Over 20 million phones lines switched off today

Luring citizens into no-escape traps is the speciality of mobile phone service providers in cohorts with totalitarian governments.
"
Don't let it happen! It depends on YOU!"

By IPP/Guardian/VF - 20. January 2020

THE Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) yesterday ruled out any possibility of extending today’s deadline for biometric registration of mobile phone numbers, saying over 20 million lines will be switched off.

The Principal Communications Officer for TCRA, Semu Mwakyanjala told The Guardian yesterday that 27,287,091 lines had been registered biometrically by Wednesday last week which is equivalent to 56 per cent of 48, 717, 967 subscribed mobile phones.

This means 21,430,876 lines (44 per cent) were yet to be registered biometrically, hence face the button as TCRA proceeds to switch off biometrically unregistered numbers today.

Horrifying Images of Emaciated Lions in Sudan Zoo Park Spark Online Campaign to Save Animals

Close All Zoos !!!
Credit: ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP via Getty

One of the lions reportedly died on Monday morning

By Claudia Harmata - 20. January 2020

An online campaign to rescue five reportedly sick and starving African lions at a park in Sudan’s capital continues to grow, as one of the lions is said to have died on Monday.

The lions are held in cages at the Khartoum’s Al-Qureshi Park. The animals allegedly have not had adequate food or medicine for weeks, according to several reports.

Over the weekend, Osman Salih walked past the park and after seeing the lions and their horrible conditions, decided to start an online campaign called #SudanAnimalRescue in order to raise awareness about what is going on and to help save the animals.

The world’s richest 22 men have more money than the 325 million adult women in Africa

Women at an open market in Africa.

By   -  

The 22 richest men in the world have more wealth than 325 million women in Africa, a report by Oxfam has found.

The Time to Care report says that the gap between the rich and poor is worsened by the global economy’s failure to reward women who provide care for children and the elderly, for little or no pay.

It comes as Boris Johnson hosts the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London on 20 January, which will bring together 21 African countries with UK and African companies.

Inside the race to protect 250 threatened species hit by bushfire

Brush-tailed rock wallaby habitat has been hit hard by the fires (ABC News: Rachel Carbonell)

By Ben Deacon and Rachel Carbonell - 20. January 2020  

Ecologists have calculated that at least 6 million hectares of habitat that is home to at least 250 different threatened species has now gone up in smoke.

Key points:

  • About 70 threatened species lost more than half their habitat to recent bushfires
  • Of the 250 overall species to lose habitat, 25 are listed as critically endangered and include plants, birds, mammals, reptiles and fish
  • A panel of senior ecologists has met in Canberra with the Threatened Species Commissioner to plan the next phase in the response

Indigenous peoples back manifesto to save Amazon habitat from Bolsonaro

Kuikuro men, from an Indigenous clan that stems from the Xingu First Nation. (Image by Valter Campanato/ABr – Agência Brasil, Wikimedia Commons).

By Reuters - January 19, 2020

Leaders of native peoples in Brazil issued a rallying call to protect the Amazon rainforest and its indigenous people from what they called the “genocide, ethnocide and ecocide” planned by the country’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

A manifesto signed on Friday at the end of a four-day meeting in the Xingu reservation said Bolsonaro was threatening the survival of indigenous people with plans to allow commercial mining and ranching on their protected lands.

Indigenous 'tribes' rejected Bolsonaro’s plans to allow commercial mining and ranching on their protected lands

Why no support from Conservation?

[ECOTERRA's answer to Chris&ElizabethAnn: Have you still not noticed the 'CON' in CONservation?]

Soon to be killed by South African bureaucrazy? Bat-eared foxes pubs at KWC.

By CACH - 19. January 2020

Have a look at what we do for wildlife and then explain to us in plain words why we are not supported by conservation officials. Indeed, why they proactively undermine our efforts.

Even though our Karoo Wildlife Centre is a project of the international award-winning NGO, Campaign Against Canned Hunting, and we followed procedures to obtain permits as much as possible until the excessive bureaucracy defeated us.

Far away from the paper world of government policies and regulations, in the real world, here is how rehab sanctuaries work. An animal is orphaned or injured and taken by good samaritans to the local vet. She attends to its wounds and needs, and then what? She has a veterinary surgery in a built-up area. She needs a wilderness facility with large natural camps where the animal can be fed and nurtured until it is fit for release back to the wild. It then needs a soft (gradual) release into suitable habitat where it can survive and flourish.

