Cover for No Agenda Show 1137: Contempt Kabuki
May 12th, 2019 • 2h 50m

1137: Contempt Kabuki


Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

Eurovision Song Contest
Palestinian Artists Call For Eurovision Boycott; Israel Responds With PR Campaign : NPR
Sun, 12 May 2019 15:10
Israeli singer Netta performs after winning the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal, in May 2018. Pedro Fiºza/NurPhoto/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Pedro Fiºza/NurPhoto/Getty Images Israeli singer Netta performs after winning the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal, in May 2018.
Pedro Fiºza/NurPhoto/Getty Images In an open letter published Thursday, a group of over 30 Palestinian cultural centers and organizations from Gaza called for a global boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest, the enduringly popular international singing competition that will be held May 14 to 18 in Tel Aviv, Israel.
"Even when Israel bombs us, imprisons our men, women and children, kills and maims thousands of Palestinian protesters ... and does everything to silence our voices, we will continue to sing. We ask for people of conscience around the world to heed our call for boycott, divestment and sanctions of Apartheid Israel just as they did to help bring down Apartheid in South Africa," the group writes.
The letter writers in Gaza also point to many musicians from outside the Middle East who have declined to perform in Israel, including Lorde, Lana Del Rey, Roger Waters, Annie Lennox, and Brian Eno, who wrote an opinion piece for The Guardian about boycotting Eurovision. (There are also many international artists who have happily toured Israel, including Radiohead, Madonna, Nick Cave and Metallica.)
The Palestinian artists' call comes following a fresh torrent of violence between Israel and Gaza. Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, ordered "massive strikes" against Gaza militants, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets, last Sunday; the BBC reported that according to the Israel Defense Forces, groups in Gaza launched nearly 700 rockets and mortars at Israel last weekend. Israel accused the militant group Islamic Jihad of instigating the violence after saying the group shot and wounded two Israeli military officers on May 3.
NPR correspondent Daniel Estrin reported for All Things Considered on Thursday that, among the roughly 2 million people living in the Gaza Strip, unemployment is now over 50 percent, and many Palestinians are fleeing abroad.
Israel has responded indirectly to the calls for a Eurovision boycott with a PR campaign that specifically targets people who may be curious about or sympathetic to the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel, known as BDS. For example, visitors to the recently launched website are greeted with the headline "Welcome to the true story of BDS: Beautiful, Diverse, Sensational Israel." Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy confirmed to Reuters on Friday that it was responsible for the site. The news wire also reported that Google searches using words like "boycott" and "Eurovision" were linking to ads to the ministry's site, through search engine optimization.
In a Eurovision teaser video released Thursday by Israel's KAN Broadcasting Corporation (the public, state-broadcast network, which is also carrying the singing contest), the two main performers '-- a man who introduces himself as Russian Jewish and the other a half-Jewish, half-Israeli Arab woman named Lucy Ayoub, one of the Eurovision hosts this year '-- sing to a pair of befuddled tourists: "I know just what you heard, that it's a land of war and occupation / But we're so much more than that. You'll see the prices and say, 'What?!' "
Per Eurovision tradition, Israel won the opportunity to host this year's contest after a singer from the country, Netta, won the 2018 edition with her campy tune "Toy."
This is not the first time that Eurovision's glitter has gotten swept up in geopolitics. Before the 2017 contest, held in Ukraine, Russia announced it would not broadcast the competition after the host country asserted that Russia's entrant, a singer named Yuliya Samoylova, would not be allowed to enter Ukraine, because she had previously toured Crimea. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
In 2015, Armenia's team sent the song "Face the Shadow" to the competition. It was interpreted as a criticism of the government of Turkey, which has continually rejected Armenians' claims that the atrocities of 1915 '-- in which as many as 1.5 million Armenians were killed or deported in a wave of violence spurred by Ottoman Turks '-- were a genocide against their people.
Worldwide, the Eurovision finals broadcasts continue to be a huge draw. They are broadcast in over four dozen countries, and the organizers anticipate that the global audience will be about 200 million viewers in 2019.
Alyssa Milano calls for sex strike to protest anti-abortion laws
Sun, 12 May 2019 12:42
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Last SlideNext SlideAlyssa Milano is calling on her followers to join her in a sex strike to protest anti-abortion laws '' and the response has not been great.
The actress and activist, 46, took to Twitter late Friday to share her idea, which comes after one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation was signed in Georgia earlier this week. The "heartbeat bill" makes it illegal to have an abortion after a heartbeat has been detected in the womb '-- about six weeks into a pregnancy.
"Our reproductive rights are being erased. Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy," she wrote. "JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back. I'm calling for a #SexStrike. Pass it on."
The tweet has garnered a lot of attention with over 17,000 likes and 14,000 replies, causing the hashtag to trend on the social media platform Saturday.
Our reproductive rights are being erased.Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy.
JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back.
I'm calling for a #SexStrike. Pass it on.
'-- Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 11, 2019In a follow-up post, Milano reiterated her motivation behind the strike.
"We can LOVE sex and fight for our bodily autonomy. There are lots of alternatives to cis men," she tweeted. "Protect your vaginas, ladies. Men in positions of power are trying to legislate them."
We can LOVE sex and fight for our bodily autonomy. There are lots of alternatives to cis men.Protect your vaginas, ladies. Men in positions of power are trying to legislate them.
'-- Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 11, 2019The attention wasn't all positive, however. Many tweets about Milano's strike have found fault with her message.
"Please stop feeding the narrative that women are providers and men are consumers of sex," one person tweeted. "Bribing men for equal rights with access to our bodies is not how feminism works."
"This makes it seem like sex is something women do as a favor to men; it also furthers the misogynist theory that women should be shamed for liking sex at all," another said. "Sorry, @Alyssa_Milano, but I hate this."
"Isn't this called abstinence? And isn't this exactly what conservatives wanted?" another tweeted.
Others supported the strike.
"if they want to control our bodies reproductive organs, (then) we should deny sex to cis men," one person tweeted.
"Join us in helping cis men feel the physical consequences of our reproductive rights being systematically eliminated!" another tweeted.
More: Alyssa Milano, Meghan McCain defend Joe Biden as Trevor Noah calls him 'super creepy'
More: Alyssa Milano gets backlash for tweet saying, 'I'm trans. I'm a person of color.'
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Harvard Drops Harvey Weinstein Lawyer as a Faculty Dean - The New York Times
Sun, 12 May 2019 11:47
Image Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. and Stephanie Robinson led Winthrop House to commencement in 2017. They were the first African-American faculty deans in Harvard's history. Credit Credit Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times CAMBRIDGE, Mass. '-- Harvard said on Saturday that a law professor who is representing Harvey Weinstein would not continue as faculty dean of an undergraduate house after his term ends on June 30, bowing to months of pressure from students.
The professor, Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., and his wife, Stephanie Robinson, who is a lecturer at the law school, have been the faculty deans of Winthrop House, one of Harvard's residential houses for undergraduate students, since 2009. They were the first African-American faculty deans in Harvard's history.
But when Mr. Sullivan joined the defense team of Mr. Weinstein, the Hollywood producer, in January, many students expressed dismay, saying that his decision to represent a person accused of abusing women disqualified Mr. Sullivan from serving in a role of support and mentorship to students. Mr. Weinstein is scheduled to go to trial in June in Manhattan on rape and related charges.
As the protests continued, with graffiti aimed at Mr. Sullivan appearing on a university building, Harvard administrators said they would conduct what they called a climate review of Winthrop House. In recent weeks, tensions have escalated, with a student sit-in and a lawsuit sparked by a clash between one of the protest leaders and two Winthrop House staff members who were seen as supporting Mr. Sullivan.
On Saturday, the dean of Harvard College, Rakesh Khurana, sent an email to students and staff members at Winthrop House, informing them that he would not renew the appointments of Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Robinson as faculty deans after their terms end on June 30. Mr. Khurana said in his email that the decision was informed ''by a number of considerations.''
''Over the last few weeks, students and staff have continued to communicate concerns about the climate in Winthrop House to the college,'' he wrote. ''The concerns expressed have been serious and numerous. The actions that have been taken to improve the climate have been ineffective, and the noticeable lack of faculty dean presence during critical moments has further deteriorated the climate in the house. I have concluded that the situation in the house is untenable.''
In a statement, Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Robinson said, ''We are surprised and dismayed by the action Harvard announced today. We believed the discussions we were having with high-level university representatives were progressing in a positive manner, but Harvard unilaterally ended those talks.''
2 pages, 0.08 MB''We will now take some time to process Harvard's actions and consider our options,'' their statement continued. ''We are sorry that Harvard's actions and the controversy surrounding us has contributed to the stress on Winthrop students at this already stressful time.''
The decision not to renew the appointments of Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Robinson as faculty deans does not affect their positions at the law school, where Mr. Sullivan is the Jesse Climenko Clinical Professor of Law and the director of the Criminal Justice Institute.
The controversy around Mr. Sullivan's representation of Mr. Weinstein highlighted a conflict between the legal principle that every accused person deserves a vigorous defense and students' demands that college officials show support for victims of sexual assault. ''Whose side are you on?'' demanded one of the spray-painted messages directed at Mr. Sullivan earlier this year.
But a number of Mr. Sullivan's colleagues came to his defense; 52 professors at the law school signed a letter supporting him, saying that his commitment to representing unpopular clients was fully consistent with his roles as law professor and faculty dean, and that Harvard should not pressure him to resign.
At the same time, the dispute took on a racial element, with some saying that Mr. Sullivan was being treated unfairly. In a statement in late March, the Harvard Black Law Students Association criticized the decision by the university to conduct a climate review and expressed concern about ''the racist undertones evidenced by the disproportionate response to this issue by the university.''
Mr. Sullivan himself suggested that race was playing a role in the handling of the controversy.
''It is not lost on me that I'm the first African-American to hold this position,'' he told The Times earlier this year. ''Never in the history of the faculty dean position has the dean been subjected to a 'climate review' in the middle of some controversy.''
Harvard students live, eat and socialize in the college's 12 undergraduate houses. The job of the faculty deans is to support students academically and personally, and to set the tone for the house's social activities.
As the review of Winthrop House progressed, other issues surfaced, with some current and former staff members telling The Harvard Crimson that they had experienced ''a workplace climate of hostility and suspicion'' under Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Robinson.
Image Mr. Sullivan, left, joined Mr. Weinstein's defense team in January. Credit Pool photo by Steven Hirsch Danu Mudannayake, a junior who took a leading role in organizing the protests, said on Saturday afternoon that she had not expected the college to act so definitively or so quickly.
''My honest reaction is just completely gobsmacked, but in the best way,'' she said. ''I'm very proud today of our college and our college's administration for finally choosing to do the right thing.''
Mr. Sullivan has represented other controversial clients, including Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots player, when he was tried for double murder, and the family of Usaamah Rahim, a man, shot by the Boston police, who had been accused of being a terrorist.
Mr. Sullivan also represented the family of Michael Brown, a man killed by the police in Missouri, in bringing a wrongful-death suit against the City of Ferguson; the family ultimately received a reported $1.5 million settlement.
He has specialized in overturning wrongful convictions. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he led an effort to change the system that provided legal defense for the indigent in New Orleans; the effort resulted in the release of thousands of wrongfully incarcerated inmates. In 2014, the Brooklyn district attorney, Kenneth Thompson, asked Mr. Sullivan to design and implement a conviction review unit to identify and exonerate wrongfully convicted people. It became a national model.
In his email to Winthrop House, Mr. Khurana praised the commitment of Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Robinson to justice and civic engagement. ''This is a regrettable situation and a very hard decision to make,'' he wrote.
He said that he and two other Harvard deans would visit Winthrop House on Saturday afternoon to answer students' questions. Ms. Mudannayake said on Saturday that she was in the dining hall with the deans, and the mood was ''very happy.''
''They're all there and addressing concerns, questions, even just people who want to say thank you to them,'' she said. ''I think that's added to the kind of celebratory atmosphere.''
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The Bond Market Just Sent a Disturbing Message - Bloomberg
Thu, 09 May 2019 21:14
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The Purge
Security Concerns Rise in Silicon Valley After Swatting Attacks: Report
Fri, 10 May 2019 13:32
Executives of major tech companies have increasingly become targets of swatting, the practice of calling in a fake incident to police in order to lure a SWAT team to someone's home. The costly calls may have become more frequent as people seek retaliation for recent actions some technology companies have taken to address rule violations on their platforms. Popular platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, have begun removing accounts that violate their user agreements. Two swatting attacks against top executives this year came soon after someone posted their personal details'--including home addresses'--to an online message board. With the threat of being swatted now a reality, executives have ramped up their personal security measures. Security expenses for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have nearly quadrupled since 2016. ''He is synonymous with Facebook and, as a result, negative sentiment regarding our company is directly associated with, and often transferred to, Mr. Zuckerberg,'' a public securities filing for Zuckerberg reads.
New App Encourages Americans to Report 'Offensive' Speech '' NewsWars
Fri, 10 May 2019 14:14
A new app developed by researchers at the University of Utah encourages users to report 'offensive' speech, including slurs written on bathroom walls.
First Amendment? What First Amendment?
DIGIT Lab's ''Hate Incident Reporting'' app turns citizens into spies by accepting ''reports beyond crimes captured in police records''.
