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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 125,215

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Bolsonaro's son banned from WhatsApp amid claims of fake news campaign

Source: Guardian

After Flávio Bolsonaro tweeted his banishment, WhatsApp said it had ‘proactively banned’ accounts in the Brazil election period

Tom Phillips Latin America correspondent
Fri 19 Oct 2018 14.31 EDT

The politician son of the far-right favourite to become Brazil’s next president has been evicted from WhatsApp amid allegations that his father’s push for power has been turbocharged by an illegal fake news blitz on the Facebook-owned messaging app.

. . .

Haddad called for Bolsonaro to be barred from the presidential race as a result of what he called a criminal “defamation campaign” of fake news and lies.

Polls suggest Bolsonaro – a pro-torture former army captain who enjoys an 18-point lead over Haddad – is on course for a landslide victory in the 28 October runoff vote.

. . .

One of the most outlandish lies being peddled involves the bogus claim that, as São Paulo’s mayor, Haddad equipped schools with so-called “mamadeiras eróticas” (erotic baby bottles) with penis-shaped teats in an supposed bid to fight homophobia.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/19/flavio-bolsonaro-banned-whatsapp-fake-news-campaign

How a Dictator Got Away With a Brazen Murder in D.C. in 1976

OCT 16, 2018

General Pinochet’s agents hunted down Chile’s former Ambassador in the first state-sponsored international terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

One September morning in 1976, a bomb blew up a car as it was driving up Embassy Row in Washington, D.C. When police arrived at the scene, they found a human foot in the road, and a man lying on the pavement who was missing half his legs. Minutes later, he was dead.

That man was 44-year-old Orlando Letelier, the most prominent Chilean exile living in the U.S. The former ambassador had fled his country two years before to escape persecution under General Augusto Pinochet. Chile was an American ally during the Cold War, and it seemed unthinkable that Pinochet would be so bold as to carry assassinate him in the U.S. capital. But as we now know from declassified documents, that’s exactly what he did. In fact, he even considered killing his head of intelligence to cover his tracks.

Letelier had been an ambassador to the U.S. under Chile’s democratically elected president Salvador Allende, whose administration the CIA covertly undermined. On September 11, 1973, Pinochet succeeded Allende in a coup d'état. That same day, Pinochet’s people arrested Letelier and other officials from Allende’s government and sent them to concentration camps.

After nearly a year in prison, Chile released Letelier under international pressure from Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, among others. Letelier sought refuge the U.S., and while traveling through Venezuela to get there, he told The New York Times: “they're going to kill me.” The “they,” he seemed to imply, were the National Intelligence Directorate, or DINA—Pinochet’s secret police.


Even as Donald Trump rails about immigrants, Wisconsin dairy farmers build bridges to Mexico


Madeline Heim

Published 12:00 p.m. CT Oct. 17, 2018 | Updated 12:02 p.m. CT Oct. 17, 2018

John Rosenow is photographed with the family of his employee, Roberto Tecpile, at their home in rural Mexico in January 2017. Rosenow made the cultural immersion trip with a program sponsored by Puentes/Bridges to meet his employees’ families and learn more about their lives.
(Photo: John Rosenow)

Roberto Tecpile often puts in 70 hours a week at the Rosenholm dairy farm in Cochrane, Wis. — a place where winter days are short and can be bitterly cold. It is a job that farmers say most Americans refuse to do.

Tecpile, a native of Astacinga, in the Mexican state of Veracruz, has spent nearly 20 years in the United States, the past four working for farmer John Rosenow. According to his boss, Tecpile is the “go-to guy” for fixing farm equipment — whether it be a lawnmower or a gauge. Tecpile said the job is going well, and right now it is the most important thing as he prepares to return home in a year or two.

Tecpile is saving money to build a kitchen for his wife, Veronica, “with cabinets and everything.” She currently cooks outside in their mountain village for their two sons, Kevin, 15, and Aaron, 9, and their daughter, Megan, 4.

“I want to work a little bit more … I want to buy a kitchen for my wife, and for the kids, I want them to have something better,” the 39-year-old dairy worker said. “At times we say being able to be together would be much better, but at the same time, we still don’t have everything arranged.”


Military men on the threshold of taking power again in Brazil


More than three decades after the end of military dictatorship, army men look to be on the threshold of returning to power in Brazil, this time through elections in a crime-ridden country whose official motto is "Order and Progress."

The comfortable favorite in an October 28 presidential run-off is Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain who has chosen a newly retired general, Hamilton Mourao, as his vice president if he wins.

At least four others with military backgrounds are tipped to enter government under a president Bolsonaro.

The 63-year-old candidate has vowed to rule "with authority, but without authoritarianism" -- though his nostalgic talk of the 1964-1985 dictatorship he served, his promises to arm "good" citizens, and his talk in favor of torture have chilled many voters.


Food, water, ride: Guatemalans aid Honduran caravan migrants

Source: Associated Press

39 minutes ago

ZACAPA, Guatemala (AP) — Sweaty, sunburned and exhausted, Jonathan Zuniga had been carrying his 1-year-old baby in his arms for five hours when help arrived unexpectedly from a local woman who offered him a used baby carriage.

“Thank you, thank you very much,” Zuniga told her, accepting the gift with a broad grin. “I couldn’t stand it anymore.”

Many of the more than 2,000 Hondurans in a migrant caravan trying to wend its way to the United States left spontaneously with little more than the clothes on their backs and what they could quickly throw into backpacks.

In neighboring Guatemala, where their journey continued Wednesday amid warning tweets from President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials, they were helped at every turn by residents who offered them food, water and rides in pickups or on flatbed of semi-trailer trucks.

