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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 147,066

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How to stop a gull from stealing your food

By Katie CameroAug. 6, 2019 , 7:01 PM

If you’ve ever been to the beach, you’ve probably also been here: afternoon sun beaming on your skin, waves crashing on the shore, and a hungry gull squawking as it swoops down to steal your sandwich. Such beach banditry may seem unavoidable, but new research has a solution: Staring down thieving gulls may make them think twice before snatching your food.

Herring gulls (Larus argentatus) are common in coastal cities and towns; their nests are on roofs instead of cliffs, and their food comes from the trash instead of the ocean. Gull-versus-human conflicts usually end in the death of the birds (from, for example, steel spikes that people install on rooftops). To understand how to protect the gulls—and save humans from headache—researchers tested whether the human gaze can affect bird behavior.

The researchers observed 74 herring gulls in coastal towns in Cornwall, U.K. They placed a transparent bag of potato chips in front of a human experimenter who was crouched close to the ground (see video). In one trial, the human looked directly at the bird and timed how long it took the bird to approach the bag. In another trial, the human looked away from the bird as it contemplated its next move. A trial was considered complete when the bird pecked the bag, or when the bag remained untouched for more than 5 minutes.

Of the 74 gulls, only 19 stayed in place long enough to complete both trials. It took the birds a median time of 25 seconds to peck the chips while being looked at, and just 13 seconds when free from a glaring eye. Although six birds refused to touch the food while being stared down, all of the birds deemed it safe to peck the chips when the human was looking away, researchers report today in Biology Letters.

More:
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/08/how-stop-gull-stealing-your-food



Total warfare among the Maya began earlier than once thought


The burnt ruins of a Maya city in what’s now Guatemala hold clues to its untimely demise at the turn of the 7th century.

BY KATHERINE J. WUTUESDAY, AUGUST 6, 2019



A reproduction of the murals of Bonampak, which depict vivid scenes of Maya life around the end of the 8th century.
Image Credit: El Comandante, Wikimedia Commons

In the year 697, flames consumed the ancient Maya city of Bahlam Jol. In the wake of a blaze set by neighboring Naranjo forces, residents vacated their homes as entire buildings crumbled to the ground.

It was an act of “total warfare,” archaeologists say. This grim scene, described in a study published Monday in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, upends longstanding notions of peace during the Maya civilization’s Classic period, which spanned 250 to 900 CE.

For years, archaeologists have known that this era ended in chaos, hastened by drought and growing political turmoil. But the new findings suggest that large-scale military conflicts—and the destruction they brought—predate the demise of the Maya civilization’s golden age by at least a couple hundred years.

The story first unfolded when a team of researchers led by David Wahl, a paleoclimatologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, was investigating the ruins of a site archaeologists call Witzna (but known to the Maya as Bahlam Jol) in the northeastern part of what’s now Guatemala. Wahl and his colleagues had initially set out to study how drought had affected the ancient city’s agriculture, but were surprised to uncover a 1.2-inch-thick layer of charcoal blanketing the base of a nearby lake, dating to around the end of the 7th century.

More:
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/bahlam-jol-maya-warfare/

Third journalist killed in Mexico in less than a week

Third journalist killed in Mexico in less than a week
August 6, 2019 6:13 PM ET

Mexico City, August 6, 2019—The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Mexico’s federal government to swiftly and concretely address its press freedom crisis after a third journalist was killed in a week in Mexico. Jorge Celestino Ruiz Vázquez, a reporter for the newspaper El Gráfico, was shot dead on August 2 in Actopán, a town in the eastern state of Veracruz.

Ruiz was the third reporter killed in Mexico in the past seven days. On July 30, Rogelio Barragán was found murdered in Morelos state. On August 2, Edgar Alberto Nava was shot dead in Guerrero state. CPJ is investigating to determine if they were killed in retaliation for their work.

Unidentified attackers shot Ruiz in a convenience store that he owned in La Bocanita, a small town in Actopán, at approximately 9:15 p.m, according to police statements given to the Mexico City paper El Universal and other news reports.

“As Mexico’s press mourns the killing of another colleague, the inaction of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s federal government is inexcusable,” said CPJ Mexico Representative Jan-Albert Hootsen. “Mexican authorities must do everything in their power to ensure that Jorge Celestino Ruiz Vázquez’s death does not become another murder statistic. This past week must be a catalyst for a comprehensive plan to stamp out impunity.”

More:
https://cpj.org/2019/08/third-journalist-killed-mexico-in-week-impunity.php




Jorge Celestino Ruiz Vázquez

Rest in Peace.







