September 20, 2018

Colin Kaepernick will receive the W.E.B. Du Bois medal from Harvard, the university's highest honor in African and African American studies, this October.

Harvard's Hutchins Center for African and African American Studies announced this year's recipients of the award, given to people "in recognition of their contributions to African and African American culture and the life of the mind," on Thursday. A total of eight people are receiving the medal this year, including comedian Dave Chapelle and artist Kehinde Wiley, who painted former President Barack Obama's official portrait.

Previous winners of the medal, named in honor of the NAACP founder and first African American to earn a Harvard doctorate, include Maya Angelou and Muhammad Ali. Kaepernick started a national conversation in 2016 after he began kneeling during the national anthem ahead of football games. A free agent who is not playing on any team, he's now the face of the latest Nike campaign, appearing in ads with the words, "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything." Catherine Garcia

3:04 p.m.

Sixteen adolescents, including Swedish teen Greta Thunberg, are suing five countries for violating their rights as children by not taking sufficient measures against climate change. But they don't want money, they want action.

The lawsuit was announced Monday shortly after Thunberg's emotional speech in front of the United Nations General Assembly. The five countries named are Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey — the children filing the suit, all under 18, are from 12 different countries, including four of the five named in the suit, reports Gizmodo.

They claim the countries did not uphold the 30-year-old U.N. treaty Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is the most widely ratified in history, and lays out rights to life, health, and peace.

The plaintiffs expressed how climate change is negatively impacting them, ranging from worsening asthma to having to leave their homes for fear of running out of water — showing that pollution of the environment has no borders.

The complaint is to be heard by a committee of children's rights experts, and, if successful, the U.N. will classify the climate crisis as a children's rights crisis, according to Gizmodo. Then the five countries must exit the convention or address climate change.

Two of the largest carbon dioxide emitters, China and the United States, are not named, as they did not ratify the part of the treaty that allows children to file a suit against the countries signed onto the protocol. Read more at Gizmodo. Taylor Watson

2:59 p.m.

Stanford University's attempts to compensate Chanel Miller for her sexual assault on campus severely missed the mark.

For instance, the university told Miller it would put up a memorial garden and a plaque near where Brock Turner raped her on campus in 2015. But when she selected quotes from her viral impact statement to put on it, the university turned them all down, NPR reports from a preview of Miller's memoir Know My Name.

Before revealing her name in a 60 Minutes interview earlier this month, Miller was known as "Emily Doe" — an anonymous sexual assault victim. Turner ended up serving just three months of a six-month sentence, but Miller's impact statement was published and ensured his name wasn't forgotten.

But it seems that Turner wasn't the only one trying to preserve his reputation. Stanford, Miller writes, didn't seem to care so much about her attack once it realized she wasn't a student there. It offered her money for therapy in an attempt to stop her from suing the school, making her realize she was "visible not as a person, but a legal threat, a grave liability," she writes. And when Miller offered Stanford pieces of her statement to put on a plaque near where the attack happened, it turned her down in hopes she would give it "something reassuring and inane, something that implied all was forgiven," NPR writes. Miller and Stanford negotiated for a while, but Miller eventually turned the school down.

Read more from Miller's book at NPR, or preorder it here. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:38 p.m.

Europe's attempts to ease the tensions between the United States and Iran have gotten a little more challenging, The New York Times reports.

At this time last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had mostly won over European support, as leaders hoped to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal. Indeed, President Trump received most of the blame for its fragile state after he pulled the U.S. out of the pact. Now, as the world's leader gather in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, there's reportedly a growing amount of European skepticism when it comes to Iran, thanks largely to attacks on two major Saudi Arabian oil facilities earlier this month. Washington and Riyadh are convinced Tehran was behind the strikes, despite denials from Zarif and his fellow leaders.

European leaders have been less vocal about the attacks than Washington, but French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters Sunday that the strikes were a "game changer," placing French President Emmanuel Macron's once-promising mediation efforts in jeopardy. Now France's priorities have reportedly shifted from renegotiating the nuclear deal to preventing a military conflict between Tehran and Washington. "The priority subject is whether we can restart a de-escalation path with the different actors," Le Drian said.

