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Extreme heat is reported on news media, but climate change is rarely mentioned

Newspapers are failing to connect extreme heat to climate change https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2018/07/27/Newspapers-are-failing-to-connect-extreme-heat-to-climate-change/220822

During the recent heat wave, only about 11 percent of articles mentioned global warming, a new report finds  EVLONDO COOPER 

Almost 90 percent of articles about the recent heat wave in the biggest 50 U.S. newspapers failed to mention hot weather’s connection to climate change, according to a new report published by the nonprofit Public Citizen.

This unfortunate trend extends beyond newspapers. Media Matters has documented how rarely broadcast TV networks cover climate change. Our most recent study looked at how the major broadcast networks covered the links between climate change and extreme heat and found that over a two-week period from late June to early July, only one segment out of 127 about the heat wave mentioned climate change.

Public Citizen looked at coverage of extreme heat in the top 50 U.S. newspapers by circulation over the first half of 2018 and found that less than 18 percent of the articles mentioned climate change:

In the top 50 newspapers, a total of 760 articles mentioned extreme heat, heat waves, record heat, or record temperatures from January 1 to July 8, 2018. One hundred thirty-four of these pieces (17.6 percent) also mentioned climate change or global warming.

During the period June 27 to July 8, only 23 of 204 heat-related articles (11.3 percent) mentioned climate.

During the heat wave, there were 673 articles, with 26 (3.9 percent) mentioning climate.

In late June and early July, when a heat wave was afflicting much of the U.S., the percentage of articles mentioning climate change was even lower:

Public Citizen also looked beyond the top 50 papers to see how extreme heat was covered in papers in 13 states where 10 or more local areas broke heat records from June 27 to July 8. This more localized newspaper coverage was even worse:

While writers and editors may want to exercise caution in attributing any individual event to climate change, the science is clear that our warming climate is making extreme events like heat waves, floods, and fires more intense and more frequent. That’s why environmental journalists and communicators have been calling on major news outlets to do a better job of covering climate change and the environmental rollbacks that could make things worse.

Public Citizen’s report did highlight notable exceptions when newspapers did strong reporting to connect extreme heat to climate change — such as a story by Austin American-Statesman reporter Roberto Villalpando that explained how climate change is bringing 100-degree days to Austin earlier in the year. Despite this, the report concluded, “U.S. news outlets continue to tell only half the story. These exceptions need to become the norm if the public is going to wake from its slumber on climate change in time to take the bold action we urgently need to avoid catastrophic harm, and possibly even an existential threat to the U.S., later this century.”

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July 30, 2018 Posted by | climate change, media, USA | Leave a comment

Public opinion being influenced by biased and inaccurate reporting on North Korea

They have thus obscured the reality that the fate of the negotiations depends not only North Korean policy but on the willingness of the United States to make changes in its policy toward the DPRK and the Korean Peninsula that past administrations have all been reluctant to make.

These stories also underscore a broader problem with media coverage of the US-North Korean negotiations: a strong underlying bias toward the view that it is futile to negotiate with North Korea. The latest stories have constructed a dark narrative of North Korean deception that is not based on verified facts. If this narrative is not rebutted or corrected, it could shift public opinion—which has been overwhelmingly favorable to negotiations with North Korea—against such a policy.

How the Media Wove a Narrative of North Korean Nuclear Deception 38 North, BY: GARETH PORTER, JULY 26, 2018

Since the June 12 Singapore Summit between US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the US media has woven a misleading narrative that both past and post-summit North Korean actions indicate an intent to deceive the US about its willingness to denuclearize. The so-called intelligence that formed the basis of these stories was fed to reporters by individuals within the administration pushing their own agenda.

The Case of the Secret Uranium Enrichment Sites

In late June and early July, a series of press stories portrayed a North Korean policy of deceiving the United States by keeping what were said to be undeclared uranium enrichment sites secret from the United States. The stories were published just as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was preparing for the first meetings with North Korean officials to begin implementing the Singapore Summit Declaration.

The first such story appeared on NBC News on June 29, which reported: Continue reading

July 28, 2018 Posted by | media, North Korea, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Prosecuting Julian Assange – a dangerous precedent threatening journalists’ rights

Judges Hear Warning on Prosecution of WikiLeaks https://www.courthousenews.com/judges-hear-warning-on-prosecution-of-wikileaks/  July 24, 2018MARIA DINZEO   NAHEIM, Calif. (CN) – Prosecuting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing leaked documents related to the 2016 presidential election would set a terrible precedent for journalists, the top lawyer for The New York Times said Tuesday.

Addressing a room full of federal and circuit judges at the Ninth Circuit’s annual judicial conference, David McCraw, the deputy general counsel for The New York Times, explained that regardless of how one feels about Assange and traditional news outlets receiving the same kind of deference over publishing leaked materials, his prosecution would be a gut punch to free speech.

“I think the prosecution of him would be a very, very bad precedent for publishers,” McCraw said. “From that incident, from everything I know, he’s sort of in a classic publisher’s position and I think the law would have a very hard time drawing a distinction between The New York Times and WikiLeaks.”

McCraw went on to clarify that while Assange employs certain methods that he finds discomfiting and irresponsible, such as dumping unredacted documents revealing the personal information of ordinary people, Assange should be afforded the same protections as a traditional journalist.

“Do I wish journalism was practiced in a certain way, like it is with The New York Times, The Washington Post, or The Wall Street Journal? Of course. But I also think new ways of publishing have their value. Our colleagues who are not only challenging us financially but journalistically have raised an awareness that there are different ways to report,” McCraw said.

“But if someone is in the business of publishing information, I think that whatever privilege happens to apply – whatever extension of the law that would apply – should be there. Because the question isn’t whether he’s a journalist. It’s in that instance was he committing an act of journalism.”

Assange has long considered himself a journalist operating no differently than other news outlets. This has complicated matters, because if Assange can be prosecuted for publishing leaked information, why not prosecute news organizations like The New York Times?

Earlier this month, a grand jury returned an indictment against twelve Russian military spies for hacking into the servers and emails of the Democratic National Committee and state election officials, stealing documents and staging the release of those documents to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. While the indictment did not name Assange and WikiLeaks specifically, it has been widely suggested that WikiLeaks received the materials and could very well be the group referred to in the indictment as “Organization Number 1.”

Barry Pollack, who represents Assange in an ongoing criminal investigation in the Eastern District of Virginia, weighed in on the indictment Tuesday.

