Freedom of the press is your freedom
If you’re wearing the “Free Evan” badge, you know that just about everyone you meet will notice and signal that they support his cause. They usually say that they want the pin for themselves, for their neighbors, colleagues and friends. Ambassadors, legislators, CEOs, shopkeepers and journalists have all asked to get their hands on them and join the campaign.
Ever since Russia arrested Evan Gershkovich on false charges of espionage, support for the release of a Wall Street Journal reporter has become a global fight for press freedom. The #IstandwithEvan hashtag has been shared countless times; news outlets in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden wrote to the Russian ambassadors condemning the arrest. US Senate leaders issued a bipartisan statement. President Biden spoke out, pledging to bring Evan home and insisting that journalism is not a crime.
Ugandan legislators pass new version of tough anti-gay law
Kampala, Uganda. Ugandan lawmakers on Tuesday passed a new version of an anti-gay bill that removes a clause that appears to criminalize identification as LGBTQ.
President Yoweri Museveni took the bill back to the national assembly last month, asking for changes that distinguish between LGBTQ identification and actual participation in homosexual acts.
Homosexuality is already banned in the East African country under a colonial-era law that criminalizes sexual acts “against the laws of nature.” The punishment for this crime is life imprisonment.
The new law provides for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” which is defined as cases of sexual relations involving people living with HIV, as well as minors and other categories of vulnerable persons.
According to the bill, a suspect convicted of “aggravated attempt on homosexuality” can be sentenced to 14 years in prison, and for “attempted homosexuality” – up to 10 years.
While the law will no longer criminalize those who identify as LGBTQ, jail terms of up to 20 years are proposed for those who defend or promote LGBTQ rights.
The bill, passed by lawmakers on Tuesday, will go back to Museveni, who can sign it or veto it. It was not immediately clear what other changes the legislators made to the bill at a lengthy plenary session in the capital Kampala.
Museveni is under pressure from the international community to veto the law.
The US has warned of economic consequences if the law is passed, and a UN panel of experts described the bill, previously passed by lawmakers, as “a flagrant violation of human rights.”
Gordon Lightfoot’s death has left fans, celebrities and critics on Twitter
A tribute to legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, who died on Monday at the age of 84.
“We have lost one of our greatest singer-songwriters,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted, adding:
“Gordon Lightfoot captured the spirit of our country in his music and helped shape the soundscape of Canada. May his music continue to inspire future generations and may his legacy live forever.”
Lightfoot’s music appealed to fans, and his songwriting and vocal skills were admired throughout the industry.
“I can’t think of a single Gordon Lightfoot song that I don’t like,” Bob Dylan once said. according to Los Angeles Times. “Every time I hear his song, I wish it would last forever.”
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Belinda Carlisle paid tribute to Lightfoot on Twitter, naming one of her favorite songs:
The 1970 track was a Top 10 hit on Lightfoot Billboard:
Writer Stephen King quoted the 1974 “Sunset” as a tribute to Lightfoot:
The track became Lightfoot’s biggest Billboard success, peaking at number one and spending four months on the charts:
He is also remembered for his 1976 hit “The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald” about the tragedy on Lake Superior the previous year when a freighter sank in a storm, killing all 29 people on board:
Celebrities, critics and other fans tweeted:
There are more germs on your phone than on a toilet seat. take it away
We carry them everywhere, we take them to bed, to the bathroom, and for many people they are the first thing they see in the morning – more than 90 percent of the world’s people have or use mobile phones, and many of us cannot cope with them. without one.
Health problems associated with phone use are usually related to the distraction they can cause while driving, the possible effects of RF exposure, or simply how addictive they can be. The risk of germs infecting your phone is much less estimated, but it is quite real.
A 2019 survey found that the majority of UK residents use their phones in the toilet. Therefore, it is not surprising that studies have shown that our mobile phones dirtier than toilet seats.
We give our phones to kids to play with (who are not well known for their hygiene). We also eat while using our phones and put them on all sorts of (dirty) surfaces. All of this can carry germs to your phone along with food deposits for those germs.
It is estimated that people touch their phone hundreds if not thousands of times a day. And while many of us wash our hands regularly, say after going to the toilet, cooking, cleaning, or gardening, we are much less likely to think about washing our hands after touching our phones. But given how disgusting and germ-infested phones can be, it might be time to think more about cell phone hygiene.
What germs are hiding in your phone?
Hands constantly collect bacteria and viruses and are considered a route of infection. It’s the same with the phones we touch. A number of studies done on the microbiological colonization of mobile phones show that they can be contaminated by many different types of potentially pathogenic bacteria.
These include diarrhea coli (which, by the way, comes from human excrement) and skin infection staphylococcus aureusand actinobacteriawhich can cause tuberculosis and diphtheria, Citrobacterwhich can lead to painful urinary tract infections and enterococcuswhich is known to cause meningitis. klebsiella, micrococcus, Proteus, pseudomonas another streptococcus have also been found on phones, all of which can have equally unpleasant effects on people.
Research has shown that many pathogens on phones are often resistant to antibiotics, meaning they cannot be treated with conventional medicines. This is a concern because these bacteria can cause skin, intestinal, and respiratory infections that can be life-threatening.
Research has also shown that even if you wipe down your phone with antibacterial wipes or alcohol, it can still be re-colonized with microorganisms, indicating that disinfection should be a regular process.
Phones contain plastic that can contain and transmit viruses, some of which (cold virus) can live on hard plastic surfaces for up to a week. Other viruses such as COVID-19, rotavirus (a highly contagious intestinal infection that usually affects infants and young children), influenza, and norovirus, which can cause serious respiratory and intestinal infections, can remain infectious for several days.
Indeed, since the start of the COVID pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put in place guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting mobile phones, which, along with doorknobs, ATMs, and elevator buttons, are considered reservoirs of infection.
In particular, concerns have been raised about the role that mobile phones can play in the spread of infectious germs in hospitals and health care facilities, as well as in schools.
So, it’s clear that you need to start cleaning your phone regularly. The FCC actually recommends disinfecting your phone and other devices daily — not least because we’re still in an active COVID-19 pandemic and the virus can linger for days on hard plastic surfaces.
How to clean your phone
Use alcohol-based wipes or sprays. They must contain at least 70 percent alcohol to disinfect phone cases and touch screens, and this should be done every day if possible.
Do not spray disinfectants directly on the phone, and do not allow liquids to get into the connection points or other openings of the phone. Never use bleach or abrasive cleaners. And wash your hands thoroughly after you finish cleaning.
Thinking about how you handle your phone will also help you avoid germs colonizing it. When you’re not at home, keep your phone in your pocket or bag and use a disposable paper to-do list instead of constantly checking your phone. Handle the phone with clean hands, washed with soap and water or disinfected with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
There are other things you can do to keep your phone from becoming a source of viruses. Do not share your phone with others if you have any infection or have not sanitized it. If children are allowed to play with your phone, disinfect it as soon as possible afterwards.
And get in the habit of putting your phone away when not in use and then sanitizing or washing your hands. You can also disinfect your phone charger from time to time while cleaning your phone.
Primrose Freestone is Senior Lecturer in Clinical Microbiology at the University of Leicester.