Science & Health
0 Comments

Climate Change Poses Grave Threat to a Healthy Planet

An expert group of 270 climate scientists warns the dire impacts of climate change soon will be irreversible unless governments act decisively to tackle these imminent global threats.

Hoesung Lee, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, does not mince words. He said the stakes of our planet have never been higher.

“Human activities have warmed the planet at a rate not seen in at least the past 2,000 years. We are on course to reaching global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius within the next two decades and temperatures will continue to rise unless the world takes much bolder action,” said Lee.

He said the action governments take today will shape how people will be able to adapt to climate change and how nature will respond to increasing climate risks.

Debra Roberts is co-chair of the IPCC Working Group II, which produced the report. She said the scientific evidence that climate change is a threat to human well-being and the health of the planet is unequivocal.

“Climate change combines with unsustainable use of natural resources. Habitat destruction, deforestation, and growing urbanization as well as inequity and marginalization … 3.3 to 3.6 billion people live in global hotspots of high vulnerability to climate change,” said Roberts.

These include parts of Africa, as well as South Asia, Central and South America, small islands, and the Arctic. The report warns that people living in these hotspots will likely experience severe food shortages, leading to malnutrition, should global temperatures rise by two degrees Celsius by 2050.

Despite these dire predictions, scientists say the report presents a reality check on what has been done to stem global warming and what remains to be done. They say the report offers solutions on how to adapt to climate change and mitigate their worst effects.

Scientists say some challenges can be addressed by creating a more equitable and sustainable world, by moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and by using indigenous knowledge to protect nature.

These steps, along with adaptation and mitigation projects, can help create change, but poorer countries will need wealthier countries to help finance them.

0
Economy & business/Silicon Valley & Technology
0 Comments

Twitter to Reduce Visibility of Russian State Media Content 

Twitter announced Monday that it will start labeling and making it harder for users to see tweets about the invasion of Ukraine that contain information from Russian state media outlets like RT and Sputnik.

“For years we’ve provided more context about state-affiliated media while not accepting ad $ or amplifying accounts,” Twitter said in a tweet. “With many looking for credible info due to the conflict in Ukraine, we’re now adding labels on Tweets linking to state media & reducing the content’s visibility.”

 

Twitter said it had seen over 45,000 tweets a day from people sharing links to Russian state media, much more than coming from state-sponsored accounts.

Twitter began to de-amplify Russian state media accounts in 2020 and had earlier banned Russian state media from advertising.

The announcement Monday will impact individuals sharing links from those entities.

The move is the latest spat between U.S. social media companies and Russia.

Twitter has been slowed down in Russia several times, most recently on Saturday, and last week, Russia said it would limit Russians’ access to some features of Facebook, saying the company was involved in censorship.

Google and Facebook have also banned Russian state media from monetizing their accounts.

Some information in this report comes from Reuters.

0
Science & Health
0 Comments

Rapid Testing for Malaria and COVID Set to Roll Out in Kenya

Kenya has ramped up its efforts to control the twin challenges of the coronavirus and malaria by introducing locally made testing kits for the two diseases. Kenya’s Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) says the kits offer quicker detection and will soon be exported to the region. Brenda Mulinya reports from Nairobi. Videographer and producer: Amos Wangwa

0
Arts & Entertainment/Economy & business
0 Comments

Rare Copy of First Novel by African American Woman Donated

A rare version of a book considered the first novel published in the U.S. by a Black woman has returned to her home state of New Hampshire. 

An original first edition of Harriet Wilson’s “Our Nig; or Sketches From the Life of a Free Black” was recently donated to Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire, WMUR-TV reports.  

The book was hand-delivered to the organization by a retired librarian in California who found the novel in a family safe, according to the station.  

The organization plans to display the book at its headquarters in Portsmouth after it undergoes some minor restoration.  

JerriAnne Boggis, the organization’s executive director, said the largely autobiographical work, which Wilson wrote while living in Boston in 1859, represents an act of courage. 

The novel tells the story of Frado, a Black girl who is abused and overworked as the indentured servant to a New England family. 

“She sold them door to door, and all during that time when the Fugitive Slave Act was in place,” Boggis told WMUR-TV. “So, she’s knocking at people’s doors and not even sure if she would be captured and taken into slavery.” 

