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Judi Lynn

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Galaxy Cluster Gathers Inside a Cosmic 'Furnace' in New Video, Images

Galaxy Cluster Gathers Inside a Cosmic 'Furnace' in New Video, Images

By Christine Lunsford, Space.com Contributor | April 13, 2016 05:49pm ET

The Southern Hemisphere constellation of Fornax, which means "The Furnace," contains a mass of galaxies known as the Fornax Cluster, which takes center stage in these striking views from a telescope in Chile.

A new Fornax galaxy cluster video and image, which were unveiled today (April 13), were captured by astronomers with the European Southern Observatory using the Very Large Telescope. Researchers used the VLT's Survey Telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile's Atacama Desert. The observations reveal that the Fornax cluster is home to a host of galaxies of various types and sizes.

Galaxy clusters demonstrate gravity's power over long distances, with the gravitational influence of dark matter and the visible galaxies themselves leading to the cosmic groupings. These cosmic clusters typically contain from 100 to 1,000 galaxies at a width of 5 to 30 million light-years across. (One light-year is the distance light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles or 10 trillion kilometers). (When Galaxies Collide: Amazing Photos of Galactic Crashes)

The Fornax Cluster, at roughly 65 million light-years from Earth, includes about 60 large galaxies and about as many dwarf galaxies. The centerpiece of this cluster is NGC 1399, which is known as a cD galaxy — a type often considered as a "galactic cannibal," according to ESO officials.



VLT's Survey Telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile's Atacama Desert. [/center]

Please take a glimpse of Google's images of this amazing installation in Chile:


Mystery of Nazca, Peru's Puquios: Purpose of Ancient Holes Finally Solved By Satellites

Mystery of Nazca, Peru's Puquios: Purpose of Ancient Holes Finally Solved By Satellites

By Anna Swartz April 13, 2016

For years, spiral-shaped holes, called puquios, that dot the dry landscape in Nazca, Peru have confused archaeologists. But now, using satellite images, a team of researchers has finally solved the mystery of the holes once and for all, reports the BBC.

The holes are actually part of a "sophisticated hydraulic system constructed to retrieve water from underground aquifers," Rosa Lasaponara of the Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis, in Italy, who conducted the research, told the BBC. "What is clearly evident today is that the puquio system must have been much more developed than it appears today."

Lasaponara and her team used satellite images to analyze the placement of the puquios and realized the extent to which they moved water throughout the region. There is a system of tunnels underground, connecting the puquios. Each spiral hole pulls air down into the canals, moving the water through the network and bringing it to people who would have used it for both agriculture and domestic life, Lasaponara told the BBC.

To design such a system would have meant that the ancient Nazca people who built them had extensive knowledge about the geography of the area, Lasaponara said. The irrigation tunnels may also be connected to the Nazca lines, giant geoglyphs of animals, people and shapes carved into the Nazca desert, Lasaponara told the BBC.


Macri-nomics: Argentina’s Fast and Furious Return to Neoliberalism

April 12, 2016
Macri-nomics: Argentina’s Fast and Furious Return to Neoliberalism

by Alan B. Cibles

When on October 25, 2015, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s (CFK) designated presidential candidate, Daniel Scioli, won the first round of elections by a 3% margin, many viewed it as a defeat. There are good reasons for this.

Most polls had predicted Scioli would obtain at least an 8% lead over Mauricio Macri, the pro-business, pro-US neoliberal candidate. Some had even predicted a wider lead, fueling hopes that a runoff election could be avoided.

Also, few considered Macri would ever get enough votes to become president and yet, there he was, very well positioned for the runoff election a month later.

Finally, many of CFK’s supporters remembered her 54% victory in the 2011 presidential elections and believed that a similar outcome was possible for her candidate in 2015.


Over half of Brazilian committee that voted for Rousseff's impeachment face corruption charges

Over half of Brazilian committee that voted for Rousseff's impeachment face corruption charges


April 12, 2016 · 4:30 PM EDT
By Will Carless

A congressional committee in Brasilia has recommended that impeachment proceedings continue against President Dilma Rousseff, another bleak sign for her administration. But after one look at the committee members, you might wonder who’s in worse trouble.

On Monday, the committee voted 38-27 for impeachment proceedings. That committee includes no fewer than 37 politicians who themselves face charges of corruption or other serious crimes, according to an analysis by The Los Angeles Times. Indeed, more than half of the committee members who voted in favor of the impeachment process are being investigated for corruption.

What’s remarkable about the dramatic efforts to oust Rousseff is that, by contrast, the president has not been directly implicated in corruption for her personal financial gain. Rousseff is accused of a lot of things — from ineptitude to plain arrogance — but stealing money is not officially one of them.

