AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1744133 times)

Offline azozeo

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 9725
    • View Profile


The human race has broken another record on its race to ecological collapse. Congratulations humanity!

For the first time in human history — not recorded history, but since humans have existed on Earth — carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has topped 415 parts per million, reaching 415.26 parts per million, according to sensors at the Mauna Loa Observatory, a research outpost of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency.


CO2 emissions over time as recorded by measurements of Arctic ice and the Mauna Loa Observatory. Courtesy of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

If the threshold seems unremarkable (it shouldn’t), it’s yet another indication of the unprecedented territory humanity is now charting as it blazes new trails toward environmental catastrophe.

Just last week a report revealed that at least 1 million species were at risk of extinction thanks to human activity and the carbon emissions that are a byproduct of economic development.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/12/co2-in-the-atmosphere-just-exceeded-415-parts-per-million-for-the-first-time-in-human-history/





<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/wVOa3xhl0bg&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/wVOa3xhl0bg&fs=1</a>
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 9725
    • View Profile
Re: Inside Facebook's global constitutional convention
« Reply #12691 on: May 12, 2019, 06:00:12 PM »


Everybody gets criticized — especially in the social media era. Faced with that flood of negativity, it can be hard to figure out what to listen to, and most of us default to listening to friends or people who know what they're talking about.

But if friendly, informed criticism is the best sort, then it must have been profoundly uncomfortable in the Facebook offices recently. In a New York Times op-ed this week, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes called for the breakup of the company he helped start, claiming that the company has simply become too big and too powerful and too slow to react to the numerous issues of privacy, misinformation, and extremism on the platform.

Facebook wasn't happy about it (it claimed breaking up a successful company is the wrong approach) but also knows it has a lot work to do. Late last year, Mark Zuckerberg announced he intended to create a Facebook Oversight Board, a quasi-independent board of non-Facebook employees whose job it would be help with content moderation decisions. Facebook is also looking for feedback on board, partly through some roundtables held around the world with policy experts, one of which I attended this week in Ottawa, Canada. Though it occurred before the publishing of Hughes' op-ed, it was clear that Facebook is looking to preempt the kind of aggressive government intervention proposed.

What was also clear during the four hour session, however, was just how complicated the issue of moderating what people can post on Facebook is. It's also seems that the company is serious about the effort. Yet, despite what appears to be a sincere desire on the part of the company to make itself better, more accountable, and more transparent, it was difficult not to wonder if what Hughes and others are calling for isn't in fact correct — that even if and when Facebook gets better at being responsible, it still isn't is too big.

The roundtable was attended by Peter Stern, Manager of the Policy Group, and Kevin Chan, who is the Head of Public Policy at Facebook Canada. It took place under guidelines called “Chatham House Rules” which allow discussion of what was said of the group but forbid attributing what was said by whom. Around 25 policy experts attended from a variety of fields, from media literacy and the academy, to anti-hate advocacy groups and representatives from government.

The oversight board is ostensibly aimed at adjudicating content removal decisions — that is, when and why a piece of content gets removed, whether due to issues of hate speech, nudity, credible threats of violence and so on. It is in essence a bit like a supreme court for Facebook, a final step for significant or controversial decisions that extend beyond or challenge normal policy. Composed of 40 people drawn from a diverse background in both identity and area expertise, the decisions it makes will be binding and are meant to make Facebook more accountable.

In that sense, the proposed board is a step forward. Facebook's Peter Stern made it clear that the company was all in on the idea, and that the desire for the board also comes from a recognition that Facebook should not be making decisions alone. With a footprint of over 2 billion users, the platform accounts for an enormous percentage of speech online, and thus some sort of accountability that extends beyond, say, responsibility to shareholders seems a welcome change.

The scope of Facebook's purview is itself mind-boggling, with billions of pieces of content going up each day, and is also why the process of policing content is so complicated. But it's not just the sheer scale of things. With a global footprint, Facebook walks a fine line. On the one hand, it helps promote certain near-universal ideals like free speech, a boon in places under authoritarian rule. At the same time, it also needs to respect the massive variety of both legal and social differences across the globe. How, for example, can you come up with a rule for nudity when what is acceptable differs so much depending on where you are?

Its desire, then, to seek input from both experts and the public around the world seems well-intentioned, and it was clear that Facebook is grappling not just with the obvious questions — what are good rules, how do we apply them and so on — but also of issues over whether historically disadvantaged groups deserve special protection, or the sticky areas of how to separate satire and irony from hate speech.

All that said, serious concerns remain. For example, how might a 40 person board adequately represent the concerns of the thousands of groups across the globe? How might a set of “universal” rules address the significant disparities in belief and practice by the billions of people who use or will soon use the platform? How might a company firmly committed to American ideals not end up exporting those ideals, or enforcing such social values over and against smaller states? It's a dizzying miasma of problems for which solutions are not merely difficult to find, but perhaps impossible.

That difficulty seems inherent to what Facebook is actually doing: in essence, writing a constitution for the global moderation of speech. That it is doing so at all is a recognition of what is at stake on its platform. Yet, sitting and listening to Facebook dutifully receive and genuinely listen to feedback, the absurdity of the situation was also hard to ignore. Here was a private company with historically unprecedented reach trying its best to do the right thing, in which the “right thing” was to find the right way to govern speech on the world's largest democratic platform. It is indicative of the fact that the company is a kind of supra-state unto itself, significantly more powerful than most countries across the globe, and with enormous influence.

Faced with the utter strangeness of that fact, it is hard not to wonder if Chris Hughes et al are not on the right path — not just that Facebook needs to be broken up, but that its sheer size is itself the root of many problems. We are caught in a complex binary in which, on one hand, the Web and companies like Facebook play an important role in democratic and liberal processes around the world, but in which such companies also appear to have far too much power and too little accountability.

