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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 147,224

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Judge: Black man beaten by police was stopped illegally

Source: Associated Press

Updated 1:26 pm, Thursday, February 16, 2017


PHILADELPHIA (AP) A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that police illegally stopped a 22-year-old unarmed black man in Philadelphia before a dozen mostly white officers surrounded him and beat him in an encounter captured on video .

Common Pleas Judge Kai Scott on Wednesday ruled that drugs police seized from Tyree Carroll cannot be admitted as evidence because the arresting officer wasn't legally permitted to stop and search Carroll, Newsworks.org reported (http://bit.ly/2lVBT4W).

A spokesman for the Philadelphia district attorney said prosecutors haven't decided whether to appeal to Superior Court.

A narcotics officer testified he approached Carroll on April 3, 2015, suspecting he'd recently sold drugs. The undercover officer grabbed Carroll by the arm, leading to a confrontation in which officers kicked, punched and cursed at him.



Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Judge-Black-man-beaten-by-police-was-illegally-10937237.php



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Tyree Carroll with his daughter.

Former Colombia drug lord sentenced to 9 years in US prison

Source: Colombia Reports

written by Adriaan Alsema February 16, 2017


A US judge has sentenced the former top boss of Colombia drug cartel Los Rastrojos to only nine years in prison in spite of being responsible for dozens of killings, and cases of forced displacement, kidnapping and forced disappearance, reported newspaper El Tiempo.

Luis Carlos Serna and his brother Javier Antonio Serna, a.k.a. Comba, led the feared Los Rastrojos drug trafficking organization, the former enforcer army of the Norte del Valle drug cartel.

Both brothers surrendered to US authorities in 2012 after having evaded justice in Colombia for years after which their organization fractured.

Having only to respond to drug trafficking charges and because of a plea bargain with the prosecution, Serna got away with a sentence that would only be a fraction of his potential sentence in Colombia.

Read more: http://colombiareports.com/former-colombia-drug-lord-sentenced-9-years-us-prison/




Ecuador presidential election will show if continent's pink tide has truly turned



The country faces its first election in a decade without Rafael Correa but although the favourite, Lenín Moreno, is from the same party they are different characters

Jonathan Watts in Quito
Wednesday 15 February 2017 05.00 EST


Ten years ago, as Latin America’s “pink tide” reached its high-water mark, leftwing leaders such as Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales and Rafael Correa were in power across the continent.

But death and election defeat have since culled their numbers and trimmed their power. Cuba is on a path of moderate reform after the death of Castro. Venezuela was lurching from one crisis to another even before Chávez succumbed to cancer in 2013. Morales’s days as president of Bolivia are also numbered after he failed in an attempt last year to change the constitution to allow him to run for re-election.

This Sunday, Ecuador will also make a change, with the first presidential election in more than a decade not to be contested by Correa, who is stepping aside after winning three consecutive terms. Whether the country now follows the continental trend towards centre-right government or remains a bastion for the left is being contested in an unusually dirty campaign.

The favourite is Lenín Moreno, a former vice-president under Correa who is standing for the ruling Alianza País coalition, but very different in style and politics from the outgoing president. As his first name suggests, Moreno is from a leftwing family, but he has a reputation for inclusiveness openness and humour that earned him approval ratings above 90% when he quit the vice-presidency in 2013 to take up a United Nations post as special envoy on disability. If he wins, he would be the first paraplegic head of state, having used a wheelchair since he was shot in a robbery.

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/15/ecuador-presidential-election-lenin-moreno-pink-tide

Over 40 Years Later, Musician-Activist Victor Jara Remains Relevant as Ever





By Emma Silvers
FEBRUARY 14, 2017


Victor Jara might not be a household name outside his home country of Chile, but perhaps it should be: his story remains as relevant as it is poignant.

A singer-songwriter, theater director and working-class activist often called “the Bob Dylan of South America,” Jara became well-known in the late 1960s and early ’70s for his songs and writings on inequality, labor and social justice. That focus that took on a whole new layer of tragic irony when he was kidnapped, tortured and killed by Chilean military officers working for newly installed dictator Pinochet during the U.S.-backed coup of 1973.

The Resurrection of Victor Jara, a 2015 documentary from director John Travers, explores the folk legend’s life, death and legacy through archival footage, interviews with musicians (Bono, Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie among them), and Jara’s songs — the artist’s own recordings as well as performances by the wide range of Chilean and Argentine musicians he influenced.



The film gets its West Coast debut this Saturday, Feb. 18, at Artists’ Television Access in San Francisco, as one of 11 films that comprise the Noise Pop festival’s 2017 lineup. (Though it’s still primarily a music festival, Noise Pop has in recent years steadily expanded its film schedule; this year’s documentaries explore everything from the Burmese punk scene to the rise of modern festival culture to rare footage from the archives of folklorist Alan Lomax.)

