World Without US

livus, in New Antarctic extremes 'virtually certain' as world warms
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From the article:

With drastic action now needed to limit global warming to the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C, the scientists warn that recent extremes in Antarctica may be the tip of the iceberg.

The study reviews evidence of extreme events in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, including weather, sea ice, ocean temperatures, glacier and ice shelf systems, and biodiversity on land and sea.

It concludes that Antarctica's fragile environments "may well be subject to considerable stress and damage in future years and decades"—and calls for urgent policy action to protect it.

"Antarctic change has global implications," said lead author Professor Martin Siegert, from the University of Exeter. "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero is our best hope of preserving Antarctica, and this must matter to every country—and individual—on the planet." ...

The researchers considered the vulnerability of Antarctica to a range of extreme events, to understand the causes and likely future changes—following a series of recent extremes.

For example, the world's largest recorded heat wave (38.5°C above the mean) occurred in East Antarctica in 2022 and, at present, winter sea ice formation is the lowest on record.

Extreme events can also affect biodiversity. For example, high temperatures have been linked to years with lower krill numbers, leading to breeding failures of krill-reliant predators—evidenced by many dead fur seal pups on beaches.

Co-author Professor Anna Hogg, from the University of Leeds, said, "Our results show that while extreme events are known to impact the globe through heavy rainfall and flooding, heat waves and wildfires, such as those seen in Europe this summer, they also impact the remote polar regions."

"Antarctic glaciers, sea ice and natural ecosystems are all impacted by extreme events. Therefore, it is essential that international treaties and policy are implemented in order to protect these beautiful but delicate regions."

[More detail in article]

proprioception, in Elle Hungary cover photo defies homophobic laws, depicts gay couple with baby daughter. Szerelemből született – kapható az új ELLE!
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livus avatar

Thanks, this is interesting!

livus, in Brazilian authorities bury deceased migrants who drifted in African boat to the Amazon
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From the article:

Their roughly 12-meter (39-foot) boat was carrying 25 raincoats and 27 mobile phones, suggesting the original number of passengers was significantly higher. This also implies that people of other nationalities may have been among the deceased, local officials have said.

Brazil’s federal police said it is unlikely they will extract any information from the phones due to the long time of oxydation they were subjected to. The force also added they had found paper notes in the boat with phone numbers from Mauritania, Mali and #Congo. A kind of stove and two containers that could have carried water or fuel were also among the remains.

It was a rustic blue-and-white fiberglass boat that, when found, had neither motor, tiller nor rudder. Its canoe shape is similar to Mauritanian fishing boats often used by migrants fleeing West Africa and aiming to enter the European Union via Spain’s Canary Islands.

An Associated Press investigation published last year revealed that in 2021 at least seven boats from northwest Africa were found in the Caribbean and Brazil. All carried dead bodies, like the vessel found in Para.

So far, none of the victims have been identified. Authorities said the manner of their burial would allow for subsequent exhumations in case families of the deceased were located and wished to transfer the bodies back to their home countries...

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This year the number of people attempting the crossing from the northwest coast of Africa to the EU has seen a 500% spike, with the majority departing from Mauritania, according to Spain’s interior ministry. But it is a dangerous route with strong Atlantic winds, and boats that go off course can stay adrift for months and be swept away to distant destinations, often leading migrants to die of dehydration and malnutrition.

The reasons pushing people toward such boats are varied and intertwined: a lack of jobs and prospects of a better life, impacts of climate change, growing insecurity and political instability, among others.

More than 14,000 African migrants have reached the Canary Islands so far this year, according to the Spanish ministry. In February, the EU and Mauritania signed a 210 million euro ($225 million) deal aimed at cracking down on people smuggling and deterring migrant boats.

With hundreds more West African migrants reported missing, families in Mauritania have set up a commission to search for loved ones, and are anxiously awaiting information from Brazil...

livus, in Panama election: Voters to choose president after front-runner sentenced
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proprioception, in China relied on extrajudicial means to force thousands of fugitives to repatriate, human rights activists say - ICIJ
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Over the past decade China has forcibly repatriated more than 12,000 fugitives, as part of a state campaign to stamp out corruption, according to a new report by a human rights group.

Safeguard Defenders, the Spain-based group, says that Xi Jingping’s government has relied heavily on extrajudicial methods such as kidnappings, harassment and intimidation to “persuade” and coerce Chinese nationals living in more than 120 countries to return to China.

Though Beijing claims the fugitives are alleged criminal suspects, the group’s report says that China’s “deeply flawed and politicized” judicial system makes it difficult to know with certainty whether the accusations have merit.

