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Vox Sentences: North Korea’s worst drought in decades



Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

San Francisco becomes the first US city to ban surveillance using facial recognition technology; a severe drought in North Korea threatens the country’s already limited food supply.

San Francisco bans facial recognition technology

Steffi Loos/Getty Images

  • San Francisco is now the first US city to ban the use of facial recognition surveillance technology by law enforcement or other government departments. [San Francisco Chronicle / Trisha Thadani]
  • There are some exceptions; airports, for instance, will not be affected, and the ban does not apply to businesses or individuals using the tech. The ban is part of a larger surveillance oversight ordinance that will also require the city to disclose the surveillance technology it currently uses or plans to implement in the future. [AP / Janie Har]
  • Facial surveillance is becoming a more popular tool among government agencies and is backed by big tech companies. Amazon sells the technology to US police departments and Microsoft to a US prison. [Recode / Shirin Ghaffary]
  • While supporters of the technology say it helps law enforcement effectively identify and arrest criminal suspects, critics have raised concerns about civil liberties and racial bias. [NPR / Shannon Van Sant and Richard Gonzales]
  • Studies have shown that facial analysis software was less likely to correctly identify dark-skinned or female faces. This means that, for instance, African Americans and women are more likely to be misidentified as suspects and wrongly arrested. [NYT / Kate Conger, Richard Fausset, and Serge F. Kovaleski]
  • This might be a sign that lawmakers are finally catching up with rapidly developing technology. Even now, there are no federal laws that regulate artificial intelligence technology. [CNN / Rachel Metz]
  • San Francisco might be setting a trend for other cities that are recognizing the need for more oversight of surveillance technology. Oakland, California, and Somerville, Massachusetts, are both set to vote on similar bans. [Wired / Gregory Barber]

Threat of starvation looms in North Korea

  • North Korea is experiencing its worst drought since 1982, and the UN predicts the country’s food crisis will only worsen with time. [Yonhap]
  • The country has only received 2.1 inches of rain for the past five months, which is about 42 percent of the level in recent years. Just a year ago, food production fell to its lowest in a decade. [Guardian / Daniel Hurst]
  • While there have been no reports of mass starvation yet, UN agencies said that the government is already cutting back on rations. Just two weeks ago, two UN relief agencies — the World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization — said that 40 percent of North Korea’s population risked “severe food shortages” because of the country’s disastrous harvest last fall. [NYT / Choe Sang-Hun]
  • Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s leading newspaper, urged citizens to mobilize to prevent damage to crops. In February, citizens were also encouraged to secure water supplies as the drought dragged on. [North Korea News / Oliver Hotham]
  • This drought is particularly serious because sanctions, which were implemented because of the country’s weapons development program, have led to a drastic drop in bilateral food aid in recent years. [BBC]
  • South Korea is planning to provide aid to North Korea, despite recent threats from North Korea’s weapon tests. The country’s one goal: get North Korea back to the negotiating table. [NYT / Choe Sang-Hun]


  • Stan Lee’s manager and caretaker has been charged with allegedly abusing the late Marvel Comics icon. [CNN / Chloe Melas]
  • Say hello to Swiss ruby chocolate, the first new natural shade of the sweet stuff introduced in the US since white chocolate in the 1930s. [Washington Post / Hamza Shaban]
  • Commuters found themselves in a sticky situation when a semi-trailer filled with honey overturned on an Indiana highway. [AP]
  • An 11-year-old girl wrote to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern asking her to launch a dragon research program so she could grow up to be a dragon trainer. Her “bribe” for the PM: $5. [NPR / Vanessa Romo]
  • There’s a petition to remake season eight of Game of Thrones with 16,000 signatures. [A.V. Club / Dan Neilan]


“Even before this drought, one in five children under five years old was stunted because of poor nutrition. We are concerned that these children will not be able to cope with further stress on their bodies.” [Mohamed Babiker, head of the North Korea office of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, on the drought’s impact]

Watch this: Why drugs cost more in America

Why an EpiPen can cost $300 in the US and $38 in the UK. [YouTube / Madeline Marshall and Sarah Kliff]

