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UN vote called ‘epic’ win for climate justice



UN General Assembly voted to pass a resolution asking the International Court of Justice to define obligations of states to combat climate change

“Today we have witnessed a win for climate justice of epic proportions,” said Vanuatu Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau.

His comments came after the United Nations General Assembly voted to ask the world’s top court for an advisory opinion on national climate obligations.

The legal opinion could drive countries to take stronger measures and clarify international law.

“Importantly, the court will tell us what the legal consequences are for states that disregard these laws and cause climate and environmental harm,” he said.

Countries will submit input over the next year and it could take the court around 18 months to issue an advisory opinion.

The Republic of Vanuatu was the driving force behind the four-year campaign, leading a core group of 18 countries ranging from Costa Rica to Germany.

The United States did not support the resolution.

A spokesperson for U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration said “diplomacy – not an international judicial process – is the most effective path forward.”

Vulnerable countries like Bangladesh are applauding the move.

The country’s foreign secretary said the resolution’s passage was a ‘defining moment’ that could help bridge the gap between promised climate financing and what is being delivered.

“We hope this resolution and the consequent advisory opinion will provide a better understanding of the legal implications of climate change under international law and the rights of present and future generations to be protected from climate change.”

The resulting advisory opinion could be a vital input to the burgeoning climate-driven lawsuits around the world.

There are upwards of 2,000 cases pending worldwide.

Other international courts and tribunals are also being asked to clarify and define the law around climate obligations, including the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. #trending #featured

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Boston Dynamics’ electric marvel or robot contortionist?



Boston Dynamics has recently unveiled its latest creation, the electric Atlas robot, boasting enhanced agility and strength.

However, with its uncanny ability to contort and rise from the ground with an almost eerie grace, one might wonder if we’re witnessing the birth of the world’s first robot contortionist.

As this technological marvel flaunts its capabilities, one can’t help but ponder if we’re on the brink of a future where household chores will be effortlessly handled by robots moving like a fusion of ballet dancers and horror movie monsters.

With its cadaver-like movements and illuminated head, it’s hard not to speculate whether Atlas is destined to revolutionise robotics or simply rehearsing for a techno-horror rendition of The Nutcracker. As Boston Dynamics continues to push the boundaries of robotics, the line between science fiction and reality becomes increasingly blurred.

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The Coffee confusion causing health concerns



As the morning sun peeks through the curtains, many reach for that familiar brew, kickstarting their day with a comforting cup of coffee.

It’s a ritual ingrained in cultures worldwide, offering a jolt of energy to combat the grogginess of dawn.

But when is the optimal time for that caffeine fix? According to registered dietitian Anthony DiMarino, RD, LD, the answer isn’t crystal clear.

Some experts suggest delaying that first sip until mid-morning or later. However, DiMarino reassures coffee lovers that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this dilemma.

Meanwhile, the science behind coffee production unveils fascinating insights into its instant variant. Whether produced through freeze-drying or spray-drying methods, instant coffee offers convenience without sacrificing flavor.

Yet, beyond convenience, recent studies delve deeper into coffee’s impact on our bodies. Research exploring the acute effects of decaffeinated versus caffeinated coffee reveals intriguing findings on reaction time, mood, and skeletal muscle strength.

Moreover, investigations into the gut microbiome shed light on coffee’s influence on liver cirrhosis patients. A study analyzing the duodenal microbiome in this population found correlations between coffee consumption and microbial richness and evenness.

So, as you sip your coffee and ponder the day ahead, consider not just the flavour in your cup but also the subtle impacts it may have on your body and mind.

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Laughing in limbo Canadian Just for Laughs cancelled



The renowned Montreal-based Just for Laughs comedy festival, one of the world’s largest international comedy events, will not grace the calendar in 2024.

The Canadian company overseeing the festival announced its cancellation this year, citing efforts to steer clear of bankruptcy. Having marked its 40th anniversary in 2023, Just For Laughs has long been a beloved fixture on the city’s cultural landscape.

With its absence raising questions about which event will inherit the title of the biggest comedy festival, speculation arises whether Melbourne will seize the mantle, given its burgeoning comedy scene and the success of its own Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

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