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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 126,517

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Washington state combats collisions with new wildlife bridge

December 12, 2018 by Manuel Valdes



In this photo taken Oct. 4, 2018, eastbound Interstate 90 traffic passes beneath a
wildlife bridge under construction on Snoqualmie Pass, Wash. The stretch of highway
crossing the Cascade Mountains cuts through old growth forest and wetlands,
creating a dangerous border for wildlife everything from an elk down to a small
salamander. The new crossing gives animals in these mountains a safer option for
crossing the road: They'll be able to go above it. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)


Before descending the Cascade Mountains on its final stretch to Seattle, Interstate 90 cuts through a mountain pass of old growth forests and wetlands.

For countless wildlife species, the busy highway is a border, constraining their movements and posing a fatal risk should they dare to cross it.

"Everything from an elk down to a small salamander, they need to move to find food, to find mates, to find new places to live as their populations expand or just when conditions change, like a fire breaks out," said Jen Watkins of Conservation Northwest.

Soon, animals will have a safer option for crossing the road: They'll be able to go above it.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-12-washington-state-combats-collisions-wildlife.html#jCp

Black Toronto residents 20 times more likely to be shot dead by police, study says


Black people made up 61% of cases where police used force that resulted in death, Ontario human rights commission report said

Leyland Cecco in Toronto
Mon 10 Dec 2018 16.16 EST

Black residents in Canada’s largest city are 20 times more likely to be shot dead by the police than white residents, according to a landmark report from the province’s human rights watchdog.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission studied seven years of data surrounding interactions between police and black residents in Toronto, for the report, which found that black residents face disproportionate discrimination and violence at the hands of the police.

While black residents make up less than 10% of the city’s population, they accounted for 61% of all cases where police used force that resulted in death and 70% of police shootings that resulted in death.

“When it comes to law enforcement, when it comes to the police, there is an overarching reality of violence that is often a part of the fabric of everyday life for black people in this country,” said Robyn Maynard, author of Policing Black Lives. “I think this data is absolutely damning and reveals something very important.”

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/10/toronto-black-residents-more-likely-shot-dead-ontario-human-rights-commission-report

Colombia journalism project aims to bring untold stories of war to light


Reporting was restricted by the remoteness of the war zones and the military’s control of access. Peace is allowing a new approach

Joe Parkin Daniels in Bogotá
@joeparkdan
Tue 11 Dec 2018 03.00 EST

Like many urban Colombians, Nicolás Sánchez – a young journalist from the country’s capital, Bogotá – never saw the country’s civil war firsthand. Instead, he grew up watching it from afar, in television reports of massacres and gun battles deep in the countryside.

Reporters would often only show the point of view of the military – the only group who could regularly grant them access to the battlefield. Rural Colombians, who bore the brunt of conflict, were often ignored; coverage instead focused on urban incidents such as kidnappings of public figures and attacks against government buildings.

Media would also turn a blind eye to military atrocities. When members of the army in 2002 began abducting and murdering civilians in an effort to boost their body counts, it went largely unreported for six years.


A peace deal signed with the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (or Farc) rebel group in late 2016 formally ended 52 years of bitter war that left 260,000 dead and more than 7 million displaced. But unrest continues, as other armed groups seek to muscle in on former Farc territory.

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/11/colombia-journalism-project-neglected-stories-war

Asteroid Bennu Had Water! NASA Probe Makes Tantalizing Find


By Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | December 10, 2018 05:17pm ET

It looks like NASA chose the right space rock for its asteroid-sampling mission.

The agency's OSIRIS-REx probe, which just arrived at Bennu last week, has already found hydrated minerals on the 1,640-foot-wide (500 meters) near-Earth asteroid, mission team members announced today (Dec. 10).

The discovery suggests that liquid water was once plentiful in the interior of Bennu's parent body, which scientists think was a roughly 62-mile-wide (100 kilometers) rock in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. (Bennu is likely a pile of rubble that coalesced after a massive impact shattered that larger object hundreds of millions of years ago.) [OSIRIS-REx: NASA's Asteroid-Sampling Mission in Pictures]

OSIRIS-REx's main goal involves helping scientists better understand the solar system's early days and the role that asteroids like Bennu may have played in delivering water and the chemical building blocks of life to Earth. So, the water find is big news for the mission team.

More:
https://www.space.com/42690-asteroid-bennu-had-water-nasa-osiris-rex-discovery.html

New archaeological site revises human habitation timeline on Tibetan plateau

29-NOV-2018
CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES HEADQUARTERS

Human ancestors first set foot on the interior of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau around 30,000-40,000 years ago, according to new research by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). This new finding moves back the earliest data of habitation in the interior by 20,000 years or more.

The research team was led by Dr. ZHANG Xiaoling and Prof. GAO Xing from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of CAS. Their study, published in Science, was based on investigations of Nwya Devu, the oldest and highest early Stone Age (Paleolithic) archaeological site known anywhere in the world.

This archaeological achievement is a major breakthrough in our understanding of the human occupation and evolution of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau as well as larger-scale prehistoric human migration and exchanges. It caps 60 years of effort trying to find evidence of the earliest human habitation on the plateau.

The high altitude, atmospheric hypoxia, cold year-round temperatures and low rainfall of the plateau creates an extremely challenging environment for human habitation. Archaeological evidence indicates it was one of the last habitats colonized by Homo sapiens. Today, the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is the third least-populous spot on the planet.

More:
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-11/caos-nas112918.php







Brazil's Amazon deforestation documented via massive satellite imaging


For 30 years, the Brazilian government has been monitoring the extent of logging in the world's largest rainforest. What began with huge photos on paper is now digital — and yet trees are still being felled.

