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Swedish Court grants Julian Assange appeal over rape allegation

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Supreme Court of Sweden on Tuesday granted WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, the right to appeal against an arrest warrant for an alleged rape case.

Without designating any date, the court wrote, “The Supreme Court grants leave to appeal in the matter regarding the arrest.”

An arrest warrant was issued for Assange by Sweden in 2010 after two women threw up allegations on WikiLeaks founder. One alleged Assange for rape and another one charged him with sexual assault.

Since June 2012, Assange has been living inside Ecuador’s embassy in London to avoid banishment.

In November 2014, Assange’s previous appeal was rejected by Sweden’s appeal court. However, the Supreme Court has offered him a great relief by agreeing to listen to his appeal.

The 43-year-old Australian has always denied the allegation by those women and said that the sexual confrontations were consensual. He also claims that those women are part of a ploy to transfer him to the US due to Wikileaks’ publication of thousands of classified US documents.

However, Assange has not been booked with any crime in the United States.

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Women Living in Countries with Gender Equality have better Cognitive Test Scores: Study

A research on how gender equality affects women's cognitive functioning?

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Countries with gender equality have women with better cognitive functioning
Countries with gender equality have women with better cognitive functioning. Pixabay
  • The findings indicate women’s cognitive functioning past middle age can get affected with the degree of gender equality in the country in which they are living
  • This research is a first attempt to shed light on important, but understudied, adverse consequences of gender inequality on women’s health in later life
  • Sweden came out as a country with the highest female advantage in cognitive performance and Ghana as the country with the highest male advantage

Washington D.C. (USA), August 2, 2017: The results of one of its kind study highlighted the ill effects of gender inequality on women’s health in later life.

The findings indicate women’s cognitive functioning (cerebral activities that lead to knowledge, including all means and mechanisms of acquiring information like reasoning, memory, attention, and language that can lead directly to the attainment of information and, thus, knowledge) past middle age can get affected with the degree of gender equality in the country in which they are living.

According to the ANI Report, researcher, and lead author on the study, Eric Bonsang, explains,  “This research is a first attempt to shed light on important, but understudied, adverse consequences of gender inequality on women’s health in later life.” He holds a Ph.D., of University Paris-Dauphine and Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Bonsang said that it shows that women living in countries with gender equality have better cognitive test scores later in life when compared to women living in gender-unequal societies. Moreover, in countries that became more sensitive to gender equality over time, women’s cognitive performance improved relative to male counterparts.

ALSO READ: Gender Equality Charter Soon to be Launched in India


The researchers analyzed the cognitive performance data of participants aged between 50 and 93, drawn from multiple nationally representative surveys such as the US Health and Retirement Study, Europe’s Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement, the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, and the World Health Organization Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health. When all the above-mentioned surveys were taken together, they provided data for a total of 27 countries.

Bonsang and his colleagues Vegard Skirbekk of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health and Norwegian Institute of Public Health, and Ursula Staudinger, director of the Columbia Aging Center noted that the difference in men’s and women’s scores on cognitive tests had wide variation across countries.

In Northern European countries, women tend to perform better than men on memory tests, while it’s the opposite case with several Southern European countries. “This observation triggered our curiosity to try to understand what could cause such variations across countries,” said Ursula Staudinger, Ph.D., who is also Robert N. Butler Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health.

Also Read: Gender Equality: When will women be treated on par with men?

 

Though economic and socioeconomic factors are likely to play a crucial role, Bonsang, Skirbekk, and Staudinger also studied about sociocultural factors such as attitudes about gender roles and if that might also contribute to the variation seen in gender differences in cognitive performance around the world.

The hypothesis was that the women who live in a society with Orthodox attitudes about gender roles would likely to be having lesser access to opportunities for education and employment and would, thus, show lower cognitive performance later in life compared with men of the same age.

All of the surveys included an episodic memory task to measure cognitive performance. Participants were asked to respond to a list of 10 words and were asked to recall as many words as they could immediately; in some surveys, participants were asked to recall the words after a delay also. In addition, some surveys included a task given in order to assess executive function in which participants were asked to name as many animals as they could within one minute.

To examine gender-role attitudes, the researchers focused on participants’ self-reported agreement with the statement- “When jobs are scarce, men should have more right to a job than women.”