Although the creators claim that all reporting is confidential and anonymous, ''The amount of detailed information a person is asked to provide would make it easy for law enforcement to identify someone,'' reports the MassPrivateI blog.
''We'd like to see it used nationally to get better hate incident statistics, and to understand why, how, and where people are active in hateful incidents, and how that offends or hurts people,'' said Richard Medina.
The app allows users to submit photos and videos of the alleged ''hate'' incident, and asks them to classify it ''out of multiple types of bias: religion, disability, gender, identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and other.''
The app was ostensibly created because the activists behind it are unhappy that reports of ''hate crime'' numbers are not high enough.
In order to fan the flames of hysteria about bigots and Nazis lurking around every corner, it becomes necessary to artificially inflate cases of ''hate incidents''.
What constitutes a ''hate incident''? According to Phys.Org, this would include, ''derogatory epithets written in bathrooms to slurs yelled from a car window.''
So now rude graffiti or road rage can be conflated into the narrative of soaring hate crime and voila! We have ourselves a freshly served moral panic.
This contrived nationwide hate crime epidemic then surely necessitates left-wing institutions, media and academic bodies be handed more money and power to fight it!
It would be funny if it were not so insidious.
Please support my work here. They want to silence us forever. Don't let them.
Banned from Facebook? A Polish Court May Help - Bloomberg
Thu, 09 May 2019 22:27
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HUGE! Facebook Hits Conservative Icon MICHELLE MALKIN! Removes Her Post Defending Laura Loomer and Gavin McInnes
Sun, 12 May 2019 12:57
by Jim Hoft May 10, 2019 THE PURGE CONTINUES '--
Last week Facebook-Instagrem banned prominent conservatives Laura Loomer, Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos and writer and popular YouTuber Paul Joseph Watson.
But it gets even worse'...
It is now a violation of Facebook policy to speak positively about people they don't like.It is now a violation of Facebook's policies to speak positively anywhere in public about people Facebook doesn't like. This is extremely creepy.
'-- Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) May 3, 2019
This is completely Orwellian.And it looks like they will get away with it.
Now this'...Top conservative author, pundit, blogger and speaker Michelle Malkin published a post on Facebook defending her conservative friends Laura Loomer and Gavin McInnes.
On Friday Facebook removed Michelle's post!
They will not allow kind words about the people they have banned!
So this just happened to me on @facebook The shadow of the Valley of the Banned looms. Contingency plans in place.#fightthecensors @RonColeman @alx @LibertarianBlue @RaheemKassam @willchamberlain @pdabrosca @gatewaypundit @minds @bitchute
'-- Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) May 10, 2019
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Swatting Attacks Increase Security Concerns Across Silicon Valley - WSJ
Sun, 12 May 2019 15:12
One January night this year an emergency dispatch operator in Palo Alto, Calif., fielded a call from a man who said he had shot his wife and then tied up his children inside his house, where he had several pipe bombs. After a tense period in which police officers surrounded the house, out came the owner, a senior Facebook Inc. executive who said there was no shooting and that he had no idea what was going on.
The call was a hoax, but not an isolated incident.
Just over two weeks later, an Instagram executive at his home in San Francisco was also the target of a swatting attack, in which the perpetrator masquerades as a certain individual and calls up local law enforcement, claiming to have committed violent crimes at the target's address.
The incidents show why safety concerns are rising across Silicon Valley, prompting tech companies to allocate more dollars to executive security.
Tech companies have become targets in part because they have become more active in removing hate speech and disinformation from their platforms'--moves that have triggered accusations of bias from those affected by their policies. The industry also is increasingly blamed on a range of issues, from privacy abuses to exacerbating income inequality.
The swatting attacks early this year came weeks after someone posted to an online message board personal details'--including home addresses and names of family members'--of some of the biggest figures in Silicon Valley. The list, which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal, also included information on journalists, celebrities and government officials. At least one of the celebrities included in the list was subsequently swatted.
The anonymous posting with the list, which has since been taken down, was hosted on the 8chan website, which describes itself as ''The darkest reaches of the internet.'' Long a hotbed for anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic material, 8chan was used to announce the mosque terrorist attack in New Zealand in March and a synagogue shooting in Poway, Calif., a month later.
The uptick of incidents targeting technology executives over the past year may be related to platforms removing accounts, including those belonging to criminals trafficking in hacked accounts.
The takedowns have ''pissed off the bad guys,'' said Samy Tarazi, a sergeant with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's office, whose jurisdiction includes the campuses for Alphabet Inc., parent company of Google, and other technology companies. The recent swatting attacks are still being investigated by law enforcement, but Sgt. Tarazi said they are likely retaliation for actions the technology companies have taken.
Swatting is often called a prank, but its consequences can be deadly. A perpetrator was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison for launching a swatting attack in December 2017 in Wichita, Kan., against a man who was killed by police responding to the call.
A spokeswoman for Facebook said the company declined to comment about the incidents or whether it has made any changes to its security practices. Other major tech companies also declined to comment on security measures for their top executives.
The publicly disclosed security expenses for Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and his family have nearly quadrupled since 2016, rising to nearly $20 million last year, according to a recent filing by the company. ''He is synonymous with Facebook and, as a result, negative sentiment regarding our company is directly associated with, and often transferred to, Mr. Zuckerberg,'' the securities filing said.
Such increases aren't limited to Facebook. Alphabet spent $1.2 million on security services for Google CEO Sundar Pichai in 2018, the company stated last week in a securities filing. That is nearly four times the $322,241 spent on Mr. Pichai's security detail in 2016.
Google's YouTube unit was the target of the most violent incident of late involving a tech giant. In April 2018, YouTube creator Nasim Aghdam shot three people at the company's San Bruno, Calif., headquarters before killing herself. Ms. Aghdam was upset with the online streaming service, which she believed was censoring her videos.
The security spending figures may not reflect the actual amounts spent to protect those executives as many companies account for such measures differently, complicating company-to-company comparisons, said Mark Lowery, a former Secret Service agent who has consulted on corporate management protection.
Many executives pay considerable sums of their own money on security details for themselves and their families, and some companies lump executive protection expenditures with other security spending, Mr. Lowery said, ''It can become more of an IRS issue than a security issue,'' he said.
Multimillion-dollar security packages are the exception. Mr. Zuckerberg's tab is the highest among publicly traded companies tracked by the compensation-data firm Equilar Inc. Next is that for Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson, at more than $5 million.
Swatting is hardly the only security problem facing technology executives. Last month, political activist Laura Loomer staked out Twitter Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey's house in San Francisco to protest the suspension of conservative Twitter accounts, including her own. Ms. Loomer, who is suing Twitter over her suspension, said she found Mr. Dorsey's address from public records. She said the police were called but didn't arrest her because she was on public property.
Twitter, which declined to comment on Mr. Dorsey's security, had previously said Ms. Loomer violated its hateful-conduct policy. She was also recently banned from Facebook.
The extreme responses to tech companies' practices reflect in part how deeply their services have become embedded in the lives of users, said Chris Hoofnagle, who teaches internet law at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, because giants such as Facebook and Google have focused so relentlessly on the promise of their products and less on the risks, such actions as account takedowns are taken all the more personally.
''When the situation sours it's actually an emotional event'' for the users, he said.
'--Theo Francis contributed to this article.
Write to Robert McMillan at
'Verbod op azc-nieuws is Noord-Koreaans' | Binnenland |
Thu, 09 May 2019 23:52
Wijkbewoonster Christel begrijpt de redactie. Ze gaat het blad missen. 'žZoiets heeft impact op een wijk.''
''¸ APA Arnhemse Persagentschap
Op last van wijkraad Osseveld-Woudhuis krijgen de 'kritische artikelen' over de komst van een azc geen vervolg in het blad dat al 27 jaar een begrip is in de wijken Osseveld en Woudhuis. Het is voor het eerst in de lange geschiedenis dat de wijkraad zich bemoeit met de inhoud. Dat het nu w(C)l gebeurt, is 'žcurieus, bizar en onacceptabel'', zegt Tamboer die als vrijwilliger al vier jaar voor De Wijkkijker werkt.
Tamboer schrijft sinds 2015 over de komst van een azc dat op het terrein van GGNet waar ook mensen met psychische problemen worden opgevangen. Zijn laatste artikel over de komst van het azc was te kritisch, zo stelde de wijkraad die als geldschieter publicatie weigerde.
'Heel toevallig...'Volgens Tamboer wilde de gemeente niet reageren op vragen over mensen met psychische problemen die komen te wonen naast de asielzoekers. 'žDe gemeente vond het wijkkrantje niet de plek om op vragen in te gaan'', zegt Tamboer. 'žIk kreeg te horen dat ze contact op zouden nemen met de wijkraad en h(C)(C)l toevallig werd een dag of drie later besloten om voorlopig geen azc-artikelen meer te plaatsen. Het is eigenlijk een verkeerd toneelstuk waar je in terechtkomt en dat zich afspeelt in Noord-Korea of China.''
Wijkbewoonster Christel snapt dat de redactie is opgestapt. 'žVrijheid van meningsuiting moet je altijd kunnen ventileren. Het is wel raar dat ze niet tot elkaar kunnen komen. Dan moet het wel heel ver gegaan zijn dat een van de partijen is afgehaakt.'' Ze noemt het zonde van het mooie blad en vindt artikelen over het azc belangrijk: 'žZoiets heeft impact op een wijk. Zet twee groepen met mensen die traumatische ervaringen hebben bij elkaar en je weet niet of dat elkaar versterkt.''
'Uit elkaar gegroeid'Jaap van Brummen, voorzitter van wijkraad Osseveld-Woudhuis noemt het opstappen van de redactie een 'triest unicum'. Volgens hem is er echter geen sprake van censuur. 'žDe wijkraad en de redactie zijn uit elkaar gegroeid. Dat hebben we zelf laten gebeuren. Daarom willen we afspraken maken met de redactie over de inhoud. Het is ons blad en wij betalen het en wij worden verantwoordelijk gehouden voor wat er in De Wijkkijker wordt afgedrukt.'' Dat de gemeente als subsidieverstrekker druk op de wijkraad zou hebben uitgeoefend, is onzin, stelt Van Brummen. 'žDat is op geen enkele manier het geval.''
De gemeente Apeldoorn laat weten geen enkele rol te spelen in het dispuut tussen de redactie van de Wijkkijker en de wijkraad.
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Jussie Smollett will not return to 'Empire' for next season - Story | WTTG
Fri, 10 May 2019 00:01
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fox Entertainment said Tuesday that Jussie Smollett will not return to his series "Empire" next season in the wake of allegations by Chicago officials the actor lied about a racially motivated attack.
"By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett's option for season six, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to 'Empire,'" the studio said in a statement that gave no reasoning was given for the decision.
Fox announced earlier Tuesday that the drama about a hip-hop record label and the fiery family behind it had been renewed for a sixth season.
A Smollett representative released a statement to several media outlets suggesting a hope that he may eventually return.
"We've been told that Jussie will not be on 'Empire' in the beginning of the season but he appreciates they have extended his contract to keep Jamal's future open," the statement said. "Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and 'Empire' leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support."
Fox announced earlier Tuesday that the show had been renewed for a sixth season.
Smollett's character was removed from the final two episodes of season five.
Chicago police allege Smollett paid two brothers to help him stage a January attack in which he said two masked men beat him, hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, doused him with a chemical substance and put a rope around his neck.
Smollett, who is black and gay, maintains the attack wasn't staged. He was arrested, but prosecutors later dropped the charges .
"Empire" films each episode in Chicago.
San Francisco Democrat under fire for repeated use of N-word during committee meeting | Fox News
Fri, 10 May 2019 00:02
A civil rights attorney, local Democratic Party official and former San Francisco city supervisor is in hot water after repeatedly using the N-word during a public meeting last month.
Angela Alioto has apologized but is facing calls for her removal from the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee over the incident during an April DCCC meeting with African-American union members. Without self-censoring, Alioto had used the N-word during that meeting while responding to a remark from an African-American woman about hearing the racial epithet in the workplace.
''Full disclosure, I'm a civil rights trial lawyer,'' Alioto said in a video of the meeting. ''It's what I do.''
Angela Alioto poses on Russian Hill in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, file)
Alioto said: ''It's the law that the word n----- in the workplace is racial harassment and racial animus. It's a direct animus.''
She added: ''You very rarely have direct evidence of discrimination. You very rarely have, 'I'm not going to work with this n----- I'm not going to work with that n-----.'''
Alioto went on to talk about a case she worked on against Wonderbread, where a book called ''How To Kill A N-----'' was found in the cafeteria.
After her sixth use of the word, those in the crowd began to ask her to stop using the slur.
The news of Alito's use of the N-word drew quick condemnation from Republicans in the Bay Area, who questioned why Democrats have not been more vocal in criticizing the lawyer and called Alioto's use of the word ''tone-deaf.''
''When it comes to racism in their own party, they remain quiet,'' Jason Clark, the chairman of the San Francisco Republican Party, told Fox News, while referencing the recent blackface scandal surrounding Virginia's Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who remains in office despite bipartisan criticism. ''If this had been a Republican, the Democrats would be outraged.''