Rather, she’s accused of manipulating government accounts — shifting public money around in a sort of shell game — to cover budget shortfalls, and shore up votes, in the run-up to her re-election in 2014. She has never been charged for this and says she’s done nothing wrong.


The Cuban-American hard-line bravado banishes into thin air

The Cuban-American hard-line bravado banishes into thin air

Max J. Castro • April 11, 2016

“Left out of the conversation,” read the Miami Herald headline.

Gloating is a base emotion but one entirely called for in this instance. They ignored us, our Cuban-American members of Congress. For decades, those of us in the Cuban community who traveled to Washington to try to get them to have a conscience, see reason, understand what they were doing to the Cuban people ran into a stone wall.

They humiliated us by sending the most junior staff to meet with us. They called press conferences to vilify us, to red-bait us. Back home they tried to intimidate us. They retaliated. Not openly but effectively. Some pressured our employers, made us lose jobs, careers. They were fanatical and ferocious.

In my case I ended up having to leave Miami to get a job. Lucrative but lonely, and not what I wanted to do either. I fell into a profound and prolonged disabling depression. Stage 4+, if depression were measured like cancer. My family, medicines, Miami, the sun and the water, eventually healed me. I feel stronger than ever.

If I am happy with the Herald headlines, it’s not out bitterness. I have a hard time holding on to grudges. The main reason is that that sorry bunch, the Cuban Mafia, Havana calls them, the Cuban Con Artists, I call them, because everything they sold as solid, their vaunted power especially, suddenly vanished into thin air. Happy because they no longer can automatically veto change. Happy because they can no longer dictate a policy based on allowing the Cuban people to go blind in order to try to poke out the eye of Fidel or Raul.


WATCH: Exclusive Interview by Glenn Greenwald with Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva

WATCH: Exclusive Interview by Glenn Greenwald with Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva

Glenn Greenwald
Apr. 11 2016, 3:12 a.m.

The life trajectory of Brazil’s former President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (“Lula”) has been extraordinary. Born into extreme poverty, Lula left the presidential office in 2010, after serving two terms, with an unprecedented 86 percent approval rating, seemingly destined to enjoy almost universal respect on the world stage and to be remembered as one of modern history’s greatest statesmen. Similar to the post-office path of Tony Blair and Bill and Hillary Clinton, Lula, since his term ended, has amassed great personal wealth by delivering speeches and providing consulting services to global power centers. The moderately left-wing party he co-founded, the Worker’s Party (PT), has now controlled the presidency for fourteen straight years.

But all of that, the entirety of Lula’s legacy, is now seriously threatened. A grave, widespread corruption scandal involving the national oil company, Petrobras, is engulfing Brazil’s economic and political elite, with PT at its center. His protégé and handpicked successor, the former anti-dictatorship Marxist guerrilla and current President Dilma Rousseff, faces a credible impeachment threat (now supported by a majority of Brazilians) and widespread unpopularity due to an intractable, severe recession. Senior members of PT have been arrested and imprisoned. Massive street protests, both in favor of and against impeachment, have recently turned ugly, with physical altercations becoming increasingly common.

Lula himself has recently been implicated in the criminal investigation (known as “Operation Car Wash”), briefly detained by the federal police for questioning, accused by the former Senate leader of his party (turned informant) of “commanding” a massive bribery and kickback scheme, eavesdropped on by judicial investigators who publicly released recordings of his telephone calls, and charged formally with receiving and hiding improper gifts (including a house and a farm). As a result, his approval ratings in Brazil have dropped precipitously.

But thanks to entrenched support from Brazil’s ample poor population, those ratings are still higher than most other nationally prominent politicians (most of whom are fighting off their own corruption allegations), and it is widely believed that Lula will run for President again at the end of Dilma’s term: whether that’s in 2018 as scheduled or earlier if she’s impeached or resigns. Nobody who has watched Lula’s career – including those who want to see him imprisoned – can be dismissive of the prospect that he will again be Brazil’s president (a new poll released today shows Lula leading the 2018 presidential race along with the evangelical/environmentalist Marina Silva).


2 sentenced to prison in forced labor case on Ohio egg farm

Source: Associated Press

2 sentenced to prison in forced labor case on Ohio egg farm

John Seewer, Associated Press

Updated 4:03 pm, Monday, April 11, 2016

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge sentenced two men to prison on Monday for taking part in a scheme to smuggle teens into the U.S. and keep them as virtual slaves at an Ohio egg farm, but he delayed sentencing for the ringleader after learning he had not given up properties taken from the victims' families.

In 2014, federal agents raided a dilapidated trailer park near Marion where the 10 young Guatemalans had been living with no heat and little food. Some said they were lured with the promise of attending school in the U.S. or plucked out of custody at the Mexican border. Eight were under age 18.

The teens and young men were forced to work at the egg farm and turn over most of their earnings to pay for their passage to the U.S., investigators said.