Overall, the data showed considerable variation in gender differences and resulting cognitive performance based on it, across different countries. In some countries, women outperformed men; Sweden came out as a country with the highest female advantage in cognitive performance. But in other countries, men outperformed women; In Ghana, the male advantage was the highest.

The researchers hypothesized was proven true that women in countries with less traditional attitudes were likely to have better cognitive performance later in life compared to women in more traditional countries.

Bonsang and his colleagues also noted a good point that changes in gender-role attitudes within a country over time were associated with changes in women’s cognitive performance relative to men.

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“Although the data have a correlation, several more detailed examination point towards a causal relationship. The analysis also suggests that gender-role attitudes may play a notable role in important outcomes for women across different countries,” according to the researchers.

Bonsang said, “These findings strengthened the need for policies aiming at reducing gender inequalities as we show that consequences go beyond the labor market and income inequalities.” He also said that it also shows how important it is to take in notice that seemingly intangible influences, such as cultural attitudes and values, when trying to understand cognitive aging.”

The finding of the above research is published online in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

– prepared by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08


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US National Security Agency (NSA) spying on Pakistan’s mobile networks: WikiLeaks

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FILE - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange participates via video link in a news conference marking the 10th anniversary of the anti-secrecy group in Berlin, Germany, Oct. 4, 2016. VOA

Islamabad, April 11, 2017: The US National Security Agency (NSA) has been spying on Pakistan’s mobile networks, whistleblowing organisation WikiLeaks has tweeted.

“Hundreds of NSA cyber weapons variants publicly released including code showing hacking of Pakistan mobile system,” @wikileaks tweeted.

According to a report in Express Tribune on Monday, the hacker group “Shadow Brokers” released a new cache of information detailing how the NSA accessed private and public networks in other countries.

A researcher on Twitter who identifies himself as ‘x0rz’ decrypted the files and uploaded them on Github, a web-based repository and internet hosting service.

“The researcher confirmed that the archives include evidence of NSA operators’ access inside the GSM network of Mobilink — one of the Pakistan’s most popular mobile services provider,” the report noted.

The hacker group had previously released data suggesting the US agency may have been monitoring hundreds of IP addresses in Pakistan. The encrypted files were being decrypted by security researchers around the world.

“Shadow Brokers” had initially wanted to auction its data cache in exchange for Bitcoin but as no buyer turned up, they released the data online.

This is not the first time that reports have surfaced claiming that the US NSA is snooping on other countries.

According to a Daily Mail report in 2014, WikiLeaks disclosed documents that suggested the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was among six political parties from around the world the NSA was authorised to conduct surveillance on for gathering foreign intelligence. The authorisation was given by a secret American court, it said.

The leak was planned months ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US, the report claimed.

Another report in the Washington Post that also came in 2014 said the US has long had broad no-spying arrangements with four countries — Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — in a group known collectively as the “Five Eyes”.

“But a classified 2010 legal certification — approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and included among a set of documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — lists 193 countries [including India], that would be of valid interest for US intelligence,” the Post said. (IANS)

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WikiLeaks’ latest disclosure of CIA cyber-tools can Blow Cover on Hacking Operations

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FILE - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London, Britain, Feb. 5, 2016. VOA

April 1, 2017: WikiLeaks latest disclosure of CIA cyber-tools reveals a technique used by the agency to hide its digital tracks, potentially blowing the cover on hacking operations aimed at gathering intelligence on foreign targets, the media reported.

The release on Friday of the Central Intelligence Agency’s “Marble Framework” comes less than a month after the WikiLeaks disclosed a trove of files — dubbed “Vault 7” — that described the type of malware and methods the CIA uses to gain access to targets’ phones, computers and other electronic devices, The Washington Post reported.

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The material includes the secret source code of an “obfuscation” technique used by the CIA so its malware can evade detection by anti-virus systems.

The technique is used by all professional hackers, whether they work for the National Security Agency, Moscow’s FSB security agency or the Chinese military.

Since the code contains a specific algorithm — a digital fingerprint of sorts — it can now be used to identify CIA hacking operations that had previously been detected but not attributed, The Washington Post said.

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In response, CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said late Friday: “Dictators and terrorists have no better friend in the world than Julian Assange, as theirs is the only privacy he protects.”

It said “the American public should be deeply troubled by any WikiLeaks disclosure designed to damage the intelligence community’s ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries,” The Washington Post quoted Boid as saying.

“Such disclosures not only jeopardise US personnel and operations but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm,” he added. (IANS)