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Mustafa Aksu had a bad track record with therapists. Growing up in China, he was bullied by his Han Chinese classmates for being Uyghur. This made him constantly anxious, and his stomach often hurt, so much that sometimes he threw up. A concerned teacher referred him to counseling, but Aksu was skeptical it could help. “I was always waiting for the time when I could go out and live somewhere that I would feel comfortable,” Aksu says. 

In 2017, when news began to emerge of a government crackdown in China targeting Uyghurs and other minority ethnic groups, Aksu was a graduate student in Central Asian Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. In China’s northwestern Xinjiang province, where most Uyghurs live, people were going missing. Police targeted Uyghurs for an ever-expanding list of infractions: growing a beard, throwing a wedding party, having contact with people abroad, including members of their own family.

The news grew worse every month. By the hundreds of thousands, the Communist Party forced Uyghurs into sprawling detention facilities, which it dubbed “vocational training centers” though they better resembled concentration camps. Inside, Uyghurs were subject to all manner of torture and abuse; soon, the number of people interned topped 1 million.

Aksu, in his early 30s, had lived abroad for years at this point—in Istanbul and Dubai, before the US—but always kept in close touch with family back home. A short phone call was 20 minutes. Long calls lasted hours. Now, like most Uyghurs living away from Xinjiang, Aksu was cut off from his parents and siblings entirely. He became depressed and later developed insomnia. All night, he wondered: was his family safe? Throughout 2018, Aksu learned his older brother, uncle, and two cousins had all died in Xinjiang. His anxiety deepened.

Eventually, Aksu sought help from a local therapist. But the first meeting went terribly.

Like too many Americans, the therapist had never heard of “Uyghurs” or “Xinjiang.” Aksu spent most of the session detailing what was going on in China, rather than how it was affecting him. On his second, third, and fourth visits, little improved. “Instead of him listening to me with some compassion, I ended up talking about the Uyghurs, explaining who we are,” Aksu said. “It was very exhausting.”

Aksu tried a second therapist, who was better, but still he felt buried by having to explain his culture and the situation in Xinjiang in such depth. He became discouraged and eventually quit therapy. In 2019, he moved to Washington, DC, hoping for a fresh start. But of course, the sleepless nights followed.

Aksu’s experiences are typical of many in the Uyghur diaspora, both those who left China long ago and who fled more recently to make a new life, away from persecution. Watching from afar as loved ones disappear and a way of life is erased, trauma has set in, sparking a mental health crisis that leaders in the diaspora say is all too apparent. Many, though, are reticent to seek help, or even acknowledge the emotional pain of the past years, leaving the community’s needs both underassessed and unmet. But lately a small group of outspoken Uyghurs is trying to change that. Using social media, they’re starting conversations about grief and mental health and, through telehealth, connecting people across the country with volunteer therapists.

The program, called the Uyghur Wellness Initiative, is still in its infancy; to date, it has paired only a few dozen Uyghurs with mental health professionals. As news from Xinjiang grows worse, however, its creators hope that it will help foster resilience in the diaspora—and provide a lifeline to a community during its darkest hour.

“Uyghur 101”

Rights abuses in Xinjiang have warped every aspect of Uyghur life. Thousands of mosques have been destroyed. The Uyghur language is banned in schools. Many thousands have been pressed into forced labor. The camps likely represent the largest mass incarceration of an ethnic group since the Holocaust, and recently, the governments of the US, Canada, the Netherlands, and the UK formally labeled China’s actions “genocide.”

For the Uyghur diaspora—which, in the US, is centered in DC and Northern Virginia—the past few years have been excruciating. Virtually everyone has family or close friends who have been sent to the camps. If they were to return to China, they too would surely be taken captive.

At first, the psychological toll of the Xinjiang crisis was not deeply considered among the diaspora, says Rushan Abbas, director of the DC-based advocacy group Campaign For Uyghurs. For one thing, many felt that they weren’t the ones in danger and had little right to dwell on how the crisis was affecting them. Furthermore, Uyghur culture doesn’t emphasize mental health as such, Abbas says, and talking about it can carry significant social stigma

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By: Andrew McCormick
Title: Uyghurs outside China are traumatized. Now they’re starting to talk about it
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2021/06/16/1026357/uyghurs-china-minorities-trauma-telehealth-social-media/
Published Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2021 08:26:17 +0000

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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys

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Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.

This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.

bitsonftjeysey
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.

The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.

“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México

Jersey NFTs

Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.

The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000

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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth

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EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.

Some new developments underway at EXMO:

Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.

EXMO’s new logo

The rationale for the re-brand:

“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding

The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000

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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens

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The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country. 

The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already. 

Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). 

It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.

The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines. 

If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.  

The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.

The case of Texas

The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.

One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more. 

These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.

Map USA grid
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
legend

ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.

The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created  demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts.  Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.

Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures

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By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000

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