The 10 most important things in the world right now – ROSIE PERPER APR 30, 2018


Hello! Here’s what’s happening on Monday.

1. North Korea will invite US experts to witness its nuclear site shutdown in May. On Friday, Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in said they wanted to achieve “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula.

2. UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned. Rudd is the fourth minister to resign in half a year.

3. Angela Merkel warned that the EU will “defend its interests” if its not exempted from US tariffs. The EU’s temporary exemption from taxes on aluminium and steel imports expires on Tuesday.

4. Australia is sending a surveillance aircraft to monitor potential sanction breaches by North Korea.North Korea regularly breaches sanctions by taking part in ship-to-ship transfers in the high seas, and Australia’s aircraft will monitor for similar activity.

5. China is monitoring workers’ brains to increase productivity and profits. Some workers have started wearing caps that monitor their brainwaves, and the data is used by management to readjust work flow.

6. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince said Palestinians should accept peace or “shut up and stop complaining.Saudi Arabia has historically played a central role in Middle East peace talks but it may now be growing tired of its mediator role.

7. US telecom giants T-Mobile and Sprint are forming a new $US146 billion new company. The agreement marks the culmination of four years of on-again, off-again discussions.

8. A blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, killed 21 people. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which came just a week after a bomb at a voter registration center killed 60 people.

9. Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte praised Kim Jong Un as a “hero of everybody.Duterte previously called Kim a “fool” and said he was “playing with dangerous toys.”

10. Iranian activists are scrawling their protests on thousands of bank notes to avoid censorship. Iran has arrested upwards of 5,000 people during recent protests and has been cracking down on online dissent.

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-10-most-important-things-in-the-world-right-now-april-30-2018-4

A Limit to China’s Economic Rise: Not Enough Babies – April 29, 2018 2:58 p.m. ET


A rapidly aging workforce threatens the nation’s ambitions, but Beijing still discourages childbirth

BEIJING—China is careening toward a demographic time bomb. In another decade, it will have more people over 60 than the entire population of the U.S. Its workforce is shrinking, and not enough babies are being born.

Yet when Li Yuanyuan, a professor, was expecting her third child last year, her employer in the eastern city of Qingdao pressured her to end the pregnancy or resign. She refused, but the stress gave her nightmares. “How can I not worry about it?” she said during her pregnancy. “We could end up raising three children without any income.”

In the nation with one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, couples are still discouraged from having multiple offspring—children who could help rejuvenate the fast-aging population.

Some experts have argued over the years that slower population growth could help ease the pressure for China to create new jobs as technology increases productivity. Others contend that the aging problem looms over China’s long-term economic health, presenting a vulnerability in its global ambitions over resources, technology and industry amid a deepening trade conflict with the U.S.

Chinese officials have been softening birth restrictions, and say they are reluctant to make sudden, drastic changes to longstanding policy. Some demographers say the moves are too slow to reverse the trend.

While all couples have been able to have two children without penalty since China abandoned its one-child policy in 2016, family-planning law stipulates penalties for those who have more. Local-government agents enforce the law with fines and state employers often pressure women to abide by the birth limits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Avengers: Infinity War’s post-credits scene, explained – Alex Abad-Santos Apr 29, 2018, 7:11pm EDT


Spoiler warning: There are Avengers: Infinity War spoilers in here.

Marvel Entertainment

This post contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War. Do not read any further if you don’t want to be spoiled. Proceed at your own risk.

Avengers: Infinity War has one post-credits scene, and it’s huge — a teaser that sets the table for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Over the past several years, mid- and post-credits scenes have become a Marvel tradition, something fans look forward to every time the studio puts out a new release. Sometimes they contain huge reveals that hint at future movies (see: Thanos intercepting Thor’s Asgardian spaceship at the end of Thor: Ragnarok, which sets up the starting point of Infinity War).

Other times, they serve as little winks from Marvel to its biggest fans, or callback to the company’s history (see: Howard the Duck dropping by at the end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy, or Captain America musing on the virtue of patience at the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming as if to imply that post-credits scenes won’t always feature big reveals).

In recent years, Marvel has increasingly wrapped its movies with two end credits scenes, one mid-credits and one post-credits. But Infinity War just has the one at the very end of the credits, and it’s a doozy. Here’s what happens:

avengers:infinity war spoiler
Avengers: Infinity War spoiler.

Spoiler warning: There’s major discussion about what happens in Avengers: Infinity War in the next section. This is your last chance.

Avengers: Infinity War’s post-credits scene sets up Captain Marvel

What happens: At the end of Infinity War, Thanos’s plan comes to fruition. In those closing minutes, we watch Avengers vaporizing into nothing and the survivors realizing that Thanos has indeed eliminated half of the universe’s inhabitants. In the post-credits scene, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders’s Maria Hill (whom we haven’t seen since Age of Ultron) are alerted of the attack on Wakanda while driving. While they’re gathering information, a car swerves and crashes in front of theirs, and they realize no one is driving it. Seconds later, Hill is vaporized, to Nick Fury’s horror.

The audience, having seen what happened in Wakanda, knows that this is the effect of Thanos eliminating half of humanity — but Fury doesn’t know that. As he, too, begins to vaporize into nothingness, he manages to fire off one last message on a communications device, which the camera zooms in on it as it sends. A star-shaped logo appears as confirmation that his message was received.

What it means: The big reveal here isn’t Hill and Fury getting turned into dust — though that’s no doubt big, since we haven’t seen these two characters in the MCU recently. No, the real story here is whom Nick Fury is sending the message to: Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel:

Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel.
Marvel Comics

The star-shaped logo with the stripes on Fury’s device corresponds to the star-shaped logo and stripes on Captain Marvel’s uniform (above). That’s actually part of a 2012 uniform redesign, which was part of bigger overhaul of the character that turned Ms. Marvel into Captain Marvel (a title that has been held previously by other characters).

