By: Jessie Yeung of CNN
It is considered vital in slowing global warming, and it is home to uncountable species of fauna and flora. Roughly half the size of the United States, it is the largest rainforest on the planet.
By: Ephrat Livni of QZ
No kid ever dreamed of growing up and driving for Uber or styling for Stitch Fix. In part, that’s because none of those companies existed when most of today’s adults were young. It’s also because, besides its much-touted “flexibility,” the gig economy isn’t much of a place to build a career. Instead, over the course of less than a decade, the self-described “tech companies” that connect people to gig work have managed to erode hard-fought labor protections in place for a century.
In Hustle and Gig, to be published in March by University of California Press, sociologist Alexandrea Ravenelle interviews 80 gig workers who are struggling, striving, and succeeding. She analyzes their stories in the context of US employment history and concludes that “for all its app-enabled modernity, the gig economy resembles the early industrial age…the sharing economy is truly a movement forward to the past.”
Although gig work was initially seen as a way to maximize worker freedom and create opportunities, it has, in its short history, proven corrosive. Ravenelle notes that a small percentage of people are making lots of money via side hustles, but they tend to be those who need it least. For example, she speaks to independent hoteliers in New York renting out rooms and apartments via AirBnB, including a corporate lawyer and a man with a chain of laundromats. Because they already had capital, have steady sources of income apart from their side gigs, and are willing to skirt rental laws, these two individuals are able to invest heavily in their “gigs” and create lucrative businesses.
Sadly, those who most need to work can find themselves trapped in a cycle of struggle. Ravenelle interviewed men and women signed up to do tasks on Task Rabbit—prior to its acquisition by IKEA—and who drove for Uber, for example. They were not employees and so had no health insurance, workers’ compensation protections, employer contributions to Social Security and payroll taxes, paid time off, family leave protections, discrimination protections, or unemployment insurance benefits.
Sometimes, this gig work also requires an initial outlay of capital. (My own neighbor just traded in her old vehicle for a new car, taking on thousands of dollars in debt so that she can make extra money driving for Lyft.) At the very least, a potential worker needs a smartphone and wi-fi service. Ravanelle’s book boasts an image inside of a young man in a park panhandling for $30 to activate his phone service so that he can start picking up work.
Chinese investments in Africa may appear to be beneficial, however, countries are falling into China’s debt trap. Political leaders making these deals with China may be set for life, but is it at the expense of the people they serve? The following perspectives Chinese investments present the consequences of China’s investments in Africa.
photo courtesy of yournewswire.com
NOT IN OUR NAME
A Legal and Moral Declaration and Pledge of Non-Cooperation issued by Concerned Roman Catholic Clergy
Issued on Sunday, September 23, 2018
We are a group of clergy within the Roman Catholic Church who in good conscience are unable to associate any longer with the criminal, anti-Christian actions of the Vatican and the Papacy. We refer to the massive cover up of violent crimes against children now being perpetrated as a matter of policy by the church hierarchy: crimes in which every Catholic is expected to collude.
The growing exposure in the world media of a massive network in our church of child trafficking, rape, torture and murder, and the direct implication of the Pope and senior Cardinals and Bishops in this network, compels every one of us to make a choice. For by our daily association with the Church of Rome we are accomplices in its crimes, under both the laws of God and Man.
No Papal statute or command can justify or absolve such a criminal and sinful association. Whether Pope or Priest, we must all face and answer to God for our actions, or our inaction. And we must also answer to the Law.
Under the law, anyone – including ordained clergymen – can be tried and convicted for harming a child or enabling or concealing those who do. As Catholics, we are all therefore guilty and subject to prosecution according to our own church policy known as Crimen Sollicitationas (1929), which requires that we suppress evidence of child abuse in the church, not tell the police of such abuse, and silence the victims.
This policy refers to the rape of children as “a pontifical secret” which, if disclosed, will result in the excommunication of any honest Catholic who reports the crime! Such a bizarre and inhuman statute constitutes a massive criminal conspiracy for which we are all liable for arrest and prosecution. (1)
For this reason, as moral beings and followers of Jesus Christ, we cannot any longer adhere to the collusion and silence imposed on us by a criminal church regime that places its own money and power ahead of the lives and safety of children. For did not our Lord tell us, “Whatever you do to the least of these my people, you do to me?”; and “Whoever would cause one of these little ones to fall, it would be better that a millstone be tied around his neck and he be cast into the sea”?
Christ’s judgement on those who harm children is the same as ours.
