TIME

British Man’s Face Rebuilt With 3D Printed Parts

The pioneering surgery is thought to be the first time 3D printing was used in every stage of the procedure on a trauma patient

A British man has had pioneering surgery to reconstruct his face using 3D printed parts.

Doctors at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, Wales, operated on Stephen Power, who survived a serious motorbike accident in 2012 with a partially shattered face. The surgical team used scans of Power’s skull to design custom printed models, guides and titanium implants to hold his bones in place.

The procedure, which took place in February, took months of planning and involved eight hours of surgery. It’s thought to be the first time 3D printing has been used at every stage of the procedure on a trauma patient, says the BBC.

“What this does it allows us to be much more precise. Everybody now is starting to think in this way—guesswork is not good enough,” said surgeon Adrian Sugar, noting that 3D printing removed the usual problem of guesswork in reconstructive surgery.

“It is totally life changing,” said Power. “I could see the difference straight away the day I woke up from the surgery.”

[BBC]

TIME

Web Inventor Calls For Internet Bill of Rights

Tim Berners-Lee says more needs to be done to protect privacy online on the Web's 25th birthday

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Tim Berners-Lee—the British inventor who filed a proposal for what was to become the World Wide Web exactly twenty-five years ago today—has called for a digital bill of rights to protect Internet users from surveillance.

Speaking with the Guardian, the computer scientist said the world needs an online equivalent to the “Magna Carta”—the 13th-century British charter of rights—to protect and enshrine the Web. “Unless we have an open, neutral Internet we can rely on without worrying about what’s happening at the back door, we can’t have open government, good democracy, good healthcare, connected communities and diversity of culture. It’s not naïve to think can have that, but it is naïve to think we can just sit back and get it.”

In a statement published on Wednesday Berners-Lee said we must “tackle some key challenges” facing the platform, including the lack of access to the internet among nearly two-thirds of the planet, and uncertainty on who has the right to collect and use personal data. The inventor’s plan for a digital bill of rights is part of an initiative called “The Web We Want”, a campaign calling on people to devise an online bill of rights for each country.

[Guardian]

TIME europe

Crimea Moves to Become an Independent State

A pro-Russia supporter waves a Crimean flag at Chongar checkpoint blocking the entrance to Crimea
A Russia supporter waves a Crimean flag at Chongar checkpoint blocking the entrance to Crimea on March 10, 2014 Alisa Borovikova—AFP / Getty Images

Lawmakers in the Crimea region of Ukraine occupied by Russian troops voted to declare their peninsula an independent state if its residents vote in favor of splitting from Kiev in a referendum being held this weekend

Lawmakers in the contested Crimea region of Ukraine voted on Tuesday to declare the peninsula an independent and autonomous state if residents vote in favor of splitting from Ukraine in a coming referendum.

The local parliament adopted a “declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea” if residents voted in favor of leaving Ukraine. The state would be “a democratic, secular and multiethnic state,” read the declaration, in an apparent move to ease concerns over ethnic divisions within Crimea. The move may also be an attempt to ease tensions over Russia moving to annex Crimea, and instead allow the Black Sea peninsula to exist as a self-proclaimed state.

Meanwhile, Russian troops have continued to tighten their control over the Crimea region in the run-up to Sunday’s referendum. And on Wednesday, Ukraine’s parliament will be voting on a motion to mobilize its Interior Ministry troops into a national guard “to defend the country and citizens against any criminals, against external and internal aggression.” All flights to the airport in Crimea were suspended on Tuesday except for those from Moscow, AFP reports.

TIME europe

Ousted Ukraine Leader Says He’s Still In Charge

Viktor Yanukovych said he plans on returning to Ukraine and called the current government a “band of ultranationalists and neo-fascists"

Ukraine’s ousted leader Viktor Yanukovych said Tuesday that he remains the country’s legitimate leader and commander-in-chief, and accused the new government of fomenting a civil war.

Speaking from the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, Yanukovych, who fled from Ukraine in February following months of anti-government protests, branded the new government a “band of ultranationalists and neo-fascists,” Reuters reports. The fugitive leader said we would be returning to Ukraine “as soon as circumstances allow”—despite there being an arrest warrant issued against him for the alleged “mass murder of peaceful civilians.”

Yanukovych said he would appeal to armed forces to defy any “criminal orders” handed down by the new government. “I am certain the officers and soldiers of Ukraine… know what your are worth and will not carry out your criminal orders,” he said.

This is the second time the ousted president has spoken out since his removal on Feb. 22. Yanukovych also said the contested region of Crimea was “breaking off,” and repeated the Russian claim that Ukraine’s authorities were too accommodating to radical nationalists, potentially pushing Ukraine toward a civil war.

