Australia is cracking down on drivers who use cellphones while behind the wheel. The government of New South Wales is implementing a new AI-based camera system designed to spotmobile phones in cars. The program plans to perform 135 million checks in NSW by 2023. According to a video from the NSW Transport Department, the cameras can work during the day or at night, in any weather or speed zone.
To let drivers adjust, warning letters will be sent to those spotted using phones by the cameras for the first three months. Australia uses a points system for drivers — unrestricted driver’s licenses have 13 points. After the first three months, drivers caught using their phones illegally will lose five points and be issued a $344 fine. During other periods, the penalty could increase to 10 points. If a driver loses all of their points, they could lose their license.
When the program was tested last year, the cameras spotted over100,000 drivers illegally using phonesbehind the wheel. In a release last month, Bernard Carlon, executive director of transport for NSW’s Center for Road Safety, said that the cameras could prevent 100 fatal or serious injury crashes over five years.
“There is strong community support for more enforcement, with 80% of people surveyed supporting the use of detection cameras to stop illegal mobile phone use,” Carlon said in the release.
Participants walked for miles around the city, banging pots, waving flags and calling for reform.
Santiago’s governor said it was a “historic” moment for the country, which has seen days of protests.
President Sebastián Piñera said the government had “heard the message”.
“We have all changed. Today’s joyful and peaceful march, in which Chileans have asked for a more just and unified Chile, opens hopeful paths into the future,” he wrote on Twitter.
Earlier on Friday, politicians and officials had to be escorted out of the Congress building in the city of Valparaiso, after anti-government activists tried to force their way in.
What happened at the march?
Santiago Governor Karla Rubilar said a million people had marched in the capital – more than five percent of the country’s population.
On Twitter she said the protesters “represent a dream for a new Chile.”
Protesters also took to the streets in every major Chilean city.
“We’re asking for justice, honesty, ethical government,” 38-year-old Francisco Anguitar told AFP news agency in Santiago.
Many participants were calling for the resignation of Mr Piñera.
What is the background?
The protests were originally sparked by a now-suspended increase in metro fares but grew to take in wider grievances over living costs and inequality.
In the days of demonstrations, there have been outbreaks of looting and arson. At least 16 people have died since the unrest began a week ago, hundreds have been injured and more than 7,000 people have been detained.
Chile’s military has taken over security in Santiago, which is now under a state of emergency with night-time curfews and 20,000 police on the streets.
The global movement has begun as peoples of African Descent are coming together to peacefully demand the reinstatement of Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, Permanent Ambassador of the African Union to the United States who was removed from office without a stated cause. The underlying cause is the elephant in the room that she has been talking about, but many are afraid to speak about, and the real reason for the Ambassador’s dismissal.
After almost a year of persuading her to assume leadership as the African Union (AU) Permanent Ambassador in the United States representing the 55 countries of the Union, Dr. HE Arikana Chihombori-Quao accepted the position in December 2016 and has led with courage and vigor in galvanizing peoples of African Descent. Dr. Chihombori-Quao has spoken globally to sensitize and empower all peoples of African Descent to come together and build the “Africa We Want” as adopted in African Union Agenda 2063.
The unification of the African Diaspora as espouded in AU Agenda 2063 is contrary to the Africa that has been marginalized and pillaged through inequitable colonial and post-colonial contracts. Dr. Arikana has been outspoken about neo-colonial maneuverings and exploitation that still exist today. Her dissemination of the truth has garnered her attention and support around the world (you can watch one of her famous speeches published by American journalist, Roland S. Martin, here). You can learn more about Dr. Chihombori-Quao on her Wikipedia page here.
However, not everyone is embracing her bold but honest discourses for effecting change for the betterment of Africa. On October 7th, 2019, Ambassador Quao was relieved of her position as the “Permanent Ambassador” in a unilateral decision made by the African Union Commission Chairman without any hearing or explanation, and yet presented as representing the opinions of all 55 countries. The questions are: why was she dismissed, or better, who benefits from her removal? Were African heads of states and governments consulted? Who called the shot? Or is Africa, and peoples of African descent, still facing the debilitating effects of modern colonialism or neocolonialism? Leadership based on self-interest and preservation that does not benefit the people they serve is no longer acceptable. Here is a copy of the termination letter.
Dr. Chihombori-Quao was treasured by her African Diaspora and was successful in uniting African people to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. She was quite effective in providing access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels just as stated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She is a symbol of hope not only for the African Diaspora, but for humankind as we enter this season of justice for all people.
People of African Descent around the world are appalled by Dr. Chihombori-Quao’s unjust dismissal. Instead of dismantling her movement to liberate the people of African Descent from colonialism and pursue financial freedom, her dismissal has galvanized African Diaspora in the spirit of UBUNTU – I am because you are!