“If you read the indictment that just came out on Russians and you look at what Organization Number 1, which is clearly WikiLeaks, is alleged to have done in that indictment, it is doing exactly what The New York Times and The Washington Post do every day of the week,” Pollack said. “He [Assange] is communicating with a source, the source provides him with information, he publishes that information.

“There are no questions about the truthfulness or accuracy or authenticity of that information. And then he encourages the source to give him more information. He says ‘don’t give it to my competitors, give it to me. This story will have more impact if I publish it.’”

Pollack and McCraw spoke as part of a panel titled “The Law of Leaks,” a session on how the United States has ramped up efforts to prosecute people who have leaked state secrets. Thirteen people have been prosecuted under the first law against leaking state secrets, the Espionage Act of 1917, most under the Obama administration.

President Donald Trump has waged an unprecedented war against the media, taking to Twitter last year to call the media “the enemy of the American people.”  Yet no publisher has ever been indicted over leaks, and both McCraw and Pollack expressed doubts about whether it will happen any time soon.

“Unlike firing off a tweet, bringing a prosecution requires a career professional prosecutor to sign off on the prosecution, so there also is a tremendous check there that doesn’t exist in some of the rhetoric we hear,” Pollack said.

“Prosecutions of journalists would be difficult,” McCraw said. “I think they’d be unpopular, I think they’d be wrong, and I think they’d be unsuccessful. I see this PR campaign against the press as almost an alternative to legal measures.”

 

July 28, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties, media, USA | Leave a comment

TV News Media is letting the world down as it fails to cover unprecedented global heat wave

Global heat wave: an epic TV news fail https://thebulletin.org/2018/07/global-heat-wave-an-epic-tv-news-fail/?utm_source=Bulletin%20newsletter&utm_medium=iContact%20email&utm_campaign=July20  By Dawn Stover, July 19, 2018

This month’s scorching heat wave broke records around the world. The Algerian city of Ouargla, with a population of half a million, had a temperature of 124.3 degrees Fahrenheit on July 6, the hottest reliably measured temperature on record in Africa. In Ireland and Wales, the unusually hot weather revealed ancient structures normally hidden by grass or crops. In Chino, California, the mercury soared to 120 degrees. Another round of hazardous summer heat is expected this week, with record high temperatures possible in the southern United States.

The prolonged heat wave has been a staple of television news for weeks. However, most of the coverage has been sorely lacking in context: Humans are warming the planet, and scientists have already linked some heat waves to climate change. A recent analysis published in the journal Nature Climate Change concludes that human-driven climate change, rather than natural variability, will be the leading cause of heat waves over the western United States and Great Lakes region as early as the 2020s and 2030s, respectively.

Like the heat itself, much of the media coverage was stupefying. “Major broadcast TV networks overwhelmingly failed to report on the links between climate change and extreme heat,” according to a Media Matters survey. “Over a two-week period from late June to early July, ABC, CBS, and NBC aired a combined 127 segments or weathercasts that discussed the heat wave, but only one segment, on CBS This Morning, mentioned climate change.”

TV coverage would undoubtedly improve if weather forecasters were better informed about climate science. But four Republican senators with close ties to the fossil fuel industry are trying to eliminate government funding for a National Science Foundation designed to help forecasters (and by extension, the general public) “become more familiar with the science behind how their local weather and its trends are related to the dynamics of the climate.”

July 21, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, media | Leave a comment

UK media ignores UK Committee on Climate Change’s report – renewables quicker and cheaper than nuclear

 

 

David Lowry’s Blog 2nd July 2018 , A key message from the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC’s) 267-page
annual report 2018 “If new nuclear projects were not to come forward, it is likely that renewables would be able to be deployed on shorter timescales and at lower cost.”

But you would not find this very important assessment in the British media coverage. Why might this be? Perhaps because on the day before, the UK Government published its long-trailed so-called ‘Nuclear Industry Sector Deal’on which the media clearly had been well briefed in advance.
http://drdavidlowry.blogspot.com/2018/07/nuclear-threat-to-sustainable-energy.html

July 6, 2018 Posted by | media, UK | Leave a comment

The world needs to hear, repeatedly, the simple message on urgency of climate change (and of nuclear threat, too)

SELLING THE SCIENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE , Climate One, 4 May 18, The scientific consensus is that human activity is cooking the planet and disrupting our economies. Yet many people still don’t  believe that climate change will affect them personally. Or they deny that the problem is urgent enough to take action that would disrupt their lifestyles. Why has communicating the facts about climate change to the public been such a challenge?

“Facts don’t work by themselves,” says David Fenton, founder and chairman of Fenton Communications. “Facts only really work when one, they’re embedded in moral narratives.  Secondly, facts don’t work unless they’re embedded in stories. And third, the brain only absorbs messages that are simple and that are repeated.”…….

“Part of my job,” he explains, “is to help scientists speak English and acceptable accurate drama.”

Fenton believes in exploiting the findings of cognitive science to deliver otherwise complex messages. “Only campaigns work,” he stresses, “Only the repetition – I’m repeating myself I know – of simple messages changes public opinion and affects the brain.”

Fenton notes that while it’s hard to be optimistic when you hang out with climate scientists, he remains so because the climate movement has never really tried to reach the general public at a scale similar to a national advertising campaign – let alone the disinformation campaign of the fossil fuel industry…….    Climate One is presented in association with KQED Public Radio.   https://climateone.org/audio/selling-science-climate-change

 

May 5, 2018 Posted by | climate change, media | Leave a comment

The Destruction of an Independent Press 

Chris Hedges With Mark Crispin Miller on the Destruction of an Independent Press https://www.truthdig.com/videos/chris-hedges-with-mark-crispin-miller-on-the-destruction-of-an-independent-press/  posted by Emily Wells APR 27, 2018 

In a recent episode of “On Contact,” his video series on the RT network, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges speaks with Mark Crispin Miller, a professor of media studies at New York University, about the destruction of the independent press in the United States.

Hedges calls attention to the algorithms of Facebook, Google and Twitter, and how they steer traffic away from anti-war and progressive websites, while Miller speaks of the frightening historical precedent of the homogenization of the press.

“I think what we have seen over the decades since the mid-’70s, and I’m going to make a provocative comparison here, is something analogous to what the Nazis called gleichschaltung, which means streamlining,” Miller says. “When they came to power, they made it their business to make sure that not only all media outlets but all industries, all sectors of the culture, would be streamlined, which meant getting rid of anyone who was not fully on board with the Nazi program.”

Miller adds that this is “unprecedented in American experience.” He says, “Even ten years ago I would have flinched if someone compared our press to the Nazi press.”

