Zajímavé aktuální zahraniční články

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Re: Zajímavé aktuální zahraniční články

od davkol » 11 led 2020, 19:36

Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health

How long does it take to get a dose of nature high enough to make people say they feel healthy and have a strong sense of well-being?

Precisely 120 minutes.

In a study of 20,000 people, a team led by Mathew White of the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter, found that people who spent two hours a week in green spaces — local parks or other natural environments, either all at once or spaced over several visits — were substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don’t. Two hours was a hard boundary: The study, published last June, showed there were no benefits for people who didn’t meet that threshold.

The effects were robust, cutting across different occupations, ethnic groups, people from rich and poor areas, and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

These studies have shown that time in nature — as long as people feel safe — is an antidote for stress: It can lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels, reduce nervous system arousal, enhance immune system function, increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and improve mood. Attention Deficit Disorder and aggression lessen in natural environments, which also help speed the rate of healing. In a recent study, psychiatric unit researchers found that being in nature reduced feelings of isolation, promoted calm, and lifted mood among patients.

For example, researchers and policymakers now talk about “park deserts” in urban areas. Cities are adding or enhancing parks, and schools and other institutions are being designed with large windows and access to trees and green space — or blue space, as in aquatic environments. Businesses are increasingly aware of the desire among employees for access to green spaces. “It’s needed to attract a skilled work force,” said Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix. “Young people are demanding high-quality outdoor experiences.”

Jim Robbins
January 9, 2020
Yale E360

Re: Zajímavé aktuální zahraniční články

od Dalibor.Zahora » 09 led 2020, 18:19

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Greece goes digital in crackdown on tax cheats ... y-despite/

Re: Zajímavé aktuální zahraniční články

od davkol » 09 led 2020, 15:50

Survival as resistance in occupied Kashmir

A local journalist’s account of life in Kashmir, where close to a million Indian troops oversee a heavy-handed crackdown and commit human rights abuses with impunity.

We learned about India’s formal annexation of Kashmir on August 5, when the “final solution of Kashmir’s problem” was triumphantly celebrated on Indian prime-time TV. The night before, a military siege had been implemented throughout the region, with 700,000 troops occupying almost every square inch of Kashmir; from the roads and intersections, schools, colleges and universities to public parks, private properties, orchards, courts, hospitals and places of worship. Every imaginable space was filled with military and paramilitary forces with the single purpose of cracking down on all manifestations of Kashmiri public life. Not just dissent, but life itself.

Forget about leaving the house to buy groceries — even peeking through a window was considered an affront by the Indian military personnel touting machine guns, teargas canisters, pellet shotguns and, seemingly, a visceral hatred for every Kashmiri. Without network reception, phones had no other purpose than to throw them at the soldiers, we joked. Internet was suspended and we lamented how even in war zones like Syria, people had managed to get an internet connection. Rather than being advanced under the veneer of coopted democracy, the military occupation was now manifest in the region. The whole of Kashmir had been turned into a concentration camp.

While all this was unfolding, somebody had managed to sneak into the neighborhood mosque and pleaded via the loudspeakers for villagers to come out and resist. But it was too late. The young men were already on their way to the dreaded torture centers where wounds have been inflicted on Kashmiri bodies, and society, on an industrial scale. Later, some of the detained — and tortured — young men had been released after paying bribes of up to $1,300 — a fortune in Kashmir.

After a few days, we began to run out of medicine. The only place to buy them was in the town center, which was separated from us by an unknown number of military checkpoints. After days of unsuccessful attempts, the troopers, grudgingly, let us through after checking and double-checking the prescriptions with their disgust-filled gaze, acting as if they were conferring a great favor upon us by granting passage. At the pharmacy, the prescriptions were stamped with the latest dates so that on the way back home the troopers could confirm that we were actually out to buy medicines. But even the pharmacies were running out of medicine. “We only have 40 percent of the stock left,” the owner of one of the largest pharmacies in my hometown told me at the time.

In this harrowing commute, however, reaching home and seeing your parents was the hardest part. To see the anxiety on their faces, as they had been endlessly pacing around the house, waiting for you to return, was heartbreaking. Kashmiris, after all, possess this distinctive capacity of getting beaten up or just disappear at the hands of “innocent” Indian military personnel, those “heroic guardians” against the “barbaric, Pakistan-sponsored terrorists.” The “brave protectors” of India’s borders, who do not let pregnant Kashmiri women in labor pains cross a checkpoint, and who blind Kashmiri toddlers, like the 18-month-old Hiba Nisar, with pellet shotguns.

