UN Creates Trade Negotiator Toolkit As Vehicle To Implement 2030 Agenda

Read more on this subject: United Nations
News Story Source: https://www.technocracy.news, By: Lynn Wagner
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the UN Environment Programme launched an online toolkit for trade negotiators, during the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Ministerial Conference 2017. The toolkit looks at trade and investment as vehicles for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The toolkit is one of 17 featured ‘Green Economy Pioneers’ platforms and networks that were featured at an exhibition space during the PAGE Conference. The Conference convened from 27-28 March 2017, in Berlin, Germany.

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UN, EU Developing A Universal Definition Of The 'City'

Read more on this subject: United Nations
News Story Source: https://www.technocracy.news, By: Brendon Bosworth
This month, a group of urban thinkers from the United Nations, the European Commission and other organizations are meeting in Brussels to continue a curiously complex attempt: developing a universal definition of the “city”.

The meeting is a pivotal step toward ironing out a globally applicable city definition that can be used to measure progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those that pertain to cities, along with the New Urban Agenda, a global agreement that will guide urbanization over the next 20 years.

In the eyes of many working on the issue, a universal definition of the city that can be used by policymakers and the global development community is a piece of the SDGs puzzle that is still missing. The issue underpins the 169 targets and their related indicators included in the SDGs framework.

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Scientists Create Artificial Brain Connection That Mimics Human Brain

Read more on this subject: Science, Medicine and Technology
News Story Source: https://www.technocracy.news, By: Harry Pettit
The idea of a robot that can learn and function on its own, without the need for any human help, might sound like the plot to the latest science fiction blockbuster.

But scientists have got one step closer to making this a reality with the creation of the first artificial brain connection that can learn autonomously.

The groundbreaking study represents a big step toward intelligent machines that learn without the need for human input.

A team of international researchers, led by scientists at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) based in Paris, created the artificial connection (synapse).

The synapse changes its composition based on which ‘brain signals’ are fired.

When under heavy use, it adapted to drop its electrical resistance and make the signal pathway quicker and more efficient.

This, the researchers said, could one day build artificial intelligence that learns like the human brain.

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7 killed as suicide bomber attacks census team in Pakistan

Read more on this subject: Pakistan
News Story Source: http://www.latimes.com,, Aoun Sahi, Shashank Benga
The bomber targeted a van carrying 17 soldiers, among the 200,000 deployed nationwide to provide security for Pakistan’s first census in nearly two decades.

Nearly 20 people were injured, officials said.

It was the latest deadly attack to strike Lahore, which had long been insulated from Pakistan’s endless drumbeat of extremist violence but this year has seen a series of major bomb blasts.

The Pakistani Taliban, an umbrella group of militant organizations that target the government and military, claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s bombing in a Whatsapp message to journalists.

Malik Ahmed Khan, spokesman for the Punjab provincial government, said officials had received information last week about a threat against census takers, but the intelligence did not specify the target.

Pakistan’s census commissioner Asif Bajwa said that security arrangements would be reviewed but the counting process would continue.

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New Jersey teen gets into Stanford after writing #BlackLivesMatter 100 times on application

Read more on this subject: Seriously?
News Story Source: http://www.foxnews.com, New York Post
On his Stanford University application, Ziad Ahmed was posed the question “What matters to you, and why?”

The 18-year-old activist from Princeton, New Jersey, decided to use the opportunity to write “#BlackLivesMatter” 100 times.

To his surprise, the answer caught the attention of the California school’s admissions office and Ahmed received his acceptance letter on Friday.

“I didn’t think I would get admitted to Stanford at all, but it’s quite refreshing to see that they view my unapologetic activism as an asset rather than a liability,” Ahmed told Mic.

He shared his acceptance letter and application on Twitter, where it quickly went viral.

Ahmed, who is Muslim, said on Twitter that he hopes to use his time in college to continue to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Neil Gorsuch, just another faux originalist judge

Read more on this subject: Justice and Judges
Feature Article by Ivan Eland
After all the usual Washington confirmation theatrics, Neil Gorsuch, one way or the other, will likely be confirmed for service on the Supreme Court. Gorsuch has been advertised as a similar replacement for the deceased Antonin Scalia, who had styled himself as a small government “textualist.” Let’s hope Gorsuch will do better than Scalia’s faux textualism.

Instead of paying attention to judicial precedent, Scalia claimed to be concerned about the text of the Constitution and the nation’s Founders’ original intent when they wrote those words (textualism is a subset of originalism). Yet Scalia was a big government conservative, essentially ruling that unless the Constitution prohibited the government from doing something, it could do it.

Consider the 2008 case Boumediene v. Bush, in which the Supreme Court ruled that even terrorism suspects had the constitutional right to challenge their detention under a writ of habeas corpus, which the Constitution
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We Finally Know When the Giant Robot Duel Between the US and Japan Will Take Place

Read more on this subject: Robots and Artificial Intelligence
News Story Source: motherboard.vice.com by Carl Franzen
Two years ago this summer, a California-based robotics company called Megabots published a brash, flashy video on YouTube and Kickstarter challenging a Japanese company called Suidobashi to a giant robot duel. 

Now, after two years of Megabots releasing over-the-top robot teaser videos and some delays, the duel between the two companies’ giant, human-piloted mechs will supposedly happen this August, according to a new video posted today by Megabots.

No firm date or location has been announced (Megabots says it is “keeping the location secret so we can guarantee there will be no more delays” in its video description). And worryingly, Suidobashi hasn’t updated its own YouTube channel and Facebook page since 2015, so whether this fight really goes down this summer remains an open question. 

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Russia, China Lay Groundwork For BRICS Transactions in Gold

Read more on this subject: Gold and Silver
News Story Source: http://russia-insider.com, Paul Kaiser
Recent progress made in streamlining trade in local currencies has brought Moscow and Beijing closer to creating a financial architecture that could facilitate transactions in gold. 

As we reported last week, Moscow and Beijing took another step towards de-dollarization with the opening of a yuan clearing bank in Russia. And earlier this month Russia’s Central Bank opened its first-ever foreign branch in Beijing to allow for better communication between Russian and Chinese financial authorities. 

According to an article published yesterday by Sputnik, progress made in promoting bilateral trade in yuan is the first step towards an even more ambitions plan — using gold to make transactions:

The clearing center is one of a range of measures the People’s Bank of China and the Russian Central Bank have been looking at to deepen their co-operation. 

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Airlander 10 airship gets outfitted for cushier landings

Read more on this subject: Transportation: Air Travel
News Story Source: newatlas.com by Ben Coxworth
Last August, its flight deck (located on the underside of the hull) was damaged during a “heavy landing” at the end of its second test flight. Now, protective airbags have been installed to keep that deck from smacking into the ground, and to allow landings at a greater range of angles.

Known as the Auxiliary Landing System (ALS), the setup consists of two pilot-deployable airbags, located on either side of the flight deck. When activated, each one fills with 15 cubic meters (530 cubic feet) of helium gas within 20 seconds, extending to its full length of 3 meters (9.8 ft).

That gas is drawn from the main hull using the airship’s existing ballonet fans, and constitutes less than 0.1 percent of the entire hull volume – so in other words, there’s still plenty of helium left in the hull when the bags are inflated.

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