Kenya’s High Court ruled Thursday that a recent amendment requiring citizens to register for a national biometric digital identification system overreached on some counts, such as allowing for links to DNA or GPS records, and failed to guarantee sufficient inclusion of Kenyan residents.
The ID system, called the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), was a homegrown answer to India’s pioneering Aadhaar system, which two years ago faced its own Indian Supreme Court ruling that upheld some components while modifying others.
More than half of African countries are developing some form of biometric or digital national ID in response to major international calls to establish legal identification for the almost 1 billion people who now lack it. But this ID boom, also taking place outside Africa, often gets ahead of data protection laws, as occurred in Kenya.
Continue reading Countries Debate Openness of Future National IDs
Ian Mount and Lucas Laursen in Madrid and Ben Hall in London
The governing Socialist party (PSOE) has won Spain’s general election, taking 123 seats and giving prime minister Pedro Sánchez options to assemble a majority potentially without the support of Catalan separatists. The Socialists won 29 per cent of the vote and gained 37 seats on the previous election in 2016 in a decisive victory over a weakened rightwing opposition which split into three with the breakthrough of the ultranationalist Vox, which took 24 seats.
Read the rest of this news story in the Financial Times: [html].
Why an environmental chemist in Holland is betting that both farming and hospitals might be improved with the use of a fancy form of water.
Something funny happens to water when you spray it through an electrical field: The water can now fight microbes. (Or something in the water can.) Plasma-activated water (PAW) is a fascinating substance that scientists around the world are looking at, in a fast-developing field that’s testing a broad range of uses. Dutch environmental chemist Paul Leenders (TEDxArnhem talk: Plasma-activated water: Nature’s answer to chemical pesticides) hopes to harness PAW to fight microbes in hospitals and on farms. Here’s how it works.
Continue reading The strange properties of water zapped by lightning
I went to Iceland in April to report on volcano monitoring during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption for Science Magazine.
That story, which appeared 23 April 2010, is here.
A pair of photos from my field trips appeared in my aunt’s Long Island newspapers (L&M Publications) the week of 26 April. See them here.
A first-person essay on the visit appeared in Global Talent, a Catalan science website, on 4 May, here.
Another feature, including two of my photographs, appeared in the Financial Times Weekend Magazine on 22 May, here.
A news item appeared in Discover Magazine in the September issue, here.