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A climate activist holding a placard in front of the Supreme Court in the Netherlands, where demonstration is restricted. People from several climate organizations gathered with eyes painted on their hands symbolising 'We are watching you.' Photo: Barcroft Media / Contributor/Getty Images

The Supreme Court in the Netherlands on Friday ordered the government there to cut national greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by the end of 2020.

Why it matters: This is the first time the courts have ever forced a country to address climate change and could set a precedent for courts in other nations, including the United States, in the absence of other action.

What they're saying: Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, per The New York Times said: “There have been 1,442 climate lawsuits around the world. This is the strongest decision ever. The Dutch Supreme Court upheld the first court order anywhere directing a country to slash its greenhouse gas emissions.”

One level deeper: The ruling was a success for environmental group Urgenda, "which filed the lawsuit in 2013 against the Dutch government with nearly 900 co-plaintiffs," NYT reports.

Go deeper on U.S. climate cases: Why the hottest global warming battle is in the courtroom.

Go deeper

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
36 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tesla delays Cybertruck until 2023

Tesla debuts the Cybertruck in Hawthorne, Calif., on Nov. 21, 2019. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla is at risk of falling behind on one of the most critical products in the American auto industry: pickups.

Why it matters: Pickups are the most profitable segment in the business and account for the first, second and third best-selling vehicles in the country. Without a serious pickup strategy, Tesla could miss out on a huge source of future income.

Defense taking steps to mitigate civilian harm after botched airstrikes

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Sept. 1, 2021. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a directive Thursday to improve the U.S. military's approach to civilian harm mitigation and response, calling it a "strategic and a moral imperative."

Why it matters: The Pentagon has faced criticism for years for amassing civilian casualties in its missions, especially in the Middle East. New York Times investigations have found systemic failures in efforts to prevent civilian deaths, as well as a cover-up of a 2019 airstrike that killed dozens of women and children in Syria.

3 hours ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.