[-] autotldr@lemmings.world 1 points 4 minutes ago

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A campaign is under way to save the last remaining wildflower meadows in Nottinghamshire.Since the 1930s the county is said to have lost nearly all its meadows, which are a vital haven for wildflowers and wildlife.Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust (NWT) has launched a £10,000 appeal to support its work at sites in its care.That includes 28 hectares (70 acres) of land near Retford, Attenborough, Newark and Nottingham.

NWT spokesman Erin McDaid said: “Meadows are a haven for wildlife and home to some of our rarest and hardest working species.

"They provide a feast for the senses, as well as being fundamental to protecting our increasingly fragile natural environment.”A healthy meadow, surrounded by hedgerow, can host a variety of wildflowers - including great burnet, pyramidal orchid, red clover and ox-eye daisies.Such flowers, as well as being beautiful, support invertebrates, including vital pollinators like bees and butterflies.They are also home to small mammals including bats, harvest mice and birds.Across the UK it's estimated 97% of wildflower meadows, sometimes called hay meadows, have been lost since the 1930s.In Nottinghamshire the loss is thought to be as high as 99%.

The county's wildlife trust says its new appeal will support its work to protect the meadows it cares for.That includes Ashtons Meadow, near Retford, Glebe Field at Attenborough, Besthorpe Meadows, near Newark, and Skylarks Nature Reserve at Holme Pierrepont.They are maintained by NWT staff, volunteers and grazing animals.Mr McDaid added: "They also act as natural flood defences and lock away carbon which helps limit the impact of climate change – the biggest driver of nature loss.

"Given the rarity and importance of the meadows in our care it's vital we have the resources to ensure we can continue their management.

"Follow BBC Nottingham on Facebook, on X, or on Instagram.

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[-] autotldr@lemmings.world 1 points 34 minutes ago

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A Ugandan court has sentenced a 24-year-old man to six years in prison for insulting the president and the first family through his video posted on TikTok.Edward Awebwa was charged with hate speech and spreading "misleading and malicious" information against President Yoweri Museveni, First Lady Janet Museveni and son Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who is the head of the military.The court also heard that Awebwa had shared abusive information and had said there would be an increase in taxes under President Museveni.He had pleaded guilty and asked for forgiveness.

The presiding magistrate said that while he had pleaded for mercy, he did not look remorseful for his actions, and the words used in the video were "really vulgar".

"The accused deserves a punishment which will enable him learn from his past so that next time he will respect the person of the president, the first lady and the first son," magistrate Stella Maris Amabilis said.He was sentenced to six years for each of the four charges against him, which are to run concurrently.Rights groups regularly denounce Ugandan authorities for violations of human rights and freedom of expression.In 2022, award-winning Ugandan author Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was charged with two counts of "offensive communication" after making unflattering remarks about the president and his son on Twitter.He fled the country to Germany after spending a month in jail, where he claimed he had been tortured.Activist and writer Stella Nyanzi, who is also in exile, had earlier been jailed after publishing a poem that was critical against Mr Museveni.President Museveni has been in power since 1986 - 14 years before Awebwa was born.In 2022 he signed into law a against speech which rights groups criticised, saying it was aimed at suppressing freedom of speech online.Last year, the constitutional court ruled that a section of the act that penalised "offensive communication" was unconstitutional.Ugandan human rights lawyer Michael Aboneka said Awebwa had been charged under the same broader law that they are still challenging in court because “it is vague”.He told the BBC Newsday programme that the president and his family should expect to be criticised “at whatever angle”.“Unless they are saying that they are going to arrest every Ugandan for criticising them at every point," he said.

Top designer vows to regrow dreadlocks cut after Uganda arrestMuhoozi Kainerugaba - Uganda's ambitious tweeting generalUgandan author of The Greedy Barbarian charged over Museveni tweetsUganda's Stella Nyanzi bares breasts in protest at jail sentence

Go to BBCAfrica.com for more news from the African continent.Follow us on Twitter @BBCAfrica, on Facebook at BBC Africa or on Instagram at bbcafrica

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[-] autotldr@lemmings.world 1 points 54 minutes ago

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8.15pm, ITV1Barnaby is off the clock when he and Sarah attend a swanky party in honour of DCS Elaine Bennet, a new resident at the gated police retirement community where Barnaby’s old gaffer already lives.