More:
https://ww2.kqed.org/arts/2017/02/14/over-40-years-later-musician-activist-victor-jara-remains-relevant-as-ever/

Trump supporter evacuated from Oroville dam: 'I feel like a refugee'

Trump supporter evacuated from Oroville dam: 'I feel like a refugee'

When Sam Lyon fled with his family he was sheltered by a Sikh temple in Sacramento. His experience gave him new insight into the president’s travel ban

Alan Yuhas in Sacramento
@alanyuhas
Tuesday 14 February 2017 18.56 EST



Since his family evacuated on Sunday on orders from officials fearful that the spillways of the Oroville dam would break, Sam Lyon said he has sometimes felt “like a refugee in my own country”.

The 38-year-old from Olivehurst, California, was angry on Tuesday that state officials had not done more to provide aid to the 180,000 people ordered to the roads..

The Lyons had taken refuge in west Sacramento, where volunteers at the Gurdwara Sahib Sikh Temple opened their doors to about 250 people at the evacuation’s peak.

“They took us in. We had nowhere to go,” Lyon said. “Anything I can do to return that 10,000 fold, I would.”

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/14/trump-supporter-evacuated-oroville-dam-sikh-temple-shelter

 Ecuadors Left-Wing Success Story

 Ecuador’s Left-Wing Success Story

It doesn’t fit with neoliberal orthodoxy, but President Rafael Correa has made remarkable progress. Will the next government sustain it?

By Mark Weisbrot


In a shift supported and welcomed in Washington, Latin America has been moving to the right in the last year or so. Three of South America’s largest economies—Brazil, Argentina, and Peru—now have right-wing presidents with close ties to Washington and its foreign policy. The standard “Washington Consensus” narrative, while ignoring any US role in the region, sees the left governments that were elected in South America over the past couple decades as having ridden a commodities boom to populist victories, with handouts to the poor and unsustainable spending. When that boom collapsed, the story goes, so did the finances of left governments and therefore their political fortunes.

But this is a highly exaggerated and self-serving narrative. Ecuador is a good example of how a left government achieved success over the past decade through positive and creative changes in economic policy, as well as financial, institutional, and regulatory reform.

The details are also worth looking at because Ecuador’s experience shows that much of the rhetoric about how “globalization” restricts the choices of governments to those that please international investors is also exaggerated. It turns out that even a relatively small, middle-income developing country can adopt workable alternative policy options—if people can elect a government that is independent and responsible enough to use them.

The results for the decade of left government in Ecuador (2007-16) include a 38 percent reduction in poverty and a 47 percent reduction in extreme poverty. Social spending as a percentage of GDP doubled, including large increases in spending on education and healthcare. Educational enrollment increased sharply for ages 17 and under, and spending on higher education as a percent of GDP became the highest in Latin America. Average annual growth of income per capita was much higher than in the prior 26 years (1.5 versus 0.6 percent), and inequality was considerably reduced.

More:
https://www.thenation.com/article/ecuadors-left-wing-success-story/

Uribe family further submerged in paramilitary accusations


written by Adriaan Alsema February 14, 2017



A Medellin court ordered not only to investigate the brother of former President Alvaro Uribe for forming his own death squads, but also for financing other paramilitary groups.

The court investigating crimes by the paramilitary AUC asked the prosecution to investigate accusations made by numerous demobilized paramilitaries who had claimed the former president’s brother financed the “Bloque Pacifico,” a.k.a. “Heroes del Chocó,” and the “Bloque Heroes de Granada.”

Uribe is one of the 12,500 civilians and businesses facing charges before a transitional justice tribunal over their financial support for one the illegal armed groups that has taken part in Colombia’s 52-year armed conflict.

. . .
Uribe’s brother is already in prison where he is awaiting trial for his role in founding “The 12 Apostles,” an extreme-right death squad that committed multiple homicides in the Uribes’ home province of Antioquia with a neighbor and the local priest.

More:
http://colombiareports.com/uribe-family-submerged-paramilitary-accusations/

Volcanic Eruption May Have Plunged the Maya into a Dark Age


A new study of ancient ash links an El Chichón eruption to a time of inexplicable cultural upheaval in Maya history
By Shannon Hall on February 13, 2017





Ancient Maya city of Palenque overlooking the coastal plain. Credit: Wim Hoek


A dark plume leapt into the sky over southern Mexico. Below, waves of hot gas and rock screamed down volcanic slopes, stripping the mountain and surrounding area of vegetation, killing any living thing in their path. It mixed with rivers to create torrents of water, mud and other material as thick as wet concrete. For days afterward the air was choked with ash—microscopic shards of glass—that sickened survivors who inhaled it. It fell like snow onto the surrounding landscape, jamming rivers to create massive floods that wreaked havoc on agriculture. It was A.D. 540, and El Chichón—a small and previously unremarkable volcano—had plunged Maya civilization into darkness and chaos.

At least that is the story according to a new paper published in the February Geology, jumping into the long-running archaeological debate about what drove Maya civilization—one of the most sophisticated of its time—into a century-long “dark age.”

The Maya, who thrived from A.D. 250 to 900, are widely considered the most advanced civilization in the pre-Columbian Americas. They developed a writing system, precise calendars, new mathematics and magnificent cities with pyramids that still cast their shadows today. But a major mystery remains. In 1938 an archaeologist noticed a strange gap in dated Maya monuments. For more than 100 years the Maya inexplicably halted construction projects, seemingly deserted some areas and engaged in warfare. And in the 75 years since the discovery archaeologists have failed to find an explanation—although they have come up with a lot of hypotheses. Some have speculated an earthquake or hurricane struck the area. Others think trade routes might have collapsed.

