it's something
April 9, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden is reaching out to Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) supporters, just a little bit.

Sanders suspended his 2020 run on Wednesday, though he pledged to keep collecting delegates and fighting for his progressive platform. So in an effort to win over Sanders' backers, Biden adopted a lighter version of some of Sanders' policies Thursday, pledging to lower the age of Medicare eligibility and forgive some student debt.

In a Thursday blog post, Biden first promised he'd let Americans receive Medicare benefits once they turned 60, a small step down from the current eligibility age of 65. This "reflects the reality that, even after the current crisis ends, older Americans are likely to find it difficult to secure jobs," Biden wrote, though he was sure to point out that "those who prefer to remain on their employer plans would be permitted to do so." Sanders' health care plan, famously known as Medicare-for-all, would swap all private insurance to a universal public plan.

Biden also adopted Sanders' and Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) plans to forgive student loan debt, albeit with several restrictions. Biden would "forgive all undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from two- and four-year public colleges and universities for debt-holders earning up to $125,000," he said in the blog post. "Senator Sanders and his supporters can take pride in their work in laying the groundwork for these ideas," Biden finished in his post, though some Sanders backers weren't totally happy with Biden's proposals. Kathryn Krawczyk

May 28, 2019

It's about time for some good climate news.

About 80 countries have signaled they want to take bolder action toward curbing climate change, the United Nations announced Tuesday. These countries committed to a base level of environmental protections under the Paris climate accord, but seeing as that agreement won't prevent the worst effects of climate change, they're looking to do more, The New York Times reports.

2015's Paris accords brought hundreds of cities and countries together in a pledge to curb carbon emissions and keep global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius. It doesn't take effect until 2020, but about 80 unspecified countries are looking to up their commitment already, the U.N. said. The U.N. didn't specify just how much more climate action these countries were willing to take, but they're expected to announce their intentions at a September global summit, the Times continues.

Tuesday's announcement is good news for the planet, seeing as a two-degree temperature rise would still devastate the Earth. Then again, the world isn't even on track to meet the current Paris agreement, as the Times pointed out at the end of 2018. And of course, the U.S. — one of the biggest carbon emitters out there — backed out of the 2015 Paris accords under President Trump. So it's unclear just how much this still-unspecified U.N. announcement will do to actually save the planet from certain human-caused climate disaster. Kathryn Krawczyk

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