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Germany Education

Researchers at the University of Oldenburg in Germany found that barn owls have 'ageless ears', an evolutionary advantage that is absent in humans and other mammals.
[Vanguard] Born in Kaduna, Jimmy Nwanne studied fine arts at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria, with a major in painting. He currently lives and works in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Nwanne's works have been exhibited in Denmark, Germany and Nigeria.
allafrica.com | 9/18/17

Queen Victoria may have led a fascinating life, but it certainly wouldn't have been the same if her husband, Prince Albert, hadn't been by her side for 21 years. So if the hit show Victoria has you wondering about the bright and dashing prince played by the gorgeous Tom Hughes, here are nine things you may not have known about him.

He Was German

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was born on 26 Aug., 1819, at Schloss Rosenau, near Coburg, in Germany. His full name was Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel, and he was the second son of Ernest III, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and his first wife, Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. He had a brother named Ernest.

He Had a Difficult Childhood

At the age of 7, Prince Albert's father divorced his mother on grounds of adultery. She was exiled from court in 1824, forbidden to see her children again, and sent to live in Switzerland. The following year, the duke married Albert and Ernest's cousin, the Princess Antoinette Marie of Württembergwas.

He Went to College

Ernest and Albert were at first privately educated at home. Later, Albert attended the University of Bonn, where he studied law, philosophy, music, and the history of art. He was also a good sportsman and was a particularly keen rider and fencer.

His Marriage to Queen Victoria Wasn't Popular

Prince Albert married his first cousin Queen Victoria at the age of 20, on 10 Feb., 1840. At first, the royal relationship was far from popular. Albert was granted a smaller annuity than previous consorts, he was excluded from politics, and he wasn't granted the title of Prince Consort until 1857.

Queen Victoria Quickly Became Reliant on Him

After the death of Prime Minister Lord Melbourne in 1848, Prince Albert became Queen Victoria's adviser and began acting as her private secretary. Despite his unpopularity, he exercised his influence with tact and intelligence, and he was the mind behind some of the greatest social reforms that happened during Victoria's reign.

He Helped Address Many Public Causes

As adviser to the Queen, Albert encouraged her to have a greater interest in social welfare. Thanks to his progressive and liberal ideas, he helped to address the problem of child labor in factories and workshops, led reforms in university education, welfare, slavery, and finances, and took great interest in the arts, science, trade, and industry.

He Was the Mastermind Behind the Great Exhibition

On 1 May, 1851, Queen Victoria opened the Great Exhibition (also called the Crystal Palace Exhibition), which Prince Albert helped to create and promote. The event was a colossal success, and most of the money collected was then used to purchase land in South Kensington and build some of London's most famous landmarks, including the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and what would later be named the Victoria and Albert Museum. The remaining surplus was used to set up an educational trust which provided grants and scholarships for industrial research - and it continues to do so today.

He Helped to Avoid War Between Britain and the United States

Right before his death, in the Autumn of 1861, Albert intervened in a diplomatic row between Britain and the United States during the American Civil War, which probably helped to avoid a war.

Queen Victoria Never Recovered From His Death

Prince Albert started suffering from severe abdominal cramps in August 1859 and died two years later, at 10:50 p.m. on 14 Dec., 1861. Three weeks before his passing, he visited his eldest son Bertie (who would later become Edward VII) in Cambridge - the 19-year-old had been spending time in Ireland training with the army, and the story of a prostitute named Nellie Clifden being smuggled into his bed had reached the royal family. Prince Albert returned to Windsor a sick man, and probably died of typhoid fever, although the fact that he was ill for two years might indicate that he had a chronic disease, such as Crohn's disease, a renal failure, or an abdominal cancer. Either way, Queen Victoria never recovered from the loss of her beloved husband, and she blamed Bertie for his death, writing, "I never can or shall look at him without a shudder."

At Germany?s Geisenheim University, an agricultural institute situated in a wine region, vineyards are a test bed for the effects of rising CO2 levels on plant growth.
www.eetimes.com | 9/15/17

New York University scored four winning films in the 2017 Student Academy Awards, the Academy announced on Wednesday. The University of Southern California had two winners and was the only other school with more than one winning film.

Other U.S. schools that won Student Oscars are the School of Visual Arts, the Ringing College of Art and Design, the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University.

Foreign films from schools in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and China won in the Student Oscars’ foreign categories.

All the winning films are now eligible in the short-film categories for the 2017 Oscars.

Also Read: ShortList 2017: Filmmakers Share Obstacles, Trump-Era Reinterpretation, Money Issues (Video)

The films were chosen from among 1,587 submissions by 356 film schools around the world.

Past Student Academy Award winners include Spike Lee, John Lasseter, Robert Zemeckis, Trey Parker, Pete Docter and Cary Fukunaga.

While the Academy announcement names the winning films, it does not reveal the level of prize each wins. The gold, silver and bronze level winners will be announced on Thursday, October 12 at the Student Academy Awards ceremony at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The ceremony will cap a week-long series of events for the student filmmakers.

The winners:

Alternative (Domestic Film Schools)
“Opera of Cruelty,” Max R. A. Fedore, New York University

Animation (Domestic Film Schools)
“Cradle,” Devon Manney, University of Southern California
“E-delivery,” Young Gul Cho, School of Visual Arts
“In a Heartbeat,” Beth David and Esteban Bravo, Ringling College of Art and Design

Documentary (Domestic Film Schools)
“Hale,” Brad Bailey, University of California, Berkeley
“On Pointe,” Priscilla Thompson and Joy Jihyun Jeong, Columbia University
“One Way Home,” Qingzi Fan, New York University

Narrative (Domestic Film Schools)
“Mammoth,” Ariel Heller, University of Southern California
“My Newphew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr., New York University
“Who’s Who in Mycology,” Marie Dvorakova, New York University

Narrative (International Film Schools)
“Facing Mecca,” Jan-Eric Mack, Zurich University of the Arts (Switzerland)
“Watu Wote/All of Us,” Katja Benrath, Hamburg Media School (Germany)
“When Grey is a Colour,” Marit Weerheijm, Netherlands Film Academy (Netherlands)

Animation (International Film Schools)
“Life Smartphone,” Chenglin Xie, China Central Academy of Fine Arts (China)

Documentary (International Film Schools)
“Galamsey,” Johannes Preuss, Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany)

Related stories from TheWrap:

ShortList 2017: How Making a Short Can Kickstart a Young Filmmaker's Career Video)

'The Silence,' 'American Paradise' Take Top Prizes at TheWrap's Shortlist Film Festival 2017

Robert De Niro Tells NYU Grads: 'You're F–cked'

www.thewrap.com | 9/13/17
The researchers – led by a team at Georg August University in Gottingen Germany – believe that as a father ages, more mutations occur in their sperm which affect the child’s fertility later.

Excerpt from my Internet Law casebook discussing transborder content removal orders, including the Equustek case.

From the Internet's earliest days, the tension between a global communication network and local geography-based laws has been obvious. One scenario is that every jurisdiction's local laws apply to the Internet globally, meaning that the country (or sub-national regulator) with the most restrictive law for any content category sets the global standard for that content. If this scenario comes to pass, the Internet will only contain content that is legal in every jurisdiction in the world — a small fraction of the content we as Americans might enjoy, because many countries restrict content that is clearly legal in the U.S.

Perhaps surprisingly, we've generally avoided this dystopian scenario — so far. In part, this is because many major Internet services create localized versions of their offerings that conform to local laws, which allows the services to make country-by-country removals of locally impermissible content. Thus, the content on google.de might vary pretty substantially from the content on google.com. This localization undermines the 1990s utopian vision that the Internet would enable a single global content database that everyone in the world could uniformly enjoy. However, service localization has also forestalled more dire regulatory crises. So long as google.de complies with local German laws and google.com complies with local U.S. laws, regulators in the U.S. and Germany should be OK...right?

Increasingly, the answer appears to be "no." Google's response to the European RTBF rule has highlighted the impending crisis. In response to the RTBF requirement that search engines to remove certain search results associated with their names, initially Google only de-indexed results from its European indexes, i.e., Google would scrub the results from Google.de but not Google.com. However, European users of Google can easily seek out international versions of Google's search index. An enterprising European user could go to Google.com and obtain unscrubbed search results — and compare the search results with the localized edition of Google to see which results had been scrubbed.

The French Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) has deemed this outcome unacceptable. As a result, it has demanded that Google honor an RTBF de-indexing request across all of its search indexes globally. In other words, if a French resident successfully makes a de-indexing request under European data privacy laws, Google should not display the removed result to anyone in the world, even searchers outside of Europe who are not subject to European law.

The CNIL's position is not unprecedented; other governmental agencies have made similar demands for the worldwide suppression of content they object to. However, the demand on Google threatens to break the Internet. Either Google must cease all of its French operations to avoid being subject to the CNIL's interpretation of the law, or it must give a single country the power to decide what content is appropriate for the entire world — which, of course, could produce conflicts with the laws of other countries.

Google proposed a compromise of removing RTBF results from its European indexes, and if a European attempts to log into a non-European version of Google's search index, Google will dynamically scrub the results it delivers to the European searcher. As a result, if the European searcher tries to get around the European censored results, he or she will still not see the full search results. (Of course, it would be easy to bypass Google's dynamic scrubbing using VPNs). CNIL has rejected Google's compromise as still unacceptable.

If CNIL gets its way, other governments with censorious impulses will demand equal treatment. But even Google's "compromise" solution — walling off certain information from being available in a country that seeks to censor that information — will be helpful to censors. In effect, the RTBF ruling forces Google to build a censorship infrastructure that regulators can coopt for other censorious purposes. Thus, either way, the resolution to the RTBF's geography conundrum provides a preview of the future of global censorship.

The Equustek Case

The local violation/global removal debate is taking place in other venues as well. In 2017, the Canada Supreme Court ordered Google to globally remove search results based on alleged Canadian legal violations. Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., 2017 SCC 34.

