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Cake day: May 17, 2022

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The search for the missing capsule captured the world’s imagination, but radioactive material goes awol about 100 times a year around the world, says Dr Edward Obbard, a senior lecturer in nuclear engineering at UNSW Sydney.
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Allegations of brutal interrogations, where Ukrainian men were shot and threatened with rape, have been made by a former Russian military officer.
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Experts of the Technical University Delft found that out of six public statements made by the Commission in support of its new measures legislative initiative, three were incorrect.
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Czech lower house of parliament speaker Marketa Pekarova Adamova assured Taiwan of her country's support for partner states who respect human rights and liberal democracy, ahead of a visit to Taipei planned for March this year. The election of new president Petr Pavel marks a turnaround in his countries politics, observers say.
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“To the Chinese government, normalising the relationship means Australia first conforming to various Chinese government demands, including putting issues like human rights in Xinjiang off the table,” says Kyinzom Dhongdue, a strategic campaigns lead for Amnesty International Australia and a Tibetan human rights campaigner. He claims, however, that any human rights dialogue “must take place unconditionally”.
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The Conservative Rami Ranger has been accused of using “deplorable” and “racially charged language” in a scathing attack on the BBC’s recent documentary about the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi. He hit out at a documentary that has caused significant controversy in India and been banned from YouTube and Twitter by authorities there over the depiction of Modi’s role in riots in 2002.
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Hongkongers in Britain have called on Suella Braverman to reconsider controversial measures in her public order bill, which they likened to the repressive measures used to crack down on democratic opposition in their home city.
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Autocrats and dictators quickly acquire new arms technologies from abroad and often use them against their own citizens. A new study covering all countries from 1820 to 2010 shows that the spread of military technologies inhibits democratic reform. Here is the study: https://academic.oup.com/ej/article/133/650/728/6750008?login=false
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Non-autocratic countries condemn what China is doing but don't provide corridors for refugees.
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The Kremlin has stamped out public dissent but makeshift memorials to Ukrainian dead are a focus for those opposed to the conflict.
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The government-affiliated civil organization CÖF (Civil Cooperation Forum), which operates with money from a state-owned gambling service provider, attacked the opposition through posters. In a recent press conference, a CÖF spokesperson said that Átlátszó could pose a national security risk by receiving financial support from foreign partners.
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While attacking journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote critically of the Saudi government and was killed in October 2018 by a group of assassins, Republican politician Mike Pompeo notes in his new book that the U.S. has a "strategic" relationship with the Saudis to consider.
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Trying to commemorate those killed by Russian bombing in Dnipro, Ukraine. In Moscow, a 15-year old girl was detained for bringing flowers to the memorial of famous Lesya Ukrainka.
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Chinese social media users debunk the official COVID-19 death figure.
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US president Joe Biden has been accused of hypocrisy for demanding the release of journalists detained around the world while he continues seeking the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from Britain to face American espionage charges.
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Cuban reporters are regularly detained, can have their phones and laptops seized, and their internet cut.
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Hody Childress, a farmer and US air force veteran, began his anonymous charitable campaign when he walked into a drug store in his home town of Geraldine in 2012 and learned from the owner that sometimes families can’t afford to pay for their medicines.
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Chinese cyber authorities have announced an internet censorship crackdown to ensure there are no “gloomy sentiments” caused by pandemic “rumours” during the lunar new year festival.
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A video, purported to be of Cao Zhixin, a 26-year-old editor at Peking University Press, began spreading online on Monday. Cao said she recorded the video after several friends were detained, and gave it then to unnamed persons with instructions to publish it if she were arrested.
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Richest 1% bag nearly twice as much wealth as the rest of the world put together over the past two years, research says
Super-rich outstrip their extraordinary grab of half of all new wealth in past decade, according to UK's Oxfam. A tax of up to 5 percent on the world’s multi-millionaires and billionaires could raise $1.7 trillion a year, enough to lift 2 billion people out of poverty.
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The government asked King Charles for permission to pass its post-Brexit “world-leading” Environment Act because laws requiring landowners to enhance conservation could affect his business interests.
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The top aide of Sen. Joe Manchin, a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, is leaving the West Virginia Democrat's office to work directly for Big Oil as a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute, one of the most powerful influence-peddling organizations in the United States.
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Tactics employed by gaslighting politicians include lying, ad hominem attacks on critics, exaggerating successes and accomplishments, denying inconvenient facts and accusations, and blaming others for failures.
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Westwood’s family said they were “deeply disappointed that we were unable to fulfil Vivienne’s wishes but are unsurprised by the decision, which is unjust and in keeping with the inhumane treatment [Assange] has received from the UK authorities up to this point”. They added: “Julian has not been convicted of any crime, yet he is treated as if he is a terrorist, the only thing he is guilty of is publishing the truth.”
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"Fever meds in short supply, hospitals overwhelmed, blood shortage, death tolls soaring among the elderly, morgues overflown with body bags" - the former South China Morning Post chief editor Wang Xiangwei writes.
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The threat these days doesn’t come just from repressive governments like those in Russia or Turkey, nor it is confined to democratic states on the road to authoritarianism like Hungary and Poland. It now also comes from elected governments in states whose democracies appear in better health, such as France, Greece, Italy, and the UK.
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The Harvard Kennedy School dean, Douglas Elmendorf, allegedly bowed to pressure, at a time when major donors and prominent Jewish organisations were particularly unhappy that Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of practicing a form of apartheid in the occupied territories.
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Leaked files suggest 10 secretive offshore trusts established to benefit Abramovich were rapidly reorganised in early February 2022, three weeks before the start of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
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US lawmakers urge the Biden administration to rescind a series of Trump-era amendments that expanded execution methods, allowed the Justice Department to skip important regulatory steps while pursuing federal executions, and made state prisons and personnel available for federal executions, among other changes.
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After noting that "2022 was one of the deadliest years for Palestinians on record," U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)—an outspoken critic of violence by Israeli forces and settlers, and the United States' military aid to Israel - also shared a tweet from the U.S.-based group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which pointed to video footage of Israeli occupation forces destroying homes and other infrastructure in Masafer Yatta.
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"I want people to think of the common good. Wouldn’t it be lovely if kindness would make a reappearance?"
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I don’t know where you live, but I agree we should never be whining about a country and its people. To critisize the government if there’s a reason, but never the people. A country’s government and its people are not the same.