San Francisco Democratic Party Chair David Campos did not respond to Fox News' request for comment, but following Alioto's comment during the meeting, Campos did reprimand her for the repeated use of the N-word.
''I don't think it's appropriate to say the word,'' Campos said. ''As a person of color, if anyone actually said a word that's derogatory to my kind, I think hearing it has a certain effect.''
The DCCC is currently deciding how to handle the situation amid calls from meeting attendees to have Alioto removed from her post on the committee. The local GOP also put out a statement Monday calling for her removal.
"The San Francisco Republican Party is disgusted by Angela Alioto's choice of insensitive and racist words at the recent San Francisco Democratic Party Central Committee (DCCC) meeting. There is no place in our city, nor anywhere in America, for such insensitive and brazenly racist language, which goes squarely against San Francisco's values of inclusiveness and social justice. We therefore call on the DCCC to do the right thing and remove Ms. Alioto from her committee position without delay," the statement said.
The DCCC bylaws for removing a member require a formal hearing and a two-thirds vote of the committee's 33 members, and the issue is scheduled to be discussed at the DCCC's upcoming meeting this month.
Alioto, who also did not return Fox News' request for comment, apologized earlier this week for offending people '' saying she was not using the word to be offensive, but as a means of showing how pervasive racist terms are in San Francisco's city government.
''I went too far, and I am profusely sorry that I offended anybody,'' Alioto said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. ''I get passionate, no question. I was in a teaching zone. I started giving examples of that word in my other cases to show everyone in the room that (discrimination) is pervasive in San Francisco government. But I feel so horribly that any person, especially any African American woman, was offended.''
Alioto, however, did not back down from her rationale for using the N-word.
''My clients say the word. 'The N-word' doesn't mean anything. You do not sugarcoat or whitewash that word when you're in litigation mode,'' she said.
Phelicia Jones, an African American woman and an SEIU 1021 member who was at the meeting, does not see it that way.
''I just really couldn't believe it,'' Jones said, according to the San Francisco Examiner, which first reported on the incident.
Jones added: ''What comes with that word? 'Not good enough. Suspicious. Animalistic' ... It's PTSD. It's Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. Why wouldn't it affect us?''
Portable urinals installed in downtown Victoria, not everyone is a fan of the "peeosk"
Sun, 12 May 2019 12:54
They will come as a relief to some leaving bars late at night, but temporary urinals installed in downtown Victoria aren't being welcomed by everyone.
The six ''peeosk''urinals are part of the City of Victoria's Late Night Program to help ensure ''that everyone has a safe and enjoyable night out.''
They are installed on weekend nights and aim to encourage people not to use public spaces as impromptu bathrooms.
''This program is operated in cooperation with Our Place and is sponsored by downtown bar and restaurant owners,'' the City's website reads. It has been in place for several years.
But the sudden appearance of one of them on Waddington Alley on Friday was an unpleasant surprise for a business owner.
Kyle Massey is getting set to open a vape shop on the Alley between Johnson and Yates.
He worries the open-air urinal not far from the store's entrance will hurt his business.
''If they're going to do it, maybe they should have an enclosed outhouse instead of a urinal like that,'' he said.
Downtown Victoria's most noted (and more enclosed) outdoor toilet stood at the corner of Government and Pandora for years, but was removed on Monday as a major fire destroyed the former Plaza Hotel. There is no word yet on if and when it will be re-installed.
Build the Wall
A border wall GoFundMe raised more than $20 million. Now, some supporters want answers. - The Washington Post
Sun, 12 May 2019 11:14
A December fundraising campaign brought in more than $20 million over the course of a few weeks, its thousands of donors united by a common goal: the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, oft-promised by President Trump.
Some four months later, a contingent of those supporters is ready to see what their money has built.
The now-famous border wall GoFundMe was conceived by Purple Heart recipient Brian Kolfage, who wrote at the time he was upset by ''too many illegals .'‰.'‰. taking advantage of the United States taxpayers,'' and the ''political games from both parties'' when it came to border security. Kolfage, a triple amputee, pressed onward despite falling short of his $1 billion goal '-- launching a nonprofit to build portions of the wall on private land for a ''fraction of what it costs the government.''
While the majority of donors continue to believe in Kolfage's efforts, the nonprofit's clandestine operations and assurances of progress are insufficient for others. Some have taken to social media, seeking photos, videos '-- anything '-- for evidence they aren't being misled.
[Border wall GoFundMe to refund $20 million '-- unless donors want to give to it again]
''I am very disappointed in you Brian Kolfage, where are the progress photographs?'' one woman posted to the We Build The Wall Facebook page.
''Quit talking about it and do it,'' another commented.
''I've been away for FIVE months,'' one person tweeted in April. ''When's the groundbreaking?''
Reporting on the apparent lack of progress on the private wall, published early Friday by the Daily Beast, drew criticism from Kolfage. The veteran called out the story's author, Will Sommer, who indicated he's repeatedly asked Kolfage for proof they were close to a groundbreaking.
''Omg this is PERFECT timing by the liberal rag news site. They are about to look more stupid than @hillaryclinton on election night 2016!'' Kolfage wrote. ''I guaranteed we would build the wall .'‰.'‰. and I'll leave it at that!"
Kolfage did not respond to an email and message from The Washington Post requesting comment Friday. While the nonprofit has floated various groundbreaking dates in the past, it's not exactly clear when, or if, construction will begin.
''We should be turning dirt on this thing by May 1, June 1 at the latest, according to our experts,'' Kolfage told Politico in February. In a March 21 interview with American Family Radio, however, the veteran asserted they were going to ''start breaking ground'' in April.
[Pentagon will shift an additional $1.5 billion to help fund Trump's border wall Add to list]
In the interview, Kolfage said his nonprofit had identified eight locations to build along the border, but failed to name them, stating that his efforts could be thwarted by liberals if they were revealed.
''I wish I could name where it's at, but we can't name it because of the ACLU, these other liberal groups who want to sue us and impede our progress,'' he said. ''But it's actually happening, the process is happening .'‰.'‰. the project is moving forward.''
He continued, ''But as soon as we start breaking ground, we'll be putting that information out there to show the American people what they're doing.''
Kolfage has previously indicated that We Build The Wall Inc. seeks to develop segments of the wall on private property, which he told The Washington Post in January would cost $2 million to $3 million per mile. His GoFundMe says he's visited the border to scope out potential sites and negotiate with private land owners. Kolfage has also enlisted the help of several high-profile politicians, among them former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and Kris Kobach, the former Secretary of State for Kansas, who sit on the group's advisory board.
Back in January, Kobach told the New York Times they'd hopefully be breaking ground ''within weeks.''
Retired Air Force Airman Brian Kolfage, right, with his then-1-year-old daughter Paris and wife, Ashley in 2015. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News/AP Photo)Some critics noted Kolfage was accused of shady behavior in the past, including allegations of misusing funds he raised. NBC and BuzzFeed investigations earlier this year alleged that Kolfage peddled false articles and conspiracy theories with the intent of harvesting reader email addresses. The purported scheme would draw people back to his websites and Facebook pages, generating hundreds of thousands in advertising revenue, Buzzfeed reported.
Facebook removed several of the pages he operated last year, according to NBC, in a purge of pages that were used to ''drive traffic to their websites.'' In response, Kolfage created a new campaign, ''Fight4FreeSpeech,'' which also accepts donations.
BuzzFeed looked into Kolfage's previous crowdfunding efforts, which included an initiative to mentor wounded veterans at military hospitals '-- among them Walter Reed and Brooke Army Medical Center. He raised thousands for the project, according to BuzzFeed, but spokespersons for the medical facilities told the outlet they have no record of him working at the hospitals or donating money.
Asked about the story in January, Kolfage told The Post that BuzzFeed ''100 percent lied'' and had fabricated the investigation to slander him. He said the money was raised to cover his travel expenses, and that he only used them for that purpose.
On Friday, many supporters of Kolfage called the Daily Beast story fake news intended to stymie donations. We Build The Wall occasionally replied in agreement, reassuring commenters the wall was on its way.
''This is what we call FAKE NEWS,'' they wrote in a post. ''We didn't stop anything and we are full steam ahead. The wall is being built."
As of Friday night, the group said they'll be breaking ground ''shortly.''
In a separate comment, one woman indicated she'd heard enough.
''Saying it doesn't get it done,'' she wrote late Friday. ''Do it.''
Read More:
76 shots and one man dead: Video shows police on an 'alarming and irresponsible' car chase
An unvaccinated teen who sued over school ban got chickenpox. His dad says that's a good thing.
A mayor reportedly said her city isn't ready for a black leader. A council member went further.
Roe v Wade
Unintended Pregnancy in the United States | Guttmacher Institute
Sat, 11 May 2019 00:48
On average, U.S. women want to have two children. To accomplish that goal, a woman will spend close to three years pregnant, postpartum or attempting to become pregnant, and about three decades'--more than three-quarters of her reproductive life'--trying to avoid pregnancy.1
DEFINING PREGNANCY DESIRESAlthough researchers have been measuring unintended pregnancy for decades, the conventional approach to categorizing recalled pregnancy desires does not capture the complexities of women's and couples' desires, their experiences prior to pregnancy or the context in which a pregnancy occurs. As a result, sources of data available to characterize pregnancy desires and experiences are limited. The Guttmacher Institute is aware of these limitations, and our experts are working to address them in our work. The findings included in this fact sheet are the most current available.
An unintended pregnancy is one that occurred when a woman wanted to become pregnant in the future but not at the time she became pregnant (''wanted later'') or one that occurred when she did not want to become pregnant then or at any time in the future (''unwanted''). In this fact sheet, births resulting from unintended pregnancies are referred to as ''unplanned.''
All other pregnancies are often termed ''intended,'' including those that were desired at the time they occurred or were wanted sooner than they occurred (''then or sooner''). At the national level, pregnancies to women who were indifferent or unsure about becoming pregnant are typically combined with pregnancies that were wanted then or sooner. It is important to note that women defined as having an ''intended'' pregnancy have not necessarily expressed an intention or plan to become pregnant.
PREGNANCY INCIDENCEIn 2011, there were 98 pregnancies for every 1,000 women aged 15''44 in the United States.2In 2011, there were 45 unintended pregnancies for every 1,000 women aged 15''44 in the United States. In other words, nearly 5% of reproductive-age women have an unintended pregnancy each year.2The unintended pregnancy rate is significantly higher in the United States than in many other developed countries.3In 2011, nearly half (45%, or 2.8 million) of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States were unintended. Specifically, 27% of all pregnancies were ''wanted later'' and 18% of pregnancies were ''unwanted.''2DEMOGRAPHIC differencesUnderstanding demographic differences in unintended pregnancy helps to identify where to focus policy and programmatic interventions, and highlights areas of inequality. These differences do not occur in a vacuum; they reflect differences in social, cultural, structural, economic and political contexts, which influence health behaviors, access to services and outcomes.