During the process of the roundtable, there was reason for both hope and despair. But one thing was clear: the proposed oversight board would be funded by Facebook, and work to better serve its own stated values, whether those are fairness and transparency — or, perhaps less generously, a desire to stave off punitive regulation. It is the bind we find ourselves in when private companies come to form core parts of public life: they have their interests, and we have ours, and in far too many ways, those are simply not the same thing. Facebook appears to be trying its best to respond sincerely to criticism — and alas, that simply may not be enough.

https://theweek.com/articles/840591/inside-facebooks-global-constitutional-convention



WILL SOMEBODY PAAAAAALLLLLEEEEEESSSSSSEEEEE ..... shit down zucks neck  :evil4:
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13829
    • View Profile
United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the sentencing of CHRISTOPHER DOUGLAS WOOD, 43, to eight months of confinement after firing three shotgun rounds at the Federal Reserve Bank building in downtown Minneapolis.WOOD, who pleaded guilty on December 17, 2018, was sentenced before Chief Judge John R. Tunheim in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, on the night of July 21, 2018, during the Aquatennial Fireworks display, WOOD fired three shotgun “slugs” at the Federal Reserve Bank (“FRB”) that caused more than $40,000 in property damage to the windows and the façade of the FRB. One of the slugs penetrated the triple-pane security windows and was later located in the ceiling of a seventh floor office of the FRB.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, WOOD fired the shots from a United States Postal Service (“USPS”) facility located directly across from the FRB. At the time of the shooting, WOOD was an employee of the USPS and had access to the facility and the secure parking structure from which he fired the shots. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement conducted a search of WOOD’s residence and recovered a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, a .22 semiautomatic handgun with a loaded magazine, a Snake Slayer pistol, ammunition, and documents critical of the FRB.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Minneapolis Police Department, and United States Postal Inspection Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats prosecuted the case.

 

Defendant Information:

CHRISTOPHER DOUGLAS WOOD, 43

St. Paul, Minn.

Convicted:

    Possession of a firearm in a federal facility, 1 count

Sentenced:

    8 months confinement

https://www.justice.gov/usao-mn/pr/saint-paul-man-sentenced-prison-after-firing-shotgun-federal-reserve-bank
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13829
    • View Profile


What role should universities play in equipping the workers of the future to solve the world’s most pressing problems? And, as we approach the 2020s, should we rethink the way education puts subjects into silos?

The answers to these questions are being explored by an innovative new concept in higher education coming to the UK in 2020.

The London Interdisciplinary School (LIS) - the first new university in the UK for 40 years - is taking a new approach to teaching and learning, with a cross-curricular focus on tackling the most complex problems facing the world.

Co-founded by Ed Fidoe, co-founder of School 21 and former McKinsey manager, LIS will award a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences (BASc) degree (pending approval this year), which involves 10-week paid work placements each year to ensure students are workplace ready.



In an interview, Fidoe told the World Economic Forum that LIS is flipping academic learning on its head: “The big shift we’re making is to combine knowledge through disciplines to tackle problems.

“If you start with disciplines, you immediately have walls you have to break through, so we’re starting with the problems and then backfilling the academic learning. We’re trying to turn theory into action.”

Tackling problems

LIS says it will promote learning through “real-world challenges” and includes knife crime - something that’s risen sharply in the UK since 2014 - in it’s list of potential topics.

Rob Jones, Chief Superintendent of London’s Metropolitan Police Service, is part of the university’s advisory group, along with leaders from companies including McKinsey, Virgin and Innocent Drinks.

Other issues the institution will look at range from designing a tool for companies to track palm oil supply to the ethics of editing mosquito genes using CRISPR technology to eradicate malaria - combining probabilistic thinking with international relations, ecosystems and genome editing.


Joining up the dots



The idea for LIS came about in response to what Fidoe saw as a restrictive ‘single-subject culture’ that dominates at universities in the UK and elsewhere because they’re structured around research, which is organized in single disciplines.

“The world is more connected and complex than it’s ever been and it requires people to think in systems rather than narrow silos,” says Fidoe.

“We do need some people to go into very narrow fields and become experts, so we shouldn’t do away with subjects.

“But students have to understand how this stuff fits together in a system, because it’s increasingly how the world is working, how supply chains are set up and communications systems work. If something happens over here, there are all these consequences somewhere else.”



Shifting sands

While the opportunity to combine big-name work placements with study may appeal to some students, the new institution will be competing for students and fees with some of the world’s top universities, including Oxford, Cambridge and London’s Imperial. With tuition fees of around $12,000 a year, LIS will need to convince potential students that it can deliver value for money.

One criticism published in the Guardian newspaper also questioned whether companies or organizations such as the police should be involved in curricula, arguing instead that students should learn to be clear-eyed and critical of the interests at stake.

Employers are also increasingly recruiting directly from school, recognising that academic skills don’t always match up with determination, flexibility and a strong work ethic. Job-search firm GlassDoor has recently compiled a list of companies that are no-longer demanding a degree, and these include Apple, Google, Hilton and EY.

And IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty spoke at this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos about the need for companies to develop a different mindset when it comes to recruiting, looking to grow skills on the job rather than hiring people with degrees.

There has also been a significant fall in the number of university applicants in the UK over the last two years, as the chart below shows.



Skills for tomorrow

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs 2018 report projects that, by 2022, besides proficiency in new technologies, ‘human’ skills such as creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion and negotiation will retain or increase their value in the face of increased automation. Attention to detail, resilience, flexibility and complex problem-solving will also be key.

“Emotional intelligence, leadership and social influence as well as service orientation will also see an outsized increase in demand relative to their current prominence,” it says.

Besides its problem-based curriculum, LIS will also teach students the key skills they need to survive in the modern world: including research methods, tech skills like data analytics and coding, and ‘softer’ skills like interviewing, critical analysis, creativity and collaboration.





“People understand the importance of STEM subjects, but now they’re increasingly saying we need to combine this with an understanding of psychology and humanity, art and design,” says Fidoe.

“Being able to combine those things is something that machines will find very hard to do but humans need to be able to.”

There is certainly a need for a broad range of skills to meet the needs of tomorrow’s workplace.

But is it not yet clear whether students will want to take a punt on a different style of education, or whether they will continue to favour more traditional institutions or even decide to skip a degree altogether.

And Fidoe admits that the first batch of 120 students will need to be bold and willing to go on an adventure: “It’s not for the faint-hearted - they’re going to be part of a big project that we’re building, this new university."

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/this-new-uk-university-is-turning-learning-on-its-head-to-tackle-the-worlds-most-complex-problems/
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13829
    • View Profile
 On Sunday night’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver joined the growing chorus of voices pointing out that we aren’t doing enough to save our planet.

