AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1883561 times)

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Huawei under fire in China over employee detained for eight months
« Reply #14820 on: December 07, 2019, 07:29:46 PM »
Company facing scrutiny over treatment of Li Hongyuan, who had demanded severance pay

The Chinese telecom corporation Huawei has come under fire in its own country as members of the public rallied behind a former employee detained for eight months after demanding severance pay from the company.

Last January, Li Hongyuan, a Huawei employee of 13 years, was arrested on extortion charges and detained until August, when he was released because of “unclear criminal facts and insufficient evidence”, according to court documents posted online by Li.

According to Li, 35, he had negotiated termination compensation of about 300,000 yuan (£33,000), which was transferred to him through a secretary’s private account. The case has caused a wave of criticism over the company’s treatment of a longtime employee and questions about Chinese law punishing someone advocating for their employee rights. Huawei has not confirmed the lawsuit nor commented on the allegations.

On the social network Weibo, users were posting the numbers “985, 996, 035, 251, 404” a riff on the “996” culture of Chinese technology companies of working 9am to 9pm, six days a week.

In the case of Li, the numbers refer to graduating from one of the country’s 985 top universities, being fired at the age of 35, detained for 251 days, and seeing all related reports censored. The code was trending on Weibo on Monday.

In an open letter addressed to the Huawei founder, Ren Zhengfei, Li wrote: “It wasn’t my intention to cause so much attention online and I am sorry about it. Also, I don’t regret my choice for speaking the truth. There is always a cost to being honest.”

“In regards to my detention, my grandfather was shocked and passed away, and my child was scared,” he added. “I hope I can take some of your time for a cup of coffee.”

The criticism from within China is rare for Huawei, one of the most popular brands within the country and a symbol of national pride. Chinese citizens have rallied behind the company as it battles accusations of government influence, pushing Huawei smartphone sales up.

On Sunday, Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese Huawei executive who was arrested in Canada a year ago, published an open letter thanking Chinese citizens for their support, writing: “Your passion and support have always warmed my heart. Netizens have gone out of their way to express their ongoing trust, support, and care for us as well. You can see their comments online every time Huawei is in the news.”

In comments below Meng’s letter, commentators accused her of hypocrisy. One user wrote: “Li Hongyuan has worked hard for a dozen years and was forced to resign at the age of 35. He ends up in detention for protecting his own worker’s right … your suffering is called suffering, but what about those in jail for 251 days?”

A Weibo user wrote: “All day Huawei spouts patriotism and decries the kidnapping [of Meng], then it goes and jails its own workers.”

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/dec/02/huawei-under-fire-china-employee-detained-eight-months
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.'

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Climate experts ‘bewildered’ by government ‘burying their heads in the sand’, and say bushfires on Australia’s east coast should be a ‘wake-up call’


 Firefighters battle a bushfire near Braidwood, New South Wales, on Friday. Scientists are perplexed that as bushfires have intensified on Australia’s east coast, political commentary on climate change has ‘very much died down’.

Leading scientists have expressed concern about the lack of focus on the climate crisis as bushfires rage across New South Wales and Queensland, saying it should be a “wake-up call” for the government.

Climate experts who spoke to Guardian Australia said they were “bewildered” the emergency had grabbed little attention during the final parliamentary sitting week for the year, which was instead taken up by the repeal of medevac laws, a restructure of the public service, and energy minister Angus Taylor’s run-in with the American author Naomi Wolf.

Escalating conditions on Thursday and Friday led to dozens of out-of-control bushfires, including in the NSW’s Hawkesbury region, where a fire at Gospers Mountain merged with two other blazes burning in the lower Hunter on Friday.

Sydney has been blanketed with a thick smoke haze that health officials said had led to a 25% increase in people presenting in emergency departments for asthma and breathing problems.

Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, a climate scientist with the University of NSW’s Climate Change Research Centre, said she was “surprised, bewildered, concerned” that the emergency had prompted little discussion from political leaders this week.

“Here we are in the worst bushfire season we’ve ever seen, the biggest drought we’ve ever had, Sydney surrounded by smoke, and we’ve not heard boo out of a politician addressing climate change,” she said.

“They dismissed it from the outset and haven’t come back to it since.

“They’re burying their heads in the sand while the world is literally burning around them and that’s the scary thing. It’s only going to get worse.”

Mark Howden, the director of the Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute and a vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said while the fires were raging on, “the commentary in terms of climate change has very much died down”.

“Yesterday they did a public service reshuffle, or there was medevac, or the ‘union-busting’ bill,” he said.

“The government chooses the points they want to discuss in the parliament and the fact they haven’t chosen to discuss it sends a message to me.

“Essentially, it’s a question of priorities, that’s how I interpret it.”

Howden said the general public had already joined the dots about the rising number of extreme weather days that brought heat, wind and dry conditions and high fire danger.

