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More than 2,500 migrants died or went missing desperately attempting to cross the Mediterranean this year

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 2,500 migrants died or went missing in the Mediterranean between January 1 and September 24.

The U.N. refugee agency said Thursday that some 186,000 migrants and refugees arrived in southern Europe so far this year, the vast majority in Italy.

More than 11,600 children crossed to Italy without their parents or legal guardians between January and mid-September. Last year, about 7,200 unaccompanied or separated children made the crossing.

Le Monde | ReliefWebEuronewsDW | NPR | VoA »

From zero to 100 km/h in 0.956 seconds over a distance of 12.3 metres

A new land speed world record in a hand built electric car.

ETH Zurich »

Students from ETH Zurich and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts have broken the previous world record for acceleration with their hand-​built electric racing car, mythen. The vehicle accelerated from zero to 100 km/h in 0.956 seconds over a distance of 12.3 metres.

New World Record – from 0 to 100 km/h in 0.956 seconds

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Shell, Europe’s biggest oil company, shelves it’s plan to shrink its carbon footprint

Bloomberg »

In an all-day investor event in June, Sawan laid out an updated strategy for the European oil major that included cutting costs and doubling down on profit drivers like oil and gas. As important was what he omitted: any mention of the company’s prior commitment to spend up to $100 million a year to build a pipeline of carbon credits, part of the firm’s promise to zero out its emissions by 2050.

Silicon Valley elites are planning an exclusive 55,000-acre utopia

The Guardian »

Before last week, no one knew who exactly was behind the purchase of agricultural plots and empty land in south-eastern Solano county, about 60 miles from San Francisco. The land bought by the firm primarily stretches between Fairfield, home to 120,000 people as well as the Anheuser-Busch Co brewery and the Jelly Belly jelly bean factory, and the small city of Rio Vista.

In all, the group spent nearly $1bn and became the largest landowner in the county, even buying property around the nation’s busiest air force base. The mystery reportedly drew the attention of the US military and FBI.

Last week, the New York Times revealed that Flannery Associates was backed by a group of prominent Silicon Valley investors and aimed to build a new city, operated using clean energy, that would create thousands of jobs while offering residents reliable public transportation and urban living.

The new Fairphone 5

GUIDED TOUR | The new Fairphone 5 | Fairphone

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Fairphone promise a long-lasting, quality design build. They have taken those values and driven sustainable innovations further than any other brand.

The Fairphone 5 is more modular and repairable than previous versions, while still being thinner. It’s made with more recycled and fair focus materials, it directly supports the people who assembled the phone with a wage they can really live of; it’s assembled with 100% renewable energy, it’s climate conscious and electronic waste neutral – AND it runs on a powerful long-life chipset that we’ll support for the next 8 years – that’s until 2031.

It is available for pre-order at €699.00 (~ CDN$1,035 / US$765) with an estimated delivery starting in mid-September.

Would love to see it in Canada and the US, but it’s currently only available some parts of Europe.

Ars Technica | Android Police | Android Police | Android Authority | ZDNet | The Verge

Forget about early retirement in the UK

Listen at Bloomberg »

Britain’s eligible pension savers need to return to work, earn for longer and save more—otherwise they might find retirement less than stress free.

That’s the warning from Andy Briggs, chief executive of Phoenix Group, in conversation with Francine Lacqua on this week’s episode of In the City.

They discuss the plight of retired people over the age of 50 and how the UK pension system compares with those of other countries. Briggs, who is also the UK government’s aging society business champion, describes a grim future for people over age 50 who aren’t saving enough, as well as those seeking to retire early.

He says a recent study by Phoenix, a long-term savings and retirement business, shows that only one in seven people in the lowest UK earnings-band are saving enough to guarantee a decent standard of living in retirement.

Four out of 10 think they’re doing enough but aren’t, he says, calling the situation “really frightening.” “An awful lot of over-50 [people] have dropped out of the workplace through the pandemic. But an awful lot of them won’t have a decent grip on what their retirement income might be,” he says. “If only they knew then [that] for an awful lot of them, it’ll be a really good idea to get back into work.”

Briggs also argues that the UK pension sector is missing out on higher returns because it’s been forced to invest “conservatively.” There “are opportunities to take more risks in a very calculated and sensible way that will lead to better outcomes for customers,” he says.

Phoenix Group is one of nine insurers who have signed up to the Mansion House Compact, a deal through which the UK plans to redirect 5% of the British pension pot into startups. The government says the aim is to grow the average earner’s retirement benefit by at least £1,000 a year ($1,275) while giving the UK economy a boost. The key, says Briggs, is having a broad range of investments across sectors.

Eye scans detect signs of Parkinson’s disease up to seven years before diagnosis


A team led by Siegfried Wagner and Pearse Keane of Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (and spanning UCL institutions) has identified markers that indicate the presence of Parkinson’s disease in patients on average seven years before clinical presentation. This is the first time anyone has shown these findings several years before diagnosis, and these results were made possible by the largest study to date on retinal imaging in Parkinson’s disease.

The study, published today in Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, identified markers of Parkinson’s in eye scans with the help of artificial intelligence (AI).

Anti-corruption progressive candidate Bernardo Arévalo de León wins Guatemalan election in a landslide

Associated Press »

With 100% of votes counted, anti-corruption crusader Bernardo Arévalo got 58% of the vote to 37% for former first lady Sandra Torres in her third bid for the presidency. The results still have to be certified to become official, an open question as the attorney general’s office attempts to suspend his party’s legal status.

LA Times | France 24 | VoA | Globe and Mail | Euroactive |

UN finds ‘Dramatic increase’ in Myanmar war crimes

An UN investigation of Myanmar’s human rights situation found that combat-related war crimes have become increasingly frequent and brazen, including bombings of civilians, killings of civilian and combatant detainees, and large-scale burnings of civilian buildings

UN Report [.pdf] | Al Jazaara | VoA |

Related »

DW Documentary » How the Chin are fighting the Junta

Myanmar - How the Chin are fighting the Junta | DW Documentary

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Japan’s population drops by nearly 800,000 with falls in every prefecture for the first time

The Guardian »

Every one of Japan’s 47 prefectures posted a population drop in 2022, while the total number of Japanese people fell by nearly 800,000. The figures released by the Japan’s internal affairs ministry mark two new unwelcome records for a nation sailing into uncharted demographic territory, but on a course many other countries are set to follow.

Wednesday’s new data showed deaths hit a record high of more than 1.56 million while there were just 771,000 births in Japan in 2022, the first time the number of newborns has fallen below 800,000 since records began.

Even an all-time high increase in foreign residents of more than 10%, to 2.99 million, couldn’t halt a slide in the total population, which has declined for 14 years in a row to 122.42 million in 2022.

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