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Do You Talk To Yourself ? You Are Less Crazy Than You Think

By: The University Paper of Unipaper

Silently talking to yourself in the third person during times of stress could help to control your emotions without any additional mental effort compared to first-person self-talk, a study has found.

In their study Third-person self-talk facilitates emotion regulation without engaging cognitive control: Converging evidence from ERP and fMRI., researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan performed experiments on participants while monitoring their brain activity with an electroecephalograph.

Jason Moser, MSU associate professor of psychology, said: ‘Essentially, we think referring to yourself in the third person leads people to think about themselves more similar to how they think about others, and you can see evidence for this in the brain.

‘That helps people gain a tiny bit of psychological distance from their experiences, which can often be useful for regulating emotions.’

In one of the experiments, participants were shown neutral and disturbing images and reacted to them in the first person, and the third person, while their brain activity was monitored with an EEG. When they were shown disturbing photos, like a man holding a gun to his head, the team found that participants’ emotional brain activity decreased within one second when they referred to themselves in the third person.


British Chief Strategist Resigns 

By: Tim Ross of Bloomberg 

Theresa May’s director of strategy has become the latest member of her senior team to quit, leaving the premier without the authors of her Brexit vision at a critical time in negotiations with the European Union. 

Chris Wilkins will leave his post inside May’s office in 10 Downing Street at the end of this week, he said by telephone on Wednesday. Since the election, May’s been hit by a string of resignations in policy, strategy and communications. As well as leaving the prime minister short of advisers that she knows and trusts at a vital moment, the departures suggest that staff see little future in the job.

“It’s not quite rats deserting a sinking ship, but it does indicate that people feel things can’t go on as they have been going,” said Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary, University of London. “There needs to be some kind of reinvigoration, but this does indicate that some people feel that can’t be done.”

The departure means that May has lost both her top strategists in the wake of last month’s general election. Nick Timothy, her co-chief of staff, quit the day after May’s Conservatives were stripped of their parliamentary majority in the poll. He and Wilkins wrote the Brexit speech in January in which she set out her plan to take the U.K. out of the single market and customs union.


Swedish Government May Potentially Resign 

By: Oliver Pechter of Business Insider 

The Swedish government could potentially resign today. 

The Swedish opposition movement Alliansen is putting forward a motion of no confidence against interior minister Anders Ygeman, defence minister Peter Hultqvist and infrastructure minister Anna Johansson following an IT-scandal at the Swedish Transport Agency earlier this month, which involved the leaking of private citizen data to foreign contractors.

“We at Alliansen want to raise a motion of no confidence against the three responsible ministers for their failures to take responsibility during the crisis,” said the Moderates party leader Anna Kinberg Batra.

“It is obvious that the three ministers have neglected their duties… it may have threatened the security of Sweden,” says Annie Lööf.

“But we are not demanding that the government should resign,” says Jan Björklund.

The Alliance elaborated their decision further in a debate article in Svenska Dagbladet.

“The security crisis puts individual citizens as well as the entire nation’s security at risk. It’s very serious. We have found major shortcomings in the government’s work and responsibility during the handling of the crisis.”


Trump Bans Trangendered Individuals From Serving In The Military 

Compliments of the BBC

He tweeted that he had consulted with military experts and cited “tremendous medical costs and disruption”.

The Obama administration decided last year to allow transgender people to serve openly in the military.

But in June, Defence Secretary James Mattis agreed to a six-month delay in the recruitment of transgender people.

The Pentagon said this was to allow the different branches of the military to “review their accession plans and provide input on the impact to the readiness and lethality of our forces”.

Some Republicans have voiced opposition to allowing transgender people to serve at all.

The independent Rand Corporation estimated in 2016 that 2,450 of the 1.2 million active-duty service members are transgender, though some campaigners put the figure higher.

In a series of tweets, Mr Trump said: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.

“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

Critics of Mr Trump’s move are contrasting it with his support for LGBT rights during last year’s election campaign, when he said “I will fight for you”.


OJ Simpson Granted Parole After Nearly 9 Years In Jail 

By: Emily Shapiro of ABC

O.J. Simpson has been granted parole after nine years in prison for a Las Vegas robbery, a group of four Nevada commissioners decided today.

The imprisoned former NFL player could be released as early as Oct. 1.

Simpson, 70, delivered a rambling account of the case to the parole board earlier today, maintaining that he didn’t intend to steal but “wish this would have never happened.”

Simpson was at times jovial and combative with the members of the parole board, expressing his remorse and saying he’s humbled by his incarceration. Simpson was sentenced to prison following an arrest in 2007 during a botched robbery in Las Vegas, when he led a group of men into a hotel and casino to steal sports memorabilia at gunpoint. He contended the memorabilia and other personal items belonged to him.
Simpson said today, “I take full responsibility.”
Simpson appeared remotely via video conference from Lovelock Correctional Facility in Nevada, where he’s serving time for kidnapping and armed robbery. Simpson began by explaining what he said led to crime, telling the board how he learned that some “some guys” were trying to “fence” what he said were his personal mementos in Las Vegas.


New Coding Language Kotlin Taking Silicon Valley By Storm 

By: Klint Finley of Wired

YOU’LL FIND MILLIONS of apps in the Google Play store, many of them written using the powerful, stable, workhorse programming language Java. If it were a car, Java would feature a fast, reliable engine but not antilock brakes, power steering, or cup holders. Totally drivable. Not exactly a joy ride.