He said all of the indicators of fire danger were starting to change and the effects of this were evident through increased frequency of fires, larger fire areas, more severe fires, fires burning in ecosystems not prone to fire and a longer fire season.

Euan Ritchie, a wildlife ecologist at Deakin University, said he was “deeply concerned” that the extent and severity of the current fires meant that ecosystems that shouldn’t be burning – such as rainforests in NSW – were on fire.

“It’s another example of failure to act on climate change, which is hurting people’s lives as well as nature,” he said.

“There needs to be increased attention on the impact of climate change and it’s relationship with fire and how that threatens humans as well as nature and the environment.”


Firefighters work to protect a property in Kulnura as the Three Mile fire approaches Mangrove Mountain in NSW on Friday.

Martin Rice, the head of research at the Climate Council, said the devastating fire conditions predicted by emergency leaders this year when they requested a meeting with the prime minister, Scott Morrison, were unfolding.

He said Morrison had still failed to meet with emergency leaders, however both Taylor and the emergency services minister David Littleproud have now done so.

Rice said the government was “failing to respond” to the climate crisis and to the “health emergency” created by toxic air around greater Sydney.

“This has to be a wake-up call to the federal government,” he said.

Rice said the Reserve Bank, medical practitioners, councils and mayors, emergency leaders and students were just some of the people who had made recent public pleas for a response.

“All walks of life in Australia are demanding action,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/07/leading-scientists-condemn-political-inaction-on-climate-change-as-australia-literally-burns
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.'

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'Alarmingly Fast Start' to Flu Season This Year
« Reply #14822 on: December 07, 2019, 08:18:22 PM »
The flu season is officially underway, marking the earliest start to widespread flu outbreaks in more than 15 years.

While flu season doesn't have a set start and end date, health officials consider it to kick off when a significant number of doctor's office visits are related to flu-like illnesses for three weeks in a row, according to the Associated Press. That threshold has now been met.

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that flu cases have risen steadily over the past few weeks and continue to increase.

Twelve states and Puerto Rico reported high levels of flu activity in the CDC's most recent weekly report, released Friday. That was up from seven states the previous week. Fourteen states, twice as many as the week before, reported moderate flu activity.

(MORE: How to Dodge the Flu This Year)

“Last year marked the longest flu season in a decade, and now we are seeing this year’s flu season off to an alarmingly fast start,” U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said during a hearing with health officials this week on the flu, the Boston Herald reported.

The CDC estimates some 1.7 million people have been infected with flu illnesses so far, and 900 have died. As many as 61,000 people died from the flu during the 2018-2019 season.

While some experts think the early and rapid start to this year's flu season could mean a sign of a particular intense flu battle this year, others say it's too early to tell.

“There’s not a predictable trend as far as if it’s early it’s going to be more severe, or later, less severe,” Scott Epperson, who tracks flu-like illnesses for the CDC, told the AP.

Dave Osthus, a statistician in flu forecasting at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, said the early start could indicate that a lot of people will be sick at the same time.

“This could be a precursor to something pretty bad," Osthus said. "But we don’t know."

The CDC says the best way to avoid the flu is to get vaccinated. Flu shots are recommended for anyone six months and older. Other preventive measures include frequent handwashing and avoiding others who are sick.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, cough, sore threat, stuffy nose, muscle or body aches and fatigue. Adults 65 years and older, pregnant women and young children are among the groups most at risk.

https://weather.com/health/cold-flu/news/2019-12-06-flu-season-fast-start-cases-spread
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.'

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The 8 billionaire is moving his mega gunstore to our rural neighborhood
« Reply #14823 on: December 08, 2019, 07:03:05 AM »
The Church is 2 miles away from this mega project.

MidwayUSA approved for new headquarters despite residents' concerns


MidwayUSA won its appeal to rezone 193 acres at the intersection of Route J and U.S. 40 from agricultural to industrial zoning Tuesday night.

MidwayUSA plans to build new headquarters on the land. The company sells ammunition, hunting and shooting accessories and outdoor equipment. The new headquarters will be built in phases, with the first phase being the construction of a 300,000-square-foot warehouse.

Eventually, the company will relocate to the new headquarters from its current location at 5875 W. Van Horn Tavern Road. The new headquarters will include a 1-million-square-foot warehouse and offices once it’s built.

The appeal came before the Boone County Commission after the request for rezoning was denied by the Boone County Planning & Zoning Commission on Nov. 21 in a 6-1 vote. The county commission voted for the rezoning 2-1 with only standing room available in the commission chambers. Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill and Southern District Commissioner Fred Parry voted for the rezoning, and Northern District Commissioner Janet Thompson voted against.

Residents who live near the upcoming development voiced concerns at Tuesday’s meeting and at the Nov. 21 zoning commission meeting. Their concerns centered on how the development would disrupt the largely agricultural area.

“We believe if industrial zoning is allowed in this wide-open area of agricultural land, it won’t be long before adjoining land will go industrial,” Garland Middendorf said at the meeting. Middendorf said he has lived in a home near the proposed site for 49 years.

