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One in four Germans wants microchip under skin: poll

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HANOVER, Germany — It sounds like something from a sci-fi film, but one in four Germans would be happy to have a microchip implanted in their body if they derived concrete benefits from it, a poll Monday showed.

The survey, by German IT industry lobby group BITKOM, was intended to show how the division between real life and the virtual world is increasingly coming down, one of the main themes of the CeBIT trade fair that kicks off Tuesday.

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In all, 23 percent of around 1,000 respondents in the survey said they would be prepared to have a chip inserted under their skin “for certain benefits.”

Around one in six (16 percent) said they would wear an implant to allow emergency services to rescue them more quickly in the event of a fire or accident.

And five percent of people said they would be prepared to have an implant to make their shopping go more smoothly.

But 72 percent said they would not “under any circumstances” allow electronics in their body.

The results appeared to surprise even the high-tech sector.

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“This is of course an extreme example of how far people can imagine networks going,” said BITKOM chief August-Wilhelm Scheer.

The CeBIT, the world’s biggest high-tech fair, throws its doors open to the public on Tuesday, with Spain, the current EU president, this year’s guest of honour.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero were due to speak later Monday in an official opening ceremony before touring the exhibition early Tuesday.

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A total of 4,157 firms from 68 countries are to unveil their latest gadgets, a decline of three percent on last year as many high-tech firms stay away amid strong competition from other events.


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How Christian nationalism in the US legislates evil and punishes the poor

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On August 26th, during the Republican National Convention, Vice President Mike Pence closed out his acceptance speech with a biblical sleight of hand. Speaking before a crowd at the Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, he exclaimed, “Let’s fix our eyes on Old Glory and all she represents. Let’s fix our eyes on this land of heroes and let their courage inspire.” In doing so, he essentially rewrote a passage from the New Testament’s Book of Hebrews: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.”

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2020 Election

Win the vote but still lose? Behold the US Electoral College

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"Beautiful" is how US political outsider Donald Trump described his shock presidential win against rival Hillary Clinton on the night of November 8, 2016.

The details were less clean-cut.

Former secretary of state Clinton had received nearly three million more votes than her Republican rival. But, by narrowly winning key battleground states, Trump surpassed the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win the White House.

With just five weeks until the 2020 election featuring Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, the rules of this enigmatic -- some argue outmoded -- system are coming back into focus.

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Tens of thousands flee wildfires roaring through California wine regions

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Tens of thousands of Californians fled their homes in the Napa and Sonoma wine regions in the face of wildfires, emergency officials said, as a new blaze in the north of the state killed three people.

Under an orange sky and a sweltering heatwave, some of Napa Valley's best-known vineyards were consumed by an out-of-control blaze that raced through more than 35,000 acres (14,000 hectares), according to state fire agency Cal Fire.

Celebrated wineries such as Chateau Boswell and part of Castello di Amorosa went up in smoke, while there was a "significant loss" of buildings on the fringes of Santa Rosa -- neighboring Sonoma County's largest town -- said fire chief Tony Gossner.

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