Judi LynnJudi Lynn's Journal
Spy on Mother Nature from the comfort of home
By Lydia Schrandt
APRIL 30, 2020
Our world is more connected than ever. At any given moment, live cam feeds can transport us to the wilds of South Africa, the waters of Monterey Bay, the Panamanian rainforest or the icy expanses of Northern Canada.
While nothing beats the thrill of spotting a wild animal in its natural habitat with your own eyes, taking a peek at what Mother Nature's up to via these live streams can be both exhilarating and relaxing.
Spend some time on safari with these 10 live cams that capture wild animals.
BY KAREN GRAHAM 6 HOURS AGO IN ENVIRONMENT
When the drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot dead in 1993, he left behind a zoo stocked with wild animals alongside his multibillion-dollar cocaine empire. All the animals were sent to zoos, except the four hippos, which were deemed to difficult to capture.
In the 1980s, after drug baron, Pablo Escobar had become rich and famous, he built a luxurious estate about halfway between the city of Medellin and Bogota, the Colombian capital, according to the BBC He called it Hacienda Napoles. The estate was huge, covering 20 square kilometers (7.7 square miles).
Escobar then proceeded to smuggle in all sorts of wild animals, including elephants, and giraffe, and last but not least, three females and one male hippo. And in a grand gesture to the people of Colombia, he allowed the public to wander freely around the zoo. The public also got to gaze in wonder at the full-sized concrete sculptures of dinosaurs he had built for his son.
Mounted atop the hacienda's entrance gate is a replica of the Piper PA-18 Super Cub airplane
(tail number HK-617-P) which transported Escobar's first shipment of cocaine to the United States.
XalD (CC BY 3.0)
When Escobar was shot and killed in 1993, his property was confiscated by the Colombian government. And while all the wild animals were sent to zoos in Colombia and around the world, the hippos were content to stay in their soupy lake for the next twenty years, watching nature reclaim the surrounding environment.
The property was then transformed into a zoo and theme park, complete with water slides. And the hippos? They continued to thrive and multiply. Estimates indicate there may be a total population between 80 and 100, says Jonathan Shurin, an ecologist with the University of California San Diego who studies the animals.
Colombian artist Fernando Botero's painting portraying the killing of drug lord Pablo Escobar:
Fernando Botero's "Pablo Escobar Dead":
Biden Says He Would Restore Relations With Cuba If Elected
The more 50 years U.S. blockade against Cuba is overwhelmingly condemned by international community. | Photo: AFP
Published 29 April 2020 (37 minutes ago)
United States presidential candidate for the Democratic Party and former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday he would go back to former President Barack Obamas policies toward Cuba if he wins the presidential election in November.
In large part, I would go back, Biden said in an interview with CBS. Id still insist they keep the commitments they said they would make when we, in fact, set the policy in place.
Under Obamas administration, the U.S. and the Caribbean nation started a process of normalizing their relations, leading to the re-establishment of diplomatic ties, and flights between both countries.
U.S. President Donald Trump decided to reverse Obamas policy toward Cuba and reimposed economic sanctions in June 2017. He also imposed travel restrictions and abandoned diplomatic engagement with the island nation.
Also posted in Editorials and other articles:
Updated 09:35, 30-Apr-2020
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday withdrew the name of a family friend he had picked to run the federal police, after a Supreme Court justice blocked an appointment that opponents said would allow him inappropriate influence over law enforcement.
His decision to drop Alexandre Ramagem, who was director of the Brazilian intelligence agency Abin, was published in the government's official gazette.
The suspension of the appointment by Justice Alexandre de Moraes earlier on Wednesday came after the top court authorized an investigation into allegations by Bolsonaro's former justice minister that the president had abused his power by swapping the police chief.
Moraes wrote that he granted the injunction, which can still be appealed, because there were relevant signs that Ramagem, who was set to take office on Wednesday afternoon, could be compromised by his close relationship with Bolsonaro's family.
"The US Does Not Need a War in Venezuela": Hard Hitting Editorial Directed at Trump (Pittsburgh Post
The US Does Not Need a War in Venezuela: Hard Hitting Editorial Directed at Trump (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
April 28, 2020
This Sunday, April 26, the newspaper The Pittsburg Post-Gazette published an editorial criticizing Donald Trumps warlike intentions against Venezuela.