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Digital Trends Live – 7.10.19 – Nintendo Switch Lite Confirmed + India May Ban Cryptocurrencies




On today’s episode: Nintendo officially announced the much rumored Switch Lite; WarnerMedia makes HBO Max official, launching with Friends in 2020; India to ban cryptocurrencies – could impact Facebook’s Libra; team sets out to topple the land speed record; President joins to talk about their new A.R. feature; The best CPUs and GPUs on the market; Passwords vulnerability discussion with Keeper Security CEO; If you make a ton of PPT decks, you likely need a CMS – Shufflrr has you covered; Gaming Editor Felicia Miranda takes the cover off the Switch Lite and the best Prime Day deals to watch out for.

View at DailyMotion

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25 Users Showed How Different Instagram Is From Reality, and It Can Make You Way More Confident




According to the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), Instagram is the most harmful social media for psychological health. Every day, we are disappointed when we start comparing our lives to the photos online without even thinking about how these perfect pictures were created. Fortunately, there are users who are ready to reveal what their lives look like without photoshop and filters.

Bright Side is happy to show the photos that will not only give you confidence, but will also improve your mood.

Before and after taken about 30 seconds apart

Nobody looks good in the morning.

Everything depends on the angle.

Trash looks bad no matter where it is.

“I love taking photos on the beach.”

It’s not just bodies and faces that get tune-ups on Instagram. The locals would be amazed to see the photo on the left.

Each successful photo actually means there were hundreds of failed attempts.

The photos I share vs The photos I’m tagged in

A black eye given by a unicorn

It appears that the rainbow is fake.

This is what’s behind a perfect life.

It’s always like this.

If people posted their real photos from the gym

10 minutes after cleaning and 10 hours later

Mud baths are attractive.

Behind the stage of perfect photo

Just imagine what the process looked like.

On hot days, you really need water-resistant makeup.

Before the party / after the party

When you are too hungry to arrange the food in a beautiful way:

This is the same girl.

There is something wrong with this photo.

Some people look like aliens in their photos.

It should be prohibited to tag people in photos.

Instagram vs Real-life motherhood

Do you prefer to post real or idealized photos?

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10 Powerful Sculptures That Tell a Story Better Than Any Novel Could




We often take sculptures that surround us for granted, thinking that their only message is the one in plain sight. But it turns out that many of them have a deeper meaning like an angel that is made of weapons given up by those who never want to commit crimes again or a group of ginormous figures that tell us how a new life is born. Sculptures have a whole lot of good stories to share if you’re willing to listen.

Come with Bright Side on a little journey around the globe to see 10 eloquent monuments and sculptures and learn the stories behind them.

1. Knife Angel by Alfie Bradley has persuaded hundreds of people to give up violence.

Alfie Bradley created this breathtaking 27-foot-high angel made of more than 100,000 knives. These weapons were surrendered to knife bins around the UK and were collected by the UK police, knife crime charities, action groups and other people who were affected by knife crimes in one way or another. The Knife Angel travels around the UK to educate people on how important the problem of knife crime is and how dangerous these weapons are. You can learn more about The Knife Angel, the process of its creation, and its current locations here.

2. The Passer-Through-Walls by Jean Marais illustrates the final scene from a famous French novel.

Le Passe-Muraille is a French novel by Marcel Aymé that tells the story of a modest office worker who one day discovers that he has a superpower — he can walk through walls! The hero uses his gift to the fullest to solve problems and becomes a burglar, gets into prison, and escapes until one day he loses his power right on his way through a wall and gets stuck in it. This monument is also quite interactive — the man’s hands are polished by thousands of people who try to help him get out of the wall.

3. Building Bridges by Lorenzo Quinn shares a recipe for a better world.

How do we make our world a better place to live in? Friendship, wisdom, help, faith, hope, and love — these are the ingredients to a better world and happier people according to Lorenzo Quinn, a famous Italian artist. These 6 virtues are embodied in the 6 pairs of hands that build a bridge together. This is one of the latest works by Quinn that was built for 2019’s Venice Art Biennale.