Oliver sounded the alarm in light of a new report on climate change from the United Nations that warns that lasting change is coming to the planet as soon as 2040. “That’s just 21 years from now,” Oliver pointed out. “By that point, Finn Wolfhard will only be 37, Ariana Grande will only be 46, and Lou Dobbs will only be dead for 30 years.”

To avoid the consequences, unprecedented climate-saving steps need to be taken around the world. In the U.S. the Green New Deal is meant to kickstart the conversation about what the country can do to save the planet. As Oliver noted, the Green New Deal is a nonbinding resolution that sets out goals like net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, moving towards clean energy, and creating jobs.

“The whole Green New Deal is just 40 pages long,” Oliver noted. “That is seven pages shorter than the menu for the Cheesecake Factory.”

The Senate voted down the Green New Deal six weeks ago, but Oliver noted that the issue is very much on people’s minds. Because the potential legislation stemming from it could be complex, Oliver pulled out one area to focus on—specifically, carbon pricing, or how much it costs to release carbon, the largest source of greenhouse gas, into the air.

Currently, it’s free to release carbon, but taxing it could cut emissions. To help deconstruct carbon pricing, Oliver brought in an expert—Bill Nye, the Science Guy—who explained that “when something costs more, people release less of it.” In the U.K. carbon pricing caused carbon emissions to drop to levels not seen since the 1800s a.k.a. “before Mary Poppins danced with Burt the chimney sweep.”

While the Green New Deal has gotten people to start talking, according to Oliver that is not going to be enough. To drive home the message, Nye returned with a “gritty reboot” of his friendly science guy message, lighting a globe on fire to show that the planet really is in a state of emergency. “You’re adults now, and this is an actual crisis,” said Bill Nye. “Safety glasses off, motherf—-ers.”

http://time.com/5587252/john-oliver-green-new-deal-climate-change-bill-nye-last-week-tonight/
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13829
    • View Profile
The hullabaloo over the article written by one of the co-founders of Facebook, Chris Hughes, calling for Facebook to be broken up and regulated, so as to limit its pernicious effects on society and democracy, which Nick Clegg, the company’s Vice-President of Global Affairs and Communications and former Prime Minister of the UK, has already answered, has produced an unexpected but very meaningful idea: there’s no point breaking up Facebook simply for it to be replaced with a copycat version and that, in reality, we do not need social media — or at the very least, social media as we’ve known it so far.

A lot of damage was done last year. So much so, that there are now those who consider that the game’s up. We’ve woken up with a hangover amid the wreckage of a decade-long social network party to realize there is no privacy and that sharing generates an immense amount of garbage, all of which will exist forever, and that that blurry photograph of your living room has been sold to the highest bidder, that democracy has been manipulated to the point of the grotesque, that we live in a permanent, sordid popularity contest and that we are surrounded by armies of would-be influencers making fools of themselves and even trying to sell us their inexistent ethics and morals. For many, 2018 may have been the last year of social media as we know them.

The way young people use social networks is changing rapidly, partly in response to networks that threaten to take over their lives, that they see as fake, the opposite of social. A while back, it looked like they were abandoning Facebook because it had been taken over by the old folks, but it now turns out they’re just leaving anyway, and not just Facebook, but the whole social media concept. Completely. Because they no longer believe social media contributes anything to their lives, or at least nothing positive. They don’t need it.

In general, social networks, and Facebook in particular, stay in business thanks to a large mass of poorly informed people and, above all, thanks to companies that consider this channel the best thing since bread came sliced, because Facebook allows them to invade the privacy of potential customers to the max so as to put laser-guided advertising in front of them. Most people don’t like the idea of being targets, but this doesn’t seem to bother Facebook or its advertisers.

What goes around, comes around: I’ve always believed social networks can play an important role, that humans are social by nature and that these networks were a natural development that helped to channel that sociability. However, the current face of social networks generates more fatigue, apathy, concern and other problems than anything else. The monetization of personal information is unsustainable: I see no harm in linking a business model based on the analysis of information to things that can generate value if used carefully and sensitively, but in all honestly, this is no longer the case with social networks. In many ways, social media died when it stopped being social and became about making money, when we stopped being users and became products.

I doubt that this thinking is final. I believe there is space for other types of social networks. Different, with a more measured business model. Or without one. We will always use the internet to share the things we do, we say, we think. But I now want to see change, for some things to disappear, and if they’re going to be replaced, then that should be by something very different.

Enrique Dans, Ph.D. is Professor of Innovation at IE Business School since 1990

https://www.forbes.com/sites/enriquedans/2019/05/13/social-media-died-when-it-stopped-being-social-and-became-just-about-making-money/#42511ad42c94
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13829
    • View Profile
A Biden Presidency Would Be a 'Death Sentence,' Climate Activists Warn
« Reply #12696 on: May 13, 2019, 05:25:29 AM »
The former vice president's campaign has them very, very worried.

Joe Biden backed one of the first climate bills in US history, has a relatively strong score from the League of Conservation Voters, and calls fighting global temperature rise “a matter of survival.” The former vice president—who became the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination shortly after entering the race last month—has the profile, on paper, of someone who should be able to tout his bona fides on climate change and the environment.

But Biden appears to be running as a moderate on these issues. On Friday, Reuters reported that while he would support re-joining the Paris climate agreement, he was also open to boosting natural gas and technologies to capture and bury emissions from industrial facilities. That was alarming to some climate activists, who already didn’t trust him on the issue—and that might be putting it mildly.

It’s difficult to find many climate thinkers or activists these days who are all that excited about Biden’s entry into the Democratic primaries—and some interviewed for this story worry that if he wins he could actually slow down progress at a time when the planet is least able to afford it.

“This is an existential threat that we are talking about for all life on Earth, all Americans,” said Leah Stokes, a political scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who closely follows the politics of climate change and energy. “I don’t trust him at all… I think he’s got some explaining to do about what exactly his plan is to deal with the climate crisis.”

Biden’s campaign website contains only three sentences about the greatest crisis ever to face humankind, and these are located midway down a secondary page. “We must turbocharge our efforts to address climate change and ensure that every American has access to clean drinking water, clean air, and an environment free from pollutants,” the site reads. His campaign did not respond to VICE’s request for more details on the actual policies this would entail.

