Malaysia Stops Jailing Addicts, Helps Them Recover Instead

lighter and joint

Addiction is tough and it can happen to anyone. In Malaysia they are changing their drug laws to reflect this reality by providing rehab for users instead of locking them up in prison. Malaysia has tried the now-classic and irrefutably irrational “war on drugs” approach and found that it didn’t actually solve anything. Hopefully this current change in law within the country inspires others in the region to rethink their approach to this vital health care issue.

Home minister Hamzah Zainudin said the change of approach towards drug abusers and addicts – from prison sentences to rehabilitation and treatment programmes – will happen this year and would remove the stigma they carry in society, which looked negatively at abusers and drug addicts.

“Besides that, it will also facilitate their reintegration into the community and give them a second chance,” he said in conjunction with the 38th National Anti-Drugs Day on the National Anti-Drugs Agency’s (NADA) Facebook Live session today.

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Alphabet Union Wants Alphabet to Behave

The workers behind the unionization efforts at Google are expanding to take on the whole Alphabet, the parent company of Google. They’ve formed Alpha Global to be a common voice for issues facing Google workers around the world and for people who are being negatively impacted by the actions of the Alphabet mega-corporation. If this union is like ones from a hundred years ago then all of us will benefit from the efforts to reign in the power and aspirations of a company that is practicing great overreach into all aspects of society.

“The problems at Alphabet — and created by Alphabet — are not limited to any one country, and must be addressed on a global level,” says UNI general secretary Christy Hoffman. “The movement launched by tech workers at Google and beyond is inspiring. They are using their collective muscle to not only transform their conditions of employment but also to address social issues caused by increasing concentration of corporate power.”

“The power of these global tech companies is such that they’re in every part of our lives,” says Fionnuala Ní Bhrógáin, an organizer with the Communications Workers’ Union in Ireland. “If they’re acting in this way nearly entirely unchecked by governments then there is no hold on what they can do. That power needs to be checked, and it’s only through collective action that workers are able to do that.”

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Tired of Google’s Control Over Your Life? Try These Instead

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I’ve been using Duck Duck Go instead of Google search for years and don’t regret it. There are less ads and the search results include more diverse sources – plus I don’t get trapped in Google’s filter bubble. Over at No More Google they have compiled a list of services you can use to get Google out of your life. Like reducing meat in your diet, reducing Google in your life doesn’t have to be absolute. Just do what you’re comfortable with, maybe that’s no longer using Chrome or maybe it’s switching away from Gmail.

Richard Stallman outlined many reasons you shouldn’t use Google, here’s a snippet:

Censorship

  • Amazon and Google have cut off domain-fronting, a feature used to enable people in tyrannical countries to reach communication systems that are banned there.
  • French blogger Claims YouTube Tried to Censor Juncker Interview.
  • Google has agreed to perform special censorship of Youtube for the government of Pakistan, deleting views that the state opposes.This will help the illiberal Pakistani state suppress dissent.
  • Youtube’s “content ID” automatically deletes posted videos in a way copyright law does not require.
  • YouTube has made private deals with the copyright industry to censor works that are fair use.More information.
  • Google shut off Alexa O’Brien’s Google Drive account, denying her access to it, because her reporting on Chelsea Manning’s trial included copies of al-Qa’ida propaganda that was presented as evidence.
  • Never trust a remote storage company to keep anything but a spare backup copy. When you store that, put your files into an archive and encrypt it so that the company can’t tell what’s in them — not even their file names.
  • Vox lawyers got Youtube to take down criticisms of a video published by Vox, and threaten the critics with punishment, too.
  • The videos were almost surely fair use, but Youtube decided against the critics anyway. This shows how Youtube’s general submission to the copyright industry constrict’s people’s rights.

Check out No More Google.

Wheelmap Helps People Find Accessible Locations

Navigating the world can be challenging for able-bodied people, those in wheelchairs have it even harder. It doesn’t have to be this way. New buildings have to meet certain accessibility requirements which means that visiting places will only get easier for everyone. There are still places that don’t have good accessibility and for that there’s Wheelmap.

Wheelmap is a community sourced map that shows what places are accessible and even goes into fine details with pictures of the place including the accessibility of interior facilities.

Wheelchairs, elevators and ramps allow people with mobility impairments to get around independently to a great extent. But frequently the last meters decide whether the trip to the cinema, beer garden or supermarket was worth the effort. Just one step at the entrance can be an insurmountable obstacle.

And this is where Wheelmap comes into play: Users provide information for other users on how accessible a location is. Thereby, the map contributes to an active and diversified lifestyle for wheelchair users. People with wheeled walkers or buggies benefit from this tool as well.

Furthermore, the aim of Wheelmap is to make owners of wheelchair-inaccessible public places aware of the problem. They should be encouraged to reflect on and improve the accessibility of their premises.

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This Doc on Bellingcat Inspires You to Act

Since 2014 an innovate research team has been looking into major news events in a way never done before, that team is known as Bellingcat. Bellingcat is comprised of volunteers (and a small paid staff) which use social media and other publicly available information to investigate in an organized and world-influencing way. A documentary about them, Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World, explores the organization from its founding to its recent popularity.

I watched a screener (provided by Topic) of it and it was quite inspiring! Here on this site we look at good news, and over at Bellingcat they look at bad events to make the world a better place. Given that Bellingcat is online, needs a lot of researchers, and explores digitally public data, you can help make the world better while you’re at home!

Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World explores the promise of open source investigation, taking viewers inside the exclusive world of the “citizen investigative journalist” collective known as Bellingcat. In cases ranging from the MH17 disaster to the poisoning of a Russian spy in the United Kingdom, the Bellingcat team’s quest for truth will shed light on the fight for journalistic integrity in the era of fake news and alternative facts.

Watch it on Topic.com

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