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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 147,066

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Killing the attorney with evidence Colombias military assassinated 6,000 civilians

Killing the attorney with evidence Colombia’s military assassinated 6,000 civilians
written by Adriaan Alsema March 14, 2017

The attorney who on behalf of victims has gathered evidence of the assassination of 6,000 civilians by Colombia’s military is fearing for his life after numerous death threats.

Colombia Reports has obtained prosecution statistics claiming the military killed at least 4,000 civilians, mainly under former President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010) and particularly when President Juan Manuel Santos was defense minister between 2006 and 2008).

. . .

Yepes’ nightmare began in 2014 when his organization, the Colombia-Europe-United States Human RIghts Coordinator (CCEEU), published the report “False Positives in Colombia and the role of the United States’ military assistance” on the widespread and systematic killing of civilians by the military.

. . .

The person who was the commander-in-chief during the mass killing of civilians and a suspect in the killing of thousands, Uribe, has been granted 65 bodyguards and 12 armored cars.


Recycling misery: How Coca-Cola profits from garbage collected by Mexican children

The company acknowledged child labor contributes to its Mexico City collection chain.

- video -

Por: Peniley Ramírez
Publicado: mar 13, 2017 | 07:03 PM EDT

Mexico City - The three Herrera siblings are minors who help their parents make a living by collecting garbage.

They live with their parents in a cardboard and wooden house, with a dirt floor, surrounded by mountains of plastic waste and decomposing food in the Bordo of Xochiaca, a garbage dump outside Mexico City.

Every morning before dawn, Anely, 10, Gerardo, 9 and Erika, 8, walk from home to the dump to help their parents sort the garbage in search of plastic bottles.

They are part of a lucrative supply chain run by Coca-Cola and seven Mexican bottling companies.


Threads That Speak: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Inca

Threads That Speak: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Inca
Posted by Carolyn Barnwell of National Geographic in Explorers Journal on March 10, 2017

- video -

The Inca Empire stretched from Colombia to central Chile and ruled more than 12 million people. They built organized cities and advanced road systems, yet they had no system of hieroglyphic writing, as the Maya did. Instead, they communicated via a system of knotted textile strings known as quipus. Deciphering how to read the quipus has become one of the great mysteries of ancient Peru.

At the site of Incahuasi in the Cañete Valley, archaeologists have found—for the first time—dozens of quipus buried alongside centuries-old produce. They appear to have been used for accounting in agricultural storage houses to record the amount of wood, beans, corn, chili peppers, and other items moving throughout the complex. Six-hundred-year-old beans are so well-preserved in this dry valley that they look like dried beans you would see in a market today. Archaeologists found beans and other produce so they knew they were excavating storerooms, and then they found knots.

National Geographic explorer Alejandro Chu explains that this is significant for quipu scholars because new discoveries could help bring them closer to understanding what the accounting records mean. “Usually you find quipus related to offerings, or funerary bundles in tombs. They are left and totally disconnected from their real use,” Chu says. “One of the main reasons why the discovery of quipus in Incahuasi is amazing is because it’s one of the first times we’re finding them in their original context. They are in the places where they were used.”

Conservator Patricia Landa explains the process of cleaning and preserving quipus. Photograph by Sarah Joseph

Quipus are made of a cotton or wool strings hanging from a main cord. The knots on the strings convey meaning through their location, direction, and type. Researchers already have a basic understanding of the numerical system incorporated in the quipus, where knots represent numbers. The hope is to move beyond mathematical operations to understanding non-numerical words or phrases from the agricultural product inventories. It is a whole new body of data to add to the Quipu Database Project and to understanding this interesting form of communication.


Inhumane Proposal to Separate Women and Children Fleeing Violence Will Cost U.S. Taxpayers

Inhumane Proposal to Separate Women and Children Fleeing Violence Will Cost U.S. Taxpayers
by Catherine Powell
March 10, 2017

Earlier this week, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly confirmed reports that he was considering a policy that would separate women and children who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. If enacted, the policy would be both devastating for women and their children—many fleeing violence in Central America— and costly for the American taxpayer.  Under the proposal women would be kept in detention while applying for asylum and children would be put in protective custody. Currently, women and children are released from detention quickly as they wait for a decision on their case, in part, because of a federal appeals court ruling that prohibits keeping children in prolonged detention.

