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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 147,303

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Mexico to create new prosecutor for missing student case

Mexico to create new prosecutor for missing student case
9 minutes ago

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has announced the creation of a special team to look into the case of the disappearance of 43 students last year. He was speaking after meeting relatives of the 43 ahead of the first anniversary of the tragedy on Saturday. He said a special investigative team and prosecutor would handle the case.

The families want an international commission of experts to take over. Its report says the government investigation is fundamentally flawed.

Among the families' demands is that the government should look into the possible role of the army in the disappearance of the students. They also want an investigation into those responsible for the initial enquiry, which they believe was intended to mislead them.

The students disappeared on 26 September, 2014, in the city of Iguala in Guerrero state. They had gone there to gather for a commemoration in Mexico city.


Fascinating Look at Catatumbo Lightning, the Never-Ending Lightning Storm in Venezuela

Fascinating Look at Catatumbo Lightning, the Never-Ending Lightning Storm in Venezuela

- video -

The Catatumbo Lightning atmospheric phenomenon in Venezuela, occurs only over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo. The frequent, powerful flashes of lightning over this relatively small area are considered to be the world's largest single generator of tropospheric ozone. It originates from a mass of storm clouds at a height of more than 5 km, and occurs during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day and up to 280 times per hour. It occurs over and around Lake Maracaibo, typically over the bog area formed where the Catatumbo River flows into the lake. Continue reading for two more videos and additional information.

- video -

Read more at http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/fascinating-look-at-catatumbo-lightning-the-never-ending-lightning-storm-in-venezuela#B97qUCmreVOJBD88.99

Soldiers of the Bridge: Cuba’s New Fortress

Soldiers of the Bridge: Cuba’s New Fortress
September 23, 2015
by José Pertierra

For 54 years the United States has waged war against Cuba, in a futile effort to strangle and starve the Cuban population into mutiny against the Revolution. Ten different presidents tried to asphyxiate Cuba, by blockading the island, causing suffering, as well as human and financial loss in the billions of dollars. Now things appear to be changing. President Barack Obama, the 11th US President since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, seems intent on changing Washington’s strategy for dealing with Cuba.

On December 17 of last year, President Obama began building a bridge between the two countries. The first stone he laid at the base of the bridge was to free Gerardo, Ramón and Tony from US jails, where they had been unjustly held for over sixteen years. He also used his presidential authority to issue licenses to poke holes into the blockade.

Yet the bridge is still under construction. Each of us is helping to build it: stone by stone. Many of us want a friendship bridge that would bring the two nations together. Some want simply to flood the island with consumer goods that will yield enormous profits for American corporations. Others see it as a way to hasten the demise of socialism in Cuba.

But have no doubts. Just as Cuba learned to defend itself from foreign military incursions, terrorism, biological warfare and a brutal blockade for over five decades, the Revolution will learn to defend itself from those who would now want to cross a newly built bridge across the Florida straights with foul schemes against Cuba.


The Rise and Fall of Guatemala’s Most Feared General

The Rise and Fall of Guatemala’s Most Feared General

Otto Pérez Molina started his rise to power during a U.S.-backed dirty war. The uprising against impunity that brought him down has been waiting in the wings ever since.

By Jesse Franzblau, September 22, 2015.

Fuerzas de Defensa de Israel / Flickr)

On the first day of September, Guatemala’s Congress voted to end President Otto Pérez Molina’s immunity from prosecution. Crowds gathered outside Congress, setting off fireworks and celebrating the decision. The vote followed months of mass mobilizations against corruption and popular calls for Pérez Molina’s resignation. The following day, the ousted president was in jail.

Pérez Molina’s resignation is a watershed moment for Guatemala. It’s a striking blow to the wall of impunity that surrounds the country’s most powerful figures — and in this case, one of its most feared as well. Carrying out research in Guatemala several years ago on the human rights violations of the early 1980s, I got a sense of Pérez Molina’s pervasive power from the cloud of fear that materialized whenever his name was mentioned.

Indeed, Pérez Molina may be on trial for corruption now, but he’s been directly linked to far more serious crimes — including numerous human rights atrocities and political murders committed during and after Guatemala’s internal armed conflict.

In declassified documents, U.S. military intelligence officials wrote that Pérez Molina and his cohort of military officers had “blood stains on their hands” dating back to their actions in the civil war. During the conflict, the country’s U.S.-backed intelligence agencies and security forces were responsible for acts of torture, executions, enforced disappearances, and a military counterinsurgency campaign that involved genocidal massacres of the indigenous Maya population, according to a UN truth commission.


