This week drew attention to several increasingly urgent global issues: discrimination and hate, access to health care, and the worsening impact of climate change.
In a terrifying attack on Friday, 49 people were shot dead at two different mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attack as an “extraordinary act of unprecedented violence" and called it one of the country’s “darkest days.”
The gunman, who appeared to stream the attack live on Facebook, opened fire on worshippers who had gathered for Friday prayers. The terrorist attack, labeled as the “worst mass shooting” in New Zealand's history, has fueled conversations about Islamophobia and gun violence as world leaders call for peace.
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Peace also seems far from reach in Venezuela, where citizens are still struggling with power and water shortages amid political turmoil. Sunday marked the third day of the country's power outage, which has left at least 15 patients dead so far.
An Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed on March 10, killing 157 passengers. The aircraft model, Boeing 737 Max 8, had been under scrutiny just six months ago after a similar crash. Now 50 countries, including the US, have grounded all planes of the same model.
But despite these devastating events, students showed their optimism and resilience. On Friday, students all around the world skipped school to protest against inaction on climate change and called on their governments to take actions. From Australia to South Korea to the US — where students joined the months long movement for the first time — students carried posters and chanted protest slogans.
These thirteen powerful photos depict the week’s most important.
1. Terror Attack in New Zealand: People wait outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15, 2019. "There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Friday after a terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left at least 49 dead. "Many of the people affected by this act of extreme violence will be from our refugee and migrant communities. New Zealand is their home. They are us,” Ardern said. "The person or people who carried out this act of unprecedented violence are not. There is no place in our home for them."
2. Air Pollution in South Korea: A South Korean environmental activist wearing a gas mask stands in protest demanding the government take action to ease air pollution in Seoul, South Korea, on March 15, 2019. On March 6, President Moon Jae-in proposed a joint project with China to use artificial rain to clean the air in Seoul, where an acute increase in pollution has caused alarm. The signs read: "The fine dust particles." According to a new study published in the European Heart Journal, air pollution causes an estimated 8.79 million premature deaths each year. The majority of deaths are caused by cardiovascular diseases, and the remainder come primarily from lung diseases. The new study, which focuses on Europe, demonstrates that more people die each year by breathing in contaminated air than they do from smoking. “Air pollution is one of those problems that everyone is exposed to,” Jesse Berman, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at University of Minnesota, told Global Citizen. “We all have to breathe.”
3. Student Climate Marches: Students gather in front of the ancient Colosseum to demand action on climate change, in Rome, on Friday, March 15, 2019. Students worldwide are skipping class Friday to take to the streets to protest governments' failure to take sufficient action against global warming. Started last year by 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg in Sweden, "Fridays for Future" rallies have become leading sites of resistance in the global fight against climate change. The events have transformed skipping school into an act of moral clarity. March 15 is a culminating moment in the movement, involving more than 1,600 events in 105 countries.
4. Venezuela Power Outage: Venezuelan Elvia Helena Lozano is reflected in a mirror as she uses a kerosene lamp during a power outage at her home in Caracas on March 9, 2019. Sunday was the third day Venezuelans were without communication, electricity, or water, in an unprecedented power outage that left at least 15 patients dead and threatens to continue indefinitely, increasing the stress of the severe political and economic crisis already hitting the oil-rich South American nation.
5. Super Bloom in California: A "super bloom" of wild poppies blankets the hills of Walker Canyon on March 12, 2019 near Lake Elsinore, California. Heavier-than-normal winter rains in California have caused a super bloom of wildflowers in various locales of the state.
6. Mourners Visit the Crash Site of Ethiopian Airlines Flight: A mourner lays flowers at the Memorial Arch during a visit to the crash site of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 on March 14, 2019, in Ejere, Ethiopia. All 157 passengers and crew died after the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight came down just six minutes after taking off from Bole Airport.
7. Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo: Electrical Engineer Germain Kasereka demonstrates how a self-made automatic hand-washing robot works to assist in the fight against Ebola on a street in Butembo on March 10, 2019. The Ebola virus is spread through touch, and the team believes that the use of an automatic hand washing station can help stop people from touching the same tap handles before and after washing their hands.
8. Access to Water in Venezuela: People collect water from a stream in Avila National Park during rolling blackouts, which affects the water pumps in people's homes and apartment buildings, in Caracas, Venezuela, on March 10, 2019. Venezuelans reached new levels of desperation on Sunday as the country’s worst blackouts took their toll, gathering in larger numbers than usual at springs in the mountains of Caracas to collect water and scrounging for scarce cash to pay for food in the few shops that were open.
9. Water Shortages in Philippines: Residents of Addition Hills in Madaluyong City, Metro Manila, queue to receive water distributed on water tank and fire trucks on March 15, 2019. Manila has been hit by its worst water shortage in years, leaving bucket-bearing families to wait hours for a fill up from tanker trucks and some hospitals to turn away less urgent cases.
10. Student Climate Marches: Young people show their hands bearing the inscriptions "Our future in your hands" during the "Fridays For Future" movement on a global day of student protests aiming to spark world leaders into action on climate change on March 15, 2019 in Berlin. The worldwide protests were inspired by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, who camped out in front of parliament in Stockholm last year to demand action from world leaders on global warming.
11. Political Crisis in Venezuela: A little girl stands inside a plastic barrel while her family waits to collect water from an open pipe above the Guaire River, during rolling blackouts which affect the water pumps in people's homes, offices, and stores, in Caracas, Venezuela, on Monday, March 11, 2019. The blackout has intensified the toxic political climate, with opposition leader Juan Guaido blaming alleged government corruption and mismanagement and President Nicolas Maduro accusing his US-backed adversary of sabotaging the national grid.
12. Students March for Global Action on Climate Change: Students in Cape Town, South Africa, take part in a protest on March 15, 2019, as part of a global student strike against governments' inaction on climate change. Students in cities worldwide skipped classes to protest governments' failure to act against global warming.
13. The World Reacts to the Terror Attack in New Zealand: Indian Muslims hold placards during a condolence meeting and protest against Friday's mass shootings in New Zealand in Mumbai, India, on Friday, March 15, 2019.