16-year-old Greta Thunberg has been nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace prize in recognition of her international campaign to protect the environment.
Thunberg launched the Youth Strike for climate movement in Sweden, in August, but has since inspired students worldwide to protest.
Today, on March 15, young people and environmentalists are expected to strike in 1,659 towns and 105 countries.
“We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change, it will be the cause of wars, conflict and refugees,” said Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy André Øvstegård. “Greta Thunberg has launched a mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace.”
If Thunberg wins the prize, she will be the youngest person to ever become a Nobel Laureate. Currently, Malala Yousafzai holds the title for the youngest Nobel Laureate after winning the Nobel Peace prize at age 17 in 2014.
“I am honored and very grateful for this nomination,” said Thunberg on Twitter. “We #schoolstrike for our future. And we will continue to do so for as long as it takes.”
The 16-year-old has already challenged leaders in person at the 2018 UN Climate Summit and at Davos in January. “Change is coming whether they like it or not,” she said.
Although some politicians have opposed the school strikes, many have supported them, including Germany’s Angela Merkel and Ireland’s Leo Varadkar. The mayors of Paris, Milan, Sydney, Austin, Philadelphia, Portland, Oslo, Barcelona and Montreal also support the strikes.
“It is truly inspiring to see young people, led by brilliant young women, making their voices heard and demanding urgent climate action. They are absolutely correct that our actions today will determine their futures,” said Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris and chair of the C40 group of cities. “My message to young citizens is clear: it is our responsibility as adults and political leaders to learn from you and deliver the future you want.”
The strikes have also been supported by the former head of the Anglican church Rowan Williams and the head of Amnesty International, Kumi Naidoo. “Children are often told they are ‘tomorrow’s leaders’. But if they wait until ‘tomorrow’ there may not be a future in which to lead,” said Naidoo. “Young people are putting their leaders to shame with the passion and determination they are showing to fight this crucial battle now.”
Christmas kindness and bliss immersed from 86-year-old Ken Watson. Watson bought 14 years worth of Christmas presents for his two-year-old neighbor Cadi Williams.
Watson connected with the Williams family after they moved into their first home three years ago. The Williams’ and Watson formed an instant friendship and continued to foster close relationships after Cadi came into the world.
After Watson’s recent passing, the family was left heartbroken. Then suddenly, their melancholy dissipated when 14 Christmas presents were delivered by Mr.Watson’s daughter to their home in Barry, Wales.
“He’d always told us he’d live till he was 100-years-old,” Owen Williams wrote on Twitter after the presents were delivered. “So these gifts would have taken him up to our little girl’s 16th Christmas.”
“I kept reaching into the bag and pulling out more presents,” Williams told The Washington Post. “It was quite something.”
After the presents were delivered, the Williams thought of beginning a new Christmas tradition called, “A present from Ken,” but they could not decide which presents to unwrap first in order to figure out each age-appropriate gift.
A Twitter poll helped the Williams decide on what to do with each gift. 69% of Williams’s followers believed he should leave the presents unwrapped and let Cadi decide which gift would be unwrapped.
“Message received loud and clear, Twitter!” wrote the excited father. “We’re definitely going to open one every year till 2032… It’ll be our way of remembering an immensely generous gentleman — our new Christmas tradition.”
Williams assured his new followers of regular updates on the unraveling of gifts.
Numerous followers praised the compassionate gesture, with one writing: “What a thoughtful man who clearly thought so much of you all as a family, made me cry this morning.”
“You have to give her one a year,” another wrote on Twitter. “It doesn’t matter in the slightest if they are too old or too young. Presents are all about the giving, not the receiving.”
Another wrote: “That is just the loveliest, most thoughtful thing to do. I would save them each year and remind her what a lovely man you lived next door to.”
Others deemed it a “truly beautiful gesture” and others said it was “the true meaning of Christmas.”
At the end of the decisions and gratitude Williams advised his Twitter followers to build and foster relationships with their neighbors.
“Give your neighbors a small gift, a token. Just say, ‘Hi.’ You can open a new world just like we did.”