In May Google gave Android developers another option when it announced it would start supporting a new programming language called Kotlin, which offers most of the same basic features as Java plus the coding equivalent of seat warmers and a killer sound system. This means programmers can write safer, more reliable code with less work. That’s good news for users because it should translate into apps with fewer bugs and crashes. But it’s even better news for programmers, because it means spending more time working on the interesting parts of code and less on more routine matters—the things that make programming a rewarding career or hobby. “Working with it just brings a smile to your face,” says Christina Lee, an Android developer at Pinterest and Kotlin enthusiast.

Companies like Pinterest, Basecamp, and Square had already been using it, but now that it has the official support of Google, you can expect to find Kotlin in more and more places. “Kotlin is what our development community has already asked for,” Android product manager Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson said during the announcement of Kotlin support at Google’s IO conference in May.


9/11 Survivors Push Harder To Force Theresa May’s Hand In Releasing Supressed Saudi Arabia Terrorism Report 

By: Andrew Buncombe, Ashley Cowburn of The Independent 

Britain’s Labour Party has thrown its weight behind demands from US 9/11 survivors for Prime Minister Theresa May to release a suppressed report into the extent of Saudi Arabia’s financing of Islamic extremism within the UK.

The report was commissioned by David Cameron as part of a political deal to obtain political support for a parliamentary vote on UK airstrikes on Syria.

After Ms May’s Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, said last week the report would not be released “for national security reasons”, a group of survivors and relatives of those who died in the attacks on New York and Washington, wrote to Ms May urging her to change her mind and release the report.

“The UK now has the unique historic opportunity to stop the killing spree of Wahhabism-inspired terrorists by releasing the UK government’s report on terrorism financing in the UK which, according to media reports, places Saudi Arabia at its centre of culpability,” says the letter, signed by 15 people.

“The longer Saudi Arabia’s complicity is hidden from sunlight, the longer terrorism will continue. They must be stopped; but who will stop them? We submit that you are uniquely situated to shine the cleansing light of public consciousness.”

Sharon Premoli, one of the authors of the letter, was on the 80th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Centre when the first Al-Qaeda plane struck, also sent the letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott. 

Solar Powered Coaches On Indian Train To Significantly Reduce Carbon Footprint 

By: Devjyot Ghoshal of Quartz

India’s massive diesel-guzzling railway network is getting serious about its experiments with solar.

On July 14, Indian Railways rolled out its first train with rooftop solar panels that power the lights, fans, and information display systems inside passenger coaches. Although the train will still be pulled by a diesel-powered locomotive, a set of 16 solar panels atop each coach will replace the diesel generators that typically power these appliances. The railways estimate that a train with six solar-powered coaches could save around 21,000 litres of diesel every year, worth around Rs12 lakh.

In 2014, Indian Railways consumed 2.6 billion litres of diesel, accounting for around 70% to the network’s total fuel bill of Rs28,592 crore.

The first of these trains will be pressed into service on the suburban railway network of New Delhi, one of the world’s most polluted cities, before two dozen more coaches are fitted with similar rooftop solar systems. Retrofitting each coach with these system, including an inverter to optimise power generation and battery for storing surplus power, costs around Rs9 lakh.


Chile Extends National Parks By Over 10 Million Acres

By: Trevor Nace of Forbes

Chile set aside 11 million acres of land for national parks aided by the largest private land donation from a private entity to a country. The conservation effort of the Tompkins Foundation helped pave the way for Chile to greatly expand its conservation of the pristine Patagonia wilderness.

The Tompkins foundation was established by Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, the previous CEO of Patagonia, and the late Doug Tompkins, the co-founder of North Face and Esprit. The couple, known for purchasing large chunks of land in Patagonia for conservation, have always had the ambition to protect and conserve the Patagonian wilderness for generations to come.

However, their efforts weren’t always well received by the Chilean government and citizens. The Tompkins were accused of attempting to split Chile in two to form a new state or as CIA spies intending to infiltrate the Chilean government. It took decades to build the trust of Chile that their intentions were well founded and this move to donate 1 million acres of land to the Chilean government solidifies their relationship with Chile. Tragically, Doug Tompkins wasn’t able to witness the culmination of decades of his work as he passed away in 2015 due to severe hypothermia during a kayaking accident.

Read More ☺️ 

New Bill To Require California Police To Show Body Cam Videos 

By: Michael Balsamo 

A longstanding national debate about police transparency and privacy has been reignited in California with legislation that would require law enforcement agencies to release body camera video and recordings of fatal police shootings and other significant incidents.

The proposal, which comes amid a push across the U.S. for body camera recordings to be released more quickly after fatal police shootings, seeks to establish a statewide policy on when body camera footage and other audio and video recordings should be released.

The state Senate’s Public Safety Committee has scheduled a hearing Tuesday on Assembly Bill 748, which would amend California’s public records statute to limit the discretion that police departments have for withholding body camera videos. The proposed measure would require police departments to release video in cases where law enforcement officers use force or in incidents where it is believed there is a violation of law or public policy.

More than a dozen law enforcement organizations oppose the measure and many contend it should be up to local police departments to determine when, if ever, body camera footage should be released.

State lawmakers have failed to pass a handful of different bills in the last few years that addressed body-worn video, including establishing policies on when officers should turn their cameras on and off and when the public would have access to videos.

Several California police departments, including the Los Angeles Police Department, maintain policies denying the disclosure of body camera videos and consider the footage to be investigative records that are exempt from the state’s open records law.
“We have a patchwork of policies and in some instances, very little policy, as to when the public can access the information and when the public can’t,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting, who introduced the bill. “Body cameras were created to improve greater public trust between law enforcement and community members and without access to that video footage we’re not really able to achieve those goals.”