Other concerns included increased traffic, decline in property values and possible wastewater runoff into a stream that could harm nearby cattle. Some didn’t want a concrete building across from their house in the country.

Tim Crockett, principal engineer for the project, and Shawn White, a traffic engineer, tried to put some of the concerned residents at ease. Crockett said all county stormwater regulations will be followed. White said the roads were safe for both cars and trucks. The developer also plans to improve the roads by adding turn lanes, and MoDOT has plans to add a shoulder on Route J in 2021.

There are also plans to add landscaping in front of the building in order to hide it from the view of residents, according to a county staff report.

Larry Potterfield, owner of MidwayUSA, summarized how he felt about the concerns before residents spoke.

“They’re going to say that your professional staff is wrong. They’re going to say Crockett Engineering is wrong. They’re going to say the state is wrong,” Potterfield said.

Potterfield’s case for the rezoning focused on the economic development the new headquarters would bring. He said MidwayUSA currently employs 360 people and as the company’s sales grow at approximately 7.3% annually, the number of jobs at the company would also increase.

Potterfield also said it would bring in around $4.5 million in property taxes. Both Parry and Atwill cited economic development as a reason they voted for the rezoning, but this reason was not strong enough for Thompson.

Thompson said she was concerned about how the proposal would “fundamentally change the character of the area,” which a staff report said would happen if the rezoning passed. She also expressed her belief that zoning regulations give residents a sense of certainty and that approving this rezoning would limit the county’s ability to meet this goal in the future.

Parry said he was upset over how residents were notified of the development via letter. He said he wished there were more opportunities for residents to discuss the development with Potterfield, which the MidwayUSA owner expressed regret over at the meeting.

However, Parry said the county needed to weigh the possibility of losing jobs, and he said the $4.5 million in tax revenue is hard to turn down. He indicated he would be “holding his nose” while voting in support of the rezoning.

Atwill supported the rezoning primarily for economic reasons. He said that while he respects the Planning & Zoning Commission, this rezoning has an economic component that needed to be considered. Groans could be heard throughout the chamber as he indicated he would be voting in favor of the rezoning; it was a nail in the coffin for concerned residents’ hopes of stopping the development at the meeting.

After Atwill and Parry said they would vote in favor of the rezoning, Thompson said, “The barn door will be open, and we won’t be able to even catch the horses.”

The Commission also approved a rezoning request for Old Hawthorne Development to build CoMo Rocks rock climbing facility off Route WW. The 7 acres will now be zoned as planned light industrial, the same as that approved for MidwayUSA.Supervising editor is Kaleigh Feldkamp.

https://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/local/midwayusa-approved-for-new-headquarters-despite-residents-concerns/article_17155308-1644-11ea-bc26-5706d8357fab.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.'

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Hong Kongers mark half a year of protest with mammoth rally
« Reply #14824 on: December 08, 2019, 07:18:23 AM »

Hundreds of thousands snaked their way through the financial hub's main island under crisp winter skies in the biggest turnout for months

Hong Kong (AFP) - Democracy protesters took part in the largest mass rally through Hong Kong's streets in months on Sunday in a forceful display of support for the movement, with a leading activist warning the city's pro-Beijing leaders they had a "last chance" to end the political crisis.

Organisers estimated some 800,000 people snaked for hours through the financial hub's main island as the protests marked six months, a vivid illustration of the hostility that still seethes towards the government after half a year of unrest.

The city's police force, which historically gives lower crowd turnout figures, told local media 183,000 people attended at the peak, still one of their highest estimates in months.

The rally received rare police permission and came two weeks after pro-establishment parties got a drubbing in local elections, shattering government claims that a "silent majority" opposed the protests.

As night fell the crowds switched on their mobile phone torches, creating a glittering carpet of lights that stretched far into the distance, their chants bouncing off the towering skyscrapers above.

Many of the black-clad attendees voiced anger and frustration that chief executive Carrie Lam and Beijing have ruled out any further concessions despite the landslide election defeat.

"No matter how we express our views, through peacefully marching, through civilised elections, the government won't listen," said a 50-year-old protester, who gave his surname Wong. "It only follows orders from the Chinese Communist Party."

"I don't know how long the fight will be," added another protester, who gave his first name as Kelvin. "So far I can't see the end but we won't back down."

Cantonese popstar Denise Ho, whose music is blacklisted on the Chinese mainland, tweeted a video of the huge crowds with the caption: "Here's your majority Carrie Lam".

- Rare permission -

Semi-autonomous Hong Kong has been battered by increasingly violent demonstrations in the starkest challenge the city has presented to Beijing since its 1997 handover from Britain.

Millions have marched in protests fuelled by years of growing fears that authoritarian China is stamping out the city's liberties.

The last fortnight has seen a marked drop in violence and vandalism after the landslide win by pro-democracy candidates.

