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Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

Humans need new skills for post-AI world, say MPs

Posted by hkarner - 13. Oktober 2016

Date: 12-10-2016
Source: BBC

Robots could take people’s jobs and more, some experts warn

Robotics and AI have „huge potential“ to reshape the way people work and live, but the government needs to do more to address the issues raised by such technology, says a report.

MPs on the Science and Technology Committee have called for careful scrutiny of the probable ethical, legal and societal impact.

They want the government to establish a commission to look at the issues.

That will include new skills for humans as artificial intelligence takes jobs.

Science fact

Others, such as Tesla boss Elon Musk, have gone further – declaring AI to be the biggest threat to the survival of the human race. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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But there’s no one left who actually likes the UK

Posted by hkarner - 15. September 2016

Date: 15-09-2016
Source: BBC
Subject: Nigel Farage: EU Parliament ‚declaring war‘ on Brexit talks

Farage ccMr Farage is remaining as an MEP despite standing down as UKIP leader

Nigel Farage has accused the European Parliament of „a declaration of war“ on the UK’s Brexit talks after naming Guy Verhofstadt as its chief negotiator.

The outgoing UKIP leader told MEPs the ex-Belgian prime minister was the „high priest“ of federalism and should be replaced by someone „who likes the UK“.

Mr Verhofstadt is one of three officials chosen by EU institutions.

He told MEPs earlier he didn’t want to „punish“ the UK but to build „sound relations“ after the UK’s departure.

Although the Belgian politician, who leads the Alliance of Liberal and Democrats grouping in the European Parliament, will not actually lead the EU’s talks with the UK, the European Parliament has said he will have a „central role“ in discussions expected to last at least two years.

The European Parliament’s approval is required before any settlement is agreed with the UK. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boris Johnson is not the first foreign secretary to be booed.

Posted by hkarner - 17. Juli 2016

Date: 16-07-2016
Source: BBC
Johnson CC2Subject: Boris Johnson: Super ambassador?

Lord Castlereagh, architect of the post-Napoleonic European order, was jeered in 1822 as he lay dead in his coffin, the crowd outside his Westminster Abbey funeral showing their anger at his domestic repression, not his diplomatic renown.

Geoffrey Howe was booed in Hong Kong in 1989 by local people fearful of Chinese rule.

Jack Straw was jostled and called a traitor when he visited Gibraltar in 2002 amid talks about joint sovereignty with Spain.

It is quite something, though, to be booed on your first full day as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

Yet that was the fate that befell Mr Johnson as he attended a reception at the French embassy.

And there was worse. His French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault, called him a liar.

And then within hours, he was expressing his shock and sadness at what he called the „appalling events in Nice and the terrible loss of life.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Brexit: There is a vacuum that must be filled

Posted by hkarner - 30. Juni 2016

  • 28 June 2016

The country is gripped by a strange mood – it is as if certainty, the recognisable shape of things, has been taken away.

The UK voted decisively but with little idea as to what would follow a vote to leave the EU.

There is no route map or agreed strategy or list of demands. Everything has to be drawn up.

A group of individuals fought a highly effective campaign and won.

When asked what would happen after a vote to leave, they never gave a comprehensive answer.

They were a movement, not a party, and had no detailed manifesto.

Neither do they have any power.

All they have is the authority of 17 million votes behind them.

Some believe that victory has brought a dangerous vacuum.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Billion people face global flooding risk by 2060, charity warns

Posted by hkarner - 17. Mai 2016

Date: 16-05-2016
Source: BBC

Coastal urban populations in China are among those most at risk, the study says

A British aid charity is warning that by 2060 more than a billion people worldwide will live in cities at risk of catastrophic flooding as a result of climate change.

A study by Christian Aid says the US, China and India are among the countries most threatened.

It says the Indian cities of Kolkata and Mumbai will be most at risk.

The eight most vulnerable cities on the list are all in Asia, followed by Miami in the US. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China opens a new university every week

Posted by hkarner - 17. März 2016

Date: 16-03-2016
Source: BBC

China has outstripped the US and Europe in graduate numbers and the gap is growing wider

China has been building the equivalent of almost one university per week.

It is part of a silent revolution that is causing a huge shift in the composition of the world’s population of graduates.

For decades, the United States had the highest proportion of people going to university. They dominated the graduate market.

