From Streets to Homes

Feature stories

 

Zbiza, Keira, Django, Fiona, Zoë and Thor represent Regina’s own family. From small rescues to finding homes, Regina has been an animal activist for quite some time now. It is considered her own passion to actually help animals on this planet. She explained that she chose to help animals instead of humans because she believes that there are many types of rescuers. She does this on her own without any funding or help except the help of her friends who actually rescue animals as well.

When living on this planet, people belong to the circle of life. Once this circle starts to break, people would be affected as well. What Regina tried to explain is that people are in danger and don’t deserve to live on this planet. Planet earth doesn’t need people to survive but people need her. Animals can live on this planet peacefully without the presence of human beings, but people might be affected by this. Sharks for example are the main system of the ocean, without them the ocean would lose some of its functions. After helping an animal Regina would feel happy and satisfied, because she knows that she did something good and will matter later on. Many people share the same passion as Regina, and they are the ones who would help the earth heal. Planet earth is losing her creatures and gases, but what are people doing to actually maintain them?

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A Data World

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Data is everywhere and can contain facts, statistics, codes, and many other information. It is considered one of the most important archive of information.

“Your personal information is now the world’s most valuable commodity”-Ramona Pringle, CBC news.

In the region, most of the news agencies and TV stations are up-to-date when it comes to this issue. Most of the TV channels have pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and many other platforms. Since most of their audience is present online then they had to be as well. People’s personal and public information are posted online and everyone can see it. What news agencies and TV channels are trying to do is adding the latest techniques to their platforms even if they aren’t well equipped or ready for the changes. But, a lot of them still lack the knowledge when it comes to the latest technology and the internet. One of the most updated channels is Aljazeera which is considered similar to many TV channels in the west. With the internet anything can reach anyone even if its fake.

Social media monthly users

What Lebanese channels lack is a fact checking group to make their news more credible. New techniques are provided, a lot of things can be changed on the latest websites, and many methods have changed. In Lebanon most of the channels still use the old school techniques when it comes to writing. They forget that their stories lack life and accuracy. But, they are working on improving the big data and the artificial intelligence world.

One of the most up to date country when it comes to technologies and the new journalistic techniques is Dubai and the golf region. They are working on their web and data techniques in order to keep up with everything. Lebanon doesn’t have enough rights when it comes to data and its accessibility. A lot of online content are censured, the data is limited, and they are taking their internet from one provider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Truth

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False, wrong, and made-up news are the characteristics of a fake news. TV stations, radio, and even social media make a huge impact on people’s knowledge. When media platforms tell the true story, they are contributing in creating a more aware society. If news is provided from one point of view without telling the full story, then it is considered fake. News are credible and accurate, so they shouldn’t be biased or subjective. Some websites create content in order to get the most clicks and views, but what they are providing isn’t 100% real or verified. Most of those articles are based on gossip and opinions. After using such sources, a lot of mistakes can happen and some news might be spread in a wrong way.

Politicians might say anything just to promote their campaigns for the election, or they might create some fake news to weaken their opponents. Fake news can also be spread via Facebook which is considered one of the most none reliable sources to get news from. Some newspapers or TV website might use wrong information to add to their original posts. For example, Lebanon being added to the U.S visa waiver program is wrong.

Another example is when a text message was circulated in Lebanon and the content of it was totally made up by an unknown person who claimed that Reuters reported about that “Hezbollah kidnaped top ranking Mossad intelligence officers in Israel’s elite class”

Post-truth politics are based on emotions and appeals without referring to the real details of the situation, and what is based on emotion cannot be considered news. A lot of journalists use this technique to appeal to the emotions of their audience, but they end up losing credibility and trust.
When it comes to deception, people would actually know if something is wrong with the report. Leaving a gaps in the meaning will not help the reporter explain the issue. To consider a source reliable, it has to provide a reasonable context and credible evidence. If the report starts with “from a very credible source” without referring to the source, then it is most of the time false news. If the report lacks accuracy, it might be outdated. And if the interviewees were not related to the topic, it is not a credible report.

Many pages share credible sources and fact check items to provide it to the public. FactCheck.org, PolitiFact.com, and snopes.com are websites that fact check news and political statements. In Lebanon there is new page on Facebook that provide such facility , and the name is @badil.lb or “وزارة الإعلام البديل”.

Fact checking :

When it come to the article published by the “independent”, the information is accurate, but they aren’t 100% credible. The leaked internal EU document does not refer to any side of the story, it is not signed, and it looked like it was written by an EU company and not the government. The writer was accusing the EU for blocking discussions in the UN climate talks in Paris. Some changes were made with the information to make it look like the EU is opposing their climate change agreement. He claimed that the deal with TTIP would actually make CO2 pump into the atmosphere, while the EU was actually committed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

A lot of the information in the article are correct, but they might be considered bias especially that the writer ended his article with “shame on them” and gave one side of the story. He only explained the dangers that might happen without referring to the reasons that got the EU to take those decisions. The writer did mention something that is not actually efficient, and it is that there is no solution for climate change if EU keeps on dealing with TTIP. But climate change cannot only be done by the EU, it’s an international agreement that needs to be discussed. The COP21 conference had many elements and decisions that were made by the EU and other countries. The EU has laws and regulations to consider while making a contract. What happened with the TTIP is a new deal that might lead EU to break some of its own rules while dealing with the issue.

