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Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
January 29, 2020

Amateur Photographers Have Discovered a New Form of the Northern Lights


The auroral dunes appear as a green-tinged and even pattern of waves resembling a striped veil of clouds or dunes on a sandy beach. Credit: Kari Saari

Working together with space researchers, Finnish amateur photographers have discovered a new auroral form. Named ‘dunes’ by the hobbyists, the phenomenon is believed to be caused by waves of oxygen atoms glowing due to a stream of particles released from the Sun.

In the recently published study, the origins of the dunes were tracked to a wave guide formed within the mesosphere and its boundary, the mesopause. The study also posits that this new auroral form provides researchers with a novel way to investigate conditions in the upper atmosphere.

The study was published in the first issue of the high-impact journal AGU Advances.

An unknown fingerprint appears in the sky
Minna Palmroth, Professor of Computational Space Physics at the University of Helsinki, heads a research group developing the world’s most accurate simulation of the near-Earth space and space weather that cause auroral emissions.

The sun releases a steady flow of charged particles, known as the solar wind. Reaching the Earth’s ionized upper atmosphere, the ionosphere, they create auroral emissions by exciting atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen atoms. The excitation state is released as auroral light.

January 27, 2020

Bolivia president asks all ministers to resign

Issued on: 27/01/2020 - 04:22
Modified: 27/01/2020 - 04:21

La Paz (AFP)

Bolivia's interim President Jeanine Anez asked all her ministers to resign a little more than three months before a general election, a statement from the presidency said on Sunday.

The news came just hours after communication minister Roxana Lizarraga resigned in protest at Anez's decision to stand as a presidential candidate in the May 3 election.

When assuming the interim presidency on November 12, Anez had said she had no intention of standing for the full-time job.

But that changed on Friday when she announced her candidacy.

Anez "has decided to ask for the resignation of all ministers to approach this new stage in the management of the democratic transition," said the presidency's statement.


"Step right up and git y'r bible."

( "luto" = "mourning" )

Former US senator hints at CIA role in Bolivia
Evo Morales says 'coup plotters' raze Bolivian democracy to ground
Vakkas Dogantekin |

Marcelo Perez Del Carpio - Anadolu Agency )

By Vakkas Dogantekin


A former U.S. senator has sarcastically criticized the CIA for the military coup in Bolivia, hinting U.S. involvement in the downfall of elected president Evo Morales on Sunday.

"Congratulations on winning power in Bolivia, @CIA!" Mike Gravel said on Twitter on Sunday, in an apparent hit at the global spy agency.

The Democratic former Alaska Senator has long criticized the U.S. policies in Latin America.

"The lie you will hear ad nauseum is that socialist states failed spontaneously - in reality it was the concerted effort of the US Imperial Machine to crush any nation that could oppose them any time it appeared," he tweeted in May.

The only reaction to the political developments in Bolivia came from the Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar who took to Twitter to define what happened in Bolivia as a "coup".


Younger Senator Mike Gravel

Older Senator Mike Gravel

January 26, 2020

The real reasons people are fleeing Honduras

Let's get beyond the overused trope of 'violence and poverty'
Posted 24 January 2020 11:16 GMT

A mother named Doris holds a portrait of her son, Wilfredo Moncada, a former leader of anti-government protests in 2018. Choluteca, Honduras, May 29, 2019. Photo credit: Martín Cálix for Contraccoriente. Used with permission.

According to the government of Guatemala, between January 15 and 16, 2020, more than 3,500 people crossed the border into that country on foot, in the eventual hope of building a new life in the United States or Mexico. The majority of them were from Honduras. According to reporting by international media such as NPR, Wall Street Journal, and Reuters, the people migrating across Central American are fleeing “poverty and violence”—but these terms barely scratch the surface of why people choose to hitchhike for thousands of miles and face an uncertain future at the U.S.-Mexico border.

A New Caravan
Hondurans have been fleeing their country for years, but the term “caravan” was popularized worldwide in 2018, when more than 10,000 Central Americans traveled together to mutually support and protect each other on the road through Guatemala and Mexico.

More than living in “poverty and violence,” Hondurans are in fact engulfed in a narco-state whose leadership is supported by the United States. They suffer from widespread corruption, gender violence, gang control, land-grabs, and drought driven by climate change.

. . .

Now President Hernández, who has been lauded by the U.S. Drugs and Enforcement Agency for his fight against drug-trafficking, is himself under scrutiny for his alleged role in the cocaine business.

During Tony Hernández's trial, witnesses asserted that the president tried to protect his brother from extradition and received millions of dollars worth of bribes to fund his party's political campaigns, according to reports from The New York Times and Reuters. President Hernández denies the allegations.


January 25, 2020

El Salvador general admits army carried out El Mozote massacre

El Salvador general admits army carried out El Mozote massacre
US-trained Atlacatl Battalion killed some 1,000 people in Latin America's most brutal massacre of 20th century.

