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The #MeToo proponent pulled out of the Democratic race over low polling, funds

Kirsten Gillibrand JEFF KOWALSKY

Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out of the presidential race on Wednesday, abruptly ending a campaign that drew on her strong #MeToo credentials and looked formidable but instead collapsed amid surprisingly low polling and major fundraising struggles.

“I know this isn’t the result that we wanted,” the 52-year-old New York Senator said in an online video, in which she did not endorse any other 2020 Democratic White House hopeful. “But it’s important to know when it’s not your time.”

The decision came as Ms. Gillibrand failed to qualify for a debate coming next month in Houston by not hitting 2% in at least four approved public opinion polls while securing 1,30,000 unique donors despite spending millions on online and TV ads to woo people contributing as little as $1. That proved especially embarrassing since candidates who began the race with far lower national profiles, including businessman Andrew Yang, made it.

On the eve of Wednesday’s qualifying deadline, Ms. Gillibrand sat down with her family and decided that if a pair of polls set to be released the following morning didn’t help her meet the polling threshold, she’d drop out. Both ultimately showed her at 0%.

To get to the U.S. House, Ms. Gillibrand had topped an incumbent Republican in a conservative part of upstate New York in 2007, and she was appointed to the Senate two years later, filling the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton.

She later retained the seat during a 2010 special election, as well as in 2012 and 2018.

Vocal in the Senate on curbing sexual harassment and military sexual assault, and promoting equal pay for women and family leave, Ms. Gillibrand made those and her staunch defence of abortion rights the core of her presidential bid.

She stood out in the packed Democratic presidential field by becoming the first to declare she’d only appoint judges to the Supreme Court who consider the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalising abortion nationwide settled law, though most of her competitors quickly followed suit.

Draft report says rising global ocean waterline could displace 250 million people by year 2100

Storm is brewing: Ice sheets floating in the Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland.Getty Images/FileSean Gallup

The same oceans that nourished human evolution are poised to unleash misery on a global scale unless the carbon pollution destabilising Earth’s marine environment is brought to heel, warns a draft UN report obtained by AFP.

Destructive changes already set in motion could see a steady decline in fish stocks, a hundred-fold or more increase in the damages caused by superstorms, and hundreds of millions of people displaced by rising seas, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “special report” on oceans and Earth's frozen zones, known as the cryosphere. As the 21st century unfolds, melting glaciers will first give too much and then too little to billions who depend on them for fresh water, it finds.

Without deep cuts to manmade emissions, at least 30% of the northern hemisphere’s surface permafrost could melt by century’s end, unleashing billions of tonnes of carbon and accelerating global warming even more.

The 900-page scientific assessment is the fourth such tome from the UN in less than a year, with others focused on a 1.5-Celsius cap on global warming, the state of biodiversity, and how to manage forests and the global food system.

All four conclude that humanity must overhaul the way it produces and consumes almost everything to avoid the worst ravages of climate change and environmental degradation.

Governments meet in Monaco next month to vet the new report’s official summary. The final advice to policymakers will be released on September 25.

Extreme events

By 2050, many low-lying megacities and small island nations will experience “extreme sea level events” every year, the report concludes.

Even if the world manages to cap global warming at two degrees Celsius, the global ocean waterline will rise enough to displace more 250 million people.

The report indicated this could happen as soon as 2100, though some experts think it is more likely to happen on a longer timescale.

We’re always going to have a presence, says President Trump

Donald Trump NICHOLAS KAMM

President Donald Trump on Thursday said U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan will drop to 8,600 if a deal is reached with the Taliban and that a permanent presence will remain.

“We’re going down to 8,600 and then we make a determination from there,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with Fox News radio. “We’re always going to have a presence.”

Mr. Trump also said that if another attack on the U.S. originated from Afghanistan “we would come back with a force like... never before.”

U.S. troops were first sent to Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil carried out by al-Qaeda, which was sheltered by the former Taliban regime.

Washington now wants to end its military involvement and has been talking to the Taliban since at least 2018. Mr. Trump says that troops will only be reduced when the Taliban gives a guarantee that its territory will not be used by al-Qaeda or other international militant groups.

‘High intelligence’

Mr. Trump underlined that there was to be no complete withdrawal, keeping a force that would provide “high intelligence.” “You have to keep a presence,” he said.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who was confirmed as the Pentagon chief a month ago, told reporters that talks with the Taliban in Qatar must guarantee that Afghanistan “is no longer a safe haven for terrorists to attack the U.S.”

Protests are planned across Britain tomorrow

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament just weeks before Britain’s EU departure date faced legal challenges on Thursday.

Mr. Johnson announced the surprise decision on Wednesday to dismiss Parliament next month for nearly five weeks, claiming his new government needed to start afresh in order to pursue a “bold and ambitious” post-Brexit domestic agenda.

But the move ahead of the October 31 Brexit date sent shockwaves through the British political system.

Mr. Johnson’s opponents labelled the suspension of Parliament a “coup” and a “constitutional outrage”.

Main opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is mulling a no-confidence vote against Mr. Johnson’s Conservative government, which commands a majority of just one seat.

It prompted immediate court bids in London, Edinburgh and Belfast to halt the process.

A ruling is expected in the Edinburgh case on Friday.

Gina Miller, a businesswoman and leading anti-Brexit campaigner, has applied for an urgent judicial review in London challenging “the effect and the intention” of the suspension.

In Scotland’s highest civil court, 75 MPs are seeking an interim interdict to halt Mr. Johnson move.

Meanwhile, campaigner Raymond McCord launched a legal bid in Belfast to block Mr. Johnson’s move, with a hearing set for Friday.

An online petition seeking to block the decision unless Brexit is delayed or cancelled had garnered around 1.5 million signatures on Thursday.

Mass protests are planned across Britain on Saturday.

Rishaba Deva was an amsa avatara of Vishnu, who came to the earth to teach moksha dharma, said P.T. Seshadri in a discourse. Nine of his sons were yogiswaras. They could go to whichever world they pleased, whenever they wanted to. That meant they could travel without any hurdle to Deva loka, siddha loka, saadhya loka, gandharva loka, yaksha loka, manushya loka, kinnara loka and Naga loka, and to the caves where sages were doing penance.

There was a king called Nimi, who performed a yaga. When the nava yogiswaras came near the yaga sala, everyone welcomed them. Nimi said to them, “It is a great boon to be born a human being. But life is like a flash of lightning. It is difficult to think of God in this world. Rarely does one meet jnanis like you. Tell us about moksha.”

The nava yogiswaras explained different aspects of Bhagavata dharma to Nimi. The first yogiswara, by name Kavi spoke first. He talked about the fears we have in this world. He said, “Those who think of the Lord’s feet, will not know fear. Desiring worldly possessions makes you take the wrong path, and this makes you fearful. We should have the jnana that we should reach Him and that the way to do so is through Him. This is Bhagavata dharma. Those who know this have no sorrow. Jnanis will also think of their Acharya as God Himself. A man may see many things in his dream, but when he wakes up he finds that the reality is very different. You must think of the things of this world as things in a dream. To reach Him, think of His great deeds, sing His names, and dance thinking of Him. His devotees see water, fire, earth, stars, planets, animals, directions, trees, plants, rivers and sea as God. Such devotees develop detachment towards material possessions, and attach to His archa form.”

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