In the text, which was distributed by the Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations, Samuel Moncada, it is said bluntly that the US does not need a war in Venezuela, much less in the context of the coronavirus pandemic that is raging in the US.
The text argues that in the crisis, the US needs to use all its resources to serve its population and not for wars. The military sees how its troops are contagious and advise to stop operations. But their bosses ignore them. It is not military pacifism, it is brutality of the bosses, Moncada reported.
. . .
According to what is reflected in a map posted by the newspaper based on information related to the seizure and drug trafficking, to which Venezuela belongs only 7% of all the drugs that go to The United States pass through the Eastern Caribbean, while 84% are transported through the Eastern Pacific.
Revolution, war, plague and genocide couldnt stop production from Cerro Rico in Potosi, Bolivia, but COVID-19 has seen it suspended after almost 500 years.
23 April 2020
More than 10,000 miners have downed tools as part of a national quarantine to limit the spread of the virus.
"We have no records or in the books of the Potosí Council, which span from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth century ... of references that say that Cerro Rico stopped operating," said Daniel Oropeza of Bolivia's Historical Society.
Discovered in 1545, Cerro Rico is the GOAT (greatest of all time) of the silver world, a deposit which has produced billions of ounces of silver, funding Spain's colonial empire and a litany of wars with the British, Dutch, and French while Bolivia and its people remained poor.
Important enough to appear on Bolivia's flag, the population of Potosi grew to more than 160,000 in the eighteenth century, larger than London at the time, as slaves were brought in to work the mines at almost 4,800m above sea level.
Why Bolivia's Cerro Rico Is the 'Mountain That Eats Men'
Photo of Harry Stewart
10 July 2017
Towering over the colonial city of Potosi, Cerro Rico is Bolivias most historically significant national monument. Once the biggest silver mine in the world, its riches bankrolled the entire Spanish new world empire such wealth, however, came at a horrifying cost, with millions losing their lives to the mountain that eats men.
The potential of Cerro Rico (in English, Rich Mountain) was first discovered by the Incas as they marched into the region from modern day Peru. The Incas forced the native inhabitants to mine the mountain as slaves, although the scale of the industry was relatively small at that time. It wasnt until the Spanish arrived in the 16th century that exhaustive exploitation of the mountain took place. Both the Incas and the natives were forced to work in brutal conditions, and many died from overexertion.
To compensate for the diminishing number of workers, the Spanish imported slaves from Africa by the boatload. Some 30,000 were forcibly shipped over to the continent, many of whom perished under the mountain due to the treacherous conditions involved. Those who did survive later migrated to warmer parts of Bolivia to form the current Afro-Boliviano community. The story of their plight continues to be told today through the countrys traditional folkloric music and dance.
During colonial times, an unfathomable eight million slaves were estimated to have died in the mines of Cerro Rico a nauseating statistic that justifies its moniker as the mountain that eats men.
The mountain today
Working conditions have improved a little since the Spanish were in charge, though they remain far from ideal. Despite the mountain being largely depleted of silver, some 15,000 miners enter every day in search of precious minerals. The money that comes out of modern day Cerro Rico is modest, but is an absolute necessity for an impoverished region with few other sources of income.
Open Letter With 100 Signatures Opposes Release Of Pinochet Era Perpetrators Of Crimes Against Human
April 24, 2020
. . .
Chilean residents in the United States and persons of all nationalities express their concern for impunity in Chile for violators of human rights
We the undersigned Chilean residents in the US and persons of all nationalities profoundly condemn the judgement of acquittal and reduction of sentences by the Court of Appeals of Santiago, for 17 violators of human rights, adjudicated for crimes against humanity committed during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
Minister Juan Cristóbal Mera Muñoz, Minister Mireya López Miranda and member attorney Cristián Lepin Molina, absolved the former agents of the National Directorate of Intelligence (Dirección Nacional de Inteligencia, DINA) Pedro Espinoza, Rolf Wenderoth, Hermon Alfaro, Pedro Betterlich, Claudio Pacheco, Orlando Torrejón, Orlando Altamirano and Eusebio López. They also reduced the sentences of Ricardo Lawrence, Jorge Andrade, Juan Morales Salgado, Ciro Torré, Sergio Escalona, Juvenal Piña, Jorge Díaz, Gustavo Guerrero y Gladys Calderón to 3 years and 1 day. Pedro Espinoza was an accomplice of the notorious criminal who was the right hand man of Pinochet, Manuel Contreras. Espinoza was the chief of the Villa Grimaldi, a center of torture and forced disappearance. Espinoza was also involved in the operation called Caravan of death in which almost 100 persons around the country were assassinated, and he participated in the terrorist attack on Orlando Letelier in Washington DC. All of these criminals had been convicted on July 21, 2017 for 16 kidnappings and one homicide perpetrated in Villa Grimaldi.
