Daily Archives: May 8, 2021

Shoshana Zuboff: Facebook’s Oversight Board Is Not Enough. The Government Has to Regulate Big Tech

Democracy Now!

Published on May 6, 2021

Former President Donald Trump will continue to stay off Facebook after the company’s oversight board ruled Wednesday that his ban was justified for creating “an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible.” Trump was banned shortly after the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which he helped foment by promoting baseless claims of election fraud. The oversight board also said Facebook should reassess its ban and make a final decision in six months. Shoshana Zuboff, professor emerita at Harvard Business School and author of the book “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” says that Facebook’s recent moves follow years of inaction by CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “He showed that he was willing to do just about anything to appease Trump … to keep regulation at bay,” Zuboff says.

“Monumental Moment”: U.S. Backs Waiving COVID Vaccine Patent Rights After Months of Blocking Talks

Democracy Now!

Published on May 6, 2021

The Biden administration has announced it now supports temporarily waiving the intellectual property rights for COVID vaccines, in what the World Trade Organization is calling a “monumental moment.” India and South Africa first proposed the waiver in October, but the United States and other wealthy nations blocked the WTO from even opening negotiations on the proposal. Supporters say the waiver is critically needed to increase the rate of vaccine production for the Global South as COVID-19 rapidly spreads in India, Latin America and other regions where few vaccines are available. Biden’s support for the waiver is “an incredibly pleasant surprise” and “late, but still welcome,” says Achal Prabhala, coordinator of the AccessIBSA project, which campaigns for access to medicines in India, Brazil and South Africa. “The proposal is monumental because what it does is it allows for more vaccines to be manufactured in the world,” Prabhala says. “The whole world faces a crippling shortage of coronavirus vaccines.”

Terra Incognita: 100 Maps to Survive the Next 100 Years: Robert Muggah and Ian Goldin

From the global impact of the Coronavirus to exploring the vast spread of the Australian bushfires, join authors Ian Goldin and Robert Muggah as they trace the ways in which our world has changed and the ways in which it will continue to change over the next hundred years. Map-making is an ancient impulse. From the moment homo sapiens learnt to communicate we have used them to make sense of our surroundings. But as Albert Einstein once said, ‘you can’t use old maps to explore a new world.’ And now, when the world is changing faster than ever before, our old maps are no longer fit for purpose.

Welcome to Terra Incognita. Based on decades of research and combining mesmerising, state-of-the-art satellite maps with enlightening and passionately argued analysis, Ian and Robert chart humanity’s impact on the planet, and the ways in which we can make a real impact to save it and to thrive as a species. Learn about: fires in the arctic; the impact of sea level rise on cities around the world; the truth about immigration—and why fears in the West are a myth; the counter-intuitive future of population rise; the miracles of health and education that are waiting around the corner, and the reality about inequality and how we end it.

The book traces the paths of peoples, cities, wars, climates, and technologies, all on a global scale. Full of facts that will confound you, inform you, and ultimately empower you, Terra Incognita guides readers to a new place of understanding, rather than to a physical location.


‘Amazing . . . it would be my desert island choice! This extraordinary book – with 100 fascinating maps, embedded in a richly informative text – offers a comprehensive perspective on global trends. It is amazing how much analysis the distinguished authors have distilled into a single volume. The book is especially welcome at a time when COVID-19 is disrupting our interconnected planet. It would be hard to imagine a better text to guide and enlighten us as we aim to ‘remake’ a better world. It deserves a very wide readership.’
Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and author of On the Future

‘Terra Incognita brilliantly makes our world today into a Terra Cognita, a place that becomes understandable through ingenious maps and visualizations. Goldin and Muggah offer remarkable insights into our interconnected global society through both maps and text. The book is filled with insights and delights that will cause the reader to exclaim, page after page, “I didn’t know that!” And now we do.’
Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor at Columbia University and author of The Ages of Globalization (2020)

