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George Floyd, Europe’s Statues, Moscow Reopens: Your Wednesday Briefing

2020-06-10 05:22:42

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Good morning.

We’re covering the world reopening while coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket, protesters targeting statues as symbols of Europe’s racist past and a final goodbye for George Floyd.

This week, as the world surpassed seven million coronavirus cases, countries continued the order of the day: reopening to salvage their economies.

Snapshot: Above, the Compton Cowboys riding in solidarity with the black community in California. Black cowboys and cowgirls are reclaiming the traditional role of mounted riders in urban demonstrations, evoking a history of daring riding.

What we’re reading: This Money magazine article about some of the explorers who dedicated their lives to finding Forrest Fenn’s hidden treasure (which was finally discovered over the weekend). It’s riveting and will make you smile.

Cook: This crispy sour cream and onion chicken can be showered with fresh chives and lemon juice, or, if you crave something creamy for dunking, pair it with a dip of sour cream, lemon juice and chives.

Watch: The new documentary “Born in Evin” follows the director, Maryam Zaree, as she interviews family, friends, sociologists and psychologists to try to demystify the circumstances of her birth in Iran’s notorious Evin prison for political dissidents.

Read: Joyce Carol Oates’s new novel, “Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.” takes on racism and grief, and is squarely in conversation with this moment of pandemic and protest, writes our reviewer. Also, here are five new and noteworthy poetry books.

Do: The designer Todd Snyder shows you how to add patches to your jeans, using an old bandanna or shirt you are ready to rag.

We may be venturing outside, but with the virus still spreading, we’re still safest inside. At Home can help make that tolerable, even fun, with ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do.

There has been intense debate about the use of facial recognition technology in the public and private sectors.

Law enforcement agencies and some companies use it to identify suspects and victims by matching photos or video with databases like driver’s license records. But civil liberties groups warn that facial recognition erodes privacy, reinforces bias against black people and can be misused.

Timnit Gebru, a leader of Google’s ethical artificial intelligence team, explained why she thinks the police shouldn’t use facial recognition. Below is an excerpt from her conversation with Shira Ovide for the latest On Tech newsletter.

Shira: What are your concerns about facial recognition?

Timnit: I collaborated with Joy Buolamwini at the M.I.T. Media Lab on an analysis that found very high disparities in error rates (in facial identification systems), especially between lighter-skinned men and darker-skinned women. In melanoma screenings, imagine there’s a detection technology that doesn’t work for people with darker skin.

I also realized even perfect facial recognition can be misused. I’m a black woman living in the U.S. who has dealt with serious consequences of racism. Facial recognition is being used against the black community.


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