In the press

Koalas could go extinct in Australian state of NSW 'before 2050'


IN THE PAPERS - Tuesday, June 30: We look at a harrowing Associated Press report which says Chinese authorities are forcibly imposing birth control on Muslim Uighurs. In France, Emmanuel Macron tries to capitalise on the green wave that swept environmental parties into power in several cities after the weekend’s local elections. A new report warns that koalas could become extinct in the Australian state of NSW before 2050. Finally, Mercedes Benz reveals a new Formula One car kit inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement.


 Business Insider has reported on an AP investigation which found that Chinese authorities are imposing birth controls on its Uighur minorities. Hundreds of thousands of Uighur women have had IUD devices, routine pregnancy testing and even abortions and sterilisations forced upon them to prevent the Muslim minority from reproducing. China has led brutal crackdowns on its Muslim minorities, the Rohingya and Uighurs, with at least a million of the latter imprisoned since 2016. Held in what’s ostensibly concentration camps, the Uighurs are allegedly forced to sing propaganda songs, subjected to medical experiments and there are even claims of organ harvesting, which China has denied.

In France, Liberation is looking at Emmanuel Macron’s announcement yesterday that he plans to adopt near all the measures put forward by a citizen’s climate convention. It comes after historic victories by environmental parties in French local elections on the weekend, a clear sign that French voters want more sustainable solutions. The paper’s headline is a play on words of the French title of Robert Zemeckis’s 1984 film Romancing the Stone. Here they are not in the Colombian jungles but the gardens of the Champs Elysées palace. While Macron’s adopting most of the proposals from the citizen’s convention, he has nixed the more contentious ideas like a dividends tax to finance ecological politics and lowering the speed limit on French highways. The paper accuses him of only paying lip service to green politics, saying the resignation of his environmental minister and renowned ecologist Nicolas Hulot in 2018 showed that being green was just a layer of paint for the French president.

An Australian parliamentary report has warned that koalas could become extinct before 2050 in NSW. The Sydney Morning Herald writes that the year-long investigation counted populations of 36,000 koalas but it doesn’t take into account the devastating bushfire season in Australia earlier this year which decimated koala populations. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that habitat loss is largely to blame, yet logging and deforestation in the state continues. Koalas need fertile soils, moderate temperatures and forests…but climate change has altered that habitat and made it harder to find their only source of sustenance, eucalyptus leaves.

Meanwhile, car racing has hitched a ride with the Black Lives Matter movement after Mercedes Benz announced its German Formula One team will ditch its silver kits for black kits to reflect anti-racism calls sparked by George Floyd’s death. The season, which was delayed due to the pandemic, kicks off in Austria this week without a crowd. Mercedes’ star driver Lewis Hamilton, who is of course black, has hailed the changes. ESPN reports the company has vowed to address diversity issues admitting that only three percent of its workforce are ethnic and just 12 percent are women. An opportunistic, but well-intentioned move, from the carmaker.

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