Science, Technology and Innovation

Russia: Government vs. Rights Groups

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The Battle Chronicle For the past four years, the Kremlin has sought to stigmatize criticism or alternative views of government policy as disloyal, foreign-sponsored, or even traitorous. HRW It is part of a sweeping crackdown to silence critical voices that has included new legal restrictions on the internet, on freedom of expression, on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and on other fundamental freedoms. An enduring, central feature has been the 2012 law requiring independent groups ... Read More »

Technology is both a weapon and a shield for those experiencing domestic violence

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With growing recognition that domestic violence can be perpetuated using technology, there has been a an increase of news stories that focus on how abusers use it to coerce and control victims. Hadeel Al-Alosi The Conversation For example, when a man stole his ex-partner’s laptop so he could monitor her private Facebook messages. Or when a husband installed a GPS tracking device in his daughter’s doll to monitor his… But there’s also considerable potential for victims to use new technologies ... Read More »

Harvard scientists: Trump environmental policies could result in 80,000 more deaths per decade

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A new essay from two Harvard University scientists concluded that the Trump administration’s environmental policies could result in an additional 80,000 deaths per decade. Avery Anapol The Hill The research, from public health economist David Cutler and biostatistician Francesca Dominici, pointed specifically to the health impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) policies on air pollutants and… “This sobering statistic captures only a small fraction of the cumulative public health damages associated with the full range of rollbacks and systemic actions proposed ... Read More »

British boy’s medical cannabis returned

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London: The UK Home Office is returning a severely epileptic boy’s medicinal cannabis oil after confiscating it from his mother at customs. WAtoday PA Charlotte Caldwell tried to bring the medication into Heathrow Airport in a last-ditch effort to treat her 12-year-old son Billy, but it was removed by border officials. After a week of pleading with the Home Office, during which she accused a minister of likely signing the boy’s “death warrant”, the government has relented. Home Secretary Sajid Javid ... Read More »

Illegal trade in antiquities: a scourge that has gone on for millennia too long

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Looting of artefacts has always been a sign of military might or economic power. Evangelos Kyriakidis The Conversation Over millennia, conquering generals would take away with them trophies to adorn their cities. In more recent centuries, the wealthy upper classes would make “grand tours” of classical sites and acquire – through whatever means – anything from vases to statues to entire temple friezes to show off at… Owning a piece of antiquity was seen as demonstrating wealth, a love of ... Read More »

Sleep problems are influenced by our genes – but this doesn’t mean they can’t be fixed

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Some people struggle greatly with sleeplessness, whereas others appear to be able to nod off effortlessly, regardless of the circumstances. Alice M Gregory The Conversation Perhaps the most obvious explanation for differences between us in terms of our sleep is the environmental challenges that we face. An unrelenting stint at work, relationship difficulties or receiving bad news are just some of the many life challenges that can lead to sleepless nights. It’s no surprise that stressful life events are associated ... Read More »

Can airport authorities search your phone or computer?

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At no other time in history has airport security been so rigorous: travellers have come to expect pat downs, bag screenings and random drug detection tests. RN – By Alexandra Fisher and Damien Carrick for Law Report ABC But you might be caught by surprise if you’re asked to surrender your phone or laptop for Australian Border Force (ABF) authorities to search. Zaahir Edries, the president of the Muslim Legal Network of NSW, says the ABF’s powers are “relatively broad”. How ... Read More »

Shock claim North Korea cyber attacks are ‘MUCH BIGGER threat’ following Trump-Kim summit

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KIM JONG-UN’s “strongest cyber army in the world” could now pose a much bigger danger than nuclear weapons, a top expert on cyber attacks has warned following the historic meeting between the US and… Martina Bet Express Serguei Beloussov, CEO of a multimillion global leader company in data protection and storage management, told Express.co.uk that even without nuclear weapons, North Korea still holds an enormous amount of power in the… He said: “Today, the Republic of North Korea has one ... Read More »

How the Parthenon Came to Live in Nashville

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At first, no one expected this building to last: The Tennessee Centennial Exposition — picture something like a World’s Fair or Walt Disney World’s Epcot — was held in Nashville in 1897 and it featured a full-scale replica of the famous Parthenon in Greece. Kathryn WhitBourne Adventure – HowStuffWorks The plaster building, which fit in with Nashville’s ambition to be the “Athens of the South,” housed an art exhibition. Over six months, 1.8 million people visited the exposition, small when compared ... Read More »

Vietnam cybersecurity law a devastating blow to freedom: Amnesty

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New law aims to prevent users from organising online for anti-state purposes and spreading false information. Al-Jazeera The passing of a new cybersecurity law by the Vietnamese parliament has led to criticism of its potential effect on freedom of speech and expression. Legislators said the new regulation, which will require tech companies to store data about Vietnamese users on local servers, will increase security in the country. But according to critics, this move could possibly stifle free speech for Vietnamese internet users ... Read More »

Yes, we should return the Elgin Marbles—and all the other spoils of colonialism

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Returning artefacts to their rightful owners shouldn’t be a controversial argument but somehow, when it comes to British cultural institutions, it is Steve Bloomfield Prospect Sat in a sun-drenched courtyard, a senior official at a British cultural institution was explaining with some excitement how the digitisation of their archives meant that thousands of artefacts could now be viewed all around in the world. “Including in the places we stole them from,” I added. There was a pause. “That’s not the ... Read More »

When possessions are poor substitutes for people: hoarding disorder and loneliness

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A decomposed, mummified body of a man was recently found by forensic cleaners in a Sydney apartment. Authors: The Conversation The apartment’s owner is thought to have suffered from hoarding disorder, and police believe the decomposed body had been there for more than ten… We occasionally read stories involving people with hoarding disorder – people whose possessions pose a serious burden. Clutter might prevent them from sitting on their sofa, taking a shower, cooking a meal, or sleeping in their… ... Read More »

The Insatiable and Unknowable Anthony Bourdain

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Anthony Bourdain devoured the world. That’s not hyperbole. It’s not even metaphor. Frank Bruni The New York Times There was no place that he wasn’t curious to explore, no food that he wasn’t determined to try, no cap on his hunger and no ceiling, or so it always seemed, on his joy. In his writing and especially on his TV shows, most recently CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” he exhorted the rest of us to follow his lead and open our eyes ... Read More »

How we talk about Kate Spade could help others survive

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I was sitting at my desk when a push notification came on my phone about Kate Spade’s suicide, and I felt a rush of vertigo, as if the room had tipped sideways. Gayle Brandeis CNN I had to clutch the arms of my desk chair to steady myself, had to take a few deep breaths. My mother took her own life in 2009, and whenever I hear news of a suicide, it both reopens that grief and sends my heart ... Read More »

Why long-term separation from parents harms kids

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As a society, we often wax eloquent about how important it is to nurture, support and protect our children. David Rosenberg The Conversation The sad reality, however, is that all too often major, life-changing decisions are made without any consideration of their potential lifelong and devastating impact on kids. Case in point: children separated from their parents at borders as new immigration policies are debated. Separation from parents for even short periods can cause anxiety disorders that can last a ... Read More »

The desperate global need for medical diagnostics

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Prince, a three-year-old boy, is brought to the emergency room in Monrovia, Liberia, with fever and a decreased level of consciousness. He is critically ill. He is treated for malaria. Authors The Conversation Time is the only way to tell if this was the right treatment choice — but time may not be on his side. An astute nurse asks a visiting doctor if she can borrow a blood glucose monitor and nails the diagnosis: Type 1 diabetes, requiring urgent ... Read More »