Police took the unusual step of allowing the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) to hold Sunday's march -- the first time the group has been granted permission since mid-August -- but they warned they would have zero tolerance for violence by radicals.

The movement's demands include an independent inquiry into the police's handling of the protests, an amnesty for those arrested, and fully free elections.

"Carrie Lam should listen to the demands of Hong Kongers as soon as possible," CHRF's leader Jimmy Sham told reporters after earlier billing the march as Lam's "last chance" to listen to the people.

The protests were initially sparked by a now-abandoned attempt to allow extraditions to the mainland but have since morphed into a popular revolt against Beijing's rule.

The CHRF, which advocates non-violence, has been the main umbrella group behind record-breaking rallies earlier in the summer that saw huge crowds regularly march in searing heat.

One march in June drew what organisers said was a million people, another soon after drew double that.

Authorities have repeatedly banned major rallies in recent months citing the risk of violence from hardcore protesters.

Large crowds have simply ignored the bans, sparking near-weekly tear gas and petrol bomb clashes that have upended Hong Kong's reputation for stability and helped tip the city into recession.

- Police seize weapons -

Hours before the march was due to start, police displayed weapons, including a pistol and knives, they said had been found during overnight raids where eleven people were arrested.

Monday marks the six-month anniversary of the protests during which some 6,000 people have been arrested and hundreds injured, including police.

Online forums used to organise the movement's more radical wing have vowed to target Monday's morning commute if there is no response from Lam.

Years of huge, peaceful democracy marches have made little headway, leading to increased radicalisation among some Hong Kong protesters and a greater willingness to embrace violent tactics.

In a statement released ahead of the march, Hong Kong's government said it had "learned its lesson and will humbly listen to and accept criticism." But it announced no concrete measures or concessions.

Since the local elections the city's chief executive has remained steadfast in her opposition to further concessions and Beijing has stuck by her even as she languishes with record low approval ratings.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/hong-kong-democracy-protesters-aim-massive-turnout-rare-210115805.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.'

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France to press ahead with pensions reform despite protests
« Reply #14825 on: December 08, 2019, 07:26:33 AM »
Train and metro strikes enter fourth day as prime minister vows to implement changes


Protesters gather for a demonstration in Paris on Saturday.

The French government said it would press ahead with its planned pension changes but said the proposed new system that has sparked nationwide strikes would be introduced gradually and public concerns would be addressed.

Transport systems were paralysed for a fourth day on Sunday as unions at the state railway SNCF and Paris public transport system RATP extended their strike against the changes.

“I am determined to take this pension reform to its completion and … I will address people’s concerns about it,” the prime minister, Édouard Philippe, told Le Journal du Dimanche.

“If we do not implement a thorough, serious and progressive reform today, someone else will do one tomorrow, but really brutally,” he told the weekly publication.

Philippe has said he would present a detailed outline of the pension reform plan on Wednesday.

Emmanuel Wargon, the deputy environment minister, told France Info radio the government would be flexible about both the timelime and implementation of the reforms.

“Timelines may be relaxed if necessary and we may differentiate how each special pension system converges with the new system under different deadlines and terms,” she said.

She said a date would be set to implement the system but people’s pension rights would be calculated proportionally based on how much time they had worked under the new and old systems.

“Some say that everybody will lose under the new system. Not everybody will lose. It will be rather positive for a significant part of French citizens,” she said.

Philippe Martinez, the leader of the CGT union, said the CGT would continue its protests until the government dropped the plan. “We will continue until the plan is withdrawn,” he told the JDD, saying the prime minister should “go back to square one”.

France has one of the most generous pension systems among countries in the OECD grouping of industrialised nations. President Emmanuel Macron was elected in 2017 on a platform to liberalise the economy and reform the pension system.

Macron wants to introduce a pension system with equal rights for all and do away with a set of sub-systems under which some workers at SNCF, RATP and other institutions can retire in their early 50s, a decade earlier than others.

Unions plan a second demonstration on Tuesday, after a protest last Thursday attracted 65,000 people in Paris and 806,000 nationwide, according to police figures.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/08/france-to-press-ahead-with-pensions-reform-despite-protests
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.'

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Victoria Falls slows to a trickle, fuelling fears of climate change
« Reply #14826 on: December 08, 2019, 07:56:48 AM »

Locals say visitor numbers have dried up along with the falls.

For decades Victoria Falls has drawn millions of holidaymakers to Zimbabwe and Zambia to watch southern Africa's Zambezi River cascade down 100 metres into a gash in the earth.

But the worst drought in a century has slowed the waterfalls to a trickle, fuelling fears climate change could kill one of the region's biggest tourist attractions.

While they typically slow down during the dry season, officials said this year had brought an unprecedented decline in water levels.

"In previous years, when it gets dry, it's not to this extent. This is our first experience of seeing it like this," Dominic Nyambe, a seller of tourist handicrafts in his 30s said outside his shop in Livingstone, on the Zambian side.

