414 million plastic pieces found on Indian islands
Melbourne: An estimated 414 million pieces of plastic — including nearly one million shoes and 370,000 toothbrushes — have been found washed ashore on the beaches of remote Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean, according to a study.
The survey of plastic pollution, published in the journal Scientific Reports, estimated that the beaches on the islands are littered with 238 tonnes of plastic.
Remote islands which do not have large human populations depositing rubbish nearby are an indicator of the amount of plastic debris circulating in the world’s oceans, said Jennifer Lavers from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania in Australia. “Islands such as these are like canaries in a coal mine and it’s increasingly urgent that we act on the warnings they are giving us,” Lavers said.
Plastic pollution is now ubiquitous in our oceans, and remote islands are an ideal place to get an objective view of the volume of plastic debris now circling the globe, researchers said. Plastic pollution is a well-documented threat to wildlife and its potential impact on humans is a growing area of medical research.
Visas of 90 Pakistan brides are withheld by China
Islamabad: Amidst a raging controversy over Pakistani girls being trafficked to China after fake marriages, the Chinese embassy here has withheld visas of 90 Pakistani brides. China’s Deputy Chief of Mission in Pakistan Lijian Zhao said 140 applications have been received this year from Chinese nationals, seeking visas for their Pak brides.
Only 50 visas were granted, while the remaining requests were withheld, he said, adding that the embassy had received 142 such applications in 2018, The Express Tribune reported. Pakistan Govt has ordered the Federal Investigating Agency (FIA) to take action against the gangs involved in smuggling of Pakistani girls to China on the pretext of contracting marriage.
According to the local media reports, poor Christian girls, are lured, with money and promises of ‘good life’, by the illegal matchmaking centres to marry Chinese men who are either visiting or working in Pakistan. These centres produce fake documents of Chinese men showing them either as Christians or Muslims. Most of the girls became victims of human trafficking and are forced into prostitution.
FDA urged to crack down on European firms shipping abortion pills to US from India
Washington: A bipartisan group of 117 lawmakers has urged the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to crack down on companies, primarily based in Europe, that ship chemical abortion drugs from India to the US.
These European companies, like Aid Access, are circumventing the FDA’s safety requirements and placing the lives of women and their children at risk, the lawmakers said in a letter to Norman Sharpless, the Acting FDA Commissioner.
In the letter dated May 10, the bipartisan group of Congressmen urged Sharpless to crack down on Aid Access and Rablon, two foreign companies known to distribute Mifeprex, a chemical abortion drug, by mail-order to US customers in violation of the FDA’s safety protocols.
Claude Monet’s Haystack painting fetches USD 110.7 million at auction
New York: A Claude Monet painting from his celebrated “Meules” (Haystacks) series fetched USD 110.7 million in New York on Tuesday in an auction record for the French Impressionist master.
The sale at Sotheby’s — the first time the work had come to auction since 1986 — fetched one of the 10 highest prices ever seen at auction. The total, which includes fees and the commission, was more than 44 times the previous record for the work.
It was the first time an Impressionist painting fetched more than $100 million. Monet painted his 25 “Meules” compositions during the winter of 1890-1891 at his home in Giverny, in France’s Normandy region. In each piece, Monet showed the light and surroundings of the same scene as they changed at different times of day, with the varying seasons and during various types of weather.
Cracks appear in German government over planned climate law
Berlin: Germany’s environment minister on Monday backed a European proposal to virtually eliminate man-made greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, deepening divisions within the German government over how to tackle climate change.
French President Macron and eight either EU countries pitched the plan at a summit of European leaders last week, but Germany was a notable holdout.
“I don’t think this decision is final,” said Environment Minister Svenja Schulze of the center-left Social Democrats, the junior partners in Merkel’s government. “I think we should talk about it again. Because I think it’s very sensible to stand alongside France and work to say at the EU-level that we want to implement Paris.”
Indigenous Australians take government to UN over climate change
Sydney: Indigenous residents of low-lying islands off northern Australia will submit a landmark complaint with the United Nations on Monday accusing the government of violating their human rights by failing to tackle climate change.
