environment
A War Is On to Destroy the Fall Armyworm in Africa

A coalition of officials met in Zimbabwe this month to discuss a little pest that has become a big problem. The fall armyworm has spread through Africa over the course of the last year and it has had devastating effects on crops. Experts fear that globalisation and climate change are setting the caterpillar up to spread into Europe as well. Read More >>

politics
Wonder Woman Is No Longer a U.N. Ambassador

After declaring DC superhero Wonder Woman an honorary ambassador, the United Nations has decided to revoke the fictional character’s title. Her selection in October had been met with some controversy, both inside and out of the U.N., but it’s hard to see this as anything other than a shame. Read More >>

hurricane matthew
Hurricane Matthew Death Toll Climbs to 842 In Haiti

Hurricane Matthew ravaged Haiti on Tuesday, completely decimating the southeastern region of the country and killing 842 people, according to local authorities. Information has been slow to make its way to the rest of the world, because areas hit hardest by the hurricane were remote coastal villages, completely disconnected from the rest of the country when the hurricane hit landfall. Read More >>

space
The United Nations Will Send its First Mission to Space in 2021

The United Nations has announced a date for its first ever mission to space — and it’s pretty soon. Read More >>

internet
Internet Access is Now a Basic Human Right

People may joke that others spend too much time on the internet, but this intricate series of tubes has become an important part of everyday life—so much so that it’s become a human rights violation to take it away. Read More >>

environment
Peru Straps GoPros to Hungry Vultures to Sniff Out Its Rubbish Problem

Vultures make me think of that dopey guy from Loony Tunes or crooked-bill predators circling a poor desert rat on the brink of death. But in Peru, the carcass-eating birds will soon be outfitted with cameras so they can help map Lima’s awful rubbish problem. Read More >>

food
In Nigeria, Solar-Powered Fridges at Outdoor Markets Save Food From Spoiling

In developing countries, an unbelievable 45 per cent of food goes bad because of a lack of cold storage. It’s an especially big problem during transportation from farms to outdoor markets, where food sits in the scorching sun for hours on end. But one startup has a solution: solar-powered refrigeration stations that could save the livelihoods of half a billion farmers worldwide. Read More >>

uncategorized
The Data-Collecting Company That Wants to Give Earth a “Nervous System”

Data. It’s a powerful tool that helps us battle climate change or keep companies sustainable. But there’s so much data, and it’s hard to corral, index, and understand. But one company wants to give Earth a “planetary nervous system” to help out companies and policy makers make faster, more informed decisions that’ll be beneficial for the blue marble we call home. Read More >>

science
These Hero Rats Are Trained to Sniff Out Land Mines and Tuberculosis  

An international NGO trains rodents to find buried bombs and a deadly respiratory disease. Meanwhile, I’ve taught my dog how to carry three tennis balls in his mouth at once. Read More >>

gaming
How the UN Screwed Up its Cyberviolence Report 

Billed as a “world-wide wakeup call”, the UN’s “Cyber Violence Against Women and Girls” report was quickly pulled down, after criticism about its sourcing and conclusions. It does the impossible: Gamergaters and Zoe Quinn think it sucks. What went wrong? The problem started with bad sourcing. Read More >>

uncategorized
The UN Is Throwing Its Weight Behind 14 Tech Startups Taking On Humanity’s Big Issues

When you think of the United Nations, you probably don’t think of emerging tech like drones or floating fabrication labs. But those are exactly what the staid international organisation, which turned 70 this year, wants to use to address issues humans face across the globe. Read More >>

military
The UN Will Debate Whether to Ban Killer Robots

Whether or not to pre-emptively ban killer robots will be a point of debate at a United Nations meeting next week. And yes, “killer robots” sounds like a sci-fi cliché, but this is the reality of the future of warfare, and this debate is unlikely to do much other than highlight how sinister military tech may become. Read More >>

environment
UN: Ships Need to Shut Up So Whales and Dolphins Can Hear

The noises made by the gargantuan boats that move our stuff from one continent to another are ruining marine life. So this week, new regulations have been issued by the International Maritime Organization, the sea-faring agency of the United Nations, asking shipping companies to turn down the volume. Read More >>

drones
Even the UN is Using Drones to Spy on People Now

The United Nations now has its own drone program. Its first unmanned aircraft took off earlier this week in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Joining some 87 countries with the capability, the organisation says it's just keeping up with the world's technological advances. Read More >>