UPDATE 23. January 2020: A second large city, Huanggang, with 7.5mio inhabitants has been subjected to the CCCP human-herd lockdown excercise. Now 10 Chinese cities with a total population of over 60mio people have travel restrictions firmly imposed on them. The Orwellian games are on.

But the impact of the coronavirus is not limited to Hubei province. "Authorities" have also cancelled major public events in other parts of the country, including:

  • Shut down of the Forbidden City, Beijing's palace complex
  • Cancellation of traditional temple fairs in Beijing
  • Cancellation of an international carnival in Hong Kong (N.B.: China's CCCP rules into HK)
  • Cancellation of annual football tournament in Hong Kong (N.B.: China's CCCP rules into HK)
  • Cancellation of all public Lunar New Year celebrations in Macau

The virus has spread across China and to countries as far as Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, the USA, Taiwan and South Korea.as well as the UK and France. Many authorities have announced screening measures for passengers from China, including on Thursday the major airport hubs of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. BUT IT IS JUST THE FLUE! - and the WHO has NOT declared it a global health emergency or hazard (yet). 

PROLOGUE: There are several issues that do not match the mainstream-media hype about this flue outbreak in China, which seems to be geared towards pushing the impeachment of D. Trump in the USA to lower priority in the headlines. First there is the fact that already a new vaccine was announced - very convenient. Secondly the World Health Organization is reluctant to declare it a global emergency. And last but not least, the mayor of Wuhan - a city the size of London - is using the Coronavirus to stage an excecise of a total lockdown of the city and its millions of inhabitants. Human herd quarantine is in place, army is deployed.

'Mystery' China Illness Spreads Nationwide Ahead of Chinese New Year Rush - it's just the flue.

Medical staff members carry a patient into the Jinyintan hospital in Wuhan on Jan. 18. Photographer: AFP via Getty Images
By  - 19. 

A pneumonia outbreak in central China has widened with more than 200 people now diagnosed with the new SARS-like virus, as health experts say there’s now evidence that the illness is spreading from person to person.

A little-known start-up helps law enforcement match photos of unknown people to their online images — and “might lead to a dystopian future or something,” a backer says.

Hoan Ton-That, founder of Clearview AI, whose app matches faces to images it collects from across the internet.  Credit...Amr Alfiky for The New York Times

Until recently, Hoan Ton-That’s greatest hits included an obscure iPhone game and an app that let people put Donald Trump’s distinctive yellow hair on their own photos.

Then Mr. Ton-That — an Australian techie and onetime model — did something momentous: He invented a tool that could end your ability to walk down the street anonymously, and provided it to hundreds of law enforcement agencies, ranging from local cops in Florida to the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security.

His tiny company, Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.

After the inferno

Green no more. RightClick/View to enlarge

As the smoke begins to clear, we’re seeing for the first time the unimaginable scale of Australia’s worst bushfire season.

By Nick Sas, photos by Brendan Esposito - 

In the New South Wales Southern Highlands, about 100km south-west of Sydney, no matter what the season, there has always been one constant: green.

But not anymore.

Rio Tinto readies to close world’s biggest diamond mine

No word about rehabilitation or return to the aboriginal Mandangala people.

The Argyle mine, in remote Western Australia, accounts for 90% of worldwide pink diamond production. (Image courtesy of Dan Nelson | Flickr.)

By Cecilia Jamasmie - 17. January 2020

Rio Tinto’s (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) iconic Argyle mine in remote Western Australia, the world’s biggest and the main global source of high-quality pink diamonds, will close in the fourth quarter this year, potentially pushing prices up and spurring exploration.

The planned closure, the company said, will impact its total diamond output for the year. Rio now expects to produce between 12 and 14 million carats of rough diamonds in 2020, down from the 17 million carats it churned out last year.

The impact on Rio’s balance sheet, however, will be minimal. Diamonds bring in only about 2% of its earnings, while iron ore — the company’s main commodity⁠ — accounts for almost 60%.

Why pay taxes when they can just print money?

Have you asked yourself?

By  Ali Cheaib - 17. January 2020

Have you ever asked yourself this very important question since your life relies on money?

Knowing that all the money in the world is NOT based on any unit of value but is simply counterfeited at central and commercial banks, why don't governments simply print money and clear their debts?

And why do governments force citizens to pay hashtag#IncomeTaxes when it's possible to just counterfeit all the money they need to pay their bills and fund national projects?

They could've done so, of course, but they're not allowed to do so by the banking elites.

You see, it's the banks that tell governments what to do, not vice versa.

