Trump unleashed: He's talking more and tweeting more

    Summary
    For better or worse, we're getting more Donald Trump these days.

    Children worldwide unite in global climate strike

    Summary
    Millions of young people skipped school to send a message to governments and corporations around the world

    A photographer's never published photos from Obama's campaign trail

    Summary

    In pictures: People around globe protest climate change

    Summary
    From London to New York City and from Perth to Paris, climate activists are taking part in a global general strike on Friday in what is expected to be the biggest day of climate demonstrations in the planet's history.

    Vape stockpiling begins as a US federal ban looms

    Summary

    Yellow vest protests: Dozens of arrests in Paris

    Summary
    More than 7,000 police were deployed in Paris, with tear gas used to quell the disruption.

    Taylor Swift cancels concert amid animal rights criticism

    Summary
    Swift had been due to sing at the Melbourne Cup, a move criticised by animal rights activists.

    Iran warns it will 'destroy aggressors' after US troop announcement

    Summary
    Iran is "ready for any scenario", an official says, after the US pledges to send troops to the Gulf.

    South Africa xenophobia: Africa needs 'managed migration'

    Summary
    Naledi Pandor says a rise in xenophobia shows Africa needs to look at how to control migrant flows.

    Egypt protests: Anti-government chants in Tahrir Square

    Summary
    Rare protests have taken place in Egypt, calling for the removal of President Abdul Fattah Sisi.

    Chinese flag burned as Hong Kong protests enter their 16th week

    Summary
    A Chinese flag was burned and pepper spray fired as clashes between protesters and police in Hong Kong continued for a 16th week.

    Man who proposed to girlfriend underwater 'never emerged'

    Summary
    A man has drowned after proposing to his girlfriend underwater during a "bucket list" holiday in Tanzania.

    Priest gives Irish PM holy water ahead of Brexit talks with Boris Johnson

    Summary
    Not since the visit of Pope Francis last year had there been such excitement in Knock, County Mayo.

    Problem that would take 10,000 years for normal PC is solved in 4 minutes

    Summary
    Researchers at Google have created a computer that can carry out calculations way beyond the reach of traditional computers, it has been reported.

    Historic day of climate strikes is unlikely to move Trump

    Summary
    Greta Thunberg told a huge crowd in Manhattan that she thought around four million people had taken part in Friday's global climate strikes.

    Clashes Erupt in Hong Kong After Dueling Demonstrations

    Summary
    The violence near Hong Kong’s border with the Chinese mainland came less than two weeks before a sensitive political anniversary.

    A Crackdown on Islam Is Spreading Across China

    Summary
    A secret Communist Party directive has led to restrictions on Islamic practices far from Xinjiang, the western region where Uighurs have been brutally repressed.

    Sydney Is for the Birds. The Bigger and Bolder, the Better.

    Summary
    Australia’s largest city has a rare superpower: It turns urbanites into bird people, and birds into urbanites. Interacting with the huge avian population is a daily adventure and (mostly) a delight.

    Mixing Politics and Piety, a Conservative Priest Seeks to Shape Poland’s Future

    Summary
    The Rev. Tadeusz Rydzyk has delivered millions of votes for Poland’s governing right-wing Law and Justice party, which in turn has helped him build a business empire.

    From Underwear to Cars, India’s Economy Is Fraying

    Summary
    The country once had the world’s fastest-growing economy, but it has been battered by global and domestic forces. India’s troubles are a warning sign for other developing countries.

    Hong Kong police fire tear gas after protesters throw petrol bombs

    Summary
    Hong Kong police fired tear gas to disperse pro-democracy protesters on Saturday after pro-China groups pulled down some of the "Lennon Walls" of anti-government messages posted in the Chinese-ruled city in more than three months of unrest.

    Kuwait has foodstuff reserves for four to eight months of consumption: KUNA

    Summary
    Kuwait has strategic foodstuff reserves to cover four to eight months of consumption, the state news agency KUNA reported, as regional tension rises following attacks on oil facilities in neighboring Saudi Arabia.

    Poland's PiS pledges more spending ahead of parliamentary election

    Summary
    Poland's ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) has pledged to provide at least 1 billion zlotys ($250 million) for companies adding to a list of expensive promises ahead of next month's parliamentary elections.