In that case, Datalink, a competitor of Equustek, sold products that allegedly infringed Equustek's intellectual property rights. After Equustek sued Datalink, Datalink relocated to an unknown location outside of Canada, putting it out of the reach of Canadian courts. Equustek asked Google to deindex Datalink's website. Google partially deindexed the site from google.ca, but Equustek sought more relief. The Canada Supreme Court ordered global deindexing of Datalink's website:

The problem in this case is occurring online and globally. The Internet has no borders — its natural habitat is global. The only way to ensure that the interlocutory injunction attained its objective was to have it apply where Google operates — globally. As Fenlon J. found, the majority of Datalink's sales take place outside Canada. If the injunction were restricted to Canada alone or to google.ca, as Google suggests it should have been, the remedy would be deprived of its intended ability to prevent irreparable harm. Purchasers outside Canada could easily continue purchasing from Datalink's websites, and Canadian purchasers could easily find Datalink's websites even if those websites were de-indexed on google.ca. Google would still be facilitating Datalink's breach of the court's order which had prohibited it from carrying on business on the Internet....

The order does not require that Google take any steps around the world, it requires it to take steps only where its search engine is controlled....

This is not an order to remove speech that, on its face, engages freedom of expression values, it is an order to de-index websites that are in violation of several court orders....

This does not make Google liable for this harm. It does, however, make Google the determinative player in allowing the harm to occur.

The court noted that Google admitted it would be easy to deindex Datalink's domain name, and the court noted that Google regularly deindexes content for other reasons, such as the DMCA online safe harbor.

The court dismissed the risk of international conflicts-of-laws because everyone apparently accepted that Datalink would violate Equustek's IP rights under other countries' laws. However, the court was surprisingly unspecific about the alleged IP violations, which apparently included trademarks and trade secrets. Due to the ambiguities about the alleged IP violations, the court avoided some subtle IP issues, such as the scope of Equustek's trademark rights (usually trademark rights don't reach beyond a country's borders, so a Canadian court could not order a defendant to stop infringing trademark rights in other countries) and the likelihood that Canadian trade secret laws and remedies differ from the laws and remedies of other countries. See Ariel Katz, Google v. Equustek: Unnecessarily Hard Cases Make Unnecessarily Bad Law, ArielKatz.org, June 29, 2017.

Because the court sidestepped the international conflicts-of-laws issue, the Equustek case's facts do not implicate the more problematic situation where Datalink's content violates Canadian law but is legal in other countries, yet a Canadian court order under Canadian law prevents the content from being available in countries where it was legal. (The CNIL-demanded rule would reach this outcome, because RTBF-scrubbed content illegal in Europe would be almost certainly legal in the U.S.). The court said that Google could challenge the injunction in Canadian courts if the injunction violates other countries' laws — but will Google really spend substantial money and time to defend a third party content by going back to a Canadian court to adjudicate the content's legitimacy?

In response to the opinion, Canadian law professor Michael Geist wrote:

What happens if a Chinese court orders it to remove Taiwanese sites from the index? Or if an Iranian court orders it to remove gay and lesbian sites from the index? Since local content laws differ from country to country, there is a great likelihood of conflicts. That leaves two possible problematic outcomes: local courts deciding what others can access online or companies such as Google selectively deciding which rules they wish to follow. The Supreme Court of Canada did not address the broader implications of the decision, content to limit its reasoning to the need to address the harm being sustained by a Canadian company, the limited harm or burden to Google, and the ease with which potential conflicts could be addressed by adjusting the global takedown order. In doing so, it invites more global takedowns without requiring those seeking takedowns to identify potential conflicts or assess the implications in other countries.

Michael Geist, Global Internet Takedown Orders Come to Canada: Supreme Court Upholds International Removal of Google Search Results, MichaelGeist.ca, June 28, 2017.

Does the Equustek ruling mean that plaintiffs (both Canadian and non-Canadian) will flock to Canadian courts to sue non-Canadian defendants solely to get global deindexing orders?

Note that Equustek ruling (and the CNIL dispute) avoid an underlying jurisdictional issue because Google has substantial physical presence in both Canada and Europe. Would Canada or Europe have jurisdiction over an Internet service that operates exclusively from the United States?

I encourage you to do a thought exercise: project yourself 20 years in the future. What do you think will be the state of the law on global removals based on local violations? Do you think most countries will have embraced the Equustek approach broadly? If so, do you think the Internet (however you define it) will be better or worse as a result?

* * *

After I wrote this, Google sought legal relief in US courts from the Equustek ruling. For useful perspective on Google's move, read Daphne Keller's analysis.

Written by Eric Goldman, Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law

www.circleid.com | 9/5/17

Editorial

On the first of September we commemorate the 78th anniversary of the beginning of World War II. Although much time has passed, the interpretations of historians and commentators vary widely on many aspects. The conflict began with Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland, followed by five years of harsh occupation. As a result of war and German and Soviet repression, more than six million Polish citizens perished (over one fifth of the total population).

VoxEurop presents three different narratives related to this tragedy. In the first article, Italian historian Lorenzo Ferrari describes the controversies surrounding the newly created Museum of World War II in Gda?sk. The Museum presents the suffering of Polish population in connexion with war experiences of Europeans, while the current authorities maintain that these experiences are incomparable. According to the author, this position results from the "nationalist" discourse of the Law and Justice (PiS) party.

Although we disagree with the historical interpretation of the Beata Szyd?o’s government, we do not share the opinion of the Italian journalist who considers PiS as a party with nationalist tendencies. Too often — as rightly pointed out in his polemic Bogdan Zalewski, a well-known journalist of RMF FM, the largest Polish commercial radio station — the adjective "nationalist" is being overused by western reporters describing the situation in Poland.

However, he tends himself to assuage the pre-war reality, when he writes that ‘Roman Dmowski's Endecja (National Democracy)’ cannot be compared to German nationalist socialism, that is Nazism, because it did not have ‘totalitarian and criminal elements.’ Yes, it is hard to make such comparisons, because Endecja never ruled in Poland, but it does not mean that if it did, it would not unveil these ‘elements’. All the more so because many Endecja’s members and followers openly declared anti-Semitism and sympathized with fascism (it is enough to read the writings of J?drzej Giertych, one of Endecja’s ideologists).

The real irony of fate is that the mono-ethnic Polish state, the unreachable dream of that party, finally turned into reality as a result of German aggression, Holocaust, years of suffering of the Polish nation and political betrayals of the allies.

Concerning editor Zalewski’s criticism of the current exhibition in the Gda?sk Museum of the Second World War, it is difficult to regard it as impartial. The author refers exclusively to the authorities (Prof. Jan ?aryn, PiS Senator and Piotr Gli?ski, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education) and media related to the ruling camp. His text is devoid of any references to the opinions and arguments put forward by the opposition or publications critical of the government (suffice to mention Polityka or Newsweek Polska weeklies or the daily Gazeta Wyborcza, as well as the Catholic weekly Tygodnik Powszechny, which is trying to keep its distance fromboth conflicting political camps). Of course, as a columnist, Zalewski has the right to do so. This fact, however, illustrates the deep divisions that have taken place on the Polish political scene and in the minds of millions of Poles. Poland's reality has become black and white, entirely lacking any shades of grey, and the only thing that seems to count is whether one is with or against PiS.

Bartosz Brzezi?ski, the author of the third article, also seems to be falling into the trap of selective outlook when he argues that the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the current government directly relates to interwar anti-Semitism. He greatly exaggerates, formulating a shaky thesis that the far right politicians in pre-war Poland did not encounter resistance when they openly called for the expulsion of all Jews from Poland. It is true that the slogan ‘Jews to Madagascar!’ was chanted at the demonstrations of nationalists, that there were brutal attacks of ONR (National Radical Camp) hit squads on Jewish students and that there were bench [dont know what this means] ghettos at universities. But we must remember that this was met by political opposition from PPS (Polish Socialist Party), from which Józef Pi?sudski, the father of Polish independence, came, not to mention communists and Jewish political groups such as the Bund or Poalej Syjon.

It is also hard to agree with Brzezinski's claim that ‘most Poles looked the other way’, and only ‘a handful’ saved Jews during World War II. If it was just a ‘handful’, as the author suggests, there would not be so many Polish trees in Jad Vashem (most of all nations) to pay tribute to those who helped the Jewish people. Brzezinski also seems to forget about the existence of the Underground Council to Aid Jews and the Home Army’s pursuit of those who have away the location of hiding Jews and their rescuers or those who blackmailed them with denunciation for high ransom [dont know what this lady bit means]. And above all, he does not mention the fact that in Poland, as opposed to the countries of the Western Europe occupied by Germany, helping Jews was punishable by death.

Although we do not agree or fully accept the theses contained in these three articles, we have decided to publish them on our website without any editorial interventions, so that our readers, especially non-Polish readers, could get some knowledge of the extremely varied points of view on issues which for a long time delineated divisions in our country. Some may decide that Mr. Zalewski's text is anti-Semitic, others that Mr. Brzezinski's article is anti-Polish. We think that readers of VoxEurop should judge for themselves. It is much better when the discussion takes place in an open to all democratic space than on the street.

Photo: People fleeing the city on Poniatowski bridge during Warsaw siege, in September 1939 – Julien Bryan

www.voxeurop.eu | 9/1/17
 SpaceX held its second Hyperloop Pod design competition for student feeds at the test track built near its test track today. The mile long track saw three finalist teams battle it out for speed supremacy, including WARR Hyperloop from Germany, Switzerland’s Swissloop and Paradigm, a North American team with members from Northeastern and Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada. The… Read More
techcrunch.com | 8/28/17

Farnoosh Samadi and Ali Asgari’s “The Silence,” a tender story about a young girl and her Kurdish mother, won the Industry Prize at TheWrap’s Shortlist Film Festival on Wednesday.

