THE LAB’ REPORT ISSUE 1
Science & Religion: The BIG Break-Up
THE HUGE GMO SCANDAL
THIS GENERATION’S BIG BROTHER THE NSA ?
OF THE MOST IMPRESSIVE SCIENTIFIC INNOVATIONS OF THIS PAST MONTH Klára Chvostová The Award-Winner of the Teambuilding
üsi badi our opinion on the swiss reality show
THE WALK OF FREEDOM ? 10
editorial Happy. If ever you feel down during the session, due to a lack of sleep or any other matter, there are many things you can do in order to cheer yourself up! First of all, I would strongly recommend listening t lot to the song called “Happy” by the French artist C2C. If that doesn’t work (which would actually surprise me), science has proved that HUGGING releases endorphins that generate trust and happiness, so feel free to hug one of your fellow delegates. On a totally unrelated matter, I wish a pleasant committee work to each one of you, and please, be brilliant in your way, I know you can.
This issue was brought to you by: Onur Can Uçarer (TR) Veronika Datzer (DE) Tuusa Eriksson (FI) R. Tamer Ozgen (TR) Peter Pölzleithner (AT) Manon Schürch (CH) Raphael Bek (AT) Olivier Rostang (SE/FR) 2
contents Üsi Badi
The Truth Behind Coffee
This Month In Science
The EU’s GMO Paradox
Religion & Science
The EU’s Outlines
The Path To Equality
Privacy vs. Protection
A New Era Of Travels
For The Good Of People ?
„Üsi Badi“- It’s not about a stigma but about creating normality Manon Schürch
si Badi (our swimming pool); it was not just a boring documentary/reality TV show, that was launched in Switzerland in 2011. This project integrated people with mental disabilities in a lively working environment. Six mentally handicapped people were given the chance to work in a public swimming area, guided by two caretakers who made sure the people didn’t overwork themselves. These six people had diverse characters, which made them particularly interesting to cooperate with. During a period of six weeks these people worked together side by side with the usual staff of the swimming facility. The TV audience got to be part of their dreams, friends and fears. They experience the dynamic interaction when mentally disabled people form close bonds with non-disabled people. It’s important to notice that Üsi Badi introduces a different world to us which we don’t usually get involved with too often, even though we rub shoulders with these people almost every day. How do non-handicapped people interact with these people, what are their characteristics, strengths, talents and weaknesses? This documentary is not about creating a stigma but about creating normality. These people do not act any different
from “regular” ones, what emerges is the same attitude and approaches to different everyday situations. They laugh; they cry, nag about stuff, get excited, form friendships and have arguments. All these traits are no different from non-handicapped people. This extraordinary series has with close attention on these six people been able to create some sorts of a reality television show without mocking the participants in any way possible. They have been put into the center of attention but in a way where one doesn’t lose any respect for them. Although they’ve been challenged in various situations, for example by selling ice cream and being able to figure out the change money to give to the customers or figuring out how to make French fries in the restaurant, they are never shown in a ridiculous way. Dealing with such a delicate issue on television was first criticized by many but as the show went on, these voices coming not only from the general public in Switzerland but also from Austria and Germany went silent. The location where this series was filmed has been ideal to work and live in; the swimming facility with a camping site right next to it has successfully been able to consider the special
needs and urges of the participants without giving them the feeling that they are being treated differently than others. Mentally challenged people are still today treated as a marginal segment of society. That’s why the demand for integration on the labor market is not really considered to be a sincere problem by many since it only affects an outsider group. On a labor market that finds itself in constant change and alteration the integration into the world of work proves itself as a real challenge even for non-handicapped people. But how much more difficult is this for someone who is considered to be limited in his or her capacity? To have an occupation on the labor market such as in this example in the swimming facility was for these handicapped people, a chance to gain entrance into the general public, to prove their willingness to achieve something meaningful from which people can benefit and also to reach a level of self-independence. The working life is a good tool to get the respect and appreciation as a true member of society. It seems that not only the economical fact plays a big part, but of even greater importance is that these six people gained the status of a full working member of society.
