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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
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Mattis pledges closer defense cooperation with Argentina

Source: Associated Press

Robert Burns, Ap National Security Writer
Updated 11:32 am CDT, Wednesday, August 15, 2018

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday pledged closer defense cooperation with Argentina.

Standing beside his Argentinian counterpart, Oscar Aguad, Mattis said the military partnership can be strengthened. He alluded to the help the U.S. Navy provided Argentina last November when one of its submarines went missing with 44 sailors aboard.

Mattis's visit is the first to Argentina by an American secretary of defense since Donald H. Rumsfeld in 2005.

Mattis and Aguad announced no specific agreements, but both said they hope for better relations between their two countries.

Read more: https://www.chron.com/news/politics/article/Mattis-pledges-closer-defense-cooperation-with-13157987.php

New York Times:
America’s Role in Argentina’s Dirty War
By The Editorial Board
March 17, 2016

A few months after a military junta overthrew President Isabel Perón of Argentina in 1976, the country’s new foreign minister, Adm. Cesar Guzzetti, told Henry Kissinger, America’s secretary of state, that the military was aggressively cracking down on “the terrorists.”

Mr. Kissinger responded, “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly,” an apparent warning that a new American Congress might cut off aid if it thought the Argentine government was engaging in systemic human rights abuses.

The American ambassador in Buenos Aires soon reported to Washington that the Argentine government had interpreted Mr. Kissinger’s words as a “green light” to continue its brutal tactics against leftist guerrillas, political dissidents and suspected socialists.

Just how much the American government knew about Argentina’s repressive “Dirty War,” which lasted from 1976 to 1983 — and the extent to which it condoned the abuses — has remained shrouded in secrecy.


~ ~ ~

Obama sorry for U.S. policies during Argentina's 'dirty war'
Kamilia Lahrichi and Oren Dorell, USA TODAY
Published 11:56 a.m. ET March 24, 2016 | Updated 10:42 p.m. ET March 24, 2016

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and his counterpart from Argentina Mauricio Macri,
right, make a floral tribute to the victims of the military dictatorship at Parque de la
Memoria in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 24, 2016, during the tour of the wall, next
to the Rio de la Plata.

U.S. embassy in Buenos Aires during the administration of then-President Jimmy Carter to document human rights abuses and identify the disappeared. Such men did so despite threats to themselves and their families, Obama said.

The new records will be added to a trove of more than 4,000 documents already declassified compiled by U.S. diplomats and used in Argentina to prosecute those accused in the abuses, Obama said.

. . .

Documents from the administration of President Gerald Ford, who was in office during the 1976 coup, show that top U.S. officials knew of the impending coup and did little to stop it.

. . .

On Feb. 28, 1976, less than a month before the coup, Hill wrote the State Department again with the good news that few Argentine politicians believed the United States was actively fomenting a coup. "Our stock with democratic civilian forces therefore remains high, but at same time our bridges to military are open," Hill wrote.


Extremist group threatens to 'exterminate' opposition to Colombia's new government

by Adriaan Alsema August 12, 2018

Right-wing extremist group the Aguilas Negras are threatening to kill anyone who opposes Colombia’s new president, Ivan Duque.

In the latest death threat and manifesto by the group’s “Southwestern Bloc,” the extremists said that it considered all political parties that do not make up the governing coalition a “military target.”

Also threatened in the letter were victims organizations, labor unions, politicians and social leaders.

Threatened political parties:
  • Humane Colombia
  • Green Alliance
  • Communist Party
  • Alternative Democratic Pole


    We know trolls everywhere would support this threat, but it is evil, as everyone knows, regardless.
  • Former Colombia intelligence chief ordered legendary comedian's assassination

    Source: Colombia Reports

    by Mathew Di Salvo August 14, 2018

    A former top official of Colombia’s now-defunct state intelligence agency ordered the killing one of Colombia’s most beloved comedians, a court ruled Tuesday.

    Just one day after the 19th anniversary of activist and funnyman Jaime Garzon’s death, former vice-director of Colombia’s intelligence agency DAS, Jose Miguel Narvaez, was sentenced to 30 years behind bars.

    Possible state involvement is also being considered, with an army colonel with alleged links to paramilitaries being investigated for the murder, reports El Tiempo.

    Narvaez was already in prison for his involvement in the spying on Colombia’s Supreme Court in 2008 when the DAS was reporting directly to former President Alvaro Uribe, whose cousin was on trial for ties to death squads at the time.

