London Police to Deploy Facial Recognition Cameras Despite Privacy Concerns and Evidence of High Failure Rate

Police in London are moving ahead with a deploying a facial recognition camera system despite privacy concerns and evidence that the technology is riddled with false positives.

The Metropolitan Police, the U.K.’s biggest police department with jurisdiction over most of London, announced Friday it would begin rolling out new “live facial recognition” cameras in London, making the capital one of the largest cities in the West to adopt the controversial technology.

The “Met,” as the police department is known in London, said in a statement the facial recognition technology, which is meant to identify people on a watch list and alert police to their real-time location, would be “intelligence-led” and deployed to only specific locations. It’s expected to be rolled out as soon as next month.

However, privacy activists immediately raised concerns, noting that independent reviews of trials of the technology showed a failure rate of 81%. “The police have decided against a backdrop of serious..

U.S. Refuses to Extradite Wife of Diplomat Charged With Killing British Teenager Harry Dunn

Citing diplomatic immunity, the U.S. formally refused a request from the British government Thursday to extradite Anne Sacoolas, an American citizen and wife of a U.S. diplomat, who is accused of causing the death of British teenager Harry Dunn by dangerous driving in August, 2019.

Dunn was killed when the car Sacoolas was driving on the wrong side of the road struck his motorbike near a base used by the U.S. Air Force in Croughton, U.K.

Sacoolas left the U.K. after being questioned by police, citing diplomatic immunity. Dunn’s family has since mounted a campaign to have her extradited to face charges.

Announcing that Sacoolas would not be extradited, the State Department said granting the request “would render the invocation of diplomatic immunity a practical nullity and would set an extraordinarily troubling precedent.”

“The United States has a history of close law enforcement cooperation with the United Kingdom, and we value that relationship,” a State Department spokesperson sa..

Australia’s Bushfires May Create the Nation’s First Climate Refugees

Australian wildfires that have razed thousands of homes and blackened an area about the size of England may also create the nation’s first climate refugees.

That’s the view of Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University, who said insurance companies are no longer covering homes in fire-prone areas as the continent becomes drier and hotter. That’s the first step to an area becoming uninhabitable, he said in an interview on Bloomberg TV Friday.

“We’re seeing the beginning stages of monumental, catastrophic climate changes that will ultimately drive people away from large inhabited regions of this continent,” Mann said.

The nation is beginning to question the cost of rebuilding more than 3,000 homes that have been damaged or destroyed by the months-long wildfires that have claimed at least 31 lives.

While the government has acknowledged that climate change has played a role in the severity of the crisis, it has rejected demands to take..

The West Blames the Wuhan Coronavirus on China’s Love of Eating Wild Animals. The Truth Is More Complex

It was no secret to anyone in Wuhan that Huanan Seafood Market sold a lot more than its name suggested. While one side of the low-slung warren of stalls did primarily stock fish and shellfish, the other offered a cornucopia of spices, sundries and, if you knew where to look, beavers, porcupines and snakes.

“It was well-known for selling lots of weird, live animals,” says James, an English teacher who for five years lived a few hundred feet from the market, and who asks TIME to only use one name due to the sensitively of the situation. “So nobody was surprised at all when it emerged that the virus might have come from an unusual animal.”

Scientists have confirmed that the pneumonia-like disease, like around 70% of new human pathogens, was zoonotic or transmitted from an animal. But they are still investigating exactly what creature might be the source of the “novel coronavirus”—dubbed 2019-nCoV and belonging to the same family as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eas..

Virus Panic Causes Face Mask Supplies to Run Out Across Asia

Face masks and hand sanitizers are becoming must-have accessories from Hong Kong to Japan as a deadly virus spreads across Asia. The only problem is getting hold of them.

Pharmacies across Hong Kong sold out of masks aimed at preventing viral infection, prompting authorities to say more will arrive next week. Taiwan banned the export of masks for the next month to ensure sufficient domestic supply. In Macau, authorities said sales would be restricted to a maximum of 10 face masks to residents or authorized guest workers who can present a valid ID card.

Regular hand-washing, face covering and avoiding crowds are becoming the main line of defense as Asian residents seek to avoid catching the new coronavirus, which in China alone has killed at 25 people and infected more than 800. The rapid spread of the disease has prompted Chinese officials to restrict travel for at least 30 million people and limit Lunar New Year celebrations.

Patients with the infection have been found across Asia,..

