Scientists shocked by Arctic permafrost thawing 70 years sooner than predicted

Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, an expedition has discovered, in the latest sign that the global climate crisis is accelerating even faster than… Reuters The Guardian A team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks said they were astounded by how quickly a succession of unusually hot summers had destabilised the upper layers of giant subterranean ice blocks that… “What we saw was amazing,” Vladimir Romanovsky, a professor of geophysics at the university, ... Read More »

Greenland’s ‘unusual’ melting sea ice captured in stunning image

With their sled in tow, a pack of dogs trudge towards a distant mountain range in north-west Greenland. BBC The stunning picture may seem typical enough of the Danish territory. What’s beneath their feet – a shallow pool of crystal-blue water – is anything but. Last week, however, temperatures soared well above normal levels in Greenland, causing about half of its ice sheet surface to experience melting. And the sea ice around the territory is, of course, also feeling this ... Read More »

Turning local libraries, pools and playgroups into sites of surveillance – ParentsNext goes too far

Sydney Morning Herald reporter Jacqueline Maley evoked the spectre of the Orwellian surveillance state recently when discussing how library staff had been implicated in the ParentsNext… Rebecca Williamson The Conversation Maley reported that private providers contracted to run the program phoned libraries or local pools to check on parents’ attendance. The program aims to get parents “work-ready” after child-rearing. Single parents receiving the ParentsNext benefit are required to report their attendance at particular activities with their children to… Activities are ... Read More »

Opposition questions ‘security-only’ focus of UN mission to Mali

Minister for Defence wants to deploy 14 members of Army Ranger Wing The United Nations mission in Mali is the type of challenge for which the Army Ranger Wing trains every day, Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe said as he sought Dáil agreement for a… Marie O’Halloran The Irish Times Fianna Fáil supports the move but Sinn Féin, Labour and a number of smaller parties and Independents oppose the mission on the grounds that it had a security-only focus ... Read More »

Making the Central African Republic’s Latest Peace Agreement Stick

A deal to end six years of war in the Central African Republic could come unglued if not strengthened ICG The government should hold signatory armed groups accountable to criteria for improved behaviour and back local peace initiatives. Neighbours should push armed groups to cease provocations. What’s new? In February, the Central African Republic’s government signed an agreement with armed groups that control large swathes of the country, committing to integrating some groups’ fighters into new army units and their ... Read More »

Is Turkey going rogue?

Erdogan faces a dilemma: surrender to US diktats or align with Russia, China and Iran As a new bipolar world order emerges pitting the United States and its Western allies against Russia and China’s growing influence, the geopolitical deck shares are being rearranged. Linda S. Heard, Special to Gulf News Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would prefer to straddle the fence. He insists he seeks good relations with every nation but in reality he is veering away from Washington towards ... Read More »

There’s a looming waste crisis from Australia’s solar energy boom

As Australians seek to control rising energy costs and tackle the damaging impacts of climate change, rooftop solar has boomed. Authors: The Conversation To manage the variability of rooftop solar – broadly, the “no power at night” problem – we will also see a rapid increase in battery storage. The question is: what will happen to these panels and batteries once they reach the end of their life? If not addressed, ageing solar panels and batteries will create a mountain ... Read More »

Thousands of asylum seekers left waiting at the US-Mexico border

Over the past three months, the number of Central Americans arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border has jumped exponentially, and total border crossings have reached levels last seen in 2006. Authors: The Conversation Yet, while the number of families arriving between official border crossings has skyrocketed, the number of migrants seeking asylum at official border crossings has remained relatively constant, at… It’s not that these families prefer to cross the Rio Grande or scale the border wall. Instead, our research shows ... Read More »

Aziz spread his wings and escaped Manus Island: he wants more to follow

Geneva: A week ago Abdul Aziz Muhamat allowed himself a couple of hours off. He grabbed some takeaway and climbed up a hill overlooking his new home, Geneva, and spread his arms wide. Nick Miller The Age “That was the moment,” he says. “I’ve been working tirelessly, non-stop for six years, and I feel like I’m burning inside out, and let me just take two hours of my time just to enjoy the meaning of freedom. “So I went to the ... Read More »

The New York Times ends daily political cartoons, but it’s not the death of the art form

The New York Times has announced it will no longer be running daily political cartoons in its international edition, amid a continuing controversy over anti-Semitism in its pages. Richard Scully The Conversation This brings the international paper in line with the domestic edition, which stopped featuring daily political cartoons… It follows an earlier decision to end syndicated cartooning (“syndicates” represent collectives of cartoonists, looking to have work placed in a variety of publications). The Times said that a “faulty process” ... Read More »

Turkey calls on Russia, Iran to block Syria regime assaults after attack on Turkish post

Stopping attacks by the Syrian regime is the responsibility of Russia and Iran as guarantor states of peace, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Sunday, hours after an Assad regime attack on a… Daily Sabah with AA Earlier Sunday, Assad regime forces attacked a Turkish observation post in Idlib, Syria — with no casualties — and was retaliated upon by heavy weapons, the Defense Ministry said. “Turkey won’t tolerate Syrian regime harassment of its soldiers,” Çavuşoğlu said during his visit to ... Read More »

‘Someday I will get found and locked up’: Inside the global fight against online child sex abuse

The grainy photograph looked innocent enough. In the centre a young Filipina sports a toothy grin. Lucy Cormack The Sydney Morning Herald She’s about five or six years old, and is resting her head on the shoulder of an older, white man, who is cocking his own head towards her as they smile for the camera. The pair is seated at what looks like a kitchen table, the young girl clutching the man’s forearm with her tiny hands, as a ... Read More »

Blindfold Big Brother: We Need a Global Right to Privacy in Public Spaces

Does privacy depend on secrecy? The question seems obvious until you think about it. Kenneth Roth Published in Newsweek HRW Yes, much of the privacy we value takes place away from prying eyes, but not all of it. We also depend on a degree of privacy even in public. But increasingly invasive digital surveillance combined with artificial intelligence has put that “public” privacy in jeopardy. I live in New York City. When I walk the streets of Manhattan, anyone could ... Read More »

Eating disorders can mask autism in girls

Girls and women on the autism spectrum are at higher risk of anorexia nervosa than males, research suggests. Caitlin Fitzsimmons The Age But girls are also more likely than boys to have undiagnosed autism and their symptoms could be mistaken for an eating disorder. An article in Current Psychiatry Reports by researchers from Kings College London reports between 4 and 52.5 per cent of anorexia patients meet a clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, depending on the study. In the general population ... Read More »

Why Europe’s Far Right Is Targeting Gender Studies

A growing pattern of attacks across Europe is as much about electoral opportunity as a conflict of ideas. Eliza Apperly The Atlantic When Federico Batini, an Italian academic, wanted to research classroom bullying, he distributed a questionnaire to 54 schools in central Italy. The survey was carried out in partnership with local education authorities and sought to explore the extent to which young people faced racial, homophobic, or gender-based discrimination from their peers. But instead of learning more about students’ ... Read More »