Greenpeace included with neo-Nazis on UK counter-terror list

Gillian Anderson delivers a Greenpeace petition to the Foreign Office in London in 2018. Photograph: Guy Bell / REX / Shutterstock

Exclusive: Extinction Rebellion and PeTA also named in anti-extremism briefing alongside Combat 18 and National Action

By  and  -

A counter-terrorism police document distributed to medical staff and teachers as part of anti-extremism briefings included Greenpeace, Peta and other non-violent groups as well as neo-Nazis, the Guardian has learned.

The guide, produced by Counter Terrorism Policing, is used across England as part of training for Prevent, the anti-radicalisation scheme designed to catch those at risk of committing terrorist violence.

The borderlines between governmental, corporate and private hackers and spies have become very fluid - criminal are they all.

The crime-fighting app that caused a phone-hacking scandal in Italy

Company's spyware was illegally used to hack the phones of hundreds of innocent Italians

BlackHat hackers in whitecollar jobs are now the norm - forget about anything smartphone, if you want to be safer. - Image Credit: Pixabay

 - 

After successfully creating a health care app for doctors to view medical records, Diego Fasano, an Italian entrepreneur, got some well-timed advice from a police officer friend: Go into the surveillance business because law enforcement desperately needs technological help.

In 2014, he founded a company that creates surveillance technology, including powerful spyware for police and intelligence agencies, at a time when easy-to-use encrypted chat apps such as WhatsApp and Signal were making it possible for criminal suspects to protect phone calls and data from government scrutiny.

The concept behind the company's product was simple: With the help of Italy's telecom companies, suspects would be duped into downloading a harmless-seeming app, ostensibly to fix network errors on their phone. The app would also allow Fasano's company, eSurv, to give law enforcement access to a device's microphone, camera, stored files and encrypted messages.

Fasano christened the spyware "Exodus."

The people in Barcelona and throughout Catalunya declare climate emergency.

PROLOGUE: The biggest risk of all is that the sheer scale of global inequality is almost too staggering to comprehend: The richest 1% capture $19 trillion in income each year. That's more than the GDP of the "poorest" 169 countries *combined* - a list which includes Norway, Switzerland, Argentina and Saudi Arabia. Just 162 Billionaires Have The Same Wealth As Half Of Humanity ... “Extreme wealth is a sign of a failing economic system,” says a new Oxfam report on global inequality (read downunder).

Global Risks Report 2020

Global Risk Report 2020

By Insights - January 2020

Economic and political polarization will intensify, as collaboration is needed more than ever to respond to severe threats to climate, public health, and technology systems

The Global Risks Report, published by the World Economic Forum with support from Marsh & McLennan, provides a rich perspective on the major threats that may impact global prosperity in 2020 and over the next decade. The 15th edition of the report draws on feedback from nearly 800 global experts and decision-makers who were asked to rank their concerns in terms of likelihood and impact.

This year’s report highlights important threads across the global risk landscape. Intensifying confrontations, both between and within countries, as well as a heightened sense of urgency and emergency around some critical global problems.

Latest update from the World Economic Forum:

The 5 top risks summarised

1. Extreme weather events with major damage to property, infrastructure, & loss of human life.

2. Failure of climate-change mitigation & adaptation by governments, businesses.

Prologue: But make no mistake, the change of tact in BlackRock is not just because the investment and locust company came under serious fire from the environmental movement. They have clear risk and economic reasons.

Here's an interesting new strategy in the fight against climate breakdown: Put public pressure on law firms to drop fossil fuel clients. On 14. January 2020 Harvard Law students shut down a fancy recruitment session by @PaulWeissLLP over their defense of Exxon. #DropExxon.

The Important Question that all investors and shareholders have to ask themselves is: Would my children and grand-children approve this investment?

In his influential annual letter to chief executives, Mr. Fink said his firm would avoid investments in companies that “present a high sustainability-related risk.”

The evidence on climate risk is compelling investors to reassess core assumptions about modern finance,” Laurence D. Fink, the chief of BlackRock, wrote in his annual letter. Credit...Damon Winter/The New York Times

By Andrew Ross Sorkin - 14. January 2020

Laurence D. Fink, the founder and chief executive of BlackRock, announced Tuesday that his firm would make investment decisions with environmental sustainability as a core goal.

BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager with nearly $7 trillion in investments, and this move will fundamentally shift its investing policy — and could reshape how corporate America does business and put pressure on other large money managers to follow suit.

Mr. Fink’s annual letter to the chief executives of the world’s largest companies is closely watched, and in the 2020 edition he said BlackRock would begin to exit certain investments that “present a high sustainability-related risk,” such as those in coal producers. His intent is to encourage every company, not just energy firms, to rethink their carbon footprints.