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David Cicilline: the head of impeachment has already embarked on big technology

WASHINGTON – Having previously worked as a member of the House Judiciary Committee to investigate President Trump during the first House Democrats impeachment effort in 2019, Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island is set to play a role most importantly as the person responsible for the impeachment in the second of Mr. Trump. trial.

Mr. Cicilline has been a member of the Judicial Committee since 2014 and, in this context, headed the subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law. In his work on antitrust law, in particular, he oversaw what experts have described as one of the most ambitious campaigns against some of the country’s most powerful tech companies, including Amazon, Google and Facebook – companies that have since been criticized by top lawmakers. of both parties.

Prior to joining Congress, Mr. Cicilline worked as a public defender in Washington and served two terms as mayor of Providence, RI

Stepping into a position of leadership, Mr Cicillin was an author of the impeachment article which the House picked up on Wednesday in conjunction with Representatives Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Ted Lieu of California, who are also responsible for the impeachment.

“As lawmakers who have impeached this president once before, we do not take this responsibility lightly,” Cicillin wrote in a New York Times article on Monday.

Like others who have been called upon to serve as managers in the impeachment process this week, Mr. Cicillin has helped oversee investigations by the president and his advisers in the past, including inquiries into possible violations of the campaign funding arising from payments made by the Trump campaign. to two women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump.

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United Nations Panel: Police Technology Can Reinforce Racial Bias

Governments need a sudden change in direction to avoid “stumbling like a zombiel into a digital well-being dystopia,” said Philip G. Alston, a human rights expert who reports on the poverty, at the United Nations General Assembly last year, in a report calling for digital regulation. technologies, including artificial intelligence, to ensure respect for human rights. The private companies which play an increasingly dominant role in the provision of social protection, he noted, “operate in an area practically devoid of human rights”.

Last month, the UN expert monitoring contemporary forms of racism expressed concerns that “governments and non-state actors are developing and deploying emerging digital technologies in only experimental, dangerous and discriminatory ways. in the context of border enforcement and immigration. ”

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also known as Frontex, has tested unmanned military-grade drones in the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea for surveillance and banning of migrant and refugee ships attempting to reach Europe, reported expert E. Tendayi Achiume.

The UN Anti-Racism Panel, which is charged with monitoring and holding states accountable for their compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, said states must legislate measures to combat racial prejudice and create independent complaint handling mechanisms. He stressed the need for transparency in the design and application of algorithms used in profiling.

“This includes public disclosure of the use of these systems and explanations of how the systems work, what datasets are used and what human rights abuse prevention measures are in place,” the group said.

The group’s recommendations are aimed at a global audience of 182 states that have signed the convention, but most of the complaints received in the past two years have originated from the United States, Shepherd said, and its findings amplify the concerns expressed. by American digital. rights activists.

U.S. law enforcement agencies have fiercely resisted sharing details of how many or what type of technology they use, and there are few regulations requiring accountability for what they use or how they use them, a said Rashida Richardson, visiting scholar at Rutgers Law School and director of research policy. at the AI ​​Now Institute at New York University.

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New technology claims to detect even small methane leaks from space

Few of the climate-warming gases that humans produce have been as offensive as methane.

Besides the production of fossil fuels, including coal, methane also comes from landfills and agriculture, including livestock and rice farms. Natural sources such as wetlands produce about 40 percent of global emissions.

Methane is less prevalent in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, but it is much more powerful at trapping heat from the sun, and it has increasingly become a target of concern to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals. greenhouse of the Paris Agreement, the 2015 pact between the nations of the world to reduce emissions to fight against global warming.

“We don’t know which are the real large emitters among the many coal mines and millions of oil and gas installations,” said Ilse Aben, co-principal investigator of the Earth Sciences group at the Netherlands Institute of spatial research, which provides data. of the older satellite that plays a role in the discoveries of GHGSat. But now, “you can really see where the methane is coming from – even which part of which facility.”

Since methane dissipates through the atmosphere faster than carbon dioxide, reducing methane emissions brings climate benefits much faster. Yet even though its atmospheric concentration has doubled over the past 70 years, the precise provenance of all this extra methane has not been fully understood.

Since oil and gas operations are notorious for leaking methane, and the increase in methane in the atmosphere happened alongside the drilling boom, they felt like a natural place to watch. Indeed, methane emissions from oil and gas operations have consistently proven, in research over the past few years, to be much higher than what industry and the Environmental Protection Agency have estimated.

And much of it came from leaks. A 2016 Stanford article found that only 5% of leaks produce about half of the leaks.

It is both a risk and an opportunity for energy companies.

A risk because regulators, lawmakers and financiers are taking emissions limiting more and more seriously: This month, the UK demanded that large corporations and banks disclose their climate risks. by 2025. And more than 100 major banks have imposed restrictions on their investments in fossil fuels.