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Friday, May 26, 2017

Links - 26th May 2017 (2)

30mn Africans may come to Europe within next 10 years – EU parliament chief

EU to Open Migration Centres in Africa Because Europe 'Needs 6 Million Migrants'
Why do EU politicians and officials conflate encouraging migration humanitarian and economic reasons?

Nonprogressing HIV-infected children share fundamental immunological features of nonpathogenic SIV infection - "Although most people that get infected with HIV develop AIDS, rare individuals maintain immune function in the presence of virus, a phenomenon also seen in natural hosts of the closely related SIV. Muenchhoff et al. describe a cohort of pediatric HIV patients who have normal CD4 T cell counts, despite high viremia and lack of antiviral treatment. These children have low immune activation, including less chemokine receptor CCR5 expression on central memory CD4 T cells, similar to sooty mangabeys infected with SIV. The immune mechanisms described in these patients shed light on HIV pathogenesis, which may help develop future treatments."

Letters from Africa: Is Nigeria being punished by God? - "This attitude of attributing life circumstances to forces beyond people's control is antithetical to progress and development. It is impossible to cultivate a spirit of innovation and transformation when people believe themselves helpless about their plight."

Senegal plans to ban full-face veil amid militant threat - "The move should not be seen as anti-Islamic, as Senegal was a mainly Muslim state, Abdoulaye Daouda added. If the plan becomes law, Senegal will be the fifth African state to restrict the wearing of the full-face veil."

Thank Trump for Enforcing Obama's 'Red Line' in Syria - "Norms like the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons are not self-enforcing. They require a superpower like America to deter other dictators from future violations. When the U.S. abdicates its responsibility to make good on its red line on chemical weapons, it invites mischief from rogues all over the world. So it's not surprising that China's predations in the South China Sea, Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Iran's meddling in Yemen all happened after Obama punted on the red line in Syria."

Man held at knifepoint knocks out mugger, takes selfie - "He received both positive and negative comments. Some accused him of racism. Others, like comedian and actor Siv Ngesi, who was also his friend, jumped to his defence on Facebook. Wood said it was interesting that some were upset about the photo, but not the crime."
So apparently if you're white you're supposed to let a black robber rob you, or you're racist

Jamie Foxx: black stars – including Will Smith – need to #actbetter to win Oscars - "Appearing at the American black film festival awards on Sunday, the Oscar-winner joked that he and Denzel Washington were unimpressed with complaints over the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ failure to nominate a single actor of colour for the second year in a row."

The French African Connection - "African leaders, well aware of France's need for their countries' resources, adopted the same manipulation tactics once used on them. So, after supporting a war in Biafra, overthrowing several presidents, collapsing Guinea’s economy and bribing leaders to support its interests, France started to lose the control that it once exercised in Africa. Some African leaders insisted on selecting French ministers and ambassadors. And presidents like Omar Bongo of Gabon and Mamadou Tandja of Niger realised that they could leverage their natural resources to sway French decision-making."

They Helped Erase Ebola in Liberia. Now Liberia Is Erasing Them. - The New York Times - "As bodies were piling up in the streets and global health officials were warning that the country’s ages-old traditions for funerals and burials were spreading the disease, these men did what few Liberians had done before: set fire to the dead. And for four months they did so repeatedly, burning close to 2,000 bodies. Villagers protested near the site, hurling abuse and epithets at the men they called “those Ebola burners them.” The government deployed police officers and soldiers along the dirt road to the crematory site in a field to keep angry locals from the men."

Fewer Tomatoes in Ketchup? East Europeans Pursue Parity at the Grocery - The New York Times - "When Simona Budinska, a 31-year-old public relations specialist, had trouble finding lactose-free products at her local grocery, she and her husband began driving across the border to Austria, where the stores were teeming with choices. But it was not the variety of products on the shelves as much as what was in them that stunned the couple. “The washing powder was just much more effective, and the ketchup contained more tomatoes than the Slovak one,” Ms. Budinska said... Food producers and industry analysts point out that it is common for ingredients to differ from country to country, sometimes to favor local producers, sometimes to appease local tastes and, yes, sometimes to increase profits by substituting cheaper ingredients... Food producers and industry experts insist there are often sound reasons for products to differ between countries: local tastes, a preference for local ingredients, divergent buying patterns."
This is why you shouldn't shop in Malaysia