"It affects us, because … clients … can see on the internet [that the falls are low] … We don't have so many tourists."


Victoria Falls on January 17, 2019.

As world leaders gather in Madrid for the COP25 to discuss ways to halt catastrophic warming caused by human-driven greenhouse gas emissions, southern Africa is already suffering some of its worst effects — with taps running dry and some 45 million people in need of food aid amid crop failures.

Zimbabwe and Zambia have suffered power cuts as they are heavily reliant on hydropower from plants at the Kariba Dam, which is on the Zambezi River upstream of the waterfalls.

Stretches of this kilometre-long natural wonder are nothing but dry stone. Water flow is low in others.


Dry cliffs are seen following a prolonged drought at Victoria Falls on December 4, 2019

A 'stark reminder'?
Data from the Zambezi River Authority shows water flow at its lowest since 1995, and well under the long-term average.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu has called it "a stark reminder of what climate change is doing to our environment".

Yet scientists are cautious about categorically blaming climate change. There is always seasonal variation in levels.

Harald Kling, hydrologist at engineering firm Poyry and a Zambezi River expert, said climate science deals in decades, not particular years, "so it's sometimes difficult to say this is because of climate change because droughts have always occurred".

"If they become more frequent, then you can start saying, OK, this may be climate change," he added.

He said early climate models had predicted more frequent dry years in the Zambezi basin, but that "what was surprising was that [drought] has been so frequent" — the last drought was only three years ago.

As the river gets hotter, 437 million cubic metres of water are evaporating every second, he said.

In Livingstone this week, four tourists stared into a mostly dry chasm normally gushing with white water. German student Benjamin Konig was disappointed.

"Seems to be not much (water), a few rocky stones with a little water between it," he said.

Richard Beilfuss, head of the International Crane Foundation, who has studied the Zambezi for the past three decades, thinks climate change is delaying the monsoon, "concentrating rain in bigger events which are then much harder to store, and a much longer, excruciating dry season".

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-07/victoria-falls-slows-to-a-trickle-amid-climate-change-fears/11777178
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.'

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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #14827 on: December 08, 2019, 10:06:55 AM »
In response to the depraved Indian film maker. Women need to be armed with both open carry and concealed carry hand guns. Self defense needs to be part of the basic public school education. 

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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #14828 on: December 08, 2019, 10:46:05 AM »
In response to the depraved Indian film maker. Women need to be armed with both open carry and concealed carry hand guns. Self defense needs to be part of the basic public school education.
At What age do you think kids should carry guns to school?



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Re: Victoria Falls slows to a trickle, fuelling fears of climate change
« Reply #14829 on: December 08, 2019, 12:39:44 PM »

Locals say visitor numbers have dried up along with the falls.

For decades Victoria Falls has drawn millions of holidaymakers to Zimbabwe and Zambia to watch southern Africa's Zambezi River cascade down 100 metres into a gash in the earth.

But the worst drought in a century has slowed the waterfalls to a trickle, fuelling fears climate change could kill one of the region's biggest tourist attractions.

While they typically slow down during the dry season, officials said this year had brought an unprecedented decline in water levels.

"In previous years, when it gets dry, it's not to this extent. This is our first experience of seeing it like this," Dominic Nyambe, a seller of tourist handicrafts in his 30s said outside his shop in Livingstone, on the Zambian side.

"It affects us, because … clients … can see on the internet [that the falls are low] … We don't have so many tourists."


Victoria Falls on January 17, 2019.

As world leaders gather in Madrid for the COP25 to discuss ways to halt catastrophic warming caused by human-driven greenhouse gas emissions, southern Africa is already suffering some of its worst effects — with taps running dry and some 45 million people in need of food aid amid crop failures.

Zimbabwe and Zambia have suffered power cuts as they are heavily reliant on hydropower from plants at the Kariba Dam, which is on the Zambezi River upstream of the waterfalls.

Stretches of this kilometre-long natural wonder are nothing but dry stone. Water flow is low in others.


Dry cliffs are seen following a prolonged drought at Victoria Falls on December 4, 2019

A 'stark reminder'?
Data from the Zambezi River Authority shows water flow at its lowest since 1995, and well under the long-term average.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu has called it "a stark reminder of what climate change is doing to our environment".

Yet scientists are cautious about categorically blaming climate change. There is always seasonal variation in levels.

Harald Kling, hydrologist at engineering firm Poyry and a Zambezi River expert, said climate science deals in decades, not particular years, "so it's sometimes difficult to say this is because of climate change because droughts have always occurred".

"If they become more frequent, then you can start saying, OK, this may be climate change," he added.

He said early climate models had predicted more frequent dry years in the Zambezi basin, but that "what was surprising was that [drought] has been so frequent" — the last drought was only three years ago.

As the river gets hotter, 437 million cubic metres of water are evaporating every second, he said.

