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Students protesting climate change in Manila, Philippines. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

Millions of young people across 150 countries are protesting climate change on Friday, with many students skipping school to participate, the Washington Post reports.

What's next: The protests come days before world leaders are set to meet at a climate summit at the United Nations. UN Secretary-General António Guterres wants leaders to come with actionable plans and not empty promises, per the Post.

The backdrop: The Friday for Future protests began in 2018 when Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg went on strike from school on Fridays. Since then, Thunberg has become the face of youth climate protests and advocacy.

In New York City: Thunberg led the protests. The main protests were scheduled for noon, but protesters gathered early, per the New York Times. Leading up to the protests, New York City announced its 1.1 million students are allowed to skip school to participate.

Students walk out of school to take part in a march to demand action on the global climate crisis in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In Germany: At least 500 protests are planned across Germany as German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to unveil a new climate protection package. Her government has been under increasing pressure to take action after a summer of heatwaves, per the Post.

Participants in the Fridays For Future movement protest during a nationwide climate change action day in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany Photo: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

In Australia: The first wave of demonstrations started in Australia, with more than 300,000 protesters marching across more than 110 towns and cities, according to the School Strike 4 Climate. Protesters demanded no fossil fuels and 100% renewable energy.

Student demonstrators and thousands of environmentalists gather holding banners on a demonstration during Climate Strike in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Recep Sakar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

In Indonesia: Students and protesters gathered to call for action against the fires that burned through nearly 800,000 acres around the country, per the Post. The smoke is causing health problems, endangering wildlife and is spreading to nearby Malaysia.

Young protesters are seen holding a climate emergency banner and placards during a "Fridays for Future" demonstration in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Afriadi Hikmal/NurPhoto/Getty Images

In the United Kingdom: Thousands of protesters and students gathered across the country. Students staged a "die-in" in Belfast, Ireland, per BBC. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn plans to speak with protesters in Westminster.

Climate activists block Whitehall during a sit-in as thousands of students, school children and workers turn out for a Global Climate Strike in central London. Photo: Amer Ghazzal/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

4 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

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