Monday Briefing | December 14

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Picture by Wang Bo | Xinhua/Landov

Picture by Wang Bo | Xinhua/Landov

Stories to Follow

A new commitment to save the world
On Saturday, December 12, the 195 representatives at the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference came to an unprecedented agreement that will “commit nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help stave off the most drastic effects of climate change.” While the deal will not completely eliminate gas emissions, it will cut them by about half. According to President Barack Obama, this deal is “the best chance we have to save the one planet we have,” and other participating countries agree on the deal’s importance to the future of the planet. Read more: NYT and BBC

Women enter politics in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia held elections in which women could participate both as candidates and voters. The vote, held on Sunday, December 13, was the first time in Saudi Arabia’s history that women were permitted to vote, and it resulted in women winning at least 17 seats in local governments. NPR’s Rachel Martin is covering the election in the country, and she said that while some women did not believe the elections would have a big impact, “Other women told me that being allowed to run for public office and vote for the candidate of their choice may not move the needle on big women’s issues but it’s a powerful symbol – and change, they say, has to start somewhere.” Read more: The Independent and NPR

Trudeau greets the refugees
Canada welcomed its first group of resettled refugees. This was part of the country’s commitment to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of this year, and an additional 15,000 by the end of February. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in the airport to greet the incoming Syrians. “This is a wonderful night, where we get to show not just a planeload of new Canadians what Canada is all about, we get to show the world how to open our hearts and welcome in people who are fleeing extraordinarily difficult situations,” he said. Read more: Al-Jazeera and NYT

Upcoming Events

Lessons from Afar – Innovative Energy Efficiency Policies from Across the Atlantic
Monday, 14 December | 9:30 AM | Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall

Bearing Witness to War and Injustice 
Monday, 14 December | 6:00 PM | Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

In Your Spare Time

Season 2 of Serial is now available online. The second season follows Bowe Bergdahl, an American who was a prisoner of the Taliban in Afghanistan for nearly five years. This season tells his story. Download the podcast here.

JPI’s Fall 2015 is out! Congratulations to our authors and big shout out to our great team of editors. You can read it here.

This week’s Monday Briefing was brought to you by Katie Whittaker.

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