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Home country: USA
Current location: Southern California
Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
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Journal Archives

UNC board approves tenure for journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones after uproar

Trustees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill voted Wednesday to grant tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones, after weeks of controversy over why the university initially chose to hire the award-winning journalist as a professor without that level of job protection.

The board’s 9-to-4 vote in favor of tenure came after a lengthy closed-session meeting on the final day of the terms of several members of the public university’s board of trustees. It also came a day before Hannah-Jones had originally been set to start working for UNC.
Hannah-Jones is best known for conceiving the 1619 Project for the New York Times, an initiative to reexamine American history and the consequences of slavery from the year enslaved African people arrived in colonial Virginia.

Last year Hannah-Jones won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary for the essay she wrote for the project. She has won numerous other professional honors, including a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. She holds a master’s degree from the UNC journalism school and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


An Australian destroyer arrived in San Diego with 2 dead endangered whales stuck to its hull

Two dead endangered whales were dislodged from the hull of an Australian destroyer after the warship docked in San Diego last weekend, according to the Royal Australian Navy.

"The Navy takes marine mammal safety seriously and is disheartened this incident occurred," a statement from the Australian navy said. The Australian and US navies -- along with the US NOAA Fisheries, which oversees marine resources -- were investigating, the statement said.

CNN affiliate 10News in San Diego reported the dead mammals were fin whales, the world's second-largest whale species, behind only blue whales. One was 65 feet (about 20 meters) long and the other about 25 feet (7.6 meters), the report said.

A NOAA Fisheries fact sheet on fin whales lists them as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, with a population of about 3,200 off the US West Coast. The whales were once hunted extensively, but today their biggest threat is being struck by a ship, the fact sheet says.


Looks like it was a mom and her baby. I bet she tried to protect it with her body.

Las Vegas teen helps save desert tortoises, one balloon at a time

Look closely in the desert foothills a few miles northwest of Las Vegas, and you might see shades of color dotting the cloudless landscape of cactus and mounds of dirt with mountains to the west.

On a Saturday morning in April, a few miles from the nearest road, deflated Mylar balloons stuck to plants can be mistaken for colorful flowers.

A year and a half ago, Christian learned that desert tortoises often mistake balloons for flowers and eat them. It’s a potentially deadly mistake for the species found in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts and listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.The goal of the Desert Balloon Project is to raise awareness about the issue and urge people not to release Mylar balloons into the air — something most people don’t think twice about.

For now, Christian has no plans to stop hiking on Saturday mornings, picking up stray balloons from the desert and protecting tortoise lives in the process.


California has lowest virus case rate in the entire U.S.

Months after a coronavirus surge sickened hundreds of thousands of people, left thousands dead and pushed hospitals to their breaking point, California’s virus case rate is now the lowest of any state in the nation, federal figures show.

Although the distinction doesn’t lessen the heavy toll exacted by the fall-and-winter wave, it does demonstrate the tremendous strides the state has made in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic — progress that, to this point, has not been interrupted even as the state more widely reopens its economy.

California’s latest seven-day rate of new cases was 32.5 per 100,000 people, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Over that same period, Hawaii had the second-lowest rate, at 36.8, and the nationwide rate was 114.7. California has for weeks reported one of the lowest case rates in the nation — though the top spot had remained largely out of reach.


But Republicans are about to spend $400 Million of California taxpayer money to try to recall CA Governor Newsom for implementing health measures that got us to this better place.

Climate Change Could Cut World Economy by $23 Trillion in 2050, Insurance Giant Warns

The effects of climate change can be expected to shave 11 percent to 14 percent off global economic output by 2050 compared with growth levels without climate change, according to a report from Swiss Re, one of the world’s largest providers of insurance to other insurance companies. That amounts to as much as $23 trillion in reduced annual global economic output worldwide as a result of climate change.

Some Asian nations could have one-third less wealth than would otherwise be the case, the company said. “Our analysis shows the potential costs that economies could face should governments fail to act more decisively on climate,” said Patrick Saner, who is in charge of global macroeconomic forecasts for Swiss Re.
If countries succeed at holding average global temperature increases to less than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels — the goal set by the 2015 Paris accord, an agreement among nations to fight climate change — economic losses by midcentury would be marginal, according to Swiss Re. The company found that most countries’ economies would be no more than 5 percent smaller than would otherwise be the case.