Date 08.12.2018
Author Nadia Pontes

Driving from south to north in Brazil one can observe how the landscape is changing. Where the Amazon rainforest increasingly begins to shape the landscape is also where destruction begins. The landscape alternates between dense canopies and bare, stony soil.

What the loggers leave behind is well documented. One day later, it appears on the screens of the National Brazilian Institute for Spatial Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, INPE), 2,000 kilometers further south, in Sao Jose dos Campos in the state of Sao Paulo. A whole team is in charge of documenting the deforestation.

. . .

Military dictatorship promoted Amazon deforestation

The program for the systematic documentation of deforestation started in the late 1970s. Its original objective, however, was not to protect nature. Instead, the military regime actually wanted to make sure the rainforest was being cleared as planned. The regime offered state subsidies to replace the forest with farms, and the INPE's job was to determine whether the primeval forest was really giving way to pastures and fields.

"The state subsidies ensured that the rainforest disappeared bit by bit," says researcher Dalton de Morisson Valeriano, who was involved in setting up the monitoring system. It was not until years later that the scenario changed because "there was a lot of pressure on Brazil from abroad."

More:
https://www.dw.com/en/brazils-amazon-deforestation-documented-via-massive-satellite-imaging/a-46651844

Editorials and other articles:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016221551

Brazil's Amazon deforestation documented via massive satellite imaging


For 30 years, the Brazilian government has been monitoring the extent of logging in the world's largest rainforest. What began with huge photos on paper is now digital — and yet trees are still being felled.

Date 08.12.2018
Author Nadia Pontes

Driving from south to north in Brazil one can observe how the landscape is changing. Where the Amazon rainforest increasingly begins to shape the landscape is also where destruction begins. The landscape alternates between dense canopies and bare, stony soil.

What the loggers leave behind is well documented. One day later, it appears on the screens of the National Brazilian Institute for Spatial Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, INPE), 2,000 kilometers further south, in Sao Jose dos Campos in the state of Sao Paulo. A whole team is in charge of documenting the deforestation.

. . .

Military dictatorship promoted Amazon deforestation

The program for the systematic documentation of deforestation started in the late 1970s. Its original objective, however, was not to protect nature. Instead, the military regime actually wanted to make sure the rainforest was being cleared as planned. The regime offered state subsidies to replace the forest with farms, and the INPE's job was to determine whether the primeval forest was really giving way to pastures and fields.

"The state subsidies ensured that the rainforest disappeared bit by bit," says researcher Dalton de Morisson Valeriano, who was involved in setting up the monitoring system. It was not until years later that the scenario changed because "there was a lot of pressure on Brazil from abroad."

More:
https://www.dw.com/en/brazils-amazon-deforestation-documented-via-massive-satellite-imaging/a-46651844

Second indigenous governor assassinated in southwest Colombia in one week

by Billy Wallace December 8, 2018

For the second time in one week, an indigenous governor was assassinated by armed men amid what leaders call a “genocide” of Colombia’s indigenous peoples.

The latest victim in the ongoing mass killing of social leaders is Edwin Dagua, the governor of the Huellas indigenous reserve in Caloto, Cauca, according to national indigenous organization ONIC.

The 25-year-old indigenous governor was assassinated by a group of armed men months after the “Aguilas Negras,” a far-right group allegedly operating in collusion with Colombia’s national army, threatened to kill him.

. . .

According to the ONIC, 36 members of indigenous communities have been assassinated since the hard-right President Ivan Duque took office in August.

More:
https://colombiareports.com/second-indigenous-governor-assassinated-in-southwest-colombia-in-one-week/





Edwin Dagua

Rest in peace.

New director of Colombia government truth body fired from university for lying


by Billy Wallace December 7, 2018

The man appointed by Colombia’s President Ivan Duque to lead the government body in charge of uncovering the truth about the country’s armed conflict was fired from his university for lying about his degrees, according to local media.

. . .

According to newspaper El Tiempo, the fact that Torrijos was fired from the Rosario University for lying about his non-existent masters degree in Political Science is no reason for the government to reverse its decision to put him in charge of the investigations into victimization and war crimes.

. . .

The journalism graduate has been criticized for having been a contractor of ACORE, the controversial and powerful association of former military commanders that has fiercely opposed the country’s peace process.

. . .

Multiple top officials of Colombia’s government, including President Ivan Duque, have been caught lying about their academic degrees in apparent attempts to inflate their academic qualifications.

More:
https://colombiareports.com/new-director-of-colombia-government-truth-body-fired-from-university-for-lying/

Residencies In Family Medicine Have 70% of Vacant Seats

While the government expanded residency programs to help fill positions in the "More Doctors" program, Brazilian medical students are not attracted to primary care and disease prevention

Dec.3.2018 11:51AM

Natália Cancian
BRASÍLIA

One of the main features of the "Mais Médicos" (More Doctors) program to attract more physicians to public clinics, Family and Community Medicine residency programs currently have almost 70% of vacant seats.

In the last five years, the number of residency seats for the specialty increased by over 260% - from 991 to 3,587. Family Medicine's main goal is to offer primary care and prevent diseases in a community.

Still, government data show that the interest in the specialty is still low. In 2018, from 3,587 seats available for family medicine residents, only 1,183, around one-third of the total, were filled.

People familiar with the matter say the low wages cause the little interest in the specialty, which is worsened by the lack of proper career tracks in primary care. It was the shortage of family medicine specialists that had the "Mais Médicos" program searching a partnership to bring Cuban doctors to Brazil.

More:
https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/internacional/en/scienceandhealth/2018/12/residencies-in-family-medicine-have-70-of-vacant-seats.shtml
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