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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 138,108

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True altruism seen in chimpanzees, giving clues to evolution of human cooperation



A pair of studies suggests the evolutionary roots of humanlike cooperation can be seen in chimpanzees, albeit in rudimentary forms.

curioustiger/iStockphoto


By Michael PriceJun. 19, 2017 , 3:00 PM


Whether it’s giving to charity or helping a stranger with directions, we often assist others even when there’s no benefit to us or our family members. Signs of such true altruism have been spotted in some animals, but have been difficult to pin down in our closest evolutionary relatives. Now, in a pair of studies, researchers show that chimpanzees will give up a treat in order to help out an unrelated chimp, and that chimps in the wild go out on risky patrols in order to protect even nonkin at home. The work may give clues to how such cooperation—the foundation of human civilization—evolved in humans.

“Both studies provide powerful evidence for forms of cooperation in our closest relatives that have been difficult to demonstrate in other animals besides humans,” says Brian Hare, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who was not involved with the research.

In the first study, psychologists Martin Schmelz and Sebastian Grüneisen at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, trained six chimps at the Leipzig Zoo to play a sharing game. Each chimp was paired with a partner who was given a choice of four ropes to pull, each with a different outcome: give just herself a banana pellet; give just the subject a pellet; give both of them pellets; or forgo her turn and let her partner make the decision instead.

Unbeknownst to these partner chimpanzees, the chimp that always started the game—a female named Tai—was trained to always choose the last option, giving up her turn. From the partner’s point of view, this was a risky choice, Grüneisen says, as Tai risked losing out entirely on the banana pellets. Over dozens of trials, after Tai gave up her turn, the six partners pulled the rope that rewarded both themselves and Tai with a treat 75% of the time, indicating they valued her risking her own treats to help them.

More:
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/true-altruism-seen-chimpanzees-giving-clues-evolution-human-cooperation

Brazil federal police accuse president of getting bribes

Source: Associated Press


Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press
Updated 9:37 pm, Tuesday, June 20, 2017





SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil's federal police said Tuesday that investigators have found evidence President Michel Temer received bribes to help businesses, raising a new threat that the embattled leader could be suspended from office pending a corruption trial.

Temer has been under investigation due to plea bargain testimony by wealthy businessman Joesley Batista of the giant meatpacking company JBS that linked the president and an aide to bribes and the president to an alleged endorsement of hush money for jailed ex-House Speaker Eduardo Cunha.

 
. . .

If Brazil's top prosecutor agrees with the federal police recommendation, Congress will decide whether Temer should be investigated by the Supreme Court, which is the only body that can formally investigate the president. If two-thirds of Congress voted to allow the investigation, Temer would be suspended from office pending trial.

 
In a report published Tuesday by Brazil's top court, federal police investigators said they have enough evidence of bribes being paid to warrant a formal investigation of Temer for "passive corruption" — Brazil's charge for the act of taking bribes. It said former Temer aide Rodrigo Rocha Loures directly received bribes from JBS on the president's behalf.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Brazil-s-Temer-accused-of-passive-corruption-by-11234227.php

This Volcano-Shaped Pyramid in Peru Has Experts Stumped

By Megan Gannon, Live Science Contributor | June 20, 2017 08:23am ET


- click for image -

https://img.purch.com/h/1400/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA5My8xNzEvb3JpZ2luYWwvZWwtdm9sY2FuLXB5cmFtaWQuanBn

El Volcán in the Nepeña Valley of coastal Peru has archaeologists stumped as to when and why this mound was built, though it may have served as a place for a ceremony related to a total solar eclipse.
Credit: Courtesy of Robert Benfer



From far away, El Volcán in the Nepeña Valley of coastal Peru might look like a natural feature in the landscape.

But this volcano is artificial, a mound or pyramid built by human hands with a crater dug out of the top. And some archaeologists are trying to figure out what it was used for.

Robert Benfer, a professor emeritus at the University of Missouri who focuses on biological anthropology, had previously found a series of mounds shaped like orcas, condors and other animals in coastal valleys in Peru. He was looking for more of those earthworks by surveying valleys north of Lima when he spotted the volcanic cone that stands 50 feet tall (15.5 meters).[In Photos: Earthly Mounds Shaped Like Animals]


This Volcano-Shaped Pyramid in Peru Has Experts Stumped
El Volcán in the Nepeña Valley of coastal Peru has archaeologists stumped as to when and why this mound was built, though it may have served as a place for a ceremony related to a total solar eclipse.
Credit: Courtesy of Robert Benfer
From far away, El Volcán in the Nepeña Valley of coastal Peru might look like a natural feature in the landscape.

