Tess Taylor is the author of the poetry collections "Work & Days," "The Forage House" and most recently, "Rift Zone" and "Last West: Roadsongs for Dorothea Lange." Views expressed in this commentary are solely hers. Read more opinion articles on CNN. (CNN) This week marks the beginning of Lent, the liturgical season of fasting and prayer in Christianity that leads up to Easter. Lent will be quiet this year, for the second year in a row now: No Mardi Gras parades , not even in New Orleans, no church pancake dinners. In my parish, there's been a deeply low-key email call for Lenten meditations, and an equally quiet list of links to Lenten virtual services we could attend. Tess Taylor For someone who loves to spend Mardi Gras circling my church rec room with a glass of wine and a plate of jambalaya, the season feels silent. It's strange to try to focus on the meaning of this time, when it's customary to give up or let go of something that matters, … [Read more...] about What our second Covid Lent reveals about sacrifice
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China’s economic recovery is notable, some analysts say, after suffering serious pandemic-driven setbacks for the majority of last year. By most accounts, China’s economic numbers at the start of its lunar new year in early February was more significant than those put out by governments in other developed countries. “China’s policy to control the pandemic was very strict. Also, the capillarity of the Communist Party made the implementation of these strict measures easier than in other parts of the world,” Lourdes Casanova, director of Cornell’s Emerging Markets Institute, told VOA. The situation has been different in many democratic countries that found it difficult to use harsh measures to control the spread of the disease and impose lockdown as a tool to enforce social distancing. China’s gross domestic product expanded by 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020. The economy grew 2.3% in 2020, according to Chinese government data. The turnaround has surprised economists because … [Read more...] about China Posts Impressive Economic Recovery, but Can Growth Continue?
The newest pledges by countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions are falling far short of what’s needed to limit global warming to what the Paris climate accord seeks, a new United Nations report finds. So the U.N.’s climate chief is telling nations to go back and try harder. Most countries — especially top carbon polluters China, United States and India — missed the Dec. 31 deadline for submitting official emission-cutting targets for November’s climate negotiations in Scotland. Friday’s report provides an incomplete snapshot of the world’s efforts: The world’s pledges so far are only enough to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions to less than 1% below 2010 levels by 2030. The world has to cut carbon pollution 45% below 2010 levels to achieve the more stringent official Paris goal of limiting future warming to another half a degree (0.3 degrees Celsius) from now, U.N. officials said. “We are very, very far from where we need to be,” U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa … [Read more...] about UN: Carbon-cutting pledges by countries nowhere near enough
Brazil marked one year since its first confirmed case of the coronavirus on Thursday — the same day it recorded a quarter of a million deaths from the disease the virus causes. The country has averaged roughly 1,000 deaths from COVID-19 daily in recent weeks — similar to the peak of the virus in the country last July, according to statistics from the country’s ministry of health. President Jair Bolsonaro, who fell ill with COVID-19 last year, has repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of the virus and has said he will not be vaccinated against it. Brazil has confirmed more than 10 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. It has the second-highest death rate in the world, following the United States. Roughly five weeks after the first shot against the virus was administered in Brazil, the country has vaccinated about 3.6% of its population, according to Our World in Data, a research … [Read more...] about On Anniversary of First Confirmed Case, Brazil Marks 250,000 COVID Deaths
ORLANDO, Florida — American Conservative Union (ACU) chairman Matt Schlapp told Breitbart News exclusively that his organization’s decision to move its landmark conservative gathering, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), to Florida this year may be a more permanent relocation after all. CPAC begins Friday in Orlando, Florida, and for the first time in the historic conference’s decades-long history, it will not be in Washington, DC, or the D.C. area. Presidents from Ronald Reagan through Donald Trump and conservative luminaries of all stripes from senators to governors to U.S. House members to cabinet members and more have graced the stages of CPAC over the decades many times, so the move — due to the coronavirus pandemic — is a big one. The fact that it may be permanent — a huge loss for the D.C. area revenue-wise as the conference regularly brings in tens of thousands of travelers for several days — is even bigger as just days from now, former President Donald … [Read more...] about Exclusive— CPAC Sunshine Edition: ACU Chair Matt Schlapp Says Mega Conservative Conference Considering Permanent Move to Florida