Prologue: If students allow such to happen to them, we can tell them already - and without any App or AI algorithms - that THEY MUST BE NUTS!

USAmerican Colleges are turning students’ phones into surveillance machines, tracking the locations of hundreds of thousands

Syracuse University is among the dozens of schools in the United States that use tracking systems to monitor students' academic performance, analyze their conduct or assess their mental health. (Carolyn Thompson/AP)

By Drew Harwell - 24. December 2019

When Syracuse University freshmen walk into professor Jeff Rubin’s Introduction to Information Technologies class, seven small Bluetooth beacons hidden around the Grant Auditorium lecture hall connect with an app on their smartphones and boost their “attendance points.”

And when they skip class? The SpotterEDU app sees that, too, logging their absence into a campus database that tracks them over time and can sink their grade. It also alerts Rubin, who later contacts students to ask where they’ve been. His 340-person lecture has never been so full.

“They want those points,” he said. “They know I’m watching and acting on it. So, behaviorally, they change.”

Short-range phone sensors and campuswide WiFi networks are empowering colleges across the United States to track hundreds of thousands of students more precisely than ever before. Dozens of schools now use such technology to monitor students’ academic performance, analyze their conduct or assess their mental health.

UPDATE: 28. December 2019: UN Moves Towards Handing Dictatorships Power to Control the Internet - The United Nations wants to hand power to dictatorial regimes like China to control the Internet, prompting fears of a massive new free speech purge.

Russia 'successfully tests' its unplugged internet

The net independence plan is seen as a way for Russia's government to get more control over online life - Image copyright REUTERS

By Jane Wakefield  - 24. December 2019

Russia has successfully tested a country-wide alternative to the global internet, its government has announced.

Details of what the test involved were vague but, according to the Ministry of Communications, ordinary users did not notice any changes.

The results will now be presented to President Putin.

Experts remain concerned about the trend for some countries to dismantle the internet.

"Sadly, the Russian direction of travel is just another step in the increasing breaking-up of the internet," said Prof Alan Woodward, a computer scientist at the University of Surrey.

 

Bolivia’s free territory of Chapare has ousted the coup regime and is bracing for a bloody re-invasion

People are happy in Chapare.

Spending time with the union members of Chapare, who run society in a collective fashion, offers special insights into the resistance to the coup. They succeeded in expelling the police, but now fear a bloodbath in retaliation.

By Ollie Vargas - 24. December 2019

Cochabamba, Bolivia — Known as Bolivia’s Chapare region, the Tropico of Cochabamba is a sanctuary for elected President Evo Morales’ most dedicated base of support.

Since the November 10 coup, it has effectively become a self-governing territory where the military junta is absent.

The police and military were sent in full retreat from this area the coup began and were told they would only be welcomed back if the they “get on their knees and apologize” to the community. 

Several international agencies Monday condemned the Saudi Public Prosecutor's verdict:

Protest outside the Saudi Embassy in the United States, six days after the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi - Getty

"[The verdict] fails to address the Saudi authorities' involvement in this devastating crime or clarify the location of Jamal Khashoggi's remains."

The NGO's Monday press release continued: 

"This verdict is a whitewash which brings neither justice nor the truth for Jamal Khashoggi and his loved ones.

The trial has been closed to the public and to independent monitors, with no information available as to how the investigation was carried out ... Saudi Arabia's courts routinely deny defendants access to lawyers and condemn people to death following grossly unfair trials."

Murray Sinclair has tried for years to shock Canada into confronting colonialism. He’s not done yet

Senator Murray Sinclair - Illustration by Agata Nowicka

After leading landmark inquiries on racism in Manitoba, residential schools and police discrimination in Thunder Bay, this jurist turned politician says he’s learned that shocking words are sometimes best: Genocide. Apartheid. War. Now, he has more to say.

The words are so shocking, so evocative of foreign atrocities, that many Canadians are still unwilling to accept that they apply to their own country – words such as “apartheid,” “genocide” and “war.”

But after decades of research from his inquiries into racial abuses in the justice system and in residential schools, Senator Murray Sinclair never hesitates to use those terms – even when he knows they might spark a backlash.

Assange gives evidence in Spanish case against security contractor

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen in a prison van traveling to Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

By Thomas Scripps - 21. December 2019

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was brought from Belmarsh Prison yesterday to appear in person at Westminster Magistrates Court and provide video-link witness testimony in the Spanish prosecution of David Morales, the founder of security firm UC Global. Morales, a former Spanish military officer, is accused of spying on Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy and was charged in October with privacy violation, bribery and money laundering.

The hearing was held in private session. No members of the media or the public were allowed inside the courtroom to see or hear Assange, on the remarkable grounds that the Spanish prosecution of UC Global involves “matters of national security.” His appearance took place 24 hours after he appeared via video-link in a case management hearing ahead of the scheduled February 24 trial on the application by the United States to extradite him. Assange has been charged with 17 counts of espionage and is threatened with life imprisonment over his role in WikiLeaks’ publication of the documents leaked by whistleblower Chelsea Manning which exposed US war crimes and diplomatic intrigues.

