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Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks at a rally outside Swedish Parliament on March 15. Photo: Michael Campanella/Getty Images

Youth demonstrations and school walkouts against climate change are expected in at least 112 countries, including the U.S., on Friday in a global movement sparked by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Thunberg rose to prominence through weekly climate protests and prominent speaking roles at the UN Climate Change Summit in Poland and the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The big picture: These walkouts were inspired by the Fridays for Future movement, which calls for students to skip classes once a week to make a statement about the existential threat posed by climate change for the young and future generations. The protests reached America by way of Europe on Friday morning, and even spread to Antartica.

The details: Thunberg has made clear that she understands the implications of the science showing that the world has a narrow window of time to cut greenhouse gas emissions before locking in more significant global warming impacts. Speaking at the climate talks in Poland, she shamed negotiators there for not acting boldly:

"Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope," Thunberg said, "But I don't want your hope. I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is."
— 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, speaking at the World Economic Forum in January

What's happening:

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Our thought bubble, per Axios' Andrew Freedman: The protests on Friday are the largest and most widespread demonstrations on this issue since the run-up to the Paris Climate Summit in 2014 and 2015, and show that young people feel a sense of urgency on this issue that those in power have lacked.

In the U.S. the youth movement is poised to play a significant role in the 2020 presidential election, having already pushed Democratic primary candidates to embrace the Green New Deal.

What's next: In the U.S., climate groups such as Zero Hour and the Sunrise Movement are coordinating demonstrations on Friday as well as subsequent work to advocate for ambitious climate policies. Much of their efforts will focus on climate justice issues.

"It's reasonable to assume that climate change is separate from all other issues. But that’s wrong, and it is dangerous to even push the narrative that climate justice and social justice are separate," Jamie Margolin, founder of Zero Hour, said in a statement.

Go deeper: A tipping point on climate change

Go deeper

Updated 59 mins ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Alabama's new congressional map rejected by federal judges

The Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Federal judges on Monday night blocked Alabama's newly drawn congressional map and ordered the Republican-led State Legislature to create a new one that includes two districts, rather than the planned one.

Why it matters: "Black voters have less opportunity than other Alabamians to elect candidates of their choice to Congress," the panel of three judges wrote in their ruling.

Australian Open organizers reverse "Where is Peng Shuai?" t-shirt ban

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai during the 2020 Australian Open in Melbourne. Photo: Bai Xue/Xinhua via Getty Images

Australian Open organizers on Tuesday reversed a ban on t-shirts supporting Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai following widespread criticism.

Why it matters: Tennis Australia's announcement came less than 24 hours after the governing body defended the decision to ask fans last Friday to remove "Where is Peng Shuai?" t-shirts, citing ticket policy prohibiting political clothing, per the BBC.