Hong Kong sees biggest protests since controversial bill dropped as demonstrators find their anthem
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 13:31:48 -0400

Hong Kong sees biggest protests since controversial bill dropped as demonstrators find their anthemAfter three months of chaos in Hong Kong, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets with a new “protest anthem” on Sunday, despite the formal withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill. Protesters gathered outside a department store in the afternoon for a pro-democracy rally took place, despite being banned by police. Some protesters threw bricks at police outside the Chinese People's Liberation Army base in the city's Admiralty district, and tore down and set fire to a red banner proclaiming the 70th anniversary on Oct 1 of the founding of the People's Republic of China, in a direct challenge to Beijing.  The illegal march marks the biggest protest since the withdrawal of the bill, which would have allowed the extradition of fugitives to mainland China.  However, protesters are urging the government to instate direct elections and an independent commission into police brutality. They are also calling for unconditional release of those detained, and an end to the authorities describing the protests as riots. Armed Riot police officers on patrol during an anti-government rally  Credit: JEROME FAVRE/EPA-EFE/REX “We are not even talking about being independent, as long as the government meets our demands, we will go home,” said James Wong, 25. “I guess this is not happening now because of the political circumstances. But I will continue to protest because this is our society, our generation. If we don’t speak out, we could be the next Xinjiang, we have to stay strong.” Protesters repeatedly sang Glory to Hong Kong, a song that has gained traction over the last few days and been dubbed the “unofficial national anthem”. The song, reportedly recently composed by a musician in his mid-20s and set to an orchestral backing, has been widely spread on social media.  Protesters sang in Cantonese: “Our flesh, our blood shall write this song. Free this land, stand with Hong Kong.” Police spray anti-government protesters with coloured water Credit: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha Mostly in black t-shirts, protesters held signs saying: “I thought freedom was a basic human right” and “Guard our future”.  Riot police fired rounds of tear gas, and hundreds of protesters surrounded the Legislative Council building showed no signs of leaving, throwing bricks and petrol bombs towards the government offices. Police later deployed water cannon with blue and white dye, protesters and reporters changed clothes and washed off the dye on nearby overpass, and bystanders received first aid treatment with saline solution after rounds of tear gas. Since the protests kicked off, police have arrested more than 1300 protesters, aged between 12 and 76. “Hong Kong people have been living under white terror for three months, we are used to it,” said Anthony Chau, 22. “We won’t give up and I will continue to attend protests.”

Virginia Attorney General Concludes Race Information Is Not Necessary for Marriage Licenses
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 16:55:05 -0400

Virginia Attorney General Concludes Race Information Is Not Necessary for Marriage LicensesThe state has new forms, which let applicants “Declined to Answer” about race

Some 46,000 General Motors auto workers strike in US
Mon, 16 Sep 2019 00:02:05 -0400

Some 46,000 General Motors auto workers strike in USThe United Auto Workers union began a nationwide strike against General Motors on Monday, with some 46,000 members walking off the job after contract talks hit an impasse. The move to strike, which the Wall Street Journal described as the first major stoppage at GM in more than a decade, came after the manufacturer's four-year contract with workers expired without an agreement on a replacement. Local union leaders met in Detroit "and opted to strike at midnight on Sunday," the UAW said on its Twitter account.

Scores of tigers rescued from infamous Thai temple have died: media
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 04:47:32 -0400

Scores of tigers rescued from infamous Thai temple have died: mediaMore than half of the tigers that Thai authorities confiscated in 2016 from an infamous Tiger Temple tourist attraction have died from a viral disease because their immune systems were weakened by inbreeding, media reported. The Buddhist temple west of Bangkok was a tourist destination where visitors took selfies with tigers and bottle-fed cubs until authorities removed its nearly 150 tigers in 2016 in response to global pressure over wildlife trafficking.

Locked and Loaded: Could Iran Sink the U.S. Navy If War Breaks Out?
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 18:00:00 -0400

Locked and Loaded: Could Iran Sink the U.S. Navy If War Breaks Out?Tehran has lots of missiles. Could they start sinking warships?

A look at the corruption scandals facing Israel's Netanyahu
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 12:38:42 -0400

A look at the corruption scandals facing Israel's NetanyahuIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking to hold on to power in Tuesday's historic repeat election as the shadow of various corruption charges loom over his future. Israel's attorney general has recommended pressing criminal charges against him in three separate corruption cases, pending a long delayed pre-trial hearing scheduled for early October — just three weeks after the election.