The Truth Behind Coffee Peter Pölzleithner
is more than just a hot beverage. Coffee is an essential part of just about every EYP related event, commonly referred to as an EYPer´s bread&butter and it might be a safe bet to assume that you are sipping from a cup of one right now. As far as I am concerned: Guilty as charged. Due to its incredibly high level of appreciation throughout the European Youth Parliament, the Lab’ Report has conducted a purely scientific study on this wonderful hot drink. So get ready for the good, the bad and the ugly about this remarkable beverage. First and foremost, let me start off with some of the many ways your physical health can profit from drinking coffee on a fairly regular basis. A reasonable consumption of the beloved hot drink has proven to strongly reduce the risk of suffering from a variety cardiovascular and cognitive diseases, including pretty serious conditions like Alzheimer´s and Parkinson. Plus studies have showed that it keep your brain´s capabilities sharp and at full capacity even when the aging factor sets in. The definition of reasonable might be a bit arguable given the circumstances we are in right now, however there is a high probability you are on the safe side as far as these issues are concerned.
owever it is certainly not my intention to sugarcoat things. As a matter of fact there are quite some negative effects connected with coffee consumption, in particular when things get out of hands and become excessive. The researches conducted have shown that there might be a case of strong insomnia, increased sleep latency and in some unfortunate/ extreme cases there might even be a considerably high rise of blood pressure. Admittedly, the benefits associated with drinking coffee definitely outweigh, their negative counterparts. But there is one important aspect to consider which is moderation, a factor you should apply to just about every aspect of your daily life including coffee, at least to a certain extent. Nevertheless I find it highly fascinating how much your health can actually profit from drinking a cup of coffee every once in a while. Thus I can only highly recommend you to have yourself another cup of this remarkable little wonder compromised into a cup of hot liquid, because as a matter of fact that is exactly what I am going to do right now.
econdly, research has proven that consuming coffee helps to speed up your body´s metabolism and promotes antioxidant activity within your system. To put it into slightly simpler terms, coffee can help you to lose weight and strengthens your immune system especially towards seasonal diseases. Getting all this from a beverage as simple as cup of coffee, sounds like a pretty good deal to me. But obviously there is still more to it. Of course there are still the benefits each and every one of us already is familiar with, as our favorite beverage has shown to successfully raise levels of attention and alertness, while strongly lowering fatigue. However I have a feeling inside of me, that you have already encountered these beneficial side effects and you probably do not need a scientist to inform you about.
#occupygezi R.Tamer Ozgen
hat started as a protest against the demolition of trees in order to rebuild an old Ottoman style barrack in the last green area of Istanbul’s centre, turned into demonstrations in the whole country against the anti-human rights actions of the Turkish government. This biggest uprising of the Turkish people in the last decade, later served as model for Brazilians to demonstrate against the meaningless rise in the public transport fees and for Egyptians to protest and overthrown the country’s first democratically selected leader in centuries. Yet the question continues to pop-up from everywhere: What did the people want and what did they get?
cially after becoming the ruling party for the 3rd time in a row by taking nearly the 50 per cent of votes, people started to believe the principles of AKP became less reprehensive for the minorities even though the promising actions in social services. The limit on the sale and consumption of alcohol was seen as a massive intervention to the people’s private life which was also one of the last and biggest occasions that triggered the Istanbul riots. The Prime Minister, Mr Erdogan’s non-compromising, as a matter of fact threatening attitude, caused the protests to spread to the whole country and in total more than 20 million people demonstrated, exposed to tear gas and water cannoned in all corners of the country. In conclusion, with a court decision, the plan to rebuild the old Ottoman Barrack got laid by.