An early hint that an ancient volcanic eruption might be the culprit came far from the Maya lowlands, in Greenland and Antarctica. A volcano can send a large amount of sulfur particles rocketing into the stratosphere, where they can easily spread across the globe. Once they reach the area over the poles they fasten to snow crystals and eventually become trapped in the ice sheets below, leaving a precise record for scientists to uncover centuries later. That is how Michael Sigl, a chemist from the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, deduced that a massive eruption must have happened somewhere in the world in A.D. 540—right at the start of the mysterious Maya “dark age.” Tree ring records indicate that sunlight-reflecting sulfur particles high in the atmosphere caused the global temperature to plummet by 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius at the same time. A volcanic eruption had clearly rocked the world. But could scientists pinpoint its location?

More:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/volcanic-eruption-may-have-plunged-the-maya-into-a-ldquo-dark-age-rdquo/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+basic-science+%28Topic%3A+More+Science%29

Anthropology:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/12292988

Volcanic Eruption May Have Plunged the Maya into a Dark Age



A new study of ancient ash links an El Chichón eruption to a time of inexplicable cultural upheaval in Maya history
By Shannon Hall on February 13, 2017





Ancient Maya city of Palenque overlooking the coastal plain. Credit: Wim Hoek

A dark plume leapt into the sky over southern Mexico. Below, waves of hot gas and rock screamed down volcanic slopes, stripping the mountain and surrounding area of vegetation, killing any living thing in their path. It mixed with rivers to create torrents of water, mud and other material as thick as wet concrete. For days afterward the air was choked with ash—microscopic shards of glass—that sickened survivors who inhaled it. It fell like snow onto the surrounding landscape, jamming rivers to create massive floods that wreaked havoc on agriculture. It was A.D. 540, and El Chichón—a small and previously unremarkable volcano—had plunged Maya civilization into darkness and chaos.

At least that is the story according to a new paper published in the February Geology, jumping into the long-running archaeological debate about what drove Maya civilization—one of the most sophisticated of its time—into a century-long “dark age.”

The Maya, who thrived from A.D. 250 to 900, are widely considered the most advanced civilization in the pre-Columbian Americas. They developed a writing system, precise calendars, new mathematics and magnificent cities with pyramids that still cast their shadows today. But a major mystery remains. In 1938 an archaeologist noticed a strange gap in dated Maya monuments. For more than 100 years the Maya inexplicably halted construction projects, seemingly deserted some areas and engaged in warfare. And in the 75 years since the discovery archaeologists have failed to find an explanation—although they have come up with a lot of hypotheses. Some have speculated an earthquake or hurricane struck the area. Others think trade routes might have collapsed.

An early hint that an ancient volcanic eruption might be the culprit came far from the Maya lowlands, in Greenland and Antarctica. A volcano can send a large amount of sulfur particles rocketing into the stratosphere, where they can easily spread across the globe. Once they reach the area over the poles they fasten to snow crystals and eventually become trapped in the ice sheets below, leaving a precise record for scientists to uncover centuries later. That is how Michael Sigl, a chemist from the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, deduced that a massive eruption must have happened somewhere in the world in A.D. 540—right at the start of the mysterious Maya “dark age.” Tree ring records indicate that sunlight-reflecting sulfur particles high in the atmosphere caused the global temperature to plummet by 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius at the same time. A volcanic eruption had clearly rocked the world. But could scientists pinpoint its location?

More:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/volcanic-eruption-may-have-plunged-the-maya-into-a-ldquo-dark-age-rdquo/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+basic-science+%28Topic%3A+More+Science%29

Lpez Obrador, Mexico's austere populist, sees chance in rise of Trump

López Obrador, Mexico's austere populist, sees chance in rise of Trump

Perpetual candidate known as AMLO is a leftwing politician known for personal modesty but he also senses an opening against establishment parties

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David Agren in Santa Cruz Atizapán
@el_reportero
Monday 13 February 2017 06.30 EST


In a stump speech in a village plaza high in the pine-covered hills of Mexico state, populist presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador calmly took aim at a string of hate figures: crooked politicians, corrupt officials and Donald Trump, who he described as “an irresponsible bully”.

He spared his harshest words, however, for Mexico’s own president, Enrique Peña Nieto, who he accused of failing stand up to his US counterpart.

“He didn’t have the guts to tell Trump, ‘You will respect the Mexican people,’” López Obrador said. “’You will respect our migrants.’”

A self-styled outsider, mocked by critics as the “Mexican messiah”, López Obrador is the left’s perpetual presidential candidate. He is leading in early polls for the 2018 election, playing on discontent with the country’s economic underperformance and unhappiness with a political class perceived as living in luxury while ordinary Mexicans see salaries stagnate.

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/13/andres-manuel-lopez-obrador-mexico-donald-trump

AMLO!
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