Read more: https://apnews.com/9919ff5a85e248d5aa96718027821aca

Trump takes aim at Cuba, holds Havana responsible for Venezuelan crisis

Source: McClatchy


October 17, 2018 04:04 PM

Updated 6 hours 33 minutes ago

The White House plan to turn up the pressure on Cuba for its role in what a senior administration official on Wednesday said was its efforts to subvert democracy in Venezuela and propping up President Nicolás Maduro.

The senior administration official said Maduro would be out of power if it wasn’t for the Cuban intelligence operatives who help him control restless Venezuelans and block efforts to replace him.

“The issue of Cuban involvement in Venezuela is a fact. It’s not a theory,” said the official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity per administration policy.

President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, will unveil more details on the work of Cuban operatives in Venezuela, but the senior administration official said the United States plans to ratchet up its pressure on Cuba, especially the Cuban military that assists with Venezuela’s intelligence and counterintelligence efforts.

Read more: https://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/world/article220177985.html

(Clearly the Orange Prince knows the public will not support an attack on Venezuela, so he's going to try the back door to an attack by claiming Cuba is responsible for Venezuela's problems, and create an opening for a Bay of Pigs II.)

Colombia's house votes to hold off 2019 local elections until 2022

Source: Colombia Reports

by Adriaan Alsema October 17, 2018

Colombia’s House of Representatives on Monday surprisingly voted to hold off the 2019 local elections until national elections are held in 2022.

The constitutional amendment seeks to end the separation of the elections and was approved by 24 of 32 members of the senatorial 1st Commission.

Constitutional amendment a “coup”
According to former Vice-President Humberto de la Calle, one of the authors of the 1991 constitution, the vote constitutes a “coup” and will drastically reduce regional autonomy.

According to De la Calle, the constitution purposely separated the terms of the national and local elections to avoid local elections be dominated by the political agenda of national political forces.

Read more: https://colombiareports.com/colombias-house-controversially-votes-to-hold-off-2019-local-elections-until-2022/

Colombia's inspector general also dismisses Uribe's witness tampering claim against leftist senator

by Adriaan Alsema October 17, 2018

Colombia’s Inspector General absolved leftist Senator Ivan Cepeda in response to witness tampering claims made by former President Alvaro Uribe.

The Inspector General said there is no evidence Cepeda overstepped his boundaries “for investigating and receiving testimonies” over Uribe’s alleged criminal responsibility in the formation of death squads in the 1990s.

According to Inspector General Fernando Carrillo, Cepeda’s investigations and conversations with former members of the Blowque Metro fall within his powers as congressman.

The Supreme Court decided earlier this year also to absolve Cepeda and instead investigate Uribe for alleged witness tampering after the assassination of multiple witnesses who had testified that the former president formed the “Bloque Metro” death squad when he was governor of the Antioquia province.


Brazil: the First Republic under threat

16 octobre 2018

In the United States, it was not until the mid 1960s that the former slaves finally obtained the right to sit in the same buses as whites, to go to the same schools and, at the same time, accede to the right to vote. In Brazil, the right to vote for the poor dates from the 1988 constitution, just a few years before the first multi-racial elections in South Africa in 1994.

The comparison may shock: the population in Brazil is much more mixed than the two other countries. In 2010, in the last census, 48% of the population declared themselves to be ‘white’, 43% ‘mixed’, 8% ‘black’ and 1% ‘Asian’ or ‘natives’. In reality, more than 90% of Brazilians are of mixed origin. The fact remains that social and racial divisions are closely linked. While Brazil is not a country devoid of racism, it is sometimes described as the country of « cordial racism ». This is also a country where democracy is recent and fragile and at the moment is faced with a very serious crisis.

Brazil abolished slavery in 1888, at a time when the slaves still represented 30% of the population in some provinces, particularly in the sugar growing regions in the North East. Apart from the extreme case of slavery, this is a country where labour relations have long been extremely hard, in particular between the landowners and agricultural labourers or landless peasants. On the political level, the 1891 constitution was careful to specify that non-literate people would not have the right to vote, a rule that was also incorporated into the constitutions of 1934 and 1946. This permitted the exclusion of 70% of the adult population from the participation in the electoral process in 1890, and still over 50% in 1950 and 20% in 1980. In practice these were not only former slaves but more generally the poor who were thus excluded from the political scene for a century. In comparison, India had no hesitation in implementing genuine universal suffrage as from 1947, despite the huge social and status divisions inherited from the past and the immense poverty of the country.

In Brazil, despite the political exclusion of the illiterate no proactive education policy was implemented. The reason why inequality has remained so widespread in the country is primarily because the property-owning classes have never really attempted to reverse the heavy historical legacy. The quality of the public services and schools open to the majority has long remained extremely inadequate and is still insufficient today.


Anomalously Huge Planets Have Been Detected Orbiting a Bafflingly Young Star

This shouldn't be possible.


A wee baby star at the tender age of just 2 million years has revealed itself to be quite the precocious little cosmic object.

Astronomers have discovered it has not one, but four planets in the protoplanetary disc of dust and gas that surrounds it - and they are all gargantuan, with the biggest coming in at 11 times the mass of Jupiter, and the smallest about the mass of Saturn.

Moreover, their orbits are incredibly distant. The outermost is more than 1,000 times the distance from the star than the innermost. That's the most extreme range of orbits ever observed in a planetary system; Pluto, for context, is only around 102 times the distance from the Sun as Mercury.

The star is named CI Tau, located around 500 light-years away in a star-forming region of the constellation of Taurus, and it's been a bit of a brain teaser since 2016. That's when the first of its planets - the largest of the four, the super-Jupiter named CI Tau b - was discovered, orbiting really close to the star, completing a full orbit every 9 days.

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