The Gezi Park protests was the biggest anti-government action by the Turkish people since 2002, when the country’s conservative government Justice and Ruling Party (AKP) took the leading of the parliament. Over the last decade, espe-
he majority of people had a smile on their face when Egypt had its first democratically elected president a year ago just after the Arab Spring. Mohammed Moursi and the Muslim Brotherhood, which was the main actor in the Egyptian revolution, presented themselves as the saviours of the Egyptians and got the 24 per cent and 51 per cent of the votes respectively, in a two round election. Yet, in a year, it turned out to be that the Moursi government was no different than the ex-president Hosni Mubarak when it comes to the civil liberties. Apparently, the violations to the human rights, especially to the freedom of speech in the past year by the government, disturbed the people a lot. They started to organise massive protests, mainly in Tahrir Square, which also hosted the protests against the Hosni Mubarak regime 2 years ago. In the end, the Egyptian Army Forces gave an ultimatum to the president regarding his need to compromise however; he didnâ€™t take a step back, which ended his regime with a military intervention towards the government. The situation in Brazil was rather an anti-police brutality action than an anti-government one. As it happened in
both Turkey and Egypt it started as a small protest against the rise in prices of public transport that developed into the huge demonstrations against the excessive force that the Brazilian police officers used in the past protests. However unlike the other leaders, Erdogan and Morsi, the president Dilma Rousseff stated that she supports the demonstrations as they are one of the main democratic rights of people. Nonetheless, the rallies are still continuing mainly in Sao Paulo against the police in order to create a democratic environment, even though the rise on fees was taken back. The junction of these three gigantic occasions was of course the social media. During all the events, the social media played a massive role for protestors to gather and to inform people. There was even a map that showed the exact location of police, barricades and health centres for the Turkish demonstrators. Furthermore, volunteer lawyers and doctors shared their personal information for the ones being arrested and put a much effort for their safety. #occupygezi which means â€œresist Geziâ€? got into the Top Trends from the number one place less than an hour on Twitter while Million Man March was becoming
more and more popular for defining the Brazilian unrests. Also with these riots the opposition met a new group of people that were usually accused of being apolitical: The Youth between the ages of 13-18. It was usually those people who went to the places where nobody wanted to go to, and said the things nobody wanted to say during all the riots. To conclude, I believe it was a milestone for the protests in Brazil and Turkey that even though the police was brutal, protstors kept the tension at a low level but protesting only by humour and speech. The ones who tried to attack police often were stopped by the other people before action which I think gives a clear about the goal of the demonstrations. In future I recommend government to ask to the authorities about their opinions without taking action in any specific issue which is going to prevent anti-government movements and make people to trust leaders more. Additionally, I hope the bloody situation still continuing in Egypt will be over as soon as possible without losing many more valuable lives. I believe in the future. Future will be built by democracy.
This Month In Science Peter Pรถlzleithner
Scientists have engineered a virus that could help restore sight to blind people You have indeed read correctly. It is not the overdose of coffee, it is not the lack of sleep and your mind is not playing tricks on you. Researchers of the University of California in Berkley are really on the verge of developing a therapy, which could completely heal severely damaged eyes. I am in pure admiration of scientist like that dedicating their time and effort to our health. Additionally I sit in awe thinking about what the future still has to offer within this particular branch of science.
Scientists have cloned a mouse from a single drop of blood Japanese scientists have been able to create 600 exact genetic copies of one mouse with only one drop of blood extracted from its tail. An amazing achievement, that shows us exactly how sophisticated our level of technology already is.
t is beyond imagination where the power of science has taken us during this last century. Countless innovations have taken our standard of living to the next level, technology has progressed in outstanding ways and the future potential of scientific innovation seems infinite. Our society has obviously taken a great leap since the beginning of the 20th century, and that having a major impact on the quality of life and the level of sophistication we are enjoying today. It is undeniable that science has been one of the driving factors on this imaginary road. Nevertheless the road has not come to an end yet. There is still a long and
exciting way ahead of us in this aspect and the best might even be still to come. That being said, it has been my great pleasure to explore the incredibly deep depths of innovation; we have been provided by the wonderful world of science. But I am not talking about the last century. As a matter of fact, I am referring to jaw dropping stories from the world of science from this month and this month only. So fasten your seat belt and get ready, because you will be taken on a thrilling little ride through recent science.
Research proved that using silver in antibiotics makes it 1000 times as efficient Scientists from the renowned Harvard University have successfully proven that combining silver with antibiotics leads to the creation of molecules in the human body, which effectively kill bacteria and thus, making the medicine itself much more powerful.
