What Led Rio Tinto Mining Company to Blow Up a 46,000-Year-Old Aboriginal Site?

Rio Tinto Mining Company was pursuing iron ore in Western Australia in May 2020. Their work took them into areas of human habitation that date back several millennia.

The company went through two rock shelters in Juukan Gorge, in the Pilbara region. It wasn’t illegal, as the company had obtained permission to mine there in 2013. Even when relics, human hair, and faunal remains were found a year after the permit issuance, the mining activities were still authorized.

Protesters descended on the company immediately. Critics say that Rio Tinto knew the site’s importance before blasting for iron, but they chose to ignore it. The business had even hired lawyers to manage potential injunctions.

Rio Tinto Shook Up Their Management Immediately

The fallout from the destruction of the Aboriginal site was immediate. The company’s CEO and Executive Director agreed to depart after negotiating an exit from the company. The head of corporate relations and the person in charge of the iron ore division resigned from their posts.

As the company apologized for the actions taken, three executives got stripped of their performance bonuses. Rio Tinto’s internal review found that although the blasting was legal, it fell short of the standards that the business expected of its inner guidance.

It should be noted that these steps weren’t taken until several significant stakeholders expressed concern about C-Suite accountability.

The National Native Title Council announced that they appreciated the leadership changes happening at Rio Tinto, but he also stressed that more work was necessary. The mining company was already considered one of the best in the industry for its standards, so what would stop someone else from pursuing the same tactic?

With Rio Tinto refusing to carry out independent reviews of the decision-making process, concern exists that other indigenous sites could lose their priceless artifacts.

The goal is to prevent history from getting destroyed in the future. If we are to be successful, each country must create regulations and enforceable laws to ensure a company can’t change its standards in the pursuit of profit.

Why Bob Woodward Withheld Trump Tapes Until He Published His Book

The audiotapes that Bob Woodward produced from his Trump interviews were stunning. Not only did the President know how dangerous COVID-19 was in February, but he also chose to downplay the risks.

With this information presented to Woodward, why didn’t he come forward with the interview tapes? Doesn’t he have a journalistic ethic to demonstrate what he’s learned to help others?

The issue here is more about Donald Trump. Woodward had to verify everything he was told since the President is cavalier with the truth. It took about three months for the publisher to realize that everything being discussed was authentic.

That means Woodward and his publisher knew about Trump’s bait-and-switch since May. Why didn’t they release the book at that time?

Long-Form Reporting Takes More Time to Develop

Although the criticism of Woodward making money by withholding the Trump tapes is valid, it is also a reflection of the format.

It takes time to edit, format, and publish a book. It’s like a long-term version of a newspaper.

Publishers make money from newspapers because people buy them to read what is happening in the world. Woodward’s book is no different from that.

If anything, Woodward’s delay ensured that each reader could see the most accurate story possible. It’s a book-length investigative journalism piece that exposes the turmoil, lies, and deceit from the Trump Administration.

That means the onus for the choices fall on Simon & Schuster, Woodward’s publisher. Deciding to hold the story until the election season makes the narrative more political. It enhances the profit motive while putting innocent lives at risk because of the misinformation in the news cycle.

There’s no doubt that the books sell. Woodward almost sold a million copies of his last Trump narrative. Most are in the 200,000 range. That’s good money in an era when everyone can access information online.

Woodward needed to verify his information. He fact-checked everything. Although the criticism for holding the story is valid, he also followed the industry’s standard practices.

What Happens If People Don’t Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

When we look back on 2020, the year will be one that many will want to forget. We’ve had murder hornets, zombie hurricanes, asteroid threats, and COVID-19 to manage.

Although scientists are working furiously to produce a COVID-19 vaccine to help life achieve some normalcy, many people have concerns about getting this shot.

You can take products from Now Foods and Douglas Labs to support your general health, but it is not a coronavirus cure. What happens if no one gets the vaccine because of safety concerns?

State Governments Can Mandate Vaccine Use

Although the United States is the “home of the free,” the government has some remarkable power to compel a choice.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1905 that Massachusetts could fine people who refused to get a smallpox vaccine. That ruling set the standard for vaccination requirements to attend public schools.

The courts have consistently found that when a medical necessity exists, the government can mandate a choice.