Last year, however, there was an increase in the number of unaccompanied minors and families with children fleeing Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. From October 2016 to January 2017, 54,147 families (typically defined as mothers traveling with their children) arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border with a vast majority from those three Central American nations. The three countries have continued to experience a surge in gang violence and organized crime along with impunity for perpetrators. Over the last three years on average, 88 percent of families passed their credible fear screening—a screening that determines if an asylum seeker has a credible fear of prosecution. Women and girls in these countries  increasingly face the threat of sexual violence, forced prostitution, and gender-based violence by organized crime and gangs.

Women and children fleeing Central America have faced violence in their home country and along their journey. Separating traumatized mothers and children from one another will add to that trauma. In addition, placing children in protective custody will place more of a burden on our child welfare system. Plus, keeping women detained for the duration of their case will increase the number of people kept in detention, which poses increased costs for U.S. taxpayers. During FY2016, the United States spent on average $123 per day on an adult bed in detention and $342 per family unit per day with an annual budget of around $3 billion for detentions.  Maintaining the current policy—which keeps families together—is not only the right course of action, it’s the smart, fiscally prudent course to follow.


Egypt archaeologists discover massive statue in Cairo slum

Source: Associated Press

Brian Rohan, Associated Press Updated 5:02 pm, Friday, March 10, 2017

CAIRO (AP) — Archaeologists in Egypt discovered a massive statue in a Cairo slum that may be of Ramses II, one of the country's most famous and longest ruling ancient pharaohs.

The colossus, a large portion of whose head was pulled from mud and groundwater by a bulldozer and seen by The Associated Press on Friday, is around eight meters (26 feet) high and was discovered by a German-Egyptian archaeological team.

"We used the bulldozer to lift it out. We took some precautions, although somewhat primitive, but the part that we retrieved was not harmed," said Khaled Mohamed Abuelela, manager of antiquities at Ain Shams University.

Egyptologist Khaled Nabil Osman said the statue was an "impressive find" and the area in the working class neighborhood of Matariya in eastern Cairo is likely full of other buried antiquities.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/world/article/Archeologists-in-Egypt-discover-massive-statue-in-10991945.php

Former governor of province with highest child mortality rate in Colombia arrested for stealing fund

Former governor of province with highest child mortality rate in Colombia arrested for stealing funds to curb child mortality
written by Jamie Vaughan Johnson March 10, 2017

The governor of the province with the highest child mortality in Colombia was arrested for embezzling funds meant to curb this child mortality rate.

Oneida Pinto, the sacked governor of the northern Guajira province was arrested on Wednesday in the capital Bogota on charges she embezzled $6.2 million in medical funds in one of the most heart-breaking corruption cases in recent history.

According to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, more than 4,500 children of the Wayuu, the native people of La Guajira, died of malnutrition in the past 8 years.

. . .

The Guajira peninsula, a desert area, has been plagued by malnutrition among children largely due to drought, systematic corruption in government, and the excessive use of water by the nearby Cerrejon coal mine.

Pinto’s predecessor is in prison after being convicted for a triple homicide.



El Cerrejon mine, which was placed in the middle of their homeland.

Discovery of widespread platinum may help solve Clovis people mystery

Discovery of widespread platinum may help solve Clovis people mystery
March 9, 2017

University of South Carolina archaeologists found an abundance of platinum -- an element associated with cosmic objects like asteroids or comet -- at 11 Clovis excavation sites across the United States. Credit: South Carolina Institute for Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina

No one knows for certain why the Clovis people and iconic beasts—mastodon, mammoth and saber-toothed tiger - living some 12,800 years ago suddenly disappeared. However, a discovery of widespread platinum at archaeological sites across the United States by three University of South Carolina archaeologists has provided an important clue in solving this enduring mystery.