16 year old girl developed a device that turns algae into fuel Yes, that could be the origin of a new trend in the field of renewable and sustainable energy and could strongly influence our future. And yes the mastermind behind this innovation is indeed a blond teenage girl, which says a lot about stereotypes and clichĂŠs as well.
ow that our little journey through the world of science has come to an end, I hope you are all aware of the potential the global science community brings to the table. Having a strong science base is the cornerstone of every societyÂ´s progress and it is of course the men and women working in the laboratories day in and day out, who are mainly responsible for this.
search and development have not dedicated their lives to science because it only is a job for them, but they do it for passion and love. Because if you have found the love in your work and you are also getting a feeling of passion from it, the sky is literally the only limit on your potential for rewriting the history books. In addition to this, I sense that you all have got a few passions as well...
I hope you are still with me, because this actually brings me to a very important lesson in life. The people involved in re-
The EU’s GMO Paradox Tuusa Eriksson
enetic engineering is a technique of biotechnology, which involves manipulating an organism’s genome. New DNA is inserted into the host genome by first isolating and copying the genetic material from another cell that is to be transferred. Genetic engineering, or modification, is widely used around the world to create organisms that are in someway superior to those made by nature. For instance, genetic engineering is used to create crops that are insect repellant. It is also used for medical research; genetic sequences involved in the production of insulin can be isolated and transferred to help treat diabetes.
these laws is that the EU’s regulations are supposed to provide freedom of choice to both farmers and consumers. However the laws for growing GMOs are so stringent that there really isn’t much freedom of choice left for the farmers. The official policy of the EU supposedly supports the coexistence of GMOs and conventional crops. In reality however, European farmers that want to plant GMOs face strict regulations that vary depending on the country in question. In Latvia, for example, a farmer must leave 4 kilometers of space between genetically engineered (GE) crops and non-genetically engineered crops. The growing of genetically engineered crops is thus made very unprofitable, as GE agriculture is effectively prevented unless farmers agree to surround their crops with large areas of uncultivated land. Overall, the EU’s policies on GMOs are based on political expediency and short-term economic goals rather than rational scientific evidence and long-term economic models.
The European Union is known for having possibly the strictest Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) regulations in the entire world. It takes a strong stance against genetically modified organisms, mainly because of concerns over the potential health risks and environmental contamination that they pose. It is true that GMOs are such a new subject that there is no way for us to know what kind of long term effects genetically engineered food for example has on humans. However there is a wide consensus between scientists that genetically modified food is just as safe as conventional food. It seems that the EUs opposition to GMOs is really based more on fear than on evidence. What’s the most worrying thing about this is that the lack of trust in GMOs within the EU could reflect a wider distrust of science.
The importance of having genetic modification be legal is huge when talking about research. Europe needs to embrace genetically engineered crops or face economic decline. By essentially banning GMOs, the EU is undermining its own competitiveness in the agricultural sector. By not allowing the cultivation of genetically modified crops, the EU continues to depend on GE food: corn imported from the U.S., soybeans from South America, and animal feed from the U.S., Brazil and Argentina. Europe risks lagging behind not just in agriculture, but also in pharmaceutical research. Edible vaccines, compounds to prevent HIV transmission, and insulin are just a few of the things scientists are working on cultivating in GE plants. GMOs are a big part of the future of research. Do we really want to be left behind?