    French police tussle with 'yellow vests' in Paris

    Summary
    French police fired tear gas and made dozens of arrests on Saturday as they dispersed groups of "yellow vest" protesters attempting to stage unauthorized rallies in central Paris.

    French police tussle with 'yellow vests' as Paris set for protest day

    Summary
    French police fired tear gas and made dozens of arrests on Saturday as they dispersed groups of "yellow vest" protesters attempting to stage unauthorized rallies in central Paris.

    CBS News gets inside look at damaged Saudi oil facility

    Summary
    President Trump said he's imposing even tougher sanctions on Iran, after blaming it for the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. But Mr. Trump said he doesn't want to order a military strike. Ian Lee toured the facilities that were attacked.

    U.S. to deploy troops to help with Saudi Arabia's defense

    Summary
    President Trump has approved the deployment of U.S. forces that will be defensive in nature

    Japan is going wild for luxury toilet paper, even at $12 per roll

    Summary
    The country that brought the world the high-tech toilet has made another contribution to lavatory luxury — and it's bunny rabbit-soft

    U.S. signs asylum deal with El Salvador despite violence

    Summary
    El Salvador has consistently topped the list of countries with the highest homicide rates that are not in open war

    Tour operator Thomas Cook teetering on financial collapse

    Summary
    One of world's oldest travel companies could soon go bust, stranding up to 150,000 British holiday travelers abroad

    Column: Can tiramisu and a daughter's love get a former caterer to the stars through tough times?

    Summary
    Giovanni Bolla's tiramisu is helping him pay his rent, thanks to his daughter's social media campaign

    Newsletter: Essential California Week in Review: Trump vs. California

    Summary
    A look at California stories from the last week, including Trump's visit to Los Angeles and San Francisco

    Why the Black Keys shut out hundreds of fans, causing chaos at the Wiltern

    Summary
    The Black Keys made tickets to their Wiltern show nontransferable to third-party vendors, leaving fans who bought tickets from sites such as StubHub turned away at the doors.

    Manson follower Leslie Van Houten loses latest attempt at parole

    Summary
    A California appeals court on Friday rejected the Manson follower's latest bid for release from prison.

    D.A. declines to pursue fraud case over L.A. Councilwoman Nury Martinez's fundraising

    Summary
    L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey's office said it found insufficient evidence to pursue a fraud case related to L.A. Councilwoman Martinez's fundraising activities.

    Studebaker died but its classic cars live on

    Summary
    Studebaker was based in South Bend, Indiana and the cars are collected around the world.

    GM strike exposes anti-worker flaws in US labor laws. Companies have the upper hand.

    Summary
    U.S. labor law encourages firms to compete by busting unions and lowering wages. Workers need a collective voice to even hope for fair wages.

    NASCAR playoffs 2019: Schedule, lineup, TV and more for Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond

    Summary
    All the information you need to get ready for Saturday night's race at Richmond Raceway, the second of 10 playoff races in the NASCAR Cup Series.

    Don't go vegan to save the planet. You can help by being a better meat-eater.

    Summary
    Healthier meat can lead to a healthier climate over time. With growing concern about catastrophic climate change, this benefit can't be overlooked.

    ‘Was this hearing a hot mess? Sure.’ Democrats weighing Trump’s impeachment face roadblocks at every turn

    Summary
    Democrats face hurdles gathering testimony and documents while investigating President Donald Trump, and haven't been able to overcome them.

    Police Say 2 People Killed and 8 Injured in South Carolina Bar Shooting

    Summary
    (LANCASTER, S.C.) — Authorities say a shooting at a bar in South Carolina left two people dead and eight injured. The Lancaster County Sherriff’s Office said in a statement that the agency was investigating a shooting at a bar early Saturday. Two adult males were shot and killed. Four injured victims were airlifted to medical facilities for treatment. The other four people were treated at local facilities for injuries considered noncritical. None of the victims were identified. The statement said authorities were not sure whether more than one person fired a weapon. The statement says a large crowd was at the bar when the shooting occurred.

