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Australia is taking on revenge porn, but young people are still at risk

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The distribution of revenge porn, an act of digital harassment, is slowly being criminalised across Australia. 

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Punishing those who share explicit pictures without consent is a welcome development, but commentators say any crackdown ought to be accompanied by another look at how the law treats young people who share intimate images with their peers. 

If no change is made, child pornography laws that are intended to protect young people could instead be used to punish normal teenage behaviour.

On Monday, the state of New South Wales (NSW) announced it would follow Victoria and South Australia in introducing a law criminalising the distribution of intimate or explicit images without consent. “These images can … be used as a way to deliberately humiliate, control or harass the intended victim,” NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton said in a statement.

A federal senate committee also recommended revenge porn laws be enacted nationally in February, but a law is yet to be proposed.

NSW will begin a consultation process about the proposed change, and one important question to be answered, Upton noted, is how it should treat young people. 

Katie Acheson, CEO of youth advocacy group Youth Action, welcomed NSW’s announcement, including the proposed focus on young people. “Young people should be at the centre of this,” she told Mashable….

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Myanmar

Digital Revolution and Repression in Myanmar and Thailand

Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.

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By Karen Lee

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Following the February 1 coup, Myanmar’s netizens became the latest to join the #MilkTeaAlliance, an online collective of pro-democracy youth across Asia.

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?
– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability

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A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.

The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.

Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.

In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.

While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.

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How the Rural-Urban Divide Plays Out on Digital Platforms

It is one thing for entrepreneurs, whether urban or rural, to create and operate an online store, as some digital platforms have made it relatively easy to manage an e-store – even by using just a smartphone.

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In the West, villages are emptying out due to the lack of economic opportunities. Consider Italy where, in a bid to attract newcomers, a handful of municipalities have turned to selling houses for €1.

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