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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 147,066

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Judge to Hear Charges on 'MDB Criminal Gang' Regarding President Temer's Friends


04/10/2018 - 11H21

FÁBIO FABRINI
FROM BRASÍLIA

Judge Marcos Vinícius Reis Bastos, of the 12th Federal District Court in Brasília, agreed to hear charges of racketeering against nine people, among them politicians from the MDB Party and two close friends of President Michel Temer, Coronel João Baptista de Lima Filho and lawyer José Yunes.

Those accused are now classified as defendants and will respond to a criminal proceeding, as Folha had previously predicted on Monday (the 9th).

The charges, referring to what is called the 'Major MDB criminal gang' were originally presented to the Federal Supreme Court in September of last year by then Federal General Prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, against Temer and some of his most important allies, like former President of the Congress Eduardo Cunha (RJ) and Henrique Eduardo Alves (RN), as well as former minister Geddel Vieira Lima (BA) and former congressman Rodrigo Rocha Loures (PR), who was flagrantly captured on film by the Federal Police running with a suitcase full of money for JBS Corporation.

The prosecutor alleged the existence of an organization that diverted funds from many public entities, among them the Caixa Econômica Federal Bank, the Furnas Hydroelectric Complex, the Ministry of National Integration and the House of Representatives. According to the prosecutor, party members would have received at least R$ 587 million (US$ 172 million) in bribes through the scheme. Those accused have denied participation in illicit activities.

After the House of Representatives barred continuation of the proceedings against Temer, the case was sent back to the Federal Judiciary so that those without privileged standing could be prosecuted.


http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/internacional/en/brazil/2018/04/1964233-judge-to-hear-charges-regarding-mdb-criminal-gang-against-temers-friends.shtml

This Crazy Optical Illusion Will Disappear Before Your Very Eyes

Now you see it, now you...

CARLY CASSELLA 11 APR 2018
A crazy optical illusion is breaking the internet this week – and no, it's not just another version of that dress.

The mind-bending illusion, which was posted to Reddit just yesterday, has already received over 48,000 upvotes.

This time, you can watch as you lose the ability to perceive colour.

Seriously, just look at the black dot in the centre of this image for 10-20 seconds and you'll notice the colours begin to steadily disappear, pixel by pixel.

More:
https://www.sciencealert.com/crazy-new-optical-illusion-breaking-internet

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Swore In New U.S. Citizens & What She Told Them Will Bring You To Tears


By MONICA BUSCH
25 min ago

On Tuesday, the Notorious RBG dropped by the New-York Historical Society to provide words of encouragement to a group of brand new American citizens. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg swore in new U.S. citizens while presiding over a naturalization ceremony of her own volition, according to The New York Times, and took the opportunity to riff on America's need for some self-improvement.


"Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that the greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than other nations, but rather in her ability to repair her faults," Ginsburg told the group, according to the Times. She later added, "We have made huge progress, but the work of perfection is scarcely done."

The New-York Historical Society provides a series of free classes for green card holders studying for the citizenship test, and when Ginsburg heard about the program, she reportedly wrote to the Society and said she would like to participate in a naturalization ceremony if she was ever available.

That day arrived this week, and the Supreme Court justice did not disappoint. She told the group that her own father came to the United States when he was only 13 years old, and that when he arrived, he didn't speak any English. Only one generation later, she now holds one of the highest judicial positions in the United States, and was overseeing the naturalization of new citizens herself.

More:
https://www.bustle.com/p/ruth-bader-ginsburg-swore-in-new-us-citizens-what-she-told-them-will-bring-you-to-tears-8753419

The whales who love to sing in the dark


By Mary Halton
Science reporter, BBC News
4 April 2018

Beneath the Arctic sea ice, in the blanket of January's polar night, bowhead whales most prefer to sing.

While the songs of humpback whales have long received the most attention, it turns out that their baleen cousins could have a far greater repertoire.

A study of a bowhead population near Svalbard has shown that their musical calls may be as varied as those of songbirds.

This would make them unique among whale populations, and possibly even mammals.

