On the ground, climate change is hitting us where it counts: the stomach — not to mention the forests, plants and animals. A new United Nations scientific report examines how global warming and land interact in a vicious cycle. Human-caused climate change is dramatically degrading the land, while the way people use the land is making global warming worse. Thursday’s science-laden report says the combination is already making food more expensive, scarcer and even less nutritious. “The cycle is accelerating,” said NASA climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig, a report co-author. “The threat of climate change affecting people’s food on their dinner table is increasing.” But if people change the way they eat, grow food and manage forests, it could help save the planet from a far warmer future, scientists said Earth’s landmasses, which are only 30% of the globe, are warming twice as fast as the planet as a whole. While heat-trapping gases are causing problems in the atmosphere, the land has been less talked about as part of climate change. A special report, written by more than 100 scientists and unanimously approved by diplomats from nations around the world at a meeting in Geneva, proposed possible fixes and made more dire warnings. “The way we use land is both part of the problem and also part of the solution,” said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a French climate scientist who co-chairs one of the panel’s working groups. “Sustainable land management can help secure a future that is comfortable.” Scientists in Thursday’s press conference emphasized both the seriousness of the problem and the need to make societal changes soon. “We don’t want a message of despair,” said science panel official Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial College London. “We want to get across the message that every action makes a difference” The report said climate change already has worsened land degradation, caused deserts to grow, permafrost to thaw and made forests more vulnerable to drought, fire, pests and disease. That’s happened even as much of the globe has gotten greener because of extra carbon dioxide in the air. Climate change has also added to other forces that have reduced the number of species on Earth. “Climate change is really slamming the land,” said World Resources Institute researcher Kelly Levin, who wasn’t part of the study but praised it. And the future could be worse. “The stability of food supply is projected to decrease as the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events that disrupt food chains increases,” the report said. In the worst-case scenario, food security problems change from moderate to high risk with just a few more tenths of a degree of warming from now. They go from high to “very high” risk with just another 1.8 degrees (1 degree Celsius) of warming from now. Scientists had long thought one of the few benefits of higher levels of carbon dioxide, the major heat-trapping gas, was that it made plants grow more and the world greener, Rosenzweig said. But numerous studies show that the high levels of carbon dioxide reduce protein and nutrients in many crops. For example, high levels of carbon in the air in experiments show wheat has 6 to 13% less protein, 4 to 7% less zinc and 5 to 8% less iron, she said. But better farming practices — such as no-till agricultural and better targeted fertilizer application — have the potential to fight global warming too, reducing carbon pollution up to 18% of current emissions levels by 2050, the report said. If people change their diets, reducing red meat and increasing plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and seeds, the world can save as much as another 15% of current emissions by mid-century. It would also make people more healthy, Rosenzweig said. The science panel said they aren’t telling people what to eat because that’s a personal choice. Still, Hans-Otto Portner, a panel leader from Germany who said he lost weight and felt better after reducing his meat consumption, told a reporter that if she ate less ribs and more vegetables “that’s a good decision and you will help the planet reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Reducing food waste can fight climate change even more. The report said that between 2010 and 2016 global food waste accounted for 8 to 10% of heat-trapping emissions. “Currently 25-30% of total food produced is lost or wasted,” the report said. Fixing that would free up millions of square miles of land. With just another 0.9 degrees of warming (0.5 degrees Celsius), which could happen in the next 10 to 30 years, the risk of unstable food supplies, wildfire damage, thawing permafrost and water shortages in dry areas “are projected to be high,” the report said. At another 1.8 degrees of warming from now (1 degree Celsius), which could happen in about 50 years, it said those risks “are projected to be very high.” Most scenarios predict the world’s tropical regions will have “unprecedented climatic conditions by the mid to late 20th century,” the report noted. Agriculture and forestry together account for about 23% of the heat-trapping gases that are warming the Earth, slightly less than from cars, trucks, boats and planes. Add in transporting food, energy costs, packaging and that grows to 37%, the report said. But the land is also a great carbon “sink,” which sucks heat-trapping gases out of the air. From about 2007 to 2016, agriculture and forestry every year put 5.7 billion tons (5.2 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide into the air, but pulled 12.3 billion tons (11.2 billion metric tons) of it out. “This additional gift from nature is limited. It’s not going to continue forever,” said study co-author Luis Verchot , a scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia. “If we continue to degrade ecosystems, if we continue to convert natural ecosystems, we continue to deforest and we continued to destroy our soils, we’re going to lose this natural subsidy.” Overall land emissions are increasing, especially because of cutting down forests in the Amazon in places such as Brazil, Colombia and Peru, Verchot said. Recent forest management changes in Brazil “contradicts all the messages that are coming out of the report,” Portner said. Stanford University environmental sciences chief Chris Field, who wasn’t part of the report, said the bottom line is “we ought to recognize that we have profound limits on the amount of land available and we have to be careful about how we utilize it.”

