A new documentary follows Jon Stewart's relentless, decade-long fight to help 9/11 first responders
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After the attacks on 9/11, the U.S government has had little problem spending over $6.4 trillion on the War on Terror. For some perspective, the U.S. government's total expenditures last year was $4.4 trillion.

Direct combat has killed over 800,000 people, including 350,000 civilians, and displaced over 37 million people.

The U.S, government has unflinchingly wasted all of this blood and treasure but has dragged its feet repeatedly to pay the healthcare bills for first-responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


Tens of thousands of police, firemen, and rescue workers who sifted through the smoldering rubble on 9/11, while breathing in a toxic cloud of debris, have since come down with a host of health issues, including rhinosinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), asthma, sleep apnea, cancer, posttraumatic stress disorder, respiratory disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, and anxiety disorder.

"We will never know the composition of that cloud, because the wind carried it away, but people were breathing and eating it," Dr. Michael Crane, at the World Trade Center Health Program, told Newsweek in 2016. "What we do know is that it had all kinds of god-awful things in it. Burning jet fuel. Plastics, metal, fiberglass, asbestos. It was thick, terrible stuff."

In America, even with insurance, chronic disease can leave a family in financial ruins.

Recent analysis has found that close to 10,000 first responders have been diagnosed with cancer and over 2,000 deaths have been attributed to illnesses caused by the attacks. It's estimated that more people have died from toxic exposure than were killed in the actual attack.

Former "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart has been a tireless advocate for the 9/11 first responders. Last year, when funds for the most recently-authorized bill to help pay for first responders' healthcare, became depleted, Stewart gave a passionate speech to an empty Congress.

"It's an embarrassment to the country," Mr. Stewart said, criticizing members of Congress for skipping the hearing.

"And you should be ashamed of yourselves," he scolded.

After Stewart's rebuke, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to send the bill to the House floor for consideration. The Victim Compensation Fund was then been extended through 2092, funding health care for first responders for life.

Now Stewart, 9/11 activist John Feal, and FDNY hero, Ray Pfeifer, are the subject of a new documentary on their collective fight to ensure healthcare and compensation for the thousands of ailing first responders.

The film is called "No Responders Left Behind" and has yet to have a release date.

No Responders Left Behind Official Trailer www.youtube.com

"John Feal and all the first responders have done so much for me, for the community, for the city, for the country. To be able to repay some of that debt that I feel I owe them personally, that we all owe them, is the best feeling," Stewart said, according to Variety.

"Being a small part of this journey is the one thing I'm most proud of. I will follow John anywhere he wants to lead me next," he added.

"For many, the last 18.5 years has been about passing legislation and fighting for justice for those affected by the aftermath of 9/11. I cannot say the same for me," said Feal.

"It has never been about passing legislation, donating money or the accolades," he continued. "It has always been about the journey from where we started to not knowing when it will end. It has been about the friendships and all the people I love and now call my family."

The news of the documentary comes as reports show the Trump administration has siphoned off $4 million from the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program. The program treats FDNY firefighters and medics suffering from 9/11-related illnesses.

"Here we have sick World Trade Center-exposed firefighters and EMS workers, at a time when the city is having difficult financial circumstances due to COVID-19, and we're not getting the money we need to be able to treat these heroes," David Prezant, the FDNY's Chief Medical Officer, said according to New York Daily News.

After years of complaining about the mysterious funding depletion, Prezant consulted Long Island Republican Representative Pete King and it was discovered it was due to a Medicare dispute with the state of New York.

King intends to confront Vice President Mike Pence over the issue.

"I gotta tell him," King said. "Forget the politics. I don't want to sound naive, but this is terrible, absolutely inexcusable."

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

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Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.