Growth, Not Forced Equality, Saves the Poor - - "Cutting down the tall poppies uses violence for the cut. And you need to know exactly which poppies to cut. Trusting a government of self-interested people to know how to redistribute ethically is naïve. Another problem is that the cutting reduces the size of the crop... The magic has been tried, in Stalin’s Russia and Mao’s China. So has the violence... As a matter of arithmetic, expropriating the rich to give to the poor does not uplift the poor very much. If we took every dime from the top 20 percent of the income distribution and gave it to the bottom 80 percent, the bottom folk would be only 25 percent better off. If we took only from the superrich, the bottom would get less than that. And redistribution works only once. You can’t expect the expropriated rich to show up for a second cutting... In South Korea, economic growth has increased the income of the poorest by a factor of 30 times real 1953 income. Which do we want, a small one-time (though envy-and-anger-satisfying) extraction from the rich, or a free society of betterment, one that lifts up the poor by gigantic amounts?"

Are Teenagers Replacing Drugs With Smartphones? - The New York Times - "interactive media appears to play to similar impulses as drug experimentation, including sensation-seeking and the desire for independence. Or it might be that gadgets simply absorb a lot of time that could be used for other pursuits, including partying... the phone provides a valuable tool for people at parties who don’t want to do drugs because “you can sit around and look like you’re doing something, even if you’re not doing something, like just surfing the web.”"

If Donald Trump Targets Journalists, Thank Obama - The New York Times - "Over the past eight years, the administration has prosecuted nine cases involving whistle-blowers and leakers, compared with only three by all previous administrations combined. It has repeatedly used the Espionage Act, a relic of World War I-era red-baiting, not to prosecute spies but to go after government officials who talked to journalists."

IBM Gives Watson a New Challenge: Your Tax Return - The New York Times

Caste Is Not Past - The New York Times - "Politics is where caste has gotten a surprising new lease on life. After money and education, democracy is, of course, the third powerful force transforming Indian society. But Indians, it turns out, are passionate about the caste of their politicians. Nearly half of the voting population of even a highly educated city like Bangalore considers caste to be the No. 1 reason to vote for a candidate. Democracy gives power to people who previously had none. But, like race, caste can shift political discussions from present-day merit to payback for historical injustices... Indian political parties have played caste politics for years. The powerful Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party and its derivatives have thrived on an anti-Brahmin platform in Tamil Nadu. The compelling rise of Mayawati, a Dalit woman who goes by one name, to chief minister of Uttar Pradesh was built on the support of her caste. But, once in office, her reputation as one of the world’s most influential female politicians was marred by corruption and mismanagement in her administration"

Dangerous Fruit: Mystery of Deadly Outbreaks in India Is Solved - - "Beginning in 1995, investigations variously ascribed the phenomenon to heat stroke; to infections carried by rats, bats or sand flies; or to pesticides used in the region’s ubiquitous lychee orchards. But there were few signposts for investigators. Instead of occurring in clusters, the illness typically struck only one child in a village, often leaving even siblings unaffected. A joint investigation by India’s National Center for Disease Control and the India office of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, published in the British medical journal The Lancet Global Health on Tuesday, has identified a surprising culprit: the lychee fruit itself, when eaten on an empty stomach by malnourished children."

France’s Obsession With Decline Is a Booming Industry - - "“To put it in Manichaean terms: Anything positive doesn’t sell, and anything negative sells, as if there were a sort of masochism on the part of some readers,” said the historian Robert Frank, the author of the 2014 book “The Fear of Decline: France from 1914 to 2014.”... Even if declinism is going strong, France’s birthrate is still among the highest in Europe, and studies have consistently shown the French to be more pessimistic about their country than about their own lives."

Cecil the Lion: variety of activists have angry tweets decrying lack of attention to non-lion causes in wake of hunting dentist story. - "the sentiment stirred by Cecil's death is not shared by many Zimbabweans, and the outpouring of grief is perplexing to people dealing with tough economic and social problems in addition to the occasional threat to life and property by wild animals...
'So, people in Zimbabwe are telling the American press, “black lives matter,” referring to their own lives relative to Cecil.'"

