They came in their tens of thousands to see the one team that resonates here, New Zealand, fans queueing in their black jerseys in the rain more than four hours before the kick-off, a swarm so dense that stewards struggled to find space for coaches and chauffeured limousines to get through to the car park. It was chaotic but no one went home disappointed as the holders, easing through the gears as if running in a new car, outclassed what was a committed Canada. New Zealand – who wore black armbands in memory of the former All Black Stanley “Tiny” Hill, who died on Wednesday at the age of 92 – secured the bonus point five minutes before half-time, but squandered four more opportunities through a mixture of dogged defending, handling errors in conditions that seemed no less humid for the roof being closed and sloppiness that is often a by-product of mismatches. Four tries in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, including one by Scott Barrett following scores … [Read more...] about Barrett brothers make history as merciless All Blacks crush Canada
Reviewing canadas new feminist international assistance policy
Melissa Mollen Dupuis watched from the sidelines as Greta Thunberg, the teenage Swedish climate activist, led hundreds of thousands of protesters in a climate strike through central Montreal last month. At the vanguard, a group of 30 indigenous and non-indigenous young people unfurled a banner that declared: “To the frontlines, for Mother Earth.” Dupuis, a prominent indigenous rights and environmental activist from Quebec, had helped train those young men and women: part of a broader, grassroots effort to marry the two causes – climate crisis and indigenous rights – and raise a new generation of youth activists. As she saw them lead the march, she wept. “Those plants I grew, I was picking the fruits of that work,” she said. “I see it growing bigger and bigger.” The climate march in September drew half a million people, the largest demonstration in Montreal’s history. It was the culmination of a broader national conversation on the … [Read more...] about Scandal on all sides as Canada heads for ‘election of discontent’
One day in 2017, Alexa went rogue. When Martin Josephson, who lives in London, came home from work, he heard his Amazon Echo Dot voice assistant spitting out fragmentary commands, seemingly based on his previous interactions with the device. It appeared to be regurgitating requests to book train tickets for journeys he had already taken and to record TV shows that he had already watched. Josephson had not said the wake word – “Alexa” – to activate it and nothing he said would stop it. It was, he says, “Kafkaesque”. This was especially interesting because Josephson (not his real name) was a former Amazon employee. Three years earlier, he had volunteered to sit in a room reciting a string of apparently meaningless phrases into a microphone for an undisclosed purpose. Only when Amazon released the Echo in the US in 2014 did he realise what he had been working on. He bought a Dot, the Echo’s cheaper, smaller model, after it launched in 2016, and … [Read more...] about ‘Alexa, are you invading my privacy?’ – the dark side of our voice assistants
The world’s finance ministers and central bankers will be in Washington this week for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank amid growing concerns that the global economy is heading towards stagnation. Predictions of a sharp downturn fill policymakers with anxiety, knowing that job losses and lower tax revenues can only lead to social unrest. Last week the IMF’s new leader, Kristalina Georgieva, asked nations involved in tit-for-tat trade wars if they dare ignore warnings of the most serious threat to the global economy since the financial crisis. However, her agenda goes beyond the short-term difficulties posed by a downturn. Beginning her five-year tenure as managing director and chairwoman of the IMF’s executive board, she said the organisation’s long-term objectives included “dealing with issues like inequalities, climate risks and rapid technological change.” Georgieva, previously number two at the World Bank and a … [Read more...] about Georgieva’s brave new agenda at IMF threatened by economic storm clouds
I remember a woman who screamed like a feral animal. She was leather tan and sinewy. Spiked bleached blonde hair, sculpted biceps, low-slung cargo pants with Doc Martens, veins bursting from her neck, eyes bugging from her drawn face. She stood on the sidewalks of New York City with a folding table covered with poster-size images from hardcore pornography: women wearing dog collars, women on leashes, women leaned over and viewed from behind, their backs crosshatched with scars. Much of the time she displayed a blowup of the famous Hustler magazine cover showing a naked woman being fed upside down into a meat grinder. “This is what your husbands are masturbating to,” she shouted in a barking monotone. “Wake up, women! Don’t be passive! Sign the petition!” Most everyone turned away or just kept walking. This was back in 1990. I was 20. To be 20 years old in 1990 in New York City was, as far as I was concerned, to own the world. I owned practically nothing of … [Read more...] about Team older feminist: am I allowed nuanced feelings about #MeToo?