The research findings are outlined in a new study released Thursday (March 9) in Scientific Reports, a publication of Nature. The study, authored by 10 researchers, builds on similar findings of platinum - an element associated with cosmic objects like asteroids or comets - found by Harvard University researchers in an ice-core from Greenland in 2013.

The South Carolina researchers found an abundance of platinum in soil layers that coincided with the "Younger-Dryas," a climatic period of extreme cooling that began around 12,800 ago and lasted about 1,400 years. While the brief return to ice-age conditions during the Younger-Dryas has been well-documented by scientists, the reasons for it and the demise of the Clovis people and animals have remained unclear.

"Platinum is very rare in the Earth's crust, but it is common in asteroids and comets," says Christopher Moore, the study's lead author. He calls the presence of platinum found in the soil layers at 11 archaeological sites in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina an anomaly.


Con artists prey on immigrants fearing a Trump crackdown

Source: Associated Press

Tom Hays and Deepti Hajela, Associated Press
Updated 6:22 pm, Thursday, March 9, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — The call came from what looked like a government number. When an immigrant in New York City answered, the voice on the other end told him he was in the U.S. illegally and would have to pay $1,550 to stay.

It was a scam, carried out by one of a number of con artists who have been exploiting immigrants' heightened fears of deportation by posing as federal agents and demanding money, authorities say.

Such scams have been around for a long time, but there has been a flurry of reported cases since Donald Trump was elected president on promises to get tough on immigrants in the country without permission.

Police in Lynn, Massachusetts, warned immigrants to be on guard last month after a family reported getting a call from a person who claimed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents would raid their home if they didn't wire money.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/us/article/Con-artists-prey-on-immigrants-fearing-a-Trump-10989972.php#photo-12519113

 After a Century of American Citizenship, Puerto Ricans Have Little to Show for It

Puerto Rico has never been more than a profit center for the US. Now an unelected board governs the island as a de facto collection agency for hedge funds and Wall Street speculators.

By Nelson Denis
MARCH 2, 2017

One hundred years ago today, on March 2, 1917, more than one million Puerto Ricans were granted United States citizenship. It wasn’t exactly a gift. Exactly one month later, on April 2, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war on Germany. The point of extending citizenship to Puerto Ricans was to get about 20,000 more bodies into the World War.

The centennial of that dubious bestowal makes now a good time to kick the tires and see whether citizenship ended up being a vehicle for human development or a beat-up car that only benefited its dealer.

After one hundred years of citizenship, US federal agencies control the island’s currency, banking system, international trade, foreign relations, shipping and maritime laws, TV, radio, postal system, immigration, Social Security, customs, transportation, military, import-export regulations, environmental controls, coastal operations, air space, civil and criminal appeals, and judicial code.

After one hundred years of citizenship, the per capita income of Puerto Ricans is roughly $15,200—half that of Mississippi, the poorest state in the union. Yet in the last five years alone, the government raised the retirement age, increased worker contributions, and lowered public pensions and benefits. It also hiked the water rates by 60 percent, raised the gasoline and sales taxes (the latter to 11.5 percent), and allowed electricity rates to skyrocket. In 2013–14 alone, 105 different taxes were raised in Puerto Rico. But this was not enough.


Nestle close to signing off on $50 million-$60 million factory in Cuba

Wed Mar 8, 2017 | 11:43pm GMT
By Sarah Marsh | HAVANA

Swiss firm Nestle (NESN.S) is close to reaching a deal with Cuba on forming a new joint venture to build a $50 million to $60 million factory to produce coffee, biscuits and cooking products, company Vice President Laurent Freixe said on Wednesday in Havana.

Freixe, head of Nestle's Americas division, was visiting the Communist-ruled island to negotiate the new investment in the Mariel special development zone west of Havana as well as to renew for another 20 years an existing joint venture producing ice cream.

Cuba has upped its drive to attract foreign funds in a bid to stimulate the economy in recent years, introducing a new investment law and creating the Mariel zone, which offers companies significant tax and customs breaks.

Nestle has been one of the largest investors in the country since it opened the door to Western capital in the 1990s after the fall of former benefactor the Soviet Union.

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