March 31, 2020
NEW YORK (AP) — The mounting death toll from the virus outbreak in the United States has it poised to overtake China’s grim tally of 3,300 deaths, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying up to 1 million more healthcare workers are needed in the city. “Please come help us,” he urged. Hard-hit Italy and Spain have already overtaken China and now account for more than half of the nearly 38,000 COVID-19 deaths worldwide. But the World Health Organization warns that while attention has shifted to epicenters in Western Europe and North America, the coronavirus epidemics are far from over in Asia.
LONDON (AP) — Increasing numbers of European hospitals are buckling under the strain of treating tens of thousands of coronavirus patient. The crisis has exposed a surprising paradox: Some of the world’s best health systems are remarkably ill-equipped to handle a pandemic. Outbreak experts say Europe’s hospital-centric systems, its lack of epidemic experience and nations’ early complacency are partly to blame for the pandemic’s catastrophic tear across the continent. The World Health Organization has scolded countries for “squandering” their chances to stop COVID-19 before it gained a foothold. Italy, France and Spain are all now receiving outside emergency aid in a sharp departure from their traditional roles as donor nations.
WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the key initiatives aimed at battling climate change is on the verge of being gutted by the Trump administration. The Environmental Protection Agency says rolling back a plan for raising vehicle mileage standards will benefit the overall economy as well as make vehicles more affordable and safer. The Obama administration had set the higher mileage standards to cut back on fossil fuel emissions, which contribute to climate change. President Donald Trump has championed the rollback despite opposition from some states and automakers. The final rule for the rollback is expected to be released Tuesday. Legal challenges are likely.
BERLIN (AP) — The top United Nations climate official has chided Japan over its new plan to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Environmental campaigners say Tokyo’s new proposal shows no real ambition to increase existing efforts. All signatories of the 2015 Paris Agreement are supposed to submit a revised plan before this year’s U.N. climate meeting in November. Patricia Espinosa, who heads the Bonn-based U.N. climate agency, said Tuesday she trusted that “more ambitious targets will be set soon. According to the World Resources Institute, a Washington-based environmental think tank, Japan’s new climate plan essentially keeps the same targets set five years ago, of reducing emissions by 26% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.