Tap into your potential.
By Prem Grover
For the past year, we’ve been on a journey to help children in conflict and disaster zones escape the risk of modern slavery. Today we’re delighted to announce that, alongside our partner, A World at School, and a coalition of other organisations, we achieved a campaign win on our Education in Crisis campaign.
The Global Fund for Education has been launched! This Fund will go towards helping 75 million children in 35 crisis-affected nations receive an education, reducing their risk of being trapped in forced labour, forced marriage, or recruitment to the armed forces. Already, contributions total over $90 million.
136,633 Walk Free supporters took action on this campaign. Our petition was taken to the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May and presented to United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, as well as major government donors attending from around the world.
These supporters helped make the Fund happen – and now is your chance to help us achieve another win. Will you lend your voice to another equally important campaign? Over three thousand women and girls have been forced into sexual slavery by ISIS during the conflict in Iraq and Syria.
Earlier this month, 19 of these girls were publicly burned to death for trying to escape sexual slavery. By joining our campaign you can help protect women and children living in conflict zones from the risk of modern slavery. Join us in asking the UN Security Council (UNSC) to take action.
Over 55,000 have already signed our petition to protect the thousands of people who are enslaved in conflict areas – and the UN is listening. The topic is being debated at the UNSC and organisations across the globe are uniting, but we must keep the pressure on to ensure definitive action is taken fast. Speak up for these women and children by signing our petition here. In gratitude, Zoe, Eugenia and the Walk Free team
by Paris Finnie
The revolution for Cyborgs, Automated Machines, and Service Bots has begun. Europe has been contemplating changing the rights for computerized entities with digital powered brains and hearts.
As the automated workforce gains momentum, “their growing intelligence, pervasiveness and autonomy requires rethinking everything from taxation to legal liability.” Reported Reuters journalist Alexander Smith and Alissa de Carbonnel.
Tesla has already pioneered the concern for new motorist regulations, in the wake of the automatic pilot feature in the Tesla model software update. Questions such as, ” who is liable for a collision in the unmanned driving feature was activated” are serious concerns with incidents like this one:
Driver displays his blind trust in Tesla’s Autopilot Feature.
The implementation of a robotic force frightens many and encourages others. There is a legitimate fear that many jobs could be granted to robots, while on the opposite side of the coin, industry leaders could save tremendous expenses using an automated workforce.
Many franchises and conglomerates have already begun shifting their efforts towards non-human work staff. For example, Former McDonalds CEO stated: $35K Robots Cheaper Than Hiring at $15 Per Hour, and in Japan, The Henn na Hotel is comprised of a complete robotic staff. In fact the front desk receptionist is a a talking Velociraptor!
Japan’s Henn-na Hotel showcases its hold on the future.
The predictions for when robot rights could reach those of human beings is foreseen at one to two decades from 2016, when technology allows for computerized beings to hold artificial intelligence toppling our own. Could it be time once again to rethink your career choice?
Remember, do not just believe what we say. Research what we say!
Compliments of Washington Post
Alexandra Elbakyan is a highbrow pirate in hiding.
The 27-year-old graduate student from Kazakhstan is operating a searchable online database of nearly 50 million stolen scholarly journal articles, shattering the $10 billion-per-year paywall of academic publishers.
Elbakyan has kept herself beyond the reach of a federal judge who late last year issued an injunction against her site, noting that damages could total $150,000 per article — a sum that Applied and Computational Harmonic Analysis, a journal in her database, could help calculate. But she is not hiding from responsibility.
“There are many ways to argue that copyright infringement is not theft, but even if it is, it is justified in this case,” she said in an instant-message interview via Google. “All content should be copied without restriction. But for education and research, copyright laws are especially damaging.”
Elbakyan is pursuing a master’s degree in the history of science while pursuing the worldwide liberation of knowledge from, as she sees it, the tyranny of for-profit publishers. Her ideology was shaped growing up in a former Soviet republic where access to information and the Internet was difficult.
She has even been compared to Robin Hood, although she said, “Sometimes I think it is not a good comparison, since what he was doing was illegal. And sharing books and research articles should not be illegal.”
Many academics, university librarians and longtime advocates for open scholarly research are closely following Elbakyan’s efforts. They believe she is finally giving academic publishers their Napster moment, a reference to the illegal music-sharing service that disrupted and permanently altered the industry.
“While we don’t condone fraud and using illegal sources, I will say that I appreciate how she is shining a light on just how out of whack the system is of providing easy access to basic information that our universities and scholars need to advance science and research,” said Heather Joseph, executive director of SPARC, an organization that advocates for open access to research. “This has been a problem for decades.”
