Almost all world’s oceans damaged by human impact, study finds Just 13% of the world’s oceans remain untouched by the damaging impacts of humanity, the first systematic analysis has revealed. Outside the remotest areas of the Pacific and the poles, virtually no ocean is left harbouring naturally high levels of marine wildlife. Huge fishing fleets, global shipping and pollution running off the land are combining with climate change to degrade the oceans, the researchers found.
Election interference has been going on for years. The reason? Voter purges In every American election there are some voters who show up to their polling place ready to cast a ballot, only to find their name isn’t on the registration list. The reason? Voter purges, an often flawed effort to update voter rolls by removing voters’ names from registration lists. Virginians fell victim in 2013, when nearly 39,000 voters were removed when the state relied on faulty data to determine which names should be deleted. Weedkiller found in granola and crackers, internal FDA emails show US government scientists have detected a weedkiller linked to cancer in an array of commonly consumed foods, emails obtained through a freedom of information request show. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been testing food samples for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in hundreds of widely used herbicide products, for two years, but has not yet released any official results. But the internal documents obtained by the Guardian show the FDA has had trouble finding any food that does not carry traces of the pesticide. “I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal from home and there’s a fair amount in all of them,” FDA chemist Richard Thompson wrote to colleagues in an email last year regarding glyphosate.
How the black middle class was attacked by Woodrow Wilson’s administration When Woodrow Wilson arrived in the nation’s capital in March 1913, he brought with him an administration loaded with white supremacists. Wilson’s lieutenants segregated offices, harassed black workers and removed black politicians from political appointments held by black men for more than a generation. Racism had always been a part of life in Washington and its government buildings, but the U.S. civil service had never been formally segregated prior to Wilson’s inauguration. Our brains rapidly and automatically process opinions we agree with as if they are facts By Christian Jarrett In a post-truth world of alternative facts, there is understandable interest in the psychology behind why people are generally so wedded to their opinions and why it is so difficult to change minds. We already know a lot about the deliberate mental processes that people engage in to protect their world view, from seeking out confirmatory evidence (the “confirmation bias“) to questioning the methods used to marshal contradictory evidence (the scientific impotence excuse).
We don’t want billionaires’ charity. We want them to pay their taxes “Charity is a cold, grey loveless thing. If a rich man wants to help the poor, he should pay his taxes gladly, not dole out money at a whim.” It is a phrase commonly ascribed to Clement Attlee – the credit actually belongs to his biographer, Francis Beckett – but it elegantly sums up the case for progressive taxation. According to a report by the Swiss bank UBS, last year billionaires made more money than any other point in the history of human civilisation. Their wealth jumped by a fifth – a staggering $8.9tn – and 179 new billionaires joined an exclusive cabal of 2,158. Media Giant Sinclair Hired Reporter From Russian Propaganda Outlet RT Who Produced ‘Must-Run’ ‘Deep State’ Segment The United States' largest owner of television stations, Sinclair Broadcast Group, mandated that its outlets run a segment on the so-called deep state that was produced by a former reporter for the Russian propaganda outlet RT, according to a new report. The "must-run" piece aired on March 21 and featured Sebastian Gorka, the former adviser to President Donald Trump, lamenting the existence of a deep state—a popular conspiracy theory in some circles that longtime career public servants in the government are working to subvert the U.S. government. Trump has repeatedly complained about such a mysterious rogue network.
An early look at the 2020 electorate The 2020 U.S. presidential election is rapidly coming into view – and so is the electorate that will determine its outcome. While demographic changes unfold slowly, it’s already clear that the 2020 electorate will be unique in several ways. Nonwhites will account for a third of eligible voters – their largest share ever – driven by long-term increases among certain groups, especially Hispanics. At the same time, one-in-ten eligible voters will be members of Generation Z, the Americans who will be between the ages 18 and 23 next year.
Trump prophecy and other Christian movements: 3 essential reads A new film, “Trump Prophecy,” will be shown in some limited theaters on Oct. 2 and 4. The film is an adaptation of a book, co-authored by Mark Taylor, a retired firefighter, who claimed he received a message from God in 2011 that the Trump presidency is divinely ordained. Liberty University film students are reported to have participated in the making of the film. How Russia is growing its strategic influence in Africa Much has been made about China’s role and profile in Africa and the factors underlying its activities on the continent. Less debated is the spread and depth of Russia’s contemporary presence and profile in Africa. There was a strong Russian influence in Africa during the heyday of the Soviet Union. The post-independence governments of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Benin at some point all received diplomatic or military support from the Soviet Union. But this began to change after the superpower started to collapse in December 1991. More than a quarter of a century later Russia’s President Vladimir Putin seems to have new aspirations in Africa.
Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand If you’re interested in the end of the world, you’re interested in New Zealand. If you’re interested in how our current cultural anxieties – climate catastrophe, decline of transatlantic political orders, resurgent nuclear terror – manifest themselves in apocalyptic visions, you’re interested in the place occupied by this distant archipelago of apparent peace and stability against the roiling unease of the day. If you’re interested in the end of the world, you would have been interested, soon after Donald Trump’s election as US president, to read a New York Times headline stating that Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, considered New Zealand to be “the Future”. Because if you are in any serious way concerned about the future, you’re also concerned about Thiel, a canary in capitalism’s coal mine who also happens to have profited lavishly from his stake in the mining concern itself. “Who was that?”
South Africans are finally set to know who funds their political parties South African President Ramaphosa has finally signed into law a new bill aimed at regulating the funding of political parties. It was approved by Parliament in June 2018. The Political Party Funding Bill, when it eventually becomes law on April 1, will enable South Africans to know who funds their political parties. The new law is long overdue. It’s remarkable that the country didn’t regulate political party funding after the first democratic elections 25 years ago. The lack of action made South Africa unique among democracies for not regulating private political party funding.
World's richest 1% grabbed 82% of all wealth created in 2017, Oxfam study finds - Jan. 21, 2018 That's according to a new report from Oxfam International, which estimates that the bottom 50% of the world's population saw no increase in wealth. Oxfam says the trend shows that the global economy is skewed in favor of the rich, rewarding wealth instead of work. "The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system," said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International. The head of the advocacy group argued that the people who "make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food" are being exploited in order to enrich corporations and the super wealthy. The study, released ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, was produced using data from Credit Suisse's (CS) Global Wealth Databook.
A democracy or a kleptocracy? How South Africa stacks up South Africans have been held spellbound by the torrent of evidence of corruption emerging from two parallel commissions of inquiry – into state capture, and the fitness to hold office of two senior officials of the National Prosecuting Authority. These strengthen perceptions that South Africa under former President Jacob Zuma – from May 2009 to March 2018 – transformed from a democracy into a “kleptocracy”: a country ruled by thieves. The country scored only 43 out of 100 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index for 2018, down from 47 in 2009. So the question is: is it indeed the case that South Africa has become a kleptocracy?