Not not all heroes wear capes. One man wore a cast. 27-year-old Altavious Powell rescued his 93-year-old neighbor Maria Cabral by using a cast on his broken arm to shatter a window.
Each night Cabral lights a candle in the corner of her home, however, this past Monday the flame intensified and her home ablaze.
Powell, who lives across the street from Cabral, saw smoke and rushed to her home.
Cabral was still trapped inside when Powell arrived. Powell used his cast and a plastic chair to enter her home, WSVN reported.
“I said, ‘Maria, Maria, where you at?’ And she said, ‘I’m right here,’ Powell told WSVN. “She was right here standing on the wall, so I just grabbed her with one arm. She looked up at me and she just said, ‘Thank you.”
Powell and Cabral were both taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center for smoke inhabitation. Cabral is still recovering, but Powell was unharmed from the incident.
Cabral’s son told WSVN: “She wouldn’t have gotten out of the house alive if that man didn’t come here.”
After Powell heard many deemed him a hero, he simply said:
“I’m just glad I was able to do it and I got it over with, and everybody is safe now.”
88-year-old Genevieve Purinton thought she had no family left in the world until she reunited with her biological daughter on December 3.
Purinton resides in a retirement home in North Tampa. Her eight siblings died recently and had no other children after she gave birth at 18 in 1949 and was told the child had died.
Unbeknownst to Purinton, the child was born in Gary, Indiana, given up for adoption and raised in Southern California. It remains unclear as to why doctor’s misinformed Purinton about her daughter’s death.
“I asked to see the baby and they said she died, that’s all I remember,” Purinton told NBC.
Moultroup ended up adopted, but it took an unfortunate turn at the start. At five years, Moultroup’s adoptive father married an abusive step-mother.
For most of her youth, Moultroup hoped her biological mother would come to her rescue. “It’s been a lifetime of wanting this. I remember being five years old, wishing I could find my mother,” Moultroup, who now resides in Vermont, told Daily Mail.
“She would fantasize about her mother rescuing her since she was five years old. It’s truly her life-long dream,” Moultroup’s daughter Bonnie Chase, 50, added.
Moultroup was finally granted her life-long wish, when her daughter gave her an Ancestry DNA kit last Christmas.
“It was just a cool Christmas present and it has completely changed our lives,” Chase said.
The kit led Moultroup to call her cousin. “I said, “Here’s my mother’s given name,” Moultroup told WTNT. “She said, “That’s my aunt and she’s still alive.”
The mother and daughter reunited at the nursing facility earlier this week and cried joyous tears.
“We’re criers. We just cry a lot. There were a lot of tears and there’s been a lot of tears the entire time since then. It’s been really amazing,” Moultroup said.
“We’re thrilled that Ancestry was able to play a part in helping to connect Genevieve Purinton with her daughter after 69 years. We wish her and her family the best, and that this is the only beginning of an enduring relationship,” Jasmin Jimenez, a spokeswoman for Ancestry DNA told NBC.
A Syrian Refugee spent more than eight months living in the transit zone of a Malaysian airport.
37-year-old Hassan Al Kontar is one of many Syrians who fled the country after war in Syria broke out in 2011.
Previously Kontar worked as an insurance marketing manager in the United Arabs Empire from 2006 to 2012.
He left is home in Syria for UAE in 2006 in order to avoid being called into mandatory military service. The Syrian government later refused to renew his passport after war broke out.
“I’m not a killing machine and I don’t want any part in destroying Syria,” he told the BBC.
After his passport expired, Kontar’s work permit also became invalid.
After staying in the UAE, he was arrested and told to leave the country. He flew to Malaysia, one of the few countries where Syrians have a chance of obtaining a visa.
There he was granted a three month tourist visa and immediately began working to save up sums to fly to Ecuador, however; when he showed up for his flight to Ecuador in February, he was turned away at the gate for reasons that remain unclear.
Kontar flew to Cambodia instead, with the attempt to avoid deportation to Syria, but he arrived only to be sent back to the Kuala Lumpur International airport in Malaysia.