    Read more: https://colombiareports.com/top-intelligence-official-convicted-for-killing-colombias-most-popular-comedian/

    Earlier Wikipedia, Jaime Garzón, the murdered comedian:

    Jaime Hernando Garzón Forero (October 24, 1960 – August 13, 1999 in Bogotá) was a Colombian comedian, journalist, politician, and peace activist. He was popular on colombian television during the 1990s for his political satire. In addition to his work on television, he also had roles as a peace negotiator in the release of FARC guerrillas' hostages. He was murdered in 1999 by right-wing paramilitary hitmen, with suspected support from members of the Colombian military and security services, according to testimonies of former paramilitaries commanders.[1][2] The case remains open and unsolved.


    Jaime Garzón, wrapping himself in the flag.

    Jaime Garzón memorial

    Another Jaime Garzón memorial

    A Jaime Garzón parade

    Jaime Garzón, partially wrapped in the flag.

    Jaime Garzón's car, after assassination.

    Repression Intensifies in Argentina After President Empowers the Military

    Repression Intensifies in Argentina After President Empowers the Military
    Liz Mason-Deese Truthout
    August 13, 2018

    Weeks after Argentina signed a deal for a new $50 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and only days after hosting G20 leaders in Buenos Aires, Argentine President Mauricio Macri issued a decree July 23 that would allow the country’s armed forces to intervene in questions of domestic security.

    The decree violates laws passed after the country’s last military dictatorship – an authoritarian military junta that took power in a coup in 1976 and used force and repression to silence all opposition – ended in 1983, which limited the role of the armed forces, and points to a disturbing trend of militarization and repression under the right-wing government. The decision sparked immediate outrage from human rights organizations and social movements who have since organized massive protests around the country.

    In his statement, President Macri referred to issues of “national security,” drug-trafficking and protecting the national border to justify giving the military expanded powers. He also stated a more general need for the armed forces to “modernize” in response to 21st century threats, including “internal threats.” These statements have worried many human rights organizations who fear a return to the type of repression experienced under the dictatorship – when armed forces were likewise allowed to intervene in domestic issues.


    Man rescued from mud with parrot perched on his shoulders

    Updated 1:50 pm CDT, Monday, August 13, 2018

    BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Firefighters had to rescue a southwestern Illinois man from deep mud after he became stuck while trying to reach his pet parrot.

    Belleville firefighters were called Sunday afternoon to the city's Bicentennial Park after a visitor heard the man calling for help.

    Fire Chief Tom Pour tells the Belleville News-Democrat the mud from the lake being dredged was like quicksand.

    The man was in mud up to his waist when crews arrived. Video shows that firefighters had to extend ladders across the mud to help him out — as the parrot remained perched on his shoulders.


    New Ancient Egyptian Sphinx Discovered in Luxor

    AUGUST 9, 2018

    General Director of Luxor Antiquities Mohamed Abdel Aziz announced on Sunday that a second ancient Egyptian sphinx, dating back more than 4,000 years, was discovered during the development of Al-Kabbash Road project.

    The latter is located between the ancient temples of Karnak and Luxor.

    Abdel Aziz added that the statue will be lifted and extracted when the environment is more suitable, yet he urged tourists to visit the Al Kabbash road to take the first glimpse of the remarkable discovery.

    The statue is described to have a “lion’s body with a human’s head”, which is different from the smaller statues that usually have a ram head.


    ~ ~ ~


    File photo: Luxor's avenue of sphinxes is pictured.

    Archaeologists have discovered a sphinx buried in Luxor in Egypt—the site of the ancient city of Thebes—Egypt Today has reported.

    The newly uncovered sphinx is the latest treasure imparted by Luxor’s ancient Al-Kabbash Road, much of which is lined with the magnificent stone creatures.

    Al-Kabbash Road links the famous Luxor Temple to Karnak Temple—two vast and impressive centers built for the ancient god Amon, who was particularly revered in Thebes from about 2000 BCE.

    The statue is pretty small compared to the famous Great Sphinx of Giza, which sits near the Great Pyramids of Giza. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in company. The avenue of sphinxes and the temples it connects were originally home to more than 1,000 of the ancient mythological statues, The Independent reported back in 2010.


    ~ ~ ~

    Luxor's Al-Kabbash Road at night - Egypt Today/Sallie Pisch
    New sphinx discovered in Luxor
    By: Egypt Today staff Thu, Aug. 9, 2018

    CAIRO – 9 August 2018: A sphinx was found during the development of Al-Kabbash Road project, declared General Director of Luxor Antiquities Mohamed Abdel Aziz on Sunday.