Prologue: The trees are most likely the least concern for the Ethiopian PM, who had been installed in a US-led and masterminded soft-coup, since fresh violence has broken out in Amhara Region, while the Oromo nation is still not free. But Abiy got now his first spy-satellite (see report underneath), due to Chinese loan and tech. Maybe he can then see better how denuded of forests Ethiopia is - especially also in the Southern Nations State areas, once covered by lush forests, from where the central regime drove the Indigenous peoples away to clear land for foreign investors (incl. USA, China and Germany)  engaging in cash-crop agriculture next to the infamous Omo River Dam, that als causes Lake Turkana in neighbouring Kenya to dry up. 

Did Ethiopia plant four billion trees this year?

Not so smart: Former intelligence officer and Nobel peace-prize winning Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed caught up in fake Green Legacy sham.

By Peter Mwai - BBC Reality Check - 20 December 2019

Ethiopia undertook a major national reforestation programme this year, with the ambitious target of planting four billion trees in just three months.

The highlight was a single day in July, on which people across the country turned out to help with planting 350 million tree seedlings.

At the end of August, the government claimed to have just about achieved these goals. But is it really possible to plant that many trees in such a short time and what evidence is there that the overall target has been met?

The campaign, known as the Green Legacy Initiative, has been championed by the country's Nobel peace prize-winning Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed.

Politicians around the world have pointed to Ethiopia as an example of what can be done to reforest their own countries and reverse the effects of both damaging farming techniques and climate change.

Prologue:  As the persecutions, atrocities, extrajudicial killings, murders and illegal detentions of  Rohingya Muslims continue, the Myanmar regime under President Win Myint, State Councellor Aung San Suu Kyi, 1st Vice-President Myint Swe and 2nd Vice-President Henry Van Thio must now be really dealt with seriously by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Nobel Peace-Prize must be withdrawn from A.S.S.Kyi immediately. and an international observer mission must be deployed to observe that ethnic cleansing and the Genocide against the Rohingyas does not continue. Charges for Ecocide and the environmental crimes in form of heavy logging - that since 1995 has seriously reduced forest cover and wildlife habitat especially in Arakan (Rakhine) state - must likewise be brought forward and justice be served.

Rohingya weep in Myanmar court as they face charges of illegal travel

Aung San Suu Kyi and the junta of Myanmar must be charged and prosecuted.

By Reuters - 20. December 2019

PATHEIN: Dozens of Rohingya Muslims including children wept in a Myanmar court on Friday as they were brought in to face charges of illegally travelling without proper documents.

They were arrested on Nov 28 on a beach in the Irrawaddy river delta region while fleeing from western Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

The group of 93, including 23 children, were brought to a court in the delta town of Pathein to listen to the testimony of an immigration officer who accused them of not having necessary documents for travelling.

If convicted they face up to two years in prison.

Bushfires Are Raging Outside Every Major City in Australia. They're Only Going to Get Worse

Many settlements and city outskirts are engulfed by flames.

By Amy Gunia  - 20. December 2019

Hundreds of bushfires are raging across Australia, with hotspots in every state.

And a fire tracker map maintained by researchers in Western Australia, shows that they are also threatening areas around every major city in the country.

On Friday night, an emergency warning was in place for a fire near Mount Mercer outside Melbourne and authorities warned residents of Cainbable, about 60 miles south of Brisbane, to take precautions against a bushfire burning there.

Jane Fonda may turn 82 behind bars after fifth arrest at a D.C. climate change protest

Actress Jane Fonda is arrested Friday inside the Hart Senate Office Building. (Marissa J. Lang/The Washington Post)

By Marissa J. Lang  - 20. December 2019

Jane Fonda may spend her 82nd birthday behind bars.

Fonda, who has been leading weekly climate change protests called “Fire Drill Fridays” since early October, was arrested Friday along with 137 other demonstrators inside the Hart Senate Office Building, where 50 U.S. senators have offices.

Saturday is Fonda’s 82nd birthday.

As she was led away by a Capitol Police officer, her hands bound by zip ties, a demonstrator called out to the crowd, “Everybody sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jane!” Fonda pumped her arms above her head in triumph as the crowd broke into song.

Prologue: Apart from the obvious genocide, war-crimes and crimes against humanity launched against the Palestinians by those responsible in the governance of the Israeli regime, the ICC also must prepare and bring charges against Israel for the Ecocide caused in Palestine as well as in those areas initially given to the newly created state of Israel. The serious environmental crime by systematic destruction and devastation in the terrestrial as well as marine ecosystems of the region caused by Israel is unbelievable and unbearable. Irrigated agricultural land and greenhouses in Israel must not blindfold the investgators from establishing the loss in biodiversity and natural habitat, even if the ICC has at the moment no jurisdiction over Israel per se.