Joe Talbot’s “American Paradise,” a dark comedy about race and bank-robbing, took the Audience Prize at a ceremony at IMAX headquarters in Playa Vista, California.

And “Fanny Pack,” a story by a USC student about a young Indian woman hilariously clashing with her conservative father, won the first-ever ShortList prize for a student film.

Also Read: ShortList 2017: 'The Silence' Is Haunting Tale of Grief Lost in Translation (Video)

Selected for the Industry Prize by a distinguished jury of entertainment industry experts, “The Silence” tells the haunting story of Fatma and her mother, Kurdish refugees in Italy. Teenager Fatma, who speaks English, must help her mother navigate a bewildering modern world. But even the world-wise Fatma isn’t equipped to handle passing along a devastating diagnosis to her mother, even when time is of the essence.

The jury called the film “a simple, beautiful and entirely human drama about a mother and daughter in a quiet moment that will change both of them forever. We loved this film as much for what it didn’t say as what it did.” The filmmakers won a week-long RED Epic Dragon $6,000 rental package provided by RED and AbelCine.

The jury also awarded an honorable mention to Hu Wei’s “What Tears Us Apart,” which follows a young woman, Camille, who was adopted by French parents after her Chinese parents gave her up as a baby because of China’s one-child policy. The jury said the film, which features Oscar nominee Isabelle Huppert, was “intimate, artful, exquisitely acted and left an enormous emotional impact on us.”

Also Read: ShortList 2017: 'What Tears Us Apart' Is 'Rare' Tale of Child With More Than Two Parents (Video)

Talbot’s “American Paradise,” a twisted fairy tale out of Trump’s America inspired by true events, won the most votes in an online poll to claim the Audience Prize and a $5,000 in cash.

The film follows a desperate white guy who disguises himself as a black man to rob a bank. The characters in the short will be featured in the upcoming Sundance-supported feature, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”

For the first time, TheWrap expanded the ShortList to include a student film category selected by TheWrap’s readers during a two-week online voting period. This year’s award went to USC student Uttera Singh’s short “Fanny Pack.” The  comedy centers on a young Indian-American girl who wants to follow her dreams and a fanny-pack-clad Indian father who chases his daughter through an airport hoping that she will follow.

Now in its sixth year, the ShortList Film Festival, elevates the best in short filmmaking as the format has exploded across every device in the age of streaming. The contest selects 12 of the best award-winning short films that have premiered at a major festival in the past year, making this the most highly competitive film festival of its kind.

Also Read: ShortList 2017: 'American Paradise' Tells a Funny But Timely Story of Race in America (Video)

The ceremony on Wednesday included screenings of the prize winners as well as panel discussions with the filmmakers and jury members moderated by Sharon Waxman, editor-in-chief of TheWrap. The evening wrapped up with a reception with music from DJ Alex D, beverages supplied by Hint water and production support from Mirrored Media.

The 12 films in the main competition were a mix of foreign language, comedy and stop-motion from filmmakers that hail from around the globe including China, France, Italy, Poland, Germany and the U.K. The finalists include prize winners from the Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival and South By Southwest Film Festival,

The eight student films from top colleges and universities listed in TheWrap’s ranking of film schools included filmmakers who studied at UNCSA, USC, UCLA, AFI, LMU, Chapman, Emerson and SCAD.

The 2017 Shortlist jury included Lisa Bunnell, President of Distribution, Focus Features; Lesley Chilcott, Director (“CodeGirl”); Misha Green, Writer and Showrunner (“Underground”); Ryan Heller, VP Acquisitions, First Look Media;  Matt Ross, Actor (“Silicon Valley”), Director, Producer (“Captain Fantastic”); Alec Shankman, Senior VP & Head of Alternative Programming, Digital Media and Licensing, Abrams Artists Agency; and Stephen Ujlaki Dean, Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television.

TheShortlist Film Festival is presented with the generous support of IMAX, Focus Features, RED, Abelcine and Topic.

Related stories from TheWrap:

ShortList 2017: 'The Silence' Is Haunting Tale of Grief Lost in Translation (Video)

ShortList 2017: 'American Paradise' Tells a Funny But Timely Story of Race in America (Video)

ShortList 2017: 'What Tears Us Apart' Is 'Rare' Tale of Child With More Than Two Parents (Video)

www.thewrap.com | 8/24/17
While the US is still a favourite, with some 1,65,918 Indian students in 2015-16, European countries are fast playing catch-up.
The researchers, from the University of Bonn, Germany, claim their finding could eventually help people adapt to living around refugees.

The “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia made for a dangerous — and even deadly — event for hundreds of people this weekend, including Logan Smith.

The 30-year-old from North Carolina behind the “Yes, You’re Racist” Twitter account spent the last few days attaching names to photos from the rally, highlighting neo-Nazis carrying swastika-emblazoned flags and white supremacists hoisting tiki torches. He’s normally on the receiving end of hatred from racists, as he’s run the “Yes, You’re a Racist” account for five years. But the blowback reached new heights for Smith this past weekend.

“The good news, I suppose, is I haven’t really gotten threats until now,” said Smith in an interview with TheWrap. “I get all the insults: I’m a ‘race traitor,’ or a ‘n-word lover.'”

Also Read: Neo-Nazi Site Daily Stormer Booted by Google Just Hours After Dropped by GoDaddy

Smith added, “Now, I’m getting legitimate death threats. They’re threatening me, my family, my wife’s family.”

As pictures rolled in from Virginia, Smith said he was “inundated” with tips, allowing him to pin names to the faces. Smith then cross-referenced the tips against his own social media research, looking to see not only if the pictures match, but also if the person has shared racist content in the past.

The effects of Smith’s work was immediate, with several attendees outed — including Peter Cvjetanovic, a student at the University of Nevada, Reno, and James Allsup, president of the College Republicans at Washington State University. (Allsup did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.) Another rally goer, Cole White, resigned from his job at Top Dog hotdogs in Berkeley, California, after he was spotted at the event.

Also Read: Anti-Fascist Video From WWII Goes Viral in Wake of Charlottesville (Video)

This is James Allsup — speaker at the alt-right rally, Wash State U. College Republicans president, and one of @bakedalaska's racist homies pic.twitter.com/tjDqnHb7YP

— Yes, You're Racist (@YesYoureRacist) August 13, 2017

“On Saturday, August 12, it came to our attention that one of our employees was involved in the recent ‘alt-right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia,” said a Top Dog spokesperson in an email to TheWrap. “Later that day we spoke with Cole White. During that conversation Cole chose to voluntarily resign his employment with Top Dog and we accepted his resignation.”

Smith said his goal is to expose racism, rather than have anyone fired or pressured into resigning.

Also Read: Jeff Sessions Defends Trump's Charlottesville Reaction: 'We're Making Too Much Out of This'

“I don’t set out to get anyone fired, I’m not calling anyone’s employer or anything like that. I’m not suggesting anyone try to confront these people, and I certainly don’t condone any form of violence against these people,” said Smith. “But if someone runs a business and they see one of their employees at a white supremacist rally, that’s there prerogative [to terminate them] and that’s something these people should think about before showing their faces at white supremacist rallies like this.”

After nearly five years running “Yes, You’re Racist,” the reverberations from Virginia reached a fever pitch for Smith, with his account swelling from about 65,000 followers to more than 300,000 in the last three days. His heritage has drawn the ire of white supremacists, while at the same time helped him develop a teflon attitude toward the vitriol he receives.

“I’m Jewish, so they focus on that. Stuff like ‘we’re going to burn you worse than Hitler did,’ and that sort of thing,” said Smith.  “The interesting thing is, I’m a Jew by choice. And the most entertaining thing about it is the people throwing the word ‘Jew’ at me — as if I would be ashamed of that.”

Also Read: David Duke Blasts Trump's Call for Unity: 'It Was White Americans Who Put You in the Presidency'

Smith pointed to the anti-Semitism his stepfather experienced in Iran as one of the early events that crystalized his desire to push back against bigotry. A self-described “leftist,” Smith’s politics and Jewish identity have propelled him to exposing intolerance.

“The ability to fight [racism], it’s a calling,” said Smith. “There’s a principle of Judaism, Tikkun Olam — which translates to heal the world —  basically working every day to make a better society, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

And the carnage he saw this weekend, with three people dead and dozens more injured, has galvanized him to continue his efforts.

Also Read: Hollywood Reacts to Charlottesville Protest Violence: 'F-k These Nazi Motherf-kers'

“This is the kind of thing that you see in photos from 1930s Germany. This isn’t in a history book. This isn’t in a far away country. This is here and now.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Trump Blasts CNN's Jim Acosta (Again): 'You're Fake News' (Video)

Trump (Finally) Condemns 'KKK, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists': 'Racism Is Evil' (Video)

Trump Blasts Merck CEO Who Just Quit White House Council Over Charlottesville Response

www.thewrap.com | 8/15/17
The number of crimes against gays and lesbians in Germany has increased by almost a third in the past year. Is a lack of action by politicians, police and schools to blame?
www.dw.com | 8/9/17

TheWrap is pleased to announce the 12 finalists in the sixth annual ShortList Film Festival, launching today on www.shortlistfilmfestival.com.

The award-winning finalists, hand-picked from the world’s top film festivals over the last year, will stream on the site starting today through August 22, 2017 — allowing visitors to vote on their favorites.

Winners will be announced during a ceremony to take place at IMAX’s corporate office in Playa Vista, California, on Wednesday, August 23.

Also Read: The Scene at ShortList 2016: TheWrap's 5th Annual Short Film Festival (Photos)

For the first time, TheWrap has expanded the ShortList to include a student film category. Eight student films from top colleges and universities included in TheWrap’s ranking of film schools have been named finalists in a sidebar competition.

