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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 145,875

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Judge Declines to Reopen Case Against Ex-President Kirchner of Argentina

Judge Declines to Reopen Case Against Ex-President Kirchner of Argentina

MARCH 11, 2016

BUENOS AIRES — A federal judge on Thursday refused to reopen a criminal complaint against former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner first brought by a prosecutor who died in mysterious circumstances last year, according to Télam, the state news agency.

Prosecutors thought they had new documents that warranted trying to revive the case against Mrs. Kirchner and her political supporters. The prosecutor who later died, Alberto Nisman, had accused Mrs. Kirchner and others of conspiring to derail his investigation into the 1994 fatal bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires. The complaint dissolved in Argentina’s courts.

Judge Daniel Rafecas said Thursday that the new documents presented were not sufficient to reverse his decision last year to dismiss the complaint, reiterating his determination that there was no evidence of a crime. The ruling can be appealed by Gerardo Pollicita, the prosecutor who sought to revive the case.

Mr. Nisman died of a gunshot to the head days after filing the original criminal complaint, but it has not been established whether it was a suicide or murder.


(Short article, no more at link.)

Nephew of murdered Honduran activist Cáceres: 'The atmosphere is terrifying'

Nephew of murdered Honduran activist Cáceres: 'The atmosphere is terrifying'

Silvio Carrillo grew up alongside Berta Cáceres, a leading campaigner for human rights. After the deaths of hundreds of campaigners in Honduras in the span of a few years, he believes his aunt was targeted for her efforts

David Smith in Washington
Wednesday 9 March 2016 06.30 EST

Silvio Carrillo holds a creased black and white photo of a three-year-old girl, frowning at the camera and clutching a doll, and fights back the tears. The girl grew up to be his aunt, Berta Cáceres, a fearless human rights activist and heroine to indigenous people in Honduras. Last week, she was shot dead in her home, a day shy of her 45th birthday.

Cáceres had long complained of death threats from police, the army and landowners’ groups over her opposition to one of Central America’s biggest hydropower projects. She won the 2015 Goldman environmental prize, regarded as the world’s top award for grassroots environmental activism.

Carrillo, 43, told the Guardian he believed she had been targeted for her work. “She pissed a lot of people off … She was a major threat to the establishment.

“She was a moral leader. She was put on this grand stage and that multiplied when she won the Goldman prize. If you heard her speak, she was powerful. She was near becoming impossible to take down,” he said.

Cáceres earned admiration – and enemies – leading a decade-long fight against a project to build a dam along the Gualcarque river, which is sacred to the Lenca people and could flood large areas of ancestral lands and cut off water supplies to hundreds. A week before her death, she had spoken out against the murder of four indigenous leaders in the Lenca community.


That giant rabbit has found a home and he’s even got his own pram

That giant rabbit has found a home and he’s even got his own pram

Nicole Morley
Nicole Morley for Metro.co.ukTuesday 8 Mar 2016 7:36 pm

A giant rabbit has finally found a loving home.

Atlas the continental giant rabbit – who’s roughly the same size as a dog – was taken in by the Scottish SPCA when his former owner could no longer look after him.

But now Atlas has been given a new home with Jen Hislop in North Ayrshire.

Jen, 43, a financial fraud investigator, was selected from hundreds of applicants to rehome eight-month-old Atlas.

She said: ‘I burst into tears when I got the phone call saying I had been chosen to rehome Atlas and I cried again when I collected him.

. . .


[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
Atlas the giant rabbit finds new home in Scotland

15:47, 8 Mar 2016
By Scotland Now

THE big bunny received hundreds of adoption offers from animal lovers across the world - including model Katie Price - but he has found a new home in Ayrshire.

ATLAS the giant Scots rabbit has found a new home in Ayrshire.

The Continental Giant, which is the same size as a West Highland Terrier, became a global sensation after the Scottish SPCA launched an appeal to find him a new family.

Atlas arrived at the charity's rehoming centre in Glasgow last month and were overwhelmed with hundred of offers from animal lovers all over the world to take him in - including glamour model Katie Price.

But the SSPCA were keen to keep the rabbit on Scottish soil and chose a family based in North Ayrshire instead.