Even though the EU seems to have a clear opinion on genetic engineering, current regulations regarding GMOs in the EU are actually hugely paradoxical. While there are legal obstacles for growing certain genetically altered crops like corn and soybeans in most EU nations, the exact same GMO products can be imported from other countries. So basically European farmers can’t plant GM corn, but it may be imported to the EU from other countries. The irony in
Religion & Science: How Did They Break Up ? Onur Can Uçarer
cience and Religion are bounded deeply to each other, since the beginning of our religious beliefs goes back to when mankind first desired to explain natural happenings. Thousands of years ago, people feared many things, as they were so much more vulnerable to certain elements, such as wild animals, diseases and nutrition problems. Also, nature was a big mystery for them, they didn’t know why there are thunderstorms or rain or clouds. From their standpoint, life was very hard and lots of things were happening without any understandable cause, so eventually they decided to find some reasons behind these events. The first religious beliefs, and the reasons about the natural events had two sides, the bad forces who tried to harm people and a savior who rescued them from these evil forces. As an example, we
can look at the Thor myth in Scandinavia. The people in Scandinavia were trying to find a balance between the evil and good. The worst move that the evil could do was to kidnap Frøya, the Goddess of love and beauty. They thought that, when they managed to kidnap her, the country would go through terrible times; the women wouldn’t be able to give birth or the plants would just stop growing. That is why the Gods always tried to prevent this, in order to keep the wellbeing of the land. So, if the weather were bad, they would blame the evil powers, and think that something bad happened to Frøya. When the weather would get better, they believed that Thor went to the land of evils and brought her back. This was their solution to natural happenings. We can see this kind of reasoning throughout many different continents, like Greek gods etc. From these points, we can understand that the rea-
son for the birth of religions and beliefs is actually natural occurrences. People are curious beings and thus, many tried to find out how these events happen, and also how they affect them. With the development of agriculture, humans have changed the nature. Since then, science has taken massive progresses, but throughout this way, they have experienced lots of obstacles by the religion leaders, unfortunately. The misunderstanding of religion has even leaded to the death penalties towards scientists that claim different ideas than churches opinions. For instance, Galileo Galilei was a scientist in 17th century who mainly studied astronomy. He supported the idea that the Earth is actually orbiting around the Sun, not vice versa and he made observations to justify his theory but the church did not like his researches and the In-
quisition gave him a lifetime home arrest. Threatening the main ideas of the church, could lead to extremely sever responses from the different religions. However, the Renaissance led us to a new era. The scientific progress took a step up and the misconception of religious beliefs was generally over. People were able to practice science without getting disturbed. The devices we live with today are unbelievable, even for the people who lived only 50 years ago. The human kind is moving forward rapidly, however these big steps also lead to many ethical and religious controversies. Human cloning, abortion and stem cell research: a few recent examples of modern science that leads to big problems. We will see how we shape our future regarding these ethical controversies and grey zones about our researches.
European Research and Development â€“ wh does the EU set?
esearch and Development (RD) is part of our daily lives. It helps us to improve our current situation, create new opportunities and discover solutions. RD is high-level research; it is increasingly complex and interdisciplinary. Thus, it very is expensive and requires a large critical audience. Hardly any research team or enterprise is able to respond to these challenges. Even entire countries, as industrialized as they might be, have difficulties to be active due to globalization. As part of this very successful project, all countries can benefit from the conditions the European Union sets.
esearch and technological development (RTD) is a major aspect of the EU funding. Since the Amsterdam Treaty, the EU is legally and politically obliged to conduct and fund research programs. The treaty passed in 1997 includes an entire chapter, which marks the outlines of RTD, depicting it as a crucial aspect of the interactions of the member states. RTD works in the thoughts of consumer and environmental protection and functions through the competitiveness of companies.
or the past years all RTD enforced by the EU has been part of the so-called FP7, short for Framework Program for Research and Technological Development. Lasting for seven years from 2007 to 2013 the program has a set budget of 50 billion â‚Ź. FP7 responds to Europeâ€™s need, creating jobs and competitiveness. With FP7, the EU has the chance keep up with the global economy. The money is spent on foundations to research all over Europe in order to support research and technological development. In order to complement national research programs, activities funded from FP7 must have a European outlook or refer to Europe. Becoming part of the FP7 requires mobility and crossing boarders. Indeed, many research challenges are so complex that they can only be
addressed at the European level. Therefore, FP7 aims at strengthening the scientific and technological base of the European, not national industry. Further, it encourages its international competitiveness, while promoting research that supports EU policies. Since it is of such complexity, there are only few outlines that the FP7 program includes. There are various aspects on how it can look like. It can be part of a university research group or enforced by SMEs (small or medium sized enterprises) but also part of government administration. All in all, the FP7 helps us all to further integrate into the EU; especially since lately the European Projects have been criticized.
t has been 30 years of joint research and EU investment. So far, thousands of projects have been funded, for instance, with UK participating in 37671 projects. Also non-EU countries have been very active, especially Switzerland and Russia. A total sum of 1.182.333 million € have been invested.
