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Member since: Thu May 18, 2017, 11:36 AM
Number of posts: 18,390

Journal Archives

Jair Bolsonaro: Far-right candidate wins Brazil poll

Source: BBC News

Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro has won a sweeping victory in Brazil's presidential election.

With nearly 98% of the vote counted, Mr Bolsonaro has 55.4% of the votes against 44.6% for Fernando Haddad from the left-wing Workers Party.

Mr Bolsonaro campaigned on a promise to eradicate corruption and to drive down Brazil's high crime levels. The election campaign has been deeply divisive. Each camp argued that victory for the other could destroy Brazil.

The result represents a marked right-wing swing in the country, which was under military rule from 1964 to 1985.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-46013408

Jair Bolsonaro and the runner-up, Workers' Party nominee Fernando Haddad.

The openly fascist Bolsonaro is part of a recent trend toward hard-right governments in South America. The result, as neighboring Argentina has learned, can often be a fry cry from expectations.

Roger Waters and Brazil's Caetano Veloso discuss today's rise of fascism

French-born woman, Salome Zurabishvili, to become Georgia's new president

A former French ambassador is one of two frontrunners to become the next president of Georgia in an election on Sunday, despite critics questioning her patriotism and language skills.

Salome Zurabishvili, 66, was born into a family of Georgian emigres in France and did not visit Georgia until 1986, when she was in her 30s.

She was appointed France's ambassador to the ex-Soviet nation in 2003 but was poached soon afterwards by Georgia's then president Mikheil Saakashvili to become his foreign minister - only to be dismissed in 2005.

She then set up her own political party, the liberal-leaning Georgia's Way, which she led until 2010 before temporarily quitting Georgian politics and returning to France.

Elected to Georgia's parliament in 2016 as an independent, Zurabishvili's chances of winning on Sunday are helped by the backing of the ruling Georgian Dream Party, controlled by Bidzina Ivanishvili, the country's richest man, whose critics say rules it from behind the scenes.

At: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/french-born-woman-frontrunner-to-become-georgias-new-president/ar-BBOSpec

Georgia's President-elect Salome Zurabishvili

Ethiopia appoints first female president in its modern history in latest reform

Source: Washington Post

Ethiopia’s parliament on Thursday approved the East African country’s first female president, Sahlework Zewde, a veteran of the United Nations and the diplomatic corps.

The position of president is ceremonial in Ethiopia, with executive power vested in the office of the prime minister, but the appointment is deeply symbolic and follows up on last week’s cabinet reshuffle in which made half the ministers are now women in Africa’s second-most populous country.

Parliament accepted the resignation of Mulatu Teshome, who had served as president since 2013.

Under Ethiopia’s young new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, who came to power in April, there have been a whirlwind of reforms, including releasing political prisoners, inviting back exiles and making peace with the country’s chief opponent, Eritrea, after two decades of hositilities.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/ethiopia-appoints-first-female-president-in-its-modern-history-in-latest-reform/ar-BBORWBm

All the Best to Ethiopia's new president, Sahle-Work Zewde.

While Ethipia's presidency is mostly ceremonial, it's a notable milestone in the African nation of 107 million.

James Karen, veteran actor and 'Pathmark Man,' dies at 94

Source: New York Times

James Karen, an actor with some 200 television and film credits and one particularly memorable job as a supermarket pitchman that led many to call him simply the Pathmark Man, died on Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 94.

The cause was cardiac arrest caused by respiratory difficulties, the film historian Bruce Goldstein, a longtime friend, said.

A classic character actor, Mr. Karen worked steadily onstage and on the large and small screens for more than a half-century. Over the years his face, if not his name, became familiar.

He played the boss of Jane Fonda's character in "The China Syndrome" (1979) and a real estate agent in the original "Poltergeist" (1982). He was also known for his role as Frank in "The Return of the Living Dead" in 1985 and its 1988 sequel, and for "The Pursuit of Happyness" (2006).

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/24/obituaries/james-karen-veteran-actor-and-pathmark-man-dies-at-94.html

James Karen, 1923-2018.

One of his most endearing roles, as the thoughtful brokerage manager Marty Frohm in "The Pursuit of Happyness" (2006): https://www.youtube.com/watch?vv2Cl1OWCS7U

Argentina: Protesters clash with police over spending cuts

Police in Argentina police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon at protesters who marched Wednesday in Buenos Aires against the government's 2019 budget bill, which contains steep spending cuts amid a severe recession.

Thousands of activists led by teachers, social organizations and leftist groups opposed to President Mauricio Macri's austerity measures gathered in front of Congress.

While most had gathered peacefully, small groups of hooded men threw rocks at police. Protesters denounced the hooded individuals as provocateurs.

They note that none were detained, that photos show them arriving as if trained, that piles of rocks had been left the night before, and that police can be seen attempting to plant a jimmy beside journalist Francisco Pandolfi while he was held down.

"One of them dropped his bandana, and has been identified as Police Sergent Héctor Olivera," opposition Congressman Leopoldo Moreau said.

Thirty were detained, and 13 were reported injured. Among the detained were several journalists - including one, Nacho Levy, who was shot.

Heated debate

Debate began in the Lower House of Congress at noon when the 106 legislators in Macri's right-wing "Let's Change" caucus were joined by 23 others to give the plenary session a razor-thin quorum of 129 to 128.

Lawmakers inside the capitol building argued loudly over sticking points, at times disregarding calls for order.

The Let's Change caucus leader, Nicolás Massot, 34, had to be restrained at one point from attacking Congressman Moreau, who is 71.