More:
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43630716

TRUMP ORGANIZATION ASKING PANAMA PRESIDENT TO STOP ITS EVICTION FROM HOTEL IS CLEAR CONFLICT OF INTE

Source: Newsweek

TRUMP ORGANIZATION ASKING PANAMA PRESIDENT TO STOP ITS EVICTION FROM HOTEL IS CLEAR CONFLICT OF INTEREST, WATCHDOG SAYS
BY JESSICA KWONG ON 4/9/18 AT 6:08 PM

President Donald Trump’s company appealed to Panama's president to intervene after its hotel business management team was evicted from a luxury hotel in the country.

Britton & Iglesias, the firm representing the Trump Organization, on March 22 sent a letter, obtained by The Associated Press Monday, to Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela stating that they “URGENTLY request your influence in relation to a commercial dispute involving Trump Hotel aired before Panama’s judiciary.”

The move has struck further alarm bells with ethics experts already concerned by conflicts of interest within the Trump administration.

“This could be the clearest example we’ve seen of a conflict of interest stemming from the president’s role as head of state in connection with other countries and his business interests,” Danielle Brian, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group Project on Government Oversight, told the AP.

Read more: http://www.newsweek.com/trump-organization-panama-hotel-president-conflict-878147?piano_t=1

Under Uribe, Colombias military killed more civilians than guerrillas: study

Under Uribe, Colombia’s military killed more civilians than guerrillas: study
by Adriaan Alsema April 8, 2018



Colombia’s military executed far more civilians than guerrillas when former President Alvaro Uribe led the country between 2002 and 2010, according to new study.

According to former police colonel and sociologist Omar Rojas and historian Fabian Leonardo Benavides, the security forces executed approximately 10,000 civilians.

The two researchers published their findings in the book “Extrajudicial Executions in Colombia, 2002-2010 – Blind Obedience in Fictitious Battlefields.”

This would mean that the majority of the 16,724 combat kills reported by the military between 2002 and 2010 were civilians, and not guerrillas as the Colombian people were made to believe.

More:
https://colombiareports.com/under-uribe-colombias-military-killed-more-civilians-than-guerrillas-study/

One of the last living witnesses against Uribe survives two assassination attempts

One of the last living witnesses against Uribe survives two assassination attempts
by Adriaan Alsema April 9, 2018

Colombia’s Supreme Court ordered increased protection for one of the last living witnesses in a criminal case over the violence-ridden past of former President Alvaro Uribe after multiple assassination attempts.

Juan Guillermo Monsalve was taken to a safe house after the son of one of Uribe’s former employees survived a stabbing and a poisoning attempt in prison, local media reported.

The former president is investigated by the Supreme Court over attempts to manipulate Monsalve who has claimed Uribe and his brother Santiago formed their own death squads in the 1990s.

Other possible key witnesses died in suspicious circumstances or were murdered as the Uribe family’s political and economical power grew.

More:
https://colombiareports.com/one-of-the-last-living-witnesses-against-uribe-survives-two-assassination-attempts/

Why Antarcticas Prehistoric Forests Might Foreshadow Its Future


Hidden on the frozen continent are clues to its greener past.
SARAH LASKOWAPR. 8, 2018 6:00 AM



Antarctica was once covered in forests instead of ice. Vincent van Zeijst

This story was originally published by Atlas Obscura and appears here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.


On their way back from the South Pole in 1912, Robert Falcon Scott and his team discovered the delicate lines of plant leaves pressed into the hard rock of Antarctica. They were “beautifully traced” fossils, Scott wrote. Despite the explorers’ fatigue and dwindling supplies, they collected samples, evidence that the icy expanse around them had once been far greener. When their bodies were discovered months later, so were the fossilized leaves of Glossopteris indica, a prehistoric tree that no longer exists, along with the preserved wood of a conifer.

The samples are some of the earliest bits of evidence that the frozen continent was once lush and covered in tall, thriving forests. They date back to the Permian period, more than 250 million years ago, when the planet was warmer than it is today. Though the land that would become Antarctica was part of the supercontinent Gondwana, it was still located at same extreme latitudes , where long stretches of light are followed by months of darkness. In those conditions a forest grew and, before it disappeared, left behind some of the best-preserved evidence of prehistoric plant life. By searching for the remains of Antarctica’s forests, scientists today are trying to discover what the world looked like all those years ago, just before one of Earth’s most dramatic extinctions wiped out most of the species living on the planet.

Because Glossopteris leaf fossils had also been found in South America, Africa, India, and Australia, they provided key evidence that the continents had once been connected as Gondwana—an idea that was a new theory at the time. Today, when researchers go fossil-hunting in Antarctica, Glossopteris leaves are among the most common finds.