    Joe Biden Denounces Report Trump Urged Ukraine President to Investigate the Former Vice President’s Son

    Summary
    (WASHINGTON) — Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday decried reports that President Donald Trump urged the president of Ukraine to look into his son’s business dealings there. Biden said in a statement that if the reports are true, “Then there is truly no bottom to President Trump’s willingness to abuse his power and abase our country.” The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate said Trump should release the transcript of his July phone conversation with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy “so that the American people can judge for themselves.” Biden released the statement after news organizations reported Trump had urged Zelenskiy to probe the activities of Biden’s son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company. The Democratic front-runner’s campaign later sent out a fundraising letter urging potential donors, “Don’t let the President get away with this gross abuse of power.” Trump said there was nothing inappropriate in his contacts with foreign leaders. At least two of Biden’s rivals called on fellow Democrats in the House to push forward on impeachment of Trump. Despite multiple congressional investigations into the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has resisted calls for impeachment from many members of her caucus, arguing such a step would be divisive and could backfire against the party in 2020. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said that posture makes Congress complicit in Trump’s outreach to Ukraine. “A president is sitting in the Oval Office, right now, who continues to commit crimes,” Warren tweeted. “He continues because he knows his Justice Department won’t act and believes Congress won’t either. Today’s news confirmed he thinks he’s above the law. If we do nothing, he’ll be right.” Julián Castro, the former housing secretary, said Trump “needs to be impeached. “I love these House Democrats — my brother is one of them,” he added. “But it’s time for them to do something. It’s time for them to act.” Castro’s brother Joaquin represents Texas in the House. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker didn’t call for impeachment but said the allegations were “sobering and serious stuff” that should be “rocking Washington right now.” He declined to call them treason. “I want to see this investigated,” he said. “What we know already, if it is true, constitutes at the very least serious misconduct.”

    ‘Everything Was Broken.’ The Photographer Who Captured the Most Haunting Photographs of Dorian and Its Aftermath