“It is essential to point out that these extrajudicial operations are illegal under international law regardless of the type of target and all constitute instances of transnational repression,” Laura Harth, one of the authors of the report, told the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The report, titled “Chasing Fox Hunt,” is based on accounts of 283 individuals who were repatriated or extradited from more than 50 countries, as well as data published by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the agency that coordinates anti-corruption activities under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.

“Fox Hunt” is the official name of the international policing operation launched by the Chinese government in 2014. In 2015, it became part of a broader initiative called “Operation Sky Net,” which added dedicated task forces to crack down on money laundering, fake passports and illegal income, according to the report. Both “Fox Hunt” and “Sky Net” are still active today, and are only two of the state-sponsored operations targeting Chinese nationals overseas.

"If Beijing cannot secure their loyalty via persuasion, it will demand their loyalty via force."


One of my dad’s closest friends, who was from China, ran a small business in the United States. Around 2010 he began hearing from relatives still in China that they were being threatened by the government if he didn’t go back to “check in”.

He was terrified that, if he obliged, he’d never get out of China - but he couldn’t take the chance that family might be harmed if he refused. He arranged to close his business for a month and went back to China for a brief visit. Of course, nobody ever heard from him again.

livus, in New Zealand announces humanitarian assistance to Gaza, Sudan
livus avatar

From the article:

New Zealand stands with Egypt, the Arab League and the overwhelming consensus of the international community in calling on all parties to comply with last week’s UNSC resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire.”

Mr Peters says that his visit to Cairo had underscored that New Zealand’s warm and constructive relationship with Egypt was a cornerstone of its approach to the Middle East and North Africa.

“In 2024, New Zealand and Egypt celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations and it’s an honour to be in Cairo to mark the anniversary. My discussions with Foreign Minister Shoukry were seriously valuable, and we deeply appreciate Egypt’s insights on regional security issues, including the Israel-Hamas conflict, the Red Sea and Sudan,” Mr Peters says.

“Egypt is also an important trading partner, our second largest market in Africa with two-way trade worth more than $350 million a year.

“We also appreciated the opportunity to visit the Arab League headquarters, and hold discussions with Secretary General Aboul Gheit to gain a richer understanding of the broader Arab world’s priorities and perspectives, including when it comes to achieving a sustainable, two-state solution.”

Today’s announcement of $2 million support via the UN 2720 Mechanism for Gaza brings to $17 million the total humanitarian assistance that New Zealand has extended to address urgent humanitarian needs in relation to the Israel-Hamas conflict since the events of October 2023.

livus, in Mysterious oil spill sparks national emergency in Trinidad and Tobago
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From the article:

Prime Minister Keith Rowley said in a news conference Sunday that “the situation is not under control.” The origins of the vessel have not yet been identified, he added.

“This is a national emergency and therefore it will have to be funded as an extraordinary expense,” Rowley said, adding, “we don’t know the full scope and scale of what is going to be required.”

Authorities installed booms - floating barriers - to prevent the spill from spreading to other areas, said Farley Augustine, the chief secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly. Officials have also dispatched divers to try to plug the leak but have not been successful

Syl, (edited ) in France unveils plan to curtail right to French citizenship in Indian Ocean islands of Mayotte avatar

The current government is letting the situation fester. They already had water problem, where a third of the population would get fresh water, combined with immigration problem…

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@Syl thanks for the info. That water crisis sounds really bad.

livus, in New Zealand pilot kidnapped a year ago and held hostage in West Papua will be freed, West Papua National Liberation Army says
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From the article:

Guerrilla fighters in the central highlands of restive Papua, who want the province declared independent from Indonesia, kidnapped Mehrtens after he landed a small commercial passenger plane at the remote Paro airport in the mountainous area of Nduga on 7 February 2023.

One year on from the kidnapping, very little is known about where Mehrtens is being held or what conditions he is living in. Updates from his captors have been scant, offering only that his welfare is “top priority” and he is healthy and well fed. Meanwhile, Mehrtens’ family has declined to speak.

“We know that just before Christmas Phillip was able to contact some friends and family to assure them that he is alive and well, however we are still concerned at the length of time he has been held,” Peters said...

The case has drawn renewed attention to a long-running and increasingly deadly conflict in resource-rich Papua that has unfolded since it was brought under Indonesian rule. During his captivity, the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) – the armed wing of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) – has circulated videos and photos of Mehrtens, along with demands for the region’s independence.

