Category Archives: News

The London Marathon say no to plastic and yes to saving the planet

The London Marathon rolled round once again on the 28th of April, but this year was different. Even though the runners built a thirst they still said no to plastic and made steps towards saving the planet. At the 2018 London Marathon runners used over 919,000 plastic bottles. The plan for this year was to use a little over 700,000 plastic bottles and 200,000 of the new edible seaweed pods.

These upcoming seaweed pouches called Ooho that are produced by Skipping Rocks Lab were filled with Lucozade sports drink for this particular event. The capsules can be bitten into to release the liquid inside and can actually be entirely consumed if wanted. If not, then they can be discarded and it will break down quickly.

The organisers of the marathon stated that the plastic bottles that were used were in a closed – loop system, where they were handed to runners and afterward collected and processed to create more plastic bottles.

Steps are being made in 2019 towards the climate change issue and people are standing up to help make a difference, from plastic straws being replaced with paper and some countries even banning plastic bags.

The London Marathon is an amazing event that brings community, exercise and dedication to London and now it also brings steps environmental change. These little changes are making a huge difference.

 

 

Powerful cyclone hits eastern India coast

The most severe storm in two decades has hit the Indian subcontinent. Fani, which translates to ‘hood of snake’ in Bengali is no stranger to the eastern state of Odisha. The last cyclone that hit the poor state was in 1999 and killed more than 15,000 people. But as wind speeds are up to 175km/h, Indian authorities have responded quicker by evacuating more than 1 million people, deploying emergency, humanitarian aid and putting rescue workers in place.

  • Cyclone Fani is the fourth storm to the hit the country’s east coast in the last three decades.
  • Long-term power outages and water shortages could possibly last for weeks to a few months.
  • Schools and universities have been closed.
  • At least two people have died after a cyclone made landfall at around 9:30 am.
Infographic explaining how the tropical cyclones in India are affecting civilians.

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/02/tropical-cyclone-fani-india-evacuates-800000-people

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-48121606

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/cyclone-fani-six-things-you-should-know/articleshow/69151302.cms

https://edition.cnn.com/india/live-news/cyclone-fani-live-updates-wxc-intl/index.html

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/03/asia/india-landfall-cyclone-fani-wxc-intl/index.html

“WE WANT MORE NUKES”

An ongoing protest outside Westminster Abbey received a mixed reception as members of the royal house attended a service at the Abbey.

The already high police presence was increased prior to demonstrations and a “die-in” which commenced at 12pm. 

Tourists and City workers stopped to take photographs, with one construction worker blazing “We want more nukes.” 

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Two separate demonstrations were organised. One demonstration condemned a service supposedly thanking the peace nuclear weapons had created. It consisted of vicars and clergymen and other supporters of the Anglican Church.

The second, which did not have affiliations to the church, encouraged disarmament and slated the government for their development of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs). The die-in condemned the collateral damage caused to human life and the environment by previous governments. 

Opponents of the protest returned with pro-nuclear weapon comments “Big up nuclear war, it’s exactly what we want.” 

People from all walks of life attended the protest, with students, pensioners and young families, and even a few pets in attendance. 

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One protestor said “I want my children, and grandchildren and their children to have a world to grow up in.” She was physically and emotionally moved by the events unfolding. 

Pointing to the Abbey, the pensioner said “I’m here because Weapons of Mass Destruction are absolutely immoral. “I don’t think they’ve (WMDs) ever been a deterrent.”

The protest had slowly been gaining momentum in the early afternoon with protesters aiming to maintain the “die-in” for as long as possible. 

Photos and text by Zubair Karmalkar

Julian Assange: The events leading to his arrest

Founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange has been sentenced in the UK to 50 weeks in prison for breaching bail back in 2012. The sentencing comes days before World Press Day 2019 on May 3rd. But who is Julian Assange?

Julian Assange is an Australian journalist, computer programmer and software developer. His infamy started at the young age of 16, when he hacked into a telecommunication company’s master terminal. He was then charged on 30 accounts of hacking in Australia, however, Assange was exempted with only a fine for damages to Nortel.

Assange further improved his technological skills and enrolled at the University of Melbourne. But this did not last long. For ethical reasons, such as not wanting to use his intelligence to aid the military, Assange left university and did not continue his degree in Mathematics.

Only 13 years ago, Assange began working on WikiLeaks: a website that “specialises in the analysis and publication of large datasets of censored and otherwise restricted official materials involving war, spying and corruption. This website officially launched in 2007 and became one of the biggest whistleblowers of the century.

In June, 2012, Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and was granted political asylum in August of that same year. Ecuador decided to protect him under the fear that his right as a human would be violated if he were to be extradited to Sweden.

Two years prior, in December 2010, Swedish authorities issued a European Arrest Warrant under the allegations of two counts of sexual molestation, one count of rape and one count of illegal coercion. On December 6th of the same year, Assange turned himself into British police.