Watch the full conversation in the player above. [on original]

April 30, 2018 Posted by | media, USA | Leave a comment

BBC embarrassed at furore after it reported a “nuclear attack warning”

BBC forced to deny reporting outbreak of nuclear war after fake news clip goes viral Telegraph UK,  

The BBC was last night forced to distance itself from a fake news clip reporting the outbreak of nuclear war after a video purporting to show hostilities between Russia and Nato was widely circulated online.

The three-minute clip, which appears to be set in the BBC News studio and uses the BBC logo, features a British presenter claiming armed conflict has broken out in the Baltic after a Russian aircraft was shot down.

It features footage of Russian naval ships launching cruise missiles, nuclear mushroom clouds, and shows the Queen being evacuated from Buckingham Palace.

 “This video clip claiming to be a BBC news report about NATO and Russia has been circulating widely… We’d like to make absolutely clear that it’s a fake and does not come from the BBC,” the corporation said on Twitter.

The clip is a shortened version of an hour-long video that has been uploaded to YouTube several times since 2016 with the disclaimer that it is a “fictional dramatization.”

It began widely circulating on social media, particularly WhatsApp, after it was edited and re-uploaded to YouTube on Monday without that disclaimer.

The video also features a new ending purporting to be a “nuclear attack warning” with the logos of the Ministry of Defence and the Home Office.

 The presenter of the video told The Daily Telegraph he was employed by Benchmarking Assessment Group, an Irish talent headhunting company, to shoot the video that would be used as a “psychometric test” to see how “their clients react in a disaster scenario”.

“From the original YouTube posting it says very clearly that it is fictional. You’d have to be an idiot to believe it anyway, it doesn’t even look like a genuine BBC news report. It was never meant to,” said Mark Ryes, a British voice actor……..

The BBC said it felt the need to respond after its journalists were contacted by viewers who believed the video could be real. …….https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/19/bbc-denies-reporting-outbreak-nuclear-war/

April 20, 2018 Posted by | media, UK | Leave a comment

Helen Caldicott speaks frankly about the media, nuclear weapons, future prospects

 Interview A conversation with Helen Caldicott From the forthcoming issue (May 2018)Taylor and Francis online, 17 Apr 18
 “…………Helen Caldicott:

Yeah, though I think the election was about racism and the fact that CNN and Foxput Trump on for free for hours and hours and hours, because it sold a lot of Viagra and hemorrhoid cream. And they acknowledged that. They said he’s good for business.

There was one occasion when CNN and Fox were looking at an empty stage for about half an hour waiting for him to appear, and there’s Bernie Sanders with an audience of tens of thousands and they never paid any attention to that. Now that’s evil. The networks put Trump in. Not the Russians, whose role was minor in comparison – bad as it was.

Why don’t people write about that? It’s so obvious.

Dan Drollette:

Do you have any suggestions about what could be done …

Helen Caldicott:

Well the media should not be used just to sell stuff. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that the media itself has become a product, and no longer a public service. And the person who’s led this approach is Rupert Murdoch, of News Corporation [parent company of Fox News]. I keep wishing that he would shuffle off this mortal coil, but his mother lived to 101.

Dan Drollette:

Speaking of the media, Ira Helfand said that he feels that there is a strong prejudice in the media towards the idea that nuclear weapons are here to stay. In his words, there is a “dogma among some elements of the press” that even talking about eliminating nuclear weapons is unrealistic. And he said it’s a perception he’s always fighting. Do you think that that’s true?

Helen Caldicott:

I do. And more than that, I think that there’s an attitude that my nuclear stockpile has to be bigger than yours; I even wrote a book called Missile Envy, a la Freud. And

the generals in the Pentagon hated it, but they all had a copy on their book shelf.

And it really is very sexual: They talk about missile erectors, soft lay downs, deep penetration, hard lines and soft lines. And they talk about this like this in front of women, with no sense of embarrassment at all. The missiles are penile surrogates.

Some of the jokes in the movie Dr. Strangelove were not much of an exaggeration. After Dan Ellsberg saw it, he said it was like a documentary. It wasn’t fiction.

It would be hilarious except it’s scary as hell.

Dan Drollette:

Speaking of movies, you were 19 years old when you saw On the Beach. Considering that this is International Women’s month, do you have any suggestions you’d like to make to any 19-year-old women out there?

Helen Caldicott:

Yes, they should watch my film, If You Love This Planet(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FjgBBQFmGs). It is 30 minutes long, it was made by the Canadian Film Board, and it won an Oscar for short documentary. But it says everything that anyone needs to know. The haircuts are different because it was made about 30 years ago, but that film cracks people’s psychic numbing.

Dan Drollette:

So you want them to watch films like that, and become more aware of what the issues are?

Helen Caldicott:

If they want to survive they have to know what the story is. And then they have to use their democracy. They have to vote, and they have to run for Congress. And one thing that heartens me is that very many women at the moment are running for Congress. Because in 1978, I started what’s called the Women’s Party for Survival. Because I noticed that although 52 percent of us are women and we have the nurturing hormones, and we have no power. The organization has changed names a few times, but it encourages and helps women run for Congress. And it’s quite powerful.

Dan Drollette:

Okay. Just a couple more questions. What do you think are the prospects for the future? Do you think there’s a lot more nuclear saber-rattling lately? Are things getting worse?

Helen Caldicott:

Yes. And I don’t think … I’d never say this in public, but I don’t think we’re going to make it, Dan.

Dan Drollette:

Seriously?

Helen Caldicott:

My prognosis is grim.

Dan Drollette:

Seriously? I would like to put you on the record for this, if that’s okay.

Helen Caldicott:

(pause) Yeah, okay. That’s my prognosis as a physician, and as someone who really knows about the subject inside-out and back-to-front.

Dan Drollette:

I just want to repeat that. Your prognosis is that we’re not going to make it?

Helen Caldicott:

Yep.

Dan Drollette:

Wow.

Helen Caldicott:

Well, certainly from global warming, but I’m now talking about nuclear holocaust. And I don’t … In fact if you look at the record and the number of mistakes that have been made and errors, I actually don’t know how or why we are still here. Looking at it as a physician, collating all the data, etcetera, I don’t actually understand how we are still here.

Dan Drollette:

You’re thinking of all those mistakes? Flights of geese that were mistaken as incoming flights of B-52 bombers? The accidental dropping of bombs off Palomares in Spain and other places? The belligerent tweets and whatnot by people like Trump? That’s the kind of thing that you’re thinking about?