Reverse Robin Hood: Six Billion Dollar Businesses Preying on Poor People

March 8, 2016
Reverse Robin Hood: Six Billion Dollar Businesses Preying on Poor People

by Bill Quigley

Many see families in poverty and seek to help. Others see families in poverty and see opportunities for profit.

Here are six examples of billion dollar industries which are built on separating poor people, especially people of color, from their money, the reverse Robin Hood.

Check Cashing Businesses

Check cashing businesses. Cash a $100 check? At Walmart that will be $3. At TD bank non-customers pay $5 to cash a check from their bank.

Nearly 10 million households containing 25 million people do not have any bank account according to the FDIC. Most because they did not have enough money to keep a minimum balance in their account.

Check cashing business are part of a $100 billion industry of more than 6,500 check cashing businesses in the US, many which also provide money orders, utility bill payments and the like, according to testimony provided to Congress by the industry.


Deep failures in investigation into Honduras activist’s killing put many at risk

Deep failures in investigation into Honduras activist’s killing put many at risk

March 8, 2016

The catalogue of failures in the investigation into the death of a prominent Indigenous leader last week exposes the Honduran government’s absolute lack of willingness to protect human rights defenders in the country, said Amnesty International after a visit to the Central American country.

“Authorities in Honduras are saying one thing and doing another. They have told us they are committed to finding those responsible for Berta Cáceres’ death yet they have failed to follow the most basic lines of investigation, including the fact that Berta had been receiving serious death threats related to her human rights work for a very long time,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“This shocking lack of action is sending the dangerous message that anyone can kill those who dare to confront the most powerful in society and get away with it. That authorities seem to be willing to trade lives for money.”

“The fact that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández Alvarado is still refusing to meet with Berta Cáceres’ relatives, other human rights defenders and Amnesty International is simply inexcusable. Burying his head in the sand will only put the lives and safety of more activists in grave danger.”

Berta Cáceres, leader and co-founder of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Peoples Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), was shot dead on March 3 in her home in the town of La Esperanza, in the province of Intibucá, west Honduras. For years, she had vocally campaigned against the construction of the Agua Zarca dam in the community of Río Blanco.

So far, only members of COPINH were called to give testimony. Human rights activist Gustavo Castro, who was with Berta when she was killed, was prevented from leaving Honduras to his native Mexico even after giving testimony on several occasions and despite serious threats to his life.


How Colombia’s Mr. Wiretap ended up being wiretapped

How Colombia’s Mr. Wiretap ended up being wiretapped
Posted by Adriaan Alsema on Mar 8, 2016

Colombia’s former President, Alvaro Uribe, was once known as the president whose administration wiretapped pretty much anyone deemed a political risk. Now, the current senator appears in phone calls wiretapped by the Supreme Court.

Uribe tried to make a stink earlier this month, asking the Supreme Court on Twitter why he was being wiretapped.

The accusation raised eyebrows across Colombia as his former chief of staff and two of his former intelligence chiefs are in prison, for no other reason that illegally wiretapping the Supreme Court, journalists, national and international human rights organization, and politicians.

These wiretaps were allegedly carried out to frustrate investigations against Uribe’s cousin Mario, a former Senator who was eventually arrested and convicted for using paramilitary death squads to advance his political career.


Meet Dindim, the penguin who returns to his human soulmate every year

Meet Dindim, the penguin who returns to his human soulmate every year

Seabird makes annual trek to his rescuer on Brazilian island
Janet Tappin Coelho Rio de Janeiro |
1 hour ago|

Four years ago, Joao Pereira, 71, found a South American Magellanic penguin covered in oil and starving on a beach on an island off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. A friendship was born.

Since they met in 2011, the creature, which normally breeds on the Patagonia coasts of Argentina and Chile, three to five thousand miles away, has become a faithful companion, swimming every year from its habitat to spend up to eight months living with the retired fisherman in his house on the island.

“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,” said Mr Pereira in an interview with Globo TV , in which the bird honks with delight as he recognises his human friend. “No one else is allowed to touch him. He pecks them if they do. He lays on my lap, let’s me give him showers, allows me feed him sardines and to pick him up,” said Mr Pereira who has named the penguin Dindim.