The contenders come from filmmakers who studied at UNCSA, USC, UCLA, AFI, LMU, Chapman, Emerson and SCAD.

The films in the main competition are a mix of foreign language, comedy and stop-motion from filmmakers that hail from around the globe including China, France, Italy, Poland, Germany and the U.K.

Also Read: The Inspiring Story of Maimouna Doucoure - TheWrap's ShortList 2016 Jury Winner

The finalists include prize winners from the Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, South By Southwest Film Festival, and one short by Hu Wei entitled “What Tears Us Apart” features a performance by 2016’s Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actress Isabelle Huppert.

Three prizes will be awarded this year, the Audience Prize chosen by TheWrap’s voting audience on shortlistfilmfestival.com and presented by First Look Media/Topic, with a $5,000 cash prize.

The Industry Prize winner, selected by our distinguished jury, will be awarded a week-long RED Epic Dragon $6,000 rental package provided by RED and AbelCine and lastly the student category prize which will also be selected by the audience.

Here are the official finalists in the 2017 ShortList Film Festival:

1. “Alone,” Garrett Bradley
USA, 13 mins.

With her fiancé in jail, single mother Alone Watts must decide whether to go through with their wedding. A documentary short filmed in black and white, “Alone” mines layers of mass incarceration and its shaping of love within the modern African-American family.

2. “American Paradise,” Joe Talbot
USA, 18 mins.

A grandfather attempts to pull his two grandsons out of their collective boredom with a twisted fairy tale out of Trump’s America. Inspired by true events, “American Paradise” is a story of desperation and disguise that features characters from the upcoming Sundance-supported feature, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”

3. “Broken,” Volker Schlecht and Alexander Lahl
Germany, 7 mins.

Based on interviews with former prisoners, this animated documentary provides a glimpse into the most notorious women’s prison in east Germany. A film about political imprisonment, forced labor and enormous profits on both sides of the former Iron Curtain.

4. “Chekhov,” Jack Dunphy
USA, 5 mins.

A secretly recorded phone conversation between the director and his sister, laced with bitter honesty, familial messiness and complex affections that only siblings can provide.

5. “Close Ties,” Zofia Kowalewska
Poland, 19 min.

Zdzis?aw Torhan left his wife of nearly 45 years, Barbara, to live with his lover — but returned home seven years later. Putting their relationship back together becomes extremely difficult for the both of them. Now, the unfaithful husband suggests organizing their 45th anniversary in order to make amends.

6. “The Geneva Convention,” Benoit Martin
France, 15 mins.

As Hakim is waiting for the bus after class, he is caught in a vendetta between teenagers. He is not exactly keen to get into a fight, but how can he possibly avoid an awaited confrontation?

7. “Lucia, Before and After,” Anu Valia
USA, 15 min.

After traveling 200 miles, a young woman waits out Texas’s state-mandated 24-hour waiting period before her abortion can proceed.

8. “No Other Way to Say It,” Tim Mason
USA, 7 mins.

Director Tim Mason pulls the curtain back on the glamorous world of advertising in this short comedy about a voiceover actor trying to nail the right tone for a pair of indecisive ad creatives selling a fictitious children’s ice cream brand. Or is it a short tragedy about a pair of ad creatives trying to coax the right tone out of a distracted voiceover actor?

9. “Promise,” Tian Xie
China, 16 mins.

In a remote Chinese village, a young boy forms a bond with a pig.

10. “The Silence,” Farnoosh Samadi and Ali Asgari
Italy, France, 15 mins.

Fatma and her mother are Kurdish refugees in Italy. On their visit to the doctor, Fatma has to translate what the
doctor tells to her mother but she keeps silent.

11. “Wednesday With Goddard,” Nicolas Ménard
U.K., 4 mins.

A personal quest for spiritual enlightenment leads to romance and despair.

12. “What Tears Us Apart,” Hu Wei
France, 18 mins

After a long separation, an encounter. Two families. One child. Featuring Isabelle Huppert.

Also Read: ShortList 2016: Finalists Talk About Selling Wedding Rings to Pay for Projects (Video)

Here are the Student ShortList Finalists:

1. “Chester” — Shaun Swift, UNCSA
USA, 15 mins.

When a furry guy named Chester offers comfort to a lonely girl, he either makes the worst move of his life, or the best one.

2. “Fanny Pack” — Uttera Singh, USC
USA, 10 mins.

A comedy about a young Indian-American girl who wants to follow her dreams, and a fanny-pack-clad Indian father who chases his daughter through an airport hoping that she will follow.

3. “Noble Creatures” — Daniel Lafrentz, UCLA
USA, 20 mins.

Set in the swamps of rural South Louisiana, this short pits two adversarial escaped convicts — with different ideas about how to hold onto their freedom — against a tortured, but resolute female corrections officer known as “Put-Down.”

4. “Benny Got Shot” — Malcolm Hayes Washington, AFI
USA, 19 mins.

A coroner faces her fear of loss when her younger brother goes missing on the same day an unidentified local boy is shot by police.

5. “Curiosities of the Quiet Boy” — Quran Squire, LMU
USA, 11 mins.

A partially deaf 12-year-old undergoes a series of supernatural phenomena in the midst of mourning his mother.

6. “Gardeners of the Forest” — Ceylan Carhoglu and Nicole Jordan-Webber, Chapman
USA, 15 mins.

For generations, Laos was known as the Land of a Million Elephants. Today, there are around 400 elephants left. This short explores how the Chinese market, deforestation and tourism all play a role in the imminent extinction of elephants in Laos.

7. “This Year’s Angel” — Bethany Spreadborough, Emerson
USA, 8 mins.

It’s Christmas time and Matthias finds himself all alone — that is, until a beautiful angel appears atop the Christmas tree.

8. “Rosie, Oh” — Andy Koeger and Apple Xenos, SCAD
USA, 9 mins.

A one-shot short film following an unsupervised little girl as she wanders into her neighbor’s house looking for her lost dog.

The ShortList Film Festival has the support of partners IMAX, Red Digital Cinema, AbelCine, Topic.

Watch, vote, and share your favorite festival short film using #Shortlist2017 for your chance to win two tickets to the ShortList Film Festival award ceremony.

Related stories from TheWrap:

MEET: The ShortList Film Festival Jurors! Matt Ross, Misha Green, Lisa Bunnell and More!

The Inspiring Story of Maimouna Doucoure – TheWrap's ShortList 2016 Jury Winner

ShortList 2016: Finalists Talk About Selling Wedding Rings to Pay for Projects (Video)

ShortList 2016: Film Insiders See 'Appetite for Experimentation' in Shorts (Video)

The Scene at ShortList 2016: TheWrap's 5th Annual Short Film Festival (Photos)

www.thewrap.com | 8/8/17

HEIDELBERG, Germany — The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined a rowing regatta, visited a cancer research center and made pretzels in the university city of Heidelberg on the second day of their visit to Germany.

Prince William and his wife, Kate, took to the waters of the Neckar river on Thursday afternoon, coxing two opposing boats in a race of rowers from Heidelberg and its twin city Cambridge.

A glass of wine before a big speech may not be the best tactic if you want to get your words right and avoid your jokes falling flat., according to psychologists at University of Cologne, Germany.

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel's challenger in Germany's national election called Sunday for the government to be obliged to invest a set amount in infrastructure such as roads, railways and schools.

Under Merkel, Germany has made it a priority to stop running up debt but has faced criticism for spending and investing too little. Center-left challenger Martin Schulz of the Social Democrats is struggling to dent a double-digit poll lead for Merkel's conservatives before the Sept. 24 parliamentary vote.

HURGHADA, Egypt — Germany on Saturday confirmed that two German tourists were killed in a knife attack at a hotel in the popular Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada. The assailant, Egypt said, was a 28-year-old university graduate from the Nile Delta. The German Foreign Ministry said it now has the “sad certainty” that two...
nypost.com | 7/15/17

Last Sunday, people around the globe spoke out against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) through many channels at once. The International Day Against DRM was a confluence of activism to protect our rights and freedoms from the surveillance, unaccountable control, and security threat effects of DRM.

If you haven't already, please sign the petition, launched on Sunday, calling on Netflix to release its original productions from DRM. Netflix accounts for more than half of peak traffic in some countries -- we have to do this if we are going to move beyond DRM as a society.

For the Day, researchers at the University of Glasgow revealed new findings about the economic harm of DRM. The popular repair tutorial Web site iFixit asked its users to take a stand against the DRM that companies use to willfully prevent repair, while Italian organizers held a teach-in and repeated what's now become a tradition of 8-bit music parties.

A supporter wrote a rhyming poem lamenting that they could not share DRM-encumbered books. The founder of the Pirate Party pointed out the absurdity in letting companies effectively write copyright law into DRM code, and we published a post with media rights group Free Press describing DRM's threat to freedom of expression.

Once again, we set a record for the number of civil society organizations and DRM-free book businesses participating, as far apart as Germany and Bangladesh, broadcasting the message of the Day Against DRM to tech policy, literary, free culture, and hacker communities. The businesses offered discounts on ebooks, some of which are still ongoing. See the full list of organizations below.

The Day shows our efforts to raise public awareness about DRM are working. But our work is far from over. We need to keep sharing educational resources about the problem of DRM, taking action, and supporting DRM-free media. If you can spare $10 or $15 to help us hire more staff for our tiny Defective by Design team, we'd love that too.

Stay in touch

We'll be announcing the planning of the next International Day Against DRM soon. To be notified when we set the date, and to make sure you hear about International Day Against DRM events in your area, be sure to sign up for the announcement mailing list.

Defective by Design organizers and community members are also in our freenode IRC channel, #dbd, year-round. Come and chat with us!

Interested in organizing an event or media sale next year?

Please join the DRM Elimination Crew discussion list to stay in the loop as we ramp up to the next International Day Against DRM. We'll keep organizing them until we put ourselves out of business by eliminating DRM once and for all!

