BBC News. Hello, this is Jerry Smit. The latest United Nations Climate Summit has opened in Madrid with warnings that the coming year will be critical in the battle against rising temperatures. Ahead of the meeting, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the world is at the point of no return. He told the BBC the global response to climate change to date have been utterly inadequate. Matt McGrath reports.
As the diplomats begin their talks, a report from Save the Children estimates that thirty-three million people in east and southern Africa have been driven to hunger by what they term climate shocks, droughts, floods and the impacts of the strongest ever cyclone to hit the continent. To limit these consequences in the future, experts argue the world needs to set out plans for dramatic climate action during the next twelve months. This meeting in Madrid is the first step on that road.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico has defended his approach to tackling drug cartels despite an upsurge in violence that saw more than twenty people killed in a single incident on Saturday. In a speech marking his first year in office, he acknowledged that reducing crime remained his biggest challenge.
Samoa says it will shut down government offices for two days this week so public sector workers can help with a mass vaccination campaign against measles. The epidemic has already killed more than fifty people in the pacific island nation, most of them children under four. Anna Pizarro has more details.
The rate of infection is showing no sign of slowing down with two hundred new measles cases from the last twenty-four hours alone. Fifty-three people have died. Four thousand cases have been recorded since the Samoa measles epidemic began in mid-October. A compulsory vaccination scheme has so far focused on children but will now extend to everyone under sixty. So all government services and departments will close this Thursday and Friday. The Samoan Prime Minister said those that did not believe in vaccination needed to be convinced that it was the only answer to the epidemic.
At least fifteen people are feared dead in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. They were buried under a wall that collapsed after heavy downpours in the city of Coimbatore. Schools and colleges have been closed in the state capital Chennai and a number of other districts because of the torrential rain.
A sperm whale that died after getting stranded on a beach in northwest Scotland was found to have a bowl of litter weighing a hundred kilograms in its stomach. The compacted mass included items such as fishing nets, rope, bags and plastic cups that it had swallowed. Residents of the Isle of Harris who found the carcass said it highlighted the wider problem of marine pollution. BBC News.