There are virtually no specifics about how Biden plans to cut emissions in half by 2030—which is what United Nation scientists calculated is required to stabilize the world at or below 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming and keep cities like Houston, London, Shanghai, Jakarta, Bangkok, Lagos, Manila and Dhaka above water.

But the Reuters story sheds light on what a Biden presidency might include when it comes to climate—a return to Barack Obama’s policies of regulating emissions and working with the international community, but not the kind of aggressive action favored by experts and advocates. One of the sources for the Reuters article, Heather Zichal, previously advised Obama on climate change and is now an informal advisor to Biden. She is affiliated with Cheniere Energy, a major liquefied natural gas producer based in Houston.

Unsurprisingly, activists were alarmed by this news.

“A ‘middle ground’ policy that's supportive of more fossil fuel development is a death sentence for our generation and the millions of people on the frontlines of the climate crisis,” Varshini Prakash, co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, which has been leading the push for a Green New Deal, said in a statement.

Even before the Reuters story, there were plenty of reasons for people like Prakash to be skeptical of Biden on climate. When he launched his campaign for president on April 29 in Pittsburgh he didn’t mention climate change once. Instead, he gave a lengthy shout-out to union leaders in the audience, promising to “restore,” “rebuild,” and “unify” America after four years under Donald Trump. Buried deep in his 40-minute speech, Biden made a passing reference to low-carbon growth, pledging his support for “rebuilding America’s clean, renewable energy.” He went on to brag that “North American energy makes us independent,” a phrase often used in reference to oil and gas production.

Ed Fallon, a former Iowa legislator turned radio talk show host and climate activist who once played a game of pool with Biden, wasn’t impressed. He found the former vice-president to be “an eloquent speaker and an all-around likable guy.” But with Iowa recovering from two months of historic flooding linked in part to global carbon emissions, and Democrat supporters rating climate change as a top concern, Fallon wanted to know how seriously Biden takes human survival on our planet.

So when Biden spoke in Des Moines on May 2, Fallon and 11 others put on penguin masks and stood directly in front of Biden’s podium holding signs that read “Climate is a crisis.” Biden addressed Fallon’s group directly. “Don’t worry, I’ll get to climate change,” he said, adding, “I introduced climate legislation way, way back in 1987,” a reference to a bill he’d pushed urging President Ronald Reagan to back a task force studying global warming. “You’re preaching to the choir,” Biden said.

But Fallon isn’t so sure. Biden at one point told the crowd that “the United States is soon going to be the largest producer of energy of any nation in the world by the end of the 2020s. My lord, what are we so afraid of?” Biden appeared to be referring to the fact that US oil production has rocketed over recent years to 12.1 million barrels per day, surpassing the output of Saudi Arabia and Russia.

“He’s proud of that,” Fallon told VICE. “Joe’s boasting about being the biggest oil producer. You can’t be proud of that and fight climate change.”

Several days later Biden travelled to Los Angeles to speak at some of his campaign’s first fundraising events. At the home of UCLA School of Medicine faculty member Cynthia Telles and media executive Joe Waz, Biden discussed global warming “in passing,” according to notes emailed to reporters from his campaign. Notes from an event at the Jonathan Club, a private Los Angeles social club, don’t mention climate change at all.

“This is not a second-tier problem,” Stokes said. “This is not something we can pretend will be easy to do and we’ll talk about later, this is a fundamental conversation that has to be happening.”

Biden has at times seemed willing to discuss climate change with the urgency it requires. Earlier this year he told the Conference of Mayors that the US could easily quadruple the wind power it generates and that half of electricity in North America should come “from non-polluting sources” with six years. If rising seas force millions of people out of their homes, he said, “that’s how wars start.”

Biden received an 83 percent score from the League of Conservation Voters for his support of environmental policy as a US senator, a score that may have been higher if he hadn’t missed votes while several times competing in Democratic presidential primaries, said Tiernan Sittenfeld, the group’s senior vice president for government affairs.

But she said with the impacts of climate change becoming clearer and more deadly all the time, “all candidates who are serious about running for president need to make climate change an absolute top-tier priority.” They must prove every day to voters, Sittenfeld went on, that they’ll “move forward in ambitious ways on combating climate change starting on day one in the Oval Office.” The world as we know it could literally be depending on it.

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/a3x39g/climate-activists-dont-like-joe-biden
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13829
    • View Profile
Jury awards couple $2 billion in Monsanto Roundup cancer lawsuit trial
« Reply #12697 on: May 13, 2019, 05:37:03 PM »
A jury in Oakland, California, has awarded a couple $2 billion in punitive damages after concluding that sustained exposure to Monsanto Co.'s popular Roundup weed killer led to their cancer diagnoses. The couple will receive an additional $55 million for pain and suffering and to cover medical expenses.

The Alameda County Superior Court jury deliberated for less than two days before reaching a verdict.

Seventy-six-year-old Alva and 74-year-old Alberta Pilliod used Roundup for about 30 years for residential landscaping, which the jury believed played a "substantial factor" in their development of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Alva was diagnosed in 2011; his wife, Alberta, received the same diagnosis four years later. They are both in remission.

Bayer, Monsanto's parent company, released a statement claiming that the couple had "long histories of illnesses known to be substantial risk factors for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma" and countered allegations that an active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, has been linked to cancer. Bayer said it plans to appeal Monday's verdict.

   

"The jury saw for themselves internal company documents demonstrating that, from day one, Monsanto has never had any interest in finding out whether Roundup is safe," an attorney for the couple, R. Brent Wisner, said in a statement sent to CBS News. "Instead of investing in sound science, they invested millions in attacking science that threatened their business agenda."

This is the third lawsuit related to Roundup that Monsanto has lost in the state of California. Wisner co-represented plaintiffs in the prior two lawsuits as well. In the first, school groundskeeper Dewayne "Lee" Johnson was ultimately awarded $78.5 million. Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014 and regularly spraying a high-concentration version of Roundup known as Ranger Pro as part of his job from 2012 to 2016.

A California federal court jury awarded more than $80 million to Edwin Hardeman, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgekin's lymphoma in 2015. Hardeman had used Roundup for more than 25 years on his Sonoma property.
Lawsuits' effect on Bayer stock price

The lawsuits have battered Bayer's stock since it purchased Monsanto for $63 billion last year, The Associated Press reports.

