Outside Iona

Krystal Ortiz, News Editor

The 40thWorld Climate Conference declares the world in a state of ‘climate emergency.’

A report published in the journal BioScience details that the earth is facing “untold suffering” due to unsustainable human behavior. Over 11,000 scientists signed the report during the conference.Major changes that the scientists are calling for include ending the use of fossil fuels, significantly reducing meat consumption, ending deforestation and ending population growth. The scientists warn for nation leaders to achieve the goals in order to stop the crisis. “To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live,” the report states. “[This] entails major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems.” The call for major changes comes from trends deemed disturbing by the scientists, including increasing land and ocean temperatures, rising sea levels and extreme weather.

Information from The Guardian and CNET.


Trump Admin’s ‘conscience rule’ has been overturned.

The “conscience rule” is a policy giving doctors and other healthcare providers the right to refuse conducting a service on religious grounds or any other beliefs. The rule was supposed to go into effect on Nov. 22. Any hospitals, insurance companies or local governments would have lost federal funding if found violating their employees’ rights under the rule. JudgePaul A. Engelmayer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New Yorkstated that the Department of Health and Human Services did not have the authority to enforce major parts of the rule and that the agency’s “stated justification for undertaking rulemaking in the first place—a purported ‘significant increase’ in civilian complaints relating to the conscience provisions—was factually untrue.” The department based the justification on the rule on the logic that the First Amendment protects the free practice of religion.

Information from The New York Times, NPR, and CNN.


LGBTQ representation is at an all-time high.

Shows such as “Batwoman” and “Euphoria” have given a stage to LGBTQ characters. According to GLAAD, a non-governmental, media-monitoring organization founded by LGBTQ individuals in the media, the percentage of regularly seen LGBTQ characters television surpassed their goal of 10%, at 10.2%. This is up from last year, when representation of LGBTQ characters was at 8.8%.

GLAAD works towards more representation of LGBTQ individuals in the media to ensure diversity. “At a time when the cultural climate is growing increasingly divisive, increased representation of LGBTQ stories and characters on television is especially critical to advance LGBTQ acceptance,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said.

Information from AP News and The New York Times.