Helen Caldicott:

Yes. And there are so many other examples. I’ve put some of them in one of my books, The New Nuclear Danger: George Bush’s Military Industrial Complex. For example, in 1995, America launched a weather satellite from Norway. They had informed the Kremlin that this was going to happen but the Kremlin lost the data, because the Russians are pretty hopeless when you deal with them. So often they have interviewed me and then the camera didn’t work, so they had to do it again.

So, the Kremlin lost the data, they saw this missile go up, and they thought: “America’s launched a weapon from a Trident just off the coast.” And for the first time ever, the [Russian nuclear] football was opened.

Yeltsin was in charge – a hardened alcoholic – and he had three generals over his shoulder, he had three minutes to decide whether or not to launch, and the generals were advising him to launch. And at the last minute, about three seconds before it was going to hit, it veered off in another direction and they closed the football.

Now that is not the only situation. There have been many such situations, but they don’t really get reported. But this is what’s going on a lot. How is it that we’re still here? They only have seconds to decide.

Dan Drollette:

Is it a sudden burst of rationality at the last minute? Luck?

Helen Caldicott:

Luck. It’s pure, pure luck. Especially when you consider that America won’t rule out a first-strike policy: the idea that you can decapitate Moscow and take out all their nuclear missiles, so what the Russians saw on their radar was in line with an American attack.

And the Russians don’t want to lose a nuclear war, because they’ve got the same mentality. So they’ve got a system called the “Dead Hand” – essentially a system based in a deep underground bunker in the Ural Mountains that allows them to launch a missile that tells their other missiles to launch before the American missiles can land. In other words, it was an automatic system that would allow the Russians to strike back with nuclear weapons even if the Kremlin leadership was decapitated. One of the Russian who oversaw and designed the installation of the system later revealed it to the Western press.

Dan Drollette:

It sounds a lot like the plot-line of the imaginary “Doomsday Machine” in Dr. Strangelove.

Helen Caldicott:

Yeah, but this is for real. Let me send you information about it; I’ve got it somewhere here on my bookshelf. The author came to Australia, and he was such a lovely man. And I took him out to my daughter’s and he stayed there, and he just fell in love with Australia and the surfing beaches and the lifestyle.

[Editor’s note: Nearly a decade after the Dead Hand system was installed, Russian military specialist Col. Valery Yarynich shared details with Bruce Blair of the Brookings Institution; with Blair’s help, Yarynich published a book about it in 2003, titled C3: Nuclear Command, Control, Cooperation. When Yarynich was asked by a reporter why he chose to speak so openly and candidly to the West, Yarynich informed him that “it was utter stupidity to keep the Dead Hand secret; such a retaliatory system was useful as a deterrent only if your adversary knew about it.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/valery-varynich-the-man-who-told-of-the-soviets-doomsday-machine/2012/12/20/147f3644-4613-11e2-8061-253bccfc7532_story.html)]

Dan Drollette:

Okay, sounds good. Before we sign off, I do have to ask you: Do you ever get discouraged? And if so, how do you deal with it?

Helen Caldicott:

Well, I’m going to be 80 this year. And I was going to write one more book, called Why Men Kill and Why Women Let Them. But I think I won’t write it.

I actually personally have been a bit depressed, and I think it’s because when I look at the world and what is happening, it’s very, very, very grim. Trump is dismembering the infrastructure of America. There are terrible things happening around the world, and I just think we’re out of control.

Previously, I’d always felt that I should educate people and take action, and that I must practice global preventive medicine.

When I wrote If You Love This Planet back in 1991 – a book about global warming, toxic pollution, deforestation, overpopulation, the whole thing – I had a sort of notion that everyone would read it and they would stop global warming and everything. But, of course they didn’t… You have to get the majority of people to understand where things are, so that they can use their democracy to change things. But if you’ve got an uneducated population on everything, then our society really is sleepwalking on its way to Armageddon.

Though I do take heart from what happened in the ‘80s. Within five years, 80 percent of Americans were opposed to the notion of nuclear war. Now that was the second American revolution. It was peaceful, sagacious, and it was a revolution of thinking, it was really amazing. And it laid the groundwork for some amazing things; the movement helped lead Reagan meeting with Gorbachev. Two mere mortals met over a weekend, and they almost agreed to abolish nuclear weapons. So it’s not impossible.

Dan Drollette:

So hopefully we can get a reprise of the ‘80s kind of thing?

Helen Caldicott:

Well, hopefully you’ve got leaders who will lead, and who are inspirational, and who can corral this technical jargon down to lay language so that ordinary people can understand that their lives and the lives of their children are in great danger.

Dan Drollette:

Were there any last comments that you wanted to make before I sign off?

Helen Caldicott:

If you want me to be really frank, I sometimes feel that my life has been a failure. That we almost did get to a point to eliminate nuclear weapons, but it hasn’t happened. So, I want on my tombstone the words: “She tried.”

And while getting the number of nuclear weapons down from 70,000 to 15,000 is good, we have to go farther. And we can’t settle for half-measures, like getting the number down to 1,000 nuclear weapons – even 1,000 bombs dropping on 100 cities would cause nuclear winter and the end of our life on Earth. So, we need to get our data straight. One thousand bombs on 100 cities equals annihilation. Counting the numbers is just silly. It’s like saying: “How many metastases of a melanoma do you need before you die” sort of thing.

Dan Drollette:

We have to remove all of them?

Helen Caldicott:

If you have only one, you know it will metastasize again. The whole idea of keeping any sort of stockpile is just crazy. The whole thinking is so masculine – a “mine’s bigger than yours” sort of thing. It goes right back to that, still. And that’s why 52 percent of the population, which are women, will have to step into their power and stop being so pathetic. Stop being wimps.

So often, I’ll give a talk in America and people will crowd around, and a man will make a suggestion, and I’ll say, “You know that’s a great suggestion, you should run for Congress” and he’ll say “Yeah.” But when a similar situation happens with a woman, she literally takes two steps backwards and says “Who, me?”

And that’s the problem. We’ve got to be like a lioness, and protect her cubs. We’ve got to tap into that ferocity and that nurturing instinct.

