Vegetation of planet Earth: Researchers publish unique database as Open Access (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg: Vegetation of planet Earth: Researchers publish unique database as Open Access. “It’s a treasure trove of data: the global geodatabase of vegetation plots ‘sPlotOpen’ is now freely accessible. It contains data on vegetation from 114 countries and from all climate zones on Earth. The database was compiled by an international team of researchers led by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).”

New York Times: The Criminals Thought the Devices Were Secure. But the Seller Was the F.B.I.

New York Times: The Criminals Thought the Devices Were Secure. But the Seller Was the F.B.I.. “The devices, procured on the black market, performed only a single function hidden behind a calculator app: sending encrypted messages and photos. For years, organized crime figures around the globe relied on the devices to orchestrate international drug shipments, coordinate arms and explosives trafficking, and discuss contract killings, law enforcement officials said. Users trusted the devices’ security so much that they often laid out their plans not in code, but in plain language. Unbeknown to them, the entire network was run by the F.B.I.”

Google Blog: Culture needs us, as much as we need culture

Google Blog: Culture needs us, as much as we need culture. “On the occasion of World Heritage Day, UNESCO, Google Arts & Culture and our international partners are joining forces to promote access to and education around cultural and natural heritage through a new online resource, Explore UNESCO World Heritage. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy a virtual globetrotting tour of cultural landmarks and outstanding places of natural beauty, as well as to access accurate and reliable information on sites of outstanding universal value.”

Voice of America: Global TB Fight Set Back 12 Years by COVID Pandemic, Doctors Warn

Voice of America: Global TB Fight Set Back 12 Years by COVID Pandemic, Doctors Warn. “In nine countries with a high prevalence of TB — including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Tajikistan and Ukraine — diagnosis and treatment fell by an average of 23%, according to analysis by the Stop TB Partnership, a non-profit hosted by the United Nations in Geneva.”

Vox EU: Economic preparation for the next pandemic

Vox EU: Economic preparation for the next pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic is the first time in history that closing entire economies has been used as a medical tool, simultaneously and worldwide. This column argues that such ‘pandonomics’ cannot be repeated during future pandemics that are sure to come – the costs are too heavy. Since lockdowns are very costly, future economic non-pharmaceutical interventions need to be designed more intelligently, helping the economy to restructure and support the transition from a basically ignorant and domestically oriented society into a pandemic-aware one.”

Cornell Daily Sun: Global Student Policy Alliance Creates Climate Policy Database

Cornell Daily Sun: Global Student Policy Alliance Creates Climate Policy Database. “Students from four universities — including Cornell — and two countries have worked to compile a comprehensive database of climate policy initiatives from the 193 member states of the United Nations. These students comprise the Global Student Policy Alliance, a transatlantic association of think tanks based at Cornell, the University of Chicago, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Cambridge. The group of about 30 students met over a planning period this summer to divide up the research as they explored different countries’ policies.”

CBS News: Countries around the world have some unusual rules to combat coronavirus

CBS News: Countries around the world have some unusual rules to combat coronavirus. “As COVID-19 vaccination efforts pick up speed, many states across the U.S. are easing or dropping restrictions. But that’s not the case in many other countries around the world. In fact, some have rules that are far more stringent than anything ever imposed in the U.S. From 6 p.m. curfews, to ‘no talking’ rules, to men and women being allowed outside only on alternating days, coronavirus restrictions around the world are constantly evolving — some in unusual ways.”

Medical XPress: COVID-19 pandemic impacts mental health worldwide

Medical XPress: COVID-19 pandemic impacts mental health worldwide. “A study conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health reports a high global prevalence of both depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic and shows how implementation of mitigation strategies including public transportation and school closures, and stay-at-home orders impacted such disorders. The results are published in Psychological Medicine.”

Mashable: What to expect when you’re expecting 8 billion internet users

Mashable: What to expect when you’re expecting 8 billion internet users. “As I wrote in my previous story in this series, the world may add up to 3 billion more internet users in the next decade or so. The global population is growing fast, and demographers believe it will cross the 8 billion mark around 2023. Internet access is growing faster, and is on course to hit 8 billion users around 2033. Given our recent history, you’d be forgiven for feeling a bit queasy about what could happen when the echo chamber has grown to the size of the entire Earth.”

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Researchers find ways to push international research forward, despite COVID-19

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Researchers find ways to push international research forward, despite COVID-19. “The details were in place, and an international team of researchers was ready to launch a multi-year study of Kenya’s socio-ecological systems — specifically how globalization and climate change are impacting the country’s native Daasanach pastoralists. Then, like dominoes, COVID-19 began spreading across the world, with new countries announcing cases, shutdowns and travel restrictions each day.”

Net Nebraska: Do ‘Tight’ Cultures Fare Better In The Pandemic Than ‘Loose’ Cultures?

Net Nebraska: Do ‘Tight’ Cultures Fare Better In The Pandemic Than ‘Loose’ Cultures?. “Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that some countries have had few cases and fewer deaths per capita. The U.S. has had 152 deaths per 100,000 people, for example, versus .03 in Burundi and .04 in Taiwan. There are many reasons for these differences among countries, but a study in The Lancet Planetary Health published last month suggests that a key factor may be cultural.”

CNN: The worldwide web as we know it may be ending

CNN: The worldwide web as we know it may be ending. “Over the last year, the worldwide web has started to look less worldwide. Europe is floating regulation that could impose temporary bans on US tech companies that violate its laws. The United States was on the verge of banning TikTok and WeChat, though the new Biden administration is rethinking that move. India, which did ban those two apps as well of dozens of others, is now at loggerheads with Twitter.”

AP: Countries call on drug companies to share vaccine know-how

AP: Countries call on drug companies to share vaccine know-how. ” In an industrial neighborhood on the outskirts of Bangladesh’s largest city lies a factory with gleaming new equipment imported from Germany, its immaculate hallways lined with hermetically sealed rooms. It is operating at just a quarter of its capacity. It is one of three factories that The Associated Press found on three continents whose owners say they could start producing hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccines on short notice if only they had the blueprints and technical know-how.”

Indigenous Photograph: a resource for visual storytelling – in pictures (The Guardian)

The Guardian: Indigenous Photograph: a resource for visual storytelling – in pictures. “Natives Photograph began in 2018 as a database of indigenous visual storytellers from across north America, providing a resource for those wishing to hire more inclusively – since mainstream narratives historically have been largely in the hands of non-indigenous people. Relaunched as Indigenous Photograph the site is expanding into a global community of photographers who seek to bring balance to the way stories are told about indigenous people.” Wonderful photography.