BREAKING: ICC to Investigate Israel for War Crimes in Palestinian Territories (VIDEO)

The use of force by Israeli military against protestors in Gaza is a war crime, stated Amnesty International. (Photo: via AA)

By PC - 20. December 2019

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has said she will launch a full investigation into alleged war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The announcement by Fatou Bensouda on Friday was welcomed by the Palestinian leadership as a “long overdue step” but prompted an angry response by Israel.

The Independent @Independent

 

Israel to be investigated for war crimes in Palestinian Territories, ICC announces https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-war-crime-palestine-icc-hague-netaynahu-idf-investigation-a9255246.html …

Tech to the rescue: how apps and recycled smartphones are helping fight deforestation

Topher White, the brain behind Rainforest Connection’s Guardian model   | Photo Credit RC

By Lesley Simeon - 20. December 2019

With apps and recycled smartphones, a growing army of canopy warriors are helping in the war against deforestation

Climate change is real, as is deforestation. Right through 2019, conversations around pressing ecological concerns have taken centrestage. “Everybody is waking up!” says Marie-Noëlle Keijzer, co-founder of Belgium-based, WeForest, that focusses on restoring forests along with local communities in the Amazon and, more recently, Meghalaya’s Khasi Hills in Indigenous lands within India.

Fortunately, this time around, the technology brought in to address environmental concerns – from wirelessly connected sensors in forests to handy mobile applications to track your neighbourhood trees – is seeing a growing interest among #TreeChampions. As we enter another decade, here is how you can join in.

Google, Facebook, Neuralink Sued for Weaponized AI Tech Transfer, Complicity to Genocide in China and Endangering Humanity with Misuse of AI

Google, Deepmind, Alphabet, Facebook, Tesla, Nearalink, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Sandar Pichai, PR Newswire and John Does

By The AI Organization - 19. December 2019

This is the most significant and important lawsuit of the 21st century, and it impacts the entire world. CEO’s and Founders Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Sandar Pichai are also named as defendants along with their companies.

CASE SUMMARY FACTS

Endangering Humanity with the misuse of Artificial Intelligence, Complicity and Aiding in Physical Genocide inside of China by transferring AI Technology, Engaging in Cultural Genocide of Humanity, & Controlling and programming the Human Race by Social Engineering via AI coding and AI algorithmic biometric manipulation

India’s Government Is Going To War Against Its Own People

Narendra Modi - Primeminister of India, fascist and warmonger. Photo: Kremlin.ru

By Vijay Prashad - GT-IMI - 19. December 2019

On December 13, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights released a powerful statement that criticized India’s new citizenship law.

This “fundamentally discriminatory” Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019 would expedite citizenship for persecuted religious minorities from India’s neighboring countries. But in the list of those minorities, it names only Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians.

It does not name Muslims, despite the fact that there have been several important cases of Muslims being persecuted in Pakistan (the Ahmadis), in Afghanistan (the Hazaras), and in Myanmar (the Rohingyas). The UN said that not only does this law violate India’s obligations to conventions, treaties, and compacts that it has signed at the global level, but also that it is in violation of its own Constitution.

Women and Ecosystems - Omnipresent But Invisible

Waorani women in their natural habitat are guarantors for healthy ecosystems, but like those they are endangered by outside toxic forces launched by mutlinational corporations and corrupt governments.

By Jena Webb - 18. December 2019

Over the centuries many parallels have been drawn between women and the earth, starting with the age-old (and, for some, contested) Mother Earth, or Pachamama. More recently, the destruction of the earth for natural resource extraction has been compared with and attributed to the same underlying patriarchal forces as violence against women.

Correspondingly, research has shown that environmentalism is perceived as un-masculine (Brough et al. 2016) and even that men are less likely to recycle than women because they are worried people will think they’re homosexual.

There is another parallel that deserves attention, but, due to its very nature, receives little – that of invisibility. Both women and ecosystems are often invisible in the same ways. Ironically, both are also omnipresent and so crucial.

Omnipresent but invisible. Invisibility has dire consequences for the health of both women and ecosystems. This blog explores the ways that the perpetuation of this invisibility is structurally built into our institutions, societies and systems with a specific focus on consequences for Amazonian Indigenous women.

DNA from Stone Age woman obtained 5,700 years on

An artist made a reconstruction of the woman, who has been nicknamed "Lola" Image copyright TOM BJÖRKLUND

By Helen Briggs - 

This is the face of a woman who lived 5,700 years ago in Scandinavia.

Thanks to the tooth marks she left in ancient "chewing gum", scientists were able to obtain DNA, which they used to decipher her genetic code.

This is the first time an entire ancient human genome has been extracted from anything other than human bone, said the researchers.

She likely had dark skin, dark brown hair and blue eyes.

Dr Hannes Schroeder from the University of Copenhagen said the "chewing gum" - actually tar from a tree - is a very valuable source of ancient DNA, especially for time periods where we have no human remains.

"It is amazing to have gotten a complete ancient human genome from anything other than bone,'' he said.