‘Amidst an abundance of global crisis and unrest, it’s easy to feel as if there’s no prescription for the future. But Terra Incognita provides us with just that, through stunning maps and visual aids that illuminate the most pressing issues of our time.’
Chris Anderson, New York Times Bestselling Author of TED Talks and Head of TED

‘A gorgeous and uniquely informative account of the state of the world in the 21st Century.’
Steven Pinker, Author of Enlightenment Now, Professor at Harvard University

‘ This is really an extraordinary book. Absolutely beautiful, but more importantly, it really does open new ways of seeing the world. Indispensable for teachers of many different kinds, as well as presenters who want dramatic images. Terra Incognita simultaneously shows us how much of our world we can see and map and how many dark places still remain to be explored. Most important, it is a vital tool for teaching students, researchers, and analysts how to change our mental models — our imagined maps — of the worlds we think we inhabit. Our future depends on it.’
Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO New America and Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs

‘Fascinating, beautiful, alarming and revelatory use of mapping and infographics’
Stephen Fry, Actor

‘Terra Incognita takes us on an exhilarating journey of the mega-trends that are remaking our world. Using powerful maps and graphics, it provides much-needed guideposts to the incredible shifts and challenges going on all around us. Ian Goldin and Robert Muggah provide a necessary antidote to the paralyzing uncertainty and pessimistic fatalism that threatens to overwhelm us all. This book offers a bold new perspective not just on the challenges we face, but how, armed with the right data and information, we can go about fixing them’
Richard Florida, University of Toronto professor and author of The Rise of the Creative Class
‘Terra Incognita draws readers into multiple worlds and provides the tools to navigate between them. Goldin and Muggah use powerfully-engaging maps to help understand and confront our biggest challenges – from climate change to inequality. By inviting readers to traverse a vast range of disciplines and ideas, their volume helps each of us better appreciate how our problems are interconnected. This is a must read for everyone striving to make a better world.’
Saskia Sassen, Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, author of Expulsions and the Global City

‘Yesterday I received Terra Incognita: I was planning just to have a first look at it in the evening, but became so fascinated and engaged that I ended up staying up to read it until 1.00 AM. I am wholly impressed by the comprehensive approach it takes. It’s a book which truly deserves great public attention as it explains cause and effect relationships in such a clear manner.’
Klaus Schwab, Founder/President World Economic Forum

About the Author

Ian Goldin is the Oxford University Professor of Globalisation and Development and the founding Director of the Oxford Martin School, a world-leading group of over 300 experts from across Oxford University tackling the most pressing challenges facing humanity. Previously Ian was economic advisor to President Mandela and then Vice President and Policy Head for the World Bank. He has been a keynote speaker at successive Davos and TED events, presented the BBC Series After the Crash and The Pandemic that Changed the World, and is the author of 22 books. Robert Muggah is a globally recognized scholar and practitioner of political economy. He co-founded the Igarapé Institute—a leading think and do tank devoted to promoting data-driven and evidenced-based safety and justice across Latin America, Africa, and Asia. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times and the BBC. He has delivered several TED talks and is a regular speaker at the World Economic Forum Davos summit.

  • Publisher : Century (April 1, 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 480 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1529124190
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1529124194
  • Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
  • Dimensions : 7.6 x 1.9 x 9.8 inches

CDC Official Who Sounded Early Alarm On Coronavirus Resigns : Coronavirus Updates : NPR

Updated May 7, 20213:44 PM ET

Becky Sullivan

Dr. Nancy Messonnier joins other officials during an early coronavirus briefing in January 2020: Dr. Robert Redfield (left), then CDC director; Alex Azar (center), then Department of Health and Human Services secretary; and Dr. Anthony Fauci.   Patrick Semansky/AP

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the top respiratory disease official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who was among the first to warn the American public about how much the pandemic would change everyday life, is stepping down from the agency.

