Perhaps you have missed a new art trend on the web: people depicting what major world cities would look like at night, if there were no artificial lights. "Blackout City" is the latest iteration.
The video shows an animated, clear evening in London — and then someone turns off the lights. The result is a brilliant night sky filled with stars that illuminates the buildings and skyline of London. The natural light of the sky gives a beautiful, magical feel to the buildings and bridges humans have created.
PetaPixel has the video and several photos from the project, which was put together by UK-based photographer Nicholas Buer. He manipulated time-lapse photography based on real pictures he took in dark areas outside of, but near, London. Be sure to watch the video.
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The French national train company, SNCF — now known for it's reliable, high-speed trains — has a much darker chapter in its history. SNCF transported thousands of Jews and other "undesirables" to Nazi concentration camps during World War II. A new French-US fund will pay reparations to victims and their families outside the country.
The French government has already offered more than $6 billion in reparations to French citizens who were victims, but had resisted other claims. The new French-funded, but US-controlled, pot of $60 million will go to Americans, Israelis and some others. The AP reports that the US, for its part, has agreed to try to end American lawsuits and political ill-will against SNCF, which is now trying to win lucrative train contracts in the US.
This week, the US Supreme Court heard the case of a woman, a former UPS employee, who lost her job because the company said it could not accommodate the restrictions placed on her because of her pregnancy. The woman went on unpaid leave to avoid lifting heavy packages and lost her health insurance before her baby was born.
Gillian Thomas, an attorney and author, talked to PRI's The Takeaway about companies' failures to put the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act into practice — even though 85 percent of American women will be pregnant at some point during their working lives.
Under President Xi Jinping, China has embarked on a remarkable campaign to root out official corruption in some — but not all — sectors of government and society. As part of that effort, China is going overseas to bring back people who have fled charges at home. Now China is heading to the US.
Fugitives in the US have proven hard to recover, the South China Morning Post reports, because China doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US — nor does it have such treaties with Canada or the European Union. Foreign countries have expressed concern over whether the accused will get fair trials in China and over China's use of the death penalty.
Recently, Chinese officials gave US officials a list of 100 "fugitives from justice" whom they want extradited to stand trial. US officials have reportedly agreed to deport a limited number of individuals. China wants foreign countries to get over their "prejudices" against China and may try to start civil trials against the fugitives in US courts as an alternative approach.
China has long had a tense relationship with religion and religious missionaries. Foreigners are not supposed to come to the country to proselytize. Yet along the border with North Korea, where thousands of North Korean refugees need help and don't receive services from China, missionary humanitarian aid has been tolerated.
Recently, however, that tolerance seems to have ended. Chinese officials are cracking down on missionaries, accusing them of crimes against the state and other grave offenses that could lead to the death penalty. PRI's The World looks at how North Korea may be influencing China's behavior and what the situation means for missionaries and refugees in China.
Authorities in the Philippines are warning residents of one of the country's eastern-most islands, Samar Island, to seek shelter and take the approach of Super Typhoon Hagupit very seriously. Evacuations have also been undertaken in Tacloban, which was battered by Super Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. According to Inquirer.net, Hagupit, which is known as Ruby in the Philippines, could lead to flashfloods and landslides, as well as storm surges of up to 13 feet.
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