Thứ Năm, 20 tháng 2, 2020

These Heartbreaking Pictures Show How Koalas Are Recovering After Australia's Bushfires

Officials in New South Wales, Australia, declared last week that all fires in the region had been contained following heavy rains and flooding. Now, after a devastating bushfire season that scorched approximately 13 million acres of land and left more than a billion animals in Australia dead, researchers and conservationists are continuing the search for survivors in hopes of rehabilitating the affected wildlife.
One such conservationist is James Fitzgerald, whose wildlife sanctuary Two Thumbs Wildlife Trust was destroyed this past January in a bushfire, along with Fitzgerald's home and the protected habitats of koalas, kangaroos, and other wildlife. Three American firefighters were killed on Jan. 23 when their plane crashed during a water-bombing mission to fight this fire. For the animals who survived the blaze, Fitzgerald and a team of researchers from the Australian National University have returned to the ruins of this animal sanctuary to gather and transport the surviving wildlife to the university's facilities, where they can be properly treated and cared for. A GoFundMe has currently raised more than $120,000 to help the Two Thumbs Wildlife Trust.
Photographer Jennifer Osborne accompanied Fitzgerald on this important and at times devastating rescue mission to bring these surviving koalas to safety. Here, Osborne describes the harrowing scene and shares pictures from this experience.
How has Two Thumbs Wildlife Trust helped regional wildlife?
Owner James Fitzgerald is a retired government worker who is also an animal lover. He purchased a very large piece of land, over 1,000 acres, to start this wildlife sanctuary where koalas could live freely on his property. His sanctuary was a safe place for them to roam freely — and not only koalas, but kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, and many other creatures, too.
Jennifer Osborne
A rescue team wanders Fitzgerald's property to retrieve koalas who are affected by bushfires.
Jennifer Osborne
A rescuer discovers a dead koala who was crushed to death by a burned tree that fell.
Jen Osborne
Rescuer Henry Siems attempts to motivate a koala down a tree. Unfortunately, this koala was not willing to move and could not be rescued.
Unfortunately, fires swept through the sanctuary on Jan. 22, burning down his home and animal enclosures and destroying his trees. James had to evacuate many surviving koalas off his property and a number of them are currently being hosted by the ANU. Many eucalyptus trees were healthy on his property before the fire; now they are singed, many dead or low in moisture, which does not allow the koalas to get enough hydration from these leaves.
This is a very fresh loss, and Fitzgerald is taking steps day by day to improve the quality of life for animals on his property.
Can you speak more on where these koalas are currently being hosted?
Many were taken to ANU. However, Fitzgerald is still actively executing search and rescues to find remaining koalas in the trees. Bear the koala-sniffing dog was out this past weekend looking for survivors and was able to locate many around the property. We know of at least four more koalas who are stuck high up in trees, who need to be brought down somehow, either with humane base traps or a tree climber.
How difficult has the search and rescue operation been?
The koala searches are extremely difficult. We were walking for hours, over multiple days, trying to spot them up in the trees. Without Bear the dog to assist, it would be nearly impossible to find these guys. It is very labor intensive to rescue a koala, however it is extremely important to do so, especially in this state of New South Wales where koalas are very rare.
Is there any message you'd like to convey to people seeing these images?
These animals are the victims of climate change. Australia has been in severe drought for over three years, and the fires are an unfortunate result of that. Climate change is real, and I would like people to consider what implications it has — not only on us as humans, but on our adorable furry friends.