7 hours ago

Former Salvadoran air force commander in chief during the civil war, general Juan Rafael Bustillo, attends the court hearing in the case of El Mozote Massacre in San Francisco Gotera, El Salvador [Jose Cabezas/Reuters]

A retired Salvadoran general has acknowledged for the first time that the armed forces were responsible for a notorious 1981 massacre of nearly 1,000 people during the country's civil war.

Juan Rafael Bustillo, a former commander of the Air Force, told a court on Friday that the elite United States-trained Atlacatl Battalion carried out the El Mozote massacre in eastern El Salvador in which unarmed villagers, most of them women and children, were slaughtered.

According to a United Nations report, soldiers tortured and executed nearly 1,000 residents of El Mozote and surrounding hamlets in the Morazan department, 180 kilometres (112 miles) northeast of San Salvador, as they searched for rebel fighters in December 1981.

At a court hearing in the eastern town of San Francisco Gotera in Morazan, Bustillo testified he had had no part in the operation which he said was conducted at the behest of Colonel Domingo Monterrosa, commander of the feared Atlacatl Battalion.


~ ~ ~

December 11, 1981: The Salvadoran Army Murders More Than 800 Civilians in El Mozote

“President Reagan certified to Congress that the government of El Salvador was making ‘a concerted and significant effort’ to respect human rights.”

By Richard Kreitner Twitter DECEMBER 11, 2015


The remains of a rural Salvadoran village after members of the Atlacatl Battalion destroyed it during the massacre. (Loyola University Chicago Digital Special Collections)

On this day in 1981 the Salvadoran Army, which operated with the backing of the United States, murdered some 800 civilians in the El Mozote region of El Salvador. As the photographer Steven Salisbury wrote in “A ‘Death List’ for the Salvadoran Army,” published in The Nation a year after the massacre, the United States embassy in the country’s capital, San Salvador, knew full well that the Salvadorans were targeting civilians for murder just after the El Mozote massacre took place, but that didn’t stop President Ronald Reagan, who avidly supported the army’s campaign against revolutionary guerrillas, from assuring the public that the Salvadoran army was protecting the human rights of civilians.

Sometime before January of this year the Salvadoran Army high command apparently issued a death list targeting 462 peasants in the El Mozote region in northeastern El Salvador. Despite the fact that the death list was read and copied by senior officials in the American Embassy in Sal Salvador on January 6, President Reagan certified to Congress three weeks later that the government of El Salvador was making “a concerted and significant effort” to respect human rights.

‘I was a freelance photographer camping out with government troops at a makeshift National Guard post in a small town a few kilometers north of El Mozote. On January 3, a corporal, asking for money, gave me a leaflet written in Spanish that was being passed out to the troops. He and his comrades made it abundantly clear what it was for: the identification and location—and thus the murder—of suspected government opponents.…

The New York Times and The Washington Post on January 27 published reports that Salvadoran soldiers had massacred as many as 926 civilians in El Mozote and surrounding hamlets during search-and-destroy missions against guerrillas between December 8 and December 21, 1981. Times correspondent Raymond Bonner reported eyewitness accounts of survivors who accused government troops of the killings. One of the survivors, Cesar Martinez of La Joya, a village near El Mozote, reported that his mother, his sister and his sister’s two children were killed by soldiers. The leaflet I obtained listed a Cesar Martinez and other Martinezes under a grouping of hamlets that included La Joya. The list also contained the names of at least eight other people killed, according to the El Salvador Commission on Human Rights.


Many more graphic images, and the articles with the thumbnails:
January 25, 2020

Everybody in Colombia can guess who the Aguilas Negras are, except the Aguilas Negras

by Adriaan Alsema January 21, 2020

Everybody except Colombia’s authorities seems to have figured out that far-right group “Aguilas Negras” is closely tied to the country’s security forces.

The group sent out its latest list of “military targets” on Saturday, this time threatening to kill mainly armed conflict victim representatives, but also journalists, the president of the war crimes tribunal and politicians as prominent as Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez.

According to the Aguilas Negras, those who must die have one thing in common; they are “against the government” and “damage the dignity of many good and honest officials who have served the country.”

. . .

Fortunately for Atehortua and Cabana, indigenous leader Yesid Conda photographed two soldiers who he said tried to kidnap him in the southwestern Cauca province on Sunday.

Conda was threatened by the Aguilas Negras in October last year. “What do you suppose?” the indigenous leader rhetorically asked on Twitter.


January 23, 2020

Paramilitaries assault north Colombia village two hours after Duque visit

by Adriaan Alsema January 22, 2020

Paramilitaries assassinated two people, injured two and displaced 70 on Tuesday, two hours after Colombia’s President Ivan Duque left the Bajo Cauca region where he vowed to improve security for the second time.

The paramilitary assault made it clear that Duque’s latest promise was as credible as the “strong offensive against drug trafficking” the president promised when he visited the historically neglected region in October 2018.

Locals told regional news website Minuto 30 that heavily armed paramilitaries set up a roadblock in the locality of Taraza and shot two drivers who refused to stop.

The group then went to the nearest farm and assassinated two workers in cold blood.