Authorities in Gibraltar said they intercepted Thursday a super tanker believed to be breaching European Union sanctions by carrying a shipment of Iranian crude oil to war-ravaged Syria, while a senior Spanish official said the operation was requested by the United States. Gibraltar port and law enforcement agencies, assisted by Britain's Royal Marines, boarded the Grace 1 early Thursday, authorities on the British overseas territory at the tip of Spain said in a statement. It added that the vessel was believed to be headed to the Baniyas Refinery in Syria, which is a government-owned facility under the control of Syrian President Bashar Assad and subject to the EU's Syrian Sanctions Regime. The EU, and others, has imposed sanctions on Assad's government over its continued crackdown against civilians. They currently target 270 people and 70 entities. Spain's caretaker foreign minister said the tanker was stopped by British authorities after a request from the United States. Josep Borrell told reporters in Madrid that Spain is assessing the implications of the operation because the detention took place in waters it considers its own. Britain insists Gibraltar is part of the United Kingdom but Spain argues that it is not, and the tanker operation risks offending the Spanish. "We're looking into how this (operation) affects our sovereignty," said Borrell, who was nominated earlier this week to become the EU's foreign policy chief. The Spanish claim that the U.S. requested the operation switched attention to whether the tanker was carrying Iranian crude. The Gibraltar authorities didn't confirm the origin of the ship's cargo but Lloyd's List, a publication specialized in maritime affairs, reported this week that the Panama-flagged large carrier was laden with Iranian oil. Experts were said to have concluded that it carried oil from Iran because the tanker wasn't sending geographic information while in Iranian waters. According to a U.N. list, the ship is owned by the Singapore-based Grace Tankers Ltd. According to the data firm Refinitv, the vessel likely carried just over 2 million barrels of Iranian crude oil. Tracking data showed that the tanker made a slow trip around the southern tip of Africa before reaching the Mediterranean. The tanker's detention comes at a particularly sensitive time as tensions between the U.S. and Iran grow over the unraveling of a 2015 nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump withdrew from last year. Trump has also slapped sanctions onto Iran and recently approved the passage of a carrier group, bombers and fighter jets to the Persian Gulf. In recent days, Iran has broken through the limit the deal put on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium and plans on Sunday to boost its enrichment. Meanwhile, oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz have been targeted in mysterious attacks as Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen launch bomb-laden drones into Saudi Arabia. The U.S. has rushed thousands of additional troops, an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and F-22 fighters to the region, raising fears of a miscalculation sparking a wider conflict. Last month Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone, further stoking those fears. Iran's intelligence minister said Thursday that any negotiations with the U.S. would have to be approved by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and would require the lifting of U.S. sanctions. Khamenei has until now ruled out talks with the U.S., saying that Washington cannot be trusted. On Thursday, the official IRNA news agency quoted Information Minister Mahmoud Alavi as saying "if the supreme leader permits, negotiations between Iran and the United States will be held." He added, however, that Tehran would not negotiate under pressure. There was no immediate reaction to the tanker's detention from Syria, which has suffered severe fuel shortages as a result of the civil war and Western sanctions that have crippled the country's oil industry, once the source of 20 percent of government revenues. Iran, which has provided vital military support to Assad, extended a $3 billion credit line for oil supplies beginning in 2013 but the Iranian aid dwindled as Washington restored tough sanctions. In November, the U.S. Treasury Department added a network of Russian and Iranian companies to its blacklist for shipping oil to Syria and warned of "significant risks" for those violating the sanctions. Fabian Picardo, Chief Minister of Gibraltar, which has in the past been a transit port for energy shipments without known buyers, said he has informed the EU about developments. In a statement, the British government welcomed the "firm action" by authorities in Gibraltar.