Reflecting this former supremacy, among 55 to 64 year olds almost a third of all graduates in the world’s major economies are US citizens.

But that is changing rapidly among younger generations. In terms of producing graduates, China has overtaken the United States and the combined university systems of European Union countries. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can Germany’s manufacturers do digital?

Posted by hkarner - 15. Januar 2016

Date: 14-01-2016
Source: BBC

Germany’s manufacturing prowess powers a fifth of the country’s economy

September’s emissions scandal rocked Volkswagen – but it’s not the only issue the German car giant has. Alongside other German manufacturers, it faces a major challenge from the digital revolution sweeping through the world of manufacturing, writes Sean Williams.

Max Vilimpoc, a Berlin-based software engineer, worked as a contractor for VW until this year.

What he saw there, while working on a raft of digital products, shocked him.

VW, he says, approaches the design of digital products the same way it would design a car part or engine component.

In other words, the carmaker treats software like sprockets. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Migrant crisis will decide Merkel’s future

Posted by hkarner - 5. November 2015

Date: 05-11-2015
Source: BBC

Western Europe’s most powerful leader will survive – for now.

Merkel cc 3Angela Merkel has struck a truce with a key right-wing coalition partner unhappy about her stance on migration.

But the fact that there is another tricky meeting on Thursday emphasises that this is a reprieve not a final judgement.

The danger to Merkel from the refugee crisis may not be the stuff of front-page headlines in Britain, but it is real enough.

Some in Germany are seething at the seemingly limitless commitment the chancellor has made to take in anyone fleeing Syrian’s civil war.

One German politician told me he was in a meeting where he watched British ministers panic over David Cameron’s promise to take in 20,000 more refugees over the next five years.

„My country has to cope with that number every single week.“

Even those who have no cultural qualms are worried about how the country will deal with the sheer number of new people.

Mutti has applied balm to the wound, and covered it with a sticking plaster. It is what mothers do.

Angela Merkel’s nickname captures the sense of a leader of homely, sensible authority and comforting common sense. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can EU countries still afford their welfare states?

Posted by hkarner - 17. September 2015

Date: 17-09-2015
Source: BBC

Merkel cc2As German Chancellor Angela Merkel is fond of repeating, the EU accounts for just 7% of the world’s population and a quarter of its gross domestic product (GDP) but as much as half of its welfare spending.

Her underlying message is that Europe spends too much on social policies and thus has no choice but to retrench.

Austerity is one reason for cuts, but other threats to the sustainability of the welfare state are more fundamental.

They include dealing with an ageing population and adapting to evolving societal expectations.

Intensifying competition from emerging markets has also seen globalisation become a threat, because the cost of welfare policies has undermined the competitiveness of companies.

However, as I and my colleagues argue in a new paper, it would be wrong to view the welfare state mainly as a burden and it is undeniable that welfare states encapsulate values that people across the EU cherish.

How much is spent on the welfare state?

Social expenditure per person in the EU in 2012 (the most recent year available, using a harmonised definition) was €7,600 (£5,540), but with a range from €18,900 (£13,800) in Luxembourg to just €927 (£675) in Bulgaria. The UK figure was €8,700 (£6,340). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How will a population boom change Africa?

Posted by hkarner - 13. September 2015

Date: 11-09-2015
Source: BBC

The United Nations estimates that Africa’s population will double to 2.5 billion by 2050. About 400 million of these people will live in Nigeria alone.

Four experts tell the BBC World Service Inquiry programme how this population boom will change Africa.

John Wilmoth: Putting the population in perspective

John Wilmoth is director of the population division of the United Nations.

„The statistics give you a certain perspective on the world. You see these grand trends of history through demography, birth and death and when people become married and when they move.

Chart showing population growth forecasts from the UN for the world and Africa
„There’s been a substantial reduction in the death rate in Africa, like in other parts of the world, and this is good news in many ways – children survive in much greater numbers to adulthood and adults survive to old age.

Populationgrowth Africa„However, what’s preventing that kind of movement in a similar direction to what’s happening in the rest of the world is our continued levels of high fertility.

„You always have three things together: you have high fertility, rapid growth and young populations.

„Currently in Africa we estimate that 41% of the population is under the age 15. This is a very high fraction. Another 19% are between ages 15 and 24. So if you add those two together you’ve got three-fifths of the population that is under the age of 25.