Unintended pregnancy rates are highest among low-income women (i.e., women with incomes less than 200% of the federal poverty level), women aged 18''24, cohabiting women and women of color.2 Rates tend to be lowest among higher-income women (at or above 200% of poverty), white women, college graduates and married women.The rate of unintended pregnancy among women with incomes less than 100% of the poverty was 112 per 1,000 in 2011, more than five times the rate among women with incomes of at least 200% of poverty (20 per 1,000 women). 2The proportion of pregnancies that are unintended generally decreases with age. The highest unintended pregnancy rate in 2011 was among women aged 20''24 (81 per 1,000 women).2 However, traditional estimates understate the risk of unintended pregnancy among adolescents because these estimates typically include all women, whether or not they are sexually active. When rates are recalculated including only those sexually active, women aged 15''19 have the highest unintended pregnancy rate of any age-group.4Cohabiting women had a higher rate of unintended pregnancy compared with both unmarried noncohabiting women (141 vs. 36''54 per 1,000) and married women (29 per 1,000).2At 79 per 1,000, the unintended pregnancy rate for non-Hispanic black women in 2011 was more than double that of non-Hispanic white women (33 per 1,000). 2Women without a high school degree had the highest unintended pregnancy rate among those of any educational level in 2011 (73 per 1,000), and rates were lower with each level of educational attainment.2There are also differences in rates of outcomes of unintended pregnancies across population groups. In 2011, women with incomes below 100% of poverty had an unplanned birth rate nearly seven times that of women at or above 200% of poverty. 2TRENDS In the United States, the proportion of pregnancies that were unintended increased slightly between 2001 and 2008 (from 48% to 51%), but, by 2011, the proportion decreased to 45%.2,5Following a long period of minimal change, the overall unintended pregnancy rate (the number of unintended pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15''44) decreased substantially from 54 in 2008 to 45 in 2011, a decline of 18%. This is the lowest rate since at least 1981 and is likely due to an overall increase in contraceptive use and the use of highly effective contraceptive methods.2Between 1981 and 2008, the unintended pregnancy rate among low-income women rose, while the rate among higher-income women declined steadily. Between 2008 and 2011, however, the rate among women with incomes below poverty dropped from 137 per 1,000 women aged 15''44 to 112 per 1,000'--an 18% decline in just three years. The rate among women at or above 200% of poverty decreased 20% between 2008 and 2011.2,5The unintended pregnancy rate among adolescents has been declining since the late 1980s. Between 2008 and 2011, the unintended pregnancy rate among women aged 18''19 declined 20%, and the unplanned birth rate declined 21%. Among women aged 15''17, the unintended pregnancy rate declined 44% during the same period, and the unplanned birth rate declined 47%.2 OUTCOMES OF UNINTENDED PREGNANCYIn 2011, 42% of unintended pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) ended in abortion, and 58% ended in birth. This was a small shift from 2008, when 40% ended in abortion and 60% ended in birth.2The unplanned birth rate in 2011 was 22 per 1,000 women aged 15''44.8 In that same year, the abortion rate was 17 per 1,000 women.6The proportion of unintended pregnancies ending in birth decreased across all racial and ethnic groups between 2008 and 2011. The proportion of women experiencing an unintended pregnancy and choosing to end it in abortion was higher among black women (50%) than among women in other racial and ethnic groups (36''40%).2In 2011, a lower proportion of women below poverty (38%) than of women at 100''199% of poverty (44%) or of higher-income women (48%) chose to end an unintended pregnancy by abortion. Consequently, women below poverty had a relatively high unplanned birth rate compared with women above poverty (60 vs. 9''28 per 1,000 women aged 15''44).2The proportion of births that fathers report as unplanned'--about four in 10 in a 2006''2010 study'--is similar to that reported by mothers. The proportion varied significantly according to fathers' union status, age, education level, and race and ethnicity.7PREVENTING UNINTENDED PREGNANCYPublicly funded family planning services help women avoid pregnancies they do not want and plan pregnancies they do want. In 2014, these services helped women avoid two million unintended pregnancies, which would likely have resulted in 900,000 births and nearly 700,000 abortions.8Without publicly funded family planning services, U.S. rates of unintended pregnancy, and resulting births and abortions for 2014 would have been 68% higher.8In 2010, the nationwide public investment in family planning services resulted in $13.6 billion in net savings from helping women avoid unintended pregnancies and a range of other negative reproductive health outcomes, such as HIV and other STIs, cervical cancer and infertility.9References1. Sonfield A, Hasstedt K and Gold RB, Moving Forward: Family Planning in the Era of Health Reform, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2014,
2. Finer LB and Zolna MR, Declines in unintended pregnancy in the United States, 2008''2011, New England Journal of Medicine, 2016, 374(9):843''852, doi:10.1056/NEJMsa1506575.
3. Singh S, Sedgh G and Hussain R, Unintended pregnancy: worldwide levels, trends, and outcomes, Studies in Family Planning, 2010, 41(4):241''250.
4. Finer LB, Unintended pregnancy among U.S. adolescents: accounting for sexual activity, Journal of Adolescent Health, 2010, 47(3):312''314, doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.02.002.
5. Finer LB and Zolna MR, Shifts in intended and unintended pregnancies in the United States, 2001''2008, American Journal of Public Health, 2014, 104(Suppl 1):S43''S48, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301416.
6. Jones RK and Jerman J, Abortion incidence and service availability in the United States, 2011, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2014, 46(1):3''14, doi:10.1363/46e0414.
7. Lindberg LD and Kost K, Exploring U.S. men's birth intentions, Maternal and Child Health Journal, 2014, 18(3):625''633, doi:10.1007/s10995-013-1286-x.
8. Frost JJ, Frohwirth LF and Zolna MR, Contraceptive Needs and Services, 2014 Update, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2016,
9. Frost JJ et al., Return on investment: a fuller assessment of the benefits and cost savings of the US publicly funded family planning program, Milbank Quarterly, 2014, 92(4):696''749, doi:10.1111/1468-0009.12080.
Figure 1: Unintended Pregnancy RatesSource: Special tabulations of data from Finer LB and Zolna MR, Declines in unintended pregnancy in the United States, 2008''2011, New England Journal of Medicine, 2016, 374(9):843''852, doi:10.1056/NEJMsa1506575.
Alyssa Milano on Twitter: "Our reproductive rights are being erased. Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy. JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back. I'm calling for a #SexStrike. Pass it on.
Sat, 11 May 2019 17:30
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Beto O'Rourke plans 'reintroduction' as 2020 buzz fizzles
Sat, 11 May 2019 16:38
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) '-- Beto O'Rourke barreled into the 2020 presidential race with breakneck energy and a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants campaign style that saw him leap atop tables to address overflow crowds with the organic, off-the-cuff candor that had made him a Texas sensation.
But since his mid-March campaign launch, the buzz surrounding the former congressman has evaporated. Competing in a massive field of Democratic White House hopefuls, O'Rourke has sagged in the polls. He's made few promises that resonated or produced headline-grabbing moments, instead driving around the country meeting with voters at mostly small events.
In a tacit recognition that this approach isn't working, O'Rourke is planning to try again, taking a hands-on role in staging a ''reintroduction'' ahead of next month's premier Democratic presidential debate. As he finalizes his plans, O'Rourke has entered an intentional ''quiet period'' to build out campaign infrastructure, according to an adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the campaign's strategy.
That will end soon.
O'Rourke plans to step up his national media appearances after skipping most of that kind of exposure in recent months. He is scheduled to appear on MSNBC's ''Rachel Maddow Show'' on Monday night and ABC's ''The View'' the next day.
He's also set to offer more concrete policy plans on top issues. So far, he's issued just one, on climate change.
O'Rourke acknowledges he's struggled to find his presidential campaign footing.
''I think, in part, I was just trying to keep up when I first started out,'' he said after addressing about 40 people at a recent house party in Newton, Iowa. ''I really feel like I've found my rhythm and my pace, and I just feel comfortable, and I feel like this is what I'm supposed to be doing.''
His top aides deny that a full reinvention or ''Beto 2.0'' is in the works. They note that O'Rourke plans to keep packing days with as many as half a dozen campaign events. He'll still venture into off-the-beaten path locales that include rural, heavily Republican areas. Those were the trademarks of his Senate campaign last fall, when he nearly toppled Republican Sen. Ted Cruz by visiting all of deep-red Texas' 254 counties.
But his team also acknowledges that for all its excitement, O'Rourke's initial campaign launch exposed some disorganization. Assembling a campaign staff while the 2020 roadshow was already rollicking along simply wasn't sustainable.
It took O'Rourke nearly two weeks after announcing his campaign to formally hire Jen O'Malley Dillon to run his team. She was the deputy campaign manager of Barack Obama's 2012 re-election bid and is only now moving to O'Rourke's headquarters in El Paso, Texas, after doing the job from Washington.
O'Rourke added 16 staffers recently in Iowa, which holds the first presidential caucuses, but that's fewer than some other candidates have. In New Hampshire, which votes next, O'Rourke has yet to formally announce a state director or campaign staff, though he has informal organizers there.
''It was a ready, fire, aim sort of trajectory,'' said Chris Lippincott, a Texas consultant who ran an outside political group opposing Cruz in 2018.
Kathy Sullivan, a Democratic National Committee member from New Hampshire, noted that, after events, ''If you don't have somebody with a clipboard taking names and addresses and phone numbers, you can lose contact with folks.''
Sullivan recently had lunch with O'Rourke in New Hampshire's capital, Concord, as part of a small women's group and ''found him to be very sincere, very thoughtful.'' But she also said that his falling out of the 2020 spotlight helped boost another young, unorthodox candidate: Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
The work to bolster the campaign has begun to stabilize things. Earlier this week, O'Rourke announced hiring Jeff Berman, a top delegate guru who helped Obama navigate the complicated process of locking up enough support to secure the Democratic presidential nomination.
''It has been building up over time,'' O'Rourke said of his campaign apparatus. ''I think we're getting better organized all the time.''
He maintains that it's still early. During his first trip to Iowa in March, O'Rourke focused on eastern counties that had supported Obama but went for Donald Trump in 2016. More recently, he sought out the relatively few Democrats in the state's rural southwest, trying to do the spade work '-- as the country folk he's trying to woo might say '-- to slowly grow lasting support.
''With 21, maybe more, candidates on the horizon, this is going to be decided by a matter of a few hundred votes, maybe a few dozen votes,'' O'Rourke said after speaking at a former livestock auction space in Shenandoah, Iowa, that's been converted into a spiffy hall for weddings and parties. ''So, every one of these conversations matters.''
One holdover from O'Rourke's do-it-yourself style in Texas is his insistence on driving himself between events, repeatedly climbing behind the wheel of rented Dodge Grand Caravans. Some campaign staffers see it as time that could be spent doing more productive '-- or at least less potentially dangerous '-- things, but O'Rourke's unfazed.
''I can't just sit and ride,'' he's said by way of explanation. ''I've got to be doing something.''
In the meantime, his staff has built schedules ensuring that O'Rourke gets to his multiple daily scheduled events on time '-- capitalizing on his energy while being mindful not to keep demanding early state voters waiting, like he did when barnstorming across all 10 New Hampshire counties in 48 hours shortly after kicking off his campaign.
O'Rourke takes questions from attendees at every stop and is quick enough on his feet to usually provide detailed answers before pivoting to his talking points.
Marcia Fulton, a 78-year-old retired teacher and school administrator who saw O'Rourke at a restored train depot in Creston, Iowa, said she's not decided who she'll vote for yet, but he ''was really impressive, more so than I expected.''
''He was prepared and that was a real question, given his youth,'' Fulton added.
But O'Rourke also begins every stop with a rapid-fire, 20-minute stump speech decrying climate change, skyrocketing student loans and the Trump administration's immigration policies while promising to drastically expand health insurance coverage and insisting he can achieve bipartisan cooperation in Washington. It's too much for some.
''He's going to have to slow down a bit,'' said Sandy Sothman, the co-vice chairwoman of the Cass County Democrats who watched O'Rourke speak at a sunny hillside park in Atlantic, Iowa. ''When he gets going and talks about so many things at once, it becomes a little like, 'Is he riffing or what?'''
'POSTAL BANKING'? AOC, Bernie Call for the Creation of Government-Owned Banks Run by the US Post Office | Sean Hannity
Fri, 10 May 2019 01:14
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled their latest proposal Thursday calling for the creation of non-profit, government banks to be administered through the United States Postal Service.
''Credit card interest rates are outrageously high. With @RepAOC, we are introducing legislation to challenge the greed of Wall Street and protect consumers across America,'' posted Sen. Sanders on social media.
Credit card interest rates are outrageously high. With @RepAOC, we are introducing legislation to challenge the greed of Wall Street and protect consumers across America.
'-- Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 9, 2019
.@RepAOC "We should have a not-for-profit public option for basic banking services, and we should be piloting these projects through the @USPS" #postalbanking
'-- Take On Wall St (@TakeOnWallSt) May 9, 2019
''We should have a not-for-profit public option for basic banking services, and we should be piloting these projects through the US Postal Service or any other number of ways,'' added Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.
'No obligations': Polish nationalists march against Holocaust compensation law (PHOTOS) '-- RT World News
Sun, 12 May 2019 10:57
Hundreds of people marched to the US Embassy in Warsaw as part of a demonstration against US pressure on Poland to compensate Jews who lost property during the Holocaust. The rally has sparked accusations of anti-Semitism.
Nationalist and far-right backers gathered at Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's office on Saturday, where they rallied against US legislation S. 447, also known as the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act. It was signed into law last year and requires the State Department to monitor the restitution of property seized during the Holocaust in dozens of countries.
Morawiecki expressed support for the protesters, arguing that it was Poles who deserve to be compensated for Nazi crimes. The demonstrators, many holding signs and shouting slogans, then marched on the US Embassy in Warsaw.
People were seen carrying banners with slogans such as ''Poland has no obligations'' and shouting, ''This is Poland, not Polin,'' using the Hebrew word for Poland.
Opponents of a compensation law insist that it would inflict serious damage on the country's economy, and claim that Poland itself has never been adequately compensated by Germany for Nazi crimes. Far-right groups claim that Act 447 could force Poland to pay upwards of US$300 billion in compensation.
The demonstration has been painted by many as openly anti-Semitic, with some even describing the event as one of the largest anti-Jewish gatherings in recent memory.
Rafal Pankowski, the head of anti-hate group Never Again, told AP that the rally was ''probably the biggest openly anti-Jewish street demonstration in Europe in recent years.''
Also on Poland won't engage with Israeli politicians who 'insult' the country '' Deputy FM The US State Department's new envoy on anti-Semitism, Elan Carr, was recently in Warsaw, where he emphasized that the US only wants Poland to fulfil a non-binding commitment it made in 2009 to take action on compensating Holocaust victims. He also stated that Washington recognizes Poland as a victim of Nazi occupation.
Right-wing groups have seen a surge in popularity in Poland, which continues to lock horns with the European Union on issues ranging from environmental protection to judicial reform.
Also on 'How to spot a Jew': Front-page headline in Polish paper openly sold in parliament sparks fury Like this story? Share it with a friend!