We’re on the short course to annihilation, and we need to say to men: “Look, stand aside, you need your bottom smacked. We’re taking over.” https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/MBkXvHtz5QyAfikSM8Cv/full

    April 20, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media | 1 Comment

    URANIUM FILM FESTIVAL 2018 – THE FIRST FILMS SELECTED 

     http://uraniumfilmfestival.org/en/uranium-film-festival-2018-the-first-films-selected  

     ATOMIC HOMEFRONT(LINK IS EXTERNAL)

    USA, 2017, Director: Rebecca Cammisa, 100 min, Documentary,  English, Trailer https://www.atomichomefront.film(link is external)

    The City of St. Louis has a little known nuclear past as a uranium-processing center for the Atomic bomb. Government and corporate negligence led to the dumping of Manhattan Project uranium, thorium, and radium, thus contaminating North St. Louis suburbs, specifically in two communities: those nestled along Coldwater Creek – and in Bridgeton, Missouri adjacent to the West Lake-Bridgeton landfill. Another tragic and bizarre occurrence has been unfolding in Bridgeton, Missouri. In 1973, approximately 47,000 tons of the same legacy radioactive waste was moved from Latty Avenue and was illegally dumped into a neighborhood landfill named West Lake. This landfill became an EPA Superfund site in 1990. For the last seven years, an uncontrolled, subsurface fire has been moving towards an area where the radioactive waste was buried. Atomic Homefront is a case study of how citizens are confronting state and federal agencies for the truth about the extent of the contamination and are fighting to keep their families safe.

    HALF LIFE: THE STORY OF AMERICA’S LAST URANIUM MILL (LINK IS EXTERNAL)

    USA, 2016, Director: Justin Clifton, Documentary, 12 min, English

    In southeastern Utah, not far from many of America’s famed national parks, lies America’s last remaining uranium mill. After more than 36 years in operation, the leaders of the nearby Ute Mountain Ute Tribe’s White Mesa community worry that lax regulations and aging infrastructure are putting their water supply, and their way of life, at risk. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/161080821(link is external)

    NABIKEI(LINK IS EXTERNAL)

    India, 2017,  Director Shri Prakash, Documentary, English, 66 min

    The American Southwest—especially the sovereign Indigenous nations of Acoma, Laguna, and the Diné or Navajo Nation—has a long history of uranium mining. Once home to a booming economy and proudly called the Uranium Capital of the World, these Indian reservations and poor White communities are now littered with old mines, tailings dams, and other uranium contamination, which is the legacy of this deadly industry.  On the Navajo Nation alone, there are more than 500 abandoned uranium mine sites that need to be addressed. This film explores how colonialism, which came to the Southwest with Spanish conquest, has changed face in modern time, as it is played out in a new quest for mineral resources. Contaminated land, water, and air have left these poor communities helpless. Their  efforts to gain justice have failed. Indigenous and poverty-stricken communities who suffered the most are trapped and exploited, as new mining companies continue to disregard the health and environment of these people with the lure of a better economy, jobs and new In Situ Leach uranium mining methods. Unfortunately, this is the same sad story repeated in other parts of the world including India, but in India it is the government itself undertaking the enterprise and repeating the same degradation in Jadugoda (Jharkhand).

    SHRI PRAKASH is the first filmmaker from Jharkhand to bring a National Award in 2008 for his film ‘Buru Gara’ also his regional language fiction film ‘Baha’ received first international award for the state 2010. Using audio visual medium as a tool for social transformation and empowerment, National Award winner film maker, teaching film studies in St. Xavier’s College, Ranchi. https://www.facebook.com/Shriprakash23(link is external)

    TALE OF A TOXIC NATION(LINK IS EXTERNAL)

    USA, 2018, Director Louis Berry, Producer Louis Berry, Documentary, 12:30 min, English

    Tale of a Toxic Nation is the story of a nation rich in resources but weak in political influence. The Navajo Reservation has been left with over 500 abandoned uranium mines, toxic surroundings and an impossible clean up. The story has never been more relevant under an administration threatening to reinstate uranium mining in the area. https://vimeo.com/258337365(link is external)

    BOBBY BROWN HOMELANDS – LIVING WITH THE LEGACY OF BRITISH NUCLEAR TESTING(LINK IS EXTERNAL)

    Australia, 2015, Produced and Directed by Kim Mavromatis and Quenten Agius, MAV Media
    in Association with NITV (National Indigenous TV Australia). Documentary, 5 min, Australian English and Australian Aboriginal (Antikirrinya), English subtitles Trailer: https://vimeo.com/119231410(link is external)

    In the 1950’s and 1960’s the Australian government authorised British Nuclear testing at Emu Field and Maralinga in Outback South Australia. We journey with Antikirrinya Elder, Ingkama Bobby Brown to his homelands in outback South Australia where he explains the legacy of living with British Nuclear testing – how he witnessed the first tests on the Australian mainland at Emu Field (1953) and experienced the devastating affects of radioactive fallout on his family, people and country. This is the first time Bobby has spoken out about what he witnessed when he was a boy – what happened to his family and country and the people who went missing – during British Nuclear testing. British Nuclear testing was a breach of the King’s Letters Patent, the founding document that established the state of South Australia (1836), which granted Aboriginal people the legal right to occupy and enjoy their land for always. How could they occupy and enjoy their land when their land was being blown up and irradiated by nuclear fallout. www.kingsseal.cosm.au (link is external)

    KUANNERSUIT / KVANEFJELD(LINK IS EXTERNAL)

    UK, 2017, Directors Joshua Portway and Lise Autogena, Producer Lise Autogena, Documentary, 30 min, Danish and Greenlandic with English subtitles, Trailer:  https://vimeo.com/214697146(link is external)

    Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway’s film Kuannersuit / Kvanefjeld is a work in-progress, forming the first part of the artists’ long-term investigation into the conflicts facing the small, mostly indigenous, community of Narsaq in southern Greenland. Narsaq is located next to the pristine Kvanefjeld mountain;  site of one of the richest rare earth mineral resources deposits in the world, and one of the largest sources of uranium. Greenland is a former colony of Denmark, which is now recognised as an “autonomous administrative division” of Denmark, supported economically by the Danish state. Many people see exploitation of mineral deposits as the only viable route to full independence. For generations the farming near Kvanefjeld has been Greenland’s only agricultural industry. This way of life may soon be threatened, as Greenland considers an open pit mine proposed by Greenland Minerals and Energy, an Australian company. The mine would be the fifth-largest uranium mine and second-biggest rare earth extraction operation in the world. Autogena and Portway’s film portrays a community divided on the issue of uranium mining. It explores the difficult decisions and trade-offs faced by a culture seeking to escape a colonial past and define its own identity in a globalised world.

    More films soon!

    The Uranium Film Festival welcomes any support. Join us. 