Umar Lateef Misgar
January 3, 2020
Roar Magazine

Re: Zajímavé aktuální zahraniční články

od davkol » 05 led 2020, 22:09

Jane Arraf píše:This is stunning - #Iraq prime minister tells parliament US troops should leave. Says @realDonaldTrump called him to ask him to mediate with #Iran and then ordered drone strike on Soleimani. Says Soleimani carrying response to Saudi initiative to defuse tension when he was hit.

Re: Zajímavé aktuální zahraniční články

od davkol » 26 pro 2019, 20:42

Bolivia’s free territory of Chapare has ousted the coup regime and is bracing for a bloody re-invasion

Spending time with the union members of Chapare, who run society in a collective fashion, offers special insights into the resistance to the coup. They succeeded in expelling the police, but now fear a bloodbath in retaliation.

Cochabamba, Bolivia — Known as Bolivia’s Chapare region, the Tropico of Cochabamba is a sanctuary for elected President Evo Morales’ most dedicated base of support. Since the November 10 coup, it has effectively become a self-governing territory where the military junta is absent.

The police and military were sent in full retreat from this area the coup began and were told they would only be welcomed back if the they “get on their knees and apologize” to the community.

In this 12,000 square kilometer swath of land, hundreds of unions have flourished over the years. I spent several days with the union rank and file, witnessing how they run society in a collective fashion, and how they have organized ferocious resistance to a right-wing coup government that threatens to destroy them.

Despite the resilience on display here, there is also a sense of dread. Union leaders told me that if the state decides to militarize the region, as it has threatened, a bloodbath is practically inevitable. If the violent crackdown arrives, it could unravel a social structure they have been steadily constructing for decades.

Ollie Vargas
December 24, 2019
The Grayzone

Re: Zajímavé aktuální zahraniční články

od davkol » 19 pro 2019, 23:35

This small German town took back the power – and went fully renewable

The case for ambitious and transformative environmental policy is being made with increasing fervour and a series of “Green New Deals” – a reference to Roosevelt’s economic reform programme in the 1930s – have been proposed over the past 12 months in the US, Europe, and the UK. Such policies would involve massive state investment in the development of renewable energy infrastructure, retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency, and efficient and high-speed public transport.

Serious commitments to decarbonise infrastructure at scale are no doubt essential. But climate justice theorists have long argued that technical fixes will be insufficient without a parallel transition to a global economy that does not rely on constant growth.

Addressing the climate emergency demands huge amounts of investment, but it also requires drastic changes to the forms of ownership and governance that underpin the contemporary capitalist economy. We need to move towards models of economic democracy, where everything from investment decisions to wages are decided democratically by workers and citizens.

Confronting an abstract concept such as the “global economy” can seem like a daunting challenge. But shifting our perspective to the level of our towns and cities, innovative models of economic democracy are already empowering people to deliver real solutions to the climate emergency.

With 100% of its electricity coming from renewable sources (and more to spare), the German town of Wolfhagen is particularly demonstrative of what can be achieved when municipalities adopt innovative approaches to the ownership and governance of key infrastructure. Significant lessons can be drawn from Wolfhagen’s hybrid model of ownership, which can – and must – be applied to sectors beyond energy production.

Back in 2005, the local authority decided to take back the power. In what became the first steps to fulfilling Wolfhagen’s plan to become fully self-sufficient on renewable energy, the city government decided not to renew the private company E.ON’s licensing agreement, instead putting a public company – Stadtwerke Wolfhagen – in charge. Followed a 2008 decision that all household electricity would be provided from local renewable resources by 2015, the town committed to building a solar power park and a wind farm.

Formed in 2012 by citizens who had been campaigning in favour of the wind farm development, the cooperative now owns 25% of the energy company. With more than 800 members and wealth of more than €3.9 million, the cooperative does more than just let citizens own a share in the towns energy company – it also lets them control it. The cooperative has two of the nine seats on the board of the energy company, providing citizens with voting rights on all issues concerning electricity production and supply in the region, ranging from the setting of energy prices through to reinvestment in new capacity.

The cooperative itself also has an energy-saving fund, which receives its funds directly from the profitable energy company. Governed by an Energy Advisory Board - comprised of nine cooperative members alongside one each from the local energy agency, the Stadtwerk, and the municipality - the fund is designed to support strategies and initiatives aimed at increasing energy efficiency among its members. In practice, this means citizen-led solutions to decarbonisation have now been provided with a regular and democratically controlled source of funding.