By Paris Finnie
Just recently Hyundai set a world record for providing a hydrogen fuel cell car for the longest recorded driven distance without refueling and longest distance traveled in a fuel cell car. That distance traveled without refueling? 400 unbroken miles. That distance traveled in a fuel cell car setting the new world record? 6,000 beautiful green miles.
The demonstration ran about six days. During those six days The London Hydrogen Network Expansion project (LHNE) drove the Hyundai ix35 around the M25 motorway located just outside of London. This success of course does not come without its criticisms.
There are plenty of mixed feelings about hydrogen fuel as an energy source. The most frequent argument is, ” Where would I refuel?” The following argument usually is, ” Is it really so green if it requires fossil fuels to transport and generate fuel cells?” The first counter argument is contested by California’s pledge to make hydrogen fuel cell refill stations as accommodating as gas stations by 2025. The US government also wants to make at least ten percent of all cars on the road green vehicles in that same time frame. A spectacular feat, but it seems what is on that back of everyone’s mind is, ” How does it work?”
Below is a video provided by Toyota explaining exactly how the process works. The demonstration video is not the only thing being exhibited by Toyota. The company has accrued over 5,000 patents during their fuel cell research, but what makes this significant is how Toyota for the first time in history is releasing all of their intellectual property royalty free for other companies to use.
There are many “if” statements in seeing this new fuel source’s prevalence. As noted above, most of them stem around hydrogen’s practicality. although the tech faces much opposition It does seem the likelihood of another alternative energy source is underway. If you are looking for another reason to facetiously shame your carbon emitting friends, you may have a new soapbox to stand on soon.
Compliments of BBC
Scientists are claiming a stunning discovery in their quest to fully understand gravity.
They have observed the warping of space-time generated by the collision of two black holes more than a billion light-years from Earth.
The international team says the first detection of these gravitational waves will usher in a new era for astronomy.
It is the culmination of decades of searching and could ultimately offer a window on the Big Bang.
The collaboration operates a number of labs around the world that fire lasers through long tunnels, trying to sense ripples in the fabric of space-time.
Expected signals are extremely subtle, and disturb the machines, known as interferometers, by just fractions of the width of an atom.
But the black hole merger was picked up by two widely separated LIGO facilities in the US.
“We have detected gravitational waves,” David Reitze, executive director of the Ligo project, told journalists at a news conference in Washington DC.
“It’s the first time the Universe has spoken to us through gravitational waves. Up until now, we’ve been deaf.”
Prof Karsten Danzmann, from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physicsand Leibniz University in Hannover, Germany, is a European leader on the collaboration.
He said the detection was one of the most important developments in science since the discovery of the Higgs particle, and on a par with the determination of the structure of DNA.
“There is a Nobel Prize in it – there is no doubt,” he told the BBC.
“It is the first ever direct detection of gravitational waves; it’s the first ever direct detection of black holes and it is a confirmation of General Relativity because the property of these black holes agrees exactly with what Einstein predicted almost exactly 100 years ago.”
Compliments of Computer World
The world’s largest solar power plant, now live in Morocco, will eventually provide 1.1 million people with power and cut carbon emissions by 760,000 tons a year.
The $9 billion Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant could eventually start exporting energy to the European market.
The Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), paid for with funds approved by The World Bank, is located in the Souss-Massa-Drâa area in Morocco, about 6 miles from Ouarzazate town. It began operation on Thursday. While the World Bank and other development partners provided financial support, the Noor solar plant is a wholly Moroccan project.
“With this bold step toward a clean energy future, Morocco is pioneering a greener development and developing a cutting edge solar technology,” Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb, said in a statement. “The returns on this investment will be significant for the country and its people, by enhancing energy security, creating a cleaner environment, and encouraging new industries and job creation.”
Overall, the new Noor CSP plant will increase Morocco’s energy independence, create 1,600 jobs during construction and 200 jobs during the power plant’s operation, and increase the installed capacity of solar power stations from 22MW in 2013 to 522MW in 2018, according to The World Bank.
The plant will be able to store solar energy in the form of heated molten salt, which allows for the production of electricity even at night.
By Paris Finnie
A report shows that citizens in Ohio are more likely to die from a Heroin overdose than a vehicular accident. ” If we lose them to an overdose, we have lost a chance of a productive life in the future.” Says Peggy Anderson COO of the Aids Resource Center in Ohio . As many as seven to ten times instances a day EMS workers are called to save the lives of these opiate victims, but even those who make it are the select few lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.
The frightening statistics of life lost to overdoses has pushed the state of Ohio to allow the drug Naloxone (Narcan) to be sold over the counter in participating pharmacies one of them being CVS. Naloxone works by reversing the depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system caused by opioids. In some instances multiple administrations of Narcan may be needed to save an individual but a second chance at life is becoming readily available to the citizens of Ohio.