Ellie Geranmayeh, the deputy head of Middle East and North Africa studies for the European Council on Foreign Relations, said Iran has received "a real wake-up call that what they are able to get from Europeans is no more than some limited political cover for support of the nuclear deal." Read more at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

1:43 p.m.

The look Greta Thunberg just gave President Trump might be more heated than our Earth's warming atmosphere.

The 16-year-old climate activist has become the de facto leader of worldwide protests against climate change action, helming a massive march in New York City on Friday and inspiring hundreds more happening simultaneously around the world. Her activism continued as she addressed the United Nations Climate Summit on Monday — and translated into a very fierce glare as Trump walked into the summit for a few minutes.

After Thunberg's brutal speech to the gathered world leaders, she and 15 other children filed a complaint with the UN alleging five of the world's top carbon producers are violating human rights by not doing enough to curb climate change. They want the five countries — Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Brazil, and Turkey — to reduce their emissions and get on track immediately. Kathryn Krawczyk

1:11 p.m.

Drone footage posted anonymously on YouTube last week appears to shed some light on how China is treating its ethnic minority prisoners, The Guardian reports.

The video reportedly shows Uighur or other ethnic and religious minorities wearing blue and yellow uniforms with clean shaven heads, blindfolds, and handcuffs sitting on the ground before being led away by police. The video has not been officially verified, but Nathan Ruser, a researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's international cyber policy center, reportedly used landmarks and the position of the sun to determine its legitimacy. He told The Guardian he believes it was likely shot at a train station in the Xinjiang province, where there is a large population of Uighurs, in August 2018. Ruser added that the prisoners were possibly being transferred to a region where the crackdown against the Uighurs, who are a Muslim minority, has been particularly strong.

In total, China has reportedly placed as many as two million Uighurs in "re-education" camps, citing "extremist behavior" as their reason for doing so. While Chinese authorities have been taking diplomats and even some journalists on tours of Xinjiang to showcase what they say is an exemplary anti-terrorism campaign, Ruser noted that the drone footage "counters the propaganda offensive China is trying to show."

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized China for its treatment of Uighurs and other minority groups Sunday. "I want to make clear that China's repressive campaign in Xinjiang is not about terrorism," he said. "It's about China's attempt to erase its own citizens." Read more at The Guardian. Tim O'Donnell

12:17 p.m.

After traveling to the U.S. via an emissions-free yacht and leading Friday's global climate strike from New York City, 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the United Nations General Assembly Monday morning.

Thunberg told leaders, "We'll be watching you," during her emotional plea for action.

"I shouldn't be up here, I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you," she said. "You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, yet I'm one of the lucky ones. People are suffering, people are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing."

Thunberg noted the science has been clear for 30 years, yet the politics and solutions needed are nowhere in sight. The numbers are uncomfortable, she says, and leaders are "still not mature enough to tell it like it is."

"You are failing us," she said. "But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you, and if you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you.

She told leaders they say they understand the urgency, but she doesn't want to believe them. "If you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil," she said, "and that I refuse to believe."

Watch part of her speech below, via CBS News. Taylor Watson

12:04 p.m.

President Trump made a surprise appearance at the United Nations climate summit Monday, but he didn't stick around for long.

Trump was expected to skip the gathering altogether — sure, he was scheduled to speak at a separate event focused on religious freedom and religious persecution, but the president has also never really been in tune with other countries when it comes to climate issues. That said, he showed up, listened to speeches from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (for whom he reportedly clapped), and then left. It all took about 10 minutes.

Though Trump's appearance was brief, it didn't go unnoticed. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly thanked Trump for stopping by, and made what could be considered a veiled challenge to the commander-in-chief. "Hopefully our conversations here today will be helpful to you as you make climate policy," Bloomberg said. The quip reportedly drew a round of applause.

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), who hopes to challenge Trump as the next Democratic presidential candidate, was quick to weigh in on Trump's appearance. He wasn't all that impressed. Tim O'Donnell

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