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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
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Cuba Travel 2015: Amendment To Restricting Flying From US Fails

Source: International Business Times

Cuba Travel 2015: Amendment To Restricting Flying From US Fails
By Eben Blake @ebenblake on June 04 2015 6:28 PM EDT

An amendment to eliminate a measure that would restrict travel to Cuba failed Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives, reported the Hill. Previously Republicans had added a provision to the funding bill for both the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to prevent licensing flights or cruise ships to Cuba if they involved property confiscated by the Castro regime. The provisions were part of the $55.3 billion measure to curb President Barack Obama administration's recent thawing of relations with Cuba.

By preventing the licensing of flights and ships under specific circumstances, proponents aimed to continue some form of a ban on U.S. travel to Cuba. The failed amendment, which would have reversed the provisions, was introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and lost by a vote of 176-247. "Not only are the current provisions in this bill wrong for diplomacy, they're patently anti-business," said Lee.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., the chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee who authored the measure and is also a Cuban-American, said the amendment was only meant to protect property seized by the Castro government, according to the Hill. "Increased travel to Cuba directly funds the individuals and institutions that oppress the Cuban people," Diaz-Balart said, according to NBC News.

In December, Obama announced that he would begin normalizing and restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, which has not had a U.S. Embassy since 1961 and the Cuban Revolution. The United States had maintained some form of trade embargo with Cuba ever since that time period.

Read more: http://www.ibtimes.com/cuba-travel-2015-amendment-restricting-flying-us-fails-1953317

Why is there a huge methane hotspot in the American Southwest?

Why is there a huge methane hotspot in the American Southwest?
BY Laura Santhanam June 3, 2015 at 12:40 PM EDT



LEAKING METHANE — An image from a thermal camera as seen on a laptop screen shows a storage tank spewing a significant amount of methane gas next to a natural gas facility near Aztec, New Mexico. The camera is operated by Andrew Thorpe of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Photo by Shaun Stanley

The Four Corners region of the southwest United States is a magnificent, otherworldly place, marked by red rock vistas, ancient cliff dwellings and sweeping blue sky. The names alone paint a picture of the landscape: The Painted Desert. The Petrified Forest. Monument Valley.

But billowing above the rust-colored earth is the country’s largest concentration of methane, according to satellite data. That’s because this spot where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet is also home to one of the nation’s most productive natural gas fields and coalbed methane basins. About 10 percent of the country’s estimated methane emissions from natural gas is found in this region, according to recent scientific research and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Methane is odorless, colorless and invisible to the naked eye. Following carbon dioxide, methane ranks as the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted by human activity in the United States. But in the short term, atmospheric methane is more than 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide at holding the sun’s heat, according to Colm Sweeney, the lead scientist for the NOAA Earth System Research Lab Aircraft Program.

“It’s a very strong greenhouse gas and traps heat really effectively,” he said. “It’s like putting an inch of insulation in your attic versus putting 100 inches of insulation in your attic with the same amount of CO2.”

More:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/huge-methane-hotspot-american-southwest/

The Three Most Magnificent Indigenous Groups In Latin America

The Three Most Magnificent Indigenous Groups In Latin America



Published by Julie King June 4, 2015 3:20 pm

There are an estimated 40 million indigenous people in Latin America that belong to approximately 600 different ethnic groups within the region. Nearly 13% of all Latin Americans and around 40% of the rural population identify as indigenous.

Despite such a strong physical presence, these native people suffer discrimination and exploitation. Since the Spanish Conquest, Latin America’s indigenous population has endured slavery, massacres, forced migration, exclusion from the mainstream social and economic systems, and a blatant disdain for their culture. While indigenous groups are more likely to become trapped in poverty, their resilience against a dominant society and ability to survive centuries of hardship are incredibly inspiring.

The five Latin American countries with the highest indigenous populations are: Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. No indigenous population is the same. Each carries its own history, culture, language and perspective of the world. Since these native people pre-date State lines and geopolitical boundaries, it is accurate to categorize them based on ethnicity rather than by country.

1. The Quechuas (Population: 10 million)



The Quechua population comes in first place with a whopping 10 million people. They are the original descendents of the Incan empire, and inhabit the Andean regions of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. Because of the 8 million Quechua speakers in Peru, it has been deemed an official language of the country, equating it to the same level of Spanish.

More:
http://xpatnation.co/the-three-most-magnificent-indigenous-groups-in-latin-america/

How One Pregnant Teen's Murder Sparked Protests Across Argentina Against 'Femicide'

How One Pregnant Teen's Murder Sparked Protests Across Argentina Against 'Femicide'
Reuters
Posted: 06/04/2015 2:44 pm EDT Updated: 51 minutes ago

The discovery of a pregnant schoolgirl's body under the patio of her boyfriend's family home in northeast Argentina has sparked a nationwide protest against "femicide," the killing of a woman because of her gender.

A post-mortem examination carried out on the victim, 14-year-old Chiara Paez, after her body was unearthed on May 11 showed she died from beatings to the head, face and body, local media have reported.

The post-mortem also found traces of a drug used in abortions, fuelling speculation that Paez's killing could have been the result of an argument with her boyfriend and his family over her pregnancy.

Media reports say the 16-year-old boyfriend has been charged with aggravated murder, femicide and forced abortion, and that he confessed to the killing when questioned by prosecutors, in a case that has dominated headlines in Argentina for weeks.

More:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/04/chiara-paez-femicide-argentina_n_7513194.html

Spain makes US rapid force at Moron base permanent

Spain makes US rapid force at Moron base permanent
Associated Press
May 29, 2015 9:33 AM

MADRID (AP) — The Spanish government approved an accord Friday permanently granting the U.S. military a presence at a southwestern base as a center for a rapid reaction force to deal with crises in Africa and elsewhere.

The deal approved by Spain's Cabinet allows for the U.S. to station up to 3,000 troops at the Moron air base, up from a current 850. The number of aircraft deployed can be increased from 14 to 40.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is to visit Madrid on Sunday and Monday to sign the agreement. Kerry will meet with King Felipe, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo during his stay.

Under a 1988 bilateral agreement, accords permitting U.S. presence at the base have been renewed annually. The new agreement needs to be approved by Spain's Parliament.

More:
http://news.yahoo.com/spain-makes-us-rapid-force-moron-permanent-124856250.html



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