endangered Sumatran rhinos, genetic study, good news, genetic diversity
The author writes, “A genome study of the last remaining populations of the Sumatran rhinoceros — a solitary rainforest dweller — is providing what scientists called good news about the prospects of saving this critically endangered species from extinction. The researchers said on Monday that their study found that the two existing wild populations of this rhino on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra boast unexpectedly good genetic health and surprisingly low levels of inbreeding.” Photo credit: International Rhino Foundation / Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)

The Right to Crash Cars Into People ; US Banks Deploy AI to Monitor Customers, Workers ; and More Picks 4/27

The Right to Crash Cars Into People (DonkeyHotey)

From the New Republic: “[Last] week, Florida Republicans enacted a law they claimed would prevent riots in the state. Its real purpose, of course, was to discourage protesting and punish demonstrators. One of the bill’s provisions has received a fair amount of national attention, as it seems to give Floridians permission to attack protesters with their cars. The bill doesn’t exactly make it legal to run someone over, but it does shield drivers from civil liability if they injure or kill protesters on Florida roads.”

US Banks Deploy AI to Monitor Customers, Workers Amid Tech Backlash (Dana)

The author writes, “Several U.S. banks have started deploying camera software that can analyze customer preferences, monitor workers and spot people sleeping near ATMs, even as they remain wary about possible backlash over increased surveillance, more than a dozen banking and technology sources told Reuters. Previously unreported trials at City National Bank of Florida (BCI.SN) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) as well as earlier rollouts at banks such as Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) offer a rare view into the potential U.S. financial institutions see in facial recognition and related artificial intelligence systems.”

Out on the High Seas, When News Happens No One Sees It (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Two-thirds of the planet is covered by water and much of that space is ungoverned. Human rights, labor and environmental crimes occur often and with impunity because the oceans are vast. What laws exist are difficult to enforce. Arguably the most important factor, though, is that the global public is woefully unaware of what happens offshore. Reporting about and from this realm is rare. As a result, landlubbers have little idea of how reliant they are on the sea or the more than 50 million people who work out there.”

PODCAST: Why Has China Targeted Minorities in Xinjiang? (Bethany)

From the New Yorker: “In a special episode on the crisis in Xinjiang region of China, the staff writer Raffi Khatchadourian investigates Xi Jinping’s government’s severe repression of Muslim minorities, principally Uyghurs and Kazakhs. Accounts from a camp survivor and a woman who fled detainment show how, even outside the camps, life in the province of Xinjiang became a prison. The crisis meets the United Nations’ definition of genocide, and the U.S. State Department has also made that determination. With the 2022 Winter Olympics coming up in Beijing, what can the world do about Xinjiang?”

A Woman Was Charged With a Felony for Not Returning a VHS Tape. She Found Out 21 Years Later. (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A Texas woman doesn’t remember renting a VHS tape 22 years ago — let alone that she didn’t return it — and the place she rented it from shut its doors more than a decade ago. But the unreturned tape led to her being charged with a felony. Though the case was dismissed and expunged Wednesday, Caron McBride is looking into legal options.” 


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