Economic policies should be implemented alongside forecasts of what their effects will be for future generations rather than merely "the household".
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to substitute for that same page to be about the USA.>

Maybe, but does that make any country better?



The WHO has invited Chinese scientists to a virtual closed meeting with its technical advisory group on viral evolution today, to present data on which variants are circulating in the country. It is not open to the public or media.
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While the group refused to disclose its donors, reporters found that much of the funding came from powerful companies like Chevron, Goldman Sachs, Time Warner, and Facebook as well as anti-abortion activists like Rev. Rob Schenck.
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China sent 1,727 planes into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone in 2022, according to an AFP database based on daily updates released by Taipei’s defence ministry. That compares with about 960 incursions in 2021 and 380 in 2020.
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Not all countries report data, but fir larger areas there is sophisticated research available, e.g., for China.


Yes, but there’s one detail in the article I find weird if I may say so. It reads that the Biden administration “helped negotiate” a deal, but in fact they passed a bill. That’s a far tougher (indeed, it’s the toughest) level of reaching an agreement that has nothing to do with a negotiation.


It’s interesting that I can see the comment below written by @lisko when using the Jerboa client, but it’s not visible in Lemmur. Is it just me?


It appears they don’t report the numbers.

Officials [in India] have failed to track such attacks

Edit: There are more countries for which no reliable numbers exist, for example China and a lot of African countries.


This is sadly true. Sometimes I feel it is even worse. People could use products like LibreOffice for a donation of their choice or even for free if they want to, but they rather pay for Microsoft 365. I don’t understand that.


It tells a lot about our global (!) human society that such a day is needed.


Yeah, it’s even said in the first sentence of the article. Should have read it more carefully before posting. I stand corrected.


I don’t know people with children in Germany, but you can read it here and many other sites. 🤔


Germany already did that a couple of years ago afaik. But, yes, let’s hope others will follow.



Ah, I read that, too. Boycotting public viewing is better than nothing, but they should cancel the entire event.



The vast majority of economists and analysts are doing a good job imo. They know that each model has its limits, and they clearly say that in their papers.

I feel the problems often arise after the research gets published and an armada of interest groups are trying to “interpret” the results according to their needs and wants. We frequently see lobbyists picking and choosing only the details that support their views, politicians seeking simple and quick solutions to complex long-term issues, and journalists and “bloggers” quoting studies without reading them.


Those interested in this kind of research and game theory in particular may also be interested in playing a small game developed by Nicky Case (~ 30 minutes): https://ncase.me/trust/ Have fun :-)


Sometimes I feel cats understand everything what we humans say, but we don’t fully understand them 😸