Wives of convicted Myanmar reporters shocked by sentences
By AUNG NAING SOE
Tuesday, September 4
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — The wives of two Myanmar reporters for the Reuters news agency sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for possessing state secrets said Tuesday they were shocked by the court’s decision.
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were sentenced Monday in proceedings that were widely decried as unfair. They had reported about the army’s brutal counterinsurgency campaign that drove 700,000 members of the Muslim Rohingya minority to flee to Bangladesh. The subject is sensitive in Myanmar because of worldwide condemnation of the military’s human rights abuses, which it denies.
Wa Lone’s wife, Pan Ei Mon, said at a news conference that she never expected such a harsh punishment “because everyone knows that they didn’t do anything wrong.” The two men testified that they had been framed by the police.
Pan Ei Mon gave birth to the couple’s first child in Yangon on Aug. 10, but her husband has not seen their daughter.
“After I gave birth, I continued to keep strong with the hope that my daughter and her father will meet soon. But I felt like my hope was broken after the verdict yesterday. I am hopeless now,” she said.
Kyaw Soe Oo’s wife, Chit Su, also said she had expected her husband would be coming home. They have a 3-year-old daughter.
“I believed he would be free, he felt the same,” she said. “But it didn’t happen, I felt like I am a crazy person.”
She said she still hopes for mercy from the state. At the same time, she remains proud that her husband did his duty as a journalist.
The lawyers for the journalists said at the news conference that they would do whatever they could to get their clients freed. They can file an appeal or ask for a pardon, or hope the reporters could be freed under a general amnesty for prisoners.
Pan Ei Mon said she was saddened and hurt that the country’s leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, had taken a legalistic position in a June interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK by saying that the two reporters were arrested for breaking the Official Secret Act, not because they exposed the army’s abuses.
“I am very sad about what she answered because she was the one whom we always admired and respected,” she said.
“We loved and respected her so much,” she said. “We feel very sad as our respected person has the wrong opinion about us.”
The case drew worldwide attention as an example of how democratic reforms in long-isolated Myanmar have stalled under Suu Kyi’s civilian government, which took power in 2016.
Although the military, which ruled the country for a half-century, maintains control of several key ministries, Suu Kyi’s rise to government leader had raised hopes for an accelerated transition to full democracy, and her stance on the Rohingya crisis has disappointed many former admirers.
German minister: Mistakes made in Chemnitz suspects’ cases
BERLIN (AP) — Mistakes were made in the cases of two asylum-seekers accused in the slaying of a German man that sparked large-scale far-right protests, Germany’s top security official said Tuesday.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Tuesday that poor communication between Germany’s migration office and other authorities meant the deadline was missed to return Iraqi Yousif A. to Bulgaria, the country responsible for his case under European rules that say migrants must apply for asylum in the country where they first enter the EU.
Seehofer said there were also cooperation issues between authorities in the case of Syrian Alaa S.
He said changes he has instituted in how Germany deals with migrants, including new centers being set up in border areas to process people quickly, should help stop similar failings in the future.
“Such delays and mistakes need to be prevented,” he said in a statement.
The men, whose last names weren’t disclosed, are being held on manslaughter charges in the Aug. 26 fatal stabbing of 35-year-old Daniel Hillig, which sparked anti-migrant protests in the city of Chemnitz that shocked many in Germany and beyond. On Tuesday Saxony state authorities said they are seeking a third suspect in the killing, identified only as an asylum-seeker from Iraq.
Seehofer’s comments came after he met Monday with the head of Germany’s migration office.
In another issue that came up, Seehofer said Yousif A. presented an Iraqi passport, citizenship documents and a national identity card to authorities on Nov. 7, 2017. Those were determined to be fakes, but not until June 15, 2018.
He said that was due to a shortfall in highly specialized document experts available at the migration office — an issue Seehofer said had already been identified and is being rectified.
It’s too soon to call 3D printing a green technology
September 4, 2018
Research Scholar, Resident Fellow in Industrial Ecology, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University
Centre Research Coordinator, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Reid Lifset received funding from the US Department of Energy, the Lounsbery Foundation and GE to support publication of a special issue of the Journal of Industrial Ecology on the Environmental Dimensions of Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing The funders played no role in the editorial content of the issue.
Martin Baumers and Timothy Gutowski do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
University of Nottingham provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation UK.
Over the past decade 3D printing has captured the imagination of the general public, engineers and environmental visionaries. It has been hailed as both a revolution in manufacturing and an opportunity for dramatic environmental improvement.
3D printing has two key attributes that lead enthusiasts to call it a “green” technology. First, many 3D printing systems generate very little waste, unlike conventional manufacturing techniques such as injection molding, casting, stamping and cutting. Second, 3D printers in homes, stores and community centers can use digital designs to make products onsite, reducing the need to transport products to end users.
