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China accused of “crimes against humanity”

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Uighurs+Muslim
  • Hundreds of thousands of Muslim minority men and women subjected to mass internment and torture 
  • Millions of Muslims subjected to systematized mass surveillance 
  • Muslim ethnic groups forced to abandon their religious traditions, cultural practices and local languages

China is committing crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, the north-western region that is home to the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.

Amnesty is calling on the UN to investigate, and says China has subjected Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslims to mass detention, surveillance, and torture.

Amnesty International Secretary General Agnès Callamard is accusing Chinese authorities of creating “a dystopian hellscape on a staggering scale”.


“It should shock the conscience of humanity that massive numbers of people have been subjected to brainwashing, torture and other degrading treatment in internment camps.”

Secretary General Agnès Callamard

In a 160-page report based on interviews with 55 former detainees,

Amnesty says there is evidence the Chinese state has committed “at least the following crimes against humanity: imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty.”

The report included evidence from 50 former camp detainees.

The report documents how, since early 2017, huge numbers of men and women from predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang have been arbitrarily detained.

They include hundreds of thousands who have been sent to prisons in addition to hundreds of thousands – perhaps even a million or more – who have been sent to internment camps.

Other than being escorted under armed guard to and from canteens, classes or interrogation, detainees practically never leave their cells and rarely see sunlight or have outdoor access or exercise.


“China must immediately dismantle the internment camps, release the people arbitrarily detained in them and in prisons, and end the systematic attacks against Muslims in Xinjiang.”

SECRETARY GENERAL AGNÈS CALLAMARD

Systematic torture

Every former detainee Amnesty International interviewed suffered torture or other ill-treatment.

This included the cumulative psychological effect of their daily dehumanization, as well as physical torture in the form of beatings, electric shocks and solitary confinement.

China denies those accusations, and says its camps in Xinjiang are voluntary vocational and de-radicalisation programmes for combating terrorism in the region.

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Boston Dynamics’ electric marvel or robot contortionist?

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Boston Dynamics has recently unveiled its latest creation, the electric Atlas robot, boasting enhanced agility and strength.

However, with its uncanny ability to contort and rise from the ground with an almost eerie grace, one might wonder if we’re witnessing the birth of the world’s first robot contortionist.

As this technological marvel flaunts its capabilities, one can’t help but ponder if we’re on the brink of a future where household chores will be effortlessly handled by robots moving like a fusion of ballet dancers and horror movie monsters.

With its cadaver-like movements and illuminated head, it’s hard not to speculate whether Atlas is destined to revolutionise robotics or simply rehearsing for a techno-horror rendition of The Nutcracker. As Boston Dynamics continues to push the boundaries of robotics, the line between science fiction and reality becomes increasingly blurred.

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The Coffee confusion causing health concerns

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As the morning sun peeks through the curtains, many reach for that familiar brew, kickstarting their day with a comforting cup of coffee.

It’s a ritual ingrained in cultures worldwide, offering a jolt of energy to combat the grogginess of dawn.

But when is the optimal time for that caffeine fix? According to registered dietitian Anthony DiMarino, RD, LD, the answer isn’t crystal clear.

Some experts suggest delaying that first sip until mid-morning or later. However, DiMarino reassures coffee lovers that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this dilemma.

Meanwhile, the science behind coffee production unveils fascinating insights into its instant variant. Whether produced through freeze-drying or spray-drying methods, instant coffee offers convenience without sacrificing flavor.

Yet, beyond convenience, recent studies delve deeper into coffee’s impact on our bodies. Research exploring the acute effects of decaffeinated versus caffeinated coffee reveals intriguing findings on reaction time, mood, and skeletal muscle strength.

Moreover, investigations into the gut microbiome shed light on coffee’s influence on liver cirrhosis patients. A study analyzing the duodenal microbiome in this population found correlations between coffee consumption and microbial richness and evenness.

So, as you sip your coffee and ponder the day ahead, consider not just the flavour in your cup but also the subtle impacts it may have on your body and mind.

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Laughing in limbo Canadian Just for Laughs cancelled

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The renowned Montreal-based Just for Laughs comedy festival, one of the world’s largest international comedy events, will not grace the calendar in 2024.

The Canadian company overseeing the festival announced its cancellation this year, citing efforts to steer clear of bankruptcy. Having marked its 40th anniversary in 2023, Just For Laughs has long been a beloved fixture on the city’s cultural landscape.

With its absence raising questions about which event will inherit the title of the biggest comedy festival, speculation arises whether Melbourne will seize the mantle, given its burgeoning comedy scene and the success of its own Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

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