RAPE VICTIMS ASKED TO GIVE POLICE ACCESS TO THEIR PHONES

Police in England and Wales are going to ask victims of crimes to grant them access to their phones, especially e-mails, messages and photographs. Such consents will be taken whenever it is appropriate and may concern mostly victims of rape or other sexual assault because they often know the suspects. The victims may refuse or explain why they do not want the services to go through their personal stuff but then they must acknowledge the fact that prosecution may be stopped due to lack of crucial evidence. The new regulation comes from good intentions of finding the criminals faster. Also, a few rape cases ended recently because material found indicated different scenario than initially claimed. Regardless good intentions there is concern the new regulation may lead to rape victims not reporting the crime in fear of having their phones checked by strangers. BBC quotes one of their opinions: „My phone documents many of the most personal moments in my life and the thought of strangers combing through it, to try to use it against me, makes me feel like I’m being violated once again.” 

AVENGERS: ENDGAME BREAKS BOX OFFICE RECORDS

The latest film in Avengers series has just broken the box office record becoming the fastest film to earn 1 billion dollars – it took Avengers: Endgame only five days to do so. Overall, in the opening run the production generated $1.2bn. The incredibly successful Avenger series started back in 2008 with Iron Man and Endgame is the 22nd position on the list. Given the fact that nearly all of the films from the franchise make in onto the list of highest-grossing ones Endgame’s success in not surprising. Substantial amount of the sum comes from the USA ($350 million) but this time it was Asia-Pacific region which turned out to be most lucrative ($545 million) with China alone bringing over $330 million of profits. The movie is Available in many versions, including 2D, 3D, IMAX and 4DX, a technology involving elements like water, wind or scent. Forbes draws the attention to the popularity of 3-D showings which constituted 45% of global sales of tickets. The previous record for best debut earnings was $640 million and the title belonged to… Avengers: Infinity War.

ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES: ONE PERSON MATTERS

Deforestation remains humanity’s crucial challenge. Every year people cut down trees on a territory the size of Czech Republic which has already led to a loss of some 129 million hectares of forest globally since 1990. In the face of such destruction one human being looks rather helpless but some people are really hard to discourage. Sebastiao Salgado, a famous photo reporter returned to Brazil in 1990s to rest after reporting the genocide in Rwanda but he discovered that the areas once covered with rainforest were then a lifeless desert. Together with his life, Leila, they came up with unusual idea of bringing the forest back to life on their own. Over some 20 years they planted 4 million trees. Their effort turned out to have more positive consequences as the whole ecosystem began to rebuild. A total of 172 species of birds, 33 species of mammals, 15 species of reptiles and 293 species of plants returned to the place. Sebastiao documented his achievement with great photos which give a message of hope that what was deliberately destroyed by many can be restored by few.

DEADLY CYCLONE HITS MOZAMBIQUE, NOT HEADLINES

Sadly (and naturally) some news items are sexier than others. As world media and Nutshell extensively report on recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand and Sri Lanka (combined death toll 303 people), cyclone Idai (peak intensity around 14 March, the deadliest tropical storm in South-West Indian Ocean in 125 years) killed over 1010 people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Madagascar. It affected more than 3 million others. A cholera outbreak ensued with over 4000 confirmed cases and 7 deaths in the above countries until 10 April, although exact casualty numbers in areas such as this one are nearly always impossible to estimate. The disaster is not only one of the deadliest on record, but also one of the costliest: infrastructural damage is valued at USD 2 billion. Even less front-page coverage (all the more credit to CNN10!) was given to Idai’s cousin Kenneth, which hit Mozambique’s coast on 26 April, leaving 34,000 homes destroyed, 38 people dead and 18,000 displaced. Regardless of the most recent cyclones, 46% of Mozambique’s population (14 out of 31 million) are classified as living in extreme poverty.

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