More than 100 countries pledge to curb deforestation at COP26 conference

The World
Colorful trees stand near a road through the Taunus region near Frankfurt, Oct. 2, 2021. More than 100 countries are pledging to end deforestation at COP26 in Glasgow.

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More than 100 countries at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, have pledged to end deforestation in the coming decade. Experts say it’s a critical move in ending climate change, but that similar promises have been broken in the past. The pact encompasses about 85% of the world’s forests. US President Joe Biden said he would work with Congress to contribute up to $9 billion to the global effort through 2030. Other governments have committed $12 billion through 2025, with more than 30 financial institutions also vowing to stop investing in companies responsible for deforestation. Listen to the story ? by The World’s Carolyn Beeler for more on the urgent warnings and the slew of pledges on day one of COP26 and what to expect on the upcoming weeks of negotiations.

Another deadly explosion in Kabul has left at least 19 people dead and dozens of others wounded, this time at a military hospital. A Taliban official said a suicide bomber and gunmen were behind the attack. A health worker who escaped from the hospital said he heard a large blast followed by a couple of minutes of gunfire and another larger explosion 10 minutes later. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Yahoo Inc. has pulled out of China after citing increasingly challenging business and legal environments. It ended its services in the country on Monday, and is the latest American company to do so. Access to many of Yahoo’s features in China ended in 2013, and the company closed its Beijing office in 2015, eliminating about 300 jobs. It follows a similar move last month by Microsoft’s LinkedIn social network. Chinese President Xi Jinping has enacted a sweeping regulatory crackdown on the tech, education, gaming and entertainment industries in recent months.

From The World

New Merck pill could help treat COVID-19 symptoms for people without access to vaccines

Merck corporate headquarters in Kenilworth, New Jersey.
Merck corporate headquarters in Kenilworth, New Jersey, May 1, 2018.Seth Wenig/AP/File photo

A new antiviral pill to treat COVID-19 could soon be released to the world’s poorest countries. The drugmaker Merck reported in a clinical trial that the new drug cut hospitalizations and deaths in half.

Merck is granting a royalty-free license for drugmakers worldwide to produce molnupiravir, the potential antiviral, in a move aimed at helping millions of people in poorer countries get access to the potentially life-saving drug.

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Global Hit

On Saturday, singer-songwriter and poet Gil Scott-Heron was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a recipient of the Early Influence Award.

Scott-Heron referred to himself as a “bluesologist,” but to fans, he was one of the first rappers to fuse jazz with R&B and, more importantly, with his poetry. Many of Scott-Heron’s songs throughout the 1970s and ’80s addressed racial and political tensions in the US and elsewhere, with an eye on justice and equality. His message was universal. ?

In case you missed it

Listen: At COP26, world leaders warn of a climate catastrophe

Switzerland's President Guy Parmelin speaks during the opening ceremony of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, Monday Nov. 1, 2021. 
Switzerland’s President Guy Parmelin speaks during the opening ceremony of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. Andy Buchanan/AP/Pool 

The first day of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow was loaded with urgent warnings and a slew of pledges from developed countries to help mitigate the effects of climate change. Also, at least 5 million people have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. We hear from a health expert who helps contextualize this number. Plus, Ado Campeol, the so-called “father of tiramisu,” died on Saturday aged 93. Campeol was a restaurant owner in Treviso, Italy, close to Venice, and is given co-credit for inventing the dessert back in 1969. But Alda Di Pollo, his wife, originally came up with the idea.

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