Text - S.447 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act of 2017 | | Library of Congress
Sun, 12 May 2019 10:59
Text: S.447 '-- 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text) There are 6 versions: TXTPDFShown Here: Public Law No: 115-171 (05/09/2018) [115th Congress Public Law 171][From the U.S. Government Publishing Office][[Page 132 STAT. 1288]]Public Law 115-171115th Congress                                 An Act  To require reporting on acts of certain foreign countries on Holocaust     era assets and related issues. <<NOTE: May 9, 2018 -  [S. 447]>>     Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act of 2017.>> SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.    This Act may be cited as the ``Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act of 2017''.SEC. 2. REPORT ON HOLOCAUST ERA ASSETS AND RELATED ISSUES.    (a) Definitions.--In this section:            (1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term         ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--                    (A) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the                 Senate;                    (B) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;                    (C) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of                 Representatives; and                    (D) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of                 Representatives.            (2) Covered countries.--The term ``covered countries'' means         participants in the 2009 Holocaust Era Assets Conference that         are determined by the Secretary of State, or the Secretary's         designee, in consultation with expert nongovernmental         organizations, to be countries of particular concern relative to         the issues listed in subsection (b).            (3) Wrongfully seized or transferred.--The term ``wrongfully         seized or transferred'' includes confiscations, expropriations,         nationalizations, forced sales or transfers, and sales or         transfers under duress during the Holocaust era or the period of         Communist rule of a covered country.    (b) Report.--Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees that assesses and describes the nature and extent of national laws and enforceable policies of covered countries regarding the identification and the return of or restitution for wrongfully seized or transferred Holocaust era assets consistent with, and evaluated with respect to, the goals and objectives of the 2009 Holocaust Era Assets Conference, including--            (1) the return to the rightful owner of any property,         including religious or communal property, that was wrongfully         seized or transferred;            (2) if return of any property described in paragraph (1) is         no longer possible, the provision of comparable substitute[[Page 132 STAT. 1289]]        property or the payment of equitable compensation to the         rightful owner in accordance with principles of justice and         through an expeditious claims-driven administrative process that         is just, transparent, and fair;            (3) in the case of heirless property, the provision of         property or compensation to assist needy Holocaust survivors, to         support Holocaust education, and for other purposes;            (4) the extent to which such laws and policies are         implemented and enforced in practice, including through any         applicable administrative or judicial processes; and            (5) to the extent practicable, the mechanism for and an         overview of progress toward the resolution of claims for United         States citizen Holocaust survivors and United States citizen         family members of Holocaust victims.    (c) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that after the submission of the report described in subsection (b), the Secretary of State should continue to report to Congress on Holocaust era assets and related issues in a manner that is consistent with the manner in which the Department of State reported on such matters before the date of the enactment of the Act.    Approved May 9, 2018.LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 447:---------------------------------------------------------------------------CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:                                                        Vol. 163 (2017):                                    Dec. 12, considered and passed                                         Senate.                                                        Vol. 164 (2018):                                    Apr. 24, considered and passed                                         House.                                  <all>
How A US-China Trade War Would Impact Bitcoin | BeInCrypto
Sat, 11 May 2019 05:51
Tensions over the past week between the United States and China have continued to escalate. President Trump informed reporters that the trade agreements were moving too slowly, and steps would be taken in the form of a trade war '-- including a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion of imported goods.
Needless to say, Trump's announcement turned markets negative. The potential of a trade war between the world's two largest economies could spell market disaster. Equities markets responded quickly, losing several percents in inter-day trading.
Escalation DevastationTrump's international policies have come under some criticism. Many have suggested that his escalation of international tensions has not produced the correct levels of international cooperation. Others, though, see the escalation as an appropriate step toward balancing the trade deficit with China.
Regardless, the escalation will likely have a serious impact on markets. While the US equities market remains relatively strong, both Europe and China face serious consequences due to already-weakening positions. Morgan Stanley's head of U.S. public policy strategy, Michael Zezas said:
''While we expect a re-escalation would be temporary, as market weakness would help bring both sides back together, any escalation inherently augments uncertainty and further undercuts risk markets. Negative surprises like a potential re-escalation of trade tensions can have a greater price impact than fundamentals might dictate.''
Fed to the Rescue?Should the trade war escalate, the economic fallout could be substantial. This sort of pull-back would require a response from the Federal Reserve (Fed). The situation would mandate a drop in interest rates to protect the hoped-for economic 'soft landing'. According to DataTrek co-founder Nick Colas:
''With US equity volatility looking to rise this week, markets will inevitably back into an ever-stronger view that Fed policy will have to shift. On the plus side, that should limit daily slides in stock prices. On the downside, it paints the Fed into an ever-tighter corner. And it will force equity investors to have higher conviction that a rate cut is coming than the central bank itself has just now.''
Though the Fed's response could provide some limited support, the variance between fundamentals and market slide could set off a chain reaction.
If fundamentals are strong, a decrease in borrowing rates could produce substantial inflationary pressure. If the trade war suddenly halts, and fundamentals are weak, the market could drop off rapidly. Engineering a rescue would be tough.
Bitcoin FTW?Trump's threats places the Fed in a tight corner. This could actually drive Bitcoin prices higher because of the decentralization that protects Bitcoin from political intrigue.
Additionally, risks to the wider economy could put Bitcoin in a perfect position for growth. As equities markets decline, store of value (SoV) assets like Bitcoin provide safe haven protection for investors.
Already, uncertainty in the economy has driven the price of Bitcoin (BTC) over $6,000. Should greater uncertainty enter markets, there could be a substantial upside. Either way, the trade war with China could be just the medicine Bitcoin needs.
Do you think US-China relations will spark upside potential for Bitcoin, or will it follow the wider market back down? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Donald Trump is a business 'killer' who 'never plays by the rules', say Chinese exporters after tariff threat | South China Morning Post
Sun, 12 May 2019 10:54
Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He (third left) is still expected to be part of China's delegation set to arrive in Washington on Thursday for talks. Photo: EPA
US$200 billion of Chinese imports into the United States set to be subject to new 25 per cent tariffs from FridayChinese Vice-Premier Liu He still expected to be part of the delegation set to arrive in Washington on Thursday for talksTopic | China economy
He Huifeng
Published: 12:23pm, 7 May, 2019
Updated: 9:25am, 8 May, 2019
Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He (third left) is still expected to be part of China's delegation set to arrive in Washington on Thursday for talks. Photo: EPA
Green New Deal
Snowfall Records Set in Duluth |
Sun, 12 May 2019 12:40
According to the National Weather Service in Duluth, several records were broken on May 8th and 9th. The most snowfall received in the month of May was 8.1" in 1954. As of 8AM on May 9th, we received 10.6 inches at the National Weather Service. Record one - broken.
The ten inches of heavy snow fell over two days. Thus leading to breaking the records for daily snowfall.
The daily snowfall record set on May 8, 1924 was 5 inches. Duluth received 8.3 inches on Wednesday. Record two - broken.
The previous record for daily snowfall on May 9th was set in 1990. Duluth received a whopping .2" of snow. At 7:00 AM, the NWS measured 2.3 inches of the white stuff and it was still snowing. Record three - broken.
Even though breaking a record could be a good thing, the best news of the day is that this snow will not stay around very long. It's just a reminder that we live in the Northland, and we should be prepared for anything.
More details: National Weather Service
Updated: May 09, 2019 06:22 PMCreated: May 09, 2019 10:03 AM
Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved
Climate change: Scientists test radical ways to fix Earth's climate - BBC News
Sun, 12 May 2019 15:13
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Just cutting carbon emissions will not be enough to prevent damaging climate change, scientists warn Scientists in Cambridge plan to set up a research centre to develop new ways to repair the Earth's climate.
It will investigate radical approaches such as refreezing the Earth's poles and removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
The centre is being created because of fears that current approaches will not on their own stop dangerous and irreversible damage to the planet.
The initiative is the first of its kind in the world and could lead to dramatic reductions in carbon emissions.
The initiative is co-ordinated by the government's former chief scientific adviser, Prof Sir David King.
"What we do over the next 10 years will determine the future of humanity for the next 10,000 years. There is no major centre in the world that would be focused on this one big issue," he told BBC News.
Some of the approaches described by Sir David are often known collectively as geoengineering.
What we do over the next 10 years will determine the future of humanity for the next 10,000 years.The Centre for Climate Repair is part of Cambridge university's Carbon Neutral Futures Initiative, led by Dr Emily Shuckburgh.
She, said the initiative's mission would be to "solve the climate problem".
"It has to be. And we can't fail on it," she said.
It will bring together scientists and engineers with social scientists.
"This really is one of the most important challenges of our time, and we know we need to be responding to it with all our efforts," Dr Shuckburgh told BBC News.
Refreezing the polesOne of the most promising ideas for refreezing the poles is to "brighten" the clouds above them.
The idea is to pump seawater up to tall masts on uncrewed ships through very fine nozzles.
This produces tiny particles of salt which are injected into the clouds, which makes them more widespread and reflective, and so cool the areas below them.
Recycling CO2Another new approach is a variant of an idea called carbon capture and storage (CCS).
CCS involves collecting carbon dioxide emissions from coal or gas fired power stations or steel plants and storing it underground.
Prof Peter Styring, of the University of Sheffield, is developing a carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) pilot scheme with Tata Steel in Port Talbot in South Wales which effectively recycles CO2.
The scheme involves setting up a plant on-site which converts the firm's carbon emissions into fuel using the plant's waste heat, according to Prof Styring.
"We have a source of hydrogen, we have a source of carbon dioxide, we have a source of heat and we have a source of renewable electricity from the plant," he told BBC News.
"We're going to harness all those and we're going to make synthetic fuels."
Ocean greeningOther ideas the centre would explore include greening the oceans so they can take up more CO2.
Such schemes involve fertilising the sea with iron salts which promote the growth of plankton.
Previous experiments have shown that they don't take up sufficient CO2 to make the scheme worthwhile and might disrupt the ecosystem.
But according to Prof Callum Roberts of York University, approaches that are currently thought beyond the pale now have to be considered and, if possible, made to work.
This is because the alternative of damaging and potentially irreversible climate change is considered beyond the pale.
"Early in my career, people threw their hands up in horror at suggestions of more interventionist solutions to fix coral reefs," Prof Roberts said.
"Now they are looking in desperation at an ecosystem that will be gone at the end of the century and now all options are on the table".
The options include genetically engineering heat-resistant coral or dumping chemicals into the sea to make the sea less acidic.
"At the moment, I happen to think that harnessing nature to mitigate climate change is a better way to go. But I do see the legitimacy of exploring [more radical] options as a means of steering us towards a better future," Prof Roberts said.
Thinking the unthinkableSuch ideas have many potential downsides and may prove to be unfeasible.
But Peter Wadhams, a professor of ocean physics at Cambridge University, said that they should be properly assessed to see if the downsides can be overcome, because he believes that reduction of CO2 emissions on its own won't be enough.
"If we reduce our emissions all we are doing is making the global climate warmer a bit more slowly. That is no good because it's already too warm and we have already got too much CO2 in the atmosphere," Prof Wadhams said.
"So climate repair can actually take it out of the atmosphere. We can get the level down below what it is now and actually cool the climate bringing it back to what it was before global warming," he added.
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New satellite data confirm real world temperature cooler than climate models | CFACT
Sun, 12 May 2019 13:39
Newly published data gathered by NASA's AIRS satellite confirm the Earth is warming more slowly than has been forecast by climate activists and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Data gathered from 2003 through 2017 confirm temperatures remained essentially flat from 2003 through 2015, finally rising briefly as a strong El Nino formed in 2015 and lasted into 2016 ( Even with El Nino adding an illusory warming spike at the end of the period, temperatures still rose just over 0.2 degrees during the 15-year period. That pace works out to less than 1.5 degrees of warming per century.
IPCC initial forecasts called for 0.3 degrees Celsius of warming per decade, while skeptic forecasts have tended to hover around 0.1 degrees. As temperatures warmed more slowly than IPCC predicted, IPCC reduced its forecasts to meet skeptics in the middle, moving to a predicted 0.2 degrees warming per decade. Even so, the newly published data indicate IPCC continues to forecast more warming than real-world data indicate.
Last week NASA bureaucrats presented the AIRS satellite data in a paper published by Environmental Research Letters ( One of the paper's co-authors, Gavin Schmidt, is a vocal climate alarmist who oversees the NASA's Goddard Institute, which publishes controversially adjusted temperature data called the GISTEMP temperature series. Rather than frankly acknowledging the very modest warming revealed by the AIRS data, Schmidt and colleagues attempted to twist the data's meaning.
'' We may actually have been underestimating how much warmer [the Arctic's] been getting,'' said Gavin Schmidt, as quoted in the Washington Post ( ).
That may or may not be so, but the data clearly show the Earth as a whole is warming more slowly than IPCC projected, and much more slowly than climate extremists predicted.
Washington Post resident climate alarmist Chris Mooney nevertheless took Schmidt's cue and further embellished Schmidt's misinformation ( ).
''If anything, the researchers found, the pace of climate change could be somewhat more severe than previously acknowledged, at least in the fastest warming part of the world '-- its highest latitudes,'' wrote Mooney.
You read that right, climate activists assert that essentially flat temperatures during a 14-year period prove global warming may worse than previously thought. Is there anything that doesn't prove global warming is 'worse than we previously thought'?
Milankovitch cycles - Wikipedia
Sun, 12 May 2019 13:56
Global climate cycles caused by periodic and cyclical changes in the orbital movements of the earth
Past and future Milankovitch cycles.
