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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
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Massachusetts considers registry for animal cruelty convicts

Source: Associated Press

Massachusetts considers registry for animal cruelty convicts
Bob Salsberg, Associated Press
Updated 4:19 pm, Wednesday, October 21, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Lawmakers in Massachusetts and several other states are weighing proposals to create registries of animal abusers as a means for ensuring that pets wind up in the care of responsible and humane owners.

A bill, heard Wednesday by a Massachusetts legislative panel, would require anyone convicted of an animal cruelty crime provide their name, address and a photograph to an animal abuser registry that would be maintained by the state Department of Criminal Justice Information Services. The agency would generate a computerized list that can be consulted by pet shops, breeders and shelters who in turn would be asked to check the list before allowing a pet to be sold or adopted.

Analogous in some respects to sex offender registries, animal protection groups say the idea is beginning to gain some traction in the U.S.

New York City created an animal abuse registry in 2014, and Tennessee gave approval this year to the first statewide registry. Bills were also being considered in Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas, according to the website of the National Anti-Vivisection Society.



Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Massachusetts-considers-registry-for-animal-6581308.php

Uruguay’s Jose Mujica vows to take part in Colombia’s peace talks

Uruguay’s Jose Mujica vows to take part in Colombia’s peace talks
Posted by Emma Rosser on Oct 21, 2015

Uruguay’s much-respected former president, Jose Mujica, said Tuesday he will join Colombia’s ongoing peace talks after he was asked to by FARC rebels.

The insurgent group reportedly requested the involvement of the left-leaning Uruguayan politician in a commission supporting the endeavor for peace in Colombia.

Mujica in response expressed his support for the negotiations, “I pledged to collaborate, because I understand this is a progressive cause.”

“Achieving peace where for fifty years rifles have spoken, it is not only in favor of Colombia; it is for our Americas,” said the former president.

More:
http://colombiareports.com/uruguays-jose-mujica-vows-to-take-part-in-colombias-peace-talks/

These Fairytale Trees Only Grow at Incredible Altitudes

These Fairytale Trees Only Grow at Incredible Altitudes

by Karen Catchpole / 15 Oct 2015


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Polylepis tree limbs intertwine overhead in the forest around Polylepis Lodge in Ecuador.
(All photos: Eric Mohl)
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What has red, peeling skin and is found only in the Andes? Polylepis trees, some of the oddest and rarest trees on the planet. This genus thrives only in the cold mist and thin air of the Andes Mountains, and one of the rarest types of Polylepis can be seen only in northern Ecuador.

The name Polylepis (which is pronounced pah-lee-LEH-piss) comes from the Greek words for many (poly) and layers (letis). It’s a fitting moniker, since the bark of the Polylepis is composed of thin, deep red layer that collectively make up a skin hearty enough to stand up to a cold, wet, and windy environment. These layers peel naturally in paper-like sheets, inspiring the easier-to-pronounce nickname “paper tree.”


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There are more than 20 different types of Polylepis trees and shrubs and all of them have a gnarled, wind-swept, otherworldly look.
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There are more than 20 species of shrubs and trees in the Polylepis genus, which is part of the rose family, and all of them are exclusively found in the Andes from northern Venezuela to Northern Chile and Argentina. They grow at elevations up to 16,400 feet, which makes Polylepis one of the highest naturally occurring genuses of tree in the world.

They’re also one of the slowest-growing trees in the world; some take more than 100 years to growing half an inch in diameter. They grow faster at milder, lower elevations, where the trees can reach heights approaching 150 feet. Scientists speculate that vast areas of the Andes were once covered in Polylepis trees, but over time they were cut to clear the way for grazing animals and to provide firewood and building materials for the area’s indigenous populations, including the Incas.