In May 2012, the U.K’s Supreme Court ruled that Julian Assange should be extradited to Sweden to face his allegations. This forced Assange to seek political asylum at the

Ecuadorian embassy but only on their territory and if he left the embassy, he was free to be arrested by British police.

In 2015, the sexual assault and coercion charges were dropped, while the rape charges statute of limitations will expire in 2020. In February 2016, a United Nations panel was held which ruled that Assange was unreasonably detained and that he should be released and compensated for his deprivation of liberty.

However, both Sweden and UK rejected saying that Assange would be arrested if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy. On May 19th 2017, Sweden said that the rape charges against Assange would be dropped. Later that year in December, Assange was granted Ecuadorian citizenship, but his relationship with the country was starting to deteriorate.

This may have been as a result of Assange’s interference in the 2016 Presidential elections in America. Where 1200 emails from Hillary Clinton’s, one of the candidates in the presidential race, private server.

Earlier this year, in February, Australia granted Julian Assange a new passport as they feared that Ecuador would soon withdraw Assange’s asylum. Two months later, Australia’s fears came through Ecuador withdrew Assange’s asylum and as a result he was arrested at the embassy.

Following his arrest, it was announced that the WikiLeaks founder has been charged in the US for conspiring with Army Intelligence analyst, Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer at the Pentagon.

The following explainer shows the timeline of events before his arrest.

Julian assange

Infographic by: Kenya Best

Sources: 

https://www.biography.com/activist/julian-assange

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11949341

https://wikileaks.org/What-is-WikiLeaks.html

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dgcomsoc/

 

12th anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann – Scotland Yard request more money and a new kidnap suspect

Where is Madeleine McCann? This has been an ongoing question for 11 years now and we still have no answers. On the 3rd May 2007 Madeleine at the age of three, went missing whist on holiday with her parents and twin siblings. Force bosses have been applying for funding every six months since Madeleine’s disappearance to help continue inquiry, this has resulted in £11.75m of UK taxpayer’s money so far being spend on this specific case. This is the UK’s highest profiled missing child case.  Today marks the 12th anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance and today information was also released that detectives in the case are investigating a new kidnap suspect. Judicial police have also reportedly been given extra resources to look at the ‘new clue’. So many theories, so many twists. Will we ever know what truly happened? Or is it time to move onto a new chapter?

 

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World Press Freedom Day: 95 journalists murdered in 2019

95 journalists were killed last year according to the International Federation of Journalists.

The IFJ concluded in their report that the most dangerous countries to practice journalism are: Afghanistan, Mexico, US, Syria, Yemen and India. 

MAP WORLD

Five journalists were killed last year in the US due to a terrorist attack at the Capital Gazette in Maryland, Virginia, a local newspaper. The suspect was said to have tried to sue the newspaper multiple years earlier. 

Nine journalists in Kabul, Afghanistan had died after going to the site of a bombing to report on the scene, according to the BBC. Another journalist, BBC reporter Ahmad Shah, was killed in one of a series of attacks in Khost Province.

Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Washington Post correspondent for Saudi Arabia, was murdered at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey last October. 

Last month, journalist Lyra Mckee, died on the streets of Londonderry reporting on a riot that had broken out. 

The IFJ told the BBC, “Increasing intolerance to reporting, populism as well as corruption and crime are now important factors.” 

2016 saw the highest amount of imprisoned journalists at 259, according to Press Advocacy Group. The number has slightly dropped to 251, which is the number of journalists who are currently in prison. 

The countries with the highest number of imprisoned journalists include: Turkey (68), China (47), Egypt (25), and Saudi Arabia and Eritrea with (16) each. 

The most shocking has been the opposition against journalists in the US. Reporters Without Borders describes the situation in the US as “problematic”. 

According to the BBC, The US has now slipped down in the RSF’s rankings for press freedom as well as Brazil and India. 

However, Russia, Venezuela, and China have worse scores for press freedom.

UK airport’s first team of therapy dogs introduced to calm nervous flyers

Therapy dogs will be flying into Aberdeen International airport to help soothe nervous flyers from tomorrow.

“The Canine Crew” as they have been dubbed will be dressed in high-vis jackets and bandanas and will work in pairs for two hours at a time once a week, both landside and in the air.

Aberdeen-International-airport-e1487842744266-582x372-582x372

Aberdeen International Airport. Source: Press and Journal

In an interview with The Independent, Aberdeen International airport duty manager Fraser Bain said that they are “excited” to be the first airport employing therapy dogs and they also “recognise the benefit to the mental health and wellbeing of our staff”.

There are fourteen dogs in total in the “crew”, including three Golden Retrievers, two Beagles, two German Shepherds, a Leonberger and a Pug. All of the dogs have “a mixture of brilliant traits and personalities” that will help soothe passengers.

Therapy dogs have been consistently used in hospitals and universities, but this will be the first time they’ve been used in a UK airport.

Header image credit: NPR.

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