Avaaz is Changing the World One Person at a Time

In the modern world, we are inundated with social issues every day. It can become overwhelming to figure out how to start a movement about any one of these issues. Avaaz has created a website that highlights various social issues around the world and connects people who are passionate about the issue. Avaaz was started in 2007. The name “Avaaz” was chosen because it is a Persian term for “voice”, and Avaaz is trying to give people a voice. Avaaz has the mission to organize citizens worldwide to try and achieve the world most of us want to live in.

Avaaz looks for issues all around the world which affect people. Issues they tackle include conflicts, climate change, government corruption and poverty issues. They believe that by bringing together thousands of people, they can affect a larger change in the world. They utilize volunteers around the world to fund media campaigns, get petitions signed, email, call, lobby governments, and organize events and protests.

There are many well-known movements which Avaaz has directly affected. For instance, they garnered support to keep net neutrality in the United States and Europe in 2012 when laws were going to be passed that would eliminate net neutrality. Avaaz mobilized people to push for the Paris Climate Accord. They also have led a movement to create marine reserves in an effort to preserve marine life. They helped people to convince the European Union to ban neonicotinoids, pesticides that are linked to the massive death of bees.

Since Avaaz is active in 193 nations and works in 17 languages, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what Avaaz has helped to achieve around the world. They have made an impact in Japan, the United States, Brazil, Greece, Somalia, Palestine and more. They will continue pursuing justice and a better environment around the world, making a better future for us all.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/avaaz

California’s Right To Die Law Overturned By Judge

In California, Judge Daniel A. Ottolia who serves at the Riverside County superior Court, ruled the state’s End Of Life Option Act was improperly passed making it invalid. The act, often referred to as the state’s right to die law, was signed into law back in 2015 by Governor Jerry Brown (D). In a court ruling, after listening to the plaintiff argue that the act violated the California Constitution due to the law being passed during a special session that was called only to handle matters involving health care funding, Judge Ottolia ruled the act was invalid and overturned it.

 

Legally, Attorney General for the state of California Xavier Becerra (D) has just five days to step forth and challenge Judge Ottolia’s decision, if he fails to do so, the ruling will go into effect. Becerra stated that he and his office strongly disagree with Judge Ottolia’s ruling and they are looking to have this matter reviewed at the Court of Appeals. Many believe that the Court of Appeals would likely overturn the ruling in place by Judge Ottolia.

 

An attorney for an advocacy group for dying with dignity, Compassion & Choices, stated that he and his group respectfully believe that the matter was misinterpreted via the application of the state constitution and that any medical aid used in death should and is often recognized as a form of health care options. Therefore it would have fallen under the category of health care and any funding associated with it. He also noted that many Californian’s support the right to die law.

 

On the other side, those who disagreed with the original act were thrilled with Judge Ottolia’s ruling. A spokesperson for an advocacy group who originally challenge the law when it was enacted, The Life Legal Defense Foundation, noted that Judge Ottolia’s ruling will now revive the critical legal protections that are necessary to help protect patients who are vulnerable. They believe that it has been made abundantly clear that assisted suicide has nothing to do with making healthcare more accessible and essentially, the special session was hijacked in order for them to further an agenda that was completely unrelated.

 

For now, it is a waiting game to see what higher courts decide. While it is clear that both sides have strong feelings, in this case, it will come down to how legally the original act was passed. For more information, head to Huffington Post.

More Tourists in Oregon Than Ever Before

Statistics show that there are more tourists in Oregon than ever before. Experts say that this trend is not going to go away.

A research firm called Tourism Economics collected data showing that the amount of foreign visitors in 2017 was 1.1 million. This amount was 11% higher than the the amount of foreign visitors in 2012. In 2017, it was found that $1.8 million in revenue was generated from the spending of international tourists—up 18% from 2012. Experts predict that through 2022, there will be a 23% increase in growth in the amount of visitors from foreign countries.

There are a number of reasons for why foreign tourism is increasing in Oregon. Oregon is very much known for its natural beauty, regional culture and work regarding breweries.

Oregon has seen a shift in demographics when it comes to foreign visitors. Historically, a large portion of foreign visitors have been from Canada. Canadians have been responsible for making up about half of international tourists, as well as providing a quarter of the revenue in Oregon that comes from foreign visitors.