VSOP allows prediction of past and future orbital parameters with great accuracy.
'¤The graphic shows variations in these five orbital elements:
Obliquity (axial tilt) (ε). Eccentricity (e). Longitude of perihelion (sin(ϖ) ). Precession index (e sin(ϖ) ), which together with obliquity, controls the seasonal cycle of insolation.
[1] Calculated daily-averaged insolation at the top of the atmosphere, ( Q¯day{\displaystyle {\overline {Q}}^{\mathrm {day} }} ), on the day of the summer solstice at 65° N latitude.'¤ Data from cores of ocean sediment and Antarctic ice are two distinct proxies for global sea levels and temperatures of the past:
Benthic forams Vostok ice core'¤The vertical gray line shows current conditions (at year 2000 A.D.)
Milankovitch cycles describe the collective effects of changes in the Earth's movements on its climate over thousands of years. The term is named for Serbian geophysicist and astronomer Milutin Milanković. In the 1920s, he hypothesized that variations in eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession of the Earth's orbit resulted in cyclical variation in the solar radiation reaching the Earth, and that this orbital forcing strongly influenced climatic patterns on Earth.
Similar astronomical hypotheses had been advanced in the 19th century by Joseph Adhemar, James Croll and others, but verification was difficult because there was no reliably dated evidence, and because it was unclear which periods were important.
Now, materials on Earth that have been unchanged for millennia (obtained via ice, rock, and deep ocean cores) are being studied to indicate the history of Earth's climate. Though they are consistent with the Milankovitch hypothesis, there are still several observations that the hypothesis does not explain.
Earth's movements [ edit ] The Earth's rotation around its axis, and revolution around the Sun, evolve over time due to gravitational interactions with other bodies in the solar system. The variations are complex, but a few cycles are dominant.[2]
Circular orbit, no eccentricity
Orbit with 0.5 eccentricity, exaggerated for illustration; Earth's orbit is only slightly eccentric
The Earth's orbit varies between nearly circular and mildly elliptical (its eccentricity varies). When the orbit is more elongated, there is more variation in the distance between the Earth and the Sun, and in the amount of solar radiation, at different times in the year. In addition, the rotational tilt of the Earth (its obliquity) changes slightly. A greater tilt makes the seasons more extreme. Finally, the direction in the fixed stars pointed to by the Earth's axis changes (axial precession), while the Earth's elliptical orbit around the Sun rotates (apsidal precession). The combined effect is that proximity to the Sun occurs during different astronomical seasons.
Milankovitch studied changes in these movements of the Earth, which alter the amount and location of solar radiation reaching the Earth. This is known as solar forcing (an example of radiative forcing). Milankovitch emphasized the changes experienced at 65° north due to the great amount of land at that latitude. Land masses change temperature more quickly than oceans, because of the mixing of surface and deep water and the fact that soil has a lower volumetric heat capacity than water.
Orbital shape (eccentricity) [ edit ] The Earth's orbit approximates an ellipse. Eccentricity measures the departure of this ellipse from circularity. The shape of the Earth's orbit varies between nearly circular (with the lowest eccentricity of 0.000055) and mildly elliptical (highest eccentricity of 0.0679)[3] Its geometric or logarithmic mean is 0.0019. The major component of these variations occurs with a period of 413,000 years (eccentricity variation of ±0.012). Other components have 95,000-year and 125,000-year cycles (with a beat period of 400,000 years). They loosely combine into a 100,000-year cycle (variation of ''0.03 to +0.02). The present eccentricity is 0.017 and decreasing.
Eccentricity varies primarily due to the gravitational pull of Jupiter and Saturn. However, the semi-major axis of the orbital ellipse remains unchanged; according to perturbation theory, which computes the evolution of the orbit, the semi-major axis is invariant. The orbital period (the length of a sidereal year) is also invariant, because according to Kepler's third law, it is determined by the semi-major axis.
Effect on temperature [ edit ] The semi-major axis is a constant. Therefore, when Earth's orbit becomes more eccentric, the semi-minor axis shortens. This increases the magnitude of seasonal changes.[4]
Season durations[5]YearNorthernHemisphereSouthernHemisphereDate: GMTSeasonduration2005Winter solsticeSummer solstice21 December 2005 18:3588.99 days2006Spring equinoxAutumn equinox20 March 2006 18:2692.75 days2006Summer solsticeWinter solstice21 June 2006 12:2693.65 days2006Autumn equinoxSpring equinox23 September 2006 4:0389.85 days2006Winter solsticeSummer solstice22 December 2006 0:2288.99 days2007Spring equinoxAutumn equinox21 March 2007 0:0792.75 days2007Summer solsticeWinter solstice21 June 2007 18:0693.66 days2007Autumn equinoxSpring equinox23 September 2007 9:5189.85 days2007Winter solsticeSummer solstice22 December 2007 06:08 The relative increase in solar irradiation at closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) compared to the irradiation at the furthest distance (aphelion) is slightly larger than four times the eccentricity. For Earth's current orbital eccentricity, incoming solar radiation varies by about 6.8%, while the distance from the Sun currently varies by only 3.4% (5.1 million km). Perihelion presently occurs around January 3, while aphelion is around July 4. When the orbit is at its most eccentric, the amount of solar radiation at perihelion will be about 23% more than at aphelion. However, the Earth's eccentricity is always so small that the variation in solar irradiation is a minor factor in seasonal climate variation, compared to axial tilt and even compared to the relative ease of heating the larger land masses of the northern hemisphere.
Effect on lengths of seasons [ edit ] The seasons are quadrants of the Earth's orbit, marked by the two solstices and the two equinoxes. Kepler's second law states that a body in orbit traces equal areas over equal times; its orbital velocity is highest around perihelion and lowest around aphelion. The Earth spends less time near perihelion and more time near aphelion. This means that the lengths of the seasons vary.
Perihelion currently occurs around January 3, so the Earth's greater velocity shortens winter and autumn in the northern hemisphere. Summer in the northern hemisphere is 4.66 days longer than winter, and spring is 2.9 days longer than autumn.
Greater eccentricity increases the variation in the Earth's orbital velocity. However, currently, the Earth's orbit is becoming less eccentric (more nearly circular). This will make the seasons more similar in length.
22.1''24.5° range of Earth's obliquity
Axial tilt (obliquity) [ edit ] The angle of the Earth's axial tilt with respect to the orbital plane (the obliquity of the ecliptic) varies between 22.1° and 24.5°, over a cycle of about 41,000 years. The current tilt is 23.44°, roughly halfway between its extreme values. The tilt last reached its maximum in 8,700 BCE. It is now in the decreasing phase of its cycle, and will reach its minimum around the year 11,800 CE.
Increased tilt increases the amplitude of the seasonal cycle in insolation, providing more solar radiation in each hemisphere's summer and less in winter. However, these effects are not uniform everywhere on the Earth's surface. Increased tilt increases the total annual solar radiation at higher latitudes, and decreases the total closer to the equator.
The current trend of decreasing tilt, by itself, will promote milder seasons (warmer winters and colder summers), as well as an overall cooling trend. Because most of the planet's snow and ice lies at high latitude, decreasing tilt may encourage the onset of an ice age for two reasons: There is less overall summer insolation, and also less insolation at higher latitudes, which melts less of the previous winter's snow and ice.
Axial precession [ edit ] Axial precession is the trend in the direction of the Earth's axis of rotation relative to the fixed stars, with a period of 25,771.5 years. This motion means that eventually Polaris will no longer be the north pole star. It is caused by the tidal forces exerted by the Sun and the Moon on the solid Earth; both contribute roughly equally to this effect.
Planets orbiting the Sun follow elliptical (oval) orbits that rotate gradually over time (apsidal precession). The eccentricity of this ellipse, as well as the rate of precession, is exaggerated for visualization.
Currently, perihelion occurs during the southern hemisphere's summer. This means that solar radiation due to (1) axial tilt inclining the southern hemisphere toward the Sun and (2) the Earth's proximity to the Sun, both reach maximum during the summer and both reach minimum during the winter. Their effects on heating are additive, which means that seasonal variation in irradiation of the southern hemisphere is more extreme. In the northern hemisphere, these two factors reach maximum at opposite times of the year: The north is tilted toward the Sun when the Earth is furthest from the Sun. The two effects work in opposite directions, resulting in less extreme variations in insolation.
In about 13,000 years, the north pole will be tilted toward the Sun when the Earth is at perihelion. Axial tilt and orbital eccentricity will both contribute their maximum increase in solar radiation during the northern hemisphere's summer. Axial precession will promote more extreme variation in irradiation of the northern hemisphere and less extreme variation in the south.
When the Earth's axis is aligned such that aphelion and perihelion occur near the equinoxes, axial tilt will not be aligned with or against eccentricity.
Apsidal precession [ edit ] In addition, the orbital ellipse itself precesses in space, in an irregular fashion, completing a full cycle every 112,000 years relative to the fixed stars.[6] Apsidal precession occurs in the plane of the ecliptic and alters the orientation of the Earth's orbit relative to the ecliptic. This happens primarily as a result of interactions with Jupiter and Saturn. Smaller contributions are also made by the sun's oblateness and by the effects of general relativity that are well known for Mercury.
Apsidal precession combines with the 25,771.5-year cycle of axial precession (see above) to vary the position in the year that the Earth reaches perihelion. Apsidal precession shortens this period to 23,000 years on average (varying between 20,800 and 29,000 years).[6]
As the orientation of Earth's orbit changes, each season will gradually start earlier in the year. Precession means the Earth's nonuniform motion (see above) will affect different seasons. Winter, for instance, will be in a different section of the orbit. When the Earth's apsides are aligned with the equinoxes, the length of spring and summer combined will equal that of autumn and winter. When they are aligned with the solstices, the difference in the length of these seasons will be greatest.
Orbital inclination [ edit ] The inclination of Earth's orbit drifts up and down relative to its present orbit. This three-dimensional movement is known as "precession of the ecliptic" or "planetary precession". Earth's current inclination relative to the invariable plane (the plane that represents the angular momentum of the Solar System, approximately the orbital plane of Jupiter) is 1.57°.
Milankovitch did not study apsidal precession. It was discovered more recently and measured, relative to Earth's orbit, to have a period of about 70,000 years. However, when measured independently of Earth's orbit, but relative to the invariable plane, precession has a period of about 100,000 years. This period is very similar to the 100,000-year eccentricity period. Both periods closely match the 100,000-year pattern of glacial events.[7]
Problems [ edit ] The nature of sediments can vary in a cyclic fashion, and these cycles can be displayed in the sedimentary record. Here, cycles can be observed in the colouration and resistance of different strata.
Artifacts taken from the Earth have been studied to infer the cycles of past climate. A study of the chronology of Antarctic ice cores using oxygen-nitrogen ratios in air bubbles trapped in the ice, which appear to respond directly to the local insolation, concluded that the climatic response documented in the ice cores was driven by northern hemisphere insolation as proposed by the Milankovitch hypothesis.[8] Analysis of deep-ocean cores, analysis of lake depths,[9][10] and a seminal paper by Hays, Imbrie, and Shackleton[11] provide additional validation through physical artifacts. Climate records contained in a 1,700 ft (520 m) core of rock drilled in Arizona show a pattern synchronized with Earth's eccentricity, and cores drilled in New England match it, going back 215 million years.[12]
These studies fit so well with the orbital periods that they supported Milankovitch's hypothesis that variations in the Earth's orbit influence climate. However, the fit was not perfect, and problems remained reconciling hypothesis with observation.[citation needed ]
100,000-year problem [ edit ] Of all the orbital cycles, Milankovitch believed that obliquity had the greatest effect on climate, and that it did so by varying the summer insolation in northern high latitudes. Therefore, he deduced a 41,000-year period for ice ages.[13][14] However, subsequent research[11][15][16] has shown that ice age cycles of the Quaternary glaciation over the last million years have been at a 100,000-year period, which matches the eccentricity cycle.
Various explanations for this discrepancy have been proposed, including frequency modulation[17] or various feedbacks (from carbon dioxide, cosmic rays, or from ice sheet dynamics).Some models can reproduce the 100,000-year cycles as a result of non-linear interactions between small changes in the Earth's orbit and internal oscillations of the climate system.[18][19]
Jung-Eun Lee of Brown University proposes that precession changes the amount of energy that Earth absorbs, because the southern hemisphere's greater ability to grow sea ice reflects more energy away from Earth. Moreover, Lee says, "Precession only matters when eccentricity is large. That's why we see a stronger 100,000-year pace than a 21,000-year pace."[20][21]
Some have argued that the length of the climate record is insufficient to establish a statistically significant relationship between climate and eccentricity variations.[22]
Transition problem [ edit ] Variations of cycle times, curves determined from ocean sediments
In fact, from 1''3 million years ago, climate cycles did match the 41,000-year cycle in obliquity. After 1 million years ago, the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT) occurred with switch to the 100,000-year cycle matching eccentricity. The transition problem refers to the need to explain what changed 1 million years ago.[23] The MPT can now be reproduced in numerical simulations that include a decreasing trend in carbon dioxide and glacially induced removal of regolith, as explained in more detail in the article Mid-Pleistocene Transition.[24]
Unsplit peak problem [ edit ] Even the well-dated climate records of the last million years do not exactly match the shape of the eccentricity curve. Eccentricity has component cycles of 95,000 and 125,000 years. However, some researchers say the records do not show these peaks, but only show a single cycle of 100,000 years.[25]
Stage 5 problem [ edit ] Deep-sea core samples show that the interglacial interval known as marine isotope stage 5 began 130,000 years ago. This is 10,000 years before the solar forcing that the Milankovitch hypothesis predicts. (This is also known as the causality problem, because the effect precedes the putative cause.)[26]
Effect exceeds cause [ edit ] Artifacts show that the variation in Earth's climate is much more extreme than the variation in the intensity of solar radiation calculated as the Earth's orbit evolves. If orbital forcing causes climate change, science needs to explain why the observed effect is amplified compared to the theoretical effect.
