The U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which oversees U.S. government broadcasters such as Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, reopened its Office of Internet Freedom (OIF) last month.
OIF, which began operations in 2016, had been closed by leadership prior to the June 4 confirmation of current USAGM Chief Executive Michael Pack.
“There is a critical need to support technologies that allow individuals to securely access and share information online,” the agency said in an Aug. 18 statement.
OIF’s mission is to support the testing, deployment, and management of technologies that circumvent internet blocking, filtering, and other censorship techniques principally used by repressive regimes, such as China and Iran, the agency said in the release.
Brazil’s Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland, covering an area nearly the size of Britain. Only today, it isn’t so wet. After a summer of drought, catastrophic fires are raging that have devastated 2.4 million hectares of land already this year. (That’s more than has burned in California, Oregon, and Washington combined.) Its precious wildlife, including the world’s largest population of jaguars, are suffering irreparable damage.
What’s causing the destruction? The proximate causes seem quite different from what is causing the fires in California, but if we trace them back through enough layers, we get to the same deep cause and, therefore, to the same deep solution.
Since 2019, catastrophic fires have afflicted the Amazon, the Congo basin, Australia, Siberia, Argentina, and countless other places. While some on the political Right were in denial that anything unusual was happening, today the entire political spectrum is in agreement that something is horribly amiss. In the US, the Right offers candidate explanations like poor forest management, while Democratic politicians emphasize climate change. What they both agree on is that the current state of affairs in abnormal, unacceptable, and requires action. This, at least, is progress.
In fact, both sides are approaching the same truth from different directions. Let me start at forest management, pass through climate change via a back door, visit the blatantly criminal behavior behind fires in the Amazon and Pantanal, and arrive finally at the core of the issue.
Eight men who refused to wear face masks in public were ordered to dig graves for people who died of COVID-19 in Indonesia.
East Java province has enforced mandatory face masks in public in a bid to curb the rise of coronavirus cases.
The punishment was enforced in the Cerme district where its district head, Suyono, said he punished residents who did not obey the rules by making them dig graves at a cemetery in Ngabetan village.
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing India's children out of school and into farms and factories to work, worsening a child-labor problem that was already one of the most dire in the world.
Sixteen-year-old Maheshwari Munkalapally and her 15-year-old sister stopped attending lessons when virtually the entire economy was brought to a halt during the world's biggest lockdown. Munkalapally's mother and older sister lost their jobs as housemaids in Hyderabad, the capital of the southern Indian state of Telangana. The younger girls, who had been living with their grandmother in a nearby village, were forced to become farmhands along with their mother, in order to survive.
Kim Yo-jong has been in the news lately, calling defectors in South Korea ‘human scum’ and blowing up buildings. But what is her background and is she being groomed for the top job if anything happens to Kim Jong-un?
This month, the world got to see a rather disturbing, different side of Kim Yo-jong. Although she had previously been regarded as a significant North Korean political figure, her actions over the past two weeks have put her name in news headlines around the world.