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As a response to the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that claimed the lives of 31 people last weekend, a human rights organization has issued a warning to all people traveling to the United States.

The Amnesty International advisory was announced "in light of ongoing high levels of gun violence in the country."

The advisory reads as follows:

IF YOU DECIDE TO TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES:
- Be extra vigilant at all times and be wary of the ubiquity of firearms among the population.
- Avoid places where large numbers of people gather, especially culture events, places of worship, schools, and shopping malls.
- Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.

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For many volunteer firefighters, balancing outside jobs, family and friends, and any additional extracurricular endeavors is often a struggle, but Lieutenant Devon Collins says it hasn’t been that complicated for him, and his family particularly understands. “It’s actually quite simple at the moment. My dad was an NYPD search and rescue scuba diver for 20 years,” Collins says, “so he and my mom are quite a bit more immune to the worrying that my friends parents likely feel knowing that their son voluntarily runs into burning buildings.” Even in spite of the hazards of his volunteer post, Collins counts himself lucky to be carrying on the family tradition of selfless service. In celebration of Fire Prevention Month, GOOD is partnering with Nest to share the personal stories of Point Breeze Volunteer Fire Department in Breezy Point, New York. Here, we take a closer look into the life of Lieutenant Devon Collins; his firehouse, what motivated him to become a volunteer firefighter, and the daily struggles and triumphs of his profession.

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Chile Uses Earthquake Communication Technology To Saves Lives

On Monday evening a powerful earthquake shook northern Chile. Six people were reported to have been killed. The 8.2 magnitude quake also...

On Monday evening a powerful earthquake shook northern Chile. Six people were reported to have been killed. The 8.2 magnitude quake also triggered a six-foot tsunami. More lives could have been lost had it not been for the Chile's early tsunami warning system.\n

Chilean authorities warned people of the impending tsunami using Twitter, text messaging, and good old fashioned sirens. People quickly fled to higher ground after hearing the tsunami warning, remembering the huge earthquake of 2010.\n
In the immediate aftermath of the last large earthquake phone networks became critically overloaded. The BBC reports that in 2011 the Chilean government implemented a new instant alert technology. The software uses a geo-targeted system to allow authorities to send out simultaneous mass alerts across the internet, cell phones, television, and radio. The messages can be sent to millions within seconds, even when all systems are busy. \n

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There are around 2.6 million miles of paved roads in the United States, and more than 11 million miles worldwide. What if they could be put to use generating electricity, through solar panels?

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If you have a first aid kit, do you know how to use what's inside, beyond the bandaids? Even if you've been to a first aid class in the last few years—which you likely haven't, unless you've been working in child care, or as a lifeguard, or in another specialized job—you might not immediately remember what to do when you're faced with a real-life emergency. Can better-designed first aid kits help?

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Why the Chevy Volt's Fire Problem Is Actually a PR Problem

A government agency is investigating its safety after a test car caught on fire. Are consumers holding electric cars to a higher standard?


It’s a nightmare scenario. You’re driving along, and you swerve to avoid a car, a dog, a deer. The side of your car hits a narrow object, a tree or a pole, and before you know it, the car is rolling over. Shaken but unharmed, you take the car home and put the incident behind you. Three weeks later, your car, sitting docilely in the garage, bursts into flames.

It hasn’t happened in the real world, but after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tested the Chevy Volt on “the vehicle’s ability to protect occupants from injury in a side collision” last May, the electric vehicle's lithium-ion battery caught on fire three weeks later. Lithium burns hot, and the fire was strong enough to ignite neighboring cars. This month, the testing agency put a series of Volt batteries through an ordeal that would replicate the effects of a side-collision and rollover. One battery was fine. One sparked and smoked. On Thanksgiving, a third caught fire, and the agency opened an official investigation into the car’s safety.

In action movies, car regularly turn into fireballs. But it’s understandably uncomfortable for regular drivers to remember that each morning they’re getting into a pile of hot metal and explosive fuel. The dangers of an electric car and its chemical battery are different than those of a conventional vehicle, but green vehicles aren’t inherently more risky. They are a newfangled technology, though, and if consumers hear that the Volt can explode unexpectedly, it could turn them away from the product altogether.

Electric cars have a tenuous hold on American drivers. General Motors, which makes the Volt, has gone out of its way to market the Volt as a car for normal, everyday people who just want to save money, not super-greenies trying to save the planet. Still, the company has sold fewer Volts than it hoped to this year. (The Nissan Leaf, which lacks the Volt’s backup gas engine, has sold almost twice as well, though.) And there are plenty of pundits waiting for the electric car industry to fail: In reporting the NHTSA’s decision to open an investigation, Fox News declared the Volt “Obama’s favorite car.”

With these forces arrayed against its product, it’s not surprising that GM is taking pains to insist the car is safe and offering loaner cars to any concerned Volt owner—a measure the company says goes beyond its normal safety procedures. With the Volt, GM is showing an extra measure of good faith to early adopters, who took a chance on the new technology. The company is also pleading: Don’t abandon us now.

The government hasn’t found the Volt’s malfunction in any other electric vehicles. But as more electric cars come onto the market, other unforeseen issues are bound to crop up. For EVs to gain popularity, though, these problems will have to be minimal—car companies have little room to convince consumers to buy something new and risky instead of its old and reliable counterpart, even if they both post risks. If companies like GM don't get it right, the momentum towards electric vehicles could dwindle and die out again.

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