had got stuck in the gears of the lawnmower and propelled it at his car window, causing it to shatter.Minutes later, he said the video showed the council worker returning with stones from Jay's front garden and placing it around the car as a cover-up.

Stunning visualisation shows Dundee covered in giant 'ice sheet' 20,000 years ago

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A dramatic scientific video has revealed how the Scottish city was covered in a 0.6-mile-thick ice sheet, which lasted until around 15,000 years ago. The computer-enhanced visualisation was created by glaciologist Max Van Wyk of the University of Minnesota and design expert Kieran Duncan of the University of Dundee.

Shamima Begum tells Boris Johnson over terror threat - 'You don't know what you're doing'

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Former Isis-bride Shamima Begum has begged the British public for forgiveness, saying there is “no evidence” she was a key player in preparing terrorist acts.The 22-year-old, who fled her east London home for Syria as a 15-year-old schoolgirl, said she wanted to be brought back to the UK and face terror charges in order to prove her innocence. In a direct plea to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Begum added: “I think I could very much help you in your fight against terrorism because you clearly don’t know what you’re doing.“I want them (the British public) to see me as an asset rather than a threat to them.”

MP launches furious tirade at Boris Johnson after baby forcibly removed from Kabul flight to UK

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Boris Johnson said 311 people eligible to come to the UK from Afghanistan through a special resettlement scheme are still in the Central Asian country.The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford asked the Prime Minister for details of how many candidates for the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (Arap) remained in the country.The Prime Minister told the Commons: “As for the question of how many Arap candidates are remaining I can tell him that the total number is 311, of which 192 responded to the calls that were put out and, I repeat, we will do absolutely everything we can to ensure that those people get the safe passage that they deserve using the levers that I have described.”

How the cladding scandal has affected my life

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Stephanie Plumb is one of thousands of victims of the cladding scandal. She owns a flat in Manchester and is being billed more than £600 a month to correct fire safety defects in the building which are not her fault. She told Yahoo News UK about the impact this is having on her day-to-day life.

Scene outside McDonald’s as protesters glue themselves to store as part of Extinction Rebellion protests in London

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Protesters who glued themselves to McDonald’s as part of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests in London have been arrested.Members of Animal Rebellion – who are closely aligned with the XR environmental protest group – gathered for an “occupation” of the Leicester Square branch of the fast food giant.Protesters were pictured with their hands glued to the glass, while others held up yellow flags at the front of the store.Credit: @RebelsAnimal via Twitter

Protesters yell abuse at veteran Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow

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A group of anti-vaccine protesters have stormed the ITN building in London.More than 100 demonstrators occupied the front of the building on Grays Inn Road on Monday afternoon.Police officers at the scene blocked the protesters from getting further into the building in an effort to protect journalists and staff.During the incident, protesters yelled abuse at veteran Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow as he tried to make his way inside.Credit: Newsflare

Two dogs left to die in hot car because they were barking too loudly

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A security worker left two dogs to die in a hot car for more than two hours because neighbours complained about their loud barking.Richard Armstrong, 47, left the pair of security dogs shut in the boot of his Vauxhall Astra estate on a hot April day when temperatures hit around 24C. Passers-by saw the animals in the back of the vehicle in Ilford, east London, and called police. Officers found one of the dogs dead in his kennel in the boot, while the second was collapsed but still breathing.Hector and Yardie - both Belgian Malinois used for security work - had been kept in the back of the vehicle with a fan running to try and keep them cool.Yardie was taken to a vets but had to be put down.