Chairman Werner Wenning told shareholders at Bayer's annual general meeting last month that company leaders "very much regret" falls in its share price. At the same time, CEO Werner Baumann insisted that "the acquisition of Monsanto was and remains the right move for Bayer."

Bayer's stock price closed Monday at $15.91 a share, down 45 cents or 2.76 percent per share, in trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The verdict was announced after the trading session closed, AP points out.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jury-awards-couple-2billion-monsanto-roundup-weed-killer-cancer-lawsuit-trial-today-2019-05-13/
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13829
    • View Profile
Southern Ohio school closes because of radioactive contamination fears
« Reply #12698 on: May 13, 2019, 05:42:46 PM »
WASHINGTON — A school district in southern Ohio has closed its middle school because of concerns of radioactive contamination from a shuttered uranium enrichment plant fewer than five miles away.

The Scioto Valley Local School District announced it would close Zahn’s Corner Middle School on Monday after U.S. Department of Energy officials said that they had no plans to stop their work at the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, a 3,000–acre facility nearby that stopped producing enriched uranium in 2001. Energy Department contractors are building a waste disposal site on the plant as they work to clean up the site.

Board of Education President Brandon K. Wooldridge said the district was working with the Ohio Department of Education to make up the eight remaining days in the school year for students. The school has a student population of about 360, he said.

County health department officials became concerned about contamination after the recent release of a 2017 Energy Department report that said the DOE found traces of neptunium at an air monitoring station on the grounds of the middle school. Neptunium is a carcinogen linked to bone cancers.

In a statement, the Department of Energy confirmed that trace amounts of neptunium were found in two ambient air monitoring stations near the plant.

“Even though the detected levels were well below the established thresholds of concern for public health, DOE is taking immediate steps to obtain independent soil and air quality samples in the surrounding area, and will take all appropriate actions to address community concerns,” the statement read.

In an open letter to parents and community members, the school district said it would close the middle school “until the source, extent, level of contamination, and potential impacts to public health and the environment can be determined.”

“It is the position of the Board that any level of contamination on or near our school is unacceptable,” they wrote.

The closure of the school came after the Pike County Health Department formally called on the DOE to stop construction of the nuclear waste disposal facility after an independent study also found contamination at other sites in the community.

The health district as well as representatives from Piketon, Scioto Township and the Scioto Valley Local School District met Monday with Assistant Secretary of Energy Anne White to discuss how to ensure the safety of the community. During that meeting, White reiterated that while the Department of Energy wanted to sponsor a third party independent review of contamination issues, it would not stop construction work at the disposal site until they had better data.

“We got a 50–50 result here,” said Jennifer Chandler, a Piketon village councilwoman. “We really are concerned their actions, something they are doing, is releasing contaminants into the environment that are making it off site. We hoped they would just take a pause and figure out where it’s coming from.”

She said she knows of five students who have been diagnosed with cancer over the last five years. Three died.

“My concern is that we are at one student a year,” she said. “What are the health effects on our community? I know every single one of those students who had a cancer diagnosis.”

For Wooldridge, the news of potential contamination hit home on two fronts: His son, a sixth grader, goes to Zahn’s Corner. He, too, is concerned about a high rate of cancer. “We live in a cancer belt here,” he said.

J.C. Benton, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Health said the agency is currently reviewing the research and sample results. And Heidi Griesmer, deputy director of the Ohio EPA, said the agency is evaluating the data with the Department of Health.

“While the amount reported is far below the risk level, we have asked the Department of Energy to investigate it further,” Griesmer said.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Rob Portman, R–Ohio, said Portman “is aware of the situation and is working with the US Department of Energy and Ohio EPA to better understand all of the data presented to ensure the safety and health of the residents, families, and workers of the Piketon community.” And a spokeswoman for Sen. Sherrod Brown, D–Ohio, said Brown is working with the Senate Appropriations Committee “to hold DOE accountable and get answers on behalf of the community.”

Michael Ketterer, a professor emeritus of chemistry and biochemistry at Northern Arizona University, said he believes the contamination is widespread.

On a visit to settle his father’s estate last year in Summit County, Ketterer, who describes himself as a “forensic chemist,” took a day trip to Pike County to collect samples. His initial findings were startling enough that he said he felt obligated to follow up.

He contacted a Elizabeth Lamerson, a neighbor of the plant who has been vocal about her concerns of contamination and had her take some 80 samples and ship them to him. The samples — taken of water and dust in homes, for example — tested positive for plutonium, uranium and neptunium.

Ketterer said the samples were not the types of uranium found in nature.

“No question about it,” he said. “Based on the environmental fingerprint, they were coming from the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion facility.”

He and a fellow researcher released their initial findings April 27 during a community meeting. The community, he said, was outraged.

“I was across the U.S. on a speaker phone,” he said. “But I could smell blood through the telephone line.”

Lamerson, the neighbor, has a child at the Zahn’s Corner and an older child who attended the school in 2017.

She said the community wants the cleanup. But they want it done safely.

“It almost seems like they think we’re not worth putting the extra money into it,” she said.

jwehrman@dispatch.com

https://www.ohio.com/news/20190513/southern-ohio-school-closes-because-of-radioactive-contamination-fears
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13829
    • View Profile
Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #12699 on: May 13, 2019, 05:51:11 PM »
Observers speculate the blockade may have something to do with the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, which occurred on June 4, 1989.

China appears to be blocking all access to Wikipedia after previously only censoring the Chinese-language editions of the online encyclopedia.

The blocking started last month, according to an internet monitoring service operated by the Tor Project. Attempting to access any Wikipedia page from within the country, no matter the language, will now trigger a connection error.



A separate censorship monitoring group, Greatfire.org, says China has blocked access to Wikipedia since April 22. Local users on Chinese social media platforms say they've also been "walled" from the site.

It's unclear why the Chinese government has blocked the sites. But observers speculate it may be related to the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, which occurred on June 4, 1989. The country's government has generally banned all discussion of the event, which resulted in the Chinese authorities using military force to squash a pro-democracy movement led by students.

It's possible the blocking may only be temporary. In January, China mysteriously blocked and then ublocked Microsoft's Bing search engine.