The petition against undue influence and pressure exerted on African leaders and people by the former colonial powers of Europe calls for Dr. Chihombori-Quao’s immediate reinstatement to her position and an apology from the AU Commission. We in the Diaspora were even hoping that Dr Arikana would accept future call for a greater role in the African Union as the African Diaspora continues their journey toward liberation from mental slavery. Her Excellency, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao is an effective leader who should be encouraged for her courage and steadfastness, not dismissed. Who besides her is willing to stand for justice?
We Need Your Support and Signature.
We invite you to share this message and sign the petition. We demand her reinstatement as well as a formal letter of apology from the African Union Commission. We are petitioning the African presidents and Heads of States to get involved in this matter. The silent majority will no longer be silent as this issue symbolizes the need for equity and justice for all people in Africa, the Americas, and around the world.
On behalf of the African Diaspora,
Prof. Apollos Nwauwa Secretary, African Diaspora Forum (ADF)
African Union African Diaspora Health Initiative Africa In Diaspora (AID) – Voice Pan African Diaspora Youth Association Pan African Diaspora Women’s Association Africans in Boston The African Diaspora Foundation
Roland Martin and the #RolandMartinUnfiltered cameras attended the HBCU Africa Homecoming Media Launch on Monday. The event marked a starting point for the African Diaspora Nation to launch a one-stop clearing house to expand educational and economic opportunity exchange between Africa and Black America.
During the launch, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, the Permanent Representative of the African Union Representational Mission to the United States of America offered a masterful history lesson breaking down how Africa was divided into tiny little countries during the Berlin Conference of 1884 and how the nations of Africa are still being adversely impacted.
Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao also dissected “the pact for the continuation of colonization.”
The media launch program line-up included opening remarks by Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihombori Quao, African Union Ambassador to the United States and official remarks from Dr. Ronald Johnson, member of the United States President’s Advisory Board on HBCUs. Mr. Johnson also serves as Chairman of the Consumer Advisory Board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and is immediate past president of Clark Atlanta University.
HONG KONG EXPERIENCED another weekend of violent protests as pro-democracy demonstrators marched through the city and attacked and vandalized subway stations, forcing Hong Kong’s subway to close for an unprecedented four days.
Thousands of people marched over the weekend in protest of a new law that bans wearing masks in public. Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam passed the law using colonial-era emergency powers, CNN reported, which prompted backlash over concerns of the infringement of civil liberties.
A majority of protesters wear masks during demonstrations to protect their identity.
Lam said the law was “necessary,” according to CNN, and a High Court judge rejected attempts to repeal the law. A judicial review of the use of emergency measures is scheduled for Oct. 20.
On Sunday protesters vandalized Chinese-linked banks and stores and a taxi cab driver plowed into a crowd of demonstrators. The driver was dragged from his vehicle and beaten by a mob. Protesters also targeted the barracks of China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army.
People also vandalized multiple train stations, setting fires to entrances and smashing ticketing facilities.
Law enforcement used tear gas and pepper spray to break up gatherings and several people were arrested. Some people were seen throwing bricks and launching molotov cocktails, sparking fires in the streets.
Protests in the city, now entering their 18th week, were first caused by a now-dead extradition law, which would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China.
Anti-government protests have rocked Hong Kong for months and the situation shows no sign of dying down.
To bring you up to date, here’s all the background you need to know in 100 or 500 words – you can read each individually or in turn.
Hong Kong’s protests started in June against proposals to allow extradition to mainland China.
Critics feared this could undermine the city’s judicial independence and endanger dissidents.
A former British colony, Hong Kong has some autonomy and more rights than the mainland under a “one country, two systems” deal.
City leader Carrie Lam agreed to suspend the bill, but demonstrations continued and developed to include demands for full democracy and an inquiry into police actions. The bill was finally withdrawn in September.
Clashes between police and activists have been becoming increasingly violent, with police using tear gas and activists storming parliament.
The extradition bill which triggered the first protest was introduced in April. It would have allowed for criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China, under certain circumstances.
Opponents said this risked exposing Hong Kongers to unfair trials and violent treatment. They also argued the bill would give China greater influence over Hong Kong and could be used to target activists and journalists.
Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets. After weeks of protests, leader Carrie Lam eventually said the bill would be suspended indefinitely.
How did the protests escalate?
Protesters feared the bill could be revived, so demonstrations continued, calling for it to be withdrawn completely. The bill was finally withdrawn in September.
By then clashes between police and protesters had become more frequent and more violent, with injuries on both sides and scores of people arrested.
Police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets while some activists have thrown bricks, firebombs and other objects.
In July, protesters stormed parliament, defacing parts of it. Also in July, a masked mob armed with sticks – suspected to be triad gangsters – assaulted pro-democracy protesters and passers-by inside Yuen Long station, far from the city centre.
In August, one protester was injured in the eye, leading to demonstrators wearing red-coloured eye patches to show their solidarity.