That doesn’t mean you’re forced to take a COVID-19 vaccine. You’d still have the right to refuse. If you decide to follow that journey, it could result in fines, jail time, and a lack of economic access.

States can limit access to services, employment, and education if people decide not to get vaccinated.

Congress Could Enact a Federal Requirement

Congress has the authority to legislate. If these elected officials decided that a vaccine mandate was necessary, it would likely be in the form of a tax penalty.

That means people might need to navigate federal and state requirements to manage their vaccination preferences.

States would still need to offer exemptions. You could expect individuals with legitimate medical risks, such as pregnancy or allergies, to avoid taking a COVID-19 vaccine. You won’t find philosophical or religious exemptions available since those aren’t part of the Free Exercise Clause in the First Amendment.

Some employers could even require vaccinations and fire employees who refuse them unless a legitimate medical concern is claimable.

We won’t get to this point until a vaccine is widely available for everyone to use. Until then, wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay safe out there.

Taiwan Plans to Shift Medical Supply Chain Away from China

If you’ve got a moment, check your medicine cabinet right now. Take a minute, see what you have in there, and come back to this post.

When you looked in there, you probably saw some prescription meds. There may have been some over-the-counter options, such as ibuprofen or Tylenol.

You may even have some items from brands like Neuroscience and Pure Encapsulations to support your overall health and wellness.

What you may not know about many of those items is where the active ingredients originate. Over the past several years, China has become the global leader in pharmaceutical production. 

Although much of the research takes place in the United States, the ingredients come from China. In August, Taiwan decided to make a public show of strengthening ties with Americans by getting involved with a memo of understanding about creating more domestic medical supply manufacturing opportunities.

Why Does Manufacturing Need to Move Away from China?

When one country becomes entirely dependent on another for essential goods, what happens if the relationship sours?

If shipping disruptions create logistical challenges to deliver necessary items promptly, how can individual families get the products they need to survive?

After the COVID-19 lockdowns that started in January in China, it became clear that many countries were relying on the cheap production methods found there for many needs. If the Chinese weren’t manufacturing ingredients, the products couldn’t get made.

Taiwan shut down its Chinese ties to protect itself against COVID-19 infections. Their efforts have shown that the medical supply chain can survive when efforts are made to expand domestic supply chains.

Having a relationship with the United States for this effort makes sense. About 70% of the current biotech research and development talents in Taiwan received training in the U.S. for what they can do today.

Although China isn’t happy about this shift, its economy is one of the few growing globally. One market may sour, but another door always opens soon after because of their lower costs.

Why Did Joe Biden Choose Kamala Harris?

Joe Biden expects to win the White House. With some polls putting him at 16 points ahead nationally, the election could be a runaway victory for the long-time public servant.

One way he decided to shore up his campaign was to select Kamala Harris as his running mate. Not only is Harris one of only a handful of women nominated to a major party ticket, but she is also one of the few to campaign to become the president.

Several advantages were already in her favor when Biden needed to select a running mate.

  • She was already vetted nationally because of her unsuccessful bid to capture the Democratic nomination.
  • Biden is 78 years old, while Harris is only 55 – and looks more like she’s in her early 40s.
  • She comes from California, which provides a significant number of delegates to the Electoral College.
  • Harris is outspoken on racial issues and societal equality.
  • She doesn’t have any ties to the Michael Flynn meetings, the attacks in Benghazi, or remnants of the Obama Administration.

Although Harris is the first woman with South Asian and African-American heritage to appear on a national ticket, those traits don’t stand out as much as her qualifications as a prosecutor and legal professional.

Biden Is on His Third Run for President

Kamala Harris might be seen as a safe pick for the VP nomination, but that quality is what Biden needs for the 2020 campaign.

He wants to avoid the 2016 issues where Clinton was always on defense. Trying to get into a battle of words with Trump is like attempting to build a house in quicksand. Biden wants to focus on issues, societal change, and restoring America’s name internationally.

By taking those steps, he can distinguish his campaign from what Trump offers. 

Biden chose Harris to maximize his chances. It is the selection that a confident candidate would make.

Facial Recognition’s Unlawful Use and Human Rights Violations

U.K. judges recently ruled that police had unlawfully used facial recognition software to capture wanted individuals. By digging into their personal data, the courts ruled that law enforcement had initiated a human rights violation.