More info about the Day

Full list of organizations participating:

For a complete list of events which took place on and immediately before the Day, see the LibrePlanet wiki.

Until the next International Day Against DRM!

Image by Allie Brosh and is from Hyperbole and a Half. It is being used under Fair Use Laws.

[New Times] University of Rwanda's School of Medicine and Pharmacy, the Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Hamburg in Germany, Rwanda National Police and the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) have committed to continue their collaboration in Genocide proofs conservation as well as forensic medicine.
allafrica.com | 7/12/17

Animal-rights groups are turning to virtual reality to shine a light on the suffering and mistreatment of farm animals.

Animal Equality, an advocate group with 60 workers spread across eight countries, is at the forefront of using VR to expose the meat industry. The group released its third VR film, “iAnimal,” on Thursday, which highlights the gruesome conditions at dairy farms in England, Germany and Mexico. Viewers follow the life cycle of cows, from milking to living in remarkably cramped spaces and, ultimately, their slaughter.

In an interview with TheWrap, Animal Equality founder Jose Valle explained why shooting in VR is a more immersive and emotional experience for the viewer.

Also Read: Virtual Reality CEO: VR Does Not Spell the End for Movies

“If you don’t like what you’re seeing in front of you and you want to look down or in another direction, you can see the blood,” said Valle. “So [VR] traps you into that scene and makes it so much more real.”

Born in Spain and now based in Los Angeles, Valle has been documenting animal abuse for three years with VR. The technology “helps people to understand the suffering of the animals,” said Valle.

The footage is jarring at times — at one point, a cow has its horns ripped off while it squirms inside a holding cell. Many of these cows will spend their entire lives solely walking on concrete.

Also Read: Why WWDC 2017 Is the Perfect Time for Apple to Reveal Its Mixed Reality Plans

The “iAnimal” series — with the latest edition narrated by Evanna Lynch of “Harry Potter” fame — has been viewed by more than 60 million people, according to the group. Animal Equality has set up VR demos at universities and at the Glastonbury music festival in Britain to reach a wider audience.

Beyond its release on YouTube, “iAnimal” can be viewed on Samsung Gear VR. Animal Equality is also developing an app to bring the series to all major VR headsets.

By placing viewers inside the cage with the animals, Valle is hoping VR will convey the misery of many dairy farms. “You feel trapped, just as the animals are.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Investors Bet More Than $800 Million on Augmented, Virtual Reality in Q2

You Can Now Hunt Aliens With Wesley Snipes in Virtual Reality

Fox Sports Rolls Out Social Virtual Reality for Gold Cup Soccer Tournament

www.thewrap.com | 7/6/17

Prince William and Princess Kate are taking their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte on their upcoming tour of Germany and Poland.

The surprise decision was announced at a briefing at Buckingham Palace on Monday morning.

The couple decided once they saw the program that they could take their children, who are likely to be seen on arrival and departure of both countries. The five-day tour lasts from July 17 to 21.

“They have decided that their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, will travel with them and we expect the children to be seen in at least a couple of occasions over the course of the week,” their spokesman said.

“They look forward to a busy and impactful tour and are grateful that they will have the opportunity to meet the Polish and German people — such important friends of the United Kingdom — as a family.”

As the couple conduct their official duties, the children will stay with nanny Maria Turrion Borrallo at the Belvedere Palace in Warsaw — where the family will be based from their arrival on July 17  — and at the residence of the British ambassador in Berlin when the family is in Germany.

RELATED VIDEO: Five Things To Know About Princess Charlotte

Among the highlights of the tour is a fun river race for the competitive couple. They set to take part in a rowing race on the Necker River, Heidleberg, which will include competitors from Cambridge and the German city. The two university cities are twinned.

The race will be a re-match of their famous dragon boat race on a lake in Prince Edward Island, Canada, in 2011.

In Germany, the couple is also set to visit Stutthoff Nazi concentration camp in Poland, the first camp set outside German borders. It was one of the last camps liberated in May 1945.

In Gdansk, Poland, on July 18, William and Kate will meet the founders of the Solidarity movement that campaigned against the Soviet-backed government in the 1980s.

The spokesman added, “As with previous tours, Their Royal Highnesses have asked that this tour allow them opportunities to meet a wide variety of people in both countries.”

“In addition to meeting leaders in business, government and civil society, the Duke and Duchess will prioritize opportunities to meet the young people of both countries; from entrepreneurs, to mental health campaigners, and bright young talents in music and the arts.”


people.com | 7/3/17

Never let anybody tell you that just because you’re in entertainment doesn’t mean you can’t care about policy issues.

Pop superstar Rihanna got political over the weekend, tweeting at multiple world leaders to ask them what they were doing about funding education.

The singer tweeted at Argentina, France, Germany and Canada to ask if they would commit to funding education at the upcoming G20 summit.

Also Read: Rihanna Accepts Harvard's Humanitarian Award: 'So, I Made It to Harvard' (Video)

hey there @mauriciomacri, what's your plan for Argentina to commit to #FundEducation? ????????

— Rihanna (@rihanna) June 23, 2017

???????? @JustinTrudeau I know you had our backs during the #GlobalCitizen Festival, will you recommit Canada to #FundEducation?

— Rihanna (@rihanna) June 23, 2017

???????? bonjour @EmmanuelMacron, will France commit to #FundEducation?

— Rihanna (@rihanna) June 23, 2017

Germany, I'm checking in to see where we are on the commitment to #FundEducation w/ @GPforEducation? @regsprecher, I'm depending on you!???? ????????

— Rihanna (@rihanna) June 23, 2017

Rihanna was tweeting on behalf of Global Partnership for Education, a nonprofit that seeks to ensure children in developing countries receive an education. She was named a global ambassador in 2016 and has since traveled to countries such as Malawi to advocate on the organization’s behalf.

Also Read: Unapologetic Rihanna Responds to 'Haters' With Another Queen Photoshop

“I feel strongly that all children everywhere should be afforded the opportunity of a quality education,” Rihanna said in a GPE statement. “Working together, I know we can amplify our efforts and ensure that millions of children gain access to education globally.”

Besides tweeting at world leaders, she also tweeted to her followers, asking them to also demand those attending the G20 Summit to fund education.

As of the time of this writing, two out of the four — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President of Argentina Mauricio Macri — have responded, saying they’ll support funding.

.@rihanna we've got your back! Thanks to @mclaudebibeau who made sure girls' education is in our feminist international development policy.

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 26, 2017

Hola @Rihanna! Education is in the central core of our political aims. Only education can change the world. @EstebanBullrich ???????? https://t.co/T49GIB0QXo

— Mauricio Macri (@mauriciomacri) June 24, 2017

Also Read: 12 Song of the Summer 2017 Contenders, From Bruno Mars to Kendrick Lamar (Videos)

Other world leaders and politicians not included in the original tweets also responded. Julia Gillard, the former prime minister of Australia, tweeted in support of GPE.

Thanks to @rihanna Global Ambassador for @GPforEducation – for urging #G20 leaders to #FundEducation …. JG

— Julia Gillard (@JuliaGillard) June 24, 2017

…Real action per @rihanna means pledging funds to @GPforEducation to build schools, train teachers & deliver quality education for all-JG

— Julia Gillard (@JuliaGillard) June 24, 2017

Angela Merkel or other world leaders from Germany haven’t responded, but Steffen Seibert, the head of the German governmental press, tweeted at the pop star to show the country’s support of education.

Hi @Rihanna, education is a key area of German development policy. We have nearly doubled spending since 2013.Thanks for spreading the word! https://t.co/ff4QX1rb0s

— Steffen Seibert (@RegSprecher) June 24, 2017

Celebrities such as Demi Lovato also came out in support of Rihanna and GPE’s vision.

Education is one of the key tools for mental health and well being https://t.co/2b0gfPOHrY

— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) June 24, 2017

The G20 Summit, an annual gathering of the leaders of the Group of Twenty nations, will be held in Hamburg, Germany on July 7 and 8.

Related stories from TheWrap:

12 Song of the Summer 2017 Contenders, From Bruno Mars to Kendrick Lamar (Videos)

Rihanna, Lupita Nyong'o Now Want That Twitter Fan Movie About Them Made

Rihanna Photoshops Queen Elizabeth II's Head Onto Her Body (Photos)

13 People Azealia Banks Has Had Beefs With, From Rihanna and Lady Gaga to Russell Crowe (Photos)

www.thewrap.com | 6/26/17
A 28-year-old engineering graduate Simikeri village of Bagalkot in Karnataka, who went to Hamburg University in Germany for higher studies, has been missing for the last three days, his family said.
At the Children on the Move global conference in Berlin, NGO representatives and youth delegates called for the abolition of child detention. In Germany, quick access to education was found to be the biggest hindrance.
www.dw.com | 6/13/17
Rearchers from Lubeck University in Germany found that those who had eaten higher carbs had higher levels of dopamine, a brain chemical, which makes us feel more ‘rewarded’ and happier.

The seams are starting to fray. The strain is showing. We all are starting to crack up under the pressure of a Donald Trump presidency.

This was entirely predictable. As we have been subjected to his daily bullying, Twitter temper tantrums, outright lying and open contempt for our Constitution, of course our nerves are giving up — as is our ability to maintain civility and decency in response to so much coarseness.

The president is setting the tone for the country, and that tone is nasty, aggressive, crude and ugly. There are those who are openly trying to hew to a higher standard. But a lot of us are absorbing the energy of this administration and reflecting it back to the wider culture.

Also Read: Kristen Gillibrand F-Bombs Trump, Twitter Explodes

We should not be surprised to see our lower impulses poking through the fabric of civility. Like when Montana political candidate Greg Gianforte body-slams a journalist who merely asked him a question, breaking his glasses. That behavior would have seemed outrageous recently, like last year. This year Gianforte got elected. (He later apologized.)