Over the years, the country has selectively blocked certain pages on Wikipedia that have been critical of its Communist-led government. However, in 2015, China began blocking all access to the Mandarin-language pages of Wikipedia after the encyclopedia site moved to HTTPS encryption by default in order to protect users from unwarranted surveillance.

So far, the Wikimedia Foundation hasn't commented on the blocking. To access a censored website from within China, users can install a VPN service, which will allow them to connect to the internet over a server based outside the country. In response, China has tried to crack down on VPN use with the threat of fines against anyone caught using unauthorized VPN services.

https://www.pcmag.com/news/368329/china-blocks-access-to-all-language-editions-of-wikipedia?amp=1
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13829
    • View Profile
Brazil indigenous chief Raoni goes to Europe in defence of Amazon
« Reply #12700 on: May 13, 2019, 05:55:22 PM »

Kayapo ethnic group leader Raoni Metuktire attends a meeting with deputies to discuss the rights of indigenous people at the National Congress in Brasilia, on Apr 25, 2019.

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil's legendary indigenous chief Raoni headed to Paris on Sunday (May 12) for the start of a three-week tour across Europe where he will meet heads of state, celebrities and the Pope to highlight growing threats to the Amazon.

The elderly Kayapo chief, internationally recognisable through his traditional lip plate and feather headdress, will seek to raise €1 million (US$1.1 million) to better protect the Amazon's Xingu reserve - home to many of Brazil's tribal peoples - from loggers, farmers and fire.

Raoni Metuktire, famous for his work campaigning in defense of Brazil's rainforest alongside personalities like pop star Sting, will be accompanied by three indigenous leaders from the Xingu.

They will hold talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and environment minister Francois de Rugy before travelling to Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco and Italy where they will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican, according to the Paris-based Association Foret Vierge, or Virgin Forest Association, of which Raoni is honorary president.

Raoni´s trip comes as the Amazon faces increasing threats from mining and farming lobbies who have found a champion in far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate change skeptic.

Funds raised will be used to replace or reset hundreds of signs and markers on the boundary of the vast Xingu as well as pay for drones and satellite imaging to monitor the region, and create firebreaks, Foret Vierge said in a statement.

Some Xingu communities also need urgent investment in health, education and know-how in extracting and selling renewable forest products.

"Thus Indians will be able to live in dignity in the Reserve while protecting it and their ancestral cultures, instead of going into urban or rural areas where they can not find their place," the statement said.

There are hundreds of demarcated territories in Brazil, established in the 1980s for the exclusive use of their indigenous inhabitants, and access by outsiders is strictly regulated.

But Bolsonaro's anti-environment rhetoric before and after winning last October´s elections has alarmed indigenous communities and green groups.

Bolsonaro has said he wants to "integrate into society" Brazil's estimated 800,000 indigenous people who have long battled to protect their traditional way of life, away from towns and cities.

"The Indian cannot continue to be trapped within a demarcated area as if he were a zoo animal," the former army captain once said.

A number of recent reports have sounded the alarm over rampant destruction of the Amazon and threats to indigenous inhabitants.

An indigenous alliance warned last month that native peoples in the Amazon faced an "apocalypse."

They warned in particular of Bolsonaro's pledges to allow more farming and logging in the Amazon, and to ease safeguards and grant more licenses for Brazil's huge mining industry, and build more dams.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/brazil-indigenous-chief-raoni-goes-to-europe-in-defence-of-11527086
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13829
    • View Profile
Supreme Court deals Apple major setback in App Store antitrust case
« Reply #12701 on: May 13, 2019, 06:04:16 PM »
    The Supreme Court, ruling 5-4, allows iPhone users to pursue their antitrust lawsuit against Apple in a case involving its signature electronic marketplace, the App Store.
    Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the majority opinion, which was joined by the court’s liberal justices.
    The iPhone users argued that Apple’s 30% commission on sales through the App Store was passed along to consumers, an unfair use of monopoly power. Apple argued that only app developers, and not users, should be able to bring such a lawsuit.

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled 5-4 against Apple, saying iPhone users can pursue their antitrust lawsuit involving the tech giant’s signature electronic marketplace, the App Store.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the majority opinion, which was joined by the court’s liberal justices.

The iPhone users argued that Apple’s 30% commission on sales through the App Store is an unfair use of monopoly power that results in inflated prices passed on to consumers.

Apple argued that only app developers, and not users, should be able to bring such a lawsuit. But the Supreme Court, in an opinion authored by Kavanaugh, rejected that claim.

Read more: Here’s how the Supreme Court’s Apple App Store decision could affect companies like Amazon and Google

“Apple’s line-drawing does not make a lot of sense, other than as a way to gerrymander Apple out of this and similar lawsuits,” Kavanaugh wrote.

Shares of Apple, already battered by trade concerns, were down 5%, lagging the broader market.

The result was widely expected after arguments in November in the case, Apple v. Pepper, during which the justices seemed skeptical of Apple’s arguments.

The case split President Donald Trump’s two nominees to the high court. In a dissent joined by his fellow conservatives, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that the majority created an “artificial rule.”

The legal battle over the company’s online marketplace has dragged on for nearly a decade.

The result of the iPhone users’ litigation could affect the way that Apple, as well as other companies that operate electronic marketplaces like Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet’s Google, structure their businesses. For Apple, hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties could hang on the outcome.

In a statement, David Frederick, an attorney for the iPhone users, said the “decision is important for upholding consumer protections against the dangers of monopoly retailers like Apple. Apple’s monopoly control has distorted the prices for apps and it’s time for that abuse of monopoly power to end.”

Apple’s full statement is below:

“Today’s decision means plaintiffs can proceed with their case in District court. We’re confident we will prevail when the facts are presented and that the App Store is not a monopoly by any metric.

We’re proud to have created the safest, most secure and trusted platform for customers and a great business opportunity for all developers around the world. Developers set the price they want to charge for their app and Apple has no role in that. The vast majority of apps on the App Store are free and Apple gets nothing from them. The only instance where Apple shares in revenue is if the developer chooses to sell digital services through the App Store.