     

    April 2, 2018 Posted by | media, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

    For social media it’s a watershed moment – the Cambridge Analytica Scandal

    Aral described Cambridge Analytica as “a nefarious actor with a very skewed understanding of what’s morally right and wrong.” He pointed out that there’s an important line to be drawn between the appropriate uses of technology “to produce social welfare” through platforms like Facebook, and the work that Cambridge Analytica did. “It would be a real shame if the outcome was to, in essence, throw the baby out with the bathwater and say that the only solution to this problem is to pull the plug on Facebook and all of these social technologies because you know there’s no way to tell the difference between a bad actor and a good actor.”

    All said, sophisticated data analytics “may also be used for generating a lot of good,” said Nave. “Personalized communication may help people to keep up with their long-term goals [such as] exercise or eating healthier, and get products that better match one’s needs. The technology by itself is not evil.”http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/fallout-cambridge-analytica/

    Why the Cambridge Analytica Scandal Is a Watershed Moment for Social Media, Wharton University of Pennsylvania, 24 March 18      (MIC LISTEN TO THE PODCAST  – on original)  Jennifer Golbeck from the Univeristy of Maryland and MIT’s Sinan Aral discuss the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

    Serious concerns have arisen in the past week over how social media firms guard the privacy of their users’ personal data, and how the analytics of such data can influence voter preferences and turnout. Those worries follow a whistleblower’s account to The Observer newspaper in the U.K. about how Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm with offices in London and New York City, had unauthorized access to more than 50 million Facebook profiles as it micro-targeted voters to benefit Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    In the fallout, Facebook faces its toughest test on privacy safeguards, and its founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has been summoned by MPs in the U.K.He faces similar calls from the U.S. Congress and from India, with revelations that Cambridge Analytica worked to influence the 2016 Brexit referendum and elections in India, Nigeria and other countries as well.

    U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller is already examining Cambridge Analytica’s ties with the Trump campaign as part of his probe into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Significantly, U.S. billionaire and conservative fundraiser Robert Mercer had helped found Cambridge Analytica with a $15 million investment, and he recruited former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, who has since left the firm. The firm initially sought to steer voters towards presidential candidate Ted Cruz, and after he dropped out of the race, it redirected its efforts to help the Trump campaign.

     In order to gain insights into the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Knowledge@Wharton spoke to Wharton marketing professors Ron Berman and Gideon NaveJennifer Golbeck, director of the social intelligence lab and professor of information studies at the University of Maryland; and Sinan Aral, management professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Golbeck and Aral shared their views on the Knowledge@Wharton show on SiriusXM channel 111. (Listen to the full podcast using the player at the top of this page.)

    “We’re experiencing a watershed moment with regard to social media,” said Aral. “People are now beginning to realize that social media is not just either a fun plaything or a nuisance. It can have potentially real consequences in society.”

    The Cambridge Analytica scandal underscores how little consumers know about the potential uses of their data, according to Berman. He recalled a scene in the film Minority Report where Tom Cruise enters a mall and sees holograms of personally targeted ads. “Online advertising today has reached about the same level of sophistication, in terms of targeting, and also some level of prediction,” he said. “It’s not only that the advertiser can tell what you bought in the past, but also what you may be looking to buy.” ……..

    Nave said the Cambridge Analytica scandal exposes exactly those types of risks, even as they existed before the internet era. “Propaganda is not a new invention, and neither is targeted messaging in marketing,” he said. “What this scandal demonstrates, however, is that our online behavior exposes a lot about our personality, fears and weaknesses – and that this information can be used for influencing our behavior.”

    In Golbeck’s research projects involving the use of algorithms, she found that people “are really shocked that we’re able to get these insights like what your personality traits are, what your political preferences are, how influenced you can be, and how much of that data we’re able to harvest.”

    ………….An Expanding Scandal

    Although Cambridge Analytica’s work in using data to influence elections has been controversial for at least three years, the enormity of its impact emerged last Saturday. The whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, who had worked with Cambridge Analytica, revealed to The Observer how the firm harvested profiles of some 50 million Facebook users. The same day, the New York Times detailed the role of Cambridge Analytica in the Trump campaign.

    Facebook had allowed Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan access to data for an innocuous personality quiz, but Kogan had passed it on without authorization to Cambridge Analytica. Wylie told The Observer: “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on.”

    Meanwhile, the U.K.’s Channel 4 News captured in a video sting the strategies Cambridge Analytica used in its work to “change audience behavior,”………

    Finding a Solution

    Golbeck called for ways to codify how researchers could ethically go about their work using social media data, “and give people some of those rights in a broader space that they don’t have now.” Aral expected the solution to emerge in the form of “a middle ground where we learn to use these technologies ethically in order to enhance our society, our access to information, our ability to cooperate and coordinate with one another, and our ability to spread positive social change in the world.” At the same time, he advocated tightening use requirements for the data, and bringing back “the notion of informed consent and consent in a meaningful way, so that we can realize the promise of social media while avoiding the peril.”

    Regulation, such as limiting the data about people that could be stored, could help prevent “mass persuasion” that could lead them to take action against their own best interests, said Nave. “Many times, it is difficult to define what one’s ‘best interest’ is – ……

    Legitimate Uses of Data

    Golbeck worries that in trying to deal with the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook might restrict the data it makes available to researchers. “You don’t want this big piece of how society operates just blocked off, accessible only to Facebook and basically the people who are going to help them make money,” she said. “You want academic researchers to be able to study this.” But balancing that with the potential for some academic researchers to misuse it to make money or gain power is a challenge, she added

    Aral described Cambridge Analytica as “a nefarious actor with a very skewed understanding of what’s morally right and wrong.” He pointed out that there’s an important line to be drawn between the appropriate uses of technology “to produce social welfare” through platforms like Facebook, and the work that Cambridge Analytica did. “It would be a real shame if the outcome was to, in essence, throw the baby out with the bathwater and say that the only solution to this problem is to pull the plug on Facebook and all of these social technologies because you know there’s no way to tell the difference between a bad actor and a good actor.”

    All said, sophisticated data analytics “may also be used for generating a lot of good,” said Nave. “Personalized communication may help people to keep up with their long-term goals [such as] exercise or eating healthier, and get products that better match one’s needs. The technology by itself is not  evil.”http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/fallout-cambridge-analytica/

    March 23, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media | Leave a comment

    The power of the people – Safecast gets the facts on Fukushima radiation

    Safecast operates using measurements captured by volunteers. Data is verified and validated when two randomly selected people take the same measurement of the same place. Safecast’s reliable system means local people could count on its data and stay informed. Around 3,000 Safecast devices are deployed worldwide, and 100 to 150 volunteers regularly contribute their time and effort to the project.