he European Commission deposit for research and innovation includes 23 areas, such as energy, agriculture and health. There are various projects in process; a large majority is categorized as Scientific Research. What the EU can do is organize co-operations of states and support the RD of its member states. It can build networking teams and increase the mobility of not only the participants but also the knowledge.
future program, called the Horizon 2020 is already in preparation. It is the financial instrument implementing focusing to secure Europe’s global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 and including an 80 billion € budget, the EU’s program for research and innovation wants to create new jobs. It will be a merge of all research and innovation funding currently provided through the FP7. Mostly, it will strengthen the EU’s position in science with an immense amount of 24 598 million €. This new program will not only support the EU and governmental research but will also encourage SMEs in their private RD with 31 748 million € to make major
concerns shared by all Europeans more public. For instance, climate change, sustainable mobility, renewable energy and the demographic changes will be part of Horizon 2020. The European Union has enforced RD in many ways. It has supported and further will fund many other projects. Let’s be excited what the Horizon 2020 comes up with. Maybe, one day, you will smile and remember the days when newspapers were actually printed out.
Women And Science – The Path To Equality Manon Schürch
hat balance do women in science and research have in Europe? It is no secret that women are outnumbered when it comes to gender equality within the scientific working field. The results reveal the three most important obstacles for female scientists. First of all there is the phenomenon of the so-called leaky pipeline. This describes the fact that women are by all means represented in the scientific pipeline but then in big numbers disappear into the so-called leak. But if they are able to keep themselves away from these leeks, there is always the so-called glass ceiling, an invisible but solid obstacle that prevents them from rising up from the masses of scientists trying to stop them, since the top ranking positions are secretly considered to be reserved for men. At the same time the female scientists face another obstacle; the so-called sticky floor, which prevents them from carrying out more creative work and also hinders them from climbing up the job ladder. There are several propositions for solutions, from which some of the European Union supported projects are actually set in motion and also achieved, to get rid of the before mentioned obstacles: the change of the scientific education system, specific education or scholarships for women, mentoring, networks etc. Nevertheless the current situation for female scientists is not secured and sadly they still very seldom hold high positions in the scientific working field. Another issue is displayed in the fact that when women enter the study or working field they in many cases do not get the support they need from parents and friends since there is a serious lack of female idols within the scientific field. This undermines their confidence for pursuing science in their further careers. That is how their potential remains unseen and since they are not sufficiently guided their potential will be lost in the future. Gifted female students are often also quite coy and reserved and that is why, during their academic studies, they are often not being identified and disappear in the mass, even though they form the majority in various academic courses. Compared to the male students the female ones tend to have some difficulty standing up to them and it can even turn into some kind of battle of the sexes. Since women are able to give birth, the risk of them being turned down in an application process is on an extremely frightening high level. If this happens at the beginning of a career entry this tends to undermine their confidence even more. That is exactly how vicious circles are created, which are very hard to break through. An additional reason for the marginalization of women in the scientific field results from the inconvenient compatibility of family and work at the same time. There is a serious lack of family friendly studying opportunities and working conditions, which meet halfway with these female students who have earned themselves a high degree in science. Above all, female scientists and women in high qualified professions can lose serious time for climbing the career ladder when they take into account the time they need to raise and bring up their children they must compromise valuable time with their children to get to terms with their double role, being a high powered scientist and a mother at the same time. What follows are disruptions in their careers. But let us think of a female scientific role model. Quoting the famous and brilliant Marie Curie who discovered radium: “In life there is nothing to be afraid of, one can learn and understand everything.” This woman dedicated her life and all her work into science until she died of radioactive poisoning. Women interested in science should definitely strive to achieve something new, just like she did. Another female scientist worth mentioning is the still living biologist Jane Goodall. she is widely considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees. Not only did she discover that these animals are able to use tools for tasks, she was also a professor at Stanford University. These two ladies are just some of the many good examples that women pursuing a career in science can look up to. Even more shameful that many are still widely unknown due to the fact that they are women. Let us change that Ladies!