9pm, BBC FourWhen David Olusoga’s signature series was first broadcast in 2015, its unflinching examination of the UK’s deep involvement in the slave trade sparked a national conversation that led to statues being toppled.

9pm, BBC ThreeIn 2020, the US experienced a summer of explosive unrest following the murder of George Floyd, and 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial for shooting three people and killing two was about to further divide the nation.

Apart from the tunes, which range in style from Avril Lavigne to Billie Eilish to Beyoncé, and the presence of TikTok-ish social media, it is pretty much a retake of the original.

“Fetch” is still not happening, naive new girl at school Cady (Angourie Rice) is again seduced by the power of the Plastics clique led by Reneé Rapp’s intimidating Regina, and writer/co-star Tina Fey is back to teach the kids that calling someone ugly isn’t going to make you better-looking.

Mulligan’s acting is magnetic even in her quieter moments, as her 16-year-old character, Jenny, transforms from dutiful student destined for university in Oxford to school dropout and lover of Peter Saarsgard’s charming but disreputable David.

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[-] autotldr@lemmings.world 2 points 1 hour ago

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The climate crisis is causing the length of each day to get longer, analysis shows, as the mass melting of polar ice reshapes the planet.

The change in the length of the day is on the scale of milliseconds but this is enough to potentially disrupt internet traffic, financial transactions and GPS navigation, all of which rely on precise timekeeping.

The length of the Earth’s day has been steadily increasing over geological time due to the gravitational drag of the moon on the planet’s oceans and land.

The planetary impact of humanity was also demonstrated recently by research that showed the redistribution of water had caused the Earth’s axis of rotation – the north and south poles – to move.

“We can see our impact as humans on the whole Earth system, not just locally, like the rise in temperature, but really fundamentally, altering how it moves in space and rotates,” said Prof Benedikt Soja of ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, used observations and computer reconstructions to assess the impact of melting ice on the length of the day.

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[-] autotldr@lemmings.world 1 points 2 hours ago

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Vance (R-Ohio) as the GOP’s vice-presidential nominee reflects the ascendancy of the party’s populist economic wing — and the choice is alarming traditional conservative policymakers and elite donors who opposed the pick.

Vance’s rise has rankled some GOP elites: Many top party donors opposed the pick, including Kenneth C. Griffin, the billionaire president of the hedge fund Citadel, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.

Deregulation of businesses, cutting taxes, reducing federal spending on social programs, limiting the power of the U.S. government — all are key priorities not just of the GOP overall but of Trump specifically.

In April 2021, after corporate leaders discussed how to respond to GOP changes in state voting laws, Vance said on the social media site then known as Twitter: “Raise their taxes and do whatever else is necessary to fight these goons.

Saurabh Sharma, president of American Moment, a Trump-aligned conservative group focused on training congressional and presidential staffers, also pointed to Vance’s stances on immigration and foreign policy.

Vance has strongly criticized U.S. aid to Ukraine, in opposition to more traditional Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and argued for a tougher crackdown on immigrants than even most GOP lawmakers support.

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[-] autotldr@lemmings.world 3 points 2 hours ago

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Just two days after the attempted assassination at former President Donald Trump’s rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, the FBI announced it “gained access” to the shooter’s phone.

Cooper Quintin, a security researcher and senior staff technologist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that law enforcement agencies have several tools at their disposal to extract data from phones.

The bureau famously butted heads with Apple in late 2015 after the company refused to help law enforcement get around the encryption on the San Bernardino, California shooter’s iPhone.

Early in the following year, Apple refused a federal court order to help the FBI access the shooter’s phone, which the company said would effectively require it to build a backdoor for the iPhone’s encryption software.

“The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor,” Cook wrote.

Riana Pfefferkorn, a research scholar at the Stanford Internet Observatory, said the Pensacola shooting was one of the last times federal law enforcement agencies loudly denounced encryption.