January 20, 2020

The Trump Administration Is Giving Family Planning Funds to a Network of Anti-Abortion Clinics

The Obria clinics refuse to provide contraception and are determined to make America chaste again.

When I walked into the Obria clinic in Whittier, California, one evening in July, a woman in a modest floral-­print dress organizing bundles of diapers in a back room greeted me hopefully. She thought I’d come for a class. Instead, I asked if I had come to the right place for birth control. Furrowing her brow, she walked around a couch and through a cozy waiting room full of baby toys to the front desk. “What sort of services were you looking for?” she inquired. I asked if they dispensed the morning-after pill, the emergency contraception often called “Plan B.” She told me curtly, “We don’t provide that or refer for any birth control here.”

I wasn’t surprised. For most of its existence, this clinic has been known as the Whittier Pregnancy Care Clinic, a religious ministry that offers free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds in the hopes of dissuading women facing an unplanned pregnancy from having an abortion. The clinic provides lots of things: free diapers and baby supplies, and post-abortion Bible-based counseling. What the clinic has never provided is birth control.

When the Whittier clinic was strictly saving babies for the Lord, its refusal to dispense even a single condom was a private religious matter in the eyes of its funders. But today, the clinic is part of Obria, a Southern California–based chain of Christian pregnancy centers that in March won a $5.1 million Title X grant to provide contraception and family planning services to low-income women over three years. Created in 1970, Title X is the only federal program solely devoted to providing family planning services across the country. Congress created the program to fulfill President Richard Nixon’s promise that “no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition.” It serves 4 million low-income people nationwide annually on a budget of about $286 million and is estimated to prevent more than 800,000 unintended pregnancies every year.

Historically, federal regulations required that any organization receiving Title X funding “provide a broad range of acceptable and effective medically approved family planning methods.” But as I discovered during my visit to Whittier and other Obria clinics last summer, the organization’s clinics refuse to provide contraception. Nor do they refer patients to other providers for birth control.

January 20, 2020

Afro-Colombian women are risking their lives to defend their communities

By Duncan Tucker, Americas Media Manager at Amnesty International
9 January 2020, 11:49 UTC

Danelly Estupiñán will never forget the first threat she received. The text message arrived at 5:35pm on 30 November 2015, saying: “Danelly, your end has come”. Hours later, during a phone call with a friend, a distorted voice appeared on the line, repeating: “We know where you are”.

Since then, Estupiñán has been constantly followed, photographed and had her home broken into, in apparent retaliation for her human rights work defending black communities in Buenaventura, Colombia’s biggest Pacific port.

“I don’t go out anymore. I just move between the office and the house. I have no social life, I have nothing. I only go out to do specific things because wherever I go, they’re there,” she said in June, shortly before fleeing the country upon learning of a plot to kill her.

Having lost fathers, husbands and sons to years of bloodshed, Afro-descendant women like Estupiñán are bravely assuming more active roles in defending their ancestral communities. However, standing up to corporations and criminal organizations who seek to oversee development projects, mineral extraction and drug-trafficking in their territories has put them in the crosshairs.


Also, from the article:

Colombia is the world’s deadliest country for human rights defenders, with Frontline Defenders registering at least 126 killings there in 2018. It is also home to 7.8 million internally displaced people, more than any other country, according to a 2018 UN report. Indigenous and campesino leaders comprise many of the victims, but black women are increasingly at risk in the western provinces where Colombia’s Afro-descendent population is concentrated.
January 19, 2020

Internet of Supreme Court magistrate investigating Uribe tampered with: report

Internet of Supreme Court magistrate investigating Uribe tampered with: report
by Adriaan Alsema January 19, 2020

The Supreme Court magistrate investigating Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe may have been the victim of illegal spying practices since April last year, Noticias Uno reported Saturday.

According to the news website, the prosecution has been investigating the entry of five armed and masked men in the magistrate’s apartment building during Holy Week.

No wifi for judge investigating Duque’s allegedly criminal boss

The prosecution is also investigating apparent attempts to intercept the wireless internet in the home of magistrate Cesar Reyes since June last year, reported Noticias Uno.

The password of Reyes’ home wifi was reportedly changed three times without the knowledge of either the judge or his internet provider.


January 18, 2020

Medellin's homicides finally dropped in 2019, but what about the 294 who went missing?

by Adriaan Alsema January 18, 2020

Medellin was finally able to lower the number of homicides in 2019 after a year-long increase, but questions remain about the fate of 294 people who went missing last year.

Of the 388 who were reported missing in 2019, 94 were found alive and 12 were found dead. What happened to the rest is a mystery.

Last week, local police revealed that homicides had dropped from 626 in 2018 to 591 last year, but what does that mean if 294 people are missing in a country where more than 80,000 are missing and feared dead?

Medellin’s sinister fixation with public appearances
For years, Colombia’s second largest city used its dropping homicide rates to rid itself of the old stigma of being the homicide capital of the world and promote itself as a city that had been transformed.

This worked until the country’s war crimes tribunal found that authorities consistently had been hiding murdered victims of forced disappearance in one of the most sinister forms of fraud imaginable.


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