    Summary
    Associated Press staff photographer Ramon Espinosa is no stranger to covering hurricanes. He’s been reporting from the Bahamas since Aug. 29 as the islands braced for the impact of Hurricane Dorian. “I’ve covered hurricanes in the Caribbean the last fourteen years,” says Espinosa, “but nothing compared to this one.” Dorian’s death toll currently stands at 50, but over 1,000 people are still missing. Dorian hit the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, the strongest storm on record to hit the islands. It battered the Bahamas with 185 mph winds, visiting punishing damage on Abaco and Grand Bahama for at least 24 hours. In the first days of the storm, his images of dramatic rescues felt startling and immediate — the closest thing to being there. More recently, he’s been able to travel to the areas most deeply affected, producing images that show the epic destruction, yet feel like a lament to what was lost — an attempt at at trying to absorb the incomprehensible landscapes of destroyed homes, churches, missing bodies and rubble. With poor internet and phone connections still making it difficult to report, Espinosa took a few moments to tell TIME about the what he has witnessed in the hurricane’s wake. His answers have been edited for length and clarity. Ramon Espinosa—APA car returns to the capital before the arrival of Hurricane Dorian in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sept. 1, 2019. *TIME: When did you arrive in the Bahamas?* Espinosa: The trip started waiting for Dorian in Puerto Rico. We arrived on Aug. 26th to San Juan, but after following the hurricane*,* we realized the storm was heading directly to Grand Bahama. After checking with the office we took a flight to Freeport on Aug. 29th to wait for Dorian there. *Have you covered lots of Hurricanes? How does this one compare?* I’ve covered hurricanes in the Caribbean over the last 14 year. The last was Irma in Cuba [in 2017] — that was a category 3-4 — and Matthew in Baracoa, also in Cuba, in 2016, but nothing compared to this one. It was giant, weird, stationary and crushing everything. Ramon Espinosa—APVolunteers wade through a flooded road against wind and rain caused by Hurricane Dorian to rescue families near the Causarina bridge in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sept. 3, 2019. The storm’s winds and muddy floodwaters devastated thousands of homes, crippled hospitals and trapped people in attics. *Do any specific memories stand out from those days it stalled over the island?* What stands out is the landscape of destruction. We saw paradise when we arrived, but after the hurricane everything was destruction. The green disappeared. Ramon Espinosa—APPastor Jeremiah Saunders poses for a photo among the ruins of his church that was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian, in High Rock, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sept. 11, 2019. “I spoke to the water: ‘Peace, be still.’ It never listened,” Saunders said with a wide smile. He then grew serious as he focused on the task that tens of thousands of Bahamians now face on two islands devastated by the Category 5 storm: the clean-up. Ramon Espinosa—APA woman comforts a man who cries after discovering his shattered house and not knowing anything about his eight missing relatives who lived there, High Rock, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. Ramon Espinosa—APA chair is caught in a grove, blown there by Hurricane Dorian’s powerful winds, in Pine Bay, near Freeport, Bahamas, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. Ramon Espinosa—APCars stand stranded on a road damaged by Hurricane Dorian in High Rock, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sept. 6, 2019. *Where did you stay during the storm?* In Freeport. I tried to take photos during the storm, but there came a time [when] that was not safe, and I preferred to keep my equipment safe to work after the hurricane. *Hoping you can tell us about a few specific photographs. Can you tell me about the images you made during the rescue in the water. How did you make those?* A colleague who is from the island said people were rescuing survivors to the east of the island. I got out in the car — everything was flooded. I had to be careful to keep the car from turning off. I went hoping to get on a boat, but when I arrived, the boats were too small and there was no place for me, only for the people they were rescuing. I decided to wade through the water, water that reached my hip. I brought towels to protect and dry the cameras and lenses; one towel got soaked and with the other I managed to keep the lens from getting wet and thus I was able to get those images of people walking in the middle of the water. It was raining heavily and the conditions were very complicated to work. *What was it like when the storm finally passed and you saw the devastation for the first time?