Economy & business/Silicon Valley & Technology
0 Comments

Apple to Reevaluate Policy on Mapping ‘Disputed Borders’ After Crimea Outcry 

Apple says it will reevaluate how it identifies “disputed borders” after receiving criticism for displaying Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula as part of Russia on maps and weather apps for Russian users. 
 
Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told Reuters on Friday that the U.S. technology giant was “taking a deeper look at how we handle disputed borders.” 
 
Muller said Apple made the change for Russian users because of a new law that went into effect inside Russia and that it had not made any changes to its maps outside the country. Review of law
 
“We review international law as well as relevant U.S. and other domestic laws before making a determination in labeling on our maps and make changes if required by law,” she told Reuters. 
 
Muller added that Apple “may make changes in the future as a result” of its reevaluation of the policy, without being specific. 
 
Russian and Ukrainian embassies in the United States did not immediately return requests for comment. 
 
When using the apps from the United States, Ukraine, and in parts of Europe, no international borders are shown around the peninsula. 
 
After the reports surfaced of the appearance of Crimea as part of Russia, the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington told RFE/RL that it had sent a letter to Apple explaining the situation in Crimea and demanding that it correct the peninsula’s designation. 
 
It also said on Twitter that “let’s all remind Apple that #CrimeaIsUkraine and it is under Russian occupation — not its sovereignty.” 
 
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko tweeted, “Apple, please, please, stick to high-tech and entertainment. Global politics is not your strong side.” Applause from Russia
 
Vasily Piskarev, who chairs the Russian State Duma’s Committee on Security and Corruption Control, welcomed Apple’s move, saying, “They have brought [their services] in line with Russian law.” 
 
“The error with displaying Crimean cities on the weather app has been eliminated,” Piskarev told reporters. 
 
Competitor Google Maps has designated Crimea differently over the years depending on the user’s location, listing it as Russian for Russian users and Ukrainian for most others. 
 
“We make every effort to objectively depict the disputed regions, and where we have local versions of Google Maps, we follow local legislation when displaying names and borders,” a Google spokesperson told Tech Crunch magazine. Troops entered in 2014
 
Russia took control of Crimea in March 2014 after sending in troops, seizing key facilities and staging a referendum dismissed as illegal by at least 100 countries. 
 
Moscow also backs separatists in a war against government forces that has killed more than 13,000 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014. 
 
The international community does not recognize Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, and the United States and European Union have slapped sanctions on Russia over its actions against Ukraine. 
 Reuters and the Crimea Desk of RFE/RL’s Ukrainian service contributed to this report. 

0
Economy & business/Science & Health
0 Comments

Ugandan Pageant Fights HIV Stigma

Nearly a third of Uganda’s new HIV infections occur among 15-to-25-year-olds, who say that despite progress, stigma is still a problem. To raise awareness ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1, Uganda holds an annual fashion and a beauty pageant for young people infected with HIV and calls them the Young Positives. Halima Athumani reports from Kampala.

0
Economy & business/Science & Health
0 Comments

Climate Activists Invade East German Coal Mines in Protest

Climate activists protested at open-pit coal mines in eastern Germany, pouring onto the premises to urge the government to immediately halt the use of coal to produce electricity.The news agency dpa reported that police estimated more than 2,000 people took part Saturday at sites near Cottbus and Leipzig and that some of the demonstrators scuffled with police. Three officers were reported slightly injured at the Janschwaelde mine near Cottbus. The mine operators, Leag und Mibrag, filed police reports asking for an investigation and possible charges.Burning coal releases carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas blamed by scientists for global warming. The German government plans to end the use of coal by 2038 and spend 40 billion euros ($44 billion) on assistance for the affected mining regions.

0
Arts & Entertainment/Economy & business
0 Comments

Rosa Parks Statue to be Unveiled Sunday

A new statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks will stand in downtown Montgomery.The city said the statue will be unveiled Sunday at 1 p.m. at Montgomery Plaza at the Court Street Fountain.The unveiling coincides with the anniversary of Parks’ historic Dec. 1, 1955 arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.FILE – The statue of African-American civil rights activist Rosa Parks is seen in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Dec. 1, 2014,There will also be four granite markers to honor the plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle – the landmark case that ruled segregation on Montgomery buses unconstitutional.The civil rights memorials are a partnership among the city and county, the Alabama tourism department and the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts.

0
Economy & business/Silicon Valley & Technology
0 Comments

Facebook Places Label on User’s Post Under Singapore ‘Fake News’ Law

Facebook said Saturday it had issued a correction notice on a user’s post at the request of the Singapore government, but called for a measured approach to the implementation of a new “fake news” law in the city-state.“Facebook is legally required to tell you that the Singapore government says this post has false information,” said the notice, which is visible only to Singapore users.The correction label was embedded at the bottom of the original post without any alterations to the text.Singapore requests noticeThe Singapore government said Friday it had instructed Facebook “to publish a correction notice” on a Nov. 23 post that contained accusations about the arrest of a supposed whistleblower and election rigging.Singapore, which is expected to call a general elections within months, said the allegations were “false” and “scurrilous” and initially ordered user Alex Tan, who runs the States Times Review blog, to issue the correction notice on the post.Tan, who does not live in Singapore and says he is an Australian citizen, refused, and authorities said he is now under investigation. Reuters could not immediately reach Tan for comment.“As required by Singapore law, Facebook applied a label to these posts, which were determined by the Singapore government to contain false information,” a spokesman for Facebook said in an emailed statement. “As it is early days of the law coming into effect, we hope the Singapore government’s assurances that it will not impact free expression will lead to a measured and transparent approach to implementation.”Some Singapore users however said that they could not see the correction notice. Facebook could not immediately explain why the notice was unavailable to some users.Blocked contentFacebook often blocks content that governments allege violate local laws, with nearly 18,000 cases globally in the year to June, according to the company’s “transparency report.”Two years in the making and implemented only last month, Singapore’s law is the first to demand that Facebook publish corrections when directed to do so by the government.The Asia Internet Coalition, an association of internet and technology companies, called the law the “most far-reaching legislation of its kind to date,” while rights groups have said it could undermine internet freedoms, not just in Singapore, but elsewhere in Southeast Asia.In the only other case under the law, which covers statements that are communicated in the country even if they originate elsewhere, opposition political figure Brad Bowyer swiftly complied with a correction request.The penalties range from prison terms of as much as 10 years or fines up to S$1 million ($733,192).

