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Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
May 1, 2017

Peru's plans to cut air quality rules would smooth sale of top polluter

Proposals to raise legal limits of sulfur dioxide by more than 12 times linked directly to sale of US-owned smelter in the Andes

David Hill
Monday 1 May 2017 15.25 EDT

Children wearing masks play near the poly-metal
smelter in La Oroya, owned by the US company
Doe Run, in Peru’s central Andes. This photo was
taken in 2000. Photograph: STR/Dante Piaggio

It’s a fairly common tactic in Peru to issue a significant or potentially controversial decision or resolution when you hope no one is paying attention. 24, 26 or 31 December, for example. The Environment Ministry (MINAM) recently adopted that ploy by releasing, just before the Easter week holiday, proposals to dramatically roll back certain air quality standards across the country.

The draft National Environmental Quality Standards for Air propose maintaining the maximum legal limits for nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide, lead and benzene, but doubling the limit for some particulate matter. Most startling, they propose increasing the limit of sulfur dioxide by more than 12 times.

MINAM effectively claims that Peru is the global leader in sulfur dioxide limits because it is the “only country in the world” which meets World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations. That limit is 20 micrograms per cubic metre over a 24 hour averaging period, compared with 210 in Australia, 250 in Chile and Colombia, 288 in Mexico, 300 in Canada and 365 in Brazil, according to the ministry. Elsewhere in the world - although these are not acknowledged by MINAM - the limit is 150 in China, 125 in the EU, 131 in South Korea and 80 in India.

The current proposal is to raise Peru’s limit to 250. One justification is that “no clearly defined link exists” between sulfur dioxide and negative impacts on human health, MINAM claims, according to its interpretation of research by the WHO, the US’s Environmental Protection Agency and Health Canada, among others.



At night, company dumps its liquid waste into the river flowing in front of the buildings.[/center]
Inside Ira Rennert's dirtiest businesses
Epic pollution at his La Oroya refinery in Peru have put the reclusive billionaire and his business practices in the spotlight.
Aaron Elstein By Aaron Elstein


April 28, 2017

The first Brexit: Submerged landscapes of the North Sea and Channel

The first Brexit: Submerged landscapes of the North Sea and Channel

The British Isles split from Europe several thousand years ago. Now, maritime archaeology is revealing a lost landscape on the seafloor

Peter B Campbell

Wednesday 26 April 2017 02.00 EDT

The British Isles separated from the European continent approximately 8,000 years ago. For this Brexit there was no referendum or bus, no Leavers or Remainers, nor was it hard or soft. This was a watery Brexit as rising sea levels filled the Channel and created the North Sea. Maritime archaeology is revealing this submerged landscape that once connected the continent to Britain.

Earth is a dynamic planet that is constantly changing. Going back far enough in time, Britain has been separated from the continent several times as sea levels changed. However, for the study of Homo sapiens it is the change at end of the Pleistocene and the start of the Holocene epoch 11,700 years ago that is most interesting.

Throughout the Pleistocene, sea levels rose and fell in response to climate fluctuations. During cold periods, often known as Ice Ages, glaciers contained a great deal of water, lowering global sea levels. You might not have recognised Europe during these periods with its far larger surface area. It would have been possible to walk from Copenhagen to London on dry land. The North Sea and the English Channel contained a fertile landscape with several large European rivers where the humans lived and hunted. In fact, humans were not the only hominins to reach what became the Isles, but also Homo antecessor, Homo heidelbergensis, and the Neanderthals. At Happisburgh in Norfolk, Homo antecessor footprints dating to 800,000 years ago were found exposed on a beach after a storm.

After the last Ice Age, the Earth began to warm approximately 18,000 years ago and sea levels rose over a hundred meters as the melting glaciers released water into the oceans. This global effect is called eustatic sea level change and the process more or less ended 5,000 years ago. While there is some sea level change due to isostatic movement, tectonic activity, and compression of sediments, it is beginning in this period that the Earth broadly looks as it does today.


