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A record number of environmental activists were killed in 2019 according to a new report from the environmental NGO, Global Witness.

Since the creation of the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015, four activists have been killed every week on average. 2019 was the deadliest year on record with 212 people murdered for defending land and water resources.

The number of killings is likely much higher as cases often go unreported or are silenced by violent attacks, arrests, death threats, or lawsuits.

Over half of all reported killings, last year occurred in Colombia and the Philippines. At least two-thirds of reported cases occurred in Latin America which has consistently been the worst affected region since 2012.

“Agribusiness and oil, gas and mining have been consistently the biggest drivers of attacks against land and environmental defenders – and they are also the industries pushing us further into runaway climate change through deforestation and increasing carbon emissions,” said Rachel Cox, a campaigner for Global Witness.

The report finds that 40% of the murdered environmental activists were indigenous people fighting to protect their territories. Datu Kaylo Bontolan of the Philippines was one of the indigenous leaders who was killed for opposing illegal mining operations on ancestral lands.

The report also shows that 10% of those killed were women. Global Witness notes that women often faced gender-specific threats including sexual violence.

The NGO warns that the increased crackdown and surveillance from the COVID-19 lockdown puts environmental activists at greater risks to attack. In March, Indigenous leaders Omar and Ernesto Guasiruma from Colombia, who protected their ancestral lands, were killed in their own home while complying with the government quarantine orders.

“If we really want to make plans for a green recovery that puts the safety, health and well-being of people at its heart, we must tackle the root causes of attacks on defenders, and follow their lead in protecting the environment and halting climate breakdown,” said Cox.

Read more about young climate activists fighting to protect our planet.

Sign this petition to protect and support environmental activists around the world.

Sign this to support the youth movement fighting climate change!

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Top MAC players already being poached by other schools?

US sets record as coronavirus cases top 5 million From cereal startups to fast-food chains, everyone wants to cash in on people eating breakfast at home Top MAC players already being poached by other schools?

The Mid-American Conference has canceled its football season, and that is creating some serious consequences.

© Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports Competing teams have wasted no time in attempting to poach MAC players.

The conference made the move on Saturday in response to health concerns regarding the coronavirus. They are the first Group of Five conference to cancel the season, and a few factors were financial. The conference does not have a major television contract, and schools cutting out nonconference games took away major paydays for these programs, which put them in a tough spot and likely contributed to the decision.

According to Yahoo’s Pete Thamel, a MAC assistant coach says opposing schools are already trying to poach their top players.

Just spoke to a MAC assistant coach. He said that teams have already begun to attempt to poach the top players on their roster. Such is the reality of the MAC's decision. "There's going to be a lot of unintended consequences," he said.

— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 8, 2020

The world of college sports and especially recruiting can be vicious, so it’s no surprise other programs would look for any opportunity to try to poach players. Between this and the creation of the transfer portal, there is an opportunity for top programs to consolidate the best players and separate themselves even more. And sometimes players will go just for the opportunity to play. We even saw that happen with a high school player recently.

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Related slideshow: Preseason odds to win the 2020-21 college football national championship (Provided by Yardbarker)