Wilson was born in Milford, New Hampshire in 1825 and a statue in the town’s Bicentennial Park honors her. She died in 1900 in a Massachusetts hospital. 

0
Arts & Entertainment/Economy & business
0 Comments

Glitz Returns on Screen Actors Guild Awards Red Carpet

The 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards will kick off with a “Hamilton” reunion, feature a lifetime achievement award for Helen Mirren and, maybe, supply a preview of the upcoming Academy Awards.

The SAG Awards, taking place at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, begin at 8 p.m. EST Sunday and air on both TNT and TBS. (The show will also be available to stream Monday on HBO Max.) After the January Golden Globes were a non-event, the Screen Actors Guild Awards are Hollywood’s first major, televised, in-person award show — complete with a red carpet and teary-eyed speeches — this year.

While the Academy Awards aren’t mandating vaccination for presenters (just attendees), it’s required for the SAG Awards, which are voted on by the Hollywood actors’ guild SAG-AFTRA. One actor in the cast of the Paramount series “Yellowstone,” Forrie J. Smith, has said he wouldn’t attend because he isn’t vaccinated. 

The evening’s first awards, announced before the show began, honored a pair of blockbusters on both the big and small screens. Netflix’s “Squid Game” and the James Bond film “No Time to Die” each won for best stunt ensembles.  

“Hamilton” trio Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr. and Daveed Diggs were set to open the ceremony. Kate Winslet is presenting the actors’ lifetime achievement award to Mirren, a five-time SAG Award winner.  

A starry group of nominees  — including Will Smith, Lady Gaga, Denzel Washington, Nicole Kidman and Ben Affleck — will make sure the SAG Award don’t lack for glamour.  

Five films are nominated for the SAG Awards’ top honor, best ensemble: Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast,” Sian Heder’s coming-of-age drama “CODA,” Adam McKay’s apocalypse comedy “Don’t Look Up,” Ridley Scott’s high-camp “House of Gucci” and Reinaldo Marcus Green’s family tennis drama “King Richard.”  

The leading Oscar nominee, Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” failed to land a best ensemble nominations but three of its actors — Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee — are up for individual awards.  

Winning best ensemble doesn’t automatically make a movie the Oscar favorite, but actors hold the largest sway because they constitute the largest percentage of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Last year, the actors chose Aaron Sorkin’s 1960s courtroom drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” while best picture at the Oscars went to “Nomadland.” The year before, SAG’s pick of “Parasite” presaged the Oscar winner.  

In the television categories, Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” comes in with a leading five nominations, closely trailed by HBO’s “Succession,” Apple’s “The Morning Show” and “Squid Game” — all of which are up for four awards.

0
Arts & Entertainment/Economy & business
0 Comments

With Cinemas Closed, Ghana’s Hand-Painted Movie Posters Find Homes Abroad 

With a flick of his brush, Ghanaian painter Daniel Anum Jasper armed actor Paul Newman with a pair of revolvers. Unfinished paintings of a bell-bottomed John Travolta and nunchuck-spinning Bruce Lee adorned the walls of his crammed Accra studio.

Jasper, a veteran movie poster designer, was finishing up one of the 1969 classic “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” commissioned by a foreign collector who had reached out over Instagram.

From the late 1970s to the 1990s, Ghana developed a tradition of advertising films with vibrant hand-painted posters. Local cinemas were flourishing in the West African country, and artists competed over who could entice the largest audience with their often gory, imaginative and eye-popping displays.

Jasper was a pioneer of the tradition and has been painting movie posters on repurposed flour sacks for the last 30 years. But the market for his work, which once had people clamoring for theater seats, has changed.

“People are no longer interested in going out to watch a movie when it can be watched from the comfort of their phones,” Jasper said.

“But there is a growing interest in owning these hand-painted posters internationally,” he added. “Now they hang them in private rooms or show them in exhibitions.”

With the rise of the internet, Ghana’s independent cinemas fell into obscurity. But Jasper’s work has gained appeal abroad, including in the United States, where the posters are valued as unique representations of a specific period in African art.

Western action flicks were mainstays of the tradition, as were Bollywood films and Chinese pictures. Many of the posters include paranormal elements and gratuitous violence even if the films had none, and physical features are wildly exaggerated.