„We really need political will at the highest levels paying attention to this issue because it really will affect the ability of those countries to raise the standard of living for their populations, and it will have long-term implications for the well-being of that part and the rest of the world as well.“

Obadiah Mailafia: We must improve infrastructure and create jobs

Obadiah Mailafia is the former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and former adviser to the president.

„If you go to many of our cities these days they’re much more crowded than ever. So huge challenges are deriving from the population increase, and it is quite palpable. You could see it not only in heavy traffic, but also pressure on social services, the water, electricity, schools and the rest of it.

Traffic in Lagos, Nigeria

„From an economist’s point of view, it’s often the case that increase in population is synonymous with increase in GDP, because you have more labour force, more consumption, more spending.

„So it tends to be reflected in an overall rise in GDP. But in this day and age quantitative growth is not enough. It’s not the ultimate indicator of better conditions for citizens.

„In some of our biggest airports, there is now pressure on space for parking of private jets. And yet the streets are booming with poor people, people hustling in the streets because they have no opportunities and no hope for the future.

„My worry is the fact that we are not making arrangements to cater for this rising population.

„There’s no country in the world that I know of that has over 70 million people that does not also have a flourishing rail network. The roads are cluttered up with heavy trucks. And also expanding social services like health, education and the rest of it, all those things need to be in place, together with better planning for population and for families.

„We must create jobs, we must expound opportunities for young people to get them engaged and busy, otherwise we might find that the sort of thing that happened in the Arab Spring could happen in Nigeria.“

Hans Rosling: Population growth isn’t the problem – extreme poverty is

Hans Rosling is professor of international health at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and perhaps the world’s best-known statistician.

„What is difficult for the surrounding world is to realise that Africa will become a much more important part of the world. And I see that because so many big investment banks invite me to come and lecture because they see, ‚Wow! There’s economic growth in Africa. Wow! Companies in Africa are profitable today.‘ They see customers.

Professor Hans Rosling

„The reason the population is growing in Africa is the same reason that [saw] population growth first in Europe, then in the Americas, then in Asia. It’s when the population goes from a phase where you have many children born and many who are dying. Then the death rate goes down and [some time later] the birth rate follows.

„We have a possibility that Africa will repeat what Asia did: a very fast transformation where once you had education, you had child survival and parents saw the options of a better life for their children, they [would] choose to have two or three. And that is happening in Africa; in fact it’s already happening among the better-off in Africa.

„Addis Ababa (the capital of Ethiopia) has 1.6 children per woman, which is less than London. So when you hear an average of Africa of 4.5 children per woman, that is composed by the most modern part of Africa with two children per woman [or less] and the still worst-off, in very extreme poverty, with six to seven.

„I can see government after government in Africa getting it. Presently we see Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana doing the right things and others are coming fast.

„If you continue to have extreme poverty areas where women given birth to six children and the population doubles in one generation, then you will have problems. But it’s not the population growth that is the problem – it’s the extreme poverty that is the underlying reason.“

Isabella Aboderin: We need to invest in the young AND old

Isabella Aboderin is a senior research scientist at the African Population Health Research Centre in Nairobi.

„Africa is a young continent. It will remain the youngest region worldwide. However… the number of older people is going to grow more rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa than in any other place on this globe.

Sub-Saharan Africa has to contend with a rapidly ageing population

„Once you have reached age 60, you still have an expectation of living 16 to 18 years longer in sub-Saharan Africa and that’s actually not that much different than in other parts of the world.

„So it’s a life expectancy at 60 that’s already considerable and it’s the youth bulge that Africa is now experiencing that is going to age. So all these children and youth that you have now in the next three, four, five decades, they will have reached old age and there’s a real need to prepare societies for that.

„Because the resources are constrained, the middle generation has to weigh up often between investments in children’s education and investments in supporting older parents. And, in these kinds of situations, priority is usually given to the younger generations.

„At the moment, there is very little, if any, focus on the older population. There appears to be an assumption, mostly implicit, that the older population is unproductive, has nothing more to offer and is strategically irrelevant and I think this is something that one needs to challenge and needs to look at very carefully.

„It’s not a zero-sum game. It’s not about investing in older people [and taking] resources away from the youth, it’s rather seeing that they are linked. Investing in older people today means enhancing their capacity to contribute to the empowerment and the education and the employment opportunities of youth today.“

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