0
Economy & business/Silicon Valley & Technology
0 Comments

Twitter CEO Pledges to Live in Africa for Several Months in 2020

Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey has wrapped up of a trip to Africa by pledging to reside on the continent next year for up to six months. Dorsey tweeted this week: “Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I’ll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020.”The CEO of the social media giant did not say what he planned to do on the African continent.Twitter, which is based in San Francisco, did not offer more details on Dorsey’s plans. On Dorsey’s recent trip, he visited entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. Dorsey, 43, co-founded Twitter with several other entrepreneurs in 2006. He ran the company until he was ousted in 2008 but was brought back seven years later to again lead the platform.Dorsey also co-founded the payment processing app Square and is also CEO of that operation. The tech exec holds millions of stock shares in both companies, and Forbes estimates his net worth at $4.3 billion.Twitter, along with other social media companies, has faced criticism of its handling of misinformation and has come under scrutiny ahead of next year’s U.S. presidential election. Dorsey announced in October that Twitter would ban political advertisements on the platform. 

0
Economy & business/Science & Health
0 Comments

More Deaths Feared From Cholera in Cameroon

Cameroonian health and emergency personnel are working to stem a cholera outbreak that has killed at least a dozen people and sickened at least 100 others in the Bakassi Peninsula that shares a maritime boundary with Nigeria.It is feared the outbreak will claim more lives in the coastal area, which lacks health infrastructure.Emergency medical workers, together with some civilians, are working to improve hygiene and sanitation by clearing dirt and debris from water beneath houses on the shores in the area. Among them is 31-year-old Cameroonian fisherman Lucas Emimo, who says he lost his younger sister to cholera. Emimo says he has joined the humanitarian workers because he fears many more people may die from the infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, leading to dehydration and even death if untreated.Dirty water flows underneath houses in Idabato, Cameroon, Nov. 28, 2019. (Moki Edwin Kindzeka/VOA)”We lack toilets, potable water,” Emimo said. “There is no hospital. People defecate beside the sea, under the houses, everywhere and so it makes the place not good to stay.”Dr. Ebongo Zakius Nandji, the area’s top health official, says humanitarian workers were deployed when news broke that people were dying and some were being rushed to hospitals. He says there is no doubt cholera is to blame.”Upon the reception of a distress signal from our team in the Bakassi health district, we came down to [the city of] Idabato, myself and my entire emergency response team,” Nandji said. “The situation on the ground really sends a pointer to the fact that we are in an outbreak of cholera.”Nandji said six people had been reported dead and hundreds of suspected cholera sufferers were still in villages around Idabato. Civilians said they had buried six others before the medical team’s arrival. The actual death toll could be higher, because many live in remote locations, complicating efforts to get accurate health data.Nandji urged people to be vigilant and report any cholera symptoms.Hospitals underusedBut the government says only 20 percent of the population visits hospitals. Most of them prefer traditional African medicine. Some complain that the only government hospital in Idabato is understaffed and lacks medication.Roland Ewane, a top Cameroonian official in Idabato, says Nigerians living in the region prefer to return to their country for health care. However, making the journey reduces chances of survival for cholera patients.A humanitarian worker disinfects homes in Idabato, Cameroon, Nov. 28, 2019. (Moki Edwin Kindzeka/VOA)”We have a population of about 40,000,” Ewane said. “They are mostly Nigerians. We have been carrying out sensitization campaigns [educating the population] on the necessity of using or the importance of using government services. One of them is the hospital. They do not come to the hospital. It is a big cry [to use hospitals].”The Bakassi Peninsula is by the sea, but potable water is hard to find. Few have toilets and the local hospital struggles to handle epidemics.Nigeria ceded full control of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon in 2013, in keeping with a 2002 International Court of Justice ruling. Some 300,000 Nigerians live on the peninsula — approximately 90 percent of its population. The territory is rich in hydrocarbons and fisheries, but lacks basic social services.Most health workers trained by Nigeria to serve in the area returned to their country when Cameroon did not continue paying their salaries. Some also fled attacks by separatists fighting for the independence of Cameroon’s English-speaking regions from the French-speaking majority. Cameroon has faced difficulties replacing departed medical staff.
 

0
Economy & business/Science & Health
0 Comments

UN: More than 300 Children Die Daily of AIDS-Related Causes

World AIDS Day, the annual event to raise awareness of the global epidemic, turns 31 this year. However, as longevity, treatment, and access to care improve worldwide, the United Nations Children’s Fund is sounding the alarm, reporting that more than 300 children die every day of AIDS-related causes, and is urging young people to get earlier testing and treatment. In Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell met with some of the now-grown children who lived, to talk about the struggles they overcame

0