Privacy vs. Protection? Veronika Datzer & Onur Can Uçarer
I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things... I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded.» Edward Snowden’s words have invaded the entire world, raising concerns on the protection of our own data. Is being part of an all-pervasive Big Brother show worth giving up our privacy?
fter the 9/11 attacks and during the Bush government, the NSA policies enforced a rather aggressive outline. There have been examples of warrantless wiretapping or Internet monitoring. Edward Snowden, mostly known for starting the domino effect on the surveillance scandal with his interviews, firstly thought about going public in 2008, however he believed that the situation could improve throughout the Obama government and decided to stay silent. 5 years later, seeing nothing has been changed, he secretly started contacting the filmmaker Laura Poitras about the publication of these classified documents. After 6 months, he permanently left his position at NSA. Simultaneously, the Guardian published exposés concerning the Big Brother-like surveillance the NSA applies on foreign counties as well as the US-American citizens.
he National Security Agency (NSA) is the government organization of the United States of America, which is responsible for the protection of governmental information. This institution was established during the Cold War era of 1950s in order to prevent foreign countries from spying on American citizens and revealing government secrets. In fact, the NSA has played a major role in scientific research and development, especially on data protection, participating indirectly and directly in debates referring to public policy. Furthermore the NSA has been involved in the development of specialized communications hardware and software, production of dedicated semiconductors and advanced cryptography research.
n fact, various techniques to monitor citizens are practiced. MAINWAY, PRISM and Boundless Informant are the most famous examples, all being interconnected by the NSA system. MAINWAY is the codename for the call database owning information that contains billions of call-detail records. These records are taken from the four largest telephone carriers in the USA, such as Verizon. With this system, the NSA gains access to the outlines of the calls including time, length, numbers and locations.
A further spying method is the so-called PRISM, a national security electronic surveillance program. It was introduced in the course of the Protection America Act in 2007 and whilst Barack Obama described it as «a circumscribed, narrow system directed at us being able to protect our people», it has been the major issue of the current scandals. PRISM saves private communications such as video and voice chats, e-mails, videos or photos.
When the Bolivian president Evo Morales was on his way back home from Russia, several European countries denied the plane to cross their airspaces, suspecting Snowden was on board. Earlier, Bolivia had offered asylum for Snowden. This incident has shown that the governments‘ attitudes towards him were siding with the USA.
astly, Boundless Informant analyses and visualizes files to compact the large data collection the NSA owns. According to The Guardian, 3 billion elements are part of the system. Reactions all over Europe were mostly angry, for instance, the German and French leaders, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, called the spying ‘unacceptable‘. Furthermore, the EU demanded an explanation, however they did not take bold action, most likely due to the current EU-US trade negotiations.
«Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere... I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President...» Edward Snowden and the current events show how less we know and how much others know. Let us try to turn this around, to increase our knowledge and keep some mysteries alive.
A New Era Of Travels Tuusa Eriksson
ull European airline deregulation came into effect about ten years ago within the European Union when something called the “Open Skies” policy was created, which makes the entire European area a single domestic market. What this means is that something as trivial as laws regarding airplanes have actually created something that is very much present in the everyday lives of many Europeans. Most of us probably associate the idea of a domestic market with unity; the EU is unified in a lot of ways that makes it seem very much like one country instead of one continent. Through its phases of deregulation, customs and immigration checks were removed between EU countries, allowing us to travel effortlessly from one European country to another. That is one of the largest impacts that full European airline deregulation has had. Beyond just making travelling extremely easy, deregulation has also made it very cheap and thus had a big economic impact on the local economies of European countries.
