5 ways drones are making the world a better place (without killing anyone)

GlobalPost
Nairobi, Kenya

Drones are deadly. They kill people, lots of people, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which tracks drone deaths. They buzz about the skies over Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, watching and waiting for the moment when a soldier in a simulator somewhere far, far away presses a button to end a life.

But that’s not all drones do. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are taking on a whole host of eye-catching, often frivolous but also serious new roles — none of which involve killing people and some of which might just make the world a better place. Continue reading 5 ways drones are making the world a better place (without killing anyone)

The claim that illegal ivory is funding a major terror group in Africa may not be true

GlobalPost
Nairobi, Kenya

A pyre on which over a thousand kilos of elephant tusks will be incinerated (Marco Longari/AFP)
A pyre on which over a thousand kilos of elephant tusks will be incinerated (Marco Longari/AFP)

Hollywood director Kathryn Bigelow has made a 3-minute animated short called “Last Days,” telling the story of ivory poaching and the threat it poses to elephants. The film begins in the markets of Beijing and New York, then rewinds to Africa, where elephants are being hunted and killed at an astonishing rate.

It is mostly a 2-D animation but also features footage from last year’s Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi because, according to Bigelow’s film, Al Shabaab, the Somalia-based Al Qaeda group responsible for the attack, earns money from poaching elephants.

Terrorists killing elephants to fund their atrocities is a powerful, troubling story that deftly taps two hot-button issues linking them in one awful, unified narrative. No wonder it grabs attention.

But is it true? Continue reading The claim that illegal ivory is funding a major terror group in Africa may not be true