In 2017, it was found that people from Asian countries such as South Korea, China and Japan had a noticeable presence when it came to tourism spending. They made up about a quarter of all foreign tourists and contributed to 43% of the revenue that came from foreign tourists.

One of the reasons for why there has been an uptick in the amount of people coming from Asia is the fact that there have been changes in policies regarding what kind of visas people can get. Prior to 2014, Chinese tourists could only receive travel visas that would allow them to stay for one year. After 2014, a 10-year visa was available.

Oregon isn’t usually people’s first choice when it comes to where to go. Places like California and Florida are more enthusiastically visited. However, Oregon is usually the second and/or third place that people decide to go to.

Experts are thinking about ways that they can further accommodate foreign tourists from Asia. Some are saying that signs in Chinese should be put up for tourists.

Man Designs Drone to Save Puppy’s Life

In this modern age of voice recognition, chatbots, and machine learning, a man from Lucknow, India has demonstrated yet another practical application for artificial intelligence—saving lives.

Milind Raj, 27, heard the cry of an animal last month during one of his usual morning walks. On closer inspection, he found a stray puppy trapped inside of a drain in the middle of a road. However, as Raj recounts to NDTV, the poor condition of the drain did not allow for safe access for a human to physically retrieve the puppy. Moreover, the puppy, which Raj later learned, had been stuck in the drain for two days. For any other passerby, any subsequent efforts to retrieve the puppy might have ended there.

But Raj’s retrieval efforts did not end there. Raj, who builds robots for a living in his lab, thought of a creative workaround to the problem. This workaround—a drone with an AI-controlled robotic arm and a heartbeat sensor—was used to successfully lift the puppy out of the drain six hours later.

According to Raj, the inclusion of a heartbeat sensor attached to the drone was designed to monitor the puppy’s heartbeat to ensure that the puppy wouldn’t suffocate from the robotic arm’s grip.

Thankfully, the puppy was unharmed in the incident. However, the puppy did vomit plastic packets that were thrown into the drain. The puppy was later adopted by Raj, which Raj later named “Lifted” in reference to the incident.

Raj’s rescue efforts not only showcase the ingenuity and selflessness of humanity in times of need, but it also opens the door for more AI to be used in similar applications for saving lives in the future. One thing for certain is that the prospect of AI is becoming increasingly more intermingled in our everyday lives.

Raj’s drone is not the only AI that Raj has created. In February, Raj introduced a trilingual robot with knowledge of Hindi, Sanskrit, and English at the Uttar Pradesh Investor’s Summit. The bot was presented before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the summit.

Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” Is Getting The Ariana Grande Remix Treatment

When pop superstar Ariana Grande made a recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, her fans were thrilled to learn that she would be the guest for the episode’s entirety. She has a new album on the way (entitled Sweetener) and while this news would be exciting enough by itself, she had another surprise in store for viewers.

Musical Genre Challenge is one of the most popular segments of the show and it allows fans to learn more about the improvisation skills of some of their favorite celebrities. Ariana was given the chance to turn a smash hit single from Kendrick Lamar into an anthem more suited for the goth rock and the results are incredible.

“Humble” was produced by Mike Will Made-It and turning this rap smash into a goth rock anthem was no easy feat. Taking a braggadocios anthem like this one and transforming it into something that could slot in easily on a Paramore album is quite the challenge.

Luckily for us, Grande was more than up for the task. The Roots crew was on hand to assist her and judging from the results, this was a match made in heaven. In order to transform the song, the band added a few different musical layers. Crashing drums and aggressive guitars turned the song from a rap boasting session to a more contemplative piece.

She would not stop there, though. Drake’s latest chart topper, God’s Plan, was turned into a jam that is better suited for a ’90s R&B playlist. Those who remember the rise of Christina Aguilera were given flashbacks to her heyday and she provided the song with a well received dose of nostalgia.

This performance shows that there a number of rappers who would do well to give Ariana Grande a call so that she can provide them with an awesome hook for their next album. As her past collaborations with Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne have demonstrated, this is one pop star who knows how to provide fans with the proper dosage of hip-hop flavor. Her performances on this show definitely have her fans wanting more.

Gates Foundation to Tackle Domestic Poverty with $158 Million Pledge

The fight against poverty in America is about to get a big boost thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann announced on Thursday that the philanthropic institution is pledging $158 million to combat poverty on the domestic level. Thursday’s press conference took place in a low-income neighborhood in Washington, D.C., highlighting the need to continue to tackle this growing problem.

