This 14-Year-Old Climate Activist Is Giving Up School to Save the World

Alexandria Villaseñor is standing in front of the U.S. Capitol and posting Instagram stories like any other teenager.

“Is there any good music that goes with climate action?” the 14-year-old asks a group of activists.

A couple of suggestions later, a song that’s more than twice her age blasts from her phone speakers on abbreviated loop: “It’s the end of the world as we know it… It’s the end of the world as we know it…”

And Alexandria doesn’t feel fine. Over the next few hours, she’ll have meetings with both of New York’s senators to ask them to do what they can to ensure her generation doesn’t experience the actual end of the world because of climate change.

“I notice a lot of politicians are looking at what is politically possible,” she told VICE News in an interview. “But I did think with some politicians I talk to that we’re on the same page on how urgent this is.”

Around the globe, young people like Alexandria see the climate crisis as the existential threat to their generation. They’ve skipped school in more than 130 countries to demand policy changes, following the lead of Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old from Sweden who is currently sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to attend the United Nations climate talks in September.

As one of the movement’s American organizers, Alexandria has also become a prominent young critic of world leaders’ inaction. Even though nearly 200 countries pledged in the Paris Agreement to keep global temperatures from hitting catastrophic levels, laws and norms aren’t changing quickly enough, and global greenhouse gas emissions are still going up.

When her classmates go back to middle school this fall, Alexandria won’t be joining them. Instead, she’ll take on eighth grade via independent study so that she can lead her global youth network, Earth Uprising, and continue her activism at full blast.

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2 Officers fired for Ocasio-Cortez Facebook post

Two Louisiana police officers have been fired over a Facebook post calling U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “vile idiot” and suggesting that she be shot. (July 23)

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9 Times Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Clapped Back On Twitter

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is known for her large social media presence and clever comebacks to critics. Here are some of her best Twitter moments.

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9 Times Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Clapped Back On Twitter

Trump renews attacks on four Democratic congresswomen | AFP

US President Donald Trump renews his verbal attacks on four Democratic congresswomen, all of whom are women of color, during remarks at a ‘Made in America’ event at the White House. “I’m saying that they’re Socialist definitely,” Trump says in reference to Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. “As to whether or not they’re Communist, I would think they might be.”

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Ocasio-Cortez defends ‘concentration camp’ tweets

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stands by her use of the term, “concentration camps” to describe detention centers holding undocumented immigrants along the southern border. (June 18)

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What Happens Next For Julian Assange (HBO)

Julian Assange’s lawyers are digging in for a furious, last-ditch effort to block his extradition to the U.S., following his dramatic arrest Thursday morning. The WikiLeaks founder was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy, where he had been living since 2012.

Assange is now facing up to five years in American prison for allegedly conspiring to hack into a classified Pentagon computer system in 2010. A 2018 indictment, unsealed by the Department of Justice on Thursday, charges him with a single count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and alleges that he tried to help former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning gain access to the government computer system in March 2010.

Given Assange’s contentious history with Washington, the initial indictment may be an attempt to bring Assange to the U.S. before targeting him with additional charges, former federal prosecutors told VICE News. His longstanding confrontation with the U.S. government now appears destined to play out in courtrooms in London and Alexandria, Virginia.

“Once the Justice Department gets him over here, they have a lot more leverage over Mr. Assange — and the tables are turned,” said Renato Mariotti, a former U.S. prosecutor based in Chicago. “You don’t need to be a legal analyst to see why the Justice Department would probably like to charge him with all sorts of things.”

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DARPA Artificial Intelligence Colloquium Opening Video

Throughout DARPA’s history, artificial intelligence (AI) has been an important area of groundbreaking research and development (R&D). In the 1960s, DARPA researchers completed some of the foundational work in the field, leading to the creation of expert systems, or the first wave of AI technologies. Since then, DARPA has funded developments in the second wave of AI – machine learning – which has significantly impacted defense and commercial capabilities in areas such as speech understanding, self-driving cars, and image recognition. Today, DARPA continues to fund AI innovation, making multiple investments in research that aim to shape a future in which AI systems shift from tools to trusted, collaborative partners in problem solving.

First announced in September, the DARPA AI Next campaign is a multi-year, upwards of $2 billion investment in new and existing programs to create the third wave of AI technologies. To increase awareness of DARPA’s expansive AI R&D efforts, the agency hosted an Artificial Intelligence Colloquium (AIC) March 6-7, 2019 in Alexandria, Virginia. This event brought together the DoD research community and defense stakeholders to learn more about DARPA’s current and emerging AI programs, as well as discover how the myriad technologies in development could apply to their diverse missions.

This brief opening video highlights DARPA’s history in AI and its outlook for the future.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Praised For Questioning Michael Cohen

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) gave a rapid-fire line of questioning at Michael Cohen’s testimony led by the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Praised For Questioning Michael Cohen

Democrats launch their ‘Green New Deal’

Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, are calling for a Green New Deal intended to transform the U.S. economy to combat climate change and create thousands of jobs in renewable energy. (Feb. 7)

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