The lawyers, from the non-profit ClientEarth, said the case was the first of its kind to be lodged with the UN equating government inaction on climate change to a human rights violation.
In their complaint, the islanders ask the UN to find that international human rights law requires Australia to reduce its emissions to at least 65 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The country should become carbon neutral by 2050, phasing out its use and export of coal completely, they say.
San Francisco may ban police, city’s use of facial recognition
San Francisco: San Francisco is on track to become the first US city to ban the use of facial recognition by police and other city agencies, reflecting a growing backlash against a technology that’s creeping into airports, motor vehicle departments, stores, stadiums and home security cameras. Government agencies around the US have used the technology for more than a decade to scan databases for suspects and prevent identity fraud.
But recent advances in artificial intelligence have created more sophisticated computer vision tools, making it easier for police to pinpoint a missing child or protester in a moving crowd or for retailers to analyse a shopper’s facial expressions as they peruse store shelves. Microsoft, while opposed to an outright ban, has urged lawmakers to set limits on the technology, warning that leaving it unchecked could enable an oppressive dystopia reminiscent of George Orwell’s novel “1984.”
“Face recognition is one of those technologies that people get how creepy it is,” said Alvaro Bedoya, who directs Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy and Technology. “It’s not like cookies on a browser. There’s something about this technology that really sets the hairs on the back of people’s heads up.”
They worry people will one day not be able to go to a park, store or school without being identified and tracked. Already, a handful of big box stores across the US are trying out cameras with facial recognition that can guess their customers’ age, gender or mood as they walk by, with the goal of showing them targeted, real-time ads on in-store video screens.
Tomb below UK supermarket
London: A royal burial site found between a pub and a supermarket has been hailed as the UK’s equivalent to Egypt’s famous Tutankhamun tomb, said archaeologists. The archaeologists revealed the results of years of research into the burial site of a rich, powerful Anglo-Saxon man found at Prittlewell in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, the Guardian reported. When it was first discovered in 2003, jaws dropped at how intact the chamber was. But it is only now, after years of painstaking investigation by more than 40 specialists, that a fuller picture of the extraordinary nature of the find was emerging.
Sophie Jackson, director of research at Museum of London Archaeology (Mola), said it could be seen as a British equivalent to Tutankhamun’s tomb, although different in a number of ways. “It was essentially a sandpit with stains,” she said. “It was one of the most significant archaeological discoveries we’ve made in this country in the last 50 to 60 years.” The remains of the timber structure, which would have measured about 13ft square and 5ft deep, housed some 40 rare and precious artefacts, the BBC reported. Among them was a lyre – an ancient harp – and a 1,400-year-old box thought to be the only surviving example of painted Anglo-Saxon woodwork in Britain.
Sri Lanka: The responsible terrorist organization of the Easter Blast has 140 million caches, 7 billion properties
Half of the total cash is in the custody of the CID and the rest have been deposited in bank accounts. CID has started the process of suspending these bank accounts.
Layer rate layers are being revealed after the attacks on Easter in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan police said on Monday that the terrorist organization, which was behind the attacks by the National Tauhid Jamaat, has recovered more than 140 crores cash and more than 7 billion worth of assets. Let's say the link from the Islamic organization (ISIS) of this terrorist organization has come up.
Sri Lankan Police spokesman SP Suon Gunasekera said that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has gathered this information. He said that half of the total cash is in CID's custody. The rest were deposited in some bank accounts. CID has started the process of suspending these bank accounts.
Ruwan said that 73 suspects have been arrested so far in the April 21 attacks that killed 250 people. They are interrogating the CID as well as the Central Investigative Investigation Department (TID). He said that 54 suspected CIDs including 7 women are in the custody. At the same time, 19 people, including 2 women, are in the custody of TID.
Why are these girls stunned to leave Nepal?
The year 2015 earthquake was very painful for Nepal. Many people's life changed forever. It had a very bad effect on the lives of the girls living in Nepal.
Since the year 2015, smuggling of girls from Nepal has suddenly increased and social media has made the smugglers work very easy. Journalist Wiki Sprut arrived in Nepal to inquire about this issue
The laughing around the building and the sound of the songs resonates. Gradually the traffic sounds are also included in it.
In the orange color, the walls of this building and turquoise, pink colored scarves are being seen as an attempt to improve the mental state of the women living here.
Located in Kathmandu, this building is like a safe house for the women brought out of the clutches of the body trade. Here these women are being supported to move forward in their life.
I have come here to meet the 35 year old moonlight.
About a year back, a stranger sent a request to him on Facebook. Chandni accepted this friend request. Shortly after this, both of the people started talking to each other in the Private Message box. This stranger was an agent of gangs smuggling women.
While waiting for the moonlight, I look outside the window, then rain drops in yellowish dust appear to fall on the road.
The Himalaya Mountains crossed the northern tip of Nepal, are hidden in smoke and haze.
Looking back at the Himalaya lost in the mist, my voice comes from Sujata's translator.
She says, "This city is being rebuilt once again."
After the earthquake of 2015, the city of Kathmandu was devastated. It seems that natural calamities proved to be worthwhile for the industry that stood for buildings and also for smugglers of women.
Even before the earthquake, the body trade in Kathmandu was booming, which is no less than a slave practice in today's era. After the earthquake, making money for the people who were separated from their families became a necessity.
According to the Indian Border Force, the number of women who have been trafficked after earthquake has increased by 500 percent.
Charimaya Tamang, who runs this safe house, tells me that in 1990 she had to be a victim of smuggling.
They were kidnapped after giving intoxicants, after which they were brought to a brothel in India.
Tamarang explains that the new technology has made a new life in this business.
Tamang says, "Social media has helped a lot of agents, now they do not have to go to the villages in search of girls, they can find their potential victim on the internet and send them their message with one click."
We were talking about that when the door opens then the moonlight embraces me.
Chandni tells that his story also started with such a friend request.
She says, "There was a person on Facebook who talked to my sister, he also added me as a friend and we started talking, after that he told me that I could get a very good salary in Iraq. He and I never met him, but one day he sent me some passport and a visa. "
Chandni's family lost their house in the earthquake. When the smugglers started negotiating with him, he was living in a temporary camp at that time.
This agent was talking to Chandni's sister for a long time and was also trying to prepare both.
After the earthquake, he got a chance when he succeeded in his mission.
After sending the passport, the agent told Chandni that his job was ready and one person was ready to keep him as the guardian of the house in Iraq.
After this, he sent a person to call Chandni to Delhi. This agent called this person his brother.
Instead of catching Iraq's flight when he returned to Delhi, Chandni was kept in a hotel room for 18 weeks with 18 other women.
While listening to moonlight, when I try to get some insight into it, the moonlight starts looking at the other side.
Sprinkled tears are clearly visible in his eyes. I asked him what thoughts were coming in his mind when he was locked in that room.
Listening to these questions, Moonlight says to her, "I knew that I was being sold."
Chandni, like all other Nepali girls, grew up listening to stories that shook the body trade.
It is advisable to avoid getting older children in all circumstances.
This is a danger which these girls want to raise consciously because it gives them the opportunity to change the fate of their family and their family.
It is not a strange thing to leave your country in search of work in Nepal. But girls may be risky to leave their home and go in search of work.
It is so dangerous that a disputed law says that women under 30 can not go out without the permission of their husbands or family members.
Like the moonlight, many other young women have been troubled by the lack of opportunities before a great opportunity comes.
She says, "Everybody in my family works on the farm, it is difficult and I do not like it, that work can not earn even more money."
She does not want to marry now.
Laughing Chandni says, "According to me, the status of married women is also not good because I have seen many men scurrying."
My translator Sujata also seems to be smiling while making the words of Chandni say worthy of me.
My eyes are wet with tears but seeing both laughing, I too smile.
Chandni says that she does not like the idea that there is a need for a man to move forward in life.
Before leaving this safe house, Moonlight says that she will go abroad and try to get her job ...