Disclosure: Warren Kindzierski is an adjunct professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta
Canadians woke up Tuesday morning to national and international media reports of a drinking water crisis uncovered by supposed intrepid reporters.
A Quebec fat activist is fighting for the rights of fat people everywhere, as she moves to have fat rights in the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Edith Bernier, a fat rights activist, has launched the petition in the National Assembly this Thursday to amend an article of the Charter “to add discrimination based on appearance,” specifically when it comes to people of weight, ie. fat people.
Bernier is the founder of grossophobie.ca, which translates to “fatphobia.” Her petition is sponsored by Manon Masse, leader of the Provincial Quebec Solidaire.
The petition details statistics from the World Health Organization, which finds that fatphobia, or “weight-based discrimination” contributes to social isolation.
“Fatphobia is defined as ‘all hostile attitudes and behaviours that stigmatize and discriminate against fat, overweight or obese people’ and that it is a socially accepted phenomenon,” the petition reads, adding that “this discrimination is largely based on the belief that body weight is the result of personal choices, despite the fact that science has demonstrated the contrary.”
The petition has 477 signatures so far, and climbing.
A study has revealed that the life expectancy in America is declining quickly after decades of progress. This decline largely derives from drug abuse, suicide, hypertension, particularly amongst men aged 25 to 64.
As a result of this, the U.S.A’s life expectancy has fallen dramatically behind other wealthy western countries. This is especially so with the 25 to 64 age bracket, whose decline is almost non-existent outside of America.
The study cited analyzed more than five decades of American medical data. This study revealed that America’s life expectancy grew between 1959 to 2014 and then began to decrease—coinciding almost exactly with the beginning of the opioid epidemic.
The Ohio Valley suffered most significantly, acting like a scar on the statistical map of the United States. This particular region has been devastated by the collapse of the manufacturing industry, and 33 percent of the “excess deaths” have come from these states.
A Tokyo-based company is offering its non-smoking workers an additional six days off per year to make up for the amount of time smokers took off during work hours for cigarette breaks.
Piala Inc., based in Japan, made the decision after non-employees complained that smokers were getting more time off a day than all of those who did not smoke.
“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion”, said Takao Asuka, the Piala Inc CEO, to Kyodo News.
With the new policy now in effect, 30 out of 120 employees elligble for the break have taken their extra days off, and have already motivated four smokers to give up the bad habit in exchange for vacation days, according to Kyoto News.
The Australian National Security Ministry has proposed the use of facial recognition technology to access pornography as a measure to prevent minors from accessing the adult content.
The Department of Home Affairs submitted the page-long proposal which gave details surrounding a proposed “Face Verification Service”.
Though the technology is still a work in progress, it intends to scan a pornography viewer’s face and match it with official government ID photos.
“This could assist in age verification, for example by preventing a minor from using their parent’s driver (licence) to circumvent age verification controls,” reads the proposal. The document also stated that the tech is “not fully operational” currently.
Australia isn’t the first country to take on the issue of overly accessible pornography. The United Kingdom, for example, recently ditched efforts to enforce age verification on porn sites after issues arose with legislating of foreign websites as well as privacy concerns.
The discussion around pornography has become more of a mainstream issue, as sixteen U.S. states have declared the content a “public health hazard.” This comes after years of research and growing mounds of evidence point out that pornography causes higher levels of depression and loneliness, reduced gray matter in the motivation part of the brain, and heighten the odds of viewers having misogynist views.
Australia already has a similar framework in place for “identity matching,” which does not include facial recognition. The technology has been used by various government agencies for over 10 years, and by private groups since 2014.
The proposed “Face Verification Service”, though, would only be implemented by private companies if the Identity-matching Services Bill passes, which is currently before Parliament.
“The use of driver (licence) images through the Face Verification Service is also subject to the agreement of the states and territories,” the ministry added in its submission.