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Full screen 1/26 SLIDES © Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire Preseason odds to win the 2020-21 college football national championship While there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding the 2020 college football season, that has not stopped oddsmakers from setting the table with the favorites to claim the national championship. The folks at BetOnline.ag have laid their early odds for the 2020 season. Here's a look at the teams with the 25 best odds, in order from worst to best — as of July. 2/26 SLIDES © Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via Imagn Content Services, LLC/USA TODAY Sports Iowa (+2,500) The coronavirus pandemic has made things tough on every college football program. However, the rise in racial and social injustice movements that followed in the wake of George Floyd's death has hit Kirk Ferentz's Iowa program, which has come under fire for the treatment of black players. It's uncertain what any of this will mean for the Hawkeyes' on-field performance, but it's something to keep an eye on. 3/26 SLIDES © Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Iowa State (+2,000) The Cyclones' 7-6 mark in 2019 was an underachievement in the eyes of most fans. Whatever the 2020 season looks like, Iowa State is poised to be better. That should start with junior quarterback Brock Purdy (6,232 career passing yards, 43 passing touchdowns), who some believe could end up being the best signal-caller in school history. Of course, a Cyclone defense that allowed an average of 26 points last season must improve. 4/26 SLIDES © Bruce Thorson/USA TODAY Sports Nebraska (+2,000) Another year with another round of expectations for the improvement of Scott Frost's Cornhuskers. One has to go back to 2016 for the last time Nebraska had a winning record or made a bowl. Last season, the Cornhuskers were picked to win the Big Ten West division and they won three games within the league. How about we wait to see for ourselves? Slideshow continues on the next slide 5/26 SLIDES © Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Minnesota (+1,600) The Gophers, too, are dealing with a Covid-19 outbreak within in their own ranks. Still, there should be plenty of excitement for game day in the Twin Cities following last season's 11-2 run. Tanner Morgan (3,253 passing yards, 30 passing TDs in 2019) might end up being one of the top quarterbacks in the Big Ten. P.J. Fleck's Gophers should at the very least be a bowl team this season, but another 11 wins might be a stretch. 6/26 SLIDES © Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports Miami (FL) (+1,600) Miami has totaled 13 victories in two seasons following its 10-3 run in 2017. With Houston transfer D'Eriq King (4,925 career passing yards, 1,421 rushing yards, 78 total TDs), the Hurricanes believe a 10-win campaign is in the cards. Perhaps, but King will need help from a supporting cast that needs to prove its consistency unlike in years past. 7/26 SLIDES © Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports Tennessee (+1,400) Tennessee returned to a bowl for the first time in three seasons while going 8-5 in 2019. It was actually an impressive finish with six straight wins from a season that opened with a home loss to Georgia State. That strong finish potentially bodes well for the Volunteers in 2020, especially since some key pieces return from a defense that yielded an average 15.5 points over those final six contests. 8/26 SLIDES © Rob Ferguson/USA TODAY Sports Oklahoma State (+1400) After coach Mike Gundy drew the ire of star Chuba Hubbard (2,094 rushing yards in 2019) and others on his roster for sporting a shirt of a far-right-wing new network, it will be interesting to see how things play out in Stillwater this season, especially since the Cowboys appear to have the makings of a squad that can seriously contend for a Big 12. That said, are they good enough to end that five-game skid vs. Oklahoma? 9/26 SLIDES © Melina Myers/USA TODAY Sports Florida State (+1400) Former Memphis coach Mike Norvell embarks upon his first season guiding the Seminoles. It's a huge task and one that's likely to make or break his career. Though Florida State returned to a bowl in 2019, it's finished the last two seasons with a losing record. The good news for Norvell and the Seminoles is that Tamorrion Terry (60 receptions, 1,188 yards in 2019) is among the best receivers in the country. Slideshow continues on the next slide 10/26 SLIDES © Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports Utah (+1,400) Another program that's received backlash from a coach's alleged racial insensitivity (in this case defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley). On the field, the Utes must move on without quarterback Tyler Huntley, running back Zack Moss, defensive end Bradlee Anae and defensive tackle Leki Fotu. That seems a lot of talent to overcome, but playing inside the Pac-12, Utah should still be in the hunt for a league title again. 11/26 SLIDES © Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC/USA TODAY Sports Wisconsin (+1,000) Life after Jonathan Taylor begins at Wisconsin. The Badgers won the Big Ten West Division title in 2019 and earned a date in the Rose Bowl. There is some work to be done on the offensive side of the ball this coming season, but a Badgers defense that recorded four shutouts over the first six games of 2019 should be the strength of the squad. Linebacker Jack Sanborn (80 total tackles, 5.5 sacks in 2019) is expected to be the leader of that group. 12/26 SLIDES © Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Washington (+1,000) Last year marked the first time in four seasons that Washington failed to win at least 10 games. Now the Huskies move forward without longtime coach Chris Petersen. However, Washington likely won't skip a beat with former defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake \in charge of the team. While there might be some questions on offense, the Huskies should again be among the nation's top defensive units. 13/26 SLIDES © Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports Michigan (+650) Jim Harbaugh still has a coaching job at Michigan, even if he can't beat Ohio State. He's also lost four straight bowl games and has yet to play in the Big Ten championship game. The Wolverines are obviously a bowl team again, and senior defensive end Kwity Paye (9.5 career sacks) is a special player. Offensively, the Wolverines could be challenged. Stay tuned. 