What the experience of Wolfhagen shows is that the rapid decarbonisation of our energy supply is wholly compatible with new models of economic democracy. Strong and effective action to address the climate crisis can be met through processes of collective empowerment, without resorting to ecological authoritarianism.

Hybrid models of ownership not only have the potential to provide capital beyond that which can be provided by the state, but to do so in a way that is committed to the common interest. This flies in the face of the logic of private companies that are committed to the bottom line of delivering shareholder profits.

While national government funding is unquestionably needed, given the scale of the climate emergency, it does not have to be an absolute barrier to towns and cities taking action. Local governments shouldn’t use national government as an excuse for their own inaction.

Bertie Russell
December 6, 2019
The Conversation

Re: Zajímavé aktuální zahraniční články

od davkol » 17 pro 2019, 12:05

Watch: Glenn Greenwald’s Exclusive Interview With Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Who Was Deposed in a Coup

On November 10, Evo Morales, who served as president of Bolivia for 13 years and presided over extraordinary economic growth and a reduction of inequality praised even by his critics, announced that he was resigning the presidency under duress, with implicit threats from the Bolivian military. Morales later made clear that he viewed these events as a classic right-wing military coup of the kind that has plagued the continent for decades, explaining that he was removed from his position by force and then ultimately pressured by a police mutiny and military threats to flee his own country.

Glenn Greenwald
December 16, 2019
The Intercept

Re: Zajímavé aktuální zahraniční články

od davkol » 12 pro 2019, 00:04

Who owns the news? The 24 companies that control the world’s biggest news outlets

Our latest study shows the current state of media consolidation in the United States, the U.K., Australia, and the globe.

We started off by identifying the top 50 most visited news websites in the world as of September 2019, using data from web traffic analysis company Alexa, and market intelligence provider SimilarWeb. We then determined the parent companies behind each of these 50 outlets and identified all of the properties in their online media portfolios to create an accurate picture of the concentration of media around the world.

Several names are synonymous with media domination around the world: News Corp in the United States, the U.K., and Australia, Globo in Brazil, Yomiuri Shimbun in Japan. While many of the oldest media conglomerates are as powerful as ever and still growing, the emergence of digital news has substantially altered the media landscape and allowed new companies to emerge as major players in the news industry. Tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, as well as telecommunications conglomerates such as Verizon and AT&T, now rank among the top owners of the world’s media.

In recent years, asset management firms and private investors have increasingly bought majority stakes in legacy newspapers and have come to dominate the list of the top media owners worldwide. In April 2019, for example, private equity firm Great Hill Partners acquired the Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion, and combined their digital news assets, which include Gizmodo, Jezebel, and The A.V. Club, into a new company named G/O Media Inc. In August 2019, American investment firm KKR purchased the largest stake in Axel Springer SE, a German media group whose assets include Business Insider and Rolling Stone.

While many believed the internet would bring openness and diversity to the world’s media, online news media has become increasingly consolidated over the past several decades.

According to a recent analysis from the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information research center, the market concentration of internet media has more than doubled since 2000. In an analysis of 30 countries, researchers found that, on average, the top four media companies in each country hold 40% of that country’s media content market. Such a high degree of media concentration — which is only projected to increase in the near future — has far-reaching implications for social, cultural, economic, and political life. As media moguls continue to build their empires, and emerging conglomerates begin to expand into the news media industry, it is important to remain aware of who exactly owns the news.

As the concentration of online news has increased, so has public distrust in mass media. A recent Gallup poll shows that Americans remain largely mistrustful of the mass media, with just 41% currently having “a great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in newspapers, television and radio to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly.”

The news media has a powerful influence over consumer tastes, political opinions, and culture at large, so it is increasingly important to know who exactly controls the news content we consume every day.

Alex Ion
December 2, 2019

Amazon získal bezplatný přístup k datům NHS

od lukas.jilek » 09 pro 2019, 08:29

Americká společnost Amazon získala přístup k datům britského systému státní zdravotní péče. Vláda je společnosti údajně poskytla v rámci kontraktu bezplatně. Informují o tom The Sunday Times. ... -bbzp52n5m

Re: Zajímavé aktuální zahraniční články

od Mikulas.Ferjencik » 25 lis 2019, 01:19

Článek o tom, proč patenty nefungují pro malé vynálezce ... n__=H-RH-R