He arrived back in Malaysia, but could not enter the country because he outstayed his visa. At that point, Kontar had no other options than to live in the “arrivals” section until a country accepted him.
Kontar spent the next several months documenting his life over video and posting them to Twitter. Some videos consisted of himself tending to his potted plants, talking about his favorite books and films, crocheting stuffed animals, and him using the moving walkways as a treadmill.
He had no access to the outside world and longed for fresh air. Despite the grimness that came with living at the airport, he still was able to eat leftover chicken and rice dinners given by compassionate airline staff and able to shower in the public washrooms.
Among his fan base was a woman named Laurie Cooper from Whistler, British Columbia who came across Kantar’s videos and felt a strong inclination to help the man.
“It all seemed impossible: I’m just a woman who lives in a little log cabin and he was living in an airport,” Cooper told The Guardian.
Cooper, a volunteer for Canada Caring Society partnered with British Columbia Muslim Association to petition for Canada’s immigration minister to admit Kontar as a refugee.
Cooper and the two organizations managed to raise over $20,000 for his sponsorship and found him a full-time job at the city hotel.
Cooper and these Canadian organizations gathered their resources, but among the rallying came a roadblock. Malaysian authorities arrested Kantar for staying in a restricted area without a boarding pass and held him in a detention center and threatened him with deportation.
Panic reigned over Cooper, those working for the organizations, and Kontar.
Cooper and the other Canadians urged Canadian officials to speed up the resettlement process, fearing he would be deported back to Syria.
Miraculously, Kontar was released. He sent a text to Cooper saying he was on his way.
Before Kontar got on the plane to Vancover, he posted a video to Twitter during a layover in Tawian this past Monday. “I could not do it without the help of my family — my Canadian friends and family and my lawyer. Thank you all. I love you all,” he said.
Upon arrival Kontar hugged Cooper while trying to hold back his tears. “I just feel so grateful that things worked out and that he’s here and that he’s safe,” Cooper told reporters at the airport.
“I never doubted for a moment that we would get him here,” she added.
Kontar is now staying at Cooper’s house, enjoying his bed and warm clothes donated by community members. Overall, Cooper is thankful for his safety and glad the process came to an end.
“It was a unique and very difficult situation. We are really grateful to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and citizenship and to the Canadian officals who worked so hard to resolve Hassan’s predicament,” she said in a public statement.
“We are proud that Canada was willing to step up and help Hassan when so many countries around the world are closing their doors to refugees.”
A little boy’s heart became glad after he mailed a birthday card to his dad in heaven; astonished to have gotten a response.
7-year-old Jade Hyndman from West Lothian, Scotland mailed this card as a way to say happy birthday to his father who died four years ago.
Instead of writing an address on the front envelope, Jase simply wrote:
“Mr. Postman, can you take this to heaven for my dad’s birthday. Thanks.”
Assistant delivery office manager Sean Milligan from the UK’s Royal Mail Service could have ignored the response or disposed of the request, but decided to write a kind response, assuring the boy the card was in great care.
“Dear Jase,” read the letter. “While we’ve been delivering your post, we’ve become aware of some concerns.
“So I just wanted to take this opportunity to contact you about how we succeeded in the delivery of your letter, to your dad in heaven. This was a difficult challenge avoiding stars and other galactic objects on route to heaven.”
Concluding with: “I will continue to do all I can to ensure delivery to heaven safely.”
Jase and his mother, Teri Copland, were overjoyed by the compassionate gesture.
“I actually cannot state how emotional he is knowing his dad got his card,” Copland wrote in her Facebook post. “You didn’t have to make the effort to do this, you could have just ignored it, but the fact that you made the effort for a little boy you’ve never met is such a lovely thing to do for Royal Mail.”
“It honestly means the world to him,” the post continued. “Please share this so all the staff at Royal Mail know just how grateful we are.”
Over the course of two days, this post has been shared over 220,000 times. People around the world are also praising Royal Mail’s careful “delivery” of the letter to heaven.
Copland concluded her praise to Royal mail writing, “Royal Mail, you’ve just restored my faith in humanity and thank you… Merry Christmas.”