Protest action at Hong Kong international airport in August also saw renewed clashes and led to hundreds of flights being cancelled.
What do the protesters want?
The protesters’ demands have changed over the weeks. They also include:
Withdrawal of the “riot” description used about the protests
Amnesty for all arrested protesters
An independent inquiry into alleged police brutality
Universal suffrage for the elections of the chief executive and Legislative Council, Hong Kong’s parliament.
Some also want the resignation of Carrie Lam, whom they view as Beijing’s puppet. It’s not clear if scrapping the bill will end the protests – some opponents see the move as too little, too late.
After initially staying quiet on the unrest, China has condemned the Hong Kong protests as “behaviour that is close to terrorism” – a sign its approach is hardening.
There have also been reports of Chinese police and military massing across the border in Shenzhen, in a clear show of force.
Protests supporting the Hong Kong movement have spread across the globe, with rallies taking place in the UK, France, US, Canada and Australia.
In many cases, people supporting the Hong Kong demonstrators were confronted by pro-Beijing rallies.
What is Hong Kong’s status?
Hong Kong is a former British colony handed back to China in 1997.
It is run under a “one country, two systems” agreement that guarantees it a level of autonomy.
It has its own judiciary and a separate legal system from mainland China. Those rights including freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are protected.
But those freedoms – the Basic Law – expire in 2047 and it is not clear what Hong Kong’s status will then be.
Nasais close to finding life onMarsbut the world is not ready for the “revolutionary” implications of the discovery, the space agency’s chief scientist has said.
Dr Jim Green has warned that two rovers from Nasa and theEuropean Space Agency(ESA) could find evidence of life within months of arriving on Mars in March 2021.
TheExoMars Rover, which has been dubbed “Rosalind” in memory of British chemistRosalind Franklin, will search for extra-terrestrial life by drilling 6.5 feet down into Mars’ core to take samples.
Those samples will then be crushed up and examined for organic matter in a mobile laboratory.
Dr Green compared the potential discovery to when the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus stated that the Earth revolves around the Sun in the 16th century.
“It will start a whole new line of thinking. I don’t think we’re prepared for the results,” he toldThe Sunday Telegraph. “I’ve been worried about that because I think we’re close to finding it and making some announcements.”
Nasa’s rover Mars 2020 will drill into rock formations on the planet before sending test-tubes of rock samples back to Earth – the first time material from Mars will have been brought onto this planet.
Algae could play a surprising role in the fight against climate change.
On Tuesday, A.I.-focused technology firm Hypergiant Industries announced a machine that uses the aquatic organisms to sequester carbon dioxide. Algae, the company claims, is “one of nature’s most efficient machines.” By pairing it with a machine learning system, its developers hope to make these talents even more effective.
That’s not all. The team claims the device, which measures three feet on each side and seven feet tall, can sequester as much carbon as a whole acre of trees — estimated somewhere around two tons.
“We’ve been thinking about climate change solutions in only a very narrow scope,” Ben Lamm, CEO of the Austin-based firm, tellsInverse. “Trees are part of the solution but there are so many other biological solutions that are useful. Algae is much more effective than trees at reducing carbon in the atmosphere, and can be used to create carbon negative fuels, plastics, textiles, food, fertilizer and much more.”
You gave them your data in exchange for a driver’s license. DMVs are making tens of millions of dollars selling it, documents obtained by Motherboard show.
Departments of Motor Vehicles in states around the country are taking drivers’ personal information and selling it to thousands of businesses, including private investigators who spy on people for a profit, Motherboard has learned. DMVs sell the data for an array of approved purposes, such as to insurance or tow companies, but some of them have sold to more nefarious businesses as well. Multiple states have made tens of millions of dollars a year selling data.
Motherboard has obtained hundreds of pages of documents from DMVs through public records requests that lay out the practice. Members of the public may not be aware that when they provide their name, address, and in some cases other personal information to the DMV for the purposes of getting a driver’s license or registering a vehicle, the DMV often then turns around and offers that information for sale.
Many of the private investigators that DMVs have sold data to explicitly advertise that they will surveil spouses to see if they’re cheating.
“You need to learn what they’ve been doing, when they’ve been doing it, who they’ve been doing it with and how long it has been going on. You need to see proof with your own eyes,” reads the website ofIntegrity Investigations, one private investigator firm that buys data from DMVs.
“Under this MOU [memorandum of understanding], the Requesting Party will be provided, via remote electronic means, information pertaining to driver licenses and vehicles, including personal information authorized to be released,” one agreement between a DMV and its clients reads.
The National Hurricane Center announced today that Hurricane Dorian’s strength has increased to a Category 4. Dorian’s maximum sustained wind speeds have increased to 140 mphcapable of causing “catastrophic damage” to homes, uprooting trees, downing power lines and rendering areas uninhabitable for weeks or months.