Some climate systems exhibit amplification (positive feedback) and damping responses (negative feedback). An example of amplification would be if, with the land masses around 65° north covered in year-round ice, solar energy were reflected away. Amplification would mean that an ice age induces changes that impede orbital forcing from ending the ice age.
The Earth's current orbital inclination is 1.57° (see above). Earth presently moves through the invariable plane around January 9 and July 9. At these times, there is an increase in meteors and noctilucent clouds. If this is because there is a disk of dust and debris in the invariable plane, then when the Earth's orbital inclination is near 0° and it is orbiting through this dust, materials could be accreted into the atmosphere. This process could explain the narrowness of the 100,000-year climate cycle.[27][28]
Present and future conditions [ edit ] Past and future of daily average insolation at top of the atmosphere on the day of the summer solstice, at 65 N latitude. The green curve is with eccentricity
e hypothetically set to 0. The red curve uses the actual (predicted) value of
e. Blue dot is current conditions, at 2 ky A.D.
Since orbital variations are predictable,[29] any model that relates orbital variations to climate can be run forward to predict future climate, with two caveats: the mechanism by which orbital forcing influences climate is not definitive; and non-orbital effects can be important (for example, Human impact on the environment principally increases in greenhouse gases result in a warmer climate[30][31][32]).
An often-cited 1980 orbital model by Imbrie predicted "the long-term cooling trend that began some 6,000 years ago will continue for the next 23,000 years."[33] More recent work suggests that orbital variations should gradually increase 65° N summer insolation over the next 25,000 years.[34] Earth's orbit will become less eccentric for about the next 100,000 years, so changes in this insolation will be dominated by changes in obliquity, and should not decline enough to permit a new glacial period in the next 50,000 years.[35][36]
Effects beyond Earth [ edit ] Other bodies in the Solar System undergo orbital fluctuations like the Milankovitch cycles. Any geological effects would not be as pronounced as climate change on the Earth, but might cause the movement of elements in the solid state:
Mars [ edit ] Mars has no moon large enough to stabilize its obliquity, which has varied from 10 to 70 degrees. This would explain recent observations of its surface compared to evidence of different conditions in its past, such as the extent of its polar caps.[37][38]
Outer planets [ edit ] Saturn's moon Titan has a cycle of approximately 60,000 years that could change the location of the methane lakes.[39][40] Neptune's moon Triton has a variation similar to Titan's, which could cause its solid nitrogen deposits to migrate over long time scales.[41]
Exoplanets [ edit ] Scientists using computer models to study extreme axial tilts have concluded that high obliquity would cause climate extremes that would threaten Earth-like life. They noted that high obliquity would not likely sterilize a planet completely, but would make it harder for warm-blooded, land-based life to thrive.[42] Although the obliquity they studied is more extreme than Earth ever experiences, there are scenarios 1.5 to 4.5 billion years from now, as the Moon's stabilizing effect lessens, where obliquity could leave its current range and the poles could eventually point almost directly at the Sun.[43]
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Bibcode:1986Sci...234..842O. doi:10.1126/science.234.4778.842. JSTOR 1698087. PMID 17758107. ^ a b Hays, J. D.; Imbrie, J.; Shackleton, N. J. (1976). "Variations in the Earth's Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages". Science. 194 (4270): 1121''32. Bibcode:1976Sci...194.1121H. doi:10.1126/science.194.4270.1121. PMID 17790893. ^ Nicholas Bakalar (2018-05-21). "Every 202,500 Years, Earth Wanders in a New Direction". New York Times . Retrieved 2018-05-25 . ^ Milankovitch, Milutin (1998) [1941]. Canon of Insolation and the Ice Age Problem. Belgrade: Zavod za Udz̆benike i Nastavna Sredstva. ISBN 978-86-17-06619-0. ; see also "Astronomical Theory of Climate Change". ^ Imbrie, John; Imbrie, Katherine P. (1986). Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery. Harvard University Press. p. 158. ISBN 978-0-674-44075-3. ^ Shackleton, N. J.; Berger, A.; Peltier, W. R. (3 November 2011). "An alternative astronomical calibration of the lower Pleistocene timescale based on ODP Site 677". Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences. 81 (4): 251''261. doi:10.1017/S0263593300020782. ^ Abe-Ouchi A, Saito F, Kawamura K, Raymo ME, Okuno J, Takahashi K, Blatter H (August 2013). "Insolation-driven 100,000-year glacial cycles and hysteresis of ice-sheet volume". Nature. 500 (7461): 190''3. Bibcode:2013Natur.500..190A. doi:10.1038/nature12374. PMID 23925242. ^ Rial, J.A. (October 2003), "Earth's orbital Eccentricity and the rhythm of the Pleistocene ice ages: the concealed pacemaker" (PDF) , Global and Planetary Change, 41 (2): 81''93, Bibcode:2004GPC....41...81R, doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2003.10.003, archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-20 ^ Ghil, Michael (1994). "Cryothermodynamics: the chaotic dynamics of paleoclimate". Physica D. 77 (1''3): 130''159. Bibcode:1994PhyD...77..130G. doi:10.1016/0167-2789(94)90131-7. ^ Gildor H, Tziperman E (2000). "Sea ice as the glacial cycles' climate switch: Role of seasonal and orbital forcing". Paleoceanography. 15 (6): 605''615. Bibcode:2000PalOc..15..605G. doi:10.1029/1999PA000461. ^ Kevin Stacey (2017-01-26). "Earth's orbital variations and sea ice synch glacial periods". ^ Lee, Jung-Eun; Shen, Aaron; Fox-Kemper, Baylor; Ming, Yi (1 January 2017). "Hemispheric sea ice distribution sets the glacial tempo". Geophys. Res. Lett. 44 (2): 2016GL071307. Bibcode:2017GeoRL..44.1008L. doi:10.1002/2016GL071307. ^ Wunsch, Carl (2004). "Quantitative estimate of the Milankovitch-forced contribution to observed Quaternary climate change". Quaternary Science Reviews. 23 (9''10): 1001''12. Bibcode:2004QSRv...23.1001W. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2004.02.014. ^ Zachos JC, Shackleton NJ, Revenaugh JS, P¤like H, Flower BP (April 2001). "Climate response to orbital forcing across the Oligocene-Miocene boundary". Science. 292 (5515): 27''48. Bibcode:2001Sci...292..274Z. doi:10.1126/science.1058288. PMID 11303100. ^ "Mid-Pleistocene transition in glacial cycles explained by declining CO2 and regolith removal | Science Advances". . Retrieved 2019-04-05 . ^ "Nonlinear coupling between 100 ka periodicity of the paleoclimate records in loess and periodicities of precession and semi-precession" (PDF) . ProQuest. ^ Karner DB, Muller RA (June 2000). "PALEOCLIMATE: A Causality Problem for Milankovitch". Science. 288 (5474): 2143''4. doi:10.1126/science.288.5474.2143. PMID 17758906. ^ Muller, Richard A; MacDonald, Gordon J. F. (1997). "Glacial Cycles and Astronomical Forcing". Science. 277 (5323): 215''8. Bibcode:1997Sci...277..215M. doi:10.1126/science.277.5323.215. ^ "Origin of the 100 kyr Glacial Cycle: eccentricity or orbital inclination?". Richard A Muller . Retrieved March 2, 2005 . ^ F. Varadi; B. Runnegar; M. Ghil (2003). "Successive Refinements in Long-Term Integrations of Planetary Orbits" (PDF) . The Astrophysical Journal. 592 (1): 620''630. Bibcode:2003ApJ...592..620V. doi:10.1086/375560. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-11-28. ^ Harshit, H. P.; et al. (2009). "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling". Science. 325 (5945): 1236''1239. Bibcode:2009Sci...325.1236K. CiteSeerX . doi:10.1126/science.1173983. PMID 19729653. ^ "Arctic Warming Overtakes 2,000 Years of Natural Cooling". UCAR. September 3, 2009. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011 . Retrieved 19 May 2011 . ^ Bello, David (September 4, 2009). "Global Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling". Scientific American . Retrieved 19 May 2011 . ^ J Imbrie; J Z Imbrie (1980). "Modeling the Climatic Response to Orbital Variations". Science. 207 (4434): 943''953. Bibcode:1980Sci...207..943I. doi:10.1126/science.207.4434.943. PMID 17830447. ^ "NOAA Paleoclimatology Program '' Orbital Variations and Milankovitch Theory". ^ Berger A, Loutre MF (2002). "Climate: An exceptionally long interglacial ahead?". Science. 297 (5585): 1287''8. doi:10.1126/science.1076120. PMID 12193773. ^ A. Ganopolski, R. Winkelmann & H. J. Schellnhuber (2016). "Critical insolation''CO2 relation for diagnosing past and future glacial inception". Nature. 529 (7585): 200''203. Bibcode:2016Natur.529..200G. doi:10.1038/nature16494. PMID 26762457. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ Schorghofer, Norbert (2008). "Temperature response of Mars to Milankovitch cycles". Geophysical Research Letters. 35 (18): L18201. Bibcode:2008GeoRL..3518201S. doi:10.1029/2008GL034954. ^ "3.5 Modeling Milankovitch cycles on Mars (2010 '' 90; Annual Symp Planet Atmos)". Confex. ^ "Hydrocarbon lakes on Titan '' Alex Hayes (SETI Talks)". YouTube. ^ Nicholos Wethington (30 November 2009). "Lake Asymmetry on Titan Explained". ^ "Sun Blamed for Warming of Earth and Other Worlds". ^ Williams, D.M., Pollard, P. (2002). "Earth-like worlds on eccentric orbits: excursions beyond the habitable zone" (PDF) . Inter. J. Astrobio. 1: 21''9. Bibcode:2002IJAsB...1...61W. doi:10.1017/s1473550402001064. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ Neron de Surgy, O.; Laskar, J. (February 1997), "On the long term evolution of the spin of the Earth", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 318: 975''989, Bibcode:1997A&A...318..975N Further reading [ edit ] The oldest reference for Milankovitch cycles is: Milankovitch, M. (1930). Mathematische Klimalehre und Astronomische Theorie der Klimaschwankungen. Handbuch der Klimatologie. 1 Teil A. von Gebr¼der Borntraeger. OCLC 490063906. Roe G (2006). "In defense of Milankovitch". Geophysical Research Letters. 33 (24): L24703. Bibcode:2006GeoRL..3324703R. doi:10.1029/2006GL027817. This shows that Milankovitch theory fits the data extremely well, over the past million years, provided that we consider derivatives.Kaufmann R. K.; Juselius K. (2016), "Testing competing forms of the Milankovitch hypothesis", Paleoceanography, 31 (2): 286''297, Bibcode:2016PalOc..31..286K, doi:10.1002/2014PA002767 .Edvardsson S, Karlsson KG, Engholm M (2002). "Accurate spin axes and solar system dynamics: Climatic variations for the Earth and Mars". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 384 (2): 689''701. Bibcode:2002A&A...384..689E. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20020029. This is the first work that investigated the derivative of the ice volume in relation to insolation (page 698).Zachos J, Pagani M, Sloan L, Thomas E, Billups K (2001). "Trends, Rhythms, and Aberrations in Global Climate 65 Ma to Present". Science. 292 (5517): 686''693. Bibcode:2001Sci...292..686Z. doi:10.1126/science.1059412. PMID 11326091. This review article discusses cycles and great-scale changes in the global climate during the Cenozoic Era.P¤like, H., R.D. Norris, J.O. Herrle, P.A. Wilson, H.K. Coxall, C.H. Lear, N.J. Shackleton, A.K. Tripati, and B.S. Wade (2006). "The Heartbeat of the Oligocene Climate System" (PDF) . Science. 314 (5807): 1894''8. Bibcode:2006Sci...314.1894P. doi:10.1126/science.1133822. PMID 17185595. A 13-million-year continuous record of Oligocene climate from the equatorial Pacific reveals a pronounced "heartbeat" in the global carbon cycle and periodicity of glaciations. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) External links [ edit ] Media related to Milankovitch cycles at Wikimedia Commons
Milankovitch cycles at Wikibooks
Ice Age '' Milankovitch Cycles '' National Geographic ChannelThe Milankovitch band, Internet Archive of American Geophysical Union lectureSome history of the adoption of the Milankovitch hypothesis (and an alternative)More detail on orbital obliquity also matching climate patterns"Milutin Milankovitch". On the Shoulders of Giants. 2000-03-24 . Retrieved January 15, 2010 . The Seasons"Climate Forcing Data". NOAA. National Centers for Environmental Information. Text: includes (calculated) data on orbital variations over the last 50 million years and for the coming 20 million years. The Orbital Simulations; by Varadi, Ghil and Runnegar (2003) provide another, slightly different series for orbital eccentricity, and also a series for orbital inclinationABC: Earth wobbles linked to extinctionsMilankovitch Cycles & Ice AgesMilankovitch cycles. Chris Colose. Skeptical Science 2011.Milankovitch cycles. Azimuth Project. 2012Ice ages have been linked to the Earth's wobbly orbit '' but when is the next one? Mark Maslin. The Conversation. 2016Ghosts of Climates Past. Science of Doom. 2014Campisano, C. J. (2012) Milankovitch Cycles, Paleoclimatic Change, and Hominin Evolution. Nature Education Knowledge 4(3):5Milankovitch Orbital Data Viewer
Ireland declares climate emergency: 'Things will deteriorate rapidly unless we move very swiftly' -
Sun, 12 May 2019 15:14
Richard Bruton said the world is facing a climate emergency (Michelle Devane/PA)Students take part in a "youth strike to act on climate change" demonstration in Nice, France, March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File PhotoStudents take part in a "youth strike to act on climate change" demonstration in Nice, France, March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File PhotoClimate change activists lock themselves at the gate of the Houses of Parliament during an Extinction Rebellion protest in London, Britain May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File PhotoIreland has become the second country in the world to declare a climate emergency.