Report from El Universal, in Mexico, in English on this assassination:

https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english/jorge-celestino-ruiz-vazquez-murdered-veracruz

The latest in drug trafficking fashion: cocaine implants

by Adriaan Alsema August 6, 2019

Police in Colombia’s capital Bogota said Monday they have discovered that drug traffickers are employing plastic surgeons for liquid cocaine implants.

According to the police, 780 grams of liquid cocaine implants were found inside the thighs of a 42-year- old woman traveling through Bogota from Cali, the country’s plastic surgery capital, to Madrid.

Lieutenant Wilson Silva said the liquid cocaine with an alleged value of $36,000 had been implanted “between the flesh and the muscle” of the woman’s thighs.

This form of trafficking cocaine is entirely new to the police.

“Drug mules” have long swallow carefully wrapped balls of cocaine to traffic the drugs in their stomach, but this is the first time police discovers that plastic surgeons are now involved.

More:
https://colombiareports.com/the-latest-in-drug-trafficking-fashion-cocaine-implants/

LBN:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142351234

232 assassinations later, Duque convenes commission to cut ties between politics, business and param

232 assassinations later, Duque convenes commission to cut ties between politics, business and paramilitaries
by Adriaan Alsema August 6, 2019

Colombia’s President Ivan Duque has convened the commission seeking to cut ties between politicians, the private sector and death squads, a year after he was supposed to.

Duque ended his resistance after he was expelled from mass protests against the mass killing of social leaders and a call by the United Nations to convene the National Commission on Security Guarantees that was supposed to prevent these assassinations.

The commission is part of a 2016 peace deal with the demobilized FARC, and meant to design and implement policies to end the decades-long habit of mixing politics and business with deadly violence.

The commission should have met 12 times already, but will meet for the first time on Monday, 232 assassinations of social leaders after the president took office in August last year.

More:
https://colombiareports.com/232-assassinations-later-duque-convenes-commission-to-cut-ties-between-politics-business-and-paramilitaries/

Lava Jato is a Criminal Organization, Says STF Justice Gilmar Mendes

Federal Supreme Court (STF) justice claims that members of the operation have inflicted considerable damage through misuse of power and advocates an investigation into the leaked conversations.

By Iolanda Fonseca -August 5, 2019

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Justice Gilmar Mendes of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) criticized the Lava Jato operation and its members once again.

In an interview to newspaper Correio Braziliense, released on Sunday, August
4th, the justice fired out: “Deep down, it’s a game of cronies. It’s a criminal organization that investigates people.”

Gilmar was mentioned in one of the leaked conversations between the coordinator of Operation Lava Jato in Paraná, Deltan Dallagnol, and other members of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.



Messages released by The Intercept Brasil suggest that Deltan encouraged investigations into Toffoli and his wife, as well as Gilmar’s wife. (Photo internet reproduction)

In the conversations, Dallagnol suggested and encouraged the investigation of Supreme Court justices and their wives. “Why did they want to investigate Toffoli or me? Because we did something wrong? No, because we represented some kind of resistance to the malpractices that were unfolding,” Gilmar said.

The magistrate says there was inexperience among prosecutors and that the behavior of Lava Jato members evidences the presence of a criminal organization. “If we analyze the facts, this is a group of mesmerized individuals,” said Gilmar, in reference to justice Minister Sérgio Moro and Dallagnol.

Gilmar stressed the need for the information displayed in the conversations leaked by The Intercept Brasil website to be explained not by who published them, but rather by who produced them.

“The public official has to provide an explanation on the content of what he has produced. As a matter of fact, this shouldn’t have occurred. There can be no task force between members of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the judge,” he said.

Elections and Lula

According to the STF justice, Lava Jato had a direct impact on the 2018 elections. He points out that the entire political system was disrupted and that the candidates linked to public safety achieved a significant turnout.

“I believe that the Lava Jato operation alone has led to an impact on the political system, well before the election, and, in a way, determined who could and who could not be a candidate,” he said.

As for Lula, Gilmar believes that this must be analyzed with caution. “It is a very curious context which must consider the fact that the former judge, who convicted former president Lula, later accepted an invitation to be a minister of the opposition candidate. This factor is even challenged internationally,” he said.


https://riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/brazil/lava-jato-is-a-criminal-organization-says-gilmar-mendes

Majority of Brazilians Reject Mining in Indigenous Lands


Datafolha survey shows that 86% of country disagrees with President Jair Bolsonaro's plan to open mining in these areas

Aug.5.2019 1:06PM

RUBENS VALENTE
BRASÍLIA
Brazilians widely disapprove of opening indigenous lands to mining, going against the wishes of President Jair Bolsonaro (PSL-RJ).

