Category کانورسیشن

One coup leads to another, history shows – though many in Mali hope theirs was the very rare ‘good coup’

Immediately after Mali’s unpopular president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, was removed on Aug. 18 by the military in a swift and bloodless coup, many Malians celebrated.

Keita’s ouster came after years of corruption, mismanagement and failed promises. Credible allegations of fraud and election-related violence further fueled popular anger after his contested reelection in March.

After his ouster, there was a veritable jubilee among the citizen protesters who had demonstrated since June to demand Keita’s resignation. They flocked to the streets holding signs reading “This isn’t a coup, it’s a revolution” and “mission accomplished.”

Some countries have seen democracy take root after an autocratic regime was ended by a coup, including Nigeria in 2010 and even Mali itself, back...

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Joe Kennedy III challenges Ed Markey in 2020’s weirdest primary race

When Senate incumbents are challenged in a primary and lose, it is usually because they are enmeshed in a scandal.

Incumbency has numerous advantages: sitting senators have six years to build up a war chest, they have high name recognition, and they have experience running statewide campaigns. Plus, both parties actively discourage primary challenges.

Yet in the fall of 2019, 39-year-old Rep. Joe Kennedy III decided to challenge 74-year-old incumbent Ed Markey in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. Markey has done nothing scandalous and has one of the Senate’s most progressive voting records while representing one of the most progressive states.

So why did Kennedy decide to mount this challenge? And why might he actually have a shot of unseating Markey?

A primary not like the o...

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When police stop Black men, the effects reach into their homes and families

While much of the world was sheltering in place in the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans’ undivided attention was focused squarely on Minneapolis, Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed at the hands – and knees – of the police.

Floyd’s murder evoked memories of other murders by the police, including those of Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Philando Castile and Samuel DuBose. Most recently, another unarmed Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot seven times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

We are a sociologist and a social worker who study racism, inequality and families, including a focus on Black men and their interactions with law enforcement. Each of these killings serves as confirmation that concerns about those interactions are warranted.

The problem isn’t just th...

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Returning to the office: how to stay connected and socially distant

Companies around the world are debating how and when to return to the office. Health and safety has taken on a whole new significance in the era of coronavirus. To bring people back safely, the options for office redesign are bewildering. How should desks be arranged to enable social distancing alongside the benefits of being in the same room? And do people need to return for five days a week?

Many companies are looking to have some employees work from home, some of the time. But unless careful thinking goes into this, companies run the risk of getting stuck in the middle, achieving neither the benefits of the traditional office nor the safety conferred by the home.

Consider, for instance, the 6 Feet Office...

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History tells us trying to stop diseases like COVID-19 at the border is a failed strategy

To explain why the coronavirus pandemic is much worse in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world, commentators have blamed the federal government’s mismanaged response and the lack of leadership from the Trump White House.

Others have pointed to our culture of individualism, the decentralized nature of our public health, and our polarized politics.

All valid explanations, but there’s another reason, much older, for the failed response: our approach to fighting infectious disease, inherited from the 19th century, has become overly focused on keeping disease out of the country through border controls.

As a professor of medical sociology, I’ve studied the response to infectious disease and public health policy...

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Hurricane Laura was the latest storm to strengthen fast, but is rapid intensification really becoming more common?

Hurricane Laura blew up quickly as it headed for the Louisiana coast, intensifying from a tropical storm to a major hurricane in less than 24 hours. By the time it made it landfall, it was a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 150 mile-per-hour winds.

The Atlantic has seen several hurricanes rapidly intensify like this in recent years.

In 2018, Hurricane Michael unexpectedly jumped from Category 2 to Category 5 in the span of a day before hitting the Florida Panhandle. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017 also met the definition of rapid intensification: an increase of at least 35 miles per hour in a 24-hour period. Based on preliminary reports from the National Hurricane Center, Laura gained 65 mph in one 24-hour period and, more impressively, added 80 mph from Aug. 25 to Aug. 27.

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Let’s call athletes workers, and let’s call these NBA protests what they were – strikes

The Milwaukee Bucks’ startling refusal to take to the court for their NBA playoff game on Aug. 26 was the most consequential political development in sports over the last 50 years.

In recent years, the prevailing media narrative is that athletes have routinely used their platforms to “raise awareness” or “bring attention” to a social issue.

Awareness, though, has its limits. Rarely does it lead to the kind of structural changes the shooting by police of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin seems to demand.

In this case, the players met the moment, marking a fundamental shift in the direction of activism generated by Black athletes. The mass player walkouts that followed the Bucks’ initial protest were no exercise in awareness, though some commentators framed it as that way.


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London Stock Exchange vs EU: Refinitiv battle reveals unease over power of modern stock markets

Relations between London and Brussels have been better. While Brexit dominates the headlines, another cross-channel development has recently captured the attention of financial institutions. It concerns the the London Stock Exchange’s proposed US$27 billion (£21 billion) acquisition of US financial company Refinitiv, into which the European Commission is carrying out an in-depth anti-trust investigation.

With a ruling due in October, the commission is likely to reject the deal in its current form. To win approval, the LSE recently declared it was selling either the whole of Borsa Italiana or its bond-trading platform, MTS.

Why does the EU care about the LSE’s acquisition of a US financial data company? And why would the LSE sell the Italian stock exchange to quell these concerns? The ...

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Back to school: how to support children as they head into a new class

Pupils in many countries will be returning to the classroom in September after a significant break from being in a typical school environment. They will also be facing the upheaval of a new school year.

The process of transition – moving from one class to another, such as from year one to year two, or from primary to secondary school – can have a significant impact on children. This year, they also have to deal with the effects of a global pandemic.

Our recent research has looked at good practice in supporting children and young people in these transitions. Many children are anxious or nervous about beginning in a new class or school.

By speaking with learners, parents and teaching staff we have be able to identify what those concerns are and what can be done in school to help allev...

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Malaria: new map shows which areas will be at risk because of global warming

Of an estimated 228 million cases of malaria worldwide each year, around 93% are in Africa. This proportion is more or less the same for the 405,000 malaria deaths globally.

That’s why there are huge efforts underway to provide detailed maps of current malaria cases in Africa, and to predict which areas will become more susceptible in future, since such maps are vital to control and treat transmission. Mosquito populations can respond quickly to climate change, so it is also important to understand what global warming means for malaria risk across the continent.

We have just published a new set of maps in Nature Communications giving the most accurate picture yet of where in Africa will – and won’t – become climatically suitable for malaria transmission.

The malaria parasite thri...

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