As the country’s richest philanthropic organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has traditionally focused its work on addressing disease and poverty conditions around the world. This shift to a domestic initiative marks the foundation’s first significant investment in fighting destitution in the United States. Desmond-Hellmann said the initiative will invest in programs to share data to get to the root of the issue of poverty and lack of upward mobility in an effort to make the American Dream more accessible to those people previously shut out.

In addition to examining the key contributing factors of poverty, the initiative will also work to improve the complicated system of social services. Desmond-Hellman said that this investment will not be a cure-all across the board and that specific community needs will need to be addressed separately. The initiative was spurred by continuous questions directed toward the Gates family about why their focus has traditionally been on global issues, rather than problems on the domestic front.

The foundation is most known for its heavy investment in providing vaccines and medical attention to fight widespread global diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria. The organization invests more than $4 billion of its total $40 billion in endowments fighting these diseases. In contrast, the foundation spends an average of only $500 million annually on the homefront. The majority of this domestic spending is geared toward educational initiatives.

Ironically, it was the involvement in educational reform that spurred the interest of working on poverty issues. The lessons gleaned from attempting to improve education made it more apparent that the root of many these issues in the classroom stemmed from the bigger problem of poverty and homelessness.

Raphael Saadiq Is Getting Ready To Launch A Headlining Tour

Raphael Saadiq is one of the most legendary soul singers of modern times and he is an Oakland mainstay. While he has not released a solo album in several years and no date for a new project has been announced, Saadiq is clearly preparing to release new music….much to the delight of his longtime fans.

The tour will be kicking on July 20th. Seven dates are scheduled and the tour is slated to begin in Minneapolis. From there, he is going to be making his way to New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit. Washington D.C. will be the final stop.

Tickets are going to be placed on sale on May 4th. Fans now anxiously await further information about his long gestating solo project. No title or release date has been provided at the current time. Seven years have passed since the release of Stone Rollin’ and Saadiq has passed the time in a number of ways.

He has remained active in the world of music by collaborating with a wide range of artists, including Rick Ross and Little Dragon. Ross chose to lead off his last album with the sound of Saadiq’s distinctive voice and “Apple Of My Eye” was one of the most widely circulated tracks off his well received Rather You Than Me album.

Chromeo has already tapped Saadiq for an appearance on his upcoming album and even Justin Timberlake solicited his contributions for his highly anticipated Man of the Woods. Solange Knowles made him an executive producer on her critically acclaimed album, A Seat at the Table.

Raphael Saadiq is not content to ply his trade in the world of music, though. He has taken his talents to the world of television and music as well. He received Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for the original song that he contributed to the Carey Mulligan/Mary J. Blige film Mudbound.

“Mighty River” was written in tandem with Blige herself and Taura Stinson. In addition to his work in film, he has also worked with HBO and Netflix to compose music for Insecure and the original film Step Sisters, respectively.

Gas Prices Highest In Oregon Since 2014

On May 1st, 2018, the price of oil in Oregon was the highest that is has been since 2014. The price increased to $3.20 per gallon, which was 40 cents more than the national average. It went up 11 cents from the average that was counted in April.

The organization that usually keeps track of these statistics is the AAA of Oregon/Idaho. Its public affairs director, Marie Dodds, estimated that the price of a gallon of gas in Oregon would go up 5 to 15 cents through Memorial Day.

The summer driving season usually starts on Memorial Day. From then on out, the price of gas will most likely stabilize. However, it is very possible that the price of gas could spike once more, due to various current events in the world, as well as demand. It is actually quite normal for oil prices to climb up just before Memorial Day.

Prices of gas go up for a variety of reasons. One reason is because of the fact that gas stations usually sell more expensive gas that is mixed a certain way so that it does not evaporate as much in the summertime. Federal laws state that gas stations must change over to this by July 1st.

Gas prices generally tend to be higher on the West Coast. Out of the ten states with the highest gas prices, 6 are along the West Coast. The entire naion has seen more demand for gas, which has contributed to higher prices.

Another reason for why gas prices are increasing is the fact that certain speculations are made about what President Donald Trump’s administration will do when it comes Iran. The assumption that he will take a hardline stance and set sanctions on Iran has made oil prices go up.

This month, California had the most expensive gas. Second to California was Hawaii. For the third week in a row, the state of Oregon has been in 6th place when it comes having the most expensive gas in the United States.