Mr Pereira believes Dindim formed a bond with him after he found it stranded on the beach and took him home. Over a week he cleaned the creature’s tarred feathers in the shower, fed him a daily diet of fish to improve his strength then took him back to the sea to let him go.


Environment & Energy:

Graffiti in Bogota is attracting tourists

Graffiti in Bogota is attracting tourists

From civil war to the war on drugs, street artists in a unique environment have a wealth of inspiration to draw from.

By: Vawn Himmelsbach Special to the Star, Published on Mon Mar 07 2016

In Bogota, graffiti artists can work during the day without fear of prosecution or detention. They would be fined, at most, if they painted on a government or private building without permission.

COLOMBIA-Christian Petersen first visited Colombia in 2001, “when it was a completely different country to what it is today.” The Aussie returned in 2009, married a Colombian woman he met on a bus back in 2001 and co-founded Bogota Graffiti Tour.

Petersen, an artist, was impressed by Bogota’s street art scene. “Colombia has very potent and relevant socio-political issues and topics to draw inspiration from, like the longest-running civil war in the world, injustices, poverty, internal displacement, genocide, corruption, war on drugs, and much more.”

But it’s not all political: The country’s biodiversity is also a rich source of inspiration on the streets.


Rebuilding the Bolivarian Revolution

Rebuilding the Bolivarian Revolution

The Right’s recent success in Venezuela shows how vital it is to reclaim and democratize Hugo Chávez’s project.

by Mike Gonzalez

The December elections to Venezuela’s National Assembly completely changed the balance of power within the chamber. Where once Chavistas had an absolute majority, this time 112 of the Assembly’s 167 seats were taken by members of a right-wing coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD).

They were the beneficiaries of an electoral system whose legitimacy their victory demonstrates, despite their repeated claims that Venezuela was a dictatorship.

The victory of the Right was not entirely unpredictable. The Maduro government had been privately discussing the possibility of defeat, though it is unlikely that they anticipated the scale of it. Yet the deeper issue was that President Hugo Chávez, who died in 2013, had won between 53 percent and 63 percent of the vote at every election and referendum from 1999 until his death.

His successor Nicolas Maduro won his presidential contest in 2013 by less than 1 percent over his right-wing rival Capriles Radonski. In just over two years that support, expressed electorally, fell again to around 36 percent.

In other words, many of those who had consistently backed Chávez had either supported MUD or simply not voted, despite knowing that what united the disparate elements of the MUD was their commitment to dismantling the social advances that had been undertaken under Chávez and rolling back the Bolivarian Revolution.


Peru Victims Expose More Fujimori Era Forced Sterilizations

Peru Victims Expose More Fujimori Era Forced Sterilizations

[font size=1]
Representatives of Peruvian women's groups for victims of forced sterilization shout slogans after a meeting on Dec. 10, 2015.

Published 4 March 2016 (6 hours 46 minutes ago)
Testimonies from victims of Peru’s forced sterilization campaign show that women’s human rights were violated at the government orders.

The tragic details of cases of forced sterilization have come to light in Peru as victims in the northern region of San Martin spoke out for the first time in grisly interviews with local media published on Friday. Testimonies of women who were sterilized against their will under the regime of former dictator Alberto Fujimori demonstrate that forced sterilization was widespread as a systematic policy and not a matter of isolated incidents.

Victims report being tricked and lied to by medical professionals to be forcibly sterilized by the thousands. Women from poor, Indigenous communities with multiple children were disproportionately targeted by the state campaign directed from the capital Lima.

“I told them several times no, I didn’t want it, that I was pregnant, but they insisted. ‘It’s the government’s order,’ they told me,” Felipa Guerra Martinez, a victim of forced sterilization in the 1990’s, told the Peruvian daily La Republica. “Then they told me they were just going to a pregnancy check-up. But it was a hoax.”

. . .

Over 270,000 women, mostly Indigenous from rural areas, were sterilized in Peru between 1995 and 2000. Investigations into widespread allegations opened in 2003, but has been repeatedly stalled under official claims of lack of evidence.

Fujimori, who oversaw the state policy, has always claimed that the women were sterilized voluntarily.

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