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Our Fragile Planet Essay

What a breakthrough! Just nine days after the Mail launched its Ban the Beads Now campaign, putting a rocket-booster behind the drive to outlaw plastic microbeads, the Government has now issued a firm pledge to act.

The initial plan, says Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom, is to ban the manufacture and sale of cosmetics and personal care products containing these tiny pieces of plastic, which wash into the seas in their indestructible trillions, causing untold harm to marine life and polluting the human food chain.

So two hearty cheers for her decision – though the third must wait until she follows it up with a complete ban on microplastics found elsewhere, in such products as household and industrial cleaning fluids.

Just nine days after the Mail launched its Ban the Beads Now campaign, putting a rocket-booster behind the drive to outlaw plastic microbeads, the Government has now issued a firm pledge to act

The initial plan, says Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom, is to ban the manufacture and sale of cosmetics and personal care products containing these tiny pieces of plastic

After the resounding success of our Banish the Bags campaign, which has led to an 85 per cent fall in the number of single-use plastic bags issued by supermarkets, this paper is enormously proud of its role in protecting our planet from wholly unnecessary pollutants.

As they look back and wonder why it was ever thought acceptable to take such risks with the environment, our children and grandchildren will have cause to join us in thanking this paper’s wonderful readers who rallied to our campaign.

This fraudulent strike

Jeremy Hunt has made huge concessions, including bonuses for weekend working, locum shifts and specialities such as A&E as well as firmer guarantees that doctors will not have to work excessive hours

In the furore over the junior doctors’ strikes that threaten to cripple the NHS and cause suffering and death, one fact must not be overlooked: there is no proper mandate for these stoppages, which are supported by only one in three of the doctors themselves.

Indeed, the BMA’s leaders are relying on a ballot conducted last November, when their members rejected a contract very different from today’s.

Since then, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has made huge concessions, including bonuses for weekend working, locum shifts and specialities such as A&E as well as firmer guarantees that doctors will not have to work excessive hours.

True, junior doctors voted in July to reject this new contract (though 42 per cent backed it, on the recommendation of the very BMA now plotting to destroy it). But they did not vote to strike over it.

Still less did they endorse plans for devastating monthly walkouts, each of five days, between now and Christmas.

This paper understands medics’ ill-feeling towards Mr Hunt (though we do not share it). He can come across as bumptious, while his decision to impose the contract is seen by many as overbearing.

But we also believe firmly that doctors were drawn to their profession by a noble vocation to heal the sick. Whatever they think of Mr Hunt, he shares that aim in wanting a 24/7 NHS that cuts the death rate among patients at weekends.

In the humane words of the General Medical Council, all doctors as individuals have a duty not to harm their patients. The Mail trusts they will remember it – and refuse to be coerced into striking on the basis of a fraudulent mandate.

Corbyn’s tainted cash

While his followers spread anti-semitic poison, bombarding a Jewish Labour MP with 20,000 abusive messages in just 12 hours, Jeremy Corbyn likes to present himself as a civilised man of principle.

Why, then, did he accept £20,000 from a TV station controlled by the blood-drenched regime in Iran, which boasts of its ambition to wipe Israel off the map?

Attempting to justify his conduct, the Labour leader says his fee for just four appearances ‘wasn’t an enormous amount, actually’, while claiming his purpose was to ‘address the issues of human rights’.

Wouldn’t his plea be more convincing if he’d refused to accept tainted cash?

Why did Jeremy Corbyn accept £20,000 from a TV station controlled by the blood-drenched regime in Iran, which boasts of its ambition to wipe Israel off the map?

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Ten years after the original, science and technology advances make "Planet Earth II" a must-watch sequel. Also: Why "Iron Fist" is Netflix's first Marvel flop.

LAST WEEK’S PODCAST: ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Producer Julie Plec on Ending the Series, and How It Might Be Reborn, Perhaps As a Streaming Show – IndieWire’s Turn It On Podcast

As unsettling politics dominate the headlines, BBC America’s “Planet Earth II” comes to TV screens as a welcome respite.

A lot has changed since “Planet Earth” wowed audiences with new images of the globe’s wildlife 10 years ago. Ten years ago, the original edition of the natural history series transformed how we saw the world.

Sir David Attenborough, “Planet Earth II”

BBC

Now, “Planet Earth II” is taking advantage of advances in technology and science to bring even more stunning images to audiences, and give a global audience an even greater look at our fragile planet.

Shot over three years in 40 different countries, on 117 filming trips and a total of 2,089 shooting days, “Planet Earth II” is narrated by the legendary Sir David Attenborough and set to a score from the team led by Hans Zimmer that includes Jasha Klebe and Jacob Shea.

Executive producers Mike Gunton and Elizabeth White, “Planet Earth II”

BBC

The show ran in the U.K. late last year and about 25 percent of the country watched live each week. TURN IT ON recently sat down with Mike Gunton, who works for BBC Worldwide and the BBC as The Creative Director of Factual and The Natural History Unit, and Elizabeth White, a former research biologist who produced the “Islands” episode of “Planet Earth II,” about the series.

Also in this episode: IndieWire senior editor Hanh Nguyen and TV editor Liz Shannon Miller discuss the problems with Netflix’s latest Marvel series, “Iron Fist.”

Listen below!

IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now in TV – no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. Each episode features interviews with producers, reviews, essays on the latest buzz and trends, plus a roundup of what’s premiering and what’s returning over the coming week. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.

LISTEN: Character Departures on TV: The Saddest Goodbyes From Our Favorite Shows (Very Good TV Podcast)

Be sure to subscribe to “TURN IT ON” on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Wednesday.

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