Week 18 of 2023 – YPF Around the Globe (English)

Timeframe: April 30 to May 6, 2023

Contributors: Farhan Uddin Ahmed, GM Sifat Iqbal, and Safin Mahmood

To read Bangla, click here.

1. Politics

Curfew in India’s Manipur state after protests turned violent

The north-eastern Indian state of Manipur is under tight security after a tribal agitation ended in violence.

Tribal groups were protesting against the demand for affirmative action by the state’s Meitei community.

Manipur chief minister blamed the incidents on “prevailing misunderstanding” between communities and said his government was taking steps to control the situation.

Curfew has been imposed in the areas of the state hit by violence on Wednesday.

Mobile internet services have also been suspended in many parts of the state for five days. On Thursday, the Indian Army carried out a flag march in the violence-hit areas.

Source: BBC

2. Economics & Business

Paraguay Voters Elect Conservative Economist as President

Paraguayans elected Santiago Peña, a 44-year-old conservative economist, as their new president on Sunday, keeping the South American nation in the control of the right-wing Colorado Party that has run the country for all but five of the past 76 years.

Mr. Peña had 43 percent of the vote with 99 percent of the ballots counted, defeating two challengers who split the opposition vote.

The result means that Paraguay, a landlocked nation of seven million people, has resisted the leftward shift across Latin America in recent years. Instead, Paraguayans delivered victory to a right-wing candidate who made vague promises to add jobs, lower energy prices and clear drug addicts from the street.

Source: NYT

3. Science & Technology

Potential of clueless container ships

Cruising quietly through the Frier Fjord in southern Norway, the Yara Birkeland looks like an ordinary small ship.

However, by the end of the year, the number of crew on board will be reduced from five to two and then, if all goes well, in two more years the vessel’s bridge will be removed and there won’t be any crew on board at all.

Until then, Captain Svend Ødegård is at the helm of the 80m-long ship. “We are taking big steps towards autonomy,” he tells the BBC. “There’s a lot of installed technology there, that is not on existing ships.”

Eventually, the Yara Birkeland will navigate aided by sensors, including radar and cameras, which will feed data to an artificial intelligence, which will detect and classify waterborne obstacles.

Source: BBC

TikTok tracked UK journalist via her cat’s account

In a shocking revelation, London-based journalist Cristina Criddle shares her unsettling experience with TikTok, as the social media platform’s employees in China and the US secretly accessed her personal user data without her knowledge or consent. Despite TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, denying such incidents, Cristina has decided to expose the truth to BBC News.

TikTok confirmed that members of its internal audit department misused their authority by examining Cristina’s IP address and cross-referencing it with their own staff’s data to identify individuals meeting with the press. Cristina remains uncertain about the duration and frequency of the tracking but recalls it happening during the previous summer.

The invasion of privacy extends beyond her professional life, as Cristina realizes her personal activities, such as outings with friends and vacations, were all under surveillance. This violation deeply disturbed her, as she grappled with the implications of constant monitoring.

Surprisingly, Cristina’s TikTok account was registered under the name of her pet cat, Buffy, and did not disclose her real name or profession in the bio. With only about 170 followers, the account primarily featured videos of Buffy that received modest viewership. However, TikTok collects extensive data from its users, including location, likes, device information, and online activity outside the platform.

TikTok claims that Western users’ data remains separate from its operations in China, assuring that Cristina’s breach was the result of individual staff misconduct. Bytedance, the owner of TikTok, expressed deep regret and vowed to prevent such incidents in the future.

Cristina suspects the breach may have also violated the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which requires explicit user consent for data usage. Potential penalties for non-compliance add further weight to the severity of the situation.

While Cristina continues to keep her TikTok account active for work purposes, she has taken precautions by using a separate device solely dedicated to the app. The incident has also prompted her to reduce her and Buffy’s social media presence on other platforms, prioritizing digital safety.

Cyber-security expert Prof Alan Woodward emphasizes that the extensive tracking carried out on Cristina cannot be dismissed as accidental, as it required deliberate efforts to uncover her identity from the cat account.

As TikTok faces challenges regarding its existence in the US and restricted access in various countries, concerns arise regarding the potential sharing of Western users’ data with the Chinese government. Nonetheless, the platform maintains immense popularity, with over 3.5 billion global downloads.

Source: BBC

4. Environment

A looming El Niño could prompt a spike in global temperatures, UN agency warns

An El Niño climate pattern will likely develop later this year, which could exacerbate global warming and break temperature records around the world, forecasters from the World Meteorological Organization said on Wednesday.

The United Nations agency said it cannot yet forecast the strength or duration of the El Niño, but according to its outlook, there is a 60% chance that the El Niño will form between May and July and an 80% chance it will form between July and September.

An El Niño is a naturally occurring climate pattern associated with warmer-than-normal ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. El Niño events can cause severe droughts in Australia, Indonesia, and parts of southern Asia.

Source: CNBC

Disclaimer: The information provided here is obtained solely from the aforementioned third parties. Youth Policy Forum (YPF) is not responsible for any misinformation or misrepresentation.

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