4. Corporate Head by Terry Allen tells us about the danger of being focused on profit at all costs.

The impressive life-sized bronze sculpture of a man who has buried his head in the building resides in Los Angeles, California in the US. The sculpture embodies a businessman who has devoted all his life to gaining profit for himself and the company he works for. He is separated from the office building only from his neck down, which means his thoughts have been completely absorbed by the establishment he works for.

The sculpture illustrates the modern pace of life where people have to carry an economic burden and spend their whole lives working in businesses, often missing out on things that are way more important than material wealth.

5. Sphere Within a Sphere by Arnaldo Pomodoro reminds us of how fragile our planet is.

This wonderful statue mesmerizes viewers with a complex structure of fractured spheres — the outer one and the inner one — and numerous intricate gears inside. The artist, Arnaldo Pomodoro, liked to study simple geometrical forms in his work and managed to hide deep meaning behind those simple forms. The Sphere Within a Sphere once again reminds us how everything in the universe is interconnected, how fragile our world is, and how easily it can be broken into pieces.

6. The Man Who Measures the Clouds by Jan Fabre speaks about the struggles of measuring the immeasurable.

This unique artwork with the gold leaf finishing touch is part of 2019’s Venice Art Biennale and it shows viewers a man rising to a height of 29.5 feet (9 meters) and trying to measure the clouds with a ruler. This sculpture can be interpreted as a person’s desperate attempt to make the impossible possible, as our never-ending striving to surpass ourselves as mankind, or as a nod to ancient philosophy that thought that human beings were the measure of all things.

7. Inertia and The Bankers by Jason Decaires Taylor tackle social issues and call for our responsibility.

The Bankers, Inertia and other marvelous underwater sculptures by Jason Decaires Taylor reveal the most acute problems of modern society, like being obsessed with material wealth and being exposed to mass media’s influence. But apart from that, these unbelievable works serve as homes for coral that are on the verge of extinction in many regions of our planet. By placing his masterpieces underwater in Mexico, the Bahamas, and other places, the artist tries to attract more attention to global climate changes and the things we can do to protect the earth.

8. Absorbed by Light by Gali Lucas and Karoline Hinz honestly tell us how obsessed we’ve become with gadgets and technology.

3 people sitting on a bench, absorbed by their smartphones so much so that they don’t even notice each other. What could illustrate our era better? The installation that was part of the Amsterdam Light Festival symbolizes how modern technology connects and disconnects us at the same time. When you walk at night next time, look around and you’ll see the same picture — dozens of people all around with their faces lit up by their mobile phones. We actually are absorbed by these lights, aren’t we?

9. Trains to Life — Trains to Death by Frank Meisler commemorates children whose lives were saved and taken during the Holocaust.

The impressive work by Frank Meisler is located in Berlin, Germany, and it has 2 parts — 5 figures of boys and girls in dark bronze on one side, and a boy and a girl made of light bronze on the other side. The kids in these 2 parts of the monument gaze into different directions and symbolize 2 different outcomes that awaited children during the Holocaust. The group of 5 figures commemorates the 1.6 million Jewish kids that were sent to concentration camps and were killed, while 2 other kids pay tribute to those 10,000 children that were saved and transported to England.

10. The Miraculous Journey by Damien Hirst shows the stages of a baby’s growth in the womb.

This amazing monument located outside the Sidra Medical and Research Centre in Doha, Qatar, consists of 14 large-scale bronze sculptures, each of them showing a stage of an embryo’s growth in the womb from conception to birth. Being extremely explicit and bold, The Miraculous Journey evoked controversial feelings in the eastern audience and was even covered from public view for some time.

Here’s what Damien Hirst, the creator of the monument said about the ideas he addressed in his work: “Ultimately, the journey a baby goes through before birth is bigger than anything it will experience in its human life. I hope the sculpture will instill in the viewer a sense of awe and wonder at this extraordinary human process, which will soon be occurring in the Sidra Medical Center, as well as every second all across the globe.”

Which of these monuments would you like to see with your own eyes? Can you share with us a picture of a sculpture or a monument that impressed you?

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