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[-] autotldr@lemmings.world 4 points 3 hours ago

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Major record labels sued Verizon on Friday, alleging that the Internet service provider violated copyright law by continuing to serve customers accused of pirating music.

They say that "Verizon has knowingly contributed to, and reaped substantial profits from, massive copyright infringement committed by tens of thousands of its subscribers."

Cox received support from groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which warned that the big money judgment could cause broadband providers to disconnect people from the Internet based only on accusations of copyright infringement.

While judges in the Cox case reversed a vicarious liability verdict, they affirmed the jury's additional finding of willful contributory infringement and ordered a new damages trial.

"Yet rather than taking any steps to address its customers' illegal use of its network, Verizon deliberately chose to ignore Plaintiffs' notices, willfully blinding itself to that information and prioritizing its own profits over its legal obligations."

The lawsuit also complains that Verizon hasn't made it easier for copyright owners to file complaints about Internet users:

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[-] autotldr@lemmings.world 1 points 3 hours ago

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Fifteen people have appeared at a special court sitting in Dublin following violence during a protest at a site which had been earmarked for asylum seekers.Some protestors set pallets and construction machinery alight at the former Crown Paints factory in Coolock in north Dublin, resulting in a large fire.It is understood work was due to begin on the Malahide Road site later in the week.Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Simon Harris described the disturbances as "reprehensible".The 15 people who appeared at Dublin District Court on Monday evening were charged with public order offences, including failure to comply with the orders of a garda (police officer) and with threatening or abusive behaviour.All 15 were released on conditional bail, provided they stay away from the scene of the disorderThey are all due to appear in court again on 18 September.Another four people who were arrested are due to appear in court on Tuesday morning.More than 200 gardaí were deployed to the incident.Three Garda cars were been damaged, one of which was set on fire, Irish broadcaster RTÉ reported.It said pepper spray was used by police as a security guard and a number of gardaí were injured during clashes with protesters.Petrol bombs and fireworks were thrown, mattresses were set on fire damaging a JCB and fires were lit on the roads during the disturbances.

Gardaí described the disturbances as a public order incident and the road was closed for a period.They said officers were "subjected to both verbal and physical abuse throughout the day, which escalated into rocks, fireworks and other objects being launched towards them".

"Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: it had been a difficult day for his officers and condemned what happened.

The Irish justice minister said she was "appalled at the criminal behaviour that took place in Coolock".Helen McEntee said anybody involved would face "the full rigours of the law".

Dublin city councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha described the incident as "deplorable" and that "violence, intimidation and arson should have no place in our communities".

"The burning of vehicles and attempted burning of the building are violent criminal acts and must be strongly condemned," the Sinn Féin representative said.He said the Department of Integration had said the site was being developed to accommodate families seeking international protection.“Those responsible should desist immediately," he added.

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[-] autotldr@lemmings.world 1 points 4 hours ago

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"I'm very aware that I could wake up tomorrow and my job could be gone,” says Jess Hyland.The video game artist says the industry she’s spent almost 15 years working in is on “shaky” ground at the moment.A boom in players and profits during the pandemic sparked a flurry of investments, expansions and acquisitions that, in hindsight, now look short-sighted.Gaming remains profitable, but thousands of workers worldwide have lost their jobs, and successful studios have been shut down over the past two years.More closures and cuts are feared.

There's lots of worry about the future," says Jess.Some bosses are talking up the potential of generative AI - the tech behind tools such as ChatGPT - as a potential saviour.Tech giant Nvidia has shown off impressive development tool prototypes, and gaming industry heavyweights such as Electronic Arts and Ubisoft are investing in the tech.It's claimed AI tools can save development time, free workers up to focus on creativity and provide a more personalised user experience.With budgets at the blockbuster end of the industry spiralling as audience expectations rise with them, it sounds like a perfect solution.But not to everyone.

Publicly available AI image generators, for example, can quickly output impressive-looking results from simple text prompts, but are famously poor at rendering hands.

It's a view echoed by Chris Knowles, a former senior engine developer at UK gaming firm Jagex, known for its Runescape title.

