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Joint Military Taskforce Will Patrol Illegal Routes In Libya

Libya Slave2

Hundreds of Black Africans are being auctioned in modern-day slave markets in Libya

A joint military taskforce from various African countries will soon patrol the high waters in the Mediterranean as well as the travel paths on land in a bid to monitor and report on cases of human trafficking and slave trade. 
According to  Dr. Admore Kambudzi, Acting Director for AU Peace and Security Department, this would complement the efforts of European navy and patrol agencies.

Since this is a serious problem, the regional force will be in Central Africa, Southern Africa, Western Africa, Northern Africa and Eastern Africa. 


Department of Justice sues To Block At&T /Time Warner Merger

All that Power

The Justice Department sued to block the company’s AT&T’s $85.4 billion bid to buy Time Warner Inc.

 A judge will determine whether the combination of AT&T and Time Warner would give the new entity too much power in the fast-changing media landscape.

 It is assume that AT&T will surely press for a decision before April 22, the date before which the two companies can walk away without penalty.

The first major antitrust enforcement action to be brought by the Trump administration — dealt a blow to a tie-up that appeared to be sailing toward approval as recently as a month ago. That was before Makan Delrahim, was appointed to head the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

Delrahim contents that the merger would  harm American consumers enormously. Resulting in higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy. 

The White House has traditionally stayed at arm’s length from merger reviews. Trump told reporters during his recent trip to Asia that the deal might be challenged in court.

 Time Warner and AT&T combined, could use its control over programming like CNN and HBO to harm rivals by forcing them to pay hundreds of millions of dollars more per year for the right to distribute the content, according to the 23-page complaint. The deal also would enable AT&T to impede competition from online video distributors, which would reduce choices for consumers, according to the complaint.

The government is open to dropping the lawsuit if the companies offer a proposal to fix the competitive harm from the deal, a Justice Department official said.

Currently there have been accusations that the Justice Department, driven by political meddling from the Trump White House, is pursuing a risky case that it’s bound to lose.

The Complaint

Detecting Fake Drugs

The World Health Organization reports that counterfeit medicines could make up more than 50 percent of drugs sold on the global market, with a large amount of fake drugs being bought and sold in developing countries.

Whether due to loose regulation or lax law enforcement, counterfeiters can run wild in less developed countries. The demand is high and many people seek inexpensive treatment options. Others are simply trying to survive with limited access to care. Many die making that choice. The only people who profit from fake pharmaceuticals are the counterfeiters.

Matt Keller, a research scientist at Intellectual Ventures Laboratory says ” a simple technology may be able to spot the fakes.” At a quick glance, can you tell the difference between these two drugs?”

If you just hold fake and genuine packets of drugs next to each other, just looking at them — the counterfeiters have gotten quite good at, you know, just making them look real,” said Keller.

“So, you might have to, for example, kind of crush up the pill, mix it with a chemical and kind of put it on a paper readout strip. But, the thing we like about spectroscopy is it’s nondestructive. There’s no ongoing cost. So, you basically buy your device and use a phone app that we developed and then that’s basically all that you need. We developed an app that basically just talks to the spectrometer. And then, it tells you, first of all, is this a genuine or a fake drug? And if it’s genuine, then it confirms what the ingredient is,” said Keller.

Researchers are working to expand the use of the app and test it in Southeast Asia, in areas where counterfeit drugs are a huge problem.


MTA’s New Cardless Fare System

MetroCard, NYC subway, MTA

According to amNY, advocates and experts say the new “contactless” technology could make the system more equitable through a policy called fare capping: riders pay per ride until the daily or weekly capping rates are reached, with every ride being free after that.

The new system, set to replace the plastic card by 2023, will also allow customers to create personalized transit accounts online to check ride history, add value and report lost or stolen cards.

The current payment system gives benefits to riders willing to spend $121 on the spot for an unlimited monthly pass by saving them on cost-per-ride fares. For New Yorkers who cannot afford to spend over $100 on a single purchase, there are no savings when buying the weekly or daily pass. Advocates say the contactless system could make commuting more equitable.

MTA board member David Jones told amNY, “… With the [new] technology, if you in fact swipe through enough times in a month you could automatically be given the 30-day benefit. The technology is so sophisticated that it can tally how many times you are using the system.

Fare capping, a policy Cubic has implemented for London’s transit fare system, would no longer force riders to choose between a daily or weekly pass; straphangers pay per ride until the daily or weekly capping rates are reached and pay nothing after that.

While a fare capping policy has been backed by transit advocacy group Riders Alliance, the MTA Board has not decided whether it will implement it as part of the new system.

Singles Day

Image shows a delivery man in Shanghai on 11 November 2017

Image copyright AFP
Image caption A delivery man delivers parcels during Singles Day in Shanghai


Back in the 1970’s in Communist China very little thought went into shopping because there was not much to buy. People simply bought what little was available.Even in the 1980s, shopping in Beijing was little better. Shopping was get what you needed.

Officially called the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. 11.11 stands for the 11 November, when it is held. The two numbers were chosen to symbolize the wishes of single people to be in a relationship, as two elevens next to one another appear like two couples.

It was originally a non-commercial festival started by male college students who didn’t have a girlfriend. They created a day to get together to celebrate bachelorhood.

But the Chinese retailer Alibaba caught on to it and has turned it into the largest online shopping day in the world. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA, Tech30 sales soared past $18 billion after just 13 hours of the retail blitz known as Singles Day, eclipsing the $17.8 billion it managed in the full 24 hours last year. 

  Although Singles Day still mostly targets Chinese consumers, it’s also increasingly spreading to other countries, experts say.


Amazon’s Strange Courier Service


 Amazon has just launched a new service that will allow couriers to open people’s front doors and leave deliveries inside their house. The new Amazon Key, which relies on Amazon’s new Cloud Cam camera and compatible smart lock, will allow delivery drivers to open your front door and put your package in your home.

Amazon couriers will scan a package barcode and once the delivery has been verified online, the camera’s Zigbee technology, which talks to the lock, will start recording and the delivery person will be able to unlock the door using an app.

Users will be able to choose to watch the delivery live or receive a short video after the drop-off.

The system can also be used to give access to dog walkers, cleaners or visiting guests. Prime members can select in-home delivery and conveniently see their packages being delivered right from their mobile phones


Amazon key, in-home delivery service

More Here




 A man was arrested when Israeli police spotted the auto-translate message last week, which was accompanied by a photo of the man leaning against a bulldozer enjoying what appears to be a morning coffee and cigarette at a West Bank construction site near Jerusalem. The confusion came from the system misidentifying a similar Arabic word which means “to hurt.”


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