On television and on social media, we are seeing the downgrading of our public discourse. Kathy Griffin stepped over the line with her unfunny parody of a bloody, beheaded Trump. She too apologized, but CNN still fired her, understandably.

The usually measured Reza Aslan lost control of his emotions and called Trump “a piece of s—,” an embarrassment and a stain on the presidency. Just those last two remarks would have been powerful enough, but Aslan could not restrain himself, apparently, after Trump insulted the Muslim mayor of London in the wake of a horrific terror attack.

Aslan was out of line, but Trump pushed him there. CNN fired him too.

Also Read: CNN Fires Reza Aslan Over Trump 'Piece of S--' Comment

And then on Friday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) dropped the F-bomb a bunch of times. A senator? Asked about Donald Trump’s accomplishments in the White House at a forum at New York University on Personal Democracy, Gillibrand said, “Has he kept his promises? No. F— no.”

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has also loosened his language, in April calling Trump’s budget a “s—ty budget.”

Expect more of this kind of thing. Bill Maher looks like he’s barely holding on to his sanity from week to week on his HBO show. In his case, releasing the strain with the F-bomb doesn’t appear to be helping.

The takeaway from the historic testimony by former FBI director James Comey on Thursday was to underscore that our president is a liar. A serial liar. An inveterate liar. A shameless liar.

Also Read: Bill Maher: Kathy Griffin 'Owes Me a Fruit Basket for Getting Her Off the Front Page' (Video)

This is not something that is under great debate. The Guardian this weekend urged the United Kingdom to rescind an invitation to Trump for a state visit. The paper’s assessment: “Trump is an habitual liar, as evidenced again in last week’s sworn congressional testimony by his sacked FBI director, James Comey. Trump is a bully, as Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, among many others, can testify from personal experience. And Trump is a coward.

“Donald Trump is not a fit and proper person to hold the office of president of the United States. That is a view widely held in the U.S. and among America’s European allies, by politicians and diplomats in government and by rank-and-file voters repelled by his gross egoism, narcissism and what Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, has rightly termed his ‘stupefying ignorance.’

Make no mistake, we are living day by day through history that will be sifted through and revisited again and again in the decades to come. It is why we must pay such close attention to our own conduct, our own language and discourse — even as we try to hold the president to account.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Trump Calls Former FBI Director Comey 'Cowardly' but Twitter Doesn't Buy It

Trump Meetings Are Like Getting Drunk and Waterboarding Yourself, Ex-Twitter CEO Says

Kirsten Gillibrand F-Bombs Trump, Twitter Explodes

CNN Fires Reza Aslan Over Trump 'Piece of S—' Comment

www.thewrap.com | 6/12/17
Hundreds of thousands of children have fled to Germany since 2015 and they are entitled to receive an education. How have German schools, universities and education authorities handled the demand?
www.dw.com | 6/10/17
"There has been a debate over whether intensive endurance exercise such as marathon running may be dangerous for the heart," said lead author Axel Pressler from the Technical University of Munich, Germany.
www.dnaindia.com | 6/7/17
[New Era] Windhoek -The Deputy PS of Education, Arts and Culture, Veno Kauaria, will attend a meeting in Germany themed 'Maintaining and Protecting Cultural Heritage in Germany and Around the World'.
allafrica.com | 6/1/17
Germany changes a "difficult" school English exam, said to include Prince Harry "mumbling".
www.bbc.co.uk | 5/23/17

When Faith Dickinson’s aunt was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, she knew what would bring her some comfort: a new blanket.

“She said she loved it because she got so cold during her treatments,” Dickinson, 14, tells PEOPLE.

Seeing the effect the simple gift had on her aunt Lyndi, and the tears of appreciation from a retiring fourth-grade teacher who received another blanket soon afterwards, made the teen from Toronto, Canada, realize the difference she could make.

“When my mom picked me up that day, I told her that I wanted to make everyone feel that good. Then we came up with Cuddles for Cancer,” she says.

Five years later, Dickinson has helped create 3,500 blankets.

Now, she is set to join 19 other young people from Britain and around the world being celebrated by Prince William and Prince Harry with a special Legacy Award. The honors at St. James’s Palace on Thursday were set up by the Diana Award charity in the name of their late mother Princess Diana, who died 20 years ago this August.

Dickinson’s initiative Cuddles for Cancer will mark its fifth anniversary on July 1 (the day that would have been Diana’s 56th birthday).

“Everyone needs a cuddle during the difficult times in their lives,” Dickinson says, adding that her blankets have been sent all across Canada, the U.S., the U.K., France, Brazil, Africa, Australia and Germany.

The teen also gives talks to schools, churches and businesses as she spreads the word. And she helps veterans and those struggling with what Prince Harry calls the “invisible wounds” of combat. Dickinson hopes to make them for those who are participating in Harry’s Invictus Games, which will come to her home city of Toronto in September.

“I have a special blanket that I make for Canadian soldiers and veterans. I send them to soldiers who are serving overseas or when they return home injured or suffering from PTSD,” she says.

Dickinson says she appreciates the humanitarian work that Diana did on behalf of several important causes.

“One thing she achieved was showing people that you won’t get AIDS by hugging or even touching someone with it,” she says. “She also tried to stop the use of all land mines because innocent people were dying or being terribly injured from just walking on them. I think that she was very brave and courageous to take action and use her fame to show people what’s right.”

Praising Diana’s sons, she adds, “I love how they aren’t just supporting a cause, but that they are sharing their personal experiences. It was really brave of them to share about what they went through when they lost their mom.”


people.com | 5/18/17
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (in Germany) and Duke University also found that the 3-year-olds resent a partner who breaks a commitment for selfish reasons.
www.dnaindia.com | 5/17/17

In modern society, there is one fact that is unquestionable: The hyper-connectivity of the digital economy is inescapable. A financial institution without an online presence or omni-channel strategy will cease to be competitive. Universities (for-profit or non-profit) must develop and continuously evolve their online learning capabilities if they are to stay relevant. Online retailers are quickly outpacing and rendering their 'brick-and-mortar' counterparts irrelevant. Travel agents have been largely relegated to dinosaur status in this era of online travel search aggregators and booking portals. A payments ecosystem mostly dominated by major card networks and processors now includes closed loop systems such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet and others. When we add the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to the mix, the networked society has become a monolith that we simply cannot ignore.

What is most concerning about the ubiquity of technology is the multitude of cyber threats which organizations and individuals have to contend with. While the risks to individuals are relatively high as it relates to invasion of privacy, identity theft and financial loss, cyber-attacks can have a particularly critical impact on businesses. Depending on market and jurisdictional realities, the consequences can include heavy regulatory penalties, plummeting stock prices, lawsuits or mass layoffs — The effect on a company's bottom line can be catastrophic.

But how are corporations responding to this ever-evolving threat landscape? The resulting strategies fall mostly into the following categories. There are the large organizations which employ the '3 lines of defense' approach where an IT department owns and manages cyber risks, the operational risk and/or compliance departments specialize in risk management (including cyber), and the internal audit function provides independent assurance that cyber risks are being effectively managed. This approach is resource intensive and demands highly specialized (and costly) personnel. There are the generally under-staffed companies that limp along from day-to-day reacting to cyber-attack after cyber-attack, many of them not even aware that their systems and networks have been compromised. And finally, there are the SMEs that basically stick their heads in the sand and pretend that their operation is too small or insignificant to be the target of cyber criminals.

More often than not, business leaders across the board fail to recognize that cybersecurity is no longer the domain of the IT organization. Cybersecurity strategy is now business strategy, and the response to cyber threats is the responsibility of every individual that works for or runs a company. And here are 8 key reasons why this is undeniably the case:

1) Corporate governance – A 2016 survey by Goldsmiths that included responses from 1,530 non-executive directors and C-level executives in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Nordic countries showed that 90% of respondents admitted to not being able to read a cybersecurity report and were not prepared to respond to a major attack. Even more worrisome was the fact that over 40% of executives did not feel that cybersecurity or protection of customer data was their responsibility. Let that sink in for a moment. This is why ensuring that cybersecurity is a running topic at executive and board level meetings is imperative for organizations. Even more, greater ownership should be ascribed to all levels of personnel for cyber risks. Cybersecurity culture is a collective effort that starts at the top and works its way down through the organization.

2) Regulatory and legal compliance – Certain industries like banking, healthcare and energy are subjected to heavy regulatory burdens. And many of these regulations include requirements pertaining to privacy, data protection, and network security. In the US there are HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and FISMA. The EU has the NIS Directive and the GDPR. To address cross-border data flows between the EU and the US, there is Privacy Shield. To comply with this multitude of regulations, deep cyber and risk management capabilities must be embedded across organizations. Failure to do so can affect a company's ability to stay in business. Period.

3) Competitive advantage – Developing robust and effective internal controls to safeguard against cyber-attacks can equate to market leadership, brand strengthening, and product / service differentiation. For example, as more businesses look to AI, IoT and robotics to streamline processes and improve business performance, ensuring that these technologies are secure can increase revenues and drive bottom-line performance. In this respect, shareholders must not only expect cyber excellence, they should demand it.

4) Financial management – There is clearly a direct correlation between cyber-related risk events (e.g. reputation damage, business disruption, fines, etc.) and financial loss. The severity and impact of such risks can be mitigated by integrating business strategy with cybersecurity strategy. The importance here is even more pronounced given the global economic downturn and depressed profits being experienced by several businesses.

5) Public safety – An increasing number of companies are delivering products/services in the areas of smart grids, smart cities, automated public transit, power installations, autonomous vehicles, etc. Possessing core expertise in the alignment of cybersecurity and business operations will set these organizations apart in their respective market environments in terms of public safety. There are also distinct national security implications when we think of these technologies in the context of potential threats to human life.

