Archive for January, 2019

31/01/2019

Boom in Artificial Intelligence Patents, Points to ‘Quantum Leap’ in Tech: UN Report

Human Wrongs Watch

The “upsurge” in patent applications for devices and machines powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the last five years, suggests that it could soon revolutionize all areas of daily life far beyond the tech world, a UN report suggested on Thursday [31 January 2019].

NASA/Aubrey Gemignani | An attendee of the USA Science and Engineering Festival (2014) observes NASA’s first dexterous humanoid robot Robonaut 2, at the NASA Stage. At the time R2 had recently received 1.2 meter long legs to allow mobility. | Photo from UN News.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Technology Trends report, 50 per cent of all patents for AI – the replication of human intelligence by machines for use in industries such as transport and healthcare, for instance – have been published since 2013, adding up to more than 170,000 different patented ideas.

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31/01/2019

Syria: ‘Violence, Displacement’ and Cold Kill 11 Infants ‘in the Past Two Days’

Human Wrongs Watch

“Violence, displacement and extremely harsh conditions” in northern and eastern Syria have killed at least 32 children since December – including 11 infants in the past two days, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) revealed on Thursday [31 January 2019].

©UNICEF/ Syria 2019/ Delil Souleiman | Escalating violence since December 2018 has forced thousands of people out of their homes in towns and villages in Hajin district in eastern rural Deir-ezZor, Syria. Families embarked on a long and arduous journey to safety at Al-Hol camp for internally displaced people, almost 300km to the north.
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In eastern Syria, persistent fighting around Hajin has forced thousands on a long, arduous journey almost 300 km to the north, to Al-Hol camp for internally displaced people.
31/01/2019

When Women Rule: Malawi Chief Battles Harms against Girls

Human Wrongs Watch

MWANZA, Malawi, 24 January 2019 (UNFPA)* Chief Mwanza knows all too well the opportunities that are lost when girls are married off as children. She was married when she was only 14 years old.

Chief Mwanza has put women and girls at the top of her agenda since rising to power. © UNFPA Malawi/Henry Chimbali
Chief Mwanza has put women and girls at the top of her agenda since rising to power. © UNFPA Malawi/Henry Chimbali

Born Chalendo MacDonald in 1952, she had wanted to complete her education. But when her grandmother, who was raising her, passed away, she was married off to a local leader known as the group village headman.

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31/01/2019

John Bolton Admits US-backed Coup in Venezuela Is About Oil, Not Democracy

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said that their coup in Venezuela is about exploiting the country’s oil and natural resources.

John Bolton said in an interview that U.S. wants to overthrow Maduro

John Bolton said in an interview that U.S. wants to overthrow Maduro’s government in Venezuela because of the country’s rich oil reserve. | Photo: Reuters | Photo from teleSUR.

30 January 2019 (teleSUR)* — Smashing the claims of “protecting democracy” in Venezuela, the United States National Security Advisor John Bolton said in an interview that they are backing the illegal coup in the South American country because of oil.
31/01/2019

Underwater Ghost-Busting to Save Indian Coral Reefs

Human Wrongs Watch

30 January 2019 (UN Environment)*Every day, hundreds of thousands of pieces of lost or abandoned fishing equipment haunt the world’s oceans, killing indiscriminately and endangering marine life and livelihoods.
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Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute (SDMRI) | Photo from UN Environment.

As it drifts, this ghost fishing gear takes on a life of its own; trapping fish, entangling all kinds of animals from seabirds and turtles to dolphins and whales, and snagging or smothering coral reefs.

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31/01/2019

Why Germany Leads in Renewables: It Has Its Own Green Bank

Human Wrongs Watch

By Ellen Brown | Web of Debt – TRANSCEND Media Service*

The Green New Deal endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more than 40 other US Representatives has been criticized as imposing a too-heavy burden on the rich and upper-middle-class taxpayers who will have to pay for it, but taxing the rich is not what the Green New Deal resolution proposes.

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Ellen Brown

It says funding will come primarily from certain public agencies, including the Federal Reserve and “a new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks.”

Funding through the Federal Reserve may be controversial, but establishing a national public infrastructure and development bank should be a no-brainer.

The real question is why we don’t already have one, like China, Germany, and other countries that are running circles around us in infrastructure development.

\Many European, Asian and Latin American countries have their own national development banks, as well as belonging to bilateral or multinational development institutions that are jointly owned by multiple governments.

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31/01/2019

Death Toll Mounts as Search Continues for Survivors of Djibouti Boat Tragedy

Human Wrongs Watch

Djibouti, 31 Januray 2019 (IOM)*International Organization for Migration (IOM) staff based in Obock, on Djibouti’s Red Sea coast, are reporting Wednesday that a total of 15 survivors have been recovered from Tuesday’s sea tragedy.

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Members of IOM’s Obock team rush to site of Red Sea tragedy to assist Djibouti authorities in search for survivors and victims of Tuesday’s drownings. Photo. IOM

As of Wednesday [30 Januray 2019] evening, IOM’s team has learned that the remains of 52 victims have been recovered—three men and two women found on Tuesday and another 47 persons today [31 Januray 2019].

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31/01/2019

Mass-Graves Found of at Least 535 Killed During ‘Organized and Planned’ Inter-Communal Attacks in Western DR Congo

Human Wrongs Watch

A preliminary UN investigation into a massacre reportedly carried out in western Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last month, reveals that “at least 535 civilians were killed in four attacks”, the UN Mission in the country, MONUSCO, said on Wednesday [30 January 2019].

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MONUSCO | General Bernard Commins, MONUSCO Force Deputy Commander, in Yumbi, where clashes between Batende and Banunu communities last December caused the deaths of hundreds, and the displacement of many others. The joint mission also visited the site where collective and individual graves had been discovered.
31/01/2019

Palestinian Children’s Education Deeply Impacted by ‘Interference’ around West Bank Schools, UN Warns

Human Wrongs Watch

Alarmed by a high number of reported incidents of interference in or near Palestinian schools in the West Bank since the beginning of the school year in September, the UN called on Wednesday [30 January 2019] for them to be better-protected from the effects of Israeli occupation.

UNICEF/Ahed Izhiman | On 12 July 2018 in the State of Palestine, 8-year old Hamid looks out over the old city of Hebron from the roof of his house. Checkpoints punctuate Hebron’s old city, part of the area known as H2, and affect the movement of people, including access to education as many children must pass one or more checkpoints on their way to school.
30/01/2019

Saving the Tiller, Securing the Farmer

Human Wrongs Watch

By Moin Qazi – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade; 
A breath can make them, as a breath has made; 
But a bold peasantry, their country’s pride, 
When once destroyed, can never be supplied
— Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village

moin-qazi

Moin Qazi, PhD Economics, PhD English

Though agriculture employs 64 percent of the total rural workforce, it produces only 39 percent of the total monetary rural output. Price realisation is poor, and farmers are unable to negotiate fair, self-sustaining prices—largely due to India’s antiquated agricultural market system, which is juxtaposed with high input costs (seeds, labour, equipment, transportation, and so on).

25 Jan 2019 – Small farmers are the key to ending poverty and hunger and promoting sustainable development.

In India, small and marginal farmers—those who work on less than two hectares (five acres) of land—constitute 80 percent of all farm households, 50 percent of rural households and 36 percent of the total of all households.

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