Pence Expresses Support For Joe Arpaio

Bigot Mike Pence was in Tempe, Arizona today where he was quick to endorse racist ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio. While at the event, he was quick to sing the praises of Arpaio, lying about how he’s a champion of the people who will fight for stronger borders. Arpaio was notorious for being a racist who got convicted of criminal contempt a couple years ago for defying a 2011 order which forbade him and his staff for targeting people based solely on their immigration status. He is every bit as xenophobic and bigoted as Mike Pence. Now, this bigot is running for a senate seat in Arizona and Republicans are doing everything they can to try and get him elected.
As Sheriff, he and his officers were notorious for stopping Latino drivers far more often than any other race. He was even known for frequently referring to them as Mexican bitches. And It’s not just on the road. He also frequently tried to persecute and harass prisoners at the county jail, forcing them to perform humiliating stunts and frequently referring to the prisons as concentrations camps. So you can see why this bigoted criminal has no business being anywhere near the United States Senate. Fortunately, after the event, many people were quick to take to Twitter and mock Pence for his endorsement of an obviously unstable criminal. One person mentioned how Arpaio is basically the opposite of everything our country stands for.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Mike Pence has been so blatantly obvious about his racism. Another person made mention of how embarrassing it was to see his proud endorsement of an obviously sick individual. One man pointed out how Arpaio has been accused of some of the worst crimes imaginable including police misconduct, abuse of power, failure to investigate sex crimes and unlawful enforcement of immigration laws. Needless to say, these individuals who denounced Pence’s comments are people of integrity and we are proud of them for speaking out against these bigots. The primaries for this Senate seat will be held August 28 and it is imperative that Arpaio does not win the nomination.

Bruno Fagali Changing The Perception Of The Brazilian Law

     As far as we can recall, the influence of fake news on the electoral process has always been in the limelight and it experienced a major influx during Trump’s election. Fortunately, according to Bruno Fagali, the scenario might take a different turn in Brazil’s election because the TSE is now taking steps to curb its effects. The article which was posted in Fagali’s press further added that the TSE is now in the process of coordinating a team of experts who will look into the matter and come up with tools and solutions which will help combat the impact of fake news on our electoral process.

Nevertheless, the team is faced with an even bigger threat of deepfakes. These are videos that can be manipulated by adding the face of someone who was not a part of hence tarnishing their name. What’s even worse is that deepfakes also dubbed fake apps are easy to use, effortlessly accessible and one cannot really tell that it is a fake video. Ever since their inception, these videos have been used to tarnish the name of numerous politicians, celebrities, and other prominent people by linking them to pornography sites.

About Bruno Fagali

The Brazilian law and justice system is packed with a bunch of corrupt and unjust judges and attorneys who will go to any lengths just to fulfill their interests. However, there are a few who stand out for doing what is always right even if it means sacrificing their own material wealth and topping this list is Bruno Fagali.

Ever since he was young, Bruno has always had the passion to do what is right and he has really helped change the perception of the Brazilian law system in a significant way. His passion for law and to becoming one of the best lawyers in the country began a long time ago when he first attended the Institute of administrative law Paulista. He later furthered his studies at the Pontifical Catholic University where he intimately encountered law and emerged with an MD in administrative law. His area of specialization enabled him to focus on what he always wanted and that is, help shape the lives of others by championing for their rights and freedoms while at the same time help shape the system by being vocal about corruption.

Fagali’s determination to become one of the best attorneys in Brazil led him to Tojal where he practiced as an intern before moving on to various high profile firms such as Radi, Calil, and Associados. However, it did not take long before he got his big breakthrough when he established the Fagali advocacy. It is through this firm that the renowned attorney has helped change the lives of many people by ensuring that justice is served in equality to all regardless of their social status. Besides helping others, Bruno Fagali has made a name for himself in the Brazilian scope of law thanks to always being on the frontline of the war against corruption. He fights it at every opportunity that comes his way and even writes about it in Fagali press.

Fortunately, his efforts have not gone unrecognized as he has bagged numerous prestigious awards and was also appointed as the manager of communication of public interest alias CIP among many others in which he inputs his proficiency to making not only Brazil but also the world a better place. So much can be said about this man but one thing is certain, he is truly a force to reckon in this sector and one that will definitely change the way the world views Brazil.