6) Business development – In 2004, the global cybersecurity market was valued at $3.5 billion. In 2017, it is now estimated to be worth $120 billion. But this value is primarily based on the number of products and services delivered. And while there is huge growth potential within the existing paradigm, there is a massive economic opportunity in fostering a commercial ecosystem built on online trust. Take for example the growing popularity of global trust audit and scoring offerings. Increasingly, more and more organizations are developing solutions to combat the proliferation of fake news. As it relates to IoT, consortiums are being formed to fill the security gaps in product design (i.e. Existing markets can be strengthened through collaboration and coordination). And these are just a few examples of the emergent market for Trust-as-a-Service (TaaS).

7) Corporate social responsibility – There are numerous benefits to CSR programs, ranging from enhancing brand loyalty to securing and retaining investors to attracting/retaining engaged and productive employees. So along that vein, social responsibility investment in cyber-related areas such as child online protection, secure coding for women, hackathons and cybersecurity research is a savvy approach to cementing market position. As a result, companies can promote good security as a selling point for their products and services, create a pipeline for the best cybersecurity talent, and leverage their cyber-specific supply chains to build consumer trust.

8) Mergers & acquisitions – Businesses must recognize the importance of cybersecurity due diligence in the M&A process. Due to a low standard for due diligence, several corporations find out about major cyber incidents only after an acquisition deal has gone through. In actuality, serious cybersecurity issues around compliance, data breaches, poor security architecture or the absence of incident response processes should be uncovered before finalizing a transaction. In the case of Verizon's acquisition of Yahoo!, the final offer was cut by almost $400 million due to revelations about cybersecurity incidents. A 2016 survey by the NYSE indicated that over 50% of respondents regarded major security vulnerabilities as a 'show stopper' for a merger or acquisition.

Considering that end users are generally regarded as the weakest points in cyber defenses, logic dictates that cybersecurity should begin with the individual. Every single employee must be engaged and involved in defending the organization from online threats. It is they who most often access enterprise applications, networks and devices, and will undoubtedly serve as the first line of protection against hackers. Executives and board members are targeted due to their access to key digital assets; and because of the traditional fortification of the network perimeter, line workers are the focus of threat agents seeking to gain entry into the network or escalate their privileges to access sensitive information. Indeed, both executives and employees represent vectors to the same ultimate objective — the compromise of internal systems and access to critical data. Hence, development of an effective cybersecurity strategy must involve tight coupling of security practices with business operations to bolster an organization's overall security posture. The most damaging misstep organizations can make — and often do — is relegating this function to an understaffed and underfunded IT department.

Written by Niel Harper

www.circleid.com | 5/13/17

The Associated Press concedes it allowed Adolf Hitler to censor a news report about his plan for a Jewish genocide, hired a paid Nazi propaganda officer as a photographer, and obeyed Third Reich orders to fire six Jewish employees in Germany.

But the news agency rejects suggestions it was a Nazi collaborator, as alleged in an academic article published in Germany last year.

“We recognize that AP should have done some things differently during this period,” AP said in a 161-page report issued Wednesday. “However, suggestions that AP at any point sought to help the Nazis or their heinous cause are simply wrong,” the AP report said.

The AP report, “Covering Tyranny, the AP and Nazi Germany: 1933-1945,” was commissioned by the news agency to address an article by German historian Harriet Scharnberg.

Also Read: Sean Spicer's Hitler Remarks Turned Into 'Veep' End Credits by YouTube Hero (Video)

Scharnberg’s article, “The A and P of Propaganda, The Associated Press and Nazi Photojournalism,” was published in 2016 in the German academic journal “Studies in Contemporary History.”

The AP report confirmed many of Schranberg’s findings, but disputed others.

The wire service report revealed that AP permitted Hitler to censor a key news report, which would have revealed Hitler’s plan to exterminate the Jews as early as 1932.

AP Bureau Chief Louis Lochner, who was awarded the 1939 Pulitzer Prize for his dispatches from Berlin, said in a 1958 speech that he transcribed an “utterance concerning the Jewish question which Adolf Hitler made in the course of an interview I had with him [in 1932].”

Also Read: Sean Spicer on Hitler Gaffe: 'I've Let the President Down' (Video)

But Hitler’s statement “was never published because Hitler had made it a condition for receiving me that I would submit the text for his clearance,” the AP report said. As Lochner explained, “The burden of his pontification [in 1932] was that the Jew must be eliminated from the German scene because, as he put it, ‘Wir koennen als Volk ihn nicht verdauen’ (‘We cannot as a people digest him’).”

The AP study also confirmed Scharnberg’s finding that the news agency hired photographer Franz Roth, “an ardent Nazi” and member of the SS propaganda division whose photographs were personally chosen by Hitler and was paid by both AP and the Riech.

The AP hired Roth because the Nazi regime required AP to hire staffers from the Nazi Party’s propaganda division and to avoid publishing any material “calculated to weaken the strength of the Reich abroad or at home,” Scharnberg reported. Roth was paid by the Nazi regime at the same time he was paid by AP as a photographer.

AP removed Roth’s pictures from its website after Scharnberg’s article was published, although thumbnail versions of the photos are still available, according to the Guardian.

Also Read: This Photo Brought to You by Russia - U.S. Media Blocked From Trump's Meeting With Russians

Scharnberg, a historian at Halle’s Martin Luther University, asserted in her article that AP’s cooperation with the Hitler regime allowed the Nazis to “portray a war of extermination as a conventional war” while hiding their plans for Jewish genocide.

The historian said that in June 1941, Hilter personally selected photos taken by Nazi propagandist Roth of dead bodies inside a prison in Lviv, Poland, and provided AP captions saying the killings were by Soviet troops. Hitler also personally selected Roth’s AP photographs of menacing-looking captured Soviet soldiers to stir up anti-Soviet anger abroad, she said.

But AP failed to distribute any photos of “revenge” pogroms carried out by German soldiers against the city’s Jewish population, Scharnberg said.

AP confirmed  Scharnberg’s account: “Roth photographed heaps of bodies in the courtyard and hallway of a Soviet prison in Lviv and the pictures were widely published in Germany at Hitler’s express command as part of a campaign to expose the crimes of Bolshevism and portray Stalin’s government as barbaric,” the AP report said.

Also Read: International Women's Media Foundation Names 2017 Winners

But AP said it has no evidence that the agency — or any other photo service in Germany — had taken any photos of the victims of the Jewish pogrom that may have been censored by Hitler.

The New York-based wire service also conceded in its report that it enabled de facto censorship by Hitler by distributing only photos of the Nazi leader taken Hitler’s personal photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann.

The AP report also recounted how Harold L. Ickes, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, wrote to an AP official in 1941 to complain that Lochner had repeated false German propaganda in several of his news reports.

“I realize under what difficulties the American newspaper correspondents must necessarily work in Germany at this time,” Ickes wrote. “But I sometimes wonder whether we would not be better off without dispatches from that country if the alternative is to be fed daily doses of arsenical propaganda.”  The AP wrote Ickes that it stood behind Lochner.

Also Read: Did Tim Allen's Nazi Germany Joke Help Kill 'Last Man Standing'?

Another fact disclosed by the AP report is that the agency fired or reassigned six Jewish employees on orders from the Nazis in 1935.  One of those fired was photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, who emigrated to the U.S. and became “one of the great photographers of the 20th century,” AP said in its report.

The wire service said that it “made the difficult decision to comply” with the Nazi command to fire its Jewish staff “because it believed it was critical for AP to remain in Germany and gather news and photos during this crucial period.”

“There is no suggestion that . . . Eisenstaedt bore any ill will towards AP over his departure from Germany,” AP said.

Before his firing, Eisenstaedt photographed the Nazi Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels glaring at Eisenstaedt moments after Goebbels discovered the photographer was Jewish.

After arriving in the U.S. Eisenstaedt photographed the famous V-J Day kiss in Times Square marking the end of World War II, as well as famous black-and-white portraits of Ernest Hemingway, Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso and Alfred Einstein.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Did Tim Allen's Nazi Germany Joke Help Kill 'Last Man Standing'?

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Nazi-Linked Group 'Proud' of Trump Adviser's Medal

www.thewrap.com | 5/12/17
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has announced plans to improve "political education" in the army following revelations about a spectacular far-right terrorist plot. Opposition politicians are not satisfied.
www.dw.com | 5/10/17

After years of domination by AFI and USC students, BAFTA has expanded their Student Film Awards to include submissions from students and film schools worldwide.

No longer dubbed the “U.S. Student Film Award,” the 45 short films shortlisted for the 2017 “International Student Film Awards” hail from filmmakers in China, Israel, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Germany, and —  of course — the U.K.

Southern California schools remain well represented with nominees from UCLA, Chapman, Pepperdine, USC and Cal State Northridge, and U.S. films still account for over half of the selections.

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BAFTA’s competition is an analog to the Academy of Motion Pictures’ own Student Academy Awards.

“We are absolutely overwhelmed by the success of our international expansion,” Peter Morris, the Chair of the BAFTA Los Angeles New Talent Committee, said in a statement timed to the release of the nominated films.

“We had no doubt that there was an overabundance of talented students all across the world, and we are looking forward to having the opportunity to acknowledge their work at our ceremony in June,” he added.

The awards ceremony will take place on June 22 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

The full shortlist is available here.

Also Read: The Statistics Tell a Sad Story: Gender-Neutral Awards Categories Are Dominated by Men

This year, select film schools worldwide were invited to submit up to nine films for consideration for four top prizes — the BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation, the Student Film Award for Documentary, the Student Film Award for Live Action Film, and the Special Jury Prize, selected by the event’s panel members.

Ryan Gosling and the “Stranger Things” stars at BAFTA LA’s Awards Season Tea in January 2017. (Getty Images)

Documentary submissions (up 85 percent from 2016) and animated features (up 84 percent) saw the biggest year-over-year increase in submissions, illuminating a trend in the next generation of filmmakers. Of note, four student films from Israel made the cut.