    Abdel Aziz remarked that the ministry is currently working on lifting the statue because due to the nature of the environment it is in, it cannot be extracted directly from its place.

    He added that Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani has urged tourists to visit Al-Kabbash road to see the statue.

    In the same context, Bassam al-Shamma, a researcher in Egyptology, remarked that the Sphinx’s discovery is expected as several sphinx statues are found across Luxor such as the sphinx statues for King Aymanhotb III and Thutmose IV.


    Tropical forest canopies get hotter than expected, putting wildlife at risk

    by Morgan Erickson-Davis on 3 August 2018

    . . .

    New research finds that the canopies of tropical forests get significantly hotter than the surrounding air. As global warming ups temperature extremes around the world, scientists worry that this means the treetops of rainforests and the wildlife that live in them could fare poorly in the future. They found high temperatures could also diminish tropical forests’ abilities to remove greenhouse gases from the air, reducing their effectiveness as carbon sinks at a time when the world needs them the most.

    To better understand how the temperatures at the tops of trees in a rainforest compare to surrounding air temperatures and how this might affect the functioning of the trees themselves, researchers at Florida State University in the U.S. trained thermal cameras on a tract of rainforest in Barro Colorado Island in Panama.

    A study published recently in Ecosphere reveals that the canopies they looked at exceeded the maximum air temperature by as much as 7 degrees Celsius. For context, the Paris Agreement is attempting to stave off the worse effects of climate change by keeping warming under 2 degrees Celsius.

    Changing temperatures in the forest canopies of Panama’s Barro Colorado Island could mean major consequences for overall forest health. Photo by Stephanie Pau

    Overall, they found that canopies could become 40 percent warmer than the surrounding air. The researchers write that this could have dire implications not only for the trees themselves, but also for the plants and animals that spend their lives in their treetops.


    12-year-old 'genius' enters Mexican university

    4 August 2018 — 8:27am

    Mexico City: The youngest student ever admitted to Mexico's National Autonomous University wouldn't call himself a "genius."

    Carlos Santamaria Diaz, a 12-year-old who will begin classes for an undergraduate degree in biomedical physics on Monday, was dwarfed by the upholstered blue chair he sat in to answer reporters' questions on Friday.

    With his feet barely brushing the floor, he laughed out loud and shook his head when a reporter asked if he considered himself a genius.

    . . .

    The boy from western Guadalajara grew bored with public school at an early age and turned to the web where he taught himself calculus and physics. By the age of nine, he participated in university programs in analytical chemistry, biochemistry and biology.


    70 years ago, a Navajo veteran helped earn Native Americans the right to vote in New Mexico

    By ANDREW OXFORD | The Santa Fe New Mexican | Published: August 3, 2018

    SANTA FE, N.M. (Tribune News Service) — Miguel Trujillo Sr. had been a Marine sergeant in World War II and was in the middle of getting his master’s degree from the University of New Mexico.

    But there was one thing he still couldn’t do.

    Trujillo couldn’t vote.

    In 1948, the state’s constitution barred American Indians living on reservations from participating in elections.


    ~ ~ ~

    Fighting for the Right to Vote
    NOVEMBER 7, 2016

    . . .

    USMC Miguel Trujillo of Isleta Pueblo
    with his daughter Josephine T. Waconda
    in the late 1940s.


    . . .

    A History of Indian Voting Rights and Why It’s Important to Vote

    Day of the Journalist: Colombia's journalists need more protection

    August 3, 2018

    As Colombia prepares to mark “Day of the Journalist” tomorrow, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) deplores the increasingly dangerous environment for media personnel in this Caribbean and Andean country, where the past month has seen a disturbing surge in threats and two journalists were murdered yesterday.

    Yesterday’s victims, local newspaper editor Jairo Alberto Calderón Plazas and local radio host Valentín Rúa Tezada, were slain in separate shooting attacks in the western Cauca Valley.

    The threats and deadly violence have come at a time of marked political polarization during the transition from outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos to President-elect Iván Duque, who will take office on 7 August. There has been a surge in attacks and intimidation attempts by the paramilitary armed groups still present in many parts of Colombia, which have stepped up their harassment of human rights defenders, union leaders and journalists regarded as problematic.

    Jineth Bedoya, a well-known journalist who is deputy editor of the daily El Tiempo, and journalists with La Silla Vacía, a news website,were among those on a hit-list signed by a far-right paramilitary group called the Bloque Central de Las Águilas Negras that was circulated on 14 July.

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