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Taylor Swift Moonwalk Surpasses Michael Jackson’s Record At AMA Awards

The pop star, who walked into Sunday night's show with 23 AMA's

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Taylor Swift accepts the AMA Award
Taylor Swift accepts the award for artist of the decade at the American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. VOA

Taylor Swift has moonwalked past Michael Jackson’s record at the 2019 AMA Awards, taking home six honors including artist of the year and artist of the decade.

The pop star, who walked into Sunday night’s show with 23 AMA’s, surpassed the King of Pop’s 24 wins at the fan-voted show. She rambled onstage as she won the final award of the night — artist of the year — and repeatedly thanked her fans for always showing up — during both the good and bad times.

“This year has been a lot of good, a lot of really complicated, so behalf of my family and me, thank you so much for being there and caring,” said Swift, who now has 29 AMA Awards.

It was a family affair at the AMA Awards: Swift’s father and teary-eyed mom sang along as the singer performed a medley of her hit songs — a performance Swift said in a Nov. 15 social media post was put in jeopardy by Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun, the owners of her master recordings.

Shania Twain performs at the AMA Awards
Shania Twain performs a medley at the American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. VOA

She didn’t mention the men during her acceptance speeches at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, but this did thank her new label for allowing her to freely express herself as an artist.

“This album really felt like a new beginning, and I also really love my record label, Universal and Republic. Monte Lipman, Lucian Grainge, thank you for being so generous to me and allowing me to make whatever music I want to make,” Swift said after winning favorite pop/rock album for “Lover,” her first album not released on Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group. “As a songwriter it’s so thrilling to me that I get to keep doing that.”

Swift’s other wins include favorite female pop/rock artist, favorite adult contemporary artist and favorite music video for “You Need to Calm Down.”

Other big winners at the AMA Awards included Khalid and BTS — neither act attended the show but won three prizes.

Billie Eilish picked up two awards — new artist of the year and favorite alternative artist. She also took the stage — surrounded by fire — to perform her song, “All the Good Girls Go to Hell.”

 Billie Eilish at AMA Awards
Billie Eilish introduces a performance by Green Day at the American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. VOA

Lizzo, who was nominated for three honors but walked away empty handed, screamed at the top of her lungs while performing the ballad “Jerome,” one of several songs from her album that earned her a leading eight Grammy nominations.

Christina Aguilera was a vocal powerhouse when she took the stage alongside A Great Big World and rock icon Ozzy Osbourne — who has been recovering from a bad fall that took place earlier this year — was a highlight as he performed with Post Malone and Travis Scott.

Shania Twain closed the night with a memorable performance. Other nostalgic performances included Toni Braxton and Green Day.

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello heated up the stage as they stood close together while singing “Senorita,” staring in each other’s eyes as they sang from one microphone at times. They even rubbed noses at the end.

The pair won collaboration of the year for their No. 1 hit song. Other winners included Dan + Shay, Halsey and Lil Nas X. Top nominee Post Malone took home favorite rap/hip-hip album for “Hollywood’s Bleeding” and Carrie Underwood was appropriately teary-eyed as she won favorite country album for “Cry Pretty.”

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“It’s been a wonderful year,” Underwood said.

Selena Gomez kicked off the AMA Awards as Swift and Halsey got out of their seats to cheer their pal on. R&B singer Ciara hosted the show, which aired live on ABC. (VOA)

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Climate Change: Greenhouse Gas Concentrations Again Break Records

These reports will help delegates from almost 200 countries when they meet in Madrid next week for COP25, the annual round of international climate talks

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greenhouse emissions
Currently, the planet is moving toward the high estimates of greenhouse gas concentrations. Pixabay

Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases once again reached new highs in 2018, a media report said on Monday.

Though the increase in CO2 was just above the average rise in the last decade, the levels of other warming gases like methane and nitrous oxide had surged by above average amounts, a BBC report quoted the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as saying.

It said that since 1990, there was an increase of 43 per cent in the warming effect on the climate of longlived greenhouse gases.

The WMO report looks at the concentrations of warming gases in the atmosphere rather than just emissions.

Emissions refer to the amount of gases that go up into the atmosphere due to the use of fossil fuels, such as burning coal for electricity and from deforestation whereas concentrations are what’s left in the air after a complex series of interactions between the atmosphere, oceans, forests and land.

About 25 per cent of all carbon emissions are absorbed by the seas, and a similar amount by land and trees.

With the use of data from monitoring stations in the Arctic and across the world, researchers said that in 2018, CO2 concentrations reached 407.8 parts per million (ppm), compared with 405.5 ppm a year earlier.

This increase has been above average for the last 10 years and 147 per cent of the “pre-industrial” level in 1750.

climate change catastrophe
Greenhouse gases have continued to climb, and “climate change is occurring much faster than anticipated,” the report said. Pixabay

The WMO also records the concentrations of other warming gases, including methane and nitrous oxide. About 40 per cent of the methane released into the air comes from natural sources and 60 per cent from human activities like cattle farming, rice cultivation and landfill dumps.

Methane is now at 259 per cent of the pre-industrial level. The increase over the past year was higher than both the previous annual rate and the average over the past 10 years.

“There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, in greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere despite all the commitments under the Paris agreement on climate change,” the report quoted WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas as saying.

“We need to translate the commitments into action and increase the level of ambition for the sake of the future welfare of mankind,” he added.

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He said the last time our planet experienced comparable concentration of CO2 was three to five million years ago when the temperature was 2-3 degree Celsius warmer and sea level 10-20 metres higher than now.

Preliminary findings from this study, published during the UN Secretary General’s special climate summit last September, indicated that emissions continued to rise during 2018.

These reports will help delegates from almost 200 countries when they meet in Madrid next week for COP25, the annual round of international climate talks. (IANS)