April 28, 2017

Mexico's ancient city guards its secrets but excavation reveals new mysteries

Mexico's ancient city guards its secrets but excavation reveals new mysteries

An eight-year project at Teotihuacán, once the western hemisphere’s largest city, failed to locate its rulers’ tomb but findings offered tantalising clues to its origins

Teotihuacán, about 30 miles outside Mexico City. The discovery of liquid mercury beneath one of its pyramids fuelled hopes of finding a royal tomb – but what archaeologists did find was unexpected.

Nina Lakhani in Teotihuacán
Monday 24 April 2017 05.00 EDT

For decades, the hunt for a royal tomb at the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacán has gripped archaeologists trying to unravel the secrets of the kingdom’s extraordinary political power.

It is a mystery investigators thought they were on the verge of solving in 2015, when large quantities of liquid mercury were found amid a treasure trove of precious artefacts in a secret tunnel.

Tiny troughs containing mercury were discovered along the 103-metre (338ft) corridor under the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, the third-biggest temple of the ruined city 35 miles (56km) north of Mexico’s present-day capital.

It was the first time the toxic substance had been found at an ancient site in Mexico, and the discovery fuelled expectations that the search for the tomb was almost over.


April 28, 2017

Brazilians fight back against corruption with the help of a purple plug-in

Colour of Corruption, a plug-in that works with Google Chrome, details criminal allegations against Brazil’s top politicians, who have long been accused of greasing the wheels

Dom Phillips and Jonathan Watts in Rio de Janeiro
Thursday 27 April 2017 05.00 EDT

In an age of epic corruption and political cynicism in Brazil, a new browser plug-in aims to attract and inform voters about the extent of their representatives’ involvement in graft.

Released before what is expected to be the biggest general strike in decades, Colour of Corruption is an online political scorecard that details criminal allegations against members of the cabinet, the upper and lower houses of parliament, state governors, their deputies – and even the president.

. . .

Launched this week, the Google Chrome plug-in paints a vivid purple band over the name of any senior politician facing any kind of investigation. A click then reveals legal processes the politician is facing.

. . .

“Corruption is not the motive of the strike but it plays a part. The feeling is that not only are the politicians corrupt, but now they are also actively working against them. It shows politicians are failing to consider the voters point of view.It is a problem of representation.”

April 27, 2017

Texas bill would punish police who do not comply with immigration enforcers

Source: Guardian News

House passes bill targeting ‘sanctuary city’ police with criminal charges if they do not help federal authorities with detention requests, including children at school

Tom Dart in Houston

Thursday 27 April 2017 12.49 EDT

Donald Trump’s plan to punish so-called sanctuary cities was blocked in court this week, but the concept is enjoying more success at state level, where Texas is poised to enact a law forcing local police to act as federal immigration enforcers.

A bill passed the Texas state house shortly before 3am on Thursday, after 16 often heated hours of debate amid pro-immigrant demonstrations outside the capitol building in Austin. Democrats in the Republican-dominated Texas legislature proposed a series of amendments in a futile effort to stall and weaken the bill, a version of which was already advanced by the senate.

It puts sheriffs and other police chiefs at risk of criminal charges and other serious sanctions if they do not help the federal government enforce immigration laws by complying with requests to detain immigrants. There are also civil fines for non-cooperation by local entities including campus police departments.

A Democratic state representative, Victoria Neave, began a four-day hunger strike on Sunday in protest at the bill. Another, Mary Gonzalez, wept on Wednesday as she talked in the state house about being a sexual assault survivor and expressed her fear that the law would help criminals. A third, Ana Hernandez, gave an emotional speech about her life before she became a US citizen.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/27/texas-sanctuary-cities-bill-police-detain-immigrants

April 27, 2017

Cuban Dancing Company to Perform in US and Colombia

Havana, Apr 27 (Prensa Latina) The Irene Rodriguez Company will dance in the United States and Colombia in May, as announced by the dancer and dancing company director with the same name Thursday.

Irene Rodriguez, a dancer, director and choreographer, a winner of the 2012 Ibero American Choreograhy Award, said that her company will perform at the WWCI Studios, Los Angeles, at the gala Evening in Havana, inspired by the documentary film 'Weekend on Havana', by British filmmaker Leo Eaton.