The area where Mehrtens is being held remains an extremely dangerous place for West Papuans. TPN-PB regularly launch attacks and engage in skirmishes with the Indonesian security forces and the Indonesian military has been accused of brutality, including torture and murder of civilians.

There is also a much larger, peaceful civil movement for independence in the region – which stems from Indonesia’s violent repression of West Papuans...

Last week, Sambom said Mehrtens had not been released because the Indonesian and New Zealand governments have not wanted to talk to the armed group.

“We have opened up but the Indonesian and New Zealand governments don’t want to talk to us, so we don’t know the reason.”

The conflict in Papua has escalated significantly since 2018, with pro-independence fighters mounting deadlier and more frequent attacks, largely because they have managed to procure more sophisticated weapons. It began after the region was controversially put under Indonesian control in a vote overseen by the United Nations in 1969.

livus, in Brazilian city begins first mass vaccination against dengue
livus avatar

From the article:

The dengue infection, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, causes a disease that can be mild or have more serious forms, occasionally leading to death. Symptoms include muscle weakness, drowsiness, refusal of food and liquids, vomiting, and diarrhea.

By the end of the first week of December, Brazil had registered 1.6 million cases of dengue in 2023, an increase of 15.8% over the same period last year, according to data from the health ministry. The number of deaths caused by the infection grew 5.4% in the period to 1,053.

Last month, the country's health ministry announced it would include Takeda's shot in the national vaccination program of its public health system, known by its local acronym 'SUS'.

The vaccine will not initially be used in large-scale nationwide, given its limited supply, instead, it will focus on priority groups and regions.

The country expects to receive another 5.08 million doses of the vaccine between February and November.

testing, in Marshall Islands election results declared as high-profile incumbents lose re-election
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from the article:

40 percent of the 33 seats in parliament have changed hands as a result of the November 20 national election.

Among high-profile incumbents losing re-election bids were fisheries and climate Minister John Silk, a 24-year parliament veteran who has been in the cabinet of multiple administrations, and Speaker Kenneth Kedi, who has been an outspoken advocate for justice for nuclear test-affected people of Rongelap, his home atoll, and the entire Marshall Islands.

Voting data provided by the electoral office shows extremely low voter turnout, based on the number of registered voters.

There is no way to determine if the number of voters listed on the Electoral Administrations eligible list of voters is accurate. But based on the available data, only 33 percent - 17,998 - turned out to vote of the 55,167 registered voters.

The postal absentee ballots were particularly problematic. With nearly half the Marshall Islands population now residing in the United States, postal absentee voters could have a major impact on the outcome of national elections. As a result of only a few ballots arriving in time to be counted, only one parliament race was changed by offshore voters.

The Electoral Administration mailed out 3,752 postal ballots to voters - over 1,600 less than one week before the deadline for voters to mail them back to the Marshall Islands - and only 1,469 returned before the December 4 deadline. But only 1,117 postal absentee ballots - 30 percent of those mailed out - were ultimately accepted and counted.

livus, in Liberia: Tanker Explosion Death Toll Rises to 40
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Eyewitnesses state that some people from the community were attempting to collect the spilled gasoline when the explosion took place, resulting in severe injuries and fatalities.

“When the tanker fell, many people came from all over the town. Some were only looking as the gas was spilling, but others brought containers and were collecting the gas,” an eyewitness told the Daily Observer. “So in no time, the tanker caught fire as many people began running helter-skelter. Many people could not escape the blast.”

In his media briefing with the press on Wednesday, December 27, Chief Medical Officer Kateh cautioned that the death toll could potentially increase as house-to-house contact tracing continues. Among the deceased are one woman and three children ranging from ages 6 to 9. Patients with more severe injuries are being transferred to various hospitals in Monrovia, including the JFK Medical Center, 14-Military Hospital, St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital, and ELWA Hospital.

The situation remains tragic, and efforts are ongoing to provide medical support and assistance to those affected by this devastating incident.

testing, in Company sells Indigenous land in Amazonas as NFTs without community’s knowledge
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from the article:

The reporters found 1,482 areas in the Apurinã Indigenous land registered as NFTs, which are digital certificates of ownership of unique (non-fungible) assets such as works of art, collectibles or properties. In this case, buyers make virtual purchases of plots in the territory, which they can sell to others anytime. It works like a stock exchange. NFT prices vary according to the prices of encrypted virtual money — cryptocurrencies — and the value of the environmental asset that is supposed to be contributing to preserve the forest. At least 665 clients purchased forest land plots and continue trading them as NFTs on specialized platforms.