In Livingstone this week, four tourists stared into a mostly dry chasm normally gushing with white water. German student Benjamin Konig was disappointed.

"Seems to be not much (water), a few rocky stones with a little water between it," he said.

Richard Beilfuss, head of the International Crane Foundation, who has studied the Zambezi for the past three decades, thinks climate change is delaying the monsoon, "concentrating rain in bigger events which are then much harder to store, and a much longer, excruciating dry season".

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-07/victoria-falls-slows-to-a-trickle-amid-climate-change-fears/11777178


When water recedes to inner Earth ! Holy Hannah  :coffee:
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

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France Plans a Revolution to Rein in the Kings of Big Tech
« Reply #14830 on: December 08, 2019, 02:05:56 PM »
Cédric O, the French digital affairs minister, says taxes are just a start; future moves could ban acquisitions or make companies share data with rivals.


During a joint press conference in London with President Emmanuel Macron of France this week, President Trump threatened to impose tariffs on French goods such as champagne, in retaliation for a new tax on large tech companies. As he spoke, Macron’s digital affairs minister, Cédric O, was in Washington, DC, trying to build support for even stronger actions against Google and other tech giants.

“Tech platforms have a footprint in our economies and our democracies that is a huge challenge for public power,” O said, during a visit to WIRED’s offices in San Francisco, one stop on a week-long, cross-country trip that involved meeting lawmakers, regulators, and academics to discuss antitrust tactics. O says French and European ideas about restraining tech’s power are catching on in the US—and that France’s digital services tax is just the start.

Macron signed that new levy into law in July. It takes 3 percent of digital sales from companies with more than €750 million ($829 million) in global revenue and revenues in France of over €25 million ($27 million) in categories such as online ads or ride hailing. Despite the ire it has drawn from tech companies and Trump’s US trade representative, O describes it as a kind of warmup.

“The digital tax is politically and symbolically important, but from an economic and democratic point of view, it is a really, really small part of the problem,” O says. More important? Targeting the biggest tech companies—most of which are American—with new regulations to prevent them stifling competition and damaging democracy. “We’ve designed our regulatory framework for the industrial age, and at some point it’s not relevant any more,” O says.

Unlike presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, O doesn’t want to break up tech companies. He instead quotes a slogan he says he heard this week from the man who used to be America’s top internet regulator, erstwhile Federal Communications Commission chair Tom Wheeler: “Don’t break them up, break them open.”

O says that as with banks, governments could identify the “systemic” tech companies with the most power and target them with extra regulations. Those could include being forced to allow competitors access to their services or data for free or at controlled rates, a ban on acquisitions, and even specific hate-speech rules.

“Tech platforms have a footprint in our economies and our democracies that is a huge challenge for public power.”

CÉDRIC O, FRANCE'S DIGITAL AFFAIRS MINISTER

Such ideas are unlikely to be popular with US tech companies or the top officials and tweeters of the Trump administration. But O claims that support for reforming antitrust rules to rein in tech is growing in the US, citing discussions he had this week with figures including Wheeler, Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), who favors a government crackdown on tech firms, and Stanford economist Doug Melamed, formerly a top lawyer on the Justice Department’s antitrust case against Microsoft.

The prospects of a significant US tech crackdown will be decided in November 2020. Regardless, O predicts an international assault, warning that the EU is poised to toughen its stance on the tech industry.

The bloc recently appointed a fresh set of leaders to its executive branch, the EU Commission, which added a new position created specifically to work on “technological sovereignty”. It is filled by Denmark's Margrethe Vestager, who gained notoriety as the EU’s competition czar with investigations and fines of Google, Facebook, and Apple.

O calls Vestager a “big ally” and predicts the EU will make “huge progress” on tech regulation in coming months. He also acknowledges that for Europe to truly change the trajectory of tech will require more than just government action—it also needs to incubate tech giants of its own.

O laments that France has produced only a couple of tech IPOs larger than a billion euros in the past 23 years. “If you want to be able to set the standards in the world, you should be able to make new leaders emerge,” he says.

The French government hopes new regulations can help change that by making it easier for startups to gain a foothold. It has a new €5 billion ($5.5 billion) fund for French startups. O says improved tech policies are already helping to inspire more French tech workers overseas to think about moving home—as did the recent electoral wins for Trump and Brexit.

https://www.wired.com/story/france-plans-revolution-rein-kings-tech/#intcid=recommendations_wired-bottom-recirc-similar_4abd927c-734e-468c-9102-1c6956d509c5_cral-top2-2
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.'

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With climate discontent rising, scientists warn of social 'tipping point'
« Reply #14831 on: December 08, 2019, 02:10:44 PM »
MADRID (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - With young climate activists taking to the streets of Madrid on Friday, the U.N. climate chief and a leading scientist warned of a growing risk of social unrest as the effects of a warming world worsen inequality and poverty worldwide.