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Kamala Harris builds an online army – DAVID SIDERS 04/29/2018 06:50 AM EDT


Ahead of 2020, the California senator is applying lessons drawn from Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.

Kamala Harris is pictured. | Getty Images
Sen. Kamala Harris’ spending on digital outreach suggests a wider horizon for a senator not up for reelection until 2022. | Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — The legacy of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 fundraising juggernaut is already shaping the architecture of the next presidential campaign.

Sanders has not yet said whether he will run again in 2020. But two years after the Vermont senator demonstrated the potency of a populist message married to an online, small-dollar operation — he raised $54 million in donations of $200 or less by the end of 2015 alone Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and other top 2020 Democratic prospects are applying lessons drawn directly from his experience.

Harris recently became the latest potential presidential candidate to pledge to no longer accept money from corporate political action committees — a move adopted by an increasing number of progressive Democrats who calculate that they have more to gain than lose by forgoing corporate PAC money.

But Harris’ decision also reflected a broader — potentially more significant — effort to fortify her small-donor fundraising strategy ahead of the 2020 election.

She’s spending aggressively to bolster her digital campaign infrastructure and cultivate supporters online, creating a template that resembles the one that served Sanders so well against Hillary Clinton.

“People see a potential in terms of digital fundraising, so I’m not surprised to see some of our younger, more ambitious members moving on that front — especially members who, part of their base or appeal is to younger voters,” said Jaime Harrison, associate chair of the Democratic National Committee and a former South Carolina state party chair.

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DOJ alters passages on media, racial gerrymandering in internal manual –


© Getty Images

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently removed language in its policy manual relating to freedom of the press and racial gerrymandering as part of a broader overhaul of the document, according to BuzzFeed News.

The news outlet reported Sunday that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosensteinordered a review of the document, which had not been thoroughly updated since 1997.

“The purpose of that review is to identify redundant sections and language, areas that required greater clarity, and any content that needed to be added to help Department attorneys perform core prosecutorial functions,” DOJ spokesman Ian Prior told The Hill in a statement.

“The (manual) is not meant to be an exhaustive list of constitutional rights, statutory law, regulatory law, or generalized principles of our legal system,” he added. “It is also not the primary source of guidance on employment and administrative matters, among others.”

BuzzFeed compared some of the updated language with the previous version listed on the Internet Archive.

According to BuzzFeed, the latest version replaces a passage that explains the need to meet the requirements of a free press and public trials with new language about balancing “the right of the public to have access to information about the Department of Justice.”

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The Sprint/T-Mobile Merger Is Huge—But a Lot of Questions Remain – KLINT FINLEY BUSINESS 04.29.18 03:47 PM


John Legere will serve as CEO of the company formed from the merger.

John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sprint may soon be no more. Today the venerable telecommunications company announced plans to merge with T-Mobile in an all-stock deal. If regulators give the go-ahead, the new company will be called simply T-Mobile, and T-Mobile’s current chief executive officer John Legere will be its CEO.

That’s a big if. Although the Trump administration is generally seen as more friendly to the telco industry than the Obama administration was, it has taken issue against some mega-mergers, most notably AT&T’s bid for Time Warner. The combination of T-Mobile and Sprint, the third and fourth largest mobile providers respectively, would bring the number of major cellular carriers down from four to three, which could attract a lot of scrutiny.

Assuming the deal moves ahead, the new company would have a combined total of around 127.2 million wireless subscribers, putting it within striking distance of AT&T’s 141.6 million subscribers and Verizon’s 150.5 million subscribers.

The two companies will exchange stock at a rate of 0.10256 T-Mobile shares per Sprint share and 9.75 Sprint per T-Mobile share, valuing the combined company at $146 billion.

T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom will own 42 percent of the new company, and the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, which acquired Sprint in 2013, will own 27 percent. The remaining 31 percent will be held by the public. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure will serve on the board of the new company.

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‘A Silent Extinction’: Finding Peace And Saving Giraffes On A Lake In Kenya – Eyder Peralta April 29, 20183:39 PM ET


Rothschild’s giraffe at Lake Nakuru, Great Rift Valley, Kenya. A community project at Kenya’s Lake Baringo is attempting to save the subspecies. | Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

Our series “Take A Number” looks at problems around the world — and the people trying to solve them — through the lens of a single number.

From the boat, Rebecca Kochulem points at the hills surrounding Lake Baringo. It is a spectacular specimen of natural beauty: red cliffs plunging into water, steam rising from gurgling hot springs and the hills, lush and green with acacia trees.

Kochulem, a zoologist, sees this as a perfect habitat for giraffes.

“The only problem is that most of the species were wiped out from this area because of poaching,” she says.

Many decades ago, this was the home of the Rothschild’s giraffe. Because of poaching and conflict, they disappeared from this area of Kenya for about 70 years.

In 2012, conservationists decided to bring the subspecies back. They trucked eight giraffes from conservancies in other parts of Kenya and then put them on barges to be disembarked on an island in the middle of Lake Baringo. It’s part of the 40,000-acre Ruko Conservancy, a community-run program that brought the giraffes back home.

As Kochulem steps out of the small boat, she says that for a long time, everyone sort of assumed that giraffes as whole were OK. But a survey in 2016 found that nearly 40 percent of the population across the continent had been wiped out in one generation. With fewer than 97,562 of all nine subspecies left, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed them as “vulnerable” on its threatened species index.

The world was waiting for a tragedy before taking action, says Kochulem.

“So maybe it was too late somehow, but I think that now with the protection that is happening we are thinking that it might save them,” she says.

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