Accordingly, as of this day, we publicly disassociate ourselves from any allegiance to the leaders of the Church of Rome and from our vows of obedience to our Bishops and to the Pope. We will not be subject any longer to Crimen Sollicitationas and its requirement of collusion with the rape and murder of children. Under the law of God and Man, we are obligated to always protect children and prosecute their tormentors, not simply when it is expedient.
As a consequence, we pledge ourselves to the following faithful course of action:
1. We will actively uncover and report to our congregations, the police and the media any violence or other crimes done against children within our parishes, dioceses and communities, regardless of Church policy.
2. We will also uncover and report to our congregations, the police and the media the names of anyone within the Church who harms a child or who aids and abets such harm, and who conceals it, regardless of their rank or position within the Church.
3. As ordained clergymen, we will refuse to give Holy Communion or any other sacrament of the Church to anyone associated with such crimes. We will also refuse to accept financial donations or tithings of such persons.
4. If ordered by our nominal superiors to collude with such crimes, or if we face discipline or punishments for acting according to our consciences and the Law, we will separate ourselves from those officials and continue to conduct our pastoral and sacramental offices apart from the church hierarchy, within separate congregations under the authority of Christ Alone.
5. We will actively reach out to all our brethren clergy and to all Roman Catholics in our communities, and urge them to join us and take this same pledge of Non-Cooperation and Witness against the anti-Christ regime that governs our Church.
Our faith is in God and not in Man. As God wills it, so it is done.
Signed and Published on this 23rd Day of September in the year 2018 by Ordained Clergymen of the Roman Catholic Church in America, Canada, Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy.
Please share this Declaration. It has been released to the global media. We invite all clergy and adherents of our church to reflect on and endorse this statement.
You can contact us at email@example.com
By : Frances Roble
The government of Puerto Rico has quietly acknowledged in a report posted online that in all likelihood more than 1,400 people died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria — a figure that is more than 20 times the official death toll.
Hurricane Maria cut through the island on Sept. 20, knocking out power and initially killing about a dozen people. The government’s official count eventually swelled to 64, as more people died from suicide, lack of access to health care and other factors. The number has not changed despite several academic assessments that official death certificates did not come close to tallying the storm’s fatal toll.
But in a draft of a report to Congress requesting $139 billion in recovery funds, scheduled for official release on Thursday, the Puerto Rican government admits that 1,427 more people died in the last four months of 2017 compared with the same time frame in the previous year. The figures came from death registry statistics that were released in June, but which were never publicly acknowledged by officials on the island.
“Although the official death count from the Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety was initially 64, the toll appears to be much higher,” said the report, titled “Transformation and Innovation in the Wake of Devastation.”
In another section, it said: “According to initial reports, 64 lives were lost. That
estimate was later revised to 1,427.”
The government was widely criticized for undercounting the number of people who died on the island as the power outage stretched for months, causing deaths from diabetes and sepsis to soar. Many people died from lack of access to hospitals, or because there was no power to run the machines they used to breathe.
July 7th, 2018 – 7am PST – Los Angeles, California USA – 90002
Lady Alicia Hamilton signs a 20-year contract with Beatrice Premier Foods/Cuppedia Corporation, USA., to offer long-term contracts for both growing and manufacturing of Tested Pure Food, to women around the World for global trade.
With a Special Emphasis Project in Africa, Lady Hamilton will be accepting proposals from African Women’s Farming Groups, African Manufacturing concerns, and with purveyors of all African Goods.
Working with Cuppedia Corporation and African Youth to assist in opening up franchising opportunities w/financing, Lady Hamilton brings new hope for Africa!
“We are honored to work closely with the AU PADWA Western Regions Chair as Lady Alicia Hamilton is also the CEO of Universal Citizens Media Network!”
-Anna Carter, Owner – Cuppedia Corporation, USA.
Contact Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Reuters Staff
Denmark will force children in residential areas containing large numbers of immigrants to be educated about democracy, equality and major Danish holidays such as Christmas, the government said on Monday.
The Nordic country has for decades struggled with how to integrate immigrants, primarily from the Middle East, into its ethnically and religiously homogeneous welfare society.
The new policy, agreed with major opposition parties, will force young children living in “ghettos” – an official term for areas consisting of primarily non-Western immigrants – into 25 hours of public education a week from the age of one.
Children in Denmark must normally receive 10 years of education from the age of six. However, school attendance is not compulsory, meaning parents have a right to choose how to educate their children.