She made the announcement in an email to staff Friday, as first reported by The Washington Postand confirmed by NPR. Her last day will be May 14.

“My family and I have determined that now is the best time for me to transition to a new phase of my career,” she wrote.

Messonnier had worked for the CDC for more than 25 years, ascending to her role as director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in 2016. Since late 2019, she had headed the agency’s COVID-19 task force, but she was recently reassigned from that post.

“Dr. Messonnier has been a true hero, and through her career in terms of public health she’s been a steward of public health for the nation. Over this pandemic and through her many-decade career, she’s made significant contributions, and she leaves behind a strong force of leadership and courage in all that she’s done,” CDC chief Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a Friday briefing of the White House COVID-19 Response Team, declining to comment further.

Messonnier rose to public prominence for her warnings about the coronavirus in early 2020.

At a White House press briefing in late February, when the country had barely more than a dozen reported cases of the virus, Messonnier warned that community spread would be likely and that “disruption to everyday life might be severe.”

“It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness,” she said.

At the time, her words about the pandemic were among the strongest yet from the Trump administration, which was still publicly downplaying the severity of the situation. Stocks tumbled. The Wall Street Journal later reported that then-President Donald Trump threatened to fire Messonnier shortly afterward.

The next day, Trump announced he was putting the vice president in charge of the government’s response and famously predicted that what were then 15 reported cases “within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”

Messonnier did not appear at any further White House briefings, though she continued to make other public appearances, including briefings at the CDC and an interview with NPR.

In her resignation announcement, Messonnier said she will become the executive director for pandemic and public health systems at the Skoll Foundation, a private organization founded by Jeff Skoll, the first president of eBay. The Skoll Foundation is an NPR sponsor.

NPR health reporter Selena Simmons-Duffin contributed to this report.

Lagos Inferno: The explosion that rocked Nigeria – BBC Africa Eye documentary

BBC News Africa

An explosion in Lagos, Nigeria rocked the city to its core. 23 people were killed, and a girls’ boarding school totally destroyed. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the country’s state-owned oil firm, said the blast in March occurred as a result of a truck that hit gas cylinders near one of its petroleum pipelines. But BBC Africa Eye’s investigation indicates this explanation for the cause of the blast, that decimated over 100,000 square metres of the city, is wrong.

Retirement Hell – BBC Africa Eye documentary

BBC News Africa

BBC Africa Eye goes undercover to expose an ineffective and corrupt pension system in Nigeria, which leaves some elderly people sick and penniless, yet grants some politicians inflated retirement packages. Reporter Yemisi Adegoke travels to Cross River State to meet ‘Ghost Pensioners’ – elderly people whom the state declared dead and deprived of their pensions. Some of whom are forced to rely on financial support from their relatives and are subjected to dehumanising treatment from the state officials for petitioning for their pensions to be reinstated.

Trillions of cicadas as loud as lawnmowers emerge in 15 states after 17 years underground

CBS This Morning

Some of the most populated parts of the country are about to be invaded by trillions of insects called cicadas from a brood which swarms parts of 15 U.S. states every 17 years. Senior environmental correspondent Ben Tracy looks at what to expect.

95 years in 95 seconds: David Attenborough turns 95 today. Happy Birthday! 🎂 BBC

BBC– May 8, 2021

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Here’s 95 years of David Attenborough squeezed into an incredible 95 seconds. Happy Birthday!

Self-Reinforcing Feedback Loop #13, Climate-Change Summary, guymcpherson.com

Nature Bats Last

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G7 and the US Bid to Reassert Hegemony

NewsClickin – May 8, 2021

The foreign ministers of G7 countries met ahead of the Cornwall Summit in early June 2021, and released a joint statement that set the tone for the global agenda and focused on their deep concern about the ‘perceived’ threats from China and Russia among other focal points that included international vaccine sharing program. Newsclick’s Editor-in-Chief, Prabir Purkaysatha explains the real agenda of the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK.