Tag Archives: WorldNews

Sri Lankan reform has ‘ground to a halt’ with torture used freely – UN

3151.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&f

Coalition government has failed on promise to repeal Prevention of Terrorism Act

Sri Lanka’s progress towards reform has “virtually ground to a halt” and brutal torture is used with impunity, the UN concludes in a scathing report on the country’s human rights record.

The report, which comes three years after the country appeared to have turned a corner in its history by electing a new coalition government, is published on Monday following a UN visit to Sri Lanka at the request of the government. “None of the measures so far adopted to fulfil Sri Lanka’s transitional justice commitments are adequate to ensure real progress,” it says.

Continue reading…

Why mobile phones are NOT a health hazard

If phones are linked to cancer, we’d expect to see a marked uptick in cancer with uptake. Yet we do not. American mobile phone penetration increased from almost nothing in 1992 to practically 100% by 2008 and there is zero indication glioma rates have increased, a finding replicated by numerous other studies.

5760.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&f

An article we published last week about links between mobiles and cancer proved highly controversial. Here a cancer expert and physicist argues that it misrepresented the research and that fears are ill-founded

• Last week’s article: The inconvenient truth about cancer and mobile phones

Last week the Observer published an article by Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie on a disturbing topic – the idea that telecoms giants might collude to suppress evidence that wireless technology causes cancer. The feature was well written, ostensibly well researched, and deeply concerning. Its powerful narrative tapped into rich themes; our deep-seated fears about cancer, corporate greed, and technology’s potentially noxious influence on our health. It spread rapidly across social media – facilitated by the very object on which it cast doubt.

Yet as enthralling as Hertsgaard and Dowie’s narrative might be, it is strewn with rudimentary errors and dubious inferences. As a physicist working in cancer research, I found the authors’ penchant for amplifying claims far beyond that which the evidence allows troubling. And as a scientist deeply invested in public understanding of science, I’ve seen first-hand the damage that scaremongering can do to societal health. While it is tempting to rage into the void, perhaps this episode can serve as a case study in how public understanding of science can be mangled, and what warning signs we might look out for.

Continue reading…

Don’t fear the rise of designer babies, gene editing is about curing disease | Kenan Malik

No! It is about making money and possibly – oops – causing disease unintended, as well as furthering ideas of dead Nazis! If we had given in to such hysteria over IVF, Louise Brown would never have been born

‘Designer babies on horizon”, ran the headlines. Last week, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, an independent body advising on policy, published a report on genome editing and human reproduction.

New scientific techniques, such as CRISPR-Cas9 – molecular “scissors” that allow scientists to snip the genome at specific points – have transformed genetics in recent years and raised questions about what is practically possible and ethically acceptable. Despite the lurid headlines, they are not ushering in a new world of designer babies.

Continue reading…

Trump says NFL players who kneel for anthem shouldn’t play or be paid

KKKIng #TraitorTrump – fool on the hill and evil clown.

3477.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&f

  • President ‘can’t believe’ NFL anthem debate remains in play
  • Trump proposes two-step punishment for players who kneel

President Donald Trump is once again inserting himself into the culture war over protests by NFL athletes during the national anthem.

Trump tweeted on Friday that he “can’t believe” the debate has reignited after the Associated Press reported on the Miami Dolphins formally telling players they could be punished for protesting on the field. The NFL and NFL Players Association said in a joint statement Thursday night they were halting enforcement of all anthem rules while they work out a solution.

Continue reading…

Facebook halts firm’s data access amid questions of government surveillance

You got cash – we got data… err unless we get caught and called out!

3500.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&f

Crimson Hexagon suspended as concerns surface over company’s federal contracts and ties to Russia and Turkey

Facebook has suspended a social media analytics firm from accessing user data while it investigates potential violations of its policy barring surveillance.

The firm, Crimson Hexagon, boasts an impressive list of blue chip clients and claims to have collected more than 1tn public social media posts from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and other sources. It uses artificial intelligence and image analysis to monitor social media and provide customers with insights into public sentiment about their brands.

Continue reading…

‘They erased a bit of my life’: Windrush generation on Home Office treatment

8688.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&f

Four people describe ordeal of having their British citizenship questioned and downgraded

Tony Perry, 62, pictured above, arrived in Britain in 1959 from Jamaica to join his parents. He spent time serving in the navy and later became a social worker for Haringey council, helping troubled children. He has also worked as a pastor.

Continue reading…

Facebook’s pledge to eliminate false information is itself fake news | Judd Legum

4936.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&f

Zuckerberg is trying to have it both ways: claiming credit for fighting fake news but insisting that false information be distributed on Facebook

The production values are high and the message is compelling. In an 11-minute mini-documentary, Facebook acknowledges its mistakes and pledges to “fight against misinformation”.

“With connecting people, particularly at our scale, comes an immense amount of responsibility,” an unidentified Facebook executive in the film solemnly tells a nodding audience of new company employees.

Continue reading…