According to Nemus, NFT holders can navigate the area they acquired and detect wildlife or environmental threats, monitoring and auditing the conservation of the area.

Nemus’ businesses are associated with European investors and ASF BRAZIL LTD, a London-based holding company founded by Italian businessman Maurizio Totta. In Brazil, Totta is a partner of Pedro Ruhs da Silva and Flávio Meira Penna, who appear as owners of Nemus and other companies in partnership with ASF. The group’s main investments in the Amazon are focused on timber extraction, with the recovery of bankrupt or indebted companies.

In an interview on American TV in the Break It Down Show, Nemus’ founder Meira Penna said the Indigenous people “are sort of like squatters” in the areas acquired by Nemus, but he stated that “they’ll live there forever” and “they will jump to the digital world very quickly.”

In the video, which can be seen in full on YouTube, the businessman details his NFT project in the area claimed by the Indigenous people. The deal is meant to raise up to $5 million, with NFTs selling for $150-$51,000. With that money, Nemus would buy more areas in the region to launch more NFTs, as explained in the video.

In addition to Manasa, Meira Penna also acquired a timber company, Laminados Triunfo, in Acre state and exported the product to the U.S. In April, the company was the target of a “timber laundering” investigation by the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA).

ILO Convention 169 provides for the right to consultation on any project that interferes with Indigenous lands. Regardless of whether or not the territory has already been officially recognized, the entire recognized Indigenous community must be aware of what is being proposed and has the right to approve the project or not. The matter must be discussed internally by the Indigenous people, with the adoption of a consultation protocol that allows everyone in the territory to have access to information about the projects.

To the Prosecution Service, Nemus said the property was not on “actually demarcated Indigenous land,” and therefore the company’s understanding was that “no article of ILO 169 convention on consultation applies.”

In the same document from August 2022, Nemus said it was not yet developing economic activities in the area. However, at the time, the company had already launched its NFTs on the market, for which sales began in March 2022.


What a dumb way to spend money. Meanwhile there are a lot of nonprofits who desperately need money. Like food banks, homeless shelters or even doctors without borders.

Instead people spend on stupid shit like this.

testing, in World surfing body joins local opposition to controversial new Olympics tower in Tahiti
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from the article:

Surfing’s world governing body has said it opposes construction of a controversial new judges’ tower for the 2024 Olympics event in Tahiti which has sparked a backlash from locals and environmentalists over fears it could irreparably damage the local coral reef.

“The International Surfing Association (ISA) will not support the construction of the new aluminum judges’ tower at Teahupo’o,” the body said in a statement, a week after construction began.

In a bid to reduce the environmental impact and appease locals some, changes have been made to the original plan proposed by Olympic organisers. The new design is smaller and does not include flushing toilets or an underground water network. Instead, judges will have to return to the main island to use the toilet, and portable drinking fountains will be used for water.

Teahupo’o is a small coastal community and much of the lagoon and land area are protected natural heritage areas. Aside from its wave, the area is known for its pristine environment.

The controversy surrounding the new tower has gained momentum since the first peaceful protest against it in Teahupo’o in October, which attracted about 500 people from around Tahiti.

Since then, over 200,000 people have signed an online petition to stop the tower and prominent surfers including Kelly Slater and Carissa Moore have lent their support. Surfers in France also organised a protest on Sunday, swimming out off the beach at Guéthary on the Atlantic coast.

testing, in PNG's Porgera set to re-open Friday
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from the article:

"The way in which the government got around the need to have compensation agreements in place before the issue of a special mining lease was to pass a piece of legislation, which basically said, 'look, the existing compensation agreements before the closure of the mine will allow us to continue in the interim, while New compensation agreements are relocated'."

A Papua New Guinea academic, who grew up in Porgera in the early years of the mine, Andrew Anton Mako, has called for structures to be put in place to ensure returns from the re-opened mine are not wasted.

The Australian National University staffer has written about what he calls the blessings and the curse the mine brought back in the 1990s.

He said with a bigger stake he hopes the community doesn't squander the money. "In the past it was only 2.5 percent of the mine equity stake," Mako said.

"Now the landowners have been given ten percent, free carry, by the government. So, it will be a lot of money. It is estimated around 25 billion kina. That's a lot of money for the next 20 years.

"So even though the proceeds will increase, the main issue is in the governance, the use of that money, whether it will be used productively to improve the lives of the people or whether it will be used mostly on consumption."

Mako also wants some focus on what happens when the mine stops producing in 20 years or so.

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