Joseph Oduro-Frimpong, a professor in pop culture anthropology at Ghana’s Ashesi University, has several of Jasper’s paintings. He has collected the posters for years and has been known to buy up a closing video store’s entire supply.

He plans to display his posters at the Centre for African Popular Culture opening at the university later this year, and said he hopes people appreciate their historical significance.

“Of course there is an esthetic value to the posters, how crazy it is and all of that, but we use them to have a conversation with students,” he said.

“We tell them not to think about what they’re seeing now… [but] to think of these art forms as symbols of history that can tell their own stories.”

0
Arts & Entertainment/Economy & business
0 Comments

Frankfurt Tells Putin to ‘Stop’ Amid Drama in Bundesliga

After telling Russian President Vladimir Putin to “stop” on Saturday, Eintracht Frankfurt proceeded to frustrate Bayern Munich in their Bundesliga game until substitute Leroy Sané scored late for the league leaders.

Frankfurt prominently displayed the message “STOP IT, PUTIN!” all around its stadium before kickoff, just one of several pointed messages across the league against Russia’s ongoing invasion of its neighbor.

Sané’s 71st-minute goal was enough for a 1-0 win that stretched Bayern’s lead to nine points before second-place Borussia Dortmund visits Augsburg on Sunday.

Bayern controlled the match but found it difficult to break through against a well-organized Frankfurt team that also had good opportunities through Filip Kostic and Evan Ndicka.

Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann sent Sané on in the 67th, four minutes before Joshua Kimmich combined with Jamal Musiala and played a through ball for Sané to finally beat Kevin Trapp in the Frankfurt goal.

Trapp had done well to frustrate Bayern’s top goal-scorer Robert Lewandowski, who captained the team in place of the injured Manuel Neuer and wore a blue and yellow captain’s armband in support of Ukraine.

“We condemn the attack on Ukraine and on the lives and homes of innocent people,” the German soccer league said as it suggested clubs observe a minute’s silence before their games. “War is unacceptable in any form and incompatible with our values of sport.”

In Fürth, visiting Cologne and the home team lined up behind a banner in blue and yellow – the colors of the Ukrainian flag – with “STOP WAR” written in English and another message against war in German.

One fan at Union Berlin’s stadium held a sign showing a dove with the word “peace,” another at Leverkusen’s game painted blood on her face, and it seemed fans in all stadiums held Ukrainian flags or made some personal symbol against the war.

Earlier, second-division Schalke played its first game in 15 years without Russian energy giant Gazprom as main sponsor on the team jerseys. The Gelsenkirchen-based club had a 1-1 draw at Karlsruher SC.

Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels produced a brilliant save in injury time to preserve his team’s 2-2 draw at Borussia Mönchengladbach. Gladbach also had a goal ruled out in injury time after VAR picked up on a foul before what would have been Matthias Ginter’s late winner.

The home team got off to a terrible start with Jonas Wind scoring in the sixth minute and Sebastiaan Bornauw making it 2-0 in the 33rd for Wolfsburg.

Marcus Thuram pulled one back before the break and was again involved when Wolfsburg defender Maxence Lacroix was sent off in the 70th for preventing the French forward’s clear goal chance with his hand.

Alassane Plea crossed for Breel Embolo to equalize in the 82nd and Casteels prevented worse for Wolfsburg.

Union Berlin bounced back from three games without a win or a goal since experienced forward Max Kruse left for Wolfsburg – with a 3-1 win at home over Mainz.

But the home fans’ patience was tested by a lengthy VAR check before Genki Haraguchi’s opener was allowed in the seventh minute. Sheraldo Becker scored a brilliant curling effort inside the right post in the 56th, then set up Taiwo Awoniyi to seal it in the 75th after Mainz had Dominik Kohr sent off on the hour-mark with his second yellow card in as many minutes. Delano Burgzorg scored a late consolation for the visitors.

City rival Hertha Berlin lost 3-0 at Freiburg to continue its dismal start to the year.

Bayer Leverkusen defeated Arminia Bielefeld 3-0 to consolidate third place, and last-place Fürth fought back to draw with Cologne 1-1.

0