Also Read: BAFTAs Respond to Their Own #SoWhite Problem With New Diversity Study

The Student Film Awards have taken root on BAFTA’s year-round schedule of programming in Los Angeles.

Kate Beckinsale and BAFTA LA’ CEO Chantal Rickards at the home of the British Consul General for the BAFTA Garden Party in June 2016. (Getty Images)

Their tentpoles include integration at the highest levels of the industry with the Britannia Awards, pre-Emmys TV Tea Party and the Golden Globes Weekend Tea Party during awards season.

They aggressively nurture the next generation of creatives with these Student Film Awards and the recently launched “Access for All” campaign, aimed at providing historically under-represented demographics with pathways in to careers in the entertainment industry.

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Tickets are on sale to the public, beginning at $30.

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Chrissy Teigen Stuns Beauty School Student With Tuition Money

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www.thewrap.com | 5/10/17
Medicine, pharmacy and engineering are the most important subjects that Syrian families in Germany want their children to study at universities. But getting there is a bigger challenge than they might have expected.
www.dw.com | 5/4/17
In Germany, when a foreigner drops out of school without a diploma, they have four times less of a chance to find work as a German would in the same situation. The influx of refugee children has exacerbated the problem.
www.dw.com | 4/27/17
“My God, my kid needs to go here”: In Hamburg, Germany, a professional soccer stadium is also home to an early-education program.
www.nytimes.com | 4/24/17

For the non-state actors who are making efforts to approach cybersecurity issue in a different and creative way, the state actors, however, have given clear signs that they have exhausted their patience and insisted on doing things alone by bringing traditional old tricks back into cyberspace.

This is exemplified in the bilateral meeting of two cyber sovereigntists — the Chinese and U.S. presidents on April 6-7, and in the multilateral G7 Declaration on Responsible States Behavior in Cyberspace on April 11.

Particularly disturbing in the wording of the G7 Declaration is its call on "states to publicly explain their views on how existing international law applies to states' activities in cyberspace to the greatest extent possible".

If we associate that with the words shared by Ms. Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar, Head of Cyber Policy Coordination at European External Action Service at an event on March 29, during which she promotes the application of "the Law of Armed Conflict based on the interpretations in the two Tallinn Manuals”, then it is clear that the G7 nation-states are eager to introduce the traditional logics of conflict solution into the cyber domain.

This has given rise to the trend that the whole set of industrial age narratives such as allies, threats, deterrence are being replicated in the cyber rules-making. Once this lid is opened, global Internet governance will be dominated by those whose way of thinking divides people rather than unites them. Nevertheless, at the approaching UN GGE conference in June, it would be clearer about how far the states can go.

The real dilemma goes beyond the warring rhetoric of states, but rests on the very legitimacy the states have on striking a deal on cybersecurity. As early as in 1996, Barlow had a good reason to call states like "China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States" as "weary giants of flesh and steel". By 2017, their legitimacy and credibility in cyber policy-making had suffered numerous fatal blows.

It is in this context of the crisis of traditional models that the multistakeholder approach represented by ICANN has been widely celebrated, and the industry initiative on a Digital Geneva Convention by Microsoft is highly appreciated. Professor Milton Mueller has compared the Microsoft initiative to a "2017 version" of the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.

When the industry and civil society find ways to join hands, there is a chance that they can make a difference. Take the China-U.S. case for example, now that the two presidents have agreed to carry on the cybersecurity dialogue, the two countries' IT industry leaders like GAFA and BAT and civil society groups should reach each other to make sure this dialogue happens in a multistakeholder framework and is not dominated by those who approach the issue from a national security lens.

After all, state actors are often willing to compromise cyber issues for other geopolitical gains. The IT sector and the civil society groups who are active in the field, however, have the interests and motivation to treat cyberspace as a different domain that nurtures new values, gives birth to creative mechanism of global governance, and, in turn, enlightens the physical world and traditional mentality.

Written by Peixi (Patrick) XU, Associate Professor, Communication University of China

www.circleid.com | 4/13/17
New research at Germany's University of Heidelberg reveals that mothers who experience stress during pregnancy could increase their child's risk of age-related disease in years to come.
Home education is a right recognised by international human rights. And yet, Germany fails to honour these agreements, writes Alexandra Tompson.
www.euractiv.com | 4/6/17
A group of researchers at Munich University of Applied Sciences in Germany and INRS-EMT in Canada is paving the way for mass-producing low-cost printable electronics by demonstrating a fully inkjet-printable flexible resistive memory.* Additive manufacturing (commonly used in 3-D printing), allows for a streamlined process flow, replacing complex lithography (used in making chips), at the [...]
Scientists at the University of Bonn in Germany converted skin cells from patients into induced pluripotent stem cells.
www.dnaindia.com | 4/5/17

Amal Clooney (née Alamuddin) made a name for herself as a human rights lawyer long before she married George Clooney in September 2014. She's used her newfound fame to help publicize certain issues happening all over the world, including international crimes in Iraq and Syria and women's rights. Her work has been published in multiple books, including The Law and Practice of the Special Tribunal For Lebanon, but you're probably wondering where Amal is from.

Amal was born in Beirut, Lebanon, to parents Ramzi and Baria Alamuddin. She and her family left for London during the height of the Lebanese Civil War when she was 2 years old. Her mom, Baria, is a foreign affairs editor at Al Hayat (a Lebanese newspaper), while her dad is a retired business professor from the American University in Beirut. Amal is fluent in English, Arabic, and French. It's likely that Amal's upbringing inspires the work she does with refugees today. In 2016, Amal and George sat down with German chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss Germany's plan to help with Europe's refugee crisis, and the lawyer is currently working with Nobel Peace Prize nominee Nadia Murad to convince UN officials to investigate ISIS, an issue Amal is very passionate about. George has also never been one to shy away from being a political activist for causes close to his heart - he even started a charity with Brad Pitt and Matt Damon dedicated to protecting human rights, called Not on Our Watch, in 2008.

The responsibility for the German education system lies primarily with the states (Bundesländer) while the federal government plays only a minor role. Optional Kindergarten education is provided for all children between three and six years of age, after which school attendance is compulsory, in most cases for 11 to 12 years. The system varies throughout Germany because each state (Land) decides its own educational policies. Most children, however, first attend Grundschule from the age of six to ten or 12. German secondary education includes five types of school. The Gymnasium is designed to prepare pupils for university education and finishes with the final examination Abitur, after grade 12 or 13. The Realschule has a broader range of emphasis for intermediate pupils and finishes with the final examination Mittlere Reife, after grade 10; the Hauptschule prepares pupils for vocational education and finishes with the final examination Hauptschulabschluss, after grade 9 or 10 and the Realschulabschluss after grade 10. There are two types of grade 10: one is the higher level called type 10b and the lower level is called type 10a; only the higher level type 10b can lead to the Realschule and this finishes with the final examination Mittlere Reife after grade 10b. This new path of achieving the Realschulabschluss at a vocationally-oriented secondary school was changed by the statutory school regulations in 1981 - with a one-year qualifying period. During the one-year qualifying period of the change to the new regulations, pupils could continue with class 10 to fulfil the statutory period of education. After 1982, the new path was compulsory, as explained above. Other than this, there is the Gesamtschule, which combines the approaches. There are also Förderschulen/Sonderschulen. One in 21 pupils attends a Förderschule. Nevertheless the Förderschulen/Sonderschulen can also lead, in special circumstances, to a Hauptschulabschluss of both type 10a or type 10b, the latter of which is the Realschulabschluss. German children only attend school in the morning. There is no provision for serving lunch. There is a lot more homework, heavy emphasis on the "three R's" and very few extracurricular activities. A very low-cost or free higher education could lie beyond a German Abitur. Many of Germany's hundred or so institutions charge little or no tuition. But, students must prove through examinations that they are qualified. In order to enter university, students are, as a rule, required to have passed the Abitur examination; since 2009, however, those with a Meisterbrief (master craftman's diploma) have also been able to apply. Those wishing to attend a "university of applied sciences" must, as a rule, have Abitur, Fachhochschulreife or a Meisterbrief. Lacking those qualifications, pupils are eligible to enter a university or university of applied sciences if they can present additional proof that they will be able to keep up with their fellow students A special system of apprenticeship called Duale Ausbildung allows pupils on vocational courses to do in-service training in a company as well as at a state school. Recent PISA student assessments demonstrated serious weaknesses in German pupils' performance. In the test of 43 countries in the year 2000, Germany ranked 21st in reading and 20th in both mathematics and the natural sciences, prompting calls for reform. In 2006, German schoolchildren improved their position compared to previous years, being ranked (statistically) significantly above average (rank 13) in science skills and statistically not significantly above or below average in mathematical skills (rank 20) and reading skills (rank 18). The PISA Examination also found big differences in achievement between students attending different types of German schools. According to Jan-Martin-Wiadra: Conservatives prized the success of the Gymnasium, for them the finest school form in the world – indeed, it is by far the number one in the PISA league table. But what they prefer to forget is that this success came at the cost of a catastrophe in the Hauptschulen. Some German teachers' representatives and a number of scientists disputed the PISA findings. Claiming among other things that the questions have been ill-translated, that the samples drawn in some countries were not representative, that Germans (most of whom had never done a multiple choice tests in their lives before) were discriminated against by the multiple choice questions, that the PISA-questions had no curricular validity and that the PISA was "in fact an IQ-test", which according to them showed that dysgenic fertility was taking place in Germany. A 2008 statistic from Nordrhein-Westfalen shows that 6.4 percent of all students did not earn even the Hauptschulabschluss, however not all of them were high school dropouts, as many of them were children with special needs, who received special school leaving certificates. Only 3.3 percent dropped out of school without earning any kind of diploma.


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