Sustainable Development

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“Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Our Common Future, 1987).

The sustainable development main purposes are to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that everyone enjoy peace and prosperity. This was the main topic of NDU’s conference in order to make the university more engaged into creating a better environment. The goals of this campaign are divided into 17 categories, and their target is to achieve those goals by 2030.

 A Vision for the Future

Faculty members at NDU are working towards a sustainable campus. From recycling techniques to a greener campus, the university is trying to follow up on the goals provided by the UNDP in order to be part of this achievement. To achieve those goals, the UNDP will have to collaborate with governments, private sectors, civil society and citizens. “Knowledge is power” (Bacon, 1597). The more people are aware of this issue, the more this planet will have a chance to survive. What is happening in the world from natural disasters to climate change are all related to humans and their behavior towards the planet. With the sustainable development goals, the planet will have a better impact on future generations. Diseases will decrease and the next generations will have resources that last forever.

Sustainability and Technology

One of the technology’s aims is to simplify ever day’s tasks. By using technology people are in a way helping the environment. With the internet of things (IoT), people will have to live in smart cities that will let the environment work more properly IoT enable physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items to connect and exchange data via embedded objects. It will monitor every step and task people are doing. Due to the vast technology IoT provides, goals like health, education, energy, and many others will become easier to achieve. By using smarter devices and cities, people are contributing to energy saving and smarter solutions. Animal tracking, Energy management, waste management, water management, deforestation tracking, and many other issues would be solved by the use of IoT. Creating a sustainable environment will help provide resources for many years to come. With the use of the internet of things, sustainability would be effective in people’s daily life.

 

Next step:

To achieve the global goals, the UNDP and everyone working on this project will need people’s attribution. This project isn’t like any other, this is about the future of humankind. Everything is linked together, whether technology or climate change, they all depend on one thing, people’s decision. Planet earth has been here for centuries, but people are the ones passing by. Earth doesn’t need people, but people will need her to survive. “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” (Gandhi)

The Digital Money: What to Know and Expect.

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/famzoo/4880265002

From Cash To Digital

The digital money, a new currency that might change the world! This is a new payment method that exists through the internet. Money can be transferred from an account to another with a click of a button. Decentralized cryptocurrency  has no location, limits, or even an owner. A lot of people question who is the founder of bitcoins which is one of the most popular digital money in the market. Satoshi Nakamoto is the name of the person or group of people that created bitcoins, and this figure is still anonymous. But, an Australian businessman named Craig Steven Wright claimed to be the creator of bitcoins as well as other names that might be the inventors behind this cryptocurrency.

In the market, there are many cryptocurrencies that started to work effectively as of 2009. Bitcoin was the first digital money that appeared to the market. Litcoins, Namecoins, and Swiftcoin appeared two years after the creation of the first usable cryptocurrency. More than twenty forms of digital money were created between 2012 and 2017. This aspect has grown tremendously since its first creation. For example, one bitcoin equaled 0.003 $ in 2009. Now one bitcoin is worth more or less 4400$. This currency has changed the entire economic world. The USD used to be one of the most powerful currencies in the world, and since the beginning of bitcoins, it all changed. The global economy will change while the digital money is growing. The stock market is being affected by the new “internet” currency. The more people will buy bitcoins, the more this currency will affect other stocks. Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies might create speculations, the emergence of new markets, and apprehension among the central banks.

 

Bitcoins

Bitcoins work in a different way than other currencies. Every user has his/her own balance list and everyone can see it while trading. Bitcoin requires a signature so that no one can take someone else’s money. It is sent through the internet from one device to another, and it is directly transferred from one user to the other user. The fees are lower, it can be used anytime and anywhere, an account cannot be frozen, and there are no unpredictable limits. This currency has many advantages, but it also has disadvantages that might affect the customer in the future. First, not everyone knows how it works and how it can be manipulated. Second, the price of a bitcoin is not stable. It can go up to 5000$ per bitcoin and can drop down to 200$ by night. Third, it is still under development. Just like any other economic issue, bitcoins are still not qualified enough. People fear it as much as they like to use it. The digital money has no physical presence in the market. It is not like any currency, then it has no grounds.

It is considered legal in most countries that use bitcoins or any other digital money. People use it now to purchase video games, gifts, books, and even servers. As all other internet disadvantages, digital money was also used in the dark web and in the illegal market. When the silk road crisis happened in 2013, digital money was present on that website. A lot of websites used it to sell drugs, guns, and other illegal products. Since it has no limits or supervisor, criminals found it easy to use digital money so they can promote their products. When it comes to Lebanon, an open source society has been created. People in the region are starting to understand and promote the idea of digital money. The Lebanese central bank, on the other hand, warned the citizens about this currency claiming that it is not stable and might create criminal activities. This currency is avoided by most of the companies in Lebanon because they consider it as risky and unproven.

Money has been changing since it was created. New methods and currencies have been practiced to establish a better payment system. With the creation of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, many economic aspects of the world will change. For example, banks might start losing their customers, one bitcoin is suspected to reach one million dollars, buying products will be easier, and third parties can’t interfere in the trading process. The future of this currency is still unspecified. Many fear that this currency might not last long and can be economically a disaster while others claim that it might change the global economy and create a better market. What we know is that this currency is growing day after day, and it is not yet stable. It is considered easy to use and helpful in some issues, but it is yet to be explored.