Developers have a number of platforms to choose from to deliver their software — from other apps stores, to Smart TVs to gaming consoles — and we work hard every day to make our store the best, safest and most competitive in the world. ”

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/13/supreme-court-rules-against-apple-in-app-store-antitrust-case.html
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13829
    • View Profile
Venezuela exodus raises worries of babies being stateless
« Reply #12702 on: May 14, 2019, 05:36:06 AM »

Arelys Pulido, right, holds her two-month-old daughter Zuleidys Antonella Primera as they are processed for her baby's birth certificate at the Erazmo Meoz hospital in Cucuta, on Colombia's border with Venezuela, Thursday, May 2, 2019. Colombia has received more Venezuelan migrants than any other nation, and the numbers are not expected to dip any time soon.

 Arelys Pulido had already lost one baby in a neglected Venezuelan hospital where doctors and medical gear are in increasingly short supply, so when she got pregnant again she decided to give birth in a foreign land.

She packed suitcases filled with clothes and a few prized ceramic statues of saints that she hoped would grant her and her unborn child protection as they passed through one of the perilous illegal crossings into Colombia.

Earlier this year, Zuleidys Antonella Primera was born, a lively girl with dark hair and eyes bearing no hint of the odyssey her mother went through so she could deliver her in a hospital across the border in the city of Cúcuta.

 Yet little Zuleidys so far has neither the citizenship of the country her parents fled nor that of the nation where she was born. She is one of a growing number of children who have been left essentially stateless.

"It's one more thing to worry about," said José Antonio Primera, the baby's father, a former military officer who now paints motorcycles for a living.

While the children born to migrants qualify for Venezuelan citizenship, they would need to formally register at a consulate or travel to Venezuela to obtain it. Both options are out of the question for many families. They do not want to return until conditions improve and consulates are closed after President Nicolás Maduro severed diplomatic relations with Colombia in February.

Colombia's government grants the newborns full health care during the first year of life and allows them to enroll in school, but experts on statelessness fear that if Venezuela's crisis drags on for years, they could approach adulthood without key rights such as the ability to travel legally, buy property or get married.

Colombia's National Civil Registry counts at least 3,290 children born since December 2017 who have been unable to obtain citizenship. Rights groups contend the numbers could be as high as 25,000.

Even by the lowest count, advocates say, the number of children at risk of statelessness now living in Colombia is worrisome.

"It is a significant number when you think of it being created out of one crisis," said Amal de Chickera, co-director of the Netherlands-based Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion. "And if it is prolonged and if it's not nipped in the bud it can become much bigger."

Nearly 1.3 million Venezuelans now reside in Colombia, about 40% of whom are in the country without any legal status. Colombia has received more Venezuelan migrants than any other nation, and the numbers are not expected to dip any time soon. Even with the border between the neighboring countries officially closed, thousands stream into Colombia each day using the same dirt roads that Pulido crossed while pregnant.

Colombia's constitution only offers birthright citizenship to children who have at least one Colombian parent or a mother or father who can prove legal residency based on visa status.

Many Venezuelan arrivals do not have a passport, let alone a visa. A temporary, two-year visa that Colombia's government has provided as a stopgap measure to nearly 600,000 Venezuelans does not qualify babies for citizenship.

That has left many babies in a legal limbo.

Colombian officials say it is Venezuela's fault that a new generation of children born abroad are virtually statelessness, but they are working on finding a remedy.

"We're all in agreement that exceptional measures need to be taken," said Alfredo Posada, a spokesman for Colombia's National Civil Registry.

A government proposal in the works would allow any Venezuelan child born in Colombia since the current exodus began in August 2015 to qualify for citizenship and is expected to be approved in the weeks ahead while legislators are considering a similar bill in congress.

Statelessness first became an international concern between World War I and World War II as the population of those fleeing persecution or excluded from nationality laws rose, said David Baluarte, an expert on statelessness at Washington and Lee University.

The issue caused heightened alarm during World War II when Jews were stripped of their citizenship in Nazi Germany before being sent to concentration camps.

Two United Nations treaties were created protecting the right to citizenship, but today an estimated 10 to 15 million people around the globe are considered stateless.

Statelessness experts say the onus is on Colombia to rectify the status of Venezuelan children born on its territory.

"In the present moment, these children would be stateless in Colombia, so the obligation is on them to grant citizenship," de Chickera said. "That would be a really strict reading of the law, but I think it's important to take into consideration that this is quite an extraordinary moment."

When born in Colombia, the children are given a birth certificate, but it clearly states at the bottom, "Not valid for nationality."

"The fact that the parent is an undocumented migrant shouldn't mean that the child is born an undocumented migrant," lawyer Xiomara Rauseo said.

At the present moment, Venezuelan parents can try going through the courts to get Colombian citizenship for their children, but few have succeeded. Two cases are currently being considered by the constitutional court, said Lucía Ramírez, a coordinator for investigations and migration issues at the human rights non-profit Dejusticia.

Others have tried going through the Ministry of Foreign Relations, which must consider any cases in which a foreign consulate does not provide citizenship within three months. Ramírez said Dejusticia is only aware of one case that has succeeded to date. That child, however, was not born to Venezuelan migrants.

"It's not a pathway that people are using," she said.

At the Erasmo Meoz University Hospital in the border city of Cúcuta, parents clutching newborns stand outside a registry office, eager to ink their children's feet and obtain their official birth record, only to find out the country isn't granting them citizenship.

"The normal thing to do would be for them to all get Colombian citizenship," said Eduardo Bravo, a former police officer, while bouncing his infant daughter in his arms. "We aren't here in Colombia because we want to be. It's out of necessity."

Pulido, 44, first crossed the border into Colombia four months into her pregnancy for ultrasounds she couldn't get in her home country. The journey on foot and over a river on a makeshift canoe wore on her, as did painful memories of her last pregnancy: The child died during childbirth after a usually minor complication. Pulido blames that on Venezuela's worsening humanitarian crisis.

"Several friends died giving birth there," she said. "I had to come."

At eight months pregnant, she packed her bags and left for good.

On a recent afternoon, Pulido and her husband Primera examined the piece of white paper with their daughter's tiny black footprints provided by the hospital. They were at a loss of how to interpret it, at once happy but also confused.

The couple said they didn't care so much about whether Zuleidys grows up Colombian or Venezuelan so long as one of those two countries recognizes her.

"As long as she has rights like any other human being, as a citizen," Primera said.