Burger King hijacks the Google Assistant, gets shut down by Google

Islamic Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi speaks out against halal Easter eggs - "Hiding out in Adelaide under police instruction, Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi has said halal certification on chocolate Easter eggs is not necessary. Imam Tawhidi said in a Facebook post: “Muslims would never eat products with Jewish terminologies or Christian cross”. “Stamping Australian products with Islamic terminologies is an insult to 98 per cent of Australians, and is a threat to their way of life,” he wrote in the long social media post. “I, as an Australian Muslim, feel very insulted when the culture I have adapted to for decades is now being changed.”"

WATCH – Black Lives Matter Has EVIL Message For Police. ARREST THEM. - "Black Lives Matter has been terrorizing America, rioting and causing mayhem, but it’s time that BLM and their rhetoric is stopped before more innocent lives are lost. Janaya Khan, an “activist” of the Black Lives Matter movement, stated, “I think we start with the demilitarization of the police…that means taking money out of police budgets and slowly phasing out police because we don’t actually need them in our communities. This woman would rather abolish society’s brave protectors based on a false belief system rather than encourage criminals to change their behavior. BLM would rather blame the police for the country’s problems than take responsibility for their own heinous actions.”

9 signs your Mental Illness is made up for attention - "2. You are constantly sharing shit about it on social media. Every time someone writes a #powerful #essay on whatever website about their struggle with upper-middle-class anxiety, you share it. You share “How to date someone with ____.” You share “7 things only people with OCD know.” It’s your whole identity, and you’re constantly reminding people that you are sick and brave and in a permanent struggle against the world.
3. You list it in your bios. If your bio announces from the get-go that you have depression — before you even mention, I don’t know, a job or a hobby or an accomplishment, you need help. And not in the “Lexapro” department, in the “you have nothing interesting to say about yourself besides a disorder” department."

Teacher cleared of raping pupil warns men to stay away from teaching: "There is nothing to protect you" - "A geography teacher cleared of raping a pupil has warned that men should steer clear of the profession, after a false allegation shattered his dream career."

Allrecipes reveals the enormous gap between foodie culture and what Americans actually cook. - "To work your way through the Allrecipes hall of fame, Julie & Julia–style, is to be confronted with an obvious truth: Most people are far more concerned with convenience and affordability than authenticity or novelty"

"Suicides" really honor killings? - "Swedish Radio News reports that the police in this Nordic sensation suspect a dozen cases of reported suicides since 2006 were possibly honor killings - the murder of young women and girls in mostly immigrant families - by parents or brothers outraged that the girl has refused orders to marry someone against her will … or defying the family's honor by dating a Swede or other boy friend not approved for cultural, ethnic or religious reasons."

Aging population and automation effect on economic growth - ""There is no evidence of a negative relationship between aging and GDP per capita," they wrote in a paper entitled "Secular Stagnation? The Effect of Aging on Economic Growth in the Age of Automation." The paper continues, "On the contrary, the relationship is significantly positive in many specifications.""

Here's the surprising reason highways have those concrete walls alongside them - "Those walls were actually constructed for noise reduction. A wall higher than the average person can lower sound by five decibels."

$43 million was found in a Nigerian apartment and everyone made the same joke

For growth we want good institutions—democracy is irrelevant - "Perhaps democratic ignorance and expert narrow-mindedness roughly balance out—or perhaps representative democracies and non-democracies both choose similar sorts of people to rule anyway. Either way, the evidence seems to suggest that insofar as we can help countries to develop, the key institutions we should be supporting are markets, property rights and the rule of law, and considerably less significance should be accorded to democratisation."

'Ban Cars to Stop Terror' Says Sweden's Best-Selling Newspaper After Stockholm Attack - "The idea of reducing the number of cars in Swedish cities was backed last month by Sweden’s environment minister, who argued that driving is a gender equality issue as well as a matter of shrinking the nation’s carbon emissions. “Cars are driven largely by men so by giving a lot of space to cars; we’re giving a lot of space to men — at the expense of women,” Karolina Skog explained."
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