Compliments of Reuters
Saudi Arabia outlined ambitious plans on Monday to move into industries ranging from information technology to health care and tourism, as it sought to convince international investors it can cope with an era of cheap oil.
A meeting and presentation at a luxury Riyadh hotel was held against a backdrop of low oil prices pressuring the kingdom’s currency and saddling it with an annual state budget deficit of almost $100 billion – the biggest economic challenge for Riyadh in well over a decade.
Top Saudi officials said they would reduce the kingdom’s dependence on oil and public sector employment. Growth and job creation would shift to the private sector, with state spending helping to jump-start industries in the initial stage.
“It’s going to switch from simple quantitative growth based on commodity exports to qualitative growth that is evenly distributed” across the economy, said Khalid al-Falih, chairman of national oil giant Saudi Aramco.
Over 2,400 people, including local and foreign officials, business, consultants and academics, registered for the event, staged by the government’s investment promotion agency.
Commerce and industry minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah said Saudi Arabia had been a victim of the “Dutch disease” – a condition in which the oil sector had crowded out other parts of the economy – but was now working to correct that.
Under the reforms, parts of the national health care system would be converted into independent commercial companies, officials said.
Participants in the conference, including the chief executives of U.S. aerospace firm Lockheed Martin and Pepsico, discussed subjects ranging from how to foster entrepreneurs to ways of developing dynamic cities and increasing the role of Saudi women in the business world.
The heavy presence of foreign business representatives suggested many saw opportunities in the Saudi strategy. Although Riyadh is burning through its foreign assets to cover the budget gap, it still had $628 billion in November, enough to finance years of new projects.
Some participants expressed doubt about the scale of the planned change in a country where about two-thirds of local workers are in the public sector, preferring it to more rigorous private employment.
There is little tradition of entrepreneurship in the world’s biggest oil exporter, and financial and legal systems have not been set up to encourage it.
“The transition away from being a rentier state is not a comfortable one,” said David Chaudron, managing partner of the California-based Organized Change Consultancy, which works with Saudi companies.
“They’re trying. But the fundamental question is: will their trying bear enough fruit before the downside of the current system hits? Or is it a day late and a dollar short? Will the forces of change ultimately be enough to overcome the inertia of the current system? I don’t know.”
The U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Joseph Westphal, pointed to risks in administering the plans.
“Saudi Arabia has to have a government system that is adaptable,” he said, adding that top officials would need to delegate decisions and authorities would have to be willing to take risks in the recognition that there would be some failures.
Nevertheless, many participants at the conference recognized that strong political momentum had now built up behind the reform plans, many of which had previously been discussed for years without result.
Compliments of The Guardian
The scale of state repression in Egypt is greater today than it has been for generations, one of the country’s most prominent journalists and human rights advocates has told the Guardian.
Hossam Bahgat, an investigative reporter who was recently detained by Egypt’s military intelligence agency, spoke out ahead of the fifth anniversary of the start of Egypt’s revolution on Monday – the run-up to which has seen an unprecedented crackdown by security forces against opposition and dissent.
“This is without doubt the worst we’ve ever seen,” said Bahgat, citing restrictions on media outlets, a spike in the number of political prisoners, forced disappearances, and alleged extrajudicial killings of Islamists by the state.
“The level of repression now is significantly higher than it was under the Mubarak regime, and people from older generations say it is worse than even the worst periods of the 1950s and 1960s [under the rule of Gamal Abdel Nasser].”
In an effort to ward off any protests half a decade on from the uprising thattoppled the former president Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian authorities haveraided thousands of homes in Cairo and installed new surveillance infrastructure around Tahrir Square.
Preachers have reportedly been instructed by the state to give sermons declaring it a sin to demonstrate against the government, while cafes, cultural institutions and book publishers have all been investigated by security agencies.
Under the country’s protest law, implemented by executive decree soon after the military overthrow of the former Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013, participation in any unsanctioned marches or rallies is unlawful.
The Egyptian government says it is fighting terrorism and claims the country is making progress on political rights. Over the past week five Egyptian policemen were killed by gunmen in northern Sinai, while six people died in a bomb attack in Giza.
“We have paid a lot for the security and stability that we currently live in, so I ask all Egyptians for the sake of the martyrs and the blood to take care of their country,” Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the president, said in a speech to the nation on Saturday.
Bahgat argued: “The only reason that there is such a level of panic regarding public opinion is that two years ago the regime could afford to take us for granted; Sisi was worshipped and they had carte blanche to do whatever it took to impose stability.
“With all the state powers now unified under Sisi’s leadership … people are now starting to ask questions of him.”
Bahgat is the founder of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, one of Egypt’s most acclaimed human rights organisations. Since 2014 he has worked as a journalist with Mada Masr, an independent media outlet known for covering news stories that other parts of the Egyptian press shy away from.