IMF bailout, IMF budget

The budget contains nearly $10 billion in cuts to federal spending (8% of the total) aimed at cutting fiscal deficits from 6% of GDP in 2017, to 2.7% this year, and to zero in 2019.

Opponents note that budget cuts will exacerbate the recession while doing little to control the cause of the crisis: a record $31 billion current account deficit, plus $3 billion monthly in capital flight.

Macri has committed to balancing the budget at the behest of the IMF, which signed a $50 billion standby credit line with Argentina on June 8.

The $15 billion borrowed from the credit line on June 22 have been spent to cover capital flight, and while the IMF expanded the credit line to $57 billion on September 26 no fresh funds were released.

Macri sought the IMF bailout after a carry-trade debt dubble promoted in 2016-17 collapsed in April, since leading to a halving of the peso's value and a consequent jump of short-term interest rates from 27% to 74%.

Under Macri, public sector foreign debt ballooned from $84 billion in December 2015 to $181 billion as of June.

At: https://www.dw.com/en/argentina-protesters-clash-with-police-over-spending-cuts/a-46032522

Scene from today's protests in front of Argentina's Congress after Macri's caucus obtained a razor-thin quorum to debate the IMF-approved 2019 budget.

Opponents denounced the presence of hooded provocateurs, who were not pursued or detained. At least one hooded rock thrower has been identified as a police sargent.

Argentina: Over 1200 scientists pen letter to Macri condemning cuts to science, research

Over 1,200 internationally renowned scientists and academics, including eleven Nobel Prize winners, have penned a joint letter to President Mauricio Macri regarding the ongoing crisis in Argentina's research and scientific community - a situation they say has been brought on by his policies.

The letter protested funding cuts to the National Research Council (CONICET), other public research agencies, as well as to the nation's 57 public universities.

Federal spending on science and technology has fallen by nearly 60% since Macri took office, from $1.2 billion in 2015 to $500 million in the 2019 budget. The Science Ministry itself was dissolved on September 5.

The letter also accused Macri of failing to meet "commitments in subsidies for research and international cooperation" and abandoning infrastructure improvement plans at scientific and research institutions.

After “twelve years of continuous growth and expansion,” the country’s science and technology areas are collapsing, the letter read.

The signatories say that CONICET "is on the verge of paralysis" and that the jobs of 10,000 scientists, 10,000 doctoral and postdoctoral fellows and almost 3,000 technicians are in danger.

Brain drain

The local scientific community has warned since 2016 of a return of the brain drain suffered by Argentina from the 1960s until the 2000s.

An estimated 15,000 scientists, engineers, and technicians emigrated between Gen. Juan Carlos Onganía's 1966 firing of 1,400 academics for political reasons, and the 2001-02 economic crisis.

During Macri's center-left predecessors, Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, over 1,300 scientists returned from 2003 to 2015.

"The only job opportunities for our scientists today are by way of the international airport," former University Policy Secretary Aldo Caballero lamented. "They have to leave because here the government defunds science and universities."

"My daughter and her husband (a physicist and a mathematician) just did."

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.diarioregistrado.com%2Fpolitica%2Fla-durisima-carta-abierta-de-mas-de-mil-cientificos-del-mundo-a-mauricio-macri_a5bcf3d3e3eab9b02b6c10baa&edit-text=

Argentine researchers protest Macri's cutbacks in science and technology, which has led to mass layoffs and is renewing the brain drain which saddled Argentine research during past dictatorships and economic crises.

Man who foiled Nazi nuclear plan dies aged 99

Source: Reuters

The leader of a daring World War Two raid to thwart Nazi Germany’s nuclear ambitions has died aged 99, Norwegian government officials said on Sunday.

Joachim Roenneberg, serving behind enemy lines in his native Norway during the German occupation, in 1943 blew up a plant producing heavy water, or D2O, a hydrogen-rich substance that was key to the later development of atomic bombs.

Picked by Britain’s war-time Special Operations Executive to lead the raid when he was only 23 years old, Roenneberg was the youngest member of Operation Gunnerside, which penetrated and destroyed key parts of the heavily guarded Norsk Hydro plant.

The subject of books and documentaries as well as movies and a TV drama series, the attack took place without a single shot fired.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-norway-roenneberg/man-who-foiled-nazi-nuclear-plan-dies-aged-99-idUSKCN1MV0R1

Joachim Rønneberg, 1919-2018.

Taiwan train crash kills at least 18, injures 160

Source: Reuters

At least 18 people died and 160 were injured when a train derailed in northeastern Taiwan on Sunday, authorities said.

Several carriages were overturned in the crash, which occurred in Yilan County near the coast on a line popular among tourists.

The government said the train had been carrying 366 people, and the Central News Agency said more than 30 were still trapped on board.

The derailment came weeks ahead of island-wide local elections that are being seen as a bellwether for President Tsai Ing-wen's ruling party’s performance in presidential elections due in 2020.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-taiwan-accident/taiwan-train-crash-kills-at-least-18-injures-160-idUSKCN1MV0F2

Florida officer strikes 14-year-old as he tries to arrest her

Source: CNN

A viral video of a police officer hitting a 14-year-old girl during an arrest has caused outrage in a Florida community.

The video -- posted to Instagram on Friday -- shows a girl being held down by two officers, one man and one woman. The male officer hits the girl in the side twice as he holds her shorts.

"Why you hitting her?" someone in the video yells. "She can't do that, her hands underneath her, the f*** you hitting her for?"

The police department in Coral Springs, about 29 miles northeast of Fort Lauderdale, said in a statement on Facebook on Friday that the video does not show the entire incident that led to the arrest.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/florida-officer-strikes-14-year-old-as-he-tries-to-arrest-her/ar-BBOEOWN

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