[Reuters]

TIME

U.N. Warns Asia-Pacific To Grow More Food Or Risk Wars

Governments in Asia and the Pacific must increase food production by mid-century, or risk food shortages and chronic hunger, warns U.N.

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned on Monday that governments in Asia and the Pacific must increase its food production significantly by mid-century, or risk food shortages and chronic hunger that could spur political unrest and civil wars.

The warning came as the organization launched a week long food security conference in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. It said some countries in the region—which encompasses countries as diverse as Australia, China, India, New Zealand, and the Philippines—will need to increase their food production by up to 77 per cent to feed their populations by 2050. The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by mid-century, reports Reuters.

While countries in the region have made progress on improving on under-nutrition, says the FAO, the region has more hungry people than in the rest of the regions of the world combined—more than 550 million.

“If we fail to meet our goal and a food shortage occurs, there will be a high risk of social and political unrest, civil wars and terrorism, and world security as a whole might be affected,” said Hiroyuki Konuma, the assistant director-general of FAO Asia-Pacific.

[Reuters]

TIME Afghanistan

Taliban Order Fighters To Disrupt Afghan Elections

Presidential elections are scheduled to take place in April

The Afghan Taliban issued a warning on Monday against anyone taking part in the upcoming presidential elections on April 5, ordering their fighters to “use all force” to disrupt the polling.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said in a statement that the group is telling clerics across the country to inform locals that the election is “an American conspiracy,” the Associated Press reports.

“We have given orders to all our mujahadeen to use all forces at their disposal to disrupt these upcoming sham election to target all its workers, activists, callers, security apparatus and offices,” the statement said. It also advised Afghans to not put themselves in danger by going to the polls.

Several incidents of campaign-related violence have been reported in the last month, with the Taliban taking responsibility for some of the attacks. President Hamid Karzai, who became leader following the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, is barred from running for a third term.

[AP]

TIME

Russia Warned It Could Face Jihadi Attacks Over Crimea

Some militant Tartars may be prepared to fight Russia over potential annexation of Crimea, warn local leaders

A senior Crimean Tartar leader has warned that Russia risks provoking jihadi attacks if it annexes Crimea.

In an interview with the Financial Times on Sunday, Mustafa Jemilev, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, said a number of militant Tartars had approached him to say they would fight the Russians. “We can’t stop people who want to die with honor,” said Jemilev, who reportedly made clear that he himself did not endorse a jihadi campaign.

A referendum on whether Crimea should become part of Russia is set to take place in March, triggered by Russia’s occupation of the peninsula earlier this month. Crimean Tartars, a Muslim minority group who make up roughly 12 per cent of the region’s population, are largely in favour of remaining part of Ukraine. Their opposition is rooted in a long history of persecution under previous Russian rule.

Jemilven said he and other Tartar leaders are reluctant to believe the reassurances from Crimea’s pro-Russian leaders, including offers of senior government positions for members of the community. “This agreement is not worth the paper it’s written on. Everything can change tomorrow.”

[FT]

TIME Syria

Study: Syria’s Children Suffering ‘Barbaric’ Lack Of Medical Care

A wounded child is treated in a make shift hospital in Aleppo after her home was randomly targeted by the regime's artillery, on March 15, 2013.
A wounded child is treated in a make shift hospital in Aleppo after her home was randomly targeted by the regime's artillery, on March 15, 2013. Sebastiano Tomada—SIPA USA/AP

A new report by Save the Children New warns that children in Syria are dying from treatable or preventable diseases that have metastasized in the country during the civil war, which is about to enter its fourth year

As Syria’s civil war enters its fourth year, a new report from global children’s advocacy group Save The Children has detailed how 10,000 children have died not just as a result of the fighting, but also from treatable or preventable diseases that have metastasized in the country.

Save the Children, in its report “A Devastating Toll” published on Sunday, details the consequences of Syria’s collapsed health care system. Among the revelations are that children are having limbs amputated because clinics don’t have the right equipment for treatment, newborn babies are dying in incubators during power cuts and patients are being knocked out with metal bars because of the lack of anesthesia.

“Children inside are enduring barbaric conditions,” says Save the Children’s regional director, Roger Hearn. “The desperate measures to which medical personnel are resorting to to keep children alive are increasingly harrowing.”

The report notes the reemergence of deadly and previously easily treatable diseases such as polio and diarrhea that are now silently spreading across the country, where 60% of hospitals are either damaged or destroyed. Some 200,000 Syrians have died of treatable chronic diseases like diabetes—double the estimated numbers of those killed by violence.

The group, which drew its findings from data issued by organizations such as the United Nations and World Health Organization, says over 5 million Syrian children are in need of basics such as food and adequate health care.

TIME Carbon Bubble

Could the Global Economy Be Facing a Carbon Bubble?