Climate Activists Don’t Know How to Talk to Christians
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 04:56:17 -0400

Climate Activists Don’t Know How to Talk to ChristiansPhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photo GettyThis story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 220 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  Religious Christians are the key to America taking action on global warming. And yet, the way climate activists frame the issue often alienates the very people they most need to persuade. First, the math. Seventy percent of Americans say they want the government to take action to combat global warming. But the Republican Party has, in the last two decades, gone from accommodating a wide range of perspectives on climate change to marching lock-step to the energy industry’s climate denial tune.Most Republicans, however, don’t work for the energy industry. Over half of Republican voters identify as conservative Christians—either evangelicals, Catholics, or others. These voters may be right-wing on social issues, right-wing on immigration, and right-wing on ‘big government.’ But they’re not necessarily right-wing on allowing the Earth’s climate to be radically disrupted—and if they move, the Republican Party will have to move too.But according to two new studies conducted by the Yale Program for Climate Communication and published in the journal Science Communication, most religious Christians understand global warming in very different terms from others.The first study “found that ‘protect God’s creation’ is one of the most important motivations that Christians report for wanting to mitigate global warming.” Resonant messages included “God made humans responsible for taking care of His creation”; “We can use nature for our benefit, but it is not OK to destroy God’s garden that He entrusted to us”; and the language of “stewardship” over the Earth.And the second study found that framing the issue of global warming in moral and religious terms was crucial for Christians to care about it, because it suggested that “people like themselves” care about the issue.“People derive values, a sense of self, and social norms from the groups to which they belong,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program and a co-author of the two studies. “Messages that resonate with group identities may be especially effective in influencing people’s attitudes.”In other words, we think the way our group thinks. If we believe that no one in our group cares about a certain issue, we’re less likely to care about it. If we believe that our core values have nothing to do with a certain issue, we’re less likely to care about it.Unfortunately, when one turns to how the issue is framed in public, these messaging frames are conspicuously absent.For example, the introduction to next week’s U.N. Climate Action Summit reads, in part:> Global emissions are reaching record levels and show no sign of peaking. The last four years were the four hottest on record, and winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3°C since 1990. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying, and we are starting to see the life-threatening impact of climate change on health, through air pollution, heatwaves and risks to food security.> > The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.If you’re like me—highly educated, privileged, urban-dwelling, and liberal—that language is probably pretty effective. But according to the new Yale studies, it will probably ring hollow for the constituency that’s most central to changing the United States’ current intransigence on climate science and climate action.Indeed, the U.N. language doesn’t even include the “most important reason to reduce global warming” chosen by both Christians and non-Christians in the Yale studies, namely: “Provide a better life for our children and grandchildren.” Instead, it provides a bunch of ecological verbiage about coral reefs and food security.Nor, of course, is the problem confined to the United Nations.The Environmental Defense Fund—one of the more centrist and mainstream of American environmental organizations—likewise only mentions the environmental impacts of global warming on its page “why fighting change is so urgent”: “extreme weather events… chunks of ice in the Antarctic have broken apart… wildfire seasons are months longer… coral reefs have been bleached of their colors… mosquitoes are expanding their territory, able to spread disease.” And yet it doesn’t provide the primary reasons given by people in general (leaving a better world for our children) or Christians in particular (protecting God’s creation). Of course, these omissions make sense in some ways. First, obviously, plenty of atheists, Jews, Muslims, and people of other religious backgrounds care about climate change. Especially anyone with kids or grandkids.But it’s also unlikely that the people writing copy for climate change websites are religious Christians themselves, and are using language that “preaches to the choir,” which in this case means other secular environmentalists. But if no one speaks in terms that Christians, especially conservative Christians, care about, then climate activists are only going to be talking to themselves.Which is exactly what’s happened. Levels of understanding and concern about climate change have more or less plateaued in the last few years. On the political level, nothing is happening. Thirty-four percent of Americans still do not “believe” that global warming is being caused by humans, and only 44 percent of Americans say they “worry a great deal” about it. Another recent Yale study found that voters rank it just 17th among issues of concern.Given the extreme likelihood of an unprecedented refugee crisis brought on by rising seas and changing crop patterns, mass extinctions, and global food shortages, all of those numbers are shocking. According to the World Health Organization, 250,000 people will die each year from 2030-2050 because of increased rates of malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress. Climate denial, meanwhile, is now a billion-dollar industry, with energy-funded think tanks, pseudoscience, lobbying, and media campaigns. The energy industry is using the most persuasive, most effective methods to persuade people about global warming. Why isn’t the environmental movement?Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

The Future of Design: Transportation
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 16:26:10 -0400

The Future of Design: Transportation