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Sep 14, 2021
Good morning! Not all superheros wear capes. Some just wield the law and an irrepressible hunger for justice against the odds. Today, meet a Mexican prosecutor who’s in charge of investigating an epidemic of femicides. Also, check out the world’s first self-driving bike, as humanoid robots are increasingly looking like us. And for an extra dose of caffeine, minus the coffee, taste some alternative natural energizers — but be warned, they are deliciously addictive!
You might want to update the software in your Apple products today. The tech giant announced it has fixed a security flaw that allowed spyware from Israel’s NSO group to break into its phones and computers, turn on cameras and record messages, emails and calls without the user’s knowledge. More than 1.65 billion Apple products could have been affected since March. (Sources: NYT, FT)
2 - ‘Most Perilous Hour’
That’s how U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres described the situation in Afghanistan, as 14 million people face starvation. Help is now dependent on the newly formed Taliban government, which has promised to let humanitarian workers, including women, move safely across the country. Their commitments, however, are falling short in the country’s Panjshir Valley, where the Taliban — who had said they would avoid retribution against former enemies — have been accused of killing civilians. (Sources: Guardian, BBC)
3 - The Children Are Alright, for Now
Gunmen in Zamfara, in northwest Nigeria, have released 75 children they had kidnapped from a school earlier this month. The youngsters are among hundreds taken since December by armed groups looking for cash ransoms. (Source: Reuters)
4 - Rough Climate Refugees
Climate change might force as many as 200 million people to flee their homes by 2050, scientists have warned. Meanwhile, car manufacturers are feeling the pressure to reduce their carbon footprint, with some now investing in cleaner steel-manufacturing processes. (Sources: AP, WSJ)
5 - MooLoo
Scientists in Germany are teaching calves to use designated toilet areas in a bid to prevent their waste from contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Adopting a system of rewards and mild punishments, they managed to successfully “toilet-train” 11 out of 16 calves in a few weeks. Moo-hoo! Should we potty train all cows? Or go vegan? Vote here or on Twitter. (Source: Guardian)
Every community deserves resources for healthy living, but not every community has access to them. With the first-ever Wellness Impact Award, WW is selecting five organizations to receive a $15,000 grant, mentorship, additional fundraising opportunities and more. These champions of wellness are tackling the systemic inequities faced by marginalized communities with everything from fresh food deliveries to nutrition education that embraces culturally relevant foods. Other winners are encouraging young people to connect with the outdoors. It’s a step toward making healthy living a human right.
This 38-year-old lawyer is in charge of investigating femicides in Mexico, where at least 1,000 women and girls were killed in gender-related crimes in 2020 alone. She has few resources at her command, but she does have a track record of nailing down culprits of brutal murders and a history as a feminist activist that brings credibility to her work. Now she’s also reopening old cases that were downplayed at the time but that she believes were attempted femicides.
Parkour is extremely complex, unless you practice a lot — even if you are a robot. Boston Dynamics’ new humanoid robot has just done exactly that — and looks pretty much like one of us while doing it. Atlas “knows” when to run, jump on cubes, avoid obstacles, climb steps and even do backflips, all while avoiding a collision with another humanoid. Scary? Creators say it took a lot of practice.
2 - (Really) Smart Bike
A clever car sounds tempting. A smart bike that can not only drive itself but also avoid obstacles and turn corners on its own ... irresistible. Chinese artificial intelligence architect Peng Zhihui invented the new vehicle in just four months. The secret to this bike’s superb balance is a small metal wheel under the seat capable of reversing the direction of its spin. The best part is that it can be yours for $1,500.
3 - Tesla’s Future
Tech maverick Elon Musk does not like to be left behind. The billionaire has unveiled plans to release the prototype of a new humanoid robot by next year. At 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing 125 pounds, this could be the most human-like machine to date. His life, however, will not be particularly exciting. The Tesla CEO said these machines will perform such tasks as attaching bolts to cars and picking up bags at the grocery store.
Unique Caffeine Drinks
Because you can do better than plain old coffee to keep you awake.
Made from the dried leaves and twigs of the Ilex paraguariensis plant, this caffeine-rich South American super-beverage tastes like tea and will give you the rush of coffee, though it’s neither. The Paraguayan Guaraní people have consumed it for centuries, and it’s now popular across the world.
2 - Brewed Cacao
Ditch coffee’s side effects, from the jitters to caffeine crashes, and check out brewed cacao as a healthier alternative. From the Olmecs to the Aztecs —whose soldiers consumed the drink for an energy boost before battle — the brew’s benefits have withstood the test of time.
3 - Guarana
These Brazilian seeds look like eyeballs, but you’re the one who should watch out: each one contains four times the amount of caffeine as a coffee bean. While harvested by the Indigenous Sataré-Mawé people for a millennium, the stimulant is now part of an industry that rakes in millions for Brazil’s economy, as it is an ingredient in some of the most popular energy drinks.
The Original Kings of Comedy’s Cedric The Entertainer joins Carlos to talk about his big break, that iconic name and how he stayed humble through it all. The soon-to-be Emmy host discusses what his new show The Neighborhood has taught him about race relations and reveals his wild call with Michael Jackson.
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