Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday in a bid to peacefully signal to the city's leader, Carrie Lam, and Beijing that their movement will remain determined until their demands are met. The protesters weaved through the financial hub's main island under crisp winter skies, in what looked set to be the biggest turnout in months. "Fight for Freedom, stand with Hong Kong," protesters chanted, one of the slogans of the pro-democracy movement. The protest is organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), the movement that has been behind previous record-breaking rallies in the territory. It is the organization's first rally to be approved by police since August. Anti-government activists gathered at Victoria Park during a protest in Hong Kong on Sunday Hong Kongers angry Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement gained a boost recently when their parties swept local elections, sending a stinging rebuke to … [Read more...] about Hong Kong unrest: Huge rally marks 6 months of protests
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Many countries are in the throes of a debate about the amount of surveillance a government should be allowed to carry out on its own people. But in other countries, where there are few, if any, checks on the state's powers, a potential dictatorship of data is already on the horizon. The grey, drab former headquarters of the Stasi - East Germany's Security Service - is famous for its miles of paper files. Those files recorded the detailed information kept on the citizens of the former Communist state, drawn from a wealth of human informers and bugging devices. Parts of the former office complex are now a museum open to the public, but in one corridor normally closed to the public there is a jumble of dated-looking equipment - a primitive computer looking more like a spin-dryer for clothes and old magnetic discs the size of a football, which held a fraction of what you can now fit on a USB stick. This is all that remains of the Stasi's dreams of what computers could do for them. "I think … [Read more...] about Will Big Data lead to Big Brother?
The government is being urged to prevent consumer safety standards from slipping after Brexit, to avoid putting lives at risk from the growing number of potentially dangerous counterfeit electrical goods coming into the UK. As the country edges closer to leaving the EU, the charity Electrical Safety First (ESF) wants the government to prioritise consumer safety and protection, regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, which could be the UK crashing out without a deal. In a Brexit warning to be published this week, it says EU legislation surrounding safety standards on electrical goods, as well as consumer protection rights, must continue to be mirrored in UK law to ensure all electrical items are safe, so consumers are protected from the risk of substandard or counterfeit products. Fake and unofficial electrical products can pose a much greater risk to life than items such as clothing, including from electrocution and fire. But any watering down or deregulation of existing … [Read more...] about Maintain EU electrical safety standards after Brexit, ministers urged
Anyone who wants a vision of the future should hasten to the South London Gallery for the 70th edition of Bloomberg New Contemporaries. Only fledgling artists are allowed to qualify for this annual UK showcase. This means students in their final year, recent graduates or newly enrolled postgraduates, almost all of them striving under a dead weight of debt, trying to find a place to live and work, turning up to jobs in shops and bars, making their art at night, or on Sundays, on the underground or the bus. I’ve met students whose perpetual dread was not getting from the till job at Lidl to the studio (or the garage, or the old childhood bedroom) fast enough to give birth to their ideas. Yet there is no sense of defeat in the 2019 show. It has been there in the past, in a kind of sullen or weary laboriousness, a wilful cack-handedness, or a complete surrender to the iconography of the internet. But this year’s edition of Bloomberg New Contemporaries is the most vital in a … [Read more...] about Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019 review – a vintage year for emerging artists