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People gather by candles spelling out "Earth Hour" at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Peng Dawei/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

Cities around the world turned their lights off for an hour to mark global action on climate change at 8:30 p.m. local time Saturday. Here are some highlights of WWF's Earth Hour initiative.

This composite image shows the Eiffel Tower submerging into darkness during the Earth Hour switch-off in Paris. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images
Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the ferris wheel were among the first landmarks in the world to mark Earth Hour. Photo: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images
Girls hold candles in front of the parliament house during Earth Hour in Islamabad, Pakistan. Photo: Farooq Naeem/AFP/Getty Images
Monumento a la Revolucion marks Earth Hour in Mexico City, Mexico. Photo: Daniel Cardenas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
The cathedral of Guadalajara goes without lights during Earth Hour, in Guadalajara, Jalisco State, Mexico. Photo: Ulises Ruiz/AFP/Getty Images
Buckingham Palace in London before and after the hour's switch-off. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images
Red Square in Moscow turns its lights off for an hour for the WWF initiative.
The ancient Acropolis with lights on and off during the Earth Hour in Athens, Greece. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty
The dome of St. Peter's basilica before and after being plunged into darkness for the Earth Hour environmental campaign in the Vatican. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images
Much of Hong Kong observes Earth Hour. Photo: Dale de la Rey/AFP/Getty Images
A person wears a panda costume while posing with candles in Yantai, Shandong Province, China. Photo: VCG via Getty Images

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Patrick Gaspard to leave George Soros' Open Society Foundations

Patrick Gaspard speaks onstage at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Photo: Ernesto Distefano/Getty Images

Patrick Gaspard, who served as ambassador to South Africa under President Barack Obama, is stepping down as president of George Soros' Open Society Foundations, fueling speculation that he'll join the Biden administration, potentially as Labor secretary.

What to know: Before his stint as ambassador, Gaspard was Obama's political director in the White House, drawing upon his experience in the labor movement to advance Obama's legislative agenda on health care and financial services reform.

House passes bill to decriminalize marijuana

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a longtime marijuana legalization advocate and co-sponsor of the bill. Photo: Pete Marovich For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House on Friday voted 228-164 in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, marking the first time a congressional chamber has voted in favor of decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level.

Why it matters: The Washington Post describes the bill as a "landmark retreat in the nation’s decades-long war on drugs," which has disproportionately affected people of color.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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