But this volcano is artificial, a mound or pyramid built by human hands with a crater dug out of the top. And some archaeologists are trying to figure out what it was used for.

Robert Benfer, a professor emeritus at the University of Missouri who focuses on biological anthropology, had previously found a series of mounds shaped like orcas, condors and other animals in coastal valleys in Peru. He was looking for more of those earthworks by surveying valleys north of Lima when he spotted the volcanic cone that stands 50 feet tall (15.5 meters).[In Photos: Earthly Mounds Shaped Like Animals]

"I knew that a mountain in the valley had a large archaeological site, San Isidro, with platforms oriented to the solstice," Benfer told Live Science. "So with my team, we climbed it to get a better view of the surrounding valley, and I saw the Volcán site from a platform."

More:
https://www.livescience.com/59544-mysterious-volcano-shaped-pyramid-in-peru.html?utm_source=notification

Trumps Cuba Contradiction

by Peter Kornbluh June 19, 2017


President Donald Trump traveled to Miami last week to fulfill a campaign promise he made to the hardline anti-Castro community in Little Havana: terminating his predecessor’s carefully constructed détente with Cuba.

“Last year, I promised to be a voice against repression,” he told a crowd of cheering conservative Cuban-Americans packed into the Manuel Artime Theater, a symbolic venue named after one of the leaders of the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. “And a voice for the freedom of the Cuban people. You went out and voted and here I am, like I promised, like I promised. I promised you, I keep my promises.”

The President then used his bully pulpit to denounce the Castro government, discredit the Obama policy of positive engagement, and demand that Cuba capitulate its system of government as a quid pro quo for improved relations. In a sure-to-be-futile attempt to coerce Cuba, Trump announced significant new restrictions on the freedom of U.S. citizens to visit the island, as well as on future U.S. commercial interaction.

“Effective immediately,” Trump declared, “I am cancelling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba.”


More:
http://progressive.org/dispatches/trumps-cuba-contradiction/

Colombia news anchor scorned after claiming media are not to inform or anything

written by Adriaan Alsema June 17, 2017


Colombia’s social media turned against a news anchor after the publication of a YouToube video in which he said media were not supposed to inform but make money.

In the video, news anchor Felipe Arias of commercial television network RCN told two students that media “are not to inform or anything. It’s just to make money.”

. . .

Arias’ television network and other companies of RCN owner Carlos Ardila Lulle have been accused of sponsoring paramilitary umbrella organization AUC (1997-2006), according to historians the primary victimizer in the 52-year armed conflict the ongoing peace process seeks to end.

. . .

The integrity of Colombia’s mass media in general were called into question last year after the release of a linguistics study demonstrating how the country’s newspapers had severely distorted Colombians’ perception of reality.

More:
https://colombiareports.com/colombia-news-anchor-scorned-claiming-media-not-inform-anything/

HOW THE U.S. TRIGGERED A MASSACRE IN MEXICO

HOW THE U.S. TRIGGERED A MASSACRE IN MEXICO

The inside story of a cartel’s deadly assault on a Mexican town near the Texas border — and the U.S. drug operation that sparked it.

by Ginger Thompson, ProPublica
June 12, 2017

This story was co-published with National Geographic.
Leer en Español.


We have testimony from people who say they participated in the crime. They described some 50 trucks arriving in Allende, carrying people connected to the cartel. They broke into houses, they looted them and burned them. Afterward, they kidnapped the people who lived in those houses and took them to a ranch just outside of Allende.

First they killed them. They put them inside a storage shed filled with hay. They doused them with fuel and lit them on fire, feeding the flames for hours and hours.


José Juan Morales
Investigative director for the disappeared in the Coahuila State Prosecutor’s Office


THERE’S NO MISSING the signs that something unspeakable happened in Allende, a quiet ranching town of about 23,000, just a 40-minute drive from Eagle Pass, Texas. Entire blocks of some of the town’s busiest streets lie in ruins. Once garish mansions are now crumbling shells, with gaping holes in the walls, charred ceilings, cracked marble countertops and toppled columns. Strewn among the rubble are tattered, mud-covered remnants of lives torn apart: shoes, wedding invitations, medications, television sets, toys.

