By Rene Wadlow*
20 March 2017 – TRANSCEND Media Service – The ever-greater use by the United States – the military and the CIA – of drone air strikes in Yemen, Somalia, Syria-Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere has focused enough attention so that there will be a start of formal international attention given to the use of “killer robots” and the possibility of autonomous artificial intelligence weapons.
US drone strikes have become so routine and bureaucratic that they provoke only small protests within the USA, usually on the part of human rights groups protesting the killing of individuals without a trial. (1)
The possible wider use of drones or other robotic military material such as autonomous tanks and trucks are being worked on by governments, often with the cooperation of private industry.
The possibility of an “arms race” among technologically-advanced States such as the USA, Russia, China, South Korea and Israel is real, especially at a time when mutual trust is in short supply.
Contemporary armament dynamics tend to acquire a momentum of its own and to resist social control.
The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women on 24 March 2017 agreed on a roadmap to women’s full and equal participation in the economy as a vital step to achieving sustainable development as the body concluded its two-week session.
“This Commission has engaged strongly, comprehensively and constructively over the last two weeks in considering the most effective ways in which to bring about change for women in the world of work,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, formally known as the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.*
By Baher Kamal
– Climate has, once more, broken all records, with the year 2016 making history-highest-ever global temperature, exceptionally low sea ice, unabated sea level rise and ocean heat. And what is even worse– extreme and unusual trends continue in 2017.
In its annual statement on the State of the Global Climate, issued ahead of World Meteorological Day on 23 March, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), confirms that the year 2016 was the warmest on record – a remarkable 1.1 °C above the pre-industrial period, which is 0.06 °C above the previous record set in 2015.
By Binu Mathew | CounterCurrents*
15 Mar 2017 – I’m at the home of one of the greatest living intellectuals on earth. In the cold, windy Copenhagen weather as we ring the bell John Scales Avery opens the door and welcomes me and my friend John Graversgaard warmly into his home. He serves us coffee and we talk. I’m stunned by his humility and breadth of knowledge.
John Avery is someone who is an academician but not restrained by the rigidity of the academic community. He is a scientist but not constrained to his area of study. He is someone who connects the dots. With his deep knowledge and vast experience he surmises human destiny scientifically. No, he is someone who is worried about the fate of all life forms on earth.
– Developing countries struggling to cope with huge volumes of human waste may finally get some relief, and a new business opportunity.
**Dhaka grew into a metropolitan area with a population of more than 15 million and the world’s 3rd most densely populated city. Credit: Ahnaf Saber. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
A new Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR) study has found that spreading the cost of waste removal over a series of monthly payments could make costs more affordable for poor households and also help kick-start the conversion of this waste, or fecal sludge, into profitable by-products, like fertilisers and bioenergy.