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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
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'Groundbreaking Result' Coming from Black-Hole Hunting Event Horizon Telescope Next Week

By Mike Wall 6 hours ago Science & Astronomy

The Event Horizon Telescope team has a big announcement on April 10.

A computer-simulation view of a supermassive black hole at the heart of a galaxy. The edge of the black central region represents the event horizon, beyond which no light can escape.(Image: © NASA, ESA, and D. Coe, J. Anderson, and R. van der Marel (STScI))

We may be about to get an epic and unprecedented look at a black hole.

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, an international effort that aims to capture the first-ever image of a black hole, will announce a "groundbreaking result" at a news conference next week, team members said Monday (April 1).

The briefing, which will be hosted jointly by the EHT project and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), takes place next Wednesday (April 10) at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. (NSF helps fund the EHT.) And you can watch the big news unfold: The event will be streamed live.

. . .

Related press conferences will also occur simultaneously in Brussels; Santiago, Chile; Shanghai; Taipei, Taiwan; and Tokyo, according to the NSF advisory. The speakers at these various events include some heavy hitters, such as Carlos Moedas, the European commissioner for research, science and innovation; James Liao, president of the Academia Sinica; European Southern Observatory Director General Xavier Barcons; and Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array Director Sean Dougherty.


Brazil's Bolsonaro Attempts to Rewrite History

April 1, 2019 6:00PM EDT Dispatches
Brazil’s Bolsonaro Attempts to Rewrite History
Demonstrators Remember the Military Coup and Call for Justice

“Alexandre Vannucchi


Fernando Santa Cruz


Rubens Paiva,


In the glow of streetlights in São Paulo’s Ibirapuera park, people shouted these names from the crowd. After each name was called, the mass of demonstrators responded: “Present!”.

Those were the names of some of the hundreds of people killed or disappeared by Brazil´s military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985. Brazilians around the country took to the streets on March 31 to mark the 55th anniversary of the coup, when tanks pushed out a democratically elected president and installed a brutal military regime.

That´s a historical fact.

But Brazil´s President Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain, defends the dictatorship’s legacy, and wants to rewrite history. Last week, he ordered the military to commemorate the events of March 31, 1964, which he denies was a coup. One invitation from an army high commander called the coup the “democratic revolution” of 1964.

At least the Attorney General´s Office called on the Ministry of Defense not to celebrate a coup and military regime. Yet, the ceremonies occurred, even at the presidential palace, where Bolsonaro was present.

So while protestors around the country chanted, “Dictatorship, never again,” the office of the president released a video in which, over ominous music, an older man spoke of the period before the military dictatorship as a time of “darkness” and said the army “saved” Brazilians.


The Supreme Court's Conservatives Just Legalized Torture

The Supreme Court’s Conservatives Just Legalized Torture
In an appalling death penalty opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch just overturned 60 years of precedent.

APRIL 01, 20191:14 PM

On Monday, five justices of the Supreme Court authorized Missouri to torture a man to death. In the process, they appear to have overruled decades of Eighth Amendment precedents in a quest to let states impose barbaric punishments, including excruciating executions, on prisoners. The court’s conservative majority has converted a once-fringe view into the law of the land, imperiling dozens of decisions protecting the rights of death row inmates, as well as juvenile offenders. Its ruling signals the end of an Eighth Amendment jurisprudence governed by “civilized standards”—and the beginning of a new, brutal era in American capital punishment.

Russell Bucklew is a death row inmate in Missouri who suffers from a rare medical condition called cavernous hemangioma. Due to this disorder, his body is covered with tumors filled with blood vessels. Tumors in Bucklew’s neck and throat, his lips and uvula, which make it difficult for him to breathe. They are highly sensitive and frequently squirt blood. A medical expert, Dr. Joel Zivot, has testified that if Missouri administers a lethal injection to Bucklew, he will die a slow, agonizing death. His tumors will rupture and fill his mouth with blood, and he will suffocate to death in unbearable pain, choking and convulsing on the gurney as he dies.

To forestall this fate, Bucklew sought to block his execution by lethal injection, arguing that it would violate the Eighth Amendment’s bar against “cruel and unusual punishments.” Under two Supreme Court precedents, Baze v. Rees and Glossip v. Gross, an inmate challenging his method of execution must provide an “available alternative” that will cause less pain.
Bucklew asked to be killed with nitrogen gas so that he can die from “hypoxia,” a lack of oxygen, because his death from hypoxia would be faster than his death from lethal injection.

In Monday’s Bucklew v. Precythe, the court rejected his claim by a 5–4 vote. Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion for the court, however, does much more than condemn Bucklew to a harrowing demise. It also quietly overrules, or at least erodes, more than 60 years of precedents, including several written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. Gorsuch embraced a vision of the Eighth Amendment supported by Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia that has consistently been rejected as dangerously extreme by a majority of the court.


Venezuelans: 'We want to resolve our problems by ourselves'

Federico Fuentes
March 22, 2019
Issue 1214

. . .

Unlike most journalists who cover Venezuela from the wealthy suburbs of eastern Caracas or Miami, United States, we ventured to Caracas’s poorer neighbourhoods, the barrios. We also travelled to rural states such as Barinas and Apure, on the border with Colombia.

Our aim was to hear from those voices permanently and deliberated excluded from the media discussion on Venezuela.

We wanted to hear firsthand about their realities, how they were dealing with the current crisis, who they blame for it, and how they would like to see it resolved.

We met with representatives from women’s organisations and the LGBTI community; members of the much disdained colectivos; independent journalists and economists; grassroots activists from communal councils and communes; and many others we happened to bump into on our way.

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