In March 2011 gunmen from the Zetas cartel, one of the most violent drug trafficking organizations in the world, swept through Allende and nearby towns like a flash flood, demolishing homes and businesses and kidnapping and killing dozens, possibly hundreds, of men, women and children.

More:
https://www.propublica.org/article/allende-zetas-cartel-massacre-and-the-us-dea

US City Calls for Lifting Blockade against Cuba



Washington, Jun 14 (Prensa Latina) The city of Helena, capital city of Montana state, urged the US Congress to lift the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, said a Cuban diplomat today.

The resolution, posted on Twitter by Miguel Fraga, first secretary of the Cuban Embassy in the United States, said that the city of Helena also urged the Congress to normalize the ties with the Cuban Government.

The document reiterates that during more than 50 years the blockade has represented restrictions and bans for bilateral ties, particularly regarding trade, travels and financial operations.

It also indicates that Montana is willing to be one of the main suppliers of consumer goods in Cuba, which would increase exports and jobs in the United States.

More:
http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=14255&SEO=us-city-calls-for-lifting-blockade-against-cuba

Colombia ignores US pressure to return to aerial fumigation of coca

Source: Colombia Reports


written by Adriaan Alsema June 14, 2017


Colombia’s government dismissed US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s claim that “it is necessary to resume fumigation” of coca, the base ingredient for cocaine, reported newspaper El Tiempo.

According to the country’s leading newspaper, while being heard by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the 2018 budget, Tillerson said that President Donald Trump had talked to his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos personally “and we are going to work with them to deal with this issue.”

. . .

Colombia has banned the controversial use of the Monsanto-produced chemical deemed possibly carcinogenic by the World Health Organization. Moreover, the aerial spraying has led to health complaints by locals and tensions with neighboring country Ecuador.

Instead of spraying, Colombia and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have embarked on a two-year project of voluntary coca crop substitution as part of a peace process to end 52 years of war between the state and Marxist FARC guerrillas.

Read more: https://colombiareports.com/us-wants-colombia-return-aerial-fumigation-coca-ignored/

US Sends Military to 'Help' Four Central American Countries


Published 11 June 2017


The U.S. is notorious for its training of military personnel in Latin America.

The U.S. embassy in Honduras announced that marines and sailors will be carrying out military training in Central America after their arrival earlier this month.

The Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force of the U.S.Southern Command, a rapid response force of nearly 300 troops will be headquartered at the Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras, with the remainder in Belize, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Under the guise of helping the countries with gang-related violence and hurricane relief, the U.S. troops will be conducting military and security training.

More:
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/US-Sends-Military-to-Help-Four-Central-American-Countries-20170611-0002.html

Wisconsin redistricting effort could shape future U.S. elections


Supreme Court being asked to uphold a lower court’s finding that Wisconsin’s redistricting effort was unconstitutional


By ROBERT BARNES | The Washington Post
PUBLISHED: June 11, 2017 at 6:45 pm | UPDATED: June 11, 2017 at 6:46 pm


MADISON, Wisconsin – With newly elected Scott Walker in the governor’s office and a firm grip on the legislature, Wisconsin Republicans in 2011 had a unique opportunity to redraw the state’s electoral maps and fortify their party’s future.

Aides were dispatched to a private law firm to keep their work out of public view. They employed the most precise technology available to dissect new U.S. Census data and convert it into reliably Republican districts even if the party’s fortunes soured. Democrats were kept in the dark, and even GOP incumbents had to sign confidentiality agreements before their revamped districts were revealed to them. Only a handful of people saw the entire map until it was unveiled and quickly approved.

In the following year’s elections, when Republicans got just 48.6 percent of the statewide vote, they still captured a 60-39 seat advantage in the General Assembly.

Now, the Supreme Court is being asked to uphold a lower court’s finding that the Wisconsin redistricting effort was more than just extraordinary – it was unconstitutional.

More:
http://www.denverpost.com/2017/06/11/wisconsin-redistricting-supreme-court/
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