However, there is limited quantitative analysis of the environmental performance of 3D printing. Much of it focuses only on energy used during production, rather than including impacts from raw materials production, use of the product itself, or waste management. To fill this gap, we organized a special issue of Yale University’s Journal of Industrial Ecology. We found that excitement around the possibilities for dramatic environmental improvements needs to be moderated with an understanding of the technology, how it would be implemented, and its current state of development.
How does 3D printing affect the environment and how can governments respond?
Mainly for industry
Most consumers who have seen 3D printers know them as small, boxy machines similar to ink-jet printers. Those systems can make simple products such as doorstops, bottle openers and shopping bag handles, typically from a single material.
In fact 3D printing is a family of technologies used mainly in industry, where it is called additive manufacturing. These systems produce objects, based on digital information, by adding successive layers of materials. These items are then further processed and assembled into products such as jet engine components, hearing aids, medical implants and numerous different types of complex parts for industrial equipment. Additive manufacturing thus is a complement to conventional manufacturing processes, not a substitute for them.
Industry has used additive manufacturing for several decades to create prototypes for use in product design and production planning. Now the technologies are becoming more sophisticated, and are being used to make end-use parts and products.
Additive manufacturing is especially useful for making custom parts and small batches of complex objects at less cost than conventional manufacturing, which often requires time-consuming and expensive preparation of production equipment.
Junk on demand?
Our review of emerging research indicates that additive manufacturing is not automatically good for the environment. Parts produced this way often require additional processing to give them the correct dimensions or appearance. This can consume resources or generate further environmental impacts.
Much of the research that we reviewed suggests that seemingly mundane considerations, such as how additive manufacturing equipment is configured, the operational setup, and choices about processing details – for example, the thickness of layers being added – have a big impact on overall environmental performance. Scientists also are starting to investigate exposure to emissions of tiny plastic particles and safety hazards during use of additive manufacturing machinery.
Importantly, additive manufacturing is not an inherently wasteless process. For example, some technologies require use of temporary support structures during production to prevent objects from warping or collapsing while they are being formed. These supports cannot always be reprocessed back into raw materials. It also is important to consider whether the plastics, metals or mixed materials used in parts made with additive manufacturing can be recycled.
Another concern is that on-demand production and endless customization could lead to dramatic increases in throw-away consumer products, or “crapjects,” as some commentators refer to them. Producing shoes, costume jewelry or household goods in varied colors or designs on demand could take “fast fashion” to a whole new level.
Realizing environmental benefits
At the same time, decentralized, customized production is an intriguing environmental opportunity. It arises from a vision of producing objects in local factories, or even at home, and making just the specific product that is desired, rather than making an entire batch in a distant location, then shipping and warehousing the items in bulk quantities.
Currently, however, most products that could be made this way must be simple enough to produce on entry-level 3D printers, usually from a single material. More importantly, processing raw materials for additive manufacturing can consume more energy than manufacturing with conventional manufacturing technology and shipping the final product to end users.
Making spare parts through additive manufacturing has real potential for prolonging the lifespan of products, although it also could keep older, less energy efficient equipment in use longer. To make this a common option, some parts will need to be specifically designed to be produced through additive manufacturing.
Here, though, intellectual property issues could pose major challenges. Users of 3D printers may not have the legal right to produce parts and products from designs created by the original producers. And those producers may not find it in their economic interest to allow use of the design. Users of 3D printers may want to make spare parts for, say, an older car, but the car manufacturer may not want to share designs for those parts.
Additive manufacturing has powerful capabilities to produce objects with very complicated shapes and internal spaces – for example, specialized parts for aircraft that can reduce weight, thereby lowering fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Many researchers think the capability to make such complicated parts, and resulting gains in energy efficiency, may offer the greatest environmental benefits from additive manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing is very effective for producing a small number of specialized parts or products. Its potential environmental advantages currently lie in making spare parts on demand, and especially in creating specialized parts that reduce energy consumption of products during use. Other gains may be realized as technologies continue to advance.
Despite claims made about the environmental benefits of this technology, it is important to realize that these systems have not been designed with environmental efficiency in mind. While some 3D printing applications may not be environmentally desirable, there are many opportunities for improvement that have not yet been pursued. The first step is more research on the environmental impacts of producing materials used in 3D printing, how 3D products are used, and the wastes they generate.
Despite the technology being around since the mid-1980s, our research shows that 3D printing is not yet a mature enough process for wide scale manufacturing adoption. Additionally, 3D printing is quite different to conventional manufacturing technology in the way it works and consumes resources. That’s why it’s still too early to make credible predictions about which mass manufacturing applications it will displace and if/how significant environmental savings will result. We hope that our article conveys that it’s important to be optimistic yet cautious.