It could be now or never. Representatives from 195 countries are meeting in Paris to try to hammer out a global climate agreement by Friday, though there’s no guarantee that all parties can sign off on specifics in time to avert disaster. It’s not even clear that they’ll agree to emissions caps that would keep the planet from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius, since that could require humankind to remake cities and reject traditional energy technology. But without coordinated effort and sacrifice from the global community, climate change may render portions of the planet uninhabitable.
The Presidential Daily Brief
It’s not up to the voters. A team of editors at TIME decides who gets the yearly honor — but they poll their readers anyway, and they’ve received a curious response: More than 10 percent of the public votes are going to long-shot presidential candidate and dedicated socialist Bernie Sanders. In second place, ahead of Pope Francis, is teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, who drew more than 5 percent of the vote and won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, which will be awarded this week to an alliance of Tunisian civil society organizations.
It’s on the very long road to recovery. The once-88,000-strong northern town of Sinjar was besieged 16 months ago by extremists who systematically killed thousands of Yazidis. Fighting flattened one in every four homes, leaving the rest in need of repair. When Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. airstrikes, liberated the town last month, they cut off a strategic ISIS logistics route. But to rebuild, the town must now address rising tensions between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Shia-dominated Iraqi leadership while managing to keep the militants at bay.
They’ve got plenty of ammunition. After two recent mass shootings — one at a Colorado Planned Parenthood, the other at a California social services center — Congress debated, and ultimately rejected, legislation that would have restricted access to guns in the U.S. for those on the terror watch list. While many see gun control as an obvious option, others argue that merely being a person of interest shouldn’t deny one a constitutional right — while trying to redirect the focus to overhauling the U.S. mental-health system as the solution to preventing mass violence.
San Bernardino shooting being investigated as terrorism. (CNN)
OPEC opts not to reduce production, despite environmental concerns. (NYT)
India’s capital to curb pollution by restricting drivers. (Washington Post)
Woman stabbed at Art Basel Miami Beach. (Miami Herald)
Actor Robert Loggia dies at 85. (USA Today)
The beloved Buddhist monk, who fled his homeland after a Llasa uprising and subsequent Chinese crackdown in 1959, still travels extensively to support the cause of Tibet. Though the 80-year-old leader gave up the dream of Tibetan independence long ago, he strives for autonomy within China while trying to preserve the Tibetan culture from afar. But with the diaspora spreading further afield, and China vowing to find and indoctrinate the Dalai Lama’s next incarnation, many fear, in the words of his younger brother, Tenzin Choegyal, ‘‘We are finished once His Holiness is gone.”
The bad boy of British art has chosen to enliven one of the city’s least exciting boroughs with his Newport Street Gallery. The free entry may attract crowds to Vauxhall, but it’s also drawing questions about the 50-year-old’s latest artistic endeavor. Known primarily for provocation and works about death — like a formaldehyde-encased shark — the Bristol-born artist is now following longtime mentor Charles Saatchi’s example by opening his own art space. His first exhibition features another father-like figure, painter John Hoyland, prompting some to wonder if Hirst is finally growing up.
He’s not the homecoming king. After 12 years running the Big Apple, philanthropist Michael Bloomberg was running in idle. So the 73-year-old took over the helm of his $9 billion media company — and is steering it in a new direction. He’s laid off more than 80 editors, and other top talent has bailed, despite winning the company’s first Pulitzer Prize. The ex-mayor is reportedly more focused on keeping his pricey computer product, the Bloomberg Terminal, relevant even as some internal critics fear his empire is reducing itself to a “newsletter for bankers.”
For him, it wasn’t an act. P. Jay Sidney’s professional résumé is enviable, with appearances on more than 170 TV shows over 40 years. But civil rights activism is his true legacy as the small screen still struggles with diversity. Before his death in 1996, Sidney spent decades protesting the paucity of roles for Black actors, even testifying before Congress in 1962, picketing CBS and advocating boycotts of network sponsors he felt pigeonholed minorities. Sidney may not be a household name, but his commitment to principle helped set the stage for a more colorful world.
He’s used to second billing. The son of basketball legend Bill Walton was named NBA Western Conference Coach of the Month despite a 0-0 record. Luke Walton is subbing for Steve Kerr — still out following back surgery — and leading Golden State to a historic 20-0 start. While the league doesn’t grant official wins or losses to interim coaches, it couldn’t help but acknowledge the 35-year-old’s accomplishments, even if he’s overseeing the reigning champs. But don’t be surprised when other teams come knocking at his door this off-season, asterisk or not.