People stand by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019.  (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Global stock markets were back in positive territory Wednesday as investors looked ahead to a speech by the Federal Reserve chairman for signs of possible plans for more U.S. interest rate cuts. Market benchmarks in London and Frankfurt rose in early trading. On Wall Street, the futures for the S&P 500 index rose 0.7% to 2,918 and futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.6% to 26,085. After a three-day run of gains, U.S. stocks fell Tuesday after a slide in bond yields and a mixed batch of corporate earnings. Financial sector stocks led the declines. Investors are now looking ahead to the Fed's Wednesday release of notes from its policymaking meeting last month and a speech Friday by Chairman Jerome Powell. Markets have "entered a holding pattern" ahead of Powell's afternoon speech at an annual gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a report. Investors expect Powell to signal the Fed "is about to embark on a reinvigorated wave of easing," said Halley. However, he said U.S. data "simply does not support the need for an aggressive easing cycle." London's FTSE 100 rose 1.1% in midday trading to 7,205 and Frankfurt's DAX also climbed 1.1% to 11,784. France's CAC-40 jumped 1.5% to 5,426. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 shed 0.3% to close at 20,618.57. Hong Kong's Hang Seng inched up 0.2% to finish at 26,270.04. The Shanghai Composite Index was little changed at 2,880.33. Seoul's Kospi gained 0.2% to 1,964.65 while Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 fell 0.9% to 6,483.30. India's Sensex lost 0.6% to 37,114.28. Taiwan was higher and New Zealand was lower, while Southeast Asian markets were mixed. The U.S. market has been volatile this month as investors try to parse conflicting signals on the U.S. economy and determine whether a recession is on the horizon. A key concern is that the U.S.-Chinese tariff war will weigh on global economic growth. ON TARGET: After mixed results from retailers on Tuesday, Target Corp. topped expectations Wednesday for its second quarter as it pushes faster delivery and invests heavily in new private label brands. Shares in the retailer jumped 15% in premarket trading. ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 63 cents to $56.76 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed 1 cent on Tuesday to close at $56.13. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 96 cents to $60.99 per barrel in London. The contract advanced 27 cents the previous session to $60.03. CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 106.45 yen from Tuesday's 106.22. The euro inched up to $1.1105.

A woman walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019.  (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Global shares were mostly higher Tuesday after Wall Street rallied on the U.S. decision to give Chinese telecom giant Huawei another 90 days to buy equipment from American suppliers. That decision appeared to inspire a buying mood among investors eager for any signs of progress in the trade war between the U.S. and China. France's CAC 40 added nearly 0.2% in early trading to 5,380.18, while Germany's DAX inched up nearly 0.1% to 11,723.98. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.2% to 7,205.60. U.S. shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures edging up 0.1% to 26,143. S&P 500 futures were also up 0.1% at 2,926.50. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.6% to finish at 20,677.22. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 1.2% to 6,545.00. South Korea's Kospi rose 1.1% to 1,960.25, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.2% to 26,231.54. The Shanghai Composite was down 0.1% at 2,880.00. Recently, investors have been trying to determine whether a recession is on the horizon in the U.S. A key concern is that the escalating and costly trade conflict between the world's two biggest economies will hamper growth around the globe. Earlier this month, Trump announced plans to extend tariffs across virtually all Chinese imports, many of them consumer products that were exempt from earlier rounds of tariffs. The tariffs have been delayed, but ultimately will raise costs for U.S. companies bringing goods in from China. Huawei has become part of the trade war, with the White House showing a willingness to use sanctions against the company as a bargaining chip. The U.S. government blacklisted Huawei in May, deeming it a national security risk, meaning U.S. companies aren't allowed to sell the company technology without government approval. "While it is not unexpected, the extension for the easing of Huawei sanctions had added to the relief for markets at the start of the week," said Jingyi Pan, market strategist for IG in Singapore. ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil rose 14 cents to $56.28 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 10 cents to $59.84 a barrel. CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 106.43 yen from 106.36 yen on Monday. The euro weakened to $1.1074 from $1.1104.


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AConnecticut-basedJamaican womanwho United States federal prosecutors say helped arrange 28 sham marriages to obtain immigration benefits for non-US citizens has pleaded guilty. The Connecticut Post reportsthat 35-year-old Jodian Stephenson, of Bridgeport,Connecticutpleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit immigration marriage fraud in federal court in New Haven Monday. Prosecutors say one of the sham marriages was between Stephenson and a UScitizen. Stephenson is from Jamaica. Officials say she introduced the couples, organised the marriage celebration and ceremony and coached them on how to make their relationship and marriage appear real. She would charge up to US$20,000 to fill out immigration paperwork and complete the process. Stephenson faces up to five years in prison.

