After years of fruitless negotiations, world leaders finally reached an agreement to combat climate change, agreeing to cap greenhouse gases in an effort to slow down global warming.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, or COP21, set a target of limiting carbon emissions and keep average temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius.

The deal, which brought the climate change issue back to top the news agenda, was hailed as a success by the mainstream media and self-congratulatory political leaders - who made it sound like a major milestone.

However, climate scientists and activists have since said the agreement has little cause for cheer, falling well short of what is needed to forestall a climate change catastrophe.

They say the deal lacks any legally binding mechanism to hold governments or corporations to emission quotas, while other key issues in the accord are not binding at all. 

So why is the deal being framed as a success?

Talking us through the story are: Asad Rehman, a senior campaigner at Friends of the Earth; Catherine Happer, lecturer at the University of Glasgow; Atayi Babs, editor-in-chief at Climate Reporters; and James Painter, the director of the Reuters Journalism Fellowship Programme.


Other stories on our radar this week: The sale of the South China Morning Post raises concerns about Beijing's influence over the media in Hong Kong; more journalists have been jailed in Egypt bringing the total number to double last year's count; and Spain's 'gag law' - which journalists say amounts to state censorship - is being put to the legal test at the European Court of Human Rights.


How the US media keeps failing murdered black teens 

When Laquan McDonald, a black teenager, was shot dead by a police officer in October 2014, the police said the officer was acting in self-defense - and for the most part, news outlets covering the story went along with that account.

But a video of the killing filmed on a police dashboard camera has told a different story - that McDonald was shot 16 times as he was walking away.

That video would never have seen the light had a group of journalists, lawyers and activists not filed a lawsuit to get it released.

The Listening Post's Marcela Pizarro tells the story of those who succeeded where Chicago's mainstream media had failed.


Lastly, a chance to get up close and personal with a presidential candidate courtesy of Ted Cruz's campaign team.

Under US law, campaigns are not allowed to work directly with Super PACs, the big money organisations that back their favoured candidates - which is why Cruz's team have posted 13 hours of footage online for Super PACs to use in campaign ads.

Journalists have had a field day with the material and we have selected some of the most awkward, unintentionally hilarious moments for your viewing pleasure.

Source: Al Jazeera