In 2015, Akinbo’s software was put to the test once again during what the New York Times referred to as “the most contested election in Nigeria’s post-independence history.” Corruption scandals and the deadly impact of the Boko Haram terrorist group made valid, dependable election monitoring all the more urgent. Election monitors were equipped with a cell phone preloaded with the Apollo software. From there, they sent their observations of voters and election irregularities via text message to the system’s central database. When the dust settled and the final ballots were counted, the former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, who had previously seized power in a 1983 coup, emerged victorious with 53 percent of the vote. Though the election was contentious, Apollo verified the results as accurate. The software draws strength from its simplicity. While Nigerian monitors may lack the resources and funding of their American and E.U. counterparts, the backbone of … [Read more...] about Cell Phones Can Make Elections Fairer
What does he mean, exactly? Does he mean that the non-hetero-dyad family is a “political notion”? Or is he saying that family is an “anthropological fact,” i.e., one determined not by outdated “ideological notions” but by the lived realities of people as they are? Are conservative ideologues, as one of the Pope’s close advisors said earlier this year, “people who don’t understand reality”? Given the audience—a room full of conservatives—what does it mean to say “We can’t think of conservative or progressive notions”? … [Read more...] about Is Pope Francis Backpedaling on Gays?
March 8, 2014 - Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappears from radar after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing. After more than 10 months of searching for the plane, on January 29, 2015, the government of Malaysia officially declares the loss of MH370 an accident and all passengers and crew, 239 people in total, are presumed dead. On July 30, 2018, while announcing the release of a safety investigation report, Malaysian authorities say they have failed to determine the cause of the plane's disappearance, while ruling out several possibilities. … [Read more...] about Commercial Passenger Airplane Crashes Fast Facts
While a weakened Russia might strike some as a geopolitical boon for the United States, authoritarian regimes have a habit of deflecting domestic tensions with foreign misadventures. Which raises ominous questions of how Saudi Arabia will behave, in a moment when the kingdom is already engaged in multiple proxy wars with Iran. No one knows how all of this will shake out, but considering that the current international system was more or less designed by the U.S. to advance its own interests, unpredictable change is undesirable — as are heightened poverty rates in oil-dependent economies and, ya know, world wars. … [Read more...] about 4 Reasons You Should Panic About the Falling Stock Market. And 4 Reasons You Shouldn’t.
"Often locations bearing the highest particulate pollution levels tend to also notably have the least monitoring data," said Frank Hammes, CEO of IQAir. "Leaving the most vulnerable communities without access to timely and relevant air quality data, necessary to guide actions to safeguard their health." … [Read more...] about 21 of the world’s 30 cities with the worst air pollution are in India