A Datafolha survey commissioned by the non-governmental organization Instituto Socioambiental found that 86% of Brazilians disagree with allowing mining companies into indigenous lands. Today this is illegal, but Bolsonaro intends to authorize it.

Datafolha conducted, from June 4 to 6, 2,088 interviews in 168 municipalities in all regions of the country. The error margin is plus or minus two percentage points, 95% confidence level.

According to Márcio Santilli, ISA's founding partner and president of FUNAI (National Indian Foundation) between 1995 and 1996, the research reveals "the unequivocal desire of Brazilians to preserve the lands, which Congress needs to consider in this discussion."

More:
https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/internacional/en/brazil/2019/08/majority-of-brazilians-reject-mining-in-indigenous-lands.shtml

Police attack indigenous community in Brazil, says Survival International


By agency reporter
AUGUST 5, 2019

Reports are emerging that heavily armed police have attacked Kinikinawa indigenous people on their land in central-western Brazil, terrorising the community and injuring several people.

Video footage shows the police arriving in several land vehicles and a helicopter, and a Kinikinawa man bleeding with head injuries. He said, “I am shedding blood on my land. We won’t stop fighting.”

On 1 August 2019, the Kinikinawa reoccupied a patch of their ancestral land, which was stolen from them years ago to make way for ranchers. Soon after the Kinikinawa made their move, the police arrived and attacked them.

It is believed that the police had no official order from a Judge to remove the Kinikinawa from the reoccupied territory, and were instead acting on orders from a local mayor and rancher.

A leaked audio message appears to reveal the mayor saying, immediately before the attack, that the Kinikinawa would be “evicted, willingly or by force” and notifying others that there are “two buses to take 90 police agents, and there are already 40 there, so the [Kinikinawa] will be evicted… This is good news and the government needs to take a stance and bring peace and order to everyone who lives in this country.”

More:
http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/28705

Rio's Governor Invents Rank of "General" for State Police, Firefighters

Governor Wilson Witzel says the measure will help to ensure there is a strong pool of candidates for top positions in the administration.

By Iolanda Fonseca -August 2, 2019



Governor Witzel inspects Rio’s Police (Photo social media)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Governor Wilson Witzel signed a decree Thursday creating the rank of “General” in the state’s police and firefighters. The Governor said he also intends to send the measure to the state’s assembly to be signed into law.

The move is the latest in a series which demonstrates the Governor’s desire to militarize the state’s security apparatus further. Witzel ran for office on a platform that promised to empower police to be more pro-active in using deadly force to target criminals.



Governor Witzel aims a sniper rifle well wearing the uniform of Rio’s BOPE (Photo PR Release)


Since being elected to office, the Governor has conducted several photo opportunities to show his strong ties to police. This week Witzel’s team posted on social media a photo of the Governor aiming a sniper rifle while dressed in the uniform of the BOPE – Rio’s special operations police. Earlier in the year, he was criticized for joining police on an operation from an armed helicopter.

Governor Witzel justified his creation of the rank of General by saying that it demonstrates the improvement in discipline among the institutions and shows the state’s appreciation for their role in providing security for Rio’s population. He went on to state that the measure will ensure there is a pool of trained and ready officers to take on the top roles in Rio’s security and civil defense apparatus.

More:
https://riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/brazil/rios-governor-creates-general-of-police-firefighters/

(Gov. is acting out shooting Brazilian citizens in the streets of Rio? What's evil about that? After all, lots of citizens might need to get mowed down, right? Dirt bag.)

Pfizer Colombia inflated drug prices up to 650%: industry watchdog


by Adriaan Alsema August 2, 2019

Colombia’s industry and trade watchdog SIC said Wednesday that multinational Pfizer and three other companies have been fined for allegedly inflating prices of pharmaceutical drugs.

The worst offender was the Colombian subsidiary of the American multinational, which received a $25,000 fine for inflating the price of seven drugs to above between 4% and 651% of their maximum, according to the SIC.

The decision was taken after verifying information related to PFIZER SAS’ commercial operations between July and December 2016 in which it was established that it sold seven medicines in different presentations, at prices that exceeded… in percentages that would be between 4% and 651% to different clients of the institutional channel.

. . .

Like in almost all countries, Colombian authorities regulate drug prices to avoid situations like in the United States where large pharmaceutical companies can set their own prices, jack up the costs of healthcare and undermine public health for profit.

More:
https://colombiareports.com/pfizer-colombia-inflated-drug-prices-up-to-650-industry-watchdog/
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