Day: December 19, 2021
Cliffhanger election? Boric wins Chile 56% to 44%
A leftist millennial who rose to prominence during anti-government protests was elected Chile’s next president Sunday after a bruising campaign against a free-market firebrand likened to Donald Trump.
With more than 90% of polling stations reporting, Gabriel Boric had 56% of the votes, compared to 44% for his opponent, lawmaker José Antonio Kast…
Boric, 35, will become Chile’s youngest modern president when he takes office in March. He was among several activists elected to Congress in 2014 after leading protests for higher quality education. On the stump, he vowed to “bury” the neoliberal economic model left by Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s 1973-1990 dictatorship and raise taxes on the “super rich” to expand social services, fight inequality and boost protections of the environment…
Boric, who is backed by a coalition of leftist parties that includes Chile’s Communist Party, brought more centrist advisers onto his team and promised that any changes would be gradual and fiscally responsible.
Hasta la Victoria Siempre
GOUSA…and a few friends…blocked a treaty on Killer Robots
Country officials and campaigners have expressed disappointment after United Nations talks on autonomous weapons systems – known as “killer robots” – stopped short of launching negotiations into an international treaty to govern their use following opposition from manufacturing states.
Unlike existing semi-autonomous weapons such as drones, fully-autonomous weapons have no human-operated “kill switch” and instead leave decisions over life and death to sensors, software and machine processes…
But on Friday, the Sixth Review Conference on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) failed to schedule further talks around the development and use of the Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems, or LAWS.
Countries already investing heavily in the development of LAWS attended the five-day meeting in Geneva, blocking a majority from agreeing on steps to establish legally-binding rules on machine-operated weapons.
Sources following the talks told Reuters news agency that Russia, India and the United States were among the countries that pushed back against a new LAWS treaty….
Uncle Sugar has been playing this dog-in-the-manger act over and over for decades. We did it with nuclear weapons and here we go, again. Other – equally untrustworthy – nations will match or surpass “our” killer robots with their own killer robots. Then, we sign off and say “OK” hoping at a minimum to keep some of the smaller power brokers from creating their own lot of murderous toys.
Saddest photo of the weekend
Six dead giraffes lie in a spiral on the dry earth, their bodies emaciated and interwoven. The aerial shot, taken by the photojournalist Ed Ram, shows the devastation of Kenya’s drought, which has left people and animals struggling for food and water.
Already weak, the animals had died after they got stuck in the mud, according to Getty Images. They were trying to reach a nearby reservoir, although it had almost dried up, the agency reported.
The carcasses were moved to the outskirts of Eyrib village in Wajir County to prevent contamination of the reservoir water…
It is not just animals that are at risk. An estimated 2.1 million Kenyans were facing starvation due to severe drought across half the state, the country’s drought management authority warned in September.
I don’t know. How much are Kenyans and giraffes worth to the wealthy nations of the world?