More:
http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/these-fairytale-trees-only-grow-at-incredible-altitudes

Guatemalan General Accused Of War Crimes Dies

Guatemalan General Accused Of War Crimes Dies


GUATEMALA CITY, Oct 20 (BERNAMA-NNN-EFE)--Retired Gen. Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes, who was charged with genocide for his actions during Guatemala's 1960-1996 civil war, died of natural causes. He was 85. Lopez Fuentes, who was army chief of staff during the 1982-1983 rule of Gen. Efrain Rios Montt, died Sunday at the Military Medical Center, prisons service spokesman Rudy Esquivel said.

The general was detained June 17, 2011, and charged with genocide for actions during his time in the high command, but he never stood trial due to poor health. After spending 16 days in detention at an army barracks north of Guatemala City, Lopez Fuentes was transferred to the Military Medical Center, where he remained until his death, Esquivel told reporters.

On July 6, 2012, the medical examiner's office declared Lopez Fuentes mentally and physically unfit to stand trial.

Prosecutors had accused Lopez Fuentes of masterminding massacres of Ixil Indians in the northwestern province of Quiche during the early 1980s.

More:
http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/wn/newsworld.php?id=1181206

[center]













~ ~ ~[/center]
Older article:

Former General Hector Lopez Fuentes: First Arrest in Connection to Genocide in Guatemala PDF Print E-mai
Written by James Rodríguez, MiMundo.org
Tuesday, 21 June 2011 15:11

. . .

Lopez Fuentes, 81 years old, is accused by the Public Prosecutor’s bureau for human rights “for over ten thousand murders, nine thousand forcibly displaced persons, and numerous rapes against women in the Maya Ixil region - all crimes took place between March 1982 and October 1983. According to Manuel Vasquez, attorney in charge of the case, the crimes occurred through the implementation of the Sofia, Victoria 82 and Firmeza 83 military campaigns. All three strategic operations were created and carried out while Lopez Fuentes acted as the Armed Forces’ Chief of Staff.” (2)



“One of the cases on which Lopez Fuentes is charged on details the murder of at least 53 people in the villages of Chel, Xesayi and Xaxmoxan, all in Chajul, Quiche, from April to October, 1983.” (4)

http://upsidedownworld.org/main/guatemala-archives-33/3090-former-general-hector-lopez-fuentes-first-arrest-in-connection-to-genocide-in-guatemala-

Legacy of a ‘Disappeared’ Family in Argentina

October 19, 2015
Legacy of a ‘Disappeared’ Family in Argentina

by Cesar Chelala

Politics can have a devastating effect on a country and its people, as I saw during a recent trip to Argentina.

I stayed at the Buenos Aires apartment of a relative by marriage, university professor Felix Eduardo Herrera, who died there in 2007; the apartment had been empty since then. He had been a noted mathematician in Tucuman, a city in northern Argentina. Much respected by his students, to whom he dedicated his life and work, he was married to Leonor Herrera and raised two boys, Abel and Claudio, and a girl, Leonor Ines.

I met the Herreras in Tucuman in the 1960s when my wife, their niece, studied at the university where Professor Herrera taught. When I met them, they had an active social life managed by Leonor. Their house was a place of lively intellectual gatherings, frequently visited by out-of-town scientists and researchers.

The Herrera children inherited their father’s intellectual drive and their mother’s concern for the poor and dispossessed. Those characteristics led to their downfall. Realizing the tremendous damage the military was doing to democracy and to the rule of law in the country, the children joined the violent opposition to the military’s rule.

During the 1970s the brutal dictatorship of Argentina’s military left the country in disarray, and the Herrera family decimated. In the end, the couple’s two sons and the wife of one of them, Georgina, as well as the couple’s daughter and her husband, Juan Mangini, a guerrilla leader opposing the military rule, were among the more than 30,000 estimated “disappeared.” Both Abel and his younger brother, Claudio, died under torture in 1975.

More:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/19/legacy-of-a-disappeared-family-in-argentina/

Good reads:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1016134853

Chilean former spy and German 'cult' members sentenced over kidnappings

Source: Agence France-Presse

Chilean former spy and German 'cult' members sentenced over kidnappings

  • Fifty people kidnapped and tortured by Dina at Colonia Dignidad in 1975
  • Abductees were held in tunnels at secretive German-speaking community

    AFP in Santiago

    Monday 19 October 2015 15.25 EDT Last modified on Monday 19 October 2015 15.26 EDT

    A Chilean court has sentenced a former intelligence official and two residents of a secretive German community in southern Chile over the kidnapping of 50 people in 1975.

    Each of the three – Fernando Gómez Segovia, formerly with the feared National Intelligence Directorate (Dina), and Germans Kurt Schenellemkamp Nelaimischkies and Gerhard Mucke Koschitze – were given five years prison for their role in the April-June 1975 kidnappings, a court statement said.

    All three are already behind bars: Segovia is in a special prison for human rights abusers during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, while the Germans are in a regular prison for sex crimes committed in Colonia Dignidad, a German-speaking community in southern Chile.

    . . .

    Colonia Dignidad was founded in 1961 by Paul Schaefer, a former medic in the Nazi-era German army who fled Germany in 1959 after being charged with child abuse. More than 200 Germans lived in Colonia Dignidad.

    Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/19/chile-former-spy-germans-sentenced-kidnappings-colonia-dignidad
  • Cuba–US Relations: Is Resistance to the Media War No Longer Valid?

    October 16, 2015
    Cuba–US Relations: Is Resistance to the Media War No Longer Valid?

    by Arnold August

    One of the most positively commented on articles I have written recently was the piece on freedom of the press and Cuba–US relations, published on September 9, 2015. The emails coming from the US, Canada, Europe and Cuba reflected a pent-up frustration – and even a barely veiled anger – at how some of the US press deals with Cuba. Readers of the article seemed to breathe a sigh of relief that writers are not getting caught up in illusions, in the wake of the new Cuba–US relations, about the traditional media war waged against Cuba since the 1959 Revolution. Another writer, Iroel Sánchez from Cuba, took on The Washington Post for its misinformation and bias regarding Cuba. My piece did not target CNN USA, but challenged one high-ranking CNN anchor, Jake Tapper. Furthermore, it dealt initially only with his reporting from Havana of the August 14, 2015 reopening of the US Embassy and the flag-raising ceremony conducted by John Kerry.

    As we follow the chronological exchanges between Tapper and me and others, what conclusion do we reach? One can only deduce that resistance to the media war and misinformation is more necessary than ever under these complicated conditions in which the Cuban Revolution finds itself. In order to be fair and get Tapper’s side of the story, I tweeted him on September 10: “What do you think of my piece on you and CNN? ‘Cuba–US Relations and Freedom of the Press’” with a link to the article. In his response, Tapper did not even come close to exhausting Twitter’s 140 character limit: “Not much.” I persisted: “Well, how about dealing with the points that I make?” He responded: “I would hardly know where to begin.” My rebuttal offered him a chance out: “Well, as an experienced journalist you should be able to deal with at least a few points.” Tapper’s answer: “Ask me in a couple of weeks and I will try to come up with more constructive criticism as I am busy with debate prep right now [the Republican presidential candidates’ debate in September that he hosted for CNN].” “OK, agreed,” I tweeted back. I also sent him my email address in case he would find this more convenient than Twitter.

    In order to deepen the debate, I tweeted him on September 22 with regard to a partial insert of a Reuters interview with me regarding the Pope’s visit to Cuba. The Reuters report reads as follows:

    “‘Dissidents in Cuba may be seen abroad by some as brave freedom fighters because much of the mainstream media describe them in this way. It is part of what I call continuous disinformation with regard to Cuba,’ said Arnold August, a Montreal-based author who sees Cuba as more democratic than most analysts.”