One of the young men spoke in court Monday, revealing he was 17 when he was smuggled over the border and thought he would be attending classes.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Sentencing-set-for-3-in-forced-labor-case-on-Ohio-7240874.php

Newsletter: The Unfolding Story Of Latin America

Newsletter: The Unfolding Story Of Latin America

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, www.popularresistance.org
March 27th, 2016

A very strange piece of legislation was introduced by the right wing Parliament in Venezuela this week; a bill providing amnesty for crimes the oligarchs and their operatives have committed since Hugo Chavez was elected in 1999. This bill provides a catalog of their political offenses over 16 years. In 45 articles, it covers all manner of crimes committed from misdemeanors at a public rally to felonies like terrorist acts involving explosives and firearms. They are essentially admitting exactly what Chavez/Maduro have claimed — crimes to overthrow the government by undermining the economy and creating political havoc. The bill will very likely be vetoed by Maduro and if they override his veto, it may be ruled unconstitutional by the court.

Latin America has been a key battleground in the conflict between neo-liberal capitalism and US hegemony against the growing people power that is demanding a more equitable economy that builds from the bottom up and is more democratic. Venezuela has been the focal point of the campaign against the progressive cycle. The amnesty bill shows the extreme actions the US and oligarchs are willing to take to wrest power from the people and return it to the wealthy business interests. The wealthy have made progress in some key countries leading to people ask whether the progressive cycle has come to an end and what lies ahead for the region.

Return to Neoliberal Oligarchy

Many recognize that Venezuela is the cutting edge that defines the progressive cycle in Latin America. The landslide December 6, 2015 victory of the right-wing Democratic Unity Roundtable, winning two thirds of the seats in Venezuela’s National Assembly elections, was a major turning point in Venezuelan politics. The legislature is now targeting President Maduro for recall, a lengthy process involving collection of signatures and a vote, or they may seek impeachment as is currently being pursued in Brazil. Other countries are also experiencing problems. In “Is South America’s ‘Progressive Cycle’ At An End?” Claudio Katz writes:MesoAmerica Resistance

The year 2015 ended with significant advances of the Right in South America. Mauricio Macri was elected President in Argentina, the opposition gained a majority in the Venezuelan parliament, and Dilma Rousseff is being hounded relentlessly in Brazil. Then there are the conservatives’ campaigns in Ecuador, and it remains to be seen whether Evo Morales will obtain a new mandate in Bolivia.

Add to that the recent visit of President Obama to Cuba and what that means for the future of the Cuban Revolution and the political situation in Honduras; and it is evident that the region is undergoing a major transition. In addition to the US pivot to Asia, there has also been a pivot to Latin America by the United States. The region had been breaking free of US domination, but US intervention in Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Cuba, as well as in Ecuador and Bolivia is having an impact.


President Correa Denounces Deceit of Venezuelan Opposition

President Correa Denounces Deceit of Venezuelan Opposition

Imagen activaQuito, Apr 9 (Prensa Latina) President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, denounced the use of deception by the opposition to the government of Venezuela to try to seize power in that country.
In his account on the social network Twitter, the president recalled a phrase of the Liberator Simon Bolivar: 'They will not dominate us by force but by deception' and copied a link to an article replicated by several media on an iconic photo of shortages in Venezuela.

It turns out that the picture was not taken in the South American country, as it was made believed, but in New York, United States, and deceived the most popular search engines on the Internet, Google.

The snapshot was made in 2011 by a photographer from the Reuters agency when Hurricane Irene was expected in U.S. and desperate people emptied the supermarkets to stockpile food and water.

The Spanish newspaper El Mundo showed on digital networks manipulation orchestrated by anonymous users, bloggers and political parties of the Venezuelan opposition who decided to systematically use this image to denounce the economic problems the Bolivarian Republic is facing.


New Galápagos sanctuary protects unique marine life

New Galápagos sanctuary protects unique marine life

Muriel Vega (@murielvega)
Science / Conservation
April 7, 2016

© Dee Boersma

The marine ecosystem around Ecuador's Galápagos Islands can rest a little easier. The country has created a new marine sanctuary around the islands that will offer protection to the world’s greatest concentration of sharks, the world’s rarest penguin species and so many others.

The new marine sanctuary will protect 15,000 square miles and extends

The decree was signed on March 21 by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa.


This is good news for conservationists as now 32 percent of the waters around the Galápagos will be protected from fishing, mining and other extractive industries. It will all be incorporated to the marine reserve created in 1998.

"We’ve been working for years in the Galapagos, advising officials in Ecuador to protect the fish-rich waters that penguins and other species rely upon for food," P. Dee Boersma, a conservationist and professor of biology at the University of Washington, says about the new sanctuary.

© Enric Sala/National Geographic Pristine Seas

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