“If you spend three or four hours at one site and you continually pull out materials, it’s usually the same type of plant,” says Rudolph Serbet, the collection manager in paleobotany at the University of Kansas. At most of the sites that Serbet and his colleagues visit, as part of a National Science Foundation research grant led by university professor Edith L. Taylor, they have just a few hours to sample and collect, during what will likely be their only visit to that particular site. “The chance of going back there ever again is pretty slim,” Serbet says. Only when they start to find something novel among the common—parts of plants that no one has ever seen before—do they return for more extensive work.

More:
https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2018/04/why-antarcticas-prehistoric-forests-might-foreshadow-its-future/

Oregon Wants to Kill More Endangered Sea Lions to Save Endangered Fish


Leslie Nemo

Apr 7 2018, 9:00am
A case study in the unforeseen consequences of well-meaning attempts at wildlife conservation in the Pacific Northwest, so protective as to be counterproductive.


Every day at 6 AM, a team of Oregon Fish and Wildlife officers check the traps. The cages encircle docks—sea lions love sunbathing—throughout the Columbia River Basin, at a strategic point just before the Willamette Falls, a natural feature in a tributary of the same name. If a trap door is closed, officers barge the sea lion out of the river and wrangle the agitated mammal into yet another trap, before driving it 230 miles to the California coast, only to have the same sea lion virtually beeline back to the same stretch of the Columbia.

At which point, the cycle begins all over again.

For a decade now, OFW has been caught in this capture-release-recapture loop of trapping sea lions. Hauling a 500-pound pinniped from its watery perch can be dangerous, though it’s one of the only intervention strategies the wildlife team has had since the sea lions first moved into the Columbia River to pursue steelhead trout and Chinook salmon. The mammals are considered endangered and have extremely strict kill regulations, but those two fish types they’re eating through, the trout and salmon, are likewise both threatened and endangered species. If the trap-release-retrap circle continues, OFW thinks there’s a high likelihood one of those fish populations will go extinct.

It’s a case study in the unforeseen consequences of well-meaning attempts at wildlife conservation, so protective as to be counterproductive. As more and different kinds of nonnative sea lions have arrived in the Columbia River Basin over the years, state, federal, tribal, and animal rights organizations remain locked in negotiations over legal precedents and predicted ramifications. Things came to a head at the end of January when the governors of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon asked Congress to lift some restrictions on the lethal removal of the endangered sea lions.

More:
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/qvxzdb/oregon-sea-lion-kills-endangered

The Making of 'Pillars of Creation,' One of the Most Amazing Images of Our Universe



The Making of 'Pillars of Creation,' One of the Most Amazing Images of Our Universe
By Ryan F. Mandelbaum on 07 Apr 2018 at 9:00AM


Three pillars of gas and dust sit among stars like towers of billowing smoke. It would take several years for light to cross from the top to the bottom of these dusty columns. This striking image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope remains, to this day, one of the most well-known astronomical images ever taken.

https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--BzabpMt8--/c_scale,fl_progressive,q_80,w_1600/c5icthjpizqjcftrywsc.jpg

An updated image of the Pillars of Creation taken by the Hubble Space Telescope with a newer camera in order to celebrate Hubble’s 25th anniversary in 2015. Image: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA)

But if you were to peer at the Pillars of Creation, part of the Eagle Nebula, through your own telescope, you wouldn’t see the same thing. The images you typically see of outer space are colourised and processed in order to bring out the detail and highlight the most relevant parts for scientific study. The popularity of the Pillars of Creation may have forever changed how astronomers present images of space to the public.

“Because of the public desire to see pictures like this, an awful lot of people started rendering their press releases using these kinds of images,” Paul Scowen, Arizona State University astronomer and one of the image’s creators, told Gizmodo. “It had an impact on the way the data of Hubble was seen and digested by the public as a general result.”

The original Pillars of Creation image used to study star formation in the Eagle Nebula. Notice the “stealth bomber” effect on the top right, due to one of the four cameras designed to take more zoomed-in images. That image has been shrunk down to match the zoom of the other three panels, leaving the black shape.

More:
http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2018/04/the-making-of-pillars-of-creation-one-of-the-most-amazing-images-of-our-universe/

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