Curious about Everything

Day: November 4, 2021 (Page 1 of 2)

‘Merica » Where motor vehicles as weapons is encouraged against protesters

Boston Globe »

Nine months later, the state legislature passed a law granting drivers criminal and civil immunity if they “unintentionally” hit or kill a protester while “fleeing from a riot,” so long as they say it was necessary to protect themselves, citing the protest on I-244 as the catalyst for the law.

You read that right. Given the choice between defending the safety of pedestrians protesting a police murder and the drivers of the vehicles running them down, prosecutors and lawmakers here have reserved their concern for the drivers.

To those on the short end of this cold calculus, it feels like siding, during the 1960s civil rights protests, with Bull Connor’s firehoses over the Black children of Birmingham. Or with the cops with clubs over the brave, battered souls who traversed Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge.

A Globe review of the recent incidents found there have been scores of people hit, dozens of injuries, at least three deaths, but precious little justice, much less sympathy, for the demonstrators injured, killed, or just plain terrified. Yet Oklahoma and 15 other states have considered bills protecting drivers, not protesters, as these ramming incidents have proliferated.

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Israeli spyware company NSO Group placed on US Dept of Commerce’s blacklist

The Record »

The US government has sanctioned today four companies that develop and sell spyware and other hacking tools, the US Department of Commerce announced today.

The four companies include Israel’s NSO Group and Candiru, Russian security firm Positive Technologies, and Singapore-based Computer Security Initiative Consultancy.

The Guardian »

NSO Group has been placed on a US blacklist by the Biden administration after it determined the Israeli spyware maker has acted “contrary to the foreign policy and national security interests of the US”.
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Banks, insurers and investors worth $130 trillion promise to put climate at heart of finance

  • Mark Carney says the money is there, but mechanisms are needed
  • Investors want scale, transparency and public commitment

World Economic Forum »

Banks, insurers and investors with $130 trillion at their disposal agreed at COP26 to put combating climate change at the centre of their work.

It comes as COP26 delegates debate not only the extent of global pledges to cut emissions but also how to meet these goals, particularly in the developing world – and where the money will come from.

UN climate envoy Mark Carney, who assembled the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), put the figure needed at $100 trillion over the next three decades, and said the finance industry must find ways to raise private money to take the effort far beyond what states alone can do.

“The money is here – but that money needs net zero-aligned projects and (then) there’s a way to turn this into a very, very powerful virtuous circle – and that’s the challenge,” the former Bank of England governor told the summit.

Elsewhere » Reuters

Exercise isn’t likely to ruin your knees

A meta-analysis found no link between knee osteoarthritis and either the amount or duration of routine exercise.

As someone who has good knees and has run many marathons, I’m happy to read this.

From the Press Release »

“Knowing that the amount of physical activity and time spent doing it is not associated with the development of knee osteoarthritis is important evidence for both clinicians and the public who may need to consider this when prescribing physical activity for health,” said co–lead author Thomas Perry, BSc, PhD, of the University of Oxford, in the UK.

Ed Cara, Gizmodo »

Age is the largest risk factor for osteoarthritis, along with others like sex (women report it more often), genetics, and weight, since it can put more stress on the knees. Physically stressful jobs that require lots of heavy lifting and knee-bending have been linked to osteoarthritis as well. It’s less clear whether physical activity outside of work can cause or worsen knee osteoarthritis, though it’s certainly a common fear that exercises like running will eventually ruin your knees.

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77 countries have pledged to phase out coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels that drive global warming

But China, India and the USA did not sign the agreement at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

One nation alone, China, accounts for more than 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal. China is not joining the world in this commitment and instead promises to increase building coal fired power plants to meet soaring power demand.

To boost coal output, China has “revived old mines, hurried through permits for expansions and loosened some safety regulations. They’ve also stepped in on prices to ensure electricity generators are incentivized to fully use power plant capacity.” (Bloomberg)

China is also seeking to increase imports of foreign coal. China’s demand for the fossil fuel in the power and industrial sectors could break the country’s 2013 record for emissions from coal.

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