The issue doesn’t involve the activities of the alleged criminals in this case. It is the fact that South Wales Police scanned up to 500,000 people without consent while looking for wanted individuals.

Ed Bridges brought the case to light after he was scanned during a protest and out Christmas shopping while in Cardiff.

In the ruling, judges urged all police officials to do everything reasonable to eliminate gender and racial bias. 

Police Say That They Intend to Keep Using the Technology

Although the deployment of facial recognition is still in its earliest stages, police departments say that using this software generates results.

During the deployments in question that eventually triggered this ruling, two arrests were made during the first use. On the second one, an individual who made a bomb threat was located and identified.

Critics say that the ruling shows the police have too much power and discretion to implement facial recognition for watch list comparisons, and that now they must shut down. Supporters say that they can continue using the software by making changes that align with the court’s expectations.

South Wales Police reported in 2020 that their use of facial recognition software had generated over 60 arrests.

London Metro Police started using the technology for regular deployments despite the lawfulness of the action recently. Those two departments are the only one using this approach to law enforcement in the country currently.

The Liberty human rights group calls the ruling a victory for those who support privacy and data rights. It fights against oppressive policies and potential discriminatory practices.

So far, this ruling is the only one of its kind that looked at the implementation of facial recognition and human rights.

How Some Countries Stopped COVID-19 in Its Tracks

The recipe for stopping COVID-19 is straightforward. You need rapid testing, population access to resources, social distancing, facial coverings, and herd compliance.

We know that this sequence works. Countries like South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and New Zealand have successfully limited how the coronavirus spreads in their communities. When people buy-in to the process, COVID-19 gets stopped in its tracks.

The countries where it hasn’t been stopped typically see one problem: herd compliance.

What Is Herd Compliance, and Why Does It Matter?

If you ask someone about wearing a mask in the United States, the activity gets equated to a political statement.

Most Americans who wear masks are Democrats, and the ones who do not are Republicans. 

People who wear them see the process as an uncomfortable way to help others. The goal isn’t to stop them from getting COVID. It is to prevent a potential infection they have from spreading. Since people are contagious before they display symptoms, you can infect others without ever knowing it.

People who don’t wear masks see the issue as one of control. Those who follow the government’s recommendations are “sheep.” It’s one step closer to losing even more freedoms.

If the coronavirus is ever going to stop spreading, more people need to comply with the safety regulations encouraged by health professionals. It’s that simple.

Why Is It Difficult to Wear a Mask?

When the rest of the world looks at the United States, they wonder why so many Americans have a problem wearing a mask.

Some complaints seem logical. Masks can cause your glasses to fog up, cause skin irritation, or create breathing issues for some people. For many, the issue of COVID is overblown and disproportional in response.

As Susan Wiles, a retired sign language interpreter and someone with an autoimmune disorder, says, “Sure, there’s a virus. But people die of the flu every year. I don’t fall for this. It’s not what they say it is.”

Until those attitudes change, the coronavirus is going to linger. That’s because it doesn’t care what political party anyone follows. 

Will Supply Chains Take a Hit This Winter Like in Spring

We have plenty of food to feed everyone. This fact has remained true for well over a decade. Oxfam reports that we create about 20% more calories than what every human requires for survival. 

What prevents us from making sure that no one goes hungry? Our supply chains are nowhere near where they must be to distribute food.

When COVID lockdowns happened in spring 2020, the entire restaurant industry food chain all but disappeared. With most suppliers not having access to grocery counters, shortages began appearing across the United States.


With a winter surge of the coronavirus expected, can we predict a similar outcome?

What Are the Challenges of Winter Food Distribution?

The federal government has offered loan programs and economic recovery stimulus to bolster the economy. These measures helped many small businesses survive the lockdown months.

As we’ve learned more about how the coronavirus spreads, we see the importance of outdoor dining and social distancing. With the weather turning colder this winter, restaurants may have fewer serving opportunities. That means less revenue – and lower food availability.

Should restaurants try to hold on through a winter where influenza, COVID-19, and more potential lockdown threats could shut them down? Is now the time to start cutting losses?

Most food servers (except grocers) have been losing money all summer. Many choose to throw in the towel because if it was that bad during the warm months, how much worse could it get with cold weather?