The judges actions benefit state actors, functionaries of the armed forces and Carabineros police who committed crimes against humanity, including kidnappings, sexual assaults, indescribable tortures and assassinations of Chileans for their political beliefs. According to international law, such crimes constitute acts of state terrorism.
The campaign of impunity has even extended to perpetrators of human rights violations who are completing their sentences in the Punta Peuco prison. Pinochetista legislators are pressuring the Piñera government to grant those among these prisoners who are over 75 years old the benefit of house arrest, measures presently being studied with regard to the coronavirus. The characteristics of Punta Peuco prison, however, considered a place of luxury on account of its many benefits, comfortable rooms, and special services, does not justify the application of the same criterion used in the case of overcrowded conditions found in ordinary penitentiary centers.
By Steven Grattan
9 minutes ago
Beatriz Méndez last saw her son and nephew alive in 2004
Beatriz Méndez sifts through heaps of yellowed newspaper clippings in her small home in the Colombian capital, Bogotá.
She collected them over the last 14 years as testament to her fight for justice after her son, Weimar, and her nephew, Edward, were killed.
Ms Méndez last saw them alive on 12 June 2004. The next time she saw them, they were in a morgue.
They were almost unrecognisable, bruised and battered from alleged torture. Both were just 19 years old.
For three days after their disappearance, Ms Méndez and her family searched local police stations and hospitals to no avail. Then came a call from a family member.
With virtually no government assistance, laid-off Honduran factory workers have had no choice but to defy extreme lockdown measures and take to the streets.
RESEARCH & COMMENTARY
APRIL 21, 2020
by Karen Spring and Judy Ancel
Residents of Choloma, an industrial town in northern Honduras, blocked the main highway connecting the city of San Pedro Sula to the Port of Cortes on April 10. Choloma and nearby towns are the center of sweatshop production for U.S. brands in factories called maquilas. They are also the epicenter of COVID-19 in Honduras.
The workers blocking the road that morning burned tires, put up barricades, and demanded the government give them the food they had been promised. A worker demonstrating in Choluteca in southern Honduras told the Honduran media outlet UNE-TV, They told us theyd be here at seven this morning with food, but no one came. Were hungry. There are 70 villages waiting for food.
Since mid-March hundreds of thousands of workers in these towns have been laid off as clothing manufacturers Hanes, Gildan, and Fruit of the Loom and auto parts maker Empire Electronics, among others, announced two- to four-month shutdowns. A few maquilas are calling some workers back to make medical equipment.
In some unionized factories, workers got two weeks pay as severance. Other workers got their accumulated vacation pay and nothing more.
Billionaire-Backed Human Rights Watch Lobbies for Lethal US Sanctions on Leftist Govts as Covid Rage
April 17, 2020
The Grayzones Ben Norton takes a deep dive into the human rights arm of U.S. empire.
By Ben Norton
Human Rights Watch, the leading so-called rights organization in the United States, has actively lobbied for Washington to impose suffocating sanctions on leftist governments in Latin America. The group has even praised the Donald Trump administration for ramping up its aggressively destabilizing regime-change measures.
NGOs like Human Rights Watch (HRW) depict targeted sanctions as a more palatable alternative to military action, although these measures are widely recognized by international legal experts to be a form of economic warfare that have led to the deaths of many thousands of civilians, destroyed the livelihoods of countless people, and devastated entire nations economies.
As the coronavirus pandemic spread across the globe, HRW operatives took credit for new sanctions the Trump administration had imposed on Nicaraguas democratically elected leftist government. Among those cheering on the escalation of economic warfare was HRW Australia development and outreach manager Stephanie McLennan, who chirped that the fresh round of sanctions were great news!
Unilateral sanctions are designed to cripple the economies of countries whose governments are being targeted for regime change, locking them out of the U.S.-dominated financial system and collectively punishing the entire civilian population, depriving them of basic human rights so that Washington can install a more friendly regime. The U.S. government routinely implements these coercive measures without the backing of the United Nations or other international bodies.
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