Red Neoliberals: How Corbyn’s Victory Unmasked Britain’s Guardian

September 21, 2015
Red Neoliberals: How Corbyn’s Victory Unmasked Britain’s Guardian

by Jonathan Cook

In autumn 2002 Ed Vulliamy, a correspondent for Britain’s Sunday Observer newspaper, stumbled on a terrible truth that many of us already suspected.

In a world-exclusive, he persuaded Mel Goodman, a former senior Central Intelligence Agency official who still had security clearance, to go on record that the CIA knew there were no WMD in Iraq. Everything the US and British governments were telling us to justify the coming attack on Iraq were lies.

Then something even more extraordinary happened. The Observer failed to print the story.

In his book Flat Earth News, Nick Davies recounts that Vulliamy, one of the Observer’s most trusted reporters, submitted the piece another six times in different guises over the next half year. Each time the Observer spiked the story.

Vulliamy never went public with this monumental crime against real journalism (should there not be a section for media war crimes at the Hague?). The supposedly liberal-left Observer was never held accountable for the grave betrayal of its readership and the world community.


Jimmy Morales used to do blackface comedy. He’s now poised to be Guatemala’s president.

Jimmy Morales used to do blackface comedy. He’s now poised to be Guatemala’s president.
By Joshua Partlow September 19

MEXICO CITY — As a TV comedian, Jimmy Morales has played bumbling drunks, spies, gangsters, a toga-wearing Socrates, even a blackface character with an Afro wig and a painted white mouth. Among the plots of his Guatemalan comedy bits was a cowboy who accidentally became president.

Morales is poised to ride this unlikely background all the way to the real presidential palace. After President Otto Pérez Molina and his vice president, Roxana Baldetti, were both thrown in jail for alleged corruption, Guatemalans became so disillusioned with their politicians that Morales and his outsider candidacy surged in the polls. During the first round of the presidential elections this month, Morales came in first, edging out former first lady Sandra Torres. His campaign slogan was plain and simple: "Not corrupt, not a thief."

But with no political experience, many have begun to wonder what he might do if elected in next month's runoff vote. As a television host told him over the summer: "We want to know the surprise candidate."

"Are you left? Are you right? What are you?"

Morales has styled himself as a centrist and has run on being transparent, an outsider to a rigged game. He says his priorities are fighting corruption and dealing with chronic malnutrition, low education levels and insecurity in the country. The U.N. corruption-investigating organization CICIG, which helped take down several members of Pérez Molina's government, would be welcome throughout his term if he were president, Morales said in an interview. "It's the entity that has the most credibility in Guatemala," he said.


‘Suffocate and bake’: new US method of killing bird flu-infected poultry by heat stress prolongs suf

Source: Reuters

‘Suffocate and bake’: new US method of killing bird flu-infected poultry by heat stress prolongs suffering by up to 40 minutes

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 September, 2015, 5:43pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 September, 2015, 6:02pm

in Chicago

US agriculture officials seeking to control deadly bird flu have approved a method of killing infected poultry that entails sealing barns shut, turning up the heat and shutting off ventilation systems, an option that has been condemned by animal rights groups as cruel.

The Agriculture Department (USDA) said that it would consider using the method if there are no other ways to kill flocks within 24 hours of infections being detected.

The agency wants to cull infected flocks within a day to prevent the virus from spreading. Nearly 50 millions chickens and turkeys died from bird flu or were culled from December through June in the country’s worst animal disease outbreak on record.

Shutting down ventilation systems in poultry houses "essentially bakes the birds to death," the Humane Society of the United States said.

Read more: http://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1859848/suffocate-and-bake-new-us-method-destroying-bird-flu-infected-poultry

Pennsylvania Seeks Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Execution via Medical Neglect

September 18, 2015
Pennsylvania Seeks Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Execution via Medical Neglect

by Pete Dolack

Having failed to have Mumia Abu-Jamal executed via the legal system, Pennsylvania authorities are intent on administering a “slow-motion execution” through medical neglect. His medical condition remains dire, and his supporters are asking activists to make calls so that he can receive proper health care.

The work of supporters does matter: Mumia would have been executed 20 years ago were it not for the grassroots movement that grew dramatically during that summer, in 1995. His execution was called off about 10 days before it was to be carried out and less than a week before a massive demonstration in Philadelphia (which went ahead anyway). That tensions were high would be understating the atmosphere as the movement built pressure from below. I remember being in the National People’s Campaign office in New York City one Monday that summer when police, or people close to them, phoned in a non-stop cascade of threats and vicious denunciations; as soon as one of us would hang up, the phone would immediately ring with another such call.