But current emission levels are far from those targets. Global temperatures are likely to increase as much 2.6 degrees by 2050 based on current trajectories, Swiss Re reported.


Half of LAPD personnel have not gotten COVID-19 shot.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said this week that about half the department’s personnel had received at least one COVID-19 vaccination, with thousands now fully vaccinated.

During a meeting of the civilian Police Commission on Tuesday, Moore said 6,264 officers and civilian personnel out of more than 12,600 had received at least one shot. He said others who had not received a vaccination have had COVID-19 and may have some protection against the virus from resulting antibodies that are naturally created to fight infection.

According to recent state data, more than 41% of L.A. County residents 16 and older have received at least one shot, with more than 25% of those residents fully vaccinated. The department’s personnel, many of whom work public-facing jobs, had much earlier access to the shots than most members of the general public because of their public safety role.

The fact that half still haven’t been vaccinated suggests a large number of officers have chosen not to receive the shots. An informal survey of department personnel in January found that only 60% of respondents said they would accept the vaccine when offered.

Note: LAPD has had covid vaccines available to them since at least January. https://abc7.com/la-county-covid-vaccine/9450876/

Maria Butina, Russian agent who infiltrated NRA, visits Navalny in jail, with video cameras in tow

Source: Washington Post

“Instead of a doctor, Butina, a wretched propagandist from RT channel, arrived today accompanied by video cameras,” said a post Thursday on Navalny’s Twitter account. She was “shouting that this is the best and most comfortable prison.”

The account said Navalny lectured her for 15 minutes in front of the other prisoners, calling her “a parasite and a servant of thieves.”

Posts on Navalny’s social media are made in his name by members of his team since he has no access to the Internet.

Navalny, suffering severe back pain, requested access to a doctor and painkilling injections. He says he is beginning to lose feeling in both legs.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russia-navalny-jail-maria-butina/2021/04/01/63a41626-92ff-11eb-aadc-af78701a30ca_story.html

Butina should still be in jail in the US.

Citing gun violence, Gabby Giffords' trauma surgeon enters race for her old House seat

Randy Friese, the trauma surgeon who a decade ago treated Gabby Giffords after she was shot in the head, launched a run for Congress on Thursday — a year into a global pandemic and amid a flurry of mass shootings that have revived a national debate over gun laws.

Friese, who has served in Arizona’s state Legislature since 2015, hopes to succeed Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who is retiring next year from a southeastern Arizona district. He is friendly with Giffords and her husband, Sen. Mark Kelly, and plans to make his support for gun safety legislation a key theme of his run.


All Californians 16+ will be eligible for Covid Vaccines on April 15; those 50+ on April 1.

Starting April 1, all Californians aged 50 or older will be eligible to sign up for COVID-19 vaccines, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday.

Vaccines will then open to everyone age 16 and older on April 15.

“With vaccine supply increasing and by expanding eligibility to more Californians, the light at the end of the tunnel continues to get brighter,” Newsom said. “We remain focused on equity as we extend vaccine eligibility to those older than 50 starting April 1, and those older than 16 starting April 15. This is possible thanks to the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration and the countless public health officials across the state who have stepped up to get shots into arms.”

The major expansion comes after the state allowed those aged 16 to 64 with certain health conditions and disabilities to sign up for the shots on March 15.


Letters found in an attic reveal eerie similarities between Adolf Hitler and his father

“With the knowledge he had acquired through reading and courses, Alois Hitler felt superior not only to the farmhands and maid-servants and the neighboring farmers, but also to many academics with university degrees,” Sandgruber said.

In the letters, he complains about carpenters unable to build beehives to his design and standards. He complains about notaries and judges and academics. He is satisfied only with knowledge that comes from his own personal experiences. He finds bourgeois society especially contemptuous.

Yet none of this chest-thumping really brings Alois any success. A couple of years after taking over the farm, everything fell apart and the family was forced to move. Meanwhile, as Alois took to regularly beating Adolf, the son still modeled his father’s way of thinking and being, all the while soaking up the general anti-Semitism building in the region.

“Adolf Hitler had dropped out of school voluntarily,” Sandgruber said. “Like his father, he felt superior through the knowledge he had acquired in self-study. He saw himself as a military, technical and artistic genius. As an artist, he saw himself as a universal genius: not only as a painter, but also as an architect, writer, composer and actor.”

Sounds familiar.....
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