14/26 SLIDES © Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Sports Penn State (+600) Penn State won its first eight games of 2019, but losses at Minnesota and Ohio State kept the Nittany Lions from greater things. From coach James Franklin to athletic director Sandy Barbour, Penn State is hell-bent on playing football this season amid the Covid-19 uncertainty. Maybe that's because quarterback Sean Clifford (23 TD passes in 2019), running backs Journey Brown and Noah Cain (combined 1,333 rushing yards) and star linebacker Micah Parsons are poised to lead the Nittany Lions to big things in 2020. Slideshow continues on the next slide 15/26 SLIDES © Jake Crandall/ Advertiser, Montgomery Advertiser via Imagn Content Services, LLC/USA Today Sports Auburn (+500) Coach Gus Malzahn still has a job. But how much rope does he really have on the Plains? Bo Nix (2,542 passing yards, 16 TDs, six interceptions) has a season at quarterback under his belt, so the potential to take a big step in progress is there. The Tigers will need to replace some talent on defense but should again flirt with winning 10 games. Still, will that be enough to save Malzahn's job. 16/26 SLIDES © Jaime Valdez/USA TODAY Sports Oregon (+500) Oddsmakers think the Ducks will be the class of the Pac-12, even with Justin Herbert no longer under center. Why? Because there is enough talent on both sides of the ball to believe that's very much possible. Offensively, CJ Verdell has rushed for 2,238 yards in two seasons, and tackle Penei Sewell might be the best offensive lineman in the nation. Meanwhile, defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux returns from recording nine sacks as a freshman. 17/26 SLIDES © Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports Texas A&M (+400) Texas A&M was a sexy breakout pick last season because of coach Jimbo Fisher. Instead, the Aggies went 8-5 and were .500 in the SEC. Oddsmakers like them to do well in 2020, but it does not appear Fisher's squad is ready to contend for a national championship. It's also the swan song for quarterback Kellen Mond (7,379 career passing yards, 52 TD passes), who some believe has underachieved during his time in College Station. 18/26 SLIDES © Daniel Dunn/USA TODAY Sports Texas (+400) A total of 16 starters return from a Texas squad that went 8-5 and beat Utah in the Alamo Bowl last year. The Longhorns' success this season likely begins and ends with quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who is finally a senior. He's thrown for 8,870 career yards with 68 TDs and has scored 25 times on the ground. Of course, it's the Texas defense that will again be under the microscope after giving up 27.4 points per game last season. 19/26 SLIDES © Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Florida (+350) Coach Dan Mullen is doing good work at Florida. The Gators might not be a true national title contender, but they are 21-5 in two seasons under Mullen. They also won both bowl games played. As has been the case in recent years, the focus should be on Florida's quarterback play. Kyle Trask threw for almost 3,000 yards with 25 touchdowns last season, so his experience and confidence could be key in 2020. 20/26 SLIDES © Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Notre Dame (+275) Oddsmakers love the Irish, who remain one of the most popular betting programs in the world. Notre Dame is 33-6 over the last three seasons, and that includes a trip to the College Football Playoff during the 2018 campaign. Quarterback Ian Book threw for more than 3,000 yards with 34 touchdowns and ran for 546 yards last season, so Notre Dame has a true leader at an important position. 21/26 SLIDES © Scott Clause/USA TODAY Network/USA TODAY Sports LSU (+200) The reigning national champions should still be in the conversation with the rest of college football's elite. Replacing Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow is the No. 1 priority. However, Ja'Marr Chase (84 receptions, 1,780 yards, 20 TDs in 2019) is the best receiver in college football, while Derek Stingley Jr. might be the top defensive back in the nation. 22/26 SLIDES © Stephen Lew/USA TODAY Sports Georgia (+150) No more Jake Fromm throwing the ball, but the Kirby Smart's Bulldogs are not void of talent. While the oddsmakers seem to think Georgia will again be in the mix for a College Football Playoff berth, the reality is that it may still be on the outside looking in at such an accomplishment. With a new offense in place, it might take some time for the Bulldogs to get going. 23/26 SLIDES © Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports Oklahoma (+125) Is Spencer Rattler the next great Oklahoma quarterback? Last season's backup, Tanner Mordecai, apparently will have something to say about that for now. However, the key issue for the Sooners is likely to be how well they defend. Things improved enough in 2019 for them to again reach the College Football Playoff. Overall, there might be more questions about doing so again this season. 24/26 SLIDES © Mickey Welsh, Montgomery Advertiser via Imagn Content Services, LLC/USA TODAY Sports Alabama (-125) While Covid-19 cases have hit the Alabama program, the Crimson Tide push forward expecting again to challenge for a national championship. Life without Tua Tagovailoa begins, but Alabama is still likely to be near the top of the heap when it comes to national championship contention. Linebacker Dylan Moses and cornerback Patrick Surtain II are among the top defenders in the country. 25/26 SLIDES © Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Ohio State (-150) Following back-to-back 13-1 seasons, is Ohio State ready to take the next step and win a national title? Having Justin Fields (41 TD passes, three INTs, 10 rushing TDs in 2019) under center and the likes of defensive end Zach Harrison and defensive back Shaun Wade back should position the Buckeyes as the class of the Big Ten. Now, do they have the chops to hang with the elite of college football? We'll see. 26/26 SLIDES © Ken Ruinard/staff via Imagn Content Services, LLC/USA TODAY Sports Clemson (-200) The immediate focus around the Tigers is the rash of Covid-19 positive cases. When, or if, the season kicks off and all are healthy, Clemson is the team to beat in many eyes — especially the oddsmakers. And why not? Trevor Lawrence (6,945 career passing yards in two seasons, 66 TD passes, 12 INTs), Travis Etienne (4,038 career rushing yards in three seasons, 56 TDs) and a defense that's likely to reload and not rebuild put the Tigers at the top of the college football hill. 26/26 SLIDES

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