The Campaign was a target because it organized several carloads of people to go to Philadelphia every weekend to join with local organizers there; the Philadelphia organizers worked out of a church that always had several police cars parked across the street, which would then follow people as they went out into the neighborhoods. A few years later, when a December march in downtown Philadelphia drew fewer people than previous rallies and for the first time there was not a corporate-media presence, the police saw their opportunity, violently dispersing the march with swinging clubs and dragging people by their legs down streets in a 40-degree rain as frightened store clerks hurriedly brought down their gates with shoppers inside.

No, the authorities do not like Mumia Abu-Jamal. And haven’t for a long time. There is a video of a press conference from when Mumia was a working journalist at which he asked the then mayor of Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo (whom activists in New York liked to call the role model for Rudy Giuliani), a routine question. Mayor Rizzo glared at Mumia and, not bothering to address the question asked, snarled that he was going to “get you” one of these days. Sadly, he did.


Redefining Socialism in Cuba

September 18, 2015
Redefining Socialism in Cuba

by Garry Leech

US Secretary of State John Kerry travelled to Havana this past August for the flag-raising ceremony at the re-established US Embassy in Cuba. While this event was viewed as a landmark occasion by many in the United States, including the mainstream media, it was just the latest in a never-ending stream of landmarks for Cuba. From the victory of the socialist revolution in 1959 to emerging ties with the Soviet Union and the Socialist bloc during the 1960s to political and economic reforms in the mid-1970s to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and resulting “Special Period” during the 1990s to the far-reaching economic reforms of recent years. In other words, socialism in Cuba is not stagnant; nor is it reliant on US policy. To the contrary, Cuba’s socialism has constantly evolved as it has responded to both domestic and international conditions, and this constant redefining of the model continues today.

The recent changes in Cuba’s socialist model are perhaps most evident in the country’s capital city of Havana. While being a major draw for foreign tourists, Havana is also home to 2.2 million Cubans. Tourist Havana is evident in the newly-renovated buildings in various neighborhoods of the old colonial section of the city. These buildings host boutique hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. These neighborhoods have their own tourist currency (the convertible peso, CUC) and are filled with English-speaking Cubans. This is the side of Havana, indeed of Cuba, that most foreigners have experienced since the country opened up to tourism during the 1990s to obtain the hard currency required to import necessities it cannot produce itself. But there is another side to the city that constitutes a very different world, and it is the world in which most Cubans live.

Not far from the touristy parts of Old Havana is a neighborhood known as Belén. Its older buildings are not renovated and its streets are rarely traversed by foreigners. The convertible peso, or CUC, is largely useless here because everything is purchased using the national peso. In short, Belén is a typical urban neighborhood where Cubans go about their daily activities. What quickly becomes apparent in Belén though, are the social and economic changes that have occurred in Cuba’s socialist model over the past 20 years. At the root of these changes is a shift from state socialism to a more participatory model.

In the 1980s, Cuba more closely reflected the state socialist model that ultimately failed in the Soviet Union. As one resident of Belén stated: “We were so dependent on the state to do everything for us that we’d call the government if we needed a light bulb changed.” But with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the disintegration of the socialist trading bloc, Cuba had to become more creative if it was to survive both literally and figuratively as an island of socialism in an ocean of capitalism. And it was the creative survival strategies that emerged during the 1990s that have helped to redefine socialism in Cuba today.

The collapse of the Soviet Union, in conjunction with a corresponding tightening of the five-decades-long US blockade, meant that Cuba could no longer import sufficient food or oil. The country responded to the shortage of petroleum-based pesticides and fertilizers by becoming the world’s leader in organic agriculture. It responded to the shortage of fuel by becoming a leader in urban agriculture to diminish the need to transport food great distances to markets. As a result, more than 80 percent of the country’s agricultural production is now organic.


Bolivians Translate Facebook into Aymara

Bolivians Translate Facebook into Aymara

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Some Aymara speakers don't speak Spanish, meaning Facebook has so far been inaccessible to them. | Photo: AFP

Published 17 September 2015
A group of volunteers is working on translating a version of Facebook into the Indigenous language of Aymara.

A group of volunteers in Bolivia has spent more than a year translating Facebook into the Indigenous Aymara language as part of efforts to preserve their native tongue.

“Aymara is alive. It does not need to be revitalized. It needs to be strengthened and that is exactly what we are doing,” online community organizer Rubén Hilari told El Pais.

While more than 7,000 languages are spoken around the world, Facebook is only available in 75 languages, with another 40 currently in translation.

Today, some 80 percent of the internet remains dominated by just 10 languages, according to World Bank data. The Aymara Indigenous language, which is one of 36 native languages recognized by the Bolivian state, is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the country along with Quechua and Guarani.

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