The decision was made on Thursday evening after an amendment to a parliamentary climate action report was agreed by both the Government and the opposition parties.
It comes as EU leaders put action on climate change at the top of the agenda in the next five years.
Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton said climate change has been "rightly" described as the greatest challenge facing humanity.
"We're reaching a tipping point in respect of climate deterioration," he said.
"Things will deteriorate very rapidly unless we move very swiftly and the window of opportunity to do that is fast closing."
He added that urgency had been injected into the debate by the protests by school students calling for action from parliaments around the world.
"It is justified that a level of urgency be injected into this debate," he said.
"When we speak of an emergency people often think of something unexpected that can be resolved through a sustained effort for a relatively short time. This is not an emergency of that sort. This is a much more challenging emergency in that we must change our behaviour in profound ways and do so on a sustained basis."
Chairwoman of the Oireachtas Climate Change committee Hildegarde Naughton welcomed the cross-party support in recognising the need for urgency and declaring a climate and biodiversity emergency.
She urged the Government to fast track legislative changes.
In a tweet she wrote: "Good news at the end of the Dail motion today supporting the report of the Climate Action Committee, which I chair. We now have cross party support in declaring a climate and biodiversity emergency. Action now needed."
Fianna Fail's climate action spokesman Timmy Dooley, who moved the amendment, said: "Unless we cut emissions significantly by 2030, the consequences will be dire.
"Biodiversity loss is an existential threat that is fundamentally linked to the climate crisis and Ireland's response is similarly lacking," he added.
He maintained that if the Government implemented the recommendations made in the committee's report it would allow the country to get back on track and "bring an end to our laggardly response to climate change".
Sinn Fein's Brian Stanley also called for a climate emergency to be declared.
He said: "Climate action should not be viewed as a burden. We should see it as an opportunity to create a stronger, more sustainable economy for everyone. To do that, however, we have no option but to radically transform our society and economy."
Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin said young people realised that they will be the ones most affected by the "short-sightedness" of Government today.
"It is also essential that in declaring a climate emergency we commit to concrete, real and identifiable action rather than just uniting around vague concepts," she told the Dail.
"There is little value in all declaring a climate emergency without committing to doing anything about it."
Climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg, 16, who has led a movement of young people across Europe calling on leaders to take action, welcomed the declaration.
She tweeted: "Great news from Ireland!! Who is next?
"And remember: #ClimateEmergency means leaving fossil fuels in the ground."
Earlier this month the UK became the first country in the world to declare a climate emergency.
Press Association
Pig Ebola
Hong Kong to cull 6,000 pigs as first swine fever case... | Daily Mail Online
Sat, 11 May 2019 15:17
Hong Kong to cull 6,000 pigs as first swine fever case foundBy Afp
Published: 22:08 EDT, 10 May 2019 | Updated: 22:08 EDT, 10 May 2019
Pork is a staple of Chinese cuisine. Every day Hong Kong imports around 4,000 live pigs from China with only around 200 pigs coming from local farms in the crowded city
Hong Kong will cull 6,000 pigs after African swine fever was detected in an animal at a slaughterhouse close to the border with China, the first case of the disease in the densely populated financial hub.
"In order to minimise the risk of ASF virus spreading from the slaughterhouse, all pigs in Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse will be culled so that thorough cleansing and also disinfection could be conducted," Sophia Chan, Secretary of the city's Food and Health Department, said late Friday.
She added that the pig detected with African swine fever was imported from a farm in the southern mainland Chinese province of Guangdong.
Pork is a staple of Chinese cuisine. Every day Hong Kong imports around 4,000 live pigs from China with only around 200 pigs coming from local farms in the crowded city.
After African swine fever spread across more than half of China's provinces last year, Hong Kong imposed import bans from any Chinese farms where the virus were detected.
With some of the world´s most densely populated streets, Hong Kong remains on high alert to diseases. In 2003, some 300 people died during an outbreak of severe acute respiratory disease (SARS).
Chinese officials have said hundreds of thousands of pigs were culled in a bid to stop its spread -- an effort that has also seen restrictions placed on moving pigs from affected areas.
The virus is not dangerous to humans but is fatal to pigs and wild boar.
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Dog are People Too
Dog-friendly menus are taking over New York dining this spring
Sun, 12 May 2019 15:12
Photograph: Courtesy Jenna Murray/IGC Hospitality) The dog menu at The WilsonAt the new Bourke Street Bakery, the first-ever New York expansion of the beloved Sydney caf(C) by Paul Allam and Jessica Grynberg, baked goods include delicious sausage pastries, lemon curd tarts and PB & J croissants, alongside freshly-milled bread and an assortment of other favorites. Guests are already lining up outside the recently-opened NoMad spot, but their tote bags signal something beyond their strong Australian fan base. Illustrated with barking dogs, the new bakery's bag represents a growing trend in New York: not only do people love their dogs but they want them in their caf(C)s. New York will be getting not one'--but four'--menus created for dogs this Spring, in addition to the recent immersive dog pop-up and rooftop bar party with puppies.
But these new-fangled caf(C)s with menus made with dogs in mind are a bit different from the cat caf(C)s that first cropped up in New York a few years back (and, which, let's face it, were totally overhyped and a bit awkward). These aren't spots to pet random animals while you sip a cup of coffee. Rather, these are dining experiences specifically curated so you can bring your very own Air Bud along and treat them to same gourmand experience you're having.
Photograph: Courtesy Jenna Murray/IGC Hospitality
Last month Chelsea's all-day spot The Wilson debuted a dog menu, in addition to food catering to their owners. On the menu for dogs there's a whopping $42 steak with grilled vegetables, pan-roasted salmon ($28) and a grilled chicken breast ($16), each meant to be shared by a few pooches. Each month, proceeds from the dog menu go to a related charity. Until the end of May, proceeds will go to Canine Companions for Independence. "Why not include ALL of our friends when we dine out? My wife and I have a very sensitive English Bulldog named Stella. I cook the items on the menu for her at home and she loves them so it made sense to offer her 'favorites' at The Wilson," says Culinary Director Jeff Haskell.
Other more interesting dog-friendly concepts include a new ice cream shop coming to Bushwick called Ollie's Ice Cream + Stuff . Ollie's joins the growing number of spaces like Williamsburg's Lucky Dog or Do or Dive bar, allowing pets to come inside with their owners. But what makes Ollie's Ice Cream more special is the dessert spot will be the first-ever ice cream parlor in NYC making flavors dogs can actually eat, too. Ollie's will have about eight or more flavors provided through partnerships with other local ice cream makers such as Midnight Mint Chocolate Chip, Sea Salt Carmel and Nitro Cold Brew, many of which will be vegan-friendly. The dog-friendly flavors will be created by owner Eric Kyriakopoulos; most notably the ''Peanut Butter Pumpkin Butt" made with pumpkin pur (C) e, peanut butter and cashew yogurt. Kyriakopoulos is a longtime neighborhood bartender-turned-barktender. He and his partner, Isabel Klee (from The Dogist) are foster parents of dogs and have a rescue dog, Simon, with over 40K+ Instagram followers. An opening date has not yet been set.
Molly, Grounds & Hounds founder, Jordan Karcher's dog
On Saturday, May 18th Jonathan Adler's UWS Columbus Circle location will host its own Puppy Caf(C) pop-up. The event is a collaboration with Grounds & Hounds, who uses the sales of its fair trade coffee to support no-kill shelters. The even will celebrate "all things caffeinated and cuddly" with a complimentary coffee bar and discounts to the store which you can shop with your favorite canine. The first 15 pups in the door will receive a special treat from BarkBox and can be photographed by an Instagram dog influencer. Hearts & Bones Rescue will also bring doggos looking for forever homes.
Photograph: Courtesy JustFoodForDogs
Today, a new 1,350-square-foot "health and wellness kitchen" for dogs will open at Petco in Union Square, where you can treat your furry friend to gourmet fast-casual after you stop by the Dig Inn down the street for yourself. Supposedly the kitchen by JustFoodForDogs is the "first-of-its-kind" on the East Coast serving USDA-certified pet-friendly food from scratch with recipes like beef with russet potatoes, turkey and whole wheat macaroni, as well as venison with squash. The adjoining pantry will be stocked with make-at-home meals, grab-n-go snacks, as well as vitamins and supplements for dogs ( based on a 30lb pound dog, each day comes to about $3.70). All JustFoodForDogs meals are prepared in-house by veterinarians. The grand opening party on May 19th will coincide with Adoptapooloza.
We can't believe so many New Yorkers with crammed apartments and full-time jobs are able to have their own fluffy friends (kudos to you, we're jealous!). Still, we find it hard to believe that dogs are connoisseurs of cuisine enough to notice the difference between a nibble of a Trade Joe's cutlets and some of these dining offerings. Nevertheless, the conversation around dog-friendly menus comes at an interesting time as a restaurateur in New York is currently being sued for refusing a customer from bringing in a service dog. And, hopefully, these new dog dining destinations won't be as horrifying as the hyper-realistic dog-shaped ice creams that were at the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy. Would you take your dogs to these dining experiences?
Staff writer By Emma Orlow 32 Posts Combining her background in curatorial with her years in the food industry, Emma Orlow looks for stories about unconventional approaches to dining and the stories of the people behind them. Born and raised in New York, she's spent years covering the food, beverage, and design spaces. In addition to her work at Time Out, she's written for Eater, New York Magazine, Saveur, Vice MUNCHIES, Los Angeles Times, Architectural Digest, Edible Brooklyn, and more! Her words have been included on various school syllabi and panel discussions. Emma also makes art with food, putting on experiential shows throughout the city.
Emma has been with Time Out since 2019, and is the Associate Food & Drink Editor in New York. Reach Emma or connect with her on Instagram @emorlow.
Instagram will begin blocking hashtags that return anti-vaccination misinformation - The Verge
Fri, 10 May 2019 13:34
Instagram will begin hiding search results for hashtags that consistently return false information about vaccines, the company said today. Starting today, the company will effectively begin blocking access to hashtags that return misinformation designed to dissuade people from getting vaccinated. Instagram made the announcement at an event for press in San Francisco on Thursday.
''If the hashtag was #vaccines1234, if it contained a high proportion of known vaccine misinformation, we would block that hashtag entirely,'' said Karina Newton, Instagram's global head of public policy. (And no relation to the author of this post.)
''Known vaccine misinformation'' refers to misinformation that has been verified as false by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and similar organizations, the company said. Other posts that express anti-vaccine views but have not been confirmed as false could be allowed to stay up, the company said.
The news comes as Facebook has been under increasing pressure to remove anti-vaccine propaganda from its network of sites, where its recommendation algorithms have helped to create large audiences for the hoaxes. It has been two months since Facebook said it would crack down on anti-vaccination hoaxes, but journalists have continued to find them all over the company's platforms. Meanwhile, a measles outbreak in New York City has drawn new attention to the impact of anti-vaccine misinformation.
Instagram will review posts that are being removed under misinformation policies and use machine learning to understand which hashtags they are associated with, it said. If a hashtag has a ''high proportion'' of misinformation, it will be blocked. Instagram declined to specify the percentage, saying it could encourage people to try to game the system.
Instagram also plans to introduce a pop-up message for people searching for vaccine information linking them to high-quality information about the subject. It has not yet finalized the wording of the message but hopes to introduce it soon, the company said.
Instagram said the work to remove anti-vaccination information from the platform was in its early stages, and that people would likely continue to find anti-vaccination propaganda on the service for some time.
''It's going to take some time to continue the work on it,'' Newton said.
Separately, Instagram announced that it is building a tool to appeal content moderation decisions, such as those about anti-vaccination posts. If your post is removed, you will be able to request a review of Instagram's decision. The post will then be sent to a different moderator. If