In the spotlight
Elon, Twitter is not the town square – it’s just a private shop. The square belongs to us all
Musk’s acquisition of the media platform will be a boon for free speech, he says. Governments are the ones to judge that.
Everything you need to know about the EU’s plan to clean up Big Tech
In a first-of-its-kind move, the European Parliament and EU countries made a sweeping change to the Digital Services Act — the bloc’s new online content rulebook — entrusting the bloc’s executive body in Brussels with the supervision of the largest digital firms.
An anything-goes Twitter? Elon Musk’s fantasy can never come true
Net Results: Law must step up and protect against data power grabs by billionaires.
The Digital Services Act will make sure that what is illegal offline is also illegal online. The landmark rules will protect people's fundamental rights.
Read more about how this will tackle disinformation and what the penalties are if big tech companies do not comply ↓
— European Parliament (@Europarl_EN) April 25, 2022
Is artificial intelligence a friend or foe? Or is that a question for Siri?
AI already goes beyond just Siri or Alexa. Every time you get directions from Google Maps, it’s AI that’s working out the shortest path from A to B. When you get a film recommendation on Netflix, it’s AI that knows about people’s preferences and a little too much about you.
An algorithm that screens for child neglect raises concerns
Around the country, as child welfare agencies use or consider algorithmic tools like in Allegheny County, an Associated Press review has identified a number of concerns about the technology, including questions about its reliability and its potential to harden racial disparities in the child welfare system.
Digitisation enables scholars, students and communities around the world to immerse themselves in our collections – whether that means using them in classrooms, for research or for shared cultural connection.
More info ➡️ https://t.co/eIXWsJh3PR#DigitisingOxford pic.twitter.com/gyvml5SabU
— University of Oxford (@UniofOxford) April 27, 2022
‘Relentless’ destruction of rainforest continuing despite Cop26 pledge
Pristine rainforests were once again destroyed at a relentless rate in 2021, according to new figures.
We created the ‘Pandemicene’
By completely rewiring the network of animal viruses, climate change is creating a new age of infectious dangers.
How to make plastic disappear
Most of human history has been plastic free, but it’s now become hard to imagine a world without it. Luckily, several entrepreneurs are working on it, and this Earth Day issue of Current Climate highlights innovations that aim to make plastic disappear. A few key words dominating those conversations: scale, pricing and integration into existing value chains.
Disappearance of primary tropical forests.#AFPgraphics showing the countries that lost the largest areas of primary tropical forest in 2021 pic.twitter.com/vQaBI5YNjQ
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) April 29, 2022
🪶 Every three minutes one seabird is killed as a result of accidental captures.
This invention is hoping to scare the birds into safety.#Ocean w/ @EU_MARE https://t.co/zxCw0a75XL
— Euronews Green (@euronewsgreen) April 26, 2022
Mobility & Energy
Germany top buyer of Russian energy since Ukraine invasion began: report
Russian fossil fuel exports are undermining sanctions imposed on the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine, a study says. Germany and the EU remain the biggest buyers of Russian energy.
BSC study lays out methodology to mitigate Europe’s energy crisis through climate predictions
Researchers propose a method capable of predicting variations in renewable energy generation months in advance through climate predictions.
Following Gazprom's decision to disrupt gas deliveries to Bulgaria, we 🇧🇬🇪🇺 are together setting up a 1st regional task force under #RepowerEU in Sofia.
It will coordinate efforts to guarantee the region's energy security and accelerate decarbonisation.
— European Commission (@EU_Commission) April 29, 2022
With over 80% of the volume of international #trade in goods carried by sea, maritime transport is the backbone of todays' global economy and also happens to be the most efficient #transport mode in terms of #emissions per tonne/km. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/k4E36Twzh9
— EU Maritime & Fish (@EU_MARE) April 29, 2022
Agriculture & Food
Nano state: tiny and now everywhere, how big a problem are nanoparticles?
In 2019, Ikea announced it had developed curtains that it claimed could “ break down common indoor air pollutants ”. The secret, it said, was the fabric’s special coating. “What if we could use textiles to clean the air?” asked Ikea’s product developer, Mauricio Affonso, in a for the “Gunrid” curtains.
How a Minnesota ag firm is helping Ukrainian farmers plant in war-scarred fields
EarthDaily Agro, a Maple Grove-based precision agriculture company, is providing Ukrainian farmers vital mapping data in order to sow fields and stave off food insecurity.
Modern biotechnology can help make agri-food systems more sustainable, but the protection of the EU's high food safety standards must always come first.
Today, we are launching a public consultation to provide views on New Genomic Techniques for plants.#EUFoodSafety
— European Commission (@EU_Commission) April 29, 2022
In sum, EU food supply is currently not at risk. Scaring Europeans into believing that food might run out is incredibly cynical. There’s no need to add to people’s already high anxiety with false problems that serve to protect an unsustainable status quo https://t.co/i3zzmIM4g5
— Frans Timmermans (@TimmermansEU) April 29, 2022
How stress can damage your brain and body
We all know what stress feels like physically — though the symptoms vary by person. Some people experience shakiness or a racing heart, while others develop muscle tension, headaches or stomach aches.