Full deregulation has happened in three separate phases, all agreed on by the European Council of Ministers. It set the ball in motion for lower European airfares as early as 1987. In the first phase the equal sharing of capacity on routes served by airlines of the two states was abandoned. Also, the entry of new airlines into the business was facilitated by opening up new market access. In the second phase, in 1990, the constraints on pricing, capacity restrictions and market access were further loosened, and this is also when the controls on immigration and customs between EU states were eliminated. The third phase of deregulation mandated that an airline must be mainly owned and controlled by any of the member states or their nationals. It also eradicated the last restrictions on route capacities and lessened the power of governments to impose restrictions on airlines.
per than taking the bus. For example, it is possible to fly for less than the price of the return bus fare on popular short routes from London to Ireland, Scotland, Belgium and the Netherlands. Longer European flights can work out a lot cheaper than travelling by bus or train. If you’re going from London to Barcelona, Munich, Rome or Athens you would be crazy not to fly. The affordability of these types of airlines, such as easyJet, Ryanair and many others like Air Berlin and German Wings, are made possible by the fact that there are no more price controls; airlines can set their own fares and cargo tariffs. This also makes it possible for Ryanair to offer entirely free flights. As a result of the price of these airlines, the bureaucratic state-owned monopolies now have to lower their prices to more reasonable standards to compete with the new operators. Established companies have matched the prices offered by the new airlines and on the popular routes the air traveller is spoilt by choice. Yet although this new breed
With the existence of deregulation the business of low cost carriers (LCCs), such as Ryanair, have been able to flourish. With new low fares, flying can actually be chea-
of airline is renowned for cutting costs, safety is never compromised. Even if airlines wanted to cut corners, they could not get past the strict regulations that govern the aviation industry in the European Union. The fact that there are many cheap airlines means that low cost carriers are forced into a competitive marketplace. Like in any competitive deregulated industry it is the consumer who wins, obviously through the ridiculously cheap prices. However, consumers aren’t the only ones who profit from the blooming of LCCs, secondary airports such as London’s Luton Airport, Rome’s Ciampino and Frankfurt Hahn have experienced record growth as new airlines secure landing slots. Airlines like Ryanair also help the local economy through bringing more customers to hotels, restaurants and car rental facilities. Furthermore, through these new customers the formation of new tourism related industries has been triggered. It seems like through full airline deregulation we have reached a win-win situation for everyone.
For The Good Of People ? R. Tamer Ozgen
A world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us” Margaret Thatcher.
ost of us were raised to believe that the development of science is fundamental for the future of our planet and we need to support the further researches in science in any situation. However, just like the all the things we experience in our lives, it also has an evil side. The question is, can something be evil and for the good of the people at the same time? After the first biggest international conflict that our planet has seen, World War I, the highly developed countries especially the victorious forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France with the Soviet Union started a race of arming in order to maintain power
and protect themselves against any kind of potential clashes. This race for power has moved on a very different level when the United States used two nuclear bombs on Japanese cities, Nagasaki and Hiroshima after successful tries under the Manhattan Project. This project was being led by the so-told the most evil man that lived in the 20th century, Robert Oppenheimer whose aim was to find a quick solution to end the World War II by using the way of extracting atomic cores, invented by Albert Einstein and to lift up the economic weight on the USA’s shoulders. The bombings caused the death of approximately three hundred thousand people and
are the only usage of nuclear weapons that have ever occurred in history. While the debates were still continuing regarding the atomic bombs, the United States used chemical weapons against the guerrillas of Vietnam during one of the hot clashes of the Cold War, which caused massive protests through the world. Additionally, experiments against the humanity were performed by the biological warfare centre of China during the World War II which was also another example for the evilly usage of science. As a matter of fact, Saddam Hussein’s usage of chemical weapons on civilians was the biggest excuse of the United States to invade Iraq,
which caused the start of the 2nd Gulf War. We can multiply the number of examples on the evil science, however there are also promising actions by international organisations to keep the amount of weapons of mass destruction. The Geneva Protocol was the first treaty that was presented to promote the usage of energy in a productive way rather than a destructive one followed by Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons. One of the barriers in front of these treaties to work more efficiently is the stubborn attitude of countries like China, Israel, India and France
when it comes to the development of mass destruction weapons. To conclude, I believe that if the countries abovementioned continue to insist on their attitude, unlike Thatcher’s statement a massive destruction going to happen like it happened in Japan and it will then be too late to take a step back. The sides have to compromise for the safety of both humankind and nature which should always be the priority of science. This also is the answer to our question: Yes, something can be both evil and good. Yet, it shouldn’t for the humanity’s sake.
1st Issue of the Graz European Youth Forum media team.