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World's Largest Primates Are On The Brink Of Vanishing

The largest great apes on Earth have suffered a “catastrophic” population collapse over the past twenty years, according to a report published today by the Wildlife Conservation Society. Grauer’s gorilla, a subspecies found only in the lawless eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, is a victim of the same brutal civil war that claimed up to six million human lives from 1996 to 2003.

Even The UN Is Using Drones To Spy On People Now

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.

The Congo Mines That Supply 'Conflict Minerals' For The World's Gadgets

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.

The Congo's Unending War Captured In Vivid Infrared Colour

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.

Infrared Film Can Make Even A Warzone Look Beautiful

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.

African Village Uses Tech To Fight Off Rape Cult

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.

Escaped Crocodile Blamed For Deadly Plane Crash

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.

New US Law Requires Gadget Manufacturers Label Parts From Congo

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.

Steve Jobs On Conflict Minerals: "It's A Very Difficult Problem"

Over the weekend, the Times ran a powerful op-ed piece that shed light on another dark link in the consumer electronics supply chain: the use of Congolese conflict minerals. In an email Steve Jobs admitted “it’s a very difficult problem”.

How Gadgets Are Perpetuating Atrocities In Congo

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.

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