Speaking on the sidelines of a U.N. climate summit in the Spanish capital, they said governments were so far failing to meet growing public demands for urgent action to halt rising global temperatures and curb the damage as extreme weather intensifies and melting ice pushes up sea-levels.

“It’s clear - and this is very painful to recognize - that the political leadership in the world is lagging behind the sentiments among youth (as well as) the state of science and even what business leadership thinks,” said Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Speaking to journalists on Friday in Madrid, Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg said the global movement she inspired, of students skipping school on Fridays to demand their governments tackle climate change, had raised public awareness over the past 18 months.

“But basically nothing has happened. The climate crisis is still being ignored by those in power,” she said, pointing to still-rising planet-warming emissions.

She said she hoped the Madrid conference would “lead to something concrete”.

“We cannot afford any more days going by without real action,” she said, adding that people were already “suffering and dying from the climate and ecological emergency”.

‘SOCIAL UNREST’
Rockström, as part of an international team of scientists, highlighted how the world may be nearing a “social tipping point” on climate change that could bring about rapid and exponential changes in behavior, lifestyles and technologies.

An analysis published on Friday, entitled “10 New Insights in Climate Science 2019”, noted that public opinion polls indicate an increasing number of citizens in a range of countries are seriously concerned about climate change.

Meanwhile, recent large-scale civil protests are getting close to a size where social scientists predict governments could be forced into action, according to the analysis put together by several climate research organizations.

In September, at the time of a U.N. climate action summit in New York, more than 7 million people turned out in cities worldwide to call for renewed political efforts to limit global warming to a lower agreed goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa acknowledged on Friday that the world is “not where we need to be”, with global average temperatures currently on track for a rise of 3 degrees or more above pre-industrial times.

The new analysis warned that failure to address and adapt to climate change would have disastrous consequences for hundreds of millions of people, mainly the very poorest, who are most vulnerable to climate-related disasters like floods and drought.

Espinosa, a former diplomat for Mexico, warned that climate change, as a “threat multiplier” would deepen problems of social inequality and poverty around the world.

“It is really an issue that is very closely related to the wellbeing of societies, and in that regard you can understand that it is very likely to create social unrest,” she said in response to a question from the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Globally, there is widespread dissatisfaction with institutions and systems, she noted.

Protests - sometimes violent - have erupted from France to Chile in the past year, often provoked by a perceived political insensitivity to ordinary people’s struggles for a decent life.

That struggle is also hampered by environmental degradation, analysts said.

Addressing climate change is “one way” to work on those problems, Espinosa said.

MORAL PRESSURE?
At the U.N. conference, young climate activists staged a “Fridays for Future” sit-in to show their unhappiness with the slow pace of political action. They were joined by their figurehead Thunberg, who was mobbed by the media.

Rockström noted that, according to social scientists, when roughly 3.5% of a nation’s population joins “civil and non-violent uprisings” it can be enough to force change, even in a dictatorship.

In Germany, numbers at the climate demonstrations on Sept. 20 were estimated at nearly 2% of the population, and in New Zealand at 3.5%, he said.

“If you start seeing an uprising ... there will be an enormous pressure for the political leadership to step up and start acting,” he said - though he noted it “can also be quite challenging along the way”.

He questioned whether, at some point, it would start to become morally unacceptable to cause people’s deaths with car exhaust, as happened with cigarette smoking.

In New Delhi, at some times of the year, young people are inhaling toxic pollution equivalent to smoking 10 cigarettes a day, killing over 7,000 people a year in the city, he noted.

On Friday morning, 8-year-old Indian climate striker Licypriya Kangujam, of New Delhi, headed to her country’s pavilion at the talks, clutching a hand-written poster calling on India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pass a flagship climate change law in the current parliament session.

She said she had been protesting in front of the parliament building regularly on Fridays to press for the legislation.

She told the Thomson Reuters Foundation she had come to the climate talks with her father to tell politicians and others, “you must change your way of thinking”.

“I am fighting for my future. I am here to speak for my generation and all the generations to come,” she said before skipping off excitedly to catch a glimpse of her hero, Thunberg.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-accord-social-trfn/with-climate-discontent-rising-scientists-warn-of-social-tipping-point-idUSKBN1YA273?utm_source=reddit.com
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 Surly1

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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #14832 on: December 08, 2019, 06:08:57 PM »
In response to the depraved Indian film maker. Women need to be armed with both open carry and concealed carry hand guns. Self defense needs to be part of the basic public school education.
At What age do you think kids should carry guns to school?



RE

Right. What America needs now is MOAR GUNZ!



"...reprehensible lying communist..."

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For the second time this week, the secretive AGM-114R9X Hellfire missile has punched a hole through a car's roof and sliced its target to death.



It appears that the AGM-114R9X, a secret low collateral damage derivative of the AGM-114 Hellfire missile, has been employed against occupants of another vehicle in northwestern Syria. This is the second time this week. Previously, we knew of only one other instance in which the unique missile had been used, back in 2017 when an Al Qaeda kingpin was similarly targeted and killed in western Syria. The War Zone was the first to posit that an exotic new low-collateral damage weapon was being used after images from that strike surfaced.