* The first thing I saw were the shattered houses. I went to help our stringer and his family, and it reminded me a lot of Haiti’s earthquake. After taking photos of the rescue efforts, I saw a large boat in the middle of the street, a crazy image. Ramon Espinosa—APAyfon Minus, 8, collects donated food that was brought by helicopter from Freeport to the Hurricane Dorian destroyed village of High Rock, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sept. 10, 2019. Ramon Espinosa—APA child walks past clothes laid out to dry on a field in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in the Arden Forest neighborhood of Freeport, Bahamas, Sept. 4, 2019. Ramon Espinosa—APSynobia Reckley holds up the dress her niece wore as a flower girl at her wedding, as she goes through valuables in the rubble of her home destroyed one week ago by Hurricane Dorian in Rocky Creek East End, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sept. 8, 2019. *Two weeks later, what are you seeing?* Destruction and very friendly people trying to start over. *Do you think any part of the story is being overlooked right now?* People were left with nothing and they do not know where their missing relatives are. The storm devastated everything, and survivors who lost their relatives need to bury their loved ones. *Can you tell us what you have seen in terms of rescuers looking for bodies? * I went out one day with the police to the east side of Grand Bahama area and in two hours they found five bodies. But many bodies were washed away. There’s many people who don’t know anything about their relatives. The sea probably took them. When they went to search for relatives at their homes, they only found destruction — nothing standing. Ramon Espinosa—APThe portico of a house destroyed by Hurricane Dorian is the only thing that remains of the structure, destroyed by Hurricane Dorian, in High Rock, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sept. 5, 2019. Ramon Espinosa—APMister Bolter recovers dishes from his son’s home, destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in Pine Bay, near Freeport, Bahamas, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. Ramon Espinosa—APSissel Mosvold embraces a volunteer who helped rescue her mother from her home when it was flooded by the waters of Hurricane Dorian, in the outskirts of Freeport, Bahamas, Sept. 4, 2019. *Can you describe the photo of the water-filled coffin in the cemetery? * A resident of Mclean’s Town Cay told me Dorian had destroyed the cemetery so I went to take a look. It took me a day to find it. Everything was broken. The graves were broken, many empty. Coffins out of place, open. That particular photo was my way of showing what Dorian meant. The simple fact that the coffin was out of the earth, full of water, was a very clear message of what the storm brought. Even the body had disappeared — the water took it to the sea. When I reached that point the sun was starting to go down. The moment, for me, was like a reflection to all the coverage. *For those who want to help survivors, what do you think the island needs most right now?* What they need is to rebuild. They need everything. There is nothing in a lot of places and survivors need to start from scratch. The whole area is totally destroyed, nothing works in Abaco and the east of Grand Bahamas. Ramon Espinosa—APDexter Edwards, front, his brother Nathanael Edwards right, and his cousin Valentino Ingraham walk amid one of their family’s homes destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in Rocky Creek East End, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sept. 8, 2019. “Right now, ain’t much joy. You just gotta try to keep your head up,” Edwards said. “There’s always a future. Only thing we can do right now is rebuild-rebuild and try to move forward.” Ramon Espinosa—APPriest’s mass vestments hang in the rubble of a destroyed house by Hurricane Dorian in Pelican Point, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sept. 14, 2019. *Are there any other thoughts or stories that stand out for you?* Dorian was giant. It’s like seeing the destruction after an atomic bomb. Many of those affected are immigrants, most of them are Haitians. They lost the little they had. Those who went through the earthquake [in 2010], emigrated [to the Bahamas] for a better life, were left with nothing again. After many years of suffering, life becomes a boomerang and they have to start over. The hurricane struck all social classes, but of course the people who suffer most are the most needy. Ramon Espinosa—APTereha Davis, 45, eats a meal of rice as she sits among the remains of her shattered home, in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in McLean’s Town, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sept. 11, 2019. She and others said they had not seen any government officials and have only received food and water from nonprofit organizations. Ramon Espinosa—APThe rubble of a destroyed neighborhood in Abaco, Bahamas, Sept. 17, 2019. Ramon Espinosa—APVladimir Safford an immigrant from Haiti walks through the rubble near his home Abaco, Bahamas, Sept. 16, 2019. *Ramon Espinosa* *is an Associated Press staff photographer based in Cuba* *Paul Moakley* *is editor at large for special projects, at TIME*