    As Safecast’s power and influence in society — both inside and outside of Japan — expanded, so did its technologies.

    “We are a pro-data group, we are not an activist group,”

    Radiation monitoring group formed during Fukushima nuclear disaster now a source of global data https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/03/09/national/radiation-monitoring-group-formed-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-now-source-global-data/#.WqLraB1ubGg  BY NAOMI SCHANEN STAFF WRITER 

    Back in 2011, soon after the 3/11 disaster, Safecast was born. Today, the global volunteer-centered citizen science organization is home to the world’s largest open data set of radiation measurements.

    Safecast was a response to the lack of publicly available, accurate and trustworthy radiation information. The group initially set out to collect radiation measurements from many sources and put them on a single website. What the volunteers quickly realized was that there was simply not enough official data available.

    Soon after the disaster, members attached a homemade Geiger counter to the side of their car and drove around Fukushima taking measurements. They quickly noticed that radiation levels were radically different even between streets, and that the government-issued city averages were far from sufficient as data that could be used by citizens to determine the safety of their areas.

    Within weeks the group’s members decided to build their own Geiger counters and collect the data themselves. They picked the name Safecast the following month.

    For months after the nuclear disaster began, the government released only very limited information about the spread of radiation. The first informative map of radiation levels in Fukushima, based on aerial surveys, was not available until May 2011. The first map with an adequate level of detail to show contamination in the Tokyo metropolitan area, including infamous “hot spots” in cities such as Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, was not released until October that year. As confusion spread and triggered panic among citizens, Safecast was determined to commit itself to one thing: openness. “What Safecast proves is that all the preparation in the world — all the money in the world — still fails if you don’t have a rapid, agile, resilient system,” explains Joi Ito, Safecast co-founder and director of MIT Media Lab, on Safecast’s website.

    In 2012, Safecast began working with municipal governments in Fukushima to put Geiger counters on postal delivery cars and collect data. As international attention on the group’s activities grew, Safecast was invited to present its findings at an expert meeting at the International Atomic Energy Agency in February 2014.

    Safecast operates using measurements captured by volunteers. Data is verified and validated when two randomly selected people take the same measurement of the same place. Safecast’s reliable system means local people could count on its data and stay informed. Around 3,000 Safecast devices are deployed worldwide, and 100 to 150 volunteers regularly contribute their time and effort to the project. “How do you make a trustworthy system where the people don’t have to trust each other?” Azby Brown, Safecast’s lead researcher, asked during a recent interview at its Shibuya office.

    As Safecast’s power and influence in society — both inside and outside of Japan — expanded, so did its technologies. The group’s first mobile device, named “bGeigie” with b standing for bento (boxed lunch), was built and deployed in April 2011. The first of these needed to be tethered to a laptop for data collection. But the group soon developed all-in-one devices. They were gradually shrunk, and the “bGeigie Nano” sold as a kit is now the organization’s main machine. It’s compact and able to accumulate all of the data it captures onto a memory card.

    In December, Safecast members were given a special tour of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings’ gutted Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The operator allowed them, for the first time ever, to bring their sensors on site and openly measure radiation there during the hourlong tour, with the clear understanding that they would publish the data and radiation maps openly online. “We consider it an important step towards transparency on Tepco’s part,” Brown said in an email. Then in January, Safecast managed to install a “Solarcast Nano,” a solar-powered real-time radiation monitor, on the fence of an abandoned facility for the elderly about 2 km from Fukushima No. 1. It is the closest independent real-time data-collection point to the crippled plant. Over the years, the group has collected over 90 million data points worldwide. Each data point comes with a string of data containing the time, GPS coordinates and a radiation measurement.

    It’s been seven years since the devastating earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent meltdown of the nuclear power plant, so why is Safecast’s work still relevant today?

    “We are a pro-data group, we are not an activist group,” said Pieter Franken, another Safecast founding member. Safecast is constantly supplying local people with up-to-date information on radiation conditions, allowing them to make crucial decisions such as where and when evacuees can move back. Many locals are also volunteers, motivated by their emotional attachment to the area and determined to do their part in rebuilding their hometown, the group said.

    While most of Safecast’s volunteers in Japan are Japanese who wanted to help out as much and as quickly as they could with the skills that were available, the unique composition of the group’s core members — many of whom are non-Japanese and hailing from diverse academic and professional backgrounds — has given the group the advantage of an outside perspective, and an agility that locals lacked. Franken is a computer scientist who has worked in the financial industry for over 25 years, while another founding member, Sean Bonner, has worked in community activism and is currently an associate professor of media and governance at Keio University. And Brown, who is a senior adviser at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology and also teaches at other Japanese universities, is a design and architecture expert. “A true Japanese company would have spent two years making the perfect Geiger counter before they would have released anything,” said Franken. “You need a little bit of extra impulse,” he added. “I think that is where, if you look at the composition of this group, some of us were in a unique position because of our ability to work in Japan, but also work with people outside to provide that spark to go and do it.”

    In fact, as Brown explained, they have the ability to work as foreigners in Japan — without facing the social consequences of speaking out, criticizing or breaking rules that have prevented many Japanese and local firms from being able to help out as much as they wanted to. At the same time, most key members of Safecast are long-term residents of Japan and their desire to help amid the disaster was deeply rooted. “Not one of us flew away or would even think of abandoning our home just because there is a disaster. We live in Japan; this is our home,” said Joe Moross, a Safecast engineer and expert on radiation and environmental sensors.

    Unfortunately, the environmental effects of the nuclear disaster will persist for decades. Brown believes that because cesium is known to migrate slowly into the soil, there is a possibility that some plants and trees will show higher levels of radioactivity in five to 10 years as the cesium reaches their roots.”We have to keep the pressure up and the only way to do this is to consistently keep on going, even if there is no disaster,” explained Franken. Holding workshops for high school and college students both in Japan and around the world, Safecast is continuing to expand its dominance in the field of independent radiation monitoring. Franken explained that by hosting these events, Safecast hopes to increase its volunteers and people’s awareness about the nuclear issues at hand.

    “It’s been an amazing experience to be able to create something positive out of something so negative,” Franken said.

    There’s no slowing down for Safecast. “Globally, we still have a lot to fill in,” said Bonner, noting there are still many places that have no or little data, such as Russia and China. “(At the) beginning of last year we started to measure air quality as well, so that’s another effort that we’re starting to reach out to. Between those two things, that’s a significant amount of stuff.

    “We haven’t finished what we started,” he said. “We can’t even begin to think of what’s the next thing. We still have a lot of work to do that we’re still deeply engaged in doing.”

