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The United Nations now has its own drone program. Its first unmanned aircraft took off earlier this week in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Joining some 87 countries with the capability, the organisation says it’s just keeping up with the world’s technological advances.
Most people who own a smartphone — or a laptop, or a new car — aren’t familiar with tantalum, the rare, blue-grey metal that conducts electricity through these devices. But thanks to skyrocketing demand from electronics makers, tantalum — along with a handful of other rare minerals — is an incredibly sought-after metal. And it’s fuelling the ongoing conflict in Congo.
Irish war photographer Richard Mosse has traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo three times in the past three years — he’s made it his mission, he says, to document a war so deep-seeded and tragic that it challenges “the limits of description”. To describe the indescribable, Mosse has developed a unique methodology: he shoots using Kodak Aerochrome, a rare infrared film originally developed by the military to spot camouflage from above.
What you’re looking at isn’t a landscape shot photoshopped to resemble Willy Wonka’s realm — it’s the real world. A battlefield. Photographer Richard Mosse traveled the wartorn Congo with infrared film made for camouflage detection. The results are gorgeous.
An old woman had died. Before burying the her, the residents of the village of Obo – in southern Central African Republic, just north of the Congolese border – gathered around a campfire to eat, drink, cry and sing in celebration of the woman’s long life. It was a night in March 2008, just another beat in the slow rhythm of existence in this farming community of 13,000 people.
A routine flight in the Democratic Republic of Congo turned deadly when a crocodile escaped from a passenger’s duffle bag. According to the flight’s sole human survivor, panicking passengers fled into the cockpit and caused the pilot to lose control.
Foxconn is often held up as the poster child for tainted gadgets, but there’s far worse in war-torn Congo, from whence many of the minerals that ultimately make up the innards of our smartphones come.
A recent spate of suicides at Foxconn factories brought scrutiny to the working conditions in the factories where big-brand gadgets are manufactured. But tracing gadget guts to their mineral sources reveals that Foxconn overtime is far from the ugliest link of the supply chain.
A bunch of great netbook upgrades are on the way—next-gen Intel processors in January; smooth HD video playback—but to spare you the brain hemorrhage of keeping track, we’ve laid it all out. Here’s what you need to know.