Copyright concerns over generative AI - currently the subject of several ongoing legal cases - are one of the biggest barriers to its wider use in gaming right now.Tools are trained on vast quantities of text and pictures scraped from the internet and, like many artists, Jess believes it amounts to "mass copyright infringement".Some studios are exploring systems trained on internal data, and third parties advertising ethical tools that claim to work off authorised sources are springing up.Even then, the fear is that AI will be used to turn out assets such as artwork and 3D models at scale, and the expectation on workers will be to produce more output.

The AI industry is currently trying to reassure governments and regulators over concerns about its future use, as shown by a recent law passed by the EUIt will also have to work hard to win over another group - gamers.Online shooter The Finals received a backlash over its use of synthesised voice lines, and developer Square Enix was criticised for the limited use of generated art in its multiplayer game Foamstars.Jess believes growing talk about AI has made gamers "think about what they love about games and what's special about that - sharing experiences crafted by other humans".

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[-] autotldr@lemmings.world 1 points 4 hours ago

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Those differences were on display over the weekend after Israel launched an airstrike on southern Gaza that targeted Muhammad Deif, the leader of Hamas’s military wing, and killed dozens of people.

And a growing number of Palestinians have argued that Fatah and Hamas need to find common ground in order to advance the reconstruction of Gaza when the current war ends — even though many are pessimistic about the prospect.

“There’s still a major divide between Hamas and Fatah, but there's an absolute necessity that they achieve a national consensus for the administration of Gaza,” said Ibrahim Dalalsha, director of the Horizon Center, a Palestinian political research group.

Hamas officials have expressed willingness to give up civilian control of Gaza, handing responsibility for rebuilding the enclave to a government of independents — although it has ruled out dismantling its military wing.

The establishment of an independent government in Gaza without formal ties to Hamas could make it easier for the United States, European nations and international organizations to participate in rebuilding the territory.

It has also deepened its investments in the region, and pledged to expand cooperation with countries there in areas such as artificial intelligence, where the United States has sought to isolate China.

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[-] autotldr@lemmings.world 2 points 4 hours ago

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“Lose everything,” is how one Democrat described a polling memo Greenberg sent to Biden’s inner circle in recent days.

“Devastating,” was the one word answer of a second Democrat close to the White House who is familiar with the Greenberg memos.

Greenberg has been a leading Democratic pollster for decades and his work includes advising Bill Clinton’s two winning presidential campaigns.

Several Democratic members of Congress also have continued to lobby privately, these sources said, urging top Biden advisers to consider the damage to Biden’s legacy if the president not only loses the White House but Republicans hold the House and capture the Senate majority.

One Democratic lawmaker told CNN some top Biden aides get “the depth of this” but believe it can be turned around and in any event describe the president as adamant in the belief he can win.

But this Democrat predicted that approach would change if the polling and other data after the GOP convention showed the president’s standing deteriorating more.

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[-] autotldr@lemmings.world 6 points 6 hours ago

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To his impressive list of recent supreme court victories – abolishing the right to an abortion, eradicating affirmative action, undermining federal regulations, and more – the ultraconservative justice can now add thwarting the criminal prosecution of Donald Trump for hoarding classified documents.

The argument, initially aired by the former US president’s lawyers, had received scant support in judicial circles, given that stretching back a quarter of a century it has been repeatedly rejected by the courts.

In a concurring opinion to Trump v US, the US supreme court ruling awarding the former president immunity over his “official acts” in the lead-up to the January 6 insurrection, the hard-right justice sketched a legal roadmap that Cannon then duly followed.

Her basic justification for dismissing the criminal case against Trump, in which the former president is alleged to have hoarded secret White House documents in his Mar-a-Lago resort, is identical to Thomas’s.

Thomas was one of the six rightwing justices who voted to give the former president unprecedented immunity protections relating to his conspiracy to overthrow the 2020 election; and now he has presented Cannon with the arguments that she used to dismiss the classified documents case.

That is bold action from a justice who is already being accused of conflict of interest in his dealings with Trump – not to mention the many other ethics scandals that have led Democrats in Congress to call for his investigation and impeachment.

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