    Here’s Everything To Know About The Status of Family Separation at the U.S. Border, Which Isn’t Nearly Over

    Summary
    Attorneys working on the ground along the southern U.S. border estimate nearly 1,000 children have been separated from their parents since the practice was declared over by the Trump Administration in June 2018. Court records show that family separation has become increasingly complex as thousands of children’s reunification now depend on factors including when they were separated, where their parents are now, and if they are considered plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the Trump Administration. In Harlingen, Texas, attorney Jodi Goodwin says just over two weeks ago she reunited a migrant father with his 7-year-old child after they had been kept apart for 14 months. The child is one of 2,814 possible defendants in a class action lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a case known as Ms. L v ICE, which represents the children separated during the implementation of the Administration’s Zero Tolerance policy. Even though thousands of children separated under that policy have so far been reunited, 27 remain in government custody as of September 6, according to court records. Attorney Efrén Olivares in McAllen, Texas, says he recently saw the separations of two children from their parents — over a year since June 2018, when President Trump signed an executive order ending family separation. Later that month, a federal judge ordered the children separated during Zero Tolerance to be reunited with their parents or sponsors. The ACLU argued in federal court Friday that the children separated since that injunction have been wrongfully taken from their parents in violation of the administration’s own executive order, saying the separations have been ordered on grounds including a parent’s minor criminal offense — such as a parking violation or DUI. The ACLU called on the judge hearing the case to block such separations — Lee Gelernt, the lead attorney in the case, tells TIME the ACLU estimates about 1,000 currently-separated children fall into this category — and only allow in instances when a parent is deemed a danger to a child. (For example, having a criminal record of child abuse.) “We’ve had instances of fathers separated from their children because the last time the father was in the U.S. years ago, he got a ticket for driving with an expired license,” Olivares says. “He was arrested, and therefore now has a criminal conviction on his record, and that is the justification for the separation.” Under the administration’s policy, children can be removed from parents who are facing criminal prosecution for any charges. “I think that we’re looking at the biggest moment in the case since it began,” Gelernt told the judge at the Friday hearing. ICE tells TIME it will not comment on pending or ongoing litigation, but deputy assistant attorney general Scott Stewart called Gelernt’s proposal “an irresponsible approach” at the Friday hearing. In Judge Dana Sabraw’s closing statements, he expressed concerns over a blanket implementation of the ACLU’s proposal that criminal records be discounted as a justification for separation. Sabraw noted a hypothetical situation in which a father with an assault charge on his record could still be a loving and dedicated parent, but that such a violent criminal past may, or should, still weigh on the court’s decision whether or not that father can be detained in the same facility as his child, and other children. Judge Sabraw, of the Southern District of California, has not yet issued a ruling. The hearing is one of many legal challenges the Trump Administration has faced since family separation under the administration’s Zero Tolerance Policy began in April 2018. The ACLU estimates that more than 2,000 children were separated before the official start of Zero Tolerance in addition to the thousands separated since Zero Tolerance began. Here’s what to know about where family separation stands today. Jim Young—AFP/Getty ImagesA girl takes part in a protest against the US immigration policies separating migrant families in Chicago, June 30, 2018. – Ongoing family separations Though the June 2018 executive order ended family separation on paper, there have been exceptions. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), reasons a child may be separated from family include if DHS is unable to determine a familial relationship, they believe the child might be at risk and if the parent is referred for criminal prosecution. At one court in McAllen, Texas, attorneys at the The Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) have interviewed more than 700 families going through immigration court proceedings since May 2018, according to Olivares, who is the director of the Racial & Economic Justice Program at the organization. In the six months that followed the June 2018 executive order, TCRP found that 272 of the families they interviewed parents separated from their children in the McAllen region. Throughout the border that number is closer to 1,000, according to the ACLU. “It’s not on the scale of what we saw during Zero Tolerance, but it’s still an incredibly troubling and very large number,” says Christie Turner-Herbas, deputy director for special programs at Kids In Need Of Defense, a legal organization that represents children throughout the country, including child asylum seekers. On behalf of the government, Stewart argued that the government has been making sound judgements in the best interest of the child, and said a separation due to a criminal past does not mean the child will be kept from the parent indefinitely. For the ACLU, Gelernt noted an apparent double-standard: that the government has no problem deporting a child with a parent with a criminal record, yet separates them on U.S. soil. The children who remain in government custody More complicated still is the status of the 27 children who remain in government custody even after a judge ordered their reunification back in June 2018. Out of 2,814 children who fell into that category, 2,787 have been discharged from government custody according to a joint status report filed in court on Sept. 11. Of those, 2,168 were reunited with a parent. An additional 619 were discharged under “appropriate circumstances,” including being released to a sponsor or because the child turned 18 years old. However, the ACLU confirmed parents of 12 of the 27 remaining children waived reunification because they had been deported and did not wish to have the child return to a dangerous environment. In eight cases, the government determined the parent was unfit for reunification and posed a threat to the child, and in four cases, it was determined that family separation hadn’t actually occurred. All of the children who were separated before Zero Tolerance began Gelernt tells TIME that the ACLU estimates an additional 2,000-3,000 children may have been separated (and remain separated) before the Administration’s Zero Tolerance policy began. The government is expected to release more information on just how many children fall into this category by the end of October per Judge Sabraw’s request, according statements made at the Friday hearing.

