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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 147,046

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Mexico baby death trial reveals growing persecution of women who miscarry

Dafne McPherson was convicted of murder after her baby died during childbirth – part of a growing trend to criminalise women in conservative parts of the country

David Agren in San Juan del Río@el_reportero
Wednesday 8 November 2017 03.00 EST

The day that Dafne McPherson’s life came apart began like any other: she dropped her seven-year-old daughter Lia at school, then started her shift in the children’s clothing section of the Liverpool department store in the central Mexican city of San Juan del Río.

At around 5pm, she felt a sharp abdominal cramp and spoke to the store nurse, who told her nothing was amiss. But shortly afterwards, in the second-floor bathroom, McPherson went into labour. She says she hadn’t even realised that she was pregnant.

McPherson is currently serving a 16-year sentence after she was convicted of homicide for the death of her baby in what she says was a miscarriage.

Her case gained national notoriety when court videos surfaced in which the prosecutor described McPherson’s alleged actions as something “not even a dog would do”.


Editorials and other articles:

Whose Decision Was a Greater Threat to Soldiers Lives: President Bushs or Bowe Bergdahls?

NOVEMBER 7, 2017

I’m admitting I made a horrible mistake.

— Bowe Bergdahl’s testimony in his court martial

Charging a man with murder in Vietnam is like charging someone for speeding at the Indianapolis 500.

– From Apocalypse Now

Obviously, to ask who endangered soldiers more, President George W. Bush or Bowe Bergdahl, is a rhetorical question. The real issue is whether a Dishonorable Discharge, a demotion and a fine is enough punishment for Bo Bergdahl. It’s clear by now it’s out-of-bounds (poor etiquette) to suggest our major leaders should be held accountable for bad military decisions that put soldiers in harms way and cost lives. It’s a variant of the bumper sticker, “Kill one person, it’s murder; kill 100,000, it’s foreign policy.” Accountability is like gravity; it slips and falls and tends to find the most susceptible person or entity that can be turned into a receptacle for the blame. Naturally, you wave the flag like crazy while guiding the blame downward. Unless, of course, you were Japanese at the height of their failed, imperial thrust into the world; then, you made martial sounds as you sliced your guts open and a loyal factotum lopped your head off. There’s a certain honor in that.

The question of moral and political accountability is a perennial one. It’s hard to find anyone in either major party who still holds on to the idea the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq by George W. Bush — the “war president” and “the decider” — was anything but a terrible foreign policy decision. As the younger President Bush put it: “I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation. But I’m the decider, and I decide what is best.” Those of us who cried out in vain from the beginning that the decision to invade Iraq was wrong and could lead nowhere but to even worse disasters now see it as a decision that unleashed a debacle that keeps on paying dangerous dividends. President Bush ducked under the radar after his part in it was over and started doing what he probably should have done from the beginning: He painted not-so-bad, primitive paintings of veterans, dogs and his toes in the bathtub.

The lack of accountability at the top is especially acute right now when nuclear war looms over us vis-a-vis North Korea. Not only does the current commander-in-chief not accept accountability — “the buck” no longer stops in the Oval Office — he’s a master in the cultural realm he flourishes in at finding and flogging scapegoats. His “base” will let him get away with, as he famously put it, shooting someone on Fifth Avenue. In Bergdahl’s case, he wanted the man executed. If he had his way, it would be something produced by Faye Dunaway’s character in the film Network: “The Execution Hour”.


Using Fear to Strike at Cuban Tourism

NOVEMBER 6, 2017

The mysterious case of the alleged “acoustic attacks” against US diplomatic personnel in Cuba turns out to have been a media maneuver aimed at damaging tourism in terms of as part of the blockade against the island.

One of Cuba’s greatest attractions for foreign tourism is the guarantee of security offered by the island to visitors from any part of the world. Another is the high level of public health in Cuba, one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere with health indicators comparable to those of the most developed nations.

In addition to the exceptional conditions with which the island has been endowed by nature, the popular revolution of 1959 has incorporated the dsocial conditions of peace and harmony that the visitor appreciates from the first moment of their stay in Cuba.

More than half a century of possessive paranoia, aggravated by the economic, commercial and financial blockade, have not been able to counteract the enormous achievements of socialism, even if they have postponed or limited many revolutionary economic and social advances in the country.


Hydroelectric dams threaten Brazils mysterious Pantanal one of the worlds great wetlands

November 6, 2017 9.11am EST

The Pantanal in central South America may not be as globally famous as the Amazon rainforest, but it has the continent’s highest concentration of wildlife. Now, however, the region’s endangered plants and animals, along with its still undiscovered secrets, may be wiped out in return for cheap hydroelectricity.

The Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland and covers an area slightly larger than England. It lies mostly on a huge floodplain at the foot of Brazil’s southwestern highlands, but a fraction also spills over into Bolivia and Paraguay. In the wet season, from October to April, water washes down from those highlands bringing with it nutrients and fish and leaving most of the region underwater. When the rains finish, and the ground dries up, the landscape changes once again.

Seasonal variation on such a massive scale means the Pantanal contains a diverse range of plants and animals that have adapted to thrive in standing water or waterlogged soil. The region is home to more than 1,000 bird species and 300 mammals including the jaguar, capybara, giant otter and tapir.

Pantanal jaguars are the largest in the world. Hans Wagemaker / shutterstock

Yet the Pantanal is now threatened by Brazil’s thirst for hydroelectricity. We are part of a group of researchers investigating the state of Mato Grosso, where the rush to build dams is particularly apparent. Mato Grosso holds the upper reaches of the Pantanal, but is probably more famous for the Amazon rainforest in the north of the state and the enormous “fazendas” (large farms) on its fringes which produce soya, beef and cotton.



More images:


Messier's List: Hubble Telescope's Stunning Views of Deep-Sky Objects

By Christine Lunsford, Space.com Contributor | October 20, 2017 01:20pm ET

- click for image -


1 of 20
The Dumbbell Nebula
Credit: NASA/ESA; Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

The Hubble Space Telescope has snapped views of 93 deep-sky objects from French astronomer Charles Messier's famous list. Here are some of the most spectacular.

Messier 27, discovered by Messier himself, was the first found planetary nebula. Also known as the Dumbbell Nebula, this mass of gas is an aging star's farewell performance, a colorful display of its outer layers being cast off.


This Monster Planet With a Tiny Star Poses a Planetary Formation Puzzle

How did it get so big!?

Astronomers have found something they thought was impossible: a gas giant roughly the size of Jupiter orbiting a white dwarf half the mass and size of the Sun.

The planet, called NGTS-1b, is a record breaker - the largest planet compared to its star ever found, at a ratio that scientists weren't even sure was possible. This discovery could pose a challenge to our current theories about planetary formation.

"The discovery of NGTS-1b was a complete surprise to us - such massive planets were not thought to exist around such small stars," said lead researcher Daniel Bayliss of the University of Warwick.

"This is the first exoplanet we have found with our new NGTS facility and we are already challenging the received wisdom of how planets form.

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