The First Businesses to Fail Were Already Struggling

Food supplies became low because restaurant suppliers weren’t providing products to grocery stores. That avenue has a lower profit margin, which makes it uninviting for a conversion.

When lockdowns happened in April, food producers and distributors expected a return to normalcy by the fall. Now that we’re here, it is clear to see that we’re nowhere near that outcome.

The first businesses to close were the ones already struggling. Those who wanted to retire or would have gone bankrupt in a couple of years went next. Now, the ones dependent on tourism are closing.

It is the established brands that survive. Companies like Douglas Laboratories, Host Defense, and Jarrow Formulas follow the same recipe of successful restaurants. When your brand stays at the top of the mind, people will want your products.

People will stay home if another COVID surge happens. That means even more pressure on restaurants and distributors to meet food needs. If everyone goes back to the grocery store, we may find even more challenges waiting for us in the months ahead. 

Presidential Elections That Are Happening This Fall

Everyone knows that the United States has its next presidential election in 2020. This four-year cycle is continuous, making it a unique transfer of power that shows how effective democracy can be.

While everyone may be watching Biden versus Trump play out on the world stage, we must remember that several other elections are happening this fall that could shake up global leadership.

1. Moldovan Presidential Election

This Moldovan election faces the unique backdrop of having some rule-of-law problems in place that undermine the country’s economy. Before the coronavirus issue, the International Monetary Fund said that the government needed to retrieve stolen assets and stop money laundering. The incumbent maintains a lead in the polls leading up to the election.

2. New Zealand General Election

This election was put off because of a coronavirus surge, making it one of the most essential referendums worldwide this fall. Citizens in New Zealand are deciding on leadership, cannabis, and euthanasia in this cycle.

3. Palauan Presidential Election

Although Palau may be tiny, the 340 islands are in free association with the United States. Americans provide defense for the republic, funding, and social services access. Their leadership could create difficulties for American efforts to stabilize the South Pacific.

4. African Presidential Elections

Several countries on the African continent hold their presidential election during the final months of 2020. Four of them are in October, including the Ivorian, Tanzanian, Guinean, and Malawian contests. November has Egypt and the Seychellois presidential elections, while December sees the Ghanaian, Nigerian, and Chadian contents.

If the election cycle follows the same outcomes that we saw earlier in 2020, populism is still the emphasis found in many cultures. That means many incumbents may find themselves elected once again.

For American Democrats, that trend is something that they’ll want to stop. For Republicans, that information provides hope when polls have Trump down by 5-10 points.

Quotes About Journalism to Keep You Motivated

Being a reporter in today’s world is a tough career assignment. You might be traveling to flooded communities, reporting on COVID, or covering an international conflict.

It can be challenging to stay motivated when it feels like the whole world is against you. That’s why these quotes about journalism are essential. They can help you to stay motivated in the fight for the truth.

List of the Best Quotes About Journalism

1. Lord Northcliffe

“News is something someone wants suppressed. Everything else is just advertising.”

2. Anonymous

“A news story should be like a miniskirt on a pretty woman. It must be long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to be interesting.”

3. Grace Kelly

“The freedom of the press works in such a way that there is not much freedom from it.”

4. Samuel Johnson

“The liberty of the press is a blessing when we are included to write against others. It is a calamity when we find ourselves overborne by the multitude of our assailants.”

5. Thomas Jefferson

“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”

6. Walter Lippmann

“There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.”

7. Albert Camus

“A free press can be good or bad, but most certainly, without freedom, a press will never be anything but bad.”

8. Pete Hamill

“People become writers in the first place by those things that hurt you into art, as Yeats said it. They become separated from what started out affecting them. Journalism forces you to look at the world, so you don’t get cut off.”

9. Oscar Wilde

“In America, the President reigns for four years, and journalism governs forever and ever.”

10. Hunter S. Thompson

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks – hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, generally stuck in bogs of stagnant mediocrity.

11. Terry Pratchett

“Journalism makes you think fast. You have to speak to people in all walks of life – especially local journalism.”

12. Gilbert K. Chesterton

“Journalism largely consists of saying that Lord Jones is Dead to people who never knew that he was alive.”

If you are pursuing a career in journalism, then use these quotes to help to inspire you!