Danish parents living in the designated areas will also be forced to enroll their children in the initiative, although those already receiving daycare will not be required to join.
While the primary focus will be on language skills and learning readiness, the deal also seeks to educate the primarily Muslim children in Danish traditions and Christian holidays including Christmas and Easter.
By Swansea University
Nanoparticles derived from tea leaves inhibit the growth of lung cancer cells, destroying up to 80% of them, new research by a joint Swansea University and Indian team has shown.
The team made the discovery while they were testing out a new method of producing a type of nanoparticle called quantum dots. These are tiny particles which measure less than 10 nanometres. A human hair is 40,000 nanometres thick.
Although nanoparticles are already used in healthcare, quantum dots have only recently attracted researchers’ attention. Already they are showing promise for use in different applications, from computers and solar cells to tumour imaging and treating cancer.
Quantum dots can be made chemically, but this is complicated and expensive and has toxic side effects. The Swansea-led research team were therefore exploring a non-toxic plant-based alternative method of producing the dots, using tea leaf extract.
Tea leaves contain a wide variety of compounds, including polyphenols, amino acids, vitamins and antioxidants. The researchers mixed tea leaf extract with cadmium sulphate (CdSO4) and sodium sulphide (Na2S) and allowed the solution to incubate, a process which causes quantum dots to form. They then applied the dots to lung cancer cells.
• Tea leaves are a simpler, cheaper and less toxic method of producing quantum dots, compared with using chemicals, confirming the results of other research in the field.
• Quantum dots produced from tea leaves inhibit the growth of lung cancer cells. They penetrated into the nanopores of the cancer cells and destroyed up to 80% of them. This was a brand new finding, and came as a surprise to the team.
The research, published in Applied Nano Materials, is a collaborative venture between Swansea University experts and colleagues from two Indian universities.
By: Harry Cockbern of The Independent
Billionaire former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg has said he will write a $4.5m cheque to cover the US’s financial commitment to the Paris Climate agreement for 2018.
Donald Trump pulled the US out of the climate pact last year, saying it was a “terrible deal” which would “undermine” the economy and put the US at a “permanent disadvantage”.
The move made the US the only country in the world opposed to the climate change agreement which aims to cut carbon emissions in an effort to restrict global temperature rises to less than 2C by the end of this century.
In an interview with CBS, Mr Bloomberg said he hopes that by next year Mr Trump will have changed his mind.
Mr Bloomberg will continue to provide money for the pact if the United States does not rejoin the agreement, according to a news release from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charity he founded.
“Our foundation will uphold our promise to cover any cuts to UN climate funding by the federal government,” Mr Bloomberg said in the statement.
By: Eric Dolan of PsyPost
New brain published in the journal Scientific Reports sheds new light on how LSD produces its psychedelic effects. The drug resulted in the “emergence of new type of order in the brain,” the researchers found.
The study used a new mathematical method to analyze brain activity, known as connectome-harmonic decomposition, to examine how LSD caused alterations in consciousness. A connectome is a distinctive pattern of neural connections — like a wiring diagram of the brain.
“I am generally interested in novel therapeutic tools that can help with the healing of psychiatric disorders, especially healing from trauma. I feel that as Western societies we generally tend to label and marginalise mental illness instead of seeing it as a rather normal reaction to extreme and abnormal circumstances,” said Selen Atasoy, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Brain and Cognition at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and lead author of the study.
“This, in my opinion, makes the recovery of a patient from trauma even more difficult, as this perspective of the society may further deepen the ‘dissociation’ – the withdrawal of the person, who experienced the traumatic event, from that painful experience.”
“As Dr. Gabor Mate nicely explains, trauma is not caused by the extremely painful experience itself but rather by our dissociation from that part of ourself that had to bear that experience. When I came across the studies about psychedelics, it was very remarkable to me to see how patients under the effect of psychedelics were able to reclaim and integrate their most traumatic experiences and how that led to a powerful healing process,” Atasoy told PsyPost.
“It is probably due to this effect of psychedelics that a very strong, natural psychedelic – ayahuasca – is considered a very powerful plant medicine in various indigenous cultures and has been used in shamanic healing ceremonies for centuries. On the other hand, neuroscience today has another very powerful tool; the imaging technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) allow us to visualise the brain activity of a person.”
“My research focuses on understanding the changes in brain activity caused by psychedelics using these functional neuroimaging datasets,” Atasoy said. “In the future, my hope is that we can gain some insights into the neural mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effect of psychedelics and also of other therapeutic tools.”