The gala will also feature the participation of Cuban Jazz musician Roberto Fonseca, Cuban actress and singer Ivanessa Cabrera and US Chicago Hedwig Dance Company.

Eaton, winner of an Emmy Award, filmed 'Weekend on Havana' in this capital with architect Daniel de la Regata, Fonseca and Rodriguez as protagonists.



April 27, 2017

Demobilized FARC guerrillas assassinated in southwest Colombia

Demobilized FARC guerrillas assassinated in southwest Colombia
written by Adriaan Alsema April 27, 2017

Two demobilized FARC member have been assassinated in southwest Colombia in the past 10 days, sparking fears of a repetition of the mass killing of leftists that cost thousands of lives after a 1985 peace deal.

Both homicide victims were pardoned members of the FARC’s militias who, unlike the guerrillas, are taking part in Colombia’s peace process from home instead of from camps that are supervised by the United Nations.

Alvaro Ortiz, a demobilized member of the FARC in the southwestern Cauca province, was shot dead on Wednesday, just hours after the Prosecutor General took to the press to personally announce the homicide of another FARC member, who was killed on April 16, but whose death was not made public after the arrest of his suspected killer.

The FARC has claimed that three family members of a demobilized guerrilla from Antioquia were also assassinated, but this was not confirmed by authorities.


April 27, 2017

Only 47 of Colombias 30,000 demobilized paramilitaries convicted: report

written by Adriaan Alsema April 27, 2017

No more than 47 of approximately 30,000 paramilitaries who demobilized more than a decade ago have since been convicted of war crimes, reported Colombia’s leading newspaper El Tiempo Thursday.

The “Justice and Peace” program carried our by former President Alvaro Uribe has widely been considered a failure, particularly by the AUC‘s estimated 380,000 victims and the paramilitaries themselves, thousands of whom have rearmed.

The hard-right Uribe, who opposes a peace process with AUC arch enemy FARC, bartered the paramilitary demobilization between 2002 and 2005, one decade after he was one of the main promoters of the formation of armed civilian militias.

Between 2003 and 2006, the AUC demobilized with the exception of dissident factions loyal to AUC founder Vicente Castaño who called on his subordinates to rearm and resume paramilitary activity.


April 26, 2017

US extradites former Colombia intelligence chief facing journalist torture charges

Source: Colombia Reports

written by Adriaan Alsema April 26, 2017

The United States deported a former intelligence chief of Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency DAS, who is wanted in Colombia to face torture charges.

Enrique Ariza, 49, was removed from the US on Monday to stand trial for the alleged aggravated psychological torture of journalist Claudia Duque and spying on opponents of former President Alvaro Uribe.

. . .

The deportation of one of his former intelligence chiefs is a major blow for Uribe, whose country is setting up a transitional justice system that is expected to try Ariza and possibly even the former president after Uribe’s successor, President Juan Manuel Santos succeeded in ending a 52-year war with FARC rebels that cost more than 265,000 Colombian lives.

Uribe has opposed this process, and for good reasons, as he was politically responsible for war crimes that left thousands of victims.

Read more: http://colombiareports.com/us-extradites-former-intelligence-chief-facing-journalist-torture-charges-colombia/

April 26, 2017

The cleansing has just begun, death to all: Colombias paramilitaries

written by Adriaan Alsema April 26, 2017

Pamphlets signed by the AGC, Colombia’s largest illegal armed group, confirmed the paramilitaries’ apparent attempt to consolidate power in former FARC territories throughout the country.

While some 7,000 FARC guerrillas are still in rural camps while they demobilize, disarm and reintegrate under a peace deal with the government, the AGC in those areas announced a social cleansing and a 9PM curfew while confirming their intention is “to control, organize and recuperate territory from the FARC drug traffickers.”

The pamphlets are the latest demonstration of the AGC’s extensive power that has been steadily growing since their formation in 2006.

. . .

Apart from threatening to kill anyone considered undesirable by the group, the AGC imposed a 9PM curfew that would be imposed by lethal force.


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