What causes asthma?
Universitätsklinikum Erlangen is investigating the air in classrooms as part of a new EU project. The researchers hope to identify pollutants that may lead to asthma in children.
Vaccines save at least 4 to 5 million lives every year #longlifeforall
This remarkable success story is the result of massive immunization campaigns that have swept round the world in recent decades.
Take a historical tour of immunization 👇 https://t.co/3xYOofx1n4
— WHO/Europe (@WHO_Europe) April 29, 2022
Did you know? The ChAdOx platform technology used in our #COVID19 vaccine also drives our other vaccines including…⬇️
More information ➡️ https://t.co/BQO1V35RYg#WorldImmunisationWeek pic.twitter.com/iEA1sSBr5s
— University of Oxford (@UniofOxford) April 29, 2022
The prevalence of long covid is hard to calculate and some early reports gave inflated estimates. Confusingly, long covid may actually be a collection of quite different syndromes https://t.co/JJCf6gQMUb
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) April 29, 2022
Reducing meat intake could cut your cancer risk by 2%.
Learn more: https://t.co/izGa5I4Gxs pic.twitter.com/o4dI6n40ZK
— World Economic Forum (@wef) April 29, 2022
Science policy & Communication
‘Troll factory’ spreading Russian pro-war lies online, says UK
Russian internet trolls based in an old arms factory in St Petersburg are targeting word leaders online and spreading support for Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the British government has said, citing research.
Are the social media platforms doing enough – or anything – to deal with misinformation?
Last week US president Barack Obama gave a speech at Stanford University, California, where he outlined what he believed were the biggest threats to democracy. about the need to address income inequality, the negative effects brought about by globalisation, and the rising power of autocratic regimes across the world.
EU Innovative Health Initiative gets innovative: publishing all its draft research plans early
The EU’s biggest health research partnership set plans for new research projects in cancer, health data, medical devices, cardiovascular and neurogenerative diseases – and offered something of an administrative innovation by publishing its draft plans early so that would-be applicants can have plenty of time to start preparing.
Health en Debunking myths about COVID-19 diagnostic tests
The EU project CORONADX has published a leaflet with a collection of common misconceptions on COVID-19 diagnostic tests to help citizens navigate between truth and falsehoods.
7️⃣ Facebook says it’s fighting disinformation and blocking Russian propaganda. But independent newsrooms in eastern Ukraine say they’re being restricted under the same rules, @antelava reports in this piece for @CodaStory https://t.co/iaFQ2VlqyX
— Reuters Institute (@risj_oxford) April 29, 2022
Our 6th Weekly Insight into #disinformation narratives about the #warinukraine is out.
2 new trends:
– discrediting media reporting on Ukraine
– false info on foreign support for Ukraine
Read it here: https://t.co/ztOD7qLhub#RussiaUkraineWar #UkraineFacts pic.twitter.com/IDShRf8Qj9
— European Digital Media Observatory (@EDMO_EUI) April 29, 2022
🆕 WHO report reveals shocking extent of exploitative formula milk marketing
The formula milk industry, valued at US$55 billion, is paying social media platforms & influencers to gain direct access to pregnant women & mothers.#EndExploitativeMarketing
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) April 29, 2022
EC invites member states to prepare for next phase of Covid-19 pandemic
This week the European Commission (EC) initiated multiple measures intended to control the ongoing phase of the Covid-19 pandemic and prepare for the next one. EC invites member states to execute measures to increase vigilance and coordination in the healthcare sector.
Green Deal Going Local
Green Deal Going Local is a flagship initiative of the European Committee of the Regions that aims at placing cities and regions at the heart of the EU’s transition towards climate neutrality.
#ChemicalWeapons have no place in the world today. On the 25th anniversary of the #ChemicalWeaponsConvention, the 🇪🇺 EU is reaffirming its commitment to a world where #chemistry is used only for peaceful purposes. #OPCW25 #CWC25 #EU4Multilateralism https://t.co/3wJhGCRHVp pic.twitter.com/MaGWgGBXVr
— EU in the UAE (@EUintheUAE) April 29, 2022
Swiping right on climate love: Dating apps and environmental advocacy
Dating platforms have noticed their users are hot for climate issues and are incorporating features to help them connect with each other. But how useful are additions like OkCupid’s climate advocate badge?
We have even more evidence life’s building blocks came to earth from space
We still don’t know just how the first life emerged on Earth. One suggestion is that the building blocks arrived here from space; now, a new study of several carbon-rich meteorites has added weight to this idea.
Giant marine reptile.
Scientists have discovered 200 million-year-old fossils in the Swiss Alps, including the largest tooth found for the species that grew up to 20 meters long https://t.co/E8iJgKDZVf#AFPgraphics on the ichthyosaur, a sea-dwelling prehistoric reptile pic.twitter.com/pd1tkL1peM
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) April 29, 2022