North Korea Names Retired Army Officer as Its New Foreign Minister

(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korea has named as its new foreign minster a former senior army officer with little experience in dealings with the United States, in a possible indication it will take a harder line with Washington in stalled nuclear negotiations.

The new post for Ri Son Gwon was disclosed Friday in a Korean Central News Agency dispatch that said he attended a reception for foreign diplomats in Pyongyang on Thursday. South Korean and other outside media previously reported North Korea had recently informed foreign diplomats in Pyongyang of Ri’s job.

In his speech at the banquet, “Comrade Ri Son Gwon said that the Korean people have turned out in the general offensive to break through head-on the barriers to the advance of socialist construction by dint of self-reliance … and made public the foreign policy stand of the (North Korean) government,” KCNA said.

Ri, an outspoken retired army colonel who recently headed a government body responsible for relations with South Ko..

Scientists Confirm Mount Vesuvius Eruption Turned Victim’s Brain Into Glass

(MILAN) — The eruption of Mount Vesuvius turned an incinerated victim’s brain material into glass, the first time scientists have verified the phenomenon from a volcanic blast, officials at the Herculaneum archaeology site said Thursday.

Archaeologists rarely recover human brain tissue, and when they do it is normally smooth and soapy in consistency, according to an article detailing the discovery in the New England Journal of Medicine. The eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79 instantly killed the inhabitants of Pompeii and neighboring Herculaneum, burying an area 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the volcano in ash in just a few hours.

The remains of a man lying on a wooden bed were discovered at Herculaneum, closer to Vesuvius than Pompeii, in the 1960s. He is believed to have been the custodian of a place of worship, the Collegium Augustalium.

A team led by Pier Paolo Petrone, a forensic anthropologist at the Federico II University in Naples, determined that the victim’s brain matter ..

From Threats of Gang Rape to Islamophobic Badgering, Indian Women Politicians Face High Levels of Online Abuse, Says Report

Women politicians in India receive on average 113 problematic or abusive tweets per day, including threats and badgering, according to a report released today by Amnesty International.

The report, which analyzed 114,716 tweets directed at 95 Indian women politicians during the last Indian general election in 2019, found that 1 in 7 tweets about female politicians were abusive or problematic.

“Online abuse has the power to belittle, demean, intimidate and eventually silence women,” the report said.

While women around the world face sexist abuse online, Indian female leaders deal with nearly twice as much harassment than their counterparts in the U.K. or the U.S., according to the report.

Gender inequality remains a salient issue in India, which ranks 135 out of 187 on the Gender Inequality Index. In 2018, India was ranked the most dangerous country in the world for women and in recent months, violence against women has resurged. While last year’s election ushered in a record-high le..

Why Chile’s SATs Have Become the New Frontline of Inequality Protests

School’s out for summer in Chile. But the vacation isn’t proving very relaxing for high school students in the South American country. A group of Chilean teenagers have spent the last few weeks opening a new and controversial front in the nationwide protests over inequality that started in October: Chile’s version of the SAT.

On Jan. 6 and 7, roughly 300,000 high school seniors were set to take the University Selection Test (PSU) – a prerequisite for applying to college in Chile. But hundreds of young people, led by ACES, a far-left students’ union for highschoolers, disrupted the test centers, blocking entrances, burning test papers and clashing with security forces. At least 82,000 students were unable to take one of the four tests that make up the PSU. ACES is promising to repeat the disruption on Jan. 27 and 28, when authorities plan to rerun the exams. In the meantime, students have occupied the offices of exam authorities, and protested in the streets, calling for an end to the ..

‘Who is She?’ Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Questions Greta Thunberg’s Economic Expertise at Davos

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested that Greta Thunberg isn’t the best person to give advice on economic issues related to climate change — at least not until she goes to college.

At a press briefing at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mnuchin criticized the 17-year-old environmental activist’s call to divest from fossil fuels immediately, according to the Associated Press.

Asked how such restrictions would affect the U.S. economic model, Mnuchin responded, “Is she the chief economist or who is she? I’m confused,” the AP reported. He paused before adding that his comments were “a joke.”

“After she goes and studies economics in college she can come back and explain that to us,” Mnuchin said.

Thunberg, who has been outspoken about the lack of progress on climate change, tweeted Thursday that “it doesn’t take a college degree in economics” to realize that our remaining 1.5° carbon budget and ongoing fossil fuel subsidies and investments don’t add up.”

My gap year ends i..