We followed up our report on a similar strike earlier this week in which an AGM-119R9X was used with a photo of the missile's blade-wielding metallic core that survived the impact with the vehicle (see below). It provided great insight into how the weapon actually works, which confirmed our suspicions. Read our complete analysis here.

It's not clear what has caused what seems like a sudden uptick in the use of this highly unique weapon, but it appears that it is becoming the weapon of choice for targeted assassinations by the U.S. in Northern Syria. Still, one thing remains unclear about this missile system—its guidance system.

Most variants of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles use semi-active laser guidance where the seeker on the missile homes in on a laser spot being emitted from an aircraft overhead or by operatives on the ground. It is highly accurate for a weapon that is packed with high explosives. But in the case of the AGM-119R9X, which has no area blast effects at all, it has hit all three targets we have evidence of perfectly in the exact same spot and angle. This begs the question, does this weapon have man-in-the-loop guidance in which a person literally flies the missile into a precise point on the target via command data-link?


MQ-9 carrying Hellfires and GBU-12s

Israel, in particular, has perfected this method of smart weapons delivery and uses it on many disparate weapons in their munitions in their inventory. On the other hand, maybe new high definition optics and lasers and a very sensitive seeker head are being used to place the weapon more accurately using a traditional laser-guided weapon concept of delivery? Or maybe something else going on here. We just don't know. But considering the missile, which is roughly three and a half feet wide when its blades are extended, has perfectly nailed its target every time we know of and in the same exact spot, some sort of extremely accurate guidance is definitely being used.

The video below of the Israeli Spike missile gives a good idea of the accuracy man-in-the-loop control provides.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/lykPiWxgaoU&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/lykPiWxgaoU&fs=1</a>

A particular MQ-9 has been repeatedly spotted high over Aleppo in recent days, which is not unusual. But what is unusual is its loadout. It appears to carry two data-link pods, four Hellfire derivatives, and an external fuel tank. This would make sense. One pod would link with the missile in-flight for man-in-the-loop control while the other would link with a controller of that missile. Executing a man-in-the-loop weapons engagement via the Reaper's satellite data-link may be troublesome. As such, the Reaper would act as a surveillance and launch platform, with the missile guidance being carried out by another party. The other pod would handle this data-exchange.

We'll have to keep an eye out to see if the trend of using these nasty and highly accurate weapons continues and against who. Regardless, as it sits now, it is glaringly clear that America's 'blade missile,' and those that employ it, have had quite a busy week.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/31375/americans-hellfire-missile-that-uses-swords-instead-of-explosives-struck-again-in-syria


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China tells government offices to remove all foreign computer equipment
« Reply #14834 on: December 08, 2019, 07:17:07 PM »
Directive is likely to be a blow to US multinational companies like HP, Dell and Microsoft

China has ordered that all foreign computer equipment and software be removed from government offices and public institutions within three years, the Financial Times reports.

The government directive is likely to be a blow to US multinational companies like HP, Dell and Microsoft and mirrors attempts by Washington to limit the use of Chinese technology, as the trade war between the countries turns into a tech cold war.

The Trump administration banned US companies from doing business with Chinese Chinese telecommunications company Huawei earlier this year and in May, Google, Intel and Qualcomm announced they would freeze cooperation with Huawei.

By excluding China from western know-how, the Trump administration has made it clear that the real battle is about which of the two economic superpowers has the technological edge for the next two decades.

This is the first known public directive from Beijing setting specific targets limiting China’s use of foreign technology, though it is part a wider move within China to increase its reliance on domestic technology.

The FT reported that the directive would result in an estimated 20m- to 30m pieces of hardware needing to be replaced and that this work would begin in 2020. Analysts told the FT that 30% of substitutions would take place in 2020, 50% in 2021 and 20% in 2022.

The order had come from the Chinese Communist party’s central office earlier this year, the analysts said. Two employees from cyber security firms told the paper that government clients had described the policy.

Replacing all the devices and software in this timeframe will be challenging, given that many products developed for US operating systems like Windows for Microsoft. Chinese government offices tend to use desktop computers from the Chinese-owned company Lenovo, but components of the computers, including its processor chips and hard drives are made by American companies.

In May, Hu Xijin, editor of the Global Times newspaper in China, said the withdrawal of sharing by US tech companies with Huawei would not be fatal for the company because the Chinese firm has been planning for this conflict “for years” and would prompt the company to develop its own microchip industry to rival America’s.

“Cutting off technical services to Huawei will be a real turning point in China’s overall research and development and use of domestic chips,” he said in a social media post. “Chinese people will no longer have any illusions about the steady use of US technology.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/09/china-tells-government-offices-to-remove-all-foreign-computer-equipment
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.'