Germany coal plants
If tough climate regulations are enforced, fossil fuel companies could see their bubble burst PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images

New studies are reframing the climate change debate in financial terms, but are investors convinced?

Three new studies released this month lent weight behind the increasingly popular idea that funneling money into fossil fuels is not only harmful for the environment, it’s also potentially calamitous for the global financial system.

Reports by the U.K. government’s Environmental Audit Committee, the European Union Parliament Greens-European Free Alliance Group and Canberra-based think-tank The Australia Institute all touched on what’s known as the “carbon bubble.” The carbon bubble describes the overvaluation of fossil fuel assets that will have to be left unburned in order to limit Earth’s surface temperatures to 2°C above the preindustrial level. To meet this 2 C (3.6 F) goal—a target agreed by governments in lieu of a more concrete plan to avoid dangerous climate change back in 2010—the majority of the current estimated reserves of oil, gas and coal will have to be left untouched to avoid harmful climate change. But instead of taking these climate policies and risks into account, growing numbers of climate campaigners, policy-makers and financial experts say that stock markets have instead inaccurately valued companies with large holdings of fossil fuels by assuming their assets will all be usable, when in fact they could be left stranded and devalued.

“Financial stability could be threatened if shares in fossil fuel companies turn out to be overvalued because the bulk of their oil, coal and gas reserves cannot be burnt without further destabilizing the climate,” warned the U.K.’s EAC chair Joan Walley. The European study looked at the estimated risk for E.U. financial institutions face with a carbon bubble, finding that the exposure amounted to over $1.38 trillion. It concludes that “a carbon bubble shock would cause significant losses for E.U. financial institutions,” adding that “the losses for all E.U. banks, insurance companies and pension funds combined would be €350-400 billion ($485 billion to $554 billion).” The Australian Institute’s report targets investors, particularly decision ]makers at religious funds, universities, public authorities and private foundations because of the supposed additional ethical or responsible investment obligations they may face.

The arguments put forward by these groups, especially in reframing the climate change debate in terms of financial risks, has been gaining ground for some time. Already institutions have taken notice, with the head of the OECD, Angel Gurría, stating that “the looming choice may be either stranding those assets or stranding the planet.” More promisingly still, Norway announced in February that it would set up an expert group to debate ending fossil fuel investments into its $840 billion sovereign wealth fund (gleaned from Norway’s surplus oil wealth).Norway has already sold out of 27 coal and gold mine over environmental concerns. If Norway does decide to move out of other fossil fuels, it would throw huge weight behind the growing fossil fuel divestment movement.

Yet not everyone is convinced, including those that share environmental concerns. The basic premise of the carbon bubble, that governments ensure that we stay within 2 C (3.6 F) temperature rise, would in turn mean drastically cutting down on our carbon consumption. Economist Richard Tol points to the patchy and failing regulatory policies from the U.S. to the E.U. and China as evidence that the regulation has not gone far enough to make this a reality. Craig Mackenzie, head of sustainability at U.K.-based Scottish Widows Investment Partnership told the Guardian that the idea that fossil fuels pose a huge threat to the global economy is false. Mackenzie says that investors are already aware of the risks to share prices and will react accordingly if climate policies are more aggressively enforced. But, says Mackenzie, the most problematic aspect of the carbon bubble argument is the way it uses scaremongering tactics. “Suggesting that action on climate change might cause economic melt down sounds to me like the kind of thing you might hear from the Tea Party Republicans not from the European green movement.”

The more likely scenario, and one that is already playing out as a result of severe and unusual weather events around the world, is that climate change will strand assets in different sectors of the economy—making it a concern for far more than just fossil fuel companies. Ultimately one thing investors and climate campaigners will agree on is the need for clearer climate policies from governments to deal with and mitigate these changes, rather than uncertainty that fuels speculation and inaction.

TIME society

Study: Millennials Lean Left But Reject Labels

Unattached to party and religious labels, millennials are forging a unique identity for themselves in adulthood

The so-called millennial generation is one of the most independently minded in recent U.S. history, according to a new study.

Millennials, those born after 1980 and who represent the most racially diverse generation in America, are more detached than previous generations to institutions of religion, politics and marriage, but more digitally networked, according to the Pew Research Center survey released Friday. And while many millennials voted for President Barack Obama and are politically left-leaning, relatively few are attached to the Democratic Party. Millennials recorded one of the highest levels of institutional disaffiliation for any generation in the two-plus decades Pew has been polling on the issue.

Millennials, who make up 27 percent of the adult population in the U.S., are more likely than previous generations to say there isn’t a great deal of difference between the Republican and Democratic parties. Over half of them choose not to identify with either political party. Yet millennials continue to view the Democrats more favorably than the Republicans, standing out as the only generation in which conservatives do not significantly outnumber liberals, according to Pew.

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