    March 10, 2018 Posted by | investigative journalism, Japan, radiation, safety | Leave a comment

    Residents of Russia’s Yaroslavl region got a “false’ radiation alert scare

    ‘False’ Radiation Alert Causes Scare In Russia https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-yaroslavl-radiation-scare/29037176.html  Residents of Russia’s Yaroslavl region got a scare when local TV and radio stations broadcast a radiation warning, but the Emergency Situations Ministry said the broadcast was a mistake.

    The prerecorded warning, which aired at about 9 a.m., alerted residents to what it said were high levels of radiation in the atmosphere in the region 250 kilometers northeast of Moscow.

    It advised people to protect themselves, tightly close their homes or offices and stay inside, and secure food and water from possible contamination by radiation.

    In a statement, the regional branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry said that a technical glitch caused the “false” warning to be broadcast. It urged residents to “remain calm” and said radiation levels were “within the norm.”

    In a short video statement, the senior regional emergency official, Yevgeny Shumilin, said the authorities were investigating what caused the message to be broadcast.

    February 14, 2018 Posted by | media, Russia | Leave a comment

    As Facebook fiddles with its publishing methods, visibility of free news posts might be threatened

    The testing of a new Facebook news feed worries news sites and businesses http://www.lefigaro.fr/secteur/high-tech/2017/10/24/32001-20171024ARTFIG00214-le-test-d-un-nouveau-fil-d-actualite-facebook-inquiete-sites-d-information-et-entreprises.php, By Elsa Trujillo  24/10/2017

    Facebook is testing in six countries the separation into two separate threads of friends’ posts and advertisements on the one hand and media, association or business posts on the other. Consequence: the free visibility of the pages is in danger.

    Facebook is currently testing a feature that can be highly detrimental to content creators online. The company is experimenting in six countries (Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala and Cambodia) a new formula in which it divides its newsfeed in two. On the one hand, your friends’ posts, advertisements and sponsored posts. On the other hand, posts sent by news sites, business pages, associations and native content such as non-sponsored videos for example.posts, advertisements and sponsored posts. On the other hand, posts sent by news sites, business pages, associations and native content such as non-sponsored videos for example.

    In Slovakia, the change quickly translated into a significant drop in the country’s media interactions, according to Filip Struharik, a Slovak journalist who first spotted this test. Less exposed to these contents, Facebook users were in fact less inclined to share them

    “The reach of several Facebook pages dropped between Thursday and Friday last two-thirds from previous days,” he says. According to him, the Facebook pages of the sixty main Slovakian media have generated four times fewer interactions since the beginning of the test. The analyst firm Crowdtangle, acquired by Facebook in November 2016, has similar results in Cambodia and Guatemala.

    Network dependence The deployment of such a feature worldwide threatens both small sites and large news sites, which have become partially dependent on social networks for their traffic. In France, some media even bet on a diffusion exclusively based on social networks.
    For example, Brut, Explicite or Minute Buzz online media. The change would also cause Pages publishers to pay for advertising in order to reach their audience. The organic reach of their content, namely reaching readers without paying distribution, would be considerably reduced.

    Aware of the intense emotion provoked in the media and community managers by the discovery of this test, Facebook said Tuesday evening in a statement: “The purpose of this test is to understand if users prefer to have two separate spaces for personal publications and public posts. People tell us that they want easier access to the publications of their friends and family, “says Adam Mosseri, head of Facebook’s news feed.

    “We do not currently plan to extend this test to other countries or ask pages to pay Facebook to appear in the newsfeed,” says the social network. He added that he will take into account the results of the tests in the six countries, to understand if it is an “idea that deserves to be continued”.For several months, Facebook has been trying to renew its news feed and get rid of filter bubbles, this algorithmic straitjacket that only offers users of its network content recommended according to their tastes. In early August, the network tested the introduction of political content in the news feed. The company intends to put forward publications, images and videos of politicians to allow users to see messages on a political edge different from theirs. Since the US presidential election, the social network is struggling with the problem of “fake news”, or false information, which are shared on its pages and can influence voters.

    January 19, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media | Leave a comment

    Time for new movies to raise awareness of nuclear bombing

    Millennials need new movies about nuclear war, a ninth-grader says, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 8 JANUARY 2018 Cassandra Williams Movies hold the power to teach and to persuade. Today, there is one subject that appears to be largely absent from popular movies: nuclear war. Nuclear war movies were huge in Hollywood from the 1960s to the 1980s. Today, however, they are rare.

    Nuclear war is, and will be, a threat for as long as nuclear weapons exist. Everyone needs to understand this threat, especially millennials. They are the future, after all. But many millennials are too young to have seen the eye-opening movies of an earlier era, which revealed what would happen in the event of a nuclear war. These movies include On the Beach from 1959, Testament from 1983, and many more.

    The movie that really had people talking was the 1983 film The Day After. This movie affected many people, including President Ronald Reagan. In his diary, he wrote about the sorrow the movie left him feeling. While the movie got mixed reviews, there is no denying that it made millions of people think more deeply about the possibility that nuclear war could occur. Because nuclear war movies are outdated, they don’t hold the attention of millennials today; we need new movies to warn of the nuclear war threat………

    The movie [The Day After] left me completely stunned. (The 1984 British film Threads, which follows a similar narrative, is reportedly even more unsettling.) I had learned about the power of nuclear weapons, but never had I seen just how devastating nuclear war could be. You can read about it, and you can hear about it, but actually seeing it is a different story. To see thousands of people vaporized in less than a second, buildings toppling on people faster than they can react, and everyone slowly dying of cancer is as eye-opening as it gets.

    The words that filled the screen at the end of the film made it even more disturbing: “The catastrophic events you have just witnessed are, in all likelihood, less severe than the destruction that would actually occur in the event of a full nuclear strike against the United States. It is hoped that the images of this film will inspire the nations of the earth, their peoples and leaders, to find the means to avert that fateful day.” Based on the tense relations in the world today, and the unpredictable behavior of North Korea and our current US president, I fear this fateful day may be closer than we think……

    Modern movies. Why don’t Americans see these kinds of movies anymore? Nuclear weapons still exist. World relationships are still tense. President Donald Trump tends to make some questionable and reactionary decisions based on emotion, as does North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Because these leaders are unpredictable, the public needs something to make us think about how devastating a nuclear war would be. We need something that will affect people as much as The Day After……… https://thebulletin.org/millennials-need-new-movies-about-nuclear-war-ninth-grader-says11416

    January 10, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media | Leave a comment