Fat Women Onscreen Deserve Better Than Crappy Love Interests

At 16 years old, the crowning achievement of my life was getting a boyfriend. And it wasn’t because I was ever so smitten. I mean, he was a sweet boy with a cute flop of black hair. But I wanted the idea of a boyfriend way more than I ever wanted a living, breathing partner.
And that was all because I was fat. I still am, but being a fat teen in the mid-aughts was a particularly crappy experience. Whatever fat activism existed at the time hadn’t filtered down to my little world. I didn’t yet have an Instagram feed full of fatshionistas, or the ability to see Lizzo rock a gloriously tiny bikini. I didn’t even know what a damn Rubens was. I just knew the basic shit we teach everyone about fatness: that it is bad and undesirable. Therefore, I was bad and undesirable.So when I got a boyfriend, long before my thinner friends got boyfriends of their own, I wasn’t just going through the motions of a teenage rite of passage. Honey, I had ascended. I was no longer the sad, lonely fat friend. I was the friend with a boyfriend. I had beaten the big fat odds and secured the affections of A Real Live Boy. And pop culture had taught me a boyfriend was the only way to prove my self-worth.
Pop culture had taught me a boyfriend was the only way to prove my self-worth.
If there was one fat girl on TV I recall most vividly from the time, it was Terri (Christina Schmidt) from Degrassi: The Next Generation. Most of her storylines revolve around being rejected by the boys she likes and struggling with her self-esteem. The show finally cuts poor Terri a break when she becomes a plus-size model, which earns her some confidence, but ultimately the fat girl can’t win. When Terri gets her own first boyfriend, he eventually knocks her onto a slab of concrete, landing her in a coma with brain damage, before he commits a school shooting. After that, her character just kind of disappears.
I suppose the show was attempting to teach teens a lesson about the warning signs of abuse. But why did the fat girl have to be the victim? All my teenage brain took away from Terri’s plotline was that a fat girl shouldn’t hope for much. Any confidence she can muster must be sanctioned by the gaze of some boy, and that boy will be a disappointment at best — or an abuser at worst. Is that all we can hope for? Is that all we deserve?
Thankfully my own teenage boyfriend was kind, and having him by my side made me feel like one of the lucky ones. Never mind that I was a closeted baby dyke or that I basically zoned out every time he touched me. He was still a boy who liked me — liked me enough to touch me, even. I felt like I’d won.
Fat representation over the years truly hasn’t gotten much better, which is why I was so excited for Hulu’s adaptation of Shrill when the first season premiered last year. I had devoured Lindy West’s memoir when it was published in 2016, thrilled to be reading the words of a woman who, like me, knows what it means to navigate the world in a fat body. (I couldn’t relate to certain aspects of her narrative, but that’s to be expected with personal stories.)
The show, which returned for a second season last month, generally does a commendable job adapting West’s story to that of its protagonist, Annie, played by the very charming Aidy Bryant. But there’s still one big element of the show I can’t get on board with, and he’s a baby in a man’s body named Ryan.
We’re first introduced to Ryan (Luka Jones) as the guy Annie’s hooking up with, even though he hides her from his roommates and makes her leave through the back door — presumably because he’s embarrassed about her size. And it’s not like Ryan is such a catch himself. He’s relatively unkempt, has the emotional maturity of a tween, and struggles to hold down a job. Meanwhile, we see Annie as a growing fireball of tenacity and confidence, working at an alt-weekly, chasing her dreams, and finding her voice.

Finally, The Real Elizabeth Warren Steps Up

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has been playing nice. She has emphasized unity instead of attacking other Democratic presidential candidates. She has stuck to her campaign themes instead of criticizing opponents. And she has been sliding steadily downward in the polls for the 2020 Democratic nomination.
That changed Wednesday night at the Democratic debate. 
“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women ’fat broads and ‘horse-faced lesbians,’” Warren said in her opening comments. “And, no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”
Again and again on Wednesday night, Warren humiliated former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ― not only by presenting him with his own words but also by pressing him to release an unknown number of women who worked for him from nondisclosure agreements pertaining to sexual harassment. Bloomberg refused. 
But Bloomberg wasn’t the only source of her ire. In less than a minute, she pummeled three other opponents ― former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ― on health care. 
“Mayor Buttigieg really has a slogan that was thought up by his consultants to paper over a thin version of a plan that would leave millions of people unable to afford their health care. It’s not a plan, it’s a PowerPoint,” she said. “And Amy’s plan is even less ― it’s like a Post-It Note: ‘Insert plan here.’ Bernie ... has a good start. But instead of expanding and bringing in more people to help, instead his campaign relentlessly attacks everyone who asks a question or tries to fill in details about how to actually make this work.”
This is the Warren who made Wall Street executives wilt at Senate hearings and became a feminist icon on the left for refusing to stop speaking when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tried to silence her.
It’s the Elizabeth Warren who infuriated President Barack Obama by attacking his trade agenda and assailing his budget deals with Republican leaders.
It’s the Elizabeth Warren who promised to leave “plenty of blood and teeth on the floor” fighting for a tough Wall Street reform bill. 