In the meantime, the family is struggling with a host of equally or more pressing concerns as they try to build a new life abroad. Work has been hard to come by for Primera. The couple sleeps with the baby on a mattress on the floor in an apartment with three rooms that house 13 people. And they still don't have a refrigerator.

The statues of saints that Pulido lugged across the border sit on a concrete cement shelf below reused Pepsi bottles storing water.

"We're in the hands of God," Primera said.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/venezuela-exodus-raises-worries-babies-stateless-63019970
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13829
    • View Profile
Alkiviades “Alki” David is a member of the Leventis family, who run the biggest commercial bottling facilities in Europe. A merger with Coca-Cola bumped the family's net worth to approximately £4.6 billion


It is believed that the crop was destined for David’s medical cannabis company, SwissX, which specializes in products containing CBD (cannabidiol), a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis and hemp.

A Greek billionaire has been detained on the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts after a search of his private jet yielded approximately £1 million of cannabis totalling approximately 5,000 plants, an unknown number of seeds and a variety other cannabis products.

Isle of Man resident Alkiviades “Alki” David, 50, was arrested by the Anti-Narcotics Unit at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport. He has been charged with Possession with Intent to Supply, Possession of Controlled Drugs and Importation of a Controlled Drug into the Federation after his plane was stopped by customs authorities.

David is a member of the Leventis family, who run the biggest commercial bottling facilities in Europe after a merger with beverage behemoth Coca-Cola bumped the family’s net worth to approximately £4.6 billion. David himself is estimated to be worth £2.6 billion.

    David claims the plants are “pure hemp,” which is legal and contains negligible quantities of intoxicating compound THC. But officials disagree.

It is believed that the crop was destined for David’s medical cannabis company, SwissX, which specializes in products containing CBD (cannabidiol), a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis and hemp.

David was released after paying a cash bail of approximately USD$30,000 and is due to make another appearance at Basseterre Magistrate Court on May 14. In the meantime, he must surrender all travel documents in his possession and report daily to the Frigate Bay Police Station.

The charges will add to David’s quickly accumulating pile of legal bills. Last month, the billionaire was ordered to pay £8.5 million to a former employee whom he allegedly fired after she refused to perform sex acts at work.


Want to keep up to date on what’s happening in the world of cannabis?  Subscribe to the Cannabis Post newsletter for weekly insights into the industry, what insiders will be talking about and content from across the Postmedia Network.

https://vancouversun.com/cannabis-news/coca-cola-billionaire-arrested-after-search-of-private-jet-reveals-5000-alleged-cannabis-plants/wcm/41c1e0d3-b021-4234-9812-23c64299f401
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13829
    • View Profile
Mismanaged waste 'kills up to a million people a year globally'
« Reply #12704 on: May 14, 2019, 05:54:38 AM »
Report says plastics adding to death tolls in the developing world from easily prevented diseases


 A polluted canal in Mumbai, India. Plastic waste can block waterways and cause flooding, spreading disease.

Mismanaged waste is causing hundreds of thousands of people to die each year in the developing world from easily preventable causes, and plastic waste is adding a new and dangerous dimension to the problem, a report has found.

Municipal waste frequently goes uncollected in poorer countries and its buildup fuels the spread of disease. Between 400,000 and 1 million people are dying as a result of such mismanaged waste, according to the charity Tearfund.

While mismanaged waste has been a problem for decades, the growth of plastic pollution, , which does not break down in the environment, is adding a fresh set of problems to an already dire situation. Plastic waste is blocking waterways and causing flooding, which in turn spreads waterborne diseases. When people burn the waste to get rid of it, it releases harmful toxins and causes air pollution.

Every second, a double-decker busload of plastic waste is burned or dumped in developing countries, the report found. When some plastics deteriorate, they can leach harmful chemicals into the environment and break down into microplastics, with effects that are still poorly understood and largely undocumented in poorer countries.

Sir David Attenborough, whose Blue Planet II series drew global attention to the problem of plastic waste, called for urgent action from the companies responsible for producing plastic that then turns into waste, and for support to help countries struggling against the tide of pollution.

“It’s high time we turned our attention fully to one of the most pressing problems of today – averting the plastic pollution crisis – not only for the health of our planet, but for the wellbeing of people around the world,” he said. “This report is one of the first to highlight the impacts of plastic pollution not just on wildlife but also on the world’s poorest people.”

Among the other harmful impacts of plastic pollution in poorer countries are the loss of fishing, as marine animals ingest the plastic; damage to agriculture, as up to a third of cattle and half of goats in developing countries have consumed significant amounts of plastic, harming their health as it leads to potentially fatal bloating; and large amounts of plastic waste washing up on shorelines and coral reefs deterring tourists, on whom many poorer countries rely.

While most attention has focused on the effects of marine plastic pollution in the natural world, its effects on people are equally problematic. About 8m tonnes of plastic waste are dumped into the seas each year, according to the UN, and there are few ways of retrieving it.

Last week countries around the world – but without the US – signed up through a UN to a plan to reduce the flow of plastic waste to developing countries. Although there have been signs of some companies making attempts to tackle the problem, these have been described by campaigners as a drop in the ocean.

“We need leadership from those who are responsible for introducing plastic to countries where it cannot be adequately managed, and we need international action to support the communities and governments most acutely affected by this crisis,” said Attenborough, who is a vice-president of the conservation charity Fauna & Flora International, which collaborated on the report.

At least 2 billion people around the world do not have their rubbish collected, and piles of it can build up in waterways, causing pollution, or rot in areas near where people live. Living near rubbish doubles the risk of contracting diarrhoea, the report found, which is a major cause of death in the developing world.

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world make a living from collecting waste, in some cases by collecting cans or bottles that can be recycled or returned, or, more dangerously, as “waste pickers” who live on rubbish dumps and scavenge what they can.

This is hazardous work, not only because of the pollution to which people are exposed but also because of the risk of physical injury, not least because poorly managed dumps are often affected by landslides and even explosions from the buildup of gases.

Ruth Valerio, the global advocacy and influencing director of Tearfund, said the organisation was calling on four multinationals that produce huge amounts of plastic packaging – Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever – to take responsibility for their products throughout the supply chain, and provide ways for the waste to be managed.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/14/mismanaged-waste-kills-up-to-a-million-people-a-year-globally
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'