    Climate Change Is Devastating the Lush Gardens of Versailles

    Summary
    (Bloomberg) — The manicured estate of the Versailles Palace was designed for an absolute monarch and withstood the French revolution. But now climate change is threatening its survival. Hornbeam trees overlooking the estate’s Grand Canal died this summer, and in Marie Antoinette’s Trianon gardens, the beeches are withering. The worrying thing is that these weren’t only varieties from the era of Louis the XIV, but also new plantings meant to withstand the effects of global warming. “It’s heart breaking,” said Alain Baraton, Versailles’s chief gardener, pointing to shriveled hornbeams and the parched leaves of once-luscious chestnut trees. “I’m forced to dump history and be pragmatic.” Northern Europe’s normally temperate weather is rapidly becoming hotter and drier, forcing gardeners on the 800-hectare (2,000-acre) park to adapt. The stately elms, chestnuts and birches that were favored by French royalty are being selectively replaced by species that stand better chances of resisting higher temperatures, new parasites and more volatile precipitation patterns. The urgency to act was underscored when France’s National Center for Scientific Research on Tuesday released a climate model that showed the world becoming even hotter than previously expected. Trees are one of nature’s biggest forms of carbon storage. The European Environment Agency estimates forests absorb 13% of all of the European Union’s carbon-dioxide emissions. But more frequent droughts and increasingly violent storms put the region’s woodlands at risk. “Trees used to have hundreds of years to adapt, but they don’t have that time anymore,” said Xavier Bartet, an officer in France’s National Forestry Agency. “And in nature, if you can’t adapt, you die.” [image: Antique illustration of Grand Trianon] Getty ImagesAn antique illustration of the Grand Trianon The effects are being felt across Europe. About 50 million spruce trees are believed to have perished, with extensive damage to larch, oak, beech and pine varieties, according to Gert-Jan Nabuurs, forestry expert at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. In eastern Germany, pine canopies have been bleached a sickly brown with ground water the lowest since records began in 1961, according to the country’s DWD weather service. Charred stumps point to a disturbing new trend of wildfires. The BDF forestry association estimates 100 million German trees have died in droughts and storms since 2018. Europe is particularly exposed to climate change, because its weather is dominated by the jet stream. The flow of moist winds from the Atlantic typically brings in ample precipitation to maintain the region’s ecosystem, but kinks have developed as arctic ice melts, causing air to blow in from the Sahara with increasing regularity. Warmer temperatures are changing growing patterns, with chestnut trees in Portugal struggling in lower altitudes, where they once thrived. Storms fueled by warmer temperatures are also a problem. The risks were evident last October, when the Italian peninsula was pounded by storm gusts exceeding 200 kilometers an hour (124 mph), damaging 42,500 hectares of forest. The Comelico Dam near the Austrian border was covered with trees battered into the Piave river. For centuries, such timber was brought to Venice on rafts to be used for foundations of the lagoon city’s historic “palazzi.” To be sure, it’s not bad everywhere. Sweden has planted more trees than it cuts down since the 1920s, and today there is almost twice as much wood supply than at the start of 20th century, but then there’s the new problem of wildfires. In Finland, climate change is speeding up tree growth, but the Nordic country — wary of extreme weather and the spread of pests such as bark beetle — is more actively managing its timber resources including using selectively bred seedlings. Dying woodlands could mean that greenhouse gases build up even faster. Concerns have led to mounting public pressure. A Danish broadcaster held a telethon last weekend, raising 2.4 million euros ($2.6 million) from viewers to plant more than 900,000 trees, and an artist created a mock forest inside a football stadium in Austria to raise awareness. Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming European Commission president, called protecting the environment the bloc’s “most pressing challenge.” While European leaders have vowed to act, the situation is complicated by an economic slowdown and concerns about financing. In Germany — where a summer heatwave threatened to buckle highways and the receding Rhine river risked halting shipping for the second straight year — Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government on Friday is due to decide on measures to get its climate goals back on track. There’s no easy fix. Efforts to make forests more robust include replanting Turkish oak trees in France and testing seeds from drier areas in the central Loire valley for future wine barrels. But the measures are a crapshoot. At Versailles, about 50% of new saplings die in the first year, and messing with local ecosystems can have damaging effects on native varieties, with groups like Ireland’s Woodland League seeking to halt the introduction of new species. “All we do is still experimental, and it’s risky,” said Brigitte Musch, chief of climate-change research for the French forestry agency. “We are under pressure to work fast, for things that will matter for the generations to come.” [image: Versailles Gardens Climate Change] Getty ImagesStatues in the Versailles palace gardens The Versailles estate, which spends about 3 million euros annually to maintain its grounds, is the elite of Europe’s forests. The wider reality can be seen behind a rusty fence at the end of the grounds at the Arboretum de Chevreloup. The conservation park has a budget less than 5% of the palace’s, and the effects of low rainfall and record heat were evident in the balding canopies and shriveling Patagonia trees. To avoid such a fate, France’s forestry agency is teaming up with counterparts in Europe and Turkey to develop software to determine what varieties will have to be planted in the years to come. The software, which is working with a worst-case scenario of summer temperatures rising as much as 5.3 degrees Celsius (below the latest forecast), will be translated in English to be usable by peers worldwide. At Versailles, future-proofing the grounds is being meticulously orchestrated. The estate is building a database of all its vegetation, insects and animals. The trees will be given more space to capture the water in the soil and retain humidity. The goal is to keep the spirit of the Sun King’s grandeur alive into the next century. “Visually, the palace visitors won’t see any major changes,” said Baraton, the chief gardener. “But silently everything is changing.”

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