13 May, 2019

Duke Ellington’s melodies carried his message of social justice

At a moment when there is a longstanding heated debate over how artists and pop culture figures should engage in social activism, the life and career of musical legend Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington offers a model of how to do it right. Ellington was born on April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C. His tight-knit black middle-class family nurtured his racial pride and shielded him from many of the difficulties of segregation in the nation’s capital. Washington was home to a sizable black middle class, despite prevalent racism. …

09 May, 2019

Biodiversity loss mars SDG success, report finds

An “unprecedented” loss of global biodiversity threatens the progress of more than 80 per cent of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and puts 1 million animal and plant species at risk of extinction, a landmark scientific report has warned. …

06 May, 2019

Pediatrician Who Treated Immigrant Children Describes Pattern of Lapses in Medical Care in Shelters

Inside a weathered green group home in southern New Jersey, Yosary grew weaker and weaker. She felt tired all the time, and when she got out of bed in the morning, she sometimes became so dizzy she needed to lie back down. Bruises started appearing all over her body. She craved ice, chewing cups of it whenever she could. …

02 May, 2019

How the world’s largest democracy casts its ballots

About 600 million Indian citizens are expected to cast their votes over a period of 39 days ending May 19, in the ongoing election for their country’s parliament. There are roughly 900 million eligible voters, and the country has typically seen about two-thirds of them turn out to polling places. …

29 Apr, 2019

Climate change ‘could slash Brazil’s maize yields’

Changes in temperature and rainfall could drastically reduce maize yields by the end of the century in northeast Brazil, one of the country's poorest and most vulnerable regions, environmental experts warn.
A study to be published in May in the journal Agricultural Water Management simulated the potential impact of climate change on maize yields in northeast Brazil in two possible climatic scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). …

24 Apr, 2019

In a Time of Cheap Fossil Fuels, Nuclear Power Companies Are Seeking – and Getting – Big Subsidies

The energy company PSEG had a simple message for the New Jersey Legislature as it weighed the fate of three nuclear plants in the state. “What’s good for New Jersey is what’s good for PSEG,” Ralph Izzo, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, told the Legislature at a December 2017 hearing in Trenton. “What’s bad for New Jersey is bad for PSEG.” …

22 Apr, 2019

Notre-Dame de Paris: From searing emotion to the future rebirth of a World Heritage Site

On the night of April 15, 2019, in Paris, the emotions were raw. “Notre Dame is burning, the whole of France is crying, the whole world is crying,” said Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris. “It’s terrible, frightening, painful, a tragedy, a nightmare.” “This place leaves no one untouched. When you enter this cathedral, it inhabits you,” said Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, in front of the burning monument. …

18 Apr, 2019

Q&A: ‘Universities would rather highlight work of men’

Amira Shaheen is an assistant professor of epidemiology in the faculty ‎of medicine and health sciences at An-Najah National University in the West Bank, where she focuses on population health and medical advances, especially for women and children. …

15 Apr, 2019

Criminal Justice Legislation Will Force New York Prosecutors to Disclose More Evidence, Sooner

The New York state legislature has passed a reform package aimed at increasing fairness in the criminal justice system. The new law requires prosecutors to share evidence against criminal defendants within 15 days of arraignment, a major shift for a state that previously had no such deadlines and maintained a notably restrictive approach toward disclosure. …

11 Apr, 2019

Socrates in love: how the ideas of this woman are at the root of Western philosophy

Where did Socrates, the foundational figure of Western philosophy, get the inspiration for his original ideas about truth, love, justice, courage and knowledge? New research I’ve conducted reveals that as a young man in 5th-century BC Athens, he came into contact with a fiercely intelligent woman, Aspasia of Miletus. I argue that her ideas about love and transcendence inspired him to formulate key aspects of his thought (as transmitted by Plato). …

08 Apr, 2019

Most SDGs ‘going into reverse’ – UN expert group member

Progress on most Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has gone into reverse, according to Jean-Paul Moatti, the director-general of the French National Research Institute for Development (IRD) and a member of the expert group charged by the UN with evaluating progress so far on the objectives. …

04 Apr, 2019

The Imam’s Widow

Every night, Alauddin Akonjee set the alarm clock in the bedroom of his home in Ozone Park, Queens, fearful he wouldn’t wake in time for morning prayer. And each morning, he and his wife, Minara, would be awake before the buzzer sounded. …

01 Apr, 2019

Leonardo da Vinci revisited: was he an environmentalist ahead of his time?

Leonardo’s notebooks are filled with illustrations of nature, both plants and animals, their interactions with humans and in local ecosystems. Did his deep engagement with the natural world make him an environmentalist ahead of his time? …

28 Mar, 2019

Q&A: Green tech solution for polluted Guatemalan lake

Ecotoxicologist Claudia Romero, a professor at the San Carlos University of Guatemala and director of the Atitlan Studies Centre, is on a personal mission - to decontaminate Lake Amatitlan.  …

25 Mar, 2019

A Stealth History Lesson in Baltimore

We were all in the dark, on the edge of the wooded park known as Wyman Dell, opposite the Baltimore Museum of Art. It was 2 a.m. Wednesday, and despite the presence of a couple of dozen workers in hardhats, a huge crane, a flatbed truck and a couple of other pieces of heavy machinery, the work site, surrounded by police tape, was remarkably still. …

22 Mar, 2019

The terror of climate change is transforming young people’s identity

Today, at least 50 rallies planned across Australia are expected to draw thousands of students who are walking out of school to protest climate change inaction.

These Australian students join children from over 82 countries who are striking to highlight systemic failure to address climate change. …

18 Mar, 2019

Indian court stalls world’s biggest ID database plan

India’s ambitious plans to force its 1.3 billion citizens to use biometric identity cards to access government benefits have fallen foul of the country’s highest court which says the project could undermine rights to privacy.  

After finding that the biometric ID, referred to as Aadhaar ID, infringes on the right to privacy, the Supreme Court decided that the issue was a constitutional matter and therefore should be resolved by a ‘constitution bench’. …

14 Mar, 2019

Oregon Should Overhaul Handling of Insanity Defendants, Says Head of Psychiatry Security Review Board

The board’s executive director acknowledged gaps in the system for treating and discharging people found criminally insane and said the Legislature should weigh appointing a task force to consider reforms. …

11 Mar, 2019

Kauri pines are late-blooming rainforest giants

When I first came across the kauri pine (Agathis robusta), I certainly wasn’t impressed by their growth. Mixed among other species in a young rainforest plantation, they seemed destined to be left behind by the faster-growing trees (I did think they looked nice, though). …

07 Mar, 2019

Act fast to halt the decline of insect numbers

Researchers, policymakers and donors should act fast to halt the diminishing insect numbers, writes Wei Zhang. Insects are among the most diverse and successful organisms on our planet. Their significant contributions to vital ecological functions including pollination, pest control and maintenance of wildlife cannot be ignored. …
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