Sunday news round-up: January 19th-25th

An ongoing series that gathers some main headlines from the week, for people too busy to keep an eye on the news.

Top Story: Richest 1% to own more than half of everything by 2016: Oxfam has reiterated its opposition to global wealth inequality this week, blaming it for “leaving ordinary people voiceless and their interests uncared for” and releasing a report which shows frightening trends in global wealth accumulation. Among other things, Oxfam’s report details how the richest 1% of people in the world have seen their share of the world’s wealth steadily rise; from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014. If current trends continue, and they likely will, the richest 1% will own more wealth than the poorest 99% by 2016. This report comes at a time when “one in nine people do not have enough to eat and more than a billion people still live on less than $1.25 a day”, according to Oxfam executive director Winnie Byanyima.

Greens, Plaid Cymru, and SNP all to get a spot in leader debates: After a string of rulings that demoted the Green Party to “minor party” status, and an overwhelmingly negative public response to the rulings, the broadcasters have performed a U-turn and will now not only include the Green Party in some leaders debates, but also the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

Earth moves closer to a climate cliff edge: 18 leading scientific experts have published a paper in Science journal this week, warning that humans may be pushing Earth to breaking point. Using a system of nine “planetary boundaries”, the paper warns that destructive climate change becomes increasingly harder to reverse as more boundaries are crossed. Out of the 9 boundaries, 4 have already been crossed, and according to the study, if all 9 are crossed, the chances of reversing climate change become very slim. Since September 2014, the number of crossed boundaries rose from 3 to 4. You can see a full list of the planetary boundaries at the link.

Nigerian women take on Boko Haram with heavy weapons: Media outlets are reporting that women in the Borno State of Nigeria are fending off attacks from the puritanical terrorist group using automatic weapons to defend their villages, and even arresting and executing some Boko Haram members who try to flee. The women take on a no-nonsense policy towards the terrorists, dismissing interrogations as ineffective and moving straight to trial and execution. Having previously kidnapped over 200 Nigerian girls, Boko Haram again made headlines recently after they razed a village to the ground, killing over 2,000 people. Check out the link for a baddass picture of female resistance.

The Sun’s bare-breasted Page 3 here to stay: Amidst rumours that the British newspaper was going to “quietly” drop its controversial Page 3 feature this week, the feature nevertheless appeared as normal. Page 3 has received considerable criticism in the past for dressing up young, topless women in school outfits and using 16 year old models in the past. Countering the sexism, the No More Page 3 campaign has garnered support of some MPs and claims the feature promotes the idea that “whatever else a woman achieves, her primary role is to serve men sexually”. The Sun is part of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s empire, the publications of which all treat women as inferior in one form or another.

SYRIZA looks set for big win in Greek elections: Greek political party Coalition of the Radical Left (or SYRIZA) has soared in the polls in recent months, causing a massive upset to the traditional party system, and now looks set to take the reigns of power after today’s election (25th of January). SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras has been staunchly critical of how the Greek recession was handled, singling out austerity and the neoliberal economic policies spreading through Europe as the main perpetrators of plight and poverty. Although SYRIZA has been a united movement of different groups since 2004, it only became a political party in 2012.


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