In what is being reported as another case of domestic violence, a woman was stabbed to death and her house set ablazein Portland, Jamaica on Tuesday. The deceased woman has been identified as50-year-old Maureen Johnson ofOlivere housing scheme,Buff Bay, Portland. According to police reports, Johnson and her common-law husband had a dispute at their home about 10:00 pm and, during the altercation, the man allegedly stabbed her several times before setting the house on fire and fleeing the scene. Johnson's charred remains were later found during cooling down operations after a unit from the Buff Bay fire station responded to the fire. Up to the time of publication, the police saidthey were still searching for the woman's common-law husband for questioning. The incident comes after another alleged domestic killing last Saturday in which 65-year-oldPamela Manning was fatally stabbed, allegedly by her husband, during a dispute between the couple in the Cumberland community in Portmore, St Catherine. Her husband, 62-year-old retired police inspector Paddon Manning was charged on Tuesday for the murder. Last month, in Portland, Rohan Martin, an undertaker of Guy's Hill, St Catherine, allegedly killed his girlfriend,29-year-old Latoya Hill, otherwise called Trish, during a dispute at their home in David Lane in the parish. Investigators believed her death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head.


West Indies' Miguel Cummins.

West Indies will be without all-rounder Keemo Paul for the first Test against India, with Miguel Cummins called up as his replacement. Paul has been ruled out with an injury to his left ankleand the 21-year-oldwill remain in Antigua to continue his rehabilitation. Experienced Cummins, who made his Test debut in a series against India three years ago, taking a career-best 6-48 in the second innings of the second match, features in the 13-man squadin Paul's absence. "With Keemo ruled out for this match, it’s good to have someone with Miguel's quality back in the squad, as he brings experience to the team," Windies interim head coach Floyd Reifer said. "Watching him in the last ATeam series against India Aand the training sessions his lengths have improved. He's a very hard worker and a wicket-taker. I'm sure, if given the opportunity to play, he will make a valuable contribution in our bid to win this series." The Windies have not won a Test series against India since 2002 and are winless in the past 21 Tests between the teams. India head into the two-match series, which begins on Thursday at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua, having won the three Twenty20s and two ODIs throughout their tour so far.

PSG fans display an anti-Neymar banner.

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) have been fined €2,000 after their fans aimed an offensive banner at Neymar during their Ligue 1 win over Nimes. Neymar, 27, was targeted by fans during the 3-0 victory at Parc des Princes on August 11 amid growing speculation he wants to leave PSG. One banner urged the Brazil forward to leave the Ligue 1 champions, while another expressed dissatisfaction with his behaviour. The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) Disciplinary Committee announced sanctions on Wednesday, handing PSG a fine. "Behaviour of the supporters of Paris Saint-Germain: use of pyrotechnic devices and deployment of an offensive banner," part of a statement read. "€2,000 fine for Paris Saint-Germain." Neymar is yet to play for PSG this season amid reports he will return to Barcelona or join LaLiga giants Real Madrid. The saga is seemingly no closer to ending despite the transfer window closing on September 2. Neymar has scored 51 goals in 58 games since joining PSG in a world-record €222million move two years ago.


resident Donald Trump speaks with reporters before departing on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Washington.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

King of Israel? The second coming? The chosen one? President Donald Trump is known to have a healthy ego. But a string of comments Wednesday went to a higher level. First, Trump thanked conservative radio host and supporter Wayne Allyn Root for his praise. In a tweet, Trump quoted Root calling the president "the best president for Israel in the history of the world" and claiming Jewish people in Israel love Trump "like he's the King of Israel. They love him like he's the second coming of God." The messianic imagery may have stuck in Trump's head. Later in the day, as the president was defending his trade war with China, he cast himself as a reluctant warrior. Somebody had to do it and he was the one, he told reporters. "I am the chosen one," he said, turning and looking up to the sky. "Somebody had to do it."

A driver jumped out of a window in his minibus after the vehicle caught fire at a petrol station in southern China's Chongqing on August 20. The CCTV video shows a ball of fire suddenly bursting from the bottom of the minibus and quickly spreading the vehicle's interior. The driver can be seen jumping out of the minibus through the window immediately to escape before several of the staff at the petrol station extinguished the fire. The minibus driver named Gong just finished refuelling and was about to leave when the incident happened. Gong said the oil pipe in his vehicle was once broken and caused the petrol leak, but he did not repair it properly. The fire was confirmed to be caused by the petrol leak.