Why RURA, Korea Telecom need to get back to the negotiating table

When Rwanda hosted the Transform Africa Summit in May of 2018, an executive with Korea Telecom (KT) announced the completion of the countrywide 4G LTE network.
This feat was a result of a joint venture between KT and the Government of Rwanda. The goal was for the faster 4G coverage to help improve the quality of life for Rwandans.
A couple of years down the road, many Rwandans are still stuck to the 3G networks despite the available infrastructure.
The internet and telecom operators that are supposed to vend the 4G are shying away from the product due to the unfavorable price points.
And now, the world is moving on to the even higher 5G network putting the country at risk of not meeting its technology advancement goals.
While there is a lot you can still do with the 3G network, we should not be comfortable with it. In fact, with the promotion of STEM gaining momentum, expect the demand for 4G network to be higher. 
The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus should serve as a stark reminder that we must yearn for more.
Here is why.
In the city of Guangzhou, one of Rwandair’s destinations, robots powered by the even more advanced 5G network patrol the streets, reminding people to keep their masks on and wash their hands to prevent the spread of the virus.
These robots are also fitted with high-resolution cameras and thermometers that can scan body temperatures of up to 10 people at once. The robots have also been put at airports, and if you have no mask or your temperature is above normal, the authorities are automatically alerted.
This is just one example of how handy technology can be
For Rwanda, the ambitions are equally high and even more paramount as we strive to leverage technology in the quest to become a middle-income country.
Many of the players in the technology sector attribute the slow uptake of 4G technology to the fact that Korea Telecom got exclusive rights that are bound by the contract.
With the amount of investment required to build the infrastructure, it makes a lot of sense for the Asian company to ask for exclusivity as guarantees that it will get returns on the money put in.
However, as time goes by, it is continuously evident that recouping the investment as earlier projected is no longer realistic. From 2014 when the joint venture launched its commercial activities, today, one can argue that the uptake of 4G should be way higher than it is now.
According to the Global Systems Mobile Association (GSMA) the Single Wholesale Network model is not ideal because it has failed to deliver on its promise of widely affordable and fast Internet.
The GSMA represents the interests of over 750 operators and 400 companies dealing in the mobile ecosystem. The organization has even gone a step further by calling on regulators to dilute the monopolies enjoyed by these wholesale networks.
By opening up the markets, they argue, consumers will stand to benefit as well since competition will not only bring affordable options, but also spur innovation, something Rwanda is actively promoting.

Tour du Rwanda 2020: Teams start jetting in

Eritrea, African cycling powerhouse and one of the teams to watch at the 2020 Tour du Rwanda, are expected in Kigali Thursday afternoon while France’s Direct Energie and American side Team Novo Nordisk arrived in the country on Wednesday.
Direct Energie, who are making their second appearance in Tour du Rwanda, immediately joined Rwandan teams at the Africa Rising Cycling Centre (ARCC) for final preps in Musanze, while Novo Nordisk are camping at Hilltop Hotel, in Kigali, ahead of Stage 1 on Sunday.
Spaniard David Lozano, who won the penultimate stage (Stage 7) of the 2018 Tour du Rwanda, is again part of Team Novo Nordisk roster this year.
According to Rwanda Cycling Federation, most of the foreign teams will be jetting in on Friday.
Rwanda will field three teams in the eight-stage race; the national team ‘Team Rwanda’, Ignite Benediction Club and debutants Skol Adrien Cycling Academy (SACA).
Since last year’s upgrade, Tour du Rwanda, arguably the biggest sporting event in the country, is one of the only two races under the UCI 2.2 category on the continent, along with Gabon’s La Tropicale Amissa Bongo.
This year’s edition, the 12th since Tour du Rwanda turned international in 2009, has attracted a total of 16 teams, 13 clubs and three national teams.
Full list of teams:
National teams: Rwanda, Eritrea, Ethiopia.
Clubs: Israel Cycling Academy, Total Direct Energie (France), Androni Giocattoli (Italy), Nippo Delko Provence (France), Novo Nordisk (USA) and Vino Astana Motors (Kazakhstan).
Others are; Bike Aid (Germany), ProTouch (South Africa), TSG Terenggunu (Malaysia), Baisicasal Petro (Angola), GSP (Algeria) as well as Rwanda’s Ignite Benediction and SACA.