    More:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/16/cuba-us-relations-is-resistance-to-the-media-war-no-longer-valid/

    [center]

    Jake Tapper[/center]

    The migrants who fled violence for the US only to be sent back to their deaths

    America's refugee crisis: death, danger and the border crackdown

    The migrants who fled violence for the US only to be sent back to their deaths

    Every year thousands of Hondurans come to the US in search of a better life and safety – yet for a growing number of young men, the return home makes them prime targets for gang retaliations as murder rate surges

    Sibylla Brodzinsky in San Pedro Sula
    Monday 12 October 2015 08.34 EDT

    When Antonio Díaz’s 26-year-old son Oscar was kidnapped, beaten and left for dead by gang members, the Honduran father decided to send Oscar and his three brothers to the United States, fearing that any one of them could be the next victim of the country’s swelling wave of violence.

    “I sent them away for their safety,” says Díaz, sitting in a comfortable and well-furnished three-bedroom home in a town outside San Pedro Sula, where he owns a fleet of minibuses. “We’re not bad off here, economically, but I couldn’t bear the thought of my sons getting killed,” he says.

    A year and a half after Antonio paid the $6,000 coyote fee for each of his sons to make the perilous overland journey to the United States as undocumented migrants, one of the young men – Ángel – was deported back to Honduras.

    A month later he was dead, gunned down on one of his father’s buses by suspected gang members.

    More:
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/12/deportation-migrants-flee-honduras-guatemala-salvador

    Former Panama President Martinelli faces political spying charges

    Former Panama President Martinelli faces political spying charges

    Former President Ricardo Martinelli is facing charges of running an illegal political espionage ring. The indictment is seeking up to 21 years in jail for the former leader.

    Special Panamanian prosecutor Harry Diaz is planning to charge Martinelli with running the spy ring during his administration using public funds. Prosecutors say Martinelli used taxpayer money and government employees to listen to calls, read messages and have activists, politicians, union members, lawyers, doctors and other civil groups followed.

    The 63-year-old was president of Panama from 2009 until 2014. He has not been seen in the Central American country since he left for an event in Guatemala last January. Martinelli, a supermarket tycoon, is believed to be in Miami, Florida.

    . . .

    Martinelli's former press secretary, Luis Eduardo Camacho, who organized the protest said Diaz was subjecting Panama to "international ridicule." He said that Martinelli was not hiding and that it was no secret he was in Miami.

    http://www.dw.com/en/former-panama-president-martinelli-faces-political-spying-charges/a-18784132

    How political dynasties and corporations monopolize Colombia’s media

    How political dynasties and corporations monopolize Colombia’s media
    Posted by Adriaan Alsema on Oct 14, 2015

    Media ownership in Colombia is highly monopolized by economic and political powerhouses who too often use their outlets to promote their own political and economic interests, according to a Reporters without Borders (RSF) investigation. The international journalism advocacy group kicked off a pilot program in Colombia to uncover who owns which news outlet and how this affects the quality and veracity of the information.

    “Media pluralism is a key aspect of any democratic society, since only independent and free media are able to reflect the true variety of opinions of a society, Reporters Without Borders secretary general Christophe Deloire said. “Uncovering concentration in the media market is an important first step towards ending the unchecked influence of dominant media owners.”

    Through a website called “De Quien Son los Medios,” results on the ongoing investigation of media ownership and concentration of media power are made public.The website shows a highly monopolized media landscape in Colombia. In the television, radio and newspaper industry alike, no more than two owners control more than half of the industry, while on local levels, radio stations and newspaper are often in the hands of local dynasties.

    Television

    Media ownership concentration in television is “very high” in Colombia, the RSF and local journalist federation FECOLPER said.More than 74% of the national audience depends on only two media companies, the Organizacion Ardila Lulle that owns RCN and the Santo Domingo group that owns Caracol. These two groups, owned by some of Colombia’s richest and most powerful families, receive 78.1% of advertising revenue.

    More:
    http://colombiareports.com/how-political-dynasties-and-corporations-monopolized-colombias-media/
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