News Agencies: How the NATO-point-of-view dominates international news

How does a news agency work? Where does the newspaper get the information from?

We want to know what’s happening around us and why. What we can’t see for ourselves, we like to be told: Online, in the newspaper, on the radio and on television. It’s a long way from the actual event to the news report. Every day, journalists receive countless stories, reports from correspondents and press releases from parties, associations and companies. The majority of the information, however, is provided by a dense network of global news agencies. They collect, select and sell information to the media. But what is the meaning of news agencies?

HIV/AIDS vaccine: Why don’t we have one after 37 years, when we have several for COVID-19 after a few months?

Vaccines have unquestionably been society’s most potent weapon against viral diseases of medical importance. When the new disease AIDS burst onto the scene in the early 1980s and the virus that caused it was discovered in 1983-84, it was only natural to think that the research community would be able to develop a vaccine for it.

At a now famous press conference in 1984 announcing HIV as the cause of AIDS, then U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Margaret Heckler predicted that a vaccine would be available in two years. Well, it is now 37 years later and there is no vaccine. The rapidity of COVID-19 vaccine development and distribution puts the lack of an HIV vaccine in stark contrast. The problem is not failure of government. The problem is not lack of spending. The difficulty lies in the HIV virus itself. In particular, this includes the remarkable HIV strain diversity and the immune evasion strategies of the virus.

Roman Protasevich: dissident Belarus journalist whose defiance enraged Europe’s last dictator

Nexta, the channel on the social media platform Telegram that Protasevich co-founded and formerly edited, has become one of the main tools in the Belarusian resistance movement that developed since last summer’s disputed presidential elections in which Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory. Pro-democracy campaigners use the channel to inform supporters of the details of protests as well as to publicise reports and images of brutal attacks on protesters by the security services.

The fact that Nexta has its offices in Poland means that Minsk has so far been unable to shut it down. But as Protasevich discovered on Sunday, Lukashenko’s regime is willing to break international agreements in order to catch, punish and silence those who defy him. There are real questions about the safety of leading Belarusian opposition figures living in exile – especially Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the woman widely regarded as the real winner of the August 2020 presidential election.

Body cameras help monitor police but can invade people’s privacy

In the course of their work, police officers encounter people who are intoxicated, distressed, injured or abused. The officers routinely ask for key identifying information like addresses, dates of birth and driver’s license numbers, and they frequently enter people’s homes and other private spaces.

With the advent of police body cameras, this information is often captured in police video recordings – which some states’ open-records laws make available to the public.

Why do I need anything other than Google to answer a question?

Imagine you’re researching something. Whether you’re a fourth grader who needs to find out how volcanoes erupt or you’re an adult looking for more information regarding a news article, you might want to quickly look something up on the internet. What could go wrong?

Google’s search engine may seem to have all the answers to your questions. But where does that information come from? Who selects the websites that display when you enter “volcanic eruption” in the search box? Who decides which item shows up first and in what order the rest will follow?

Microfluidics: The tiny, beautiful tech hidden all around you

When you think of micro- or nanotechnology, you likely think of small electronics like your phone, a tiny robot or a microchip. But COVID-19 tests – which have proven to be central to controlling the pandemic – are also a form of miniaturized technology. Many COVID-19 tests can give results within hours without the need to send a sample to a lab, and most of these tests use an approach called microfluidics.

Microfluidic systems are any device that process minuscule amounts of liquids. The fluids travel through channels thinner than a hair, and tiny valves can turn the flow on and off. These channels are made of materials such as glass, polymers, paper or gels. One way to move fluids is with a mechanical pump; another way is to use the surface charges of certain materials; and yet another is to use the so-called capillary action – more commonly known as wicking. Wicking is the process by which the energy stored within the liquid propels the liquid through narrow spaces.

Despite federal moratorium, eviction rates returning to pre-pandemic levels

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act, banned evictions from March 24 through Aug. 24, 2020, but applied to only the relatively small number of renters using federal assistance programs to pay their rent, or living in properties with federally backed financing.

A broader eviction ban, ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, took effect on Sept. 4, 2020, and is set to expire on June 30, 2021. It covers more renters, including people who are at risk of moving to overcrowded lodging or becoming homeless. But it’s not automatic protection: Tenants must prove their eligibility.

Zero-trust security: Assume that everyone and everything on the internet is out to get you – and maybe already has

There were at least 2,354 ransomware attacks on local governments, health care facilities and schools in the U.S. last year. Although estimates vary, losses to ransomware seem to have tripled in 2020 to more than US$300,000 per incident.

A recurring theme in many of these breaches is misplaced trust – in vendors, employees, software and hardware. As a scholar of cybersecurity policy with a recent report on this topic, I have been interested in questions of trust.

Representative Cheney calls for order

Liz Cheney reveres order. Donald Trump detests it.

Simple, yes, but that sums up the difference between the elected but exiled U.S. congresswoman and the exiled but elected-in-his-own-mind former president.

Countless critics have detailed Trump’s disruptive effects on national life, but Cheney’s call for order deserves attention. She offers a coherent, conservative alternative to Trumpist populism. As a scholar of American political speeches, I think it important to assess her persuasive force as well as her deep roots in the conservative tradition.