Monthly Archives: April 2022

Global Tech Stories (April 26, 2022)

Here’s what’s going on in the world of technology for this Tuesday.

Researchers in Israel have developed a new 3-D printing process that can restore and preserve coral reefs. The process can apply to a diverse array of coral types and environments and at large scale while attracting reef species and marine life.

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A new way to prevent unintended pregnancies could be a few years away. Researchers in China are working on a reversible non-hormonal contraceptive for men. While still in testing, this method is reversible with ultrasound and worked in experiments with mice.

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Despite being 100% recyclable without a quality loss, glass is one of the least recycled materials. Scientists at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore created a way to replace sand in concrete with glass waste that can lead to more environmentally sustainable building materials.

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An integrated reversible gas-to-electricity system has been developed by researchers from Stanford University and at the University of Mannheim, which can convert hydrogen to electricity and back depending on power needs. These fuel cells can scale with any grid and make a new way to store and utilize green energy affordably.

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Researchers in the United States are working on developing a nickel-based catalyst that only requires light. This will pave the way for catalysts that do not need scarce precious metals like Palladium.

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Filed under Climate Change, Economics, Medicine, News, Technology and Proto Types

Global Tech Stories (April 12, 2022)

Here’s what’s going on in the world of technology for this Tuesday.

Long distance quantum communications is difficult due to information losses over distance. If there were a way to limit the information loss, one could have a communication system that is nearly impossible to compromise by third parties. Scientists in Australia discovered a way to limit the information loss.

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Microfluidic channels can now be 3-D printed, at least in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Such channels are vital to microfluidic devices and biomedical research on the property of specific compounds and drug testing and the development of new treatments.

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An international research team developed a new way to heal bone fractures using bioprinting paired with gene therapy. While tested on rats, the healing rate was several times greater than by natural healing, with four times greater bone tissue creation and almost four times greater bone coverage.

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Miniature pulse power systems maybe the future of energy storage. Researchers at the University of Houston are studying how to create a miniaturized pulse power system that is a one-tenth of the size of the conventional devices.

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Microbiologists are using bacteria to convert methane into electricity. Methane is 25 times more potent than carbon as a greenhouse gas and often introduced to the atmosphere from agriculture and fossil fuel-based energy use.

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Researchers are developing a renewable alternative to increasingly expensive inorganic phosphates. This will improve fertilizers and agricultural practices.

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Filed under Agriculture, Climate Change, Medicine, Technology and Proto Types

Global Affairs Weekly Stories (Week of April 10, 2022)

Here’s what’s going on in the world for the week of April 10, 2022.

Global News

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the war in Ukraine has caused global grain prices to rise by 17.1 percent. Russia and Ukraine account for a large portion of global grain and corn exports.

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The latest COVID variant, BA.2, and what we know about it.

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Methane, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, has been steadily growing in the atmosphere. This is a major threat in the fight against climate change.

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The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports 18 countries have reduced their emissions and kept growing their economies. The model they followed could be exported to other nations.

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Americas

In the United States of America, some of the hardest places to raise children and start families are also passing some of the strictest anti-abortion laws.

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The government of Guyana struck a deal with ExxonMobil for the Yellowtail project. While the company has about 2 billion dollars set aside for unexpected problems like an oil spill, environmental activist are still concerned about the projects’ potential damage to the ecosystem.

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There may be only eight Vaquita porpoises left in Mexico due to governmental officials not enforcing protections for the critically endangered species. Poachers and illegal fishers leave nets in the vaquita’s habitat that snare the porpoises and drown them.

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Africa

South Sudan is facing hunger for 2/3 of the population, resulting from climate change and ongoing conflicts.

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Spain’s attempt to boost ties with Morocco may hurt both the Spanish government and Algerian relations.

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Gambians are voting for a new National Assembly on Sunday. The economy will be one of the main issues facing the government, along with tensions with Senegal.

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Europe

Moscow targets Polish tensions with Ukraine for disinformation and propaganda. While both suffered under Soviet era rule, Russian propaganda aims at historical tensions and stoking anti-refugee sentiment.

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Oleg Orlov, Russian human rights activist and critic of Vladimir Putin, has been arrested again. Member of the banned human rights organization Memorial, Orlov was protesting the Russian invasion and war in Ukraine.

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Explainer: Why the French election matters outside of France.

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Middle East

Cities around Iran experienced high levels of air pollution on Friday, with Tehran being the most polluted city in the world in air quality. This follows a year in which only two days had clean air quality.

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Rashad al-Alimi, the head of Yemen’s new presidential council, announced plans on ending the war in Yemen via a peace process.

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Lebanon is one step closer to a 3-billion-dollar deal for financial aid deal with the International Monetary Fund.

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Saudi Arabia will allow 1 million pilgrims for the Hajj this year, provided they’re vaccinated and under 65 years old. While higher than last year, the average pre pandemic was 2.5 million pilgrims.

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Asia

The government of Sri Lanka is facing mounting calls for the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Lack of food, fuel, the country’s debt and a lack of progress in the investigation of terrorist attacks are major sources of anger.

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Explainer: The people behind the fall of former prime minister Imran Khan.

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Armenia and Azerbaijan are preparing to hold another peace conference to resolve the conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

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Imran Khan’s fall explained.

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Japan and the Philippines are discussing a possible defense agreement.

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The current president of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, denied rumors of his administration trying to delay the elections in 2024.

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Global Tech Stories (April 5, 2022)

Here’s what’s going on in the world of technology for this Tuesday.

A fungal spray that can fight soil degradation and air pollution has been developed in India.

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Zyxel, a hardware company, has released a patch for the CVE-2022-0342 flaw. The flaw affected VPNs and Firewalls due to an authentication bypass vulnerability in the common gateway interface of a device.

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Twitter and Elon Musk reached a deal to allow Musk onto the board but limited to 14.9% common stock. This deal would prevent a buyout of the company’s stock.

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Darknet site Hydra, the largest cybercrime forum globally, has been shut down by German authorities.

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According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there are five things we can do to fight climate change effectively with current technology and tools.

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Deeper dive on the IPCC report.

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Filed under Agriculture, Climate Change, Cybersecurity, News, Technology and Proto Types, Water

Global Affairs Weekly Stories (Week of April 3, 2022)

Here’s what’s going on in the world for the week of April 3, 2022.

Global News

U.S. Federal Reserve is mulling another interest rate bump after positive news on job growth. The federal interest rate affects global financial assets denominated in the U.S. dollar, such as treasury bonds or debts denominated in dollars.

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The United Nations is appointing a 16-member panel to investigate climate change projects and efforts by private sector actors to determine their effectiveness and how to improve corporate efforts to fight climate change. The announcement comes after environmental groups accuse some large corporations of ‘greenwashing’- when a climate damaging activity is rebranded as fighting climate change.

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The Middle East and North Africa are experiencing more frequent and damaging climate disasters and higher temperatures than anywhere else in the world.

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Only 2 million Bitcoin left untapped globally.

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Americas

Amazon workers in Staten Island, New York, now have a unionized warehouse after successfully voting for one. This comes after more than 25 years of Amazon preventing unionization company-wide and may inspire other Amazon warehouses.

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Workers for Brazil’s central bank have voted on an indefinite strike starting April 1, while the president of the central bank, Roberto Campos Neto, vacations in Miami. This threatens the Pix payment system that 67% of Brazil’s adult population use.

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The Biden Administration may end Title 42 by May 23, though this has not been finalized. The administration is seeking to address “root causes” for migration in a shift in immigration policy.

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Africa

The duct fiber foundations of a smart city are being laid out in Lagos. Another smart city project, the Eko Atlantic, also in Lagos, held a ground breaking ceremony for a new U.S. consulate.

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Aid is reaching Tigrayans for the first time since December 15, 2021 after a truce was called last week. More then 90% of the Tigrayan population need food after the 16-month long civil war between the Ethiopian government and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front left the thousands dead and brought hundreds of thousands to starvation since November.

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The United Nations voted unanimously to endorse an African Union force fighting armed groups like al-Shabab and Daesh. The new force will transition responsibility for Somalia’s domestic security to the Somali transitional government over time as the government gains strength.

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Europe

Putin’s war is not a sign of genius, and has been a disaster.

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Ukrainian officials and civilians accuse Russian military personnel and the Russian government of atrocities and massacres across the Kyiv region.

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Lithuania stopped importing Russian gas at the beginning of April, the first European nation to stop buying Russian gas.

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Middle East

In Jordan, Prince Hamza bin al-Hussein has renounced his title and claim on the throne.

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The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is working with nations in West Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East to develop water conservation and use strategies to promote stability and cooperation. Known as the Blue Peace Strategy, the SDC believe this could be a tool to promote peace in the Middle East and beyond as water scarcity becomes a greater threat.

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Yemen’s 7-year long war might be seeing peace as all warring factions agreed to a two-month truce for the month of Ramadan.

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Asia

Pakistan is headed for early elections after president Imran Khan avoided a no-confidence vote and dissolved Parliament.

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 Several cryptocurrency mining companies took advantage of tax cuts and exemptions not meant for them specifically, according to auditors in Kazakhstan. While not actually breaking any laws, these companies were an example used by the Accounts Committee to claim the Digital Kazakhstan program was not working as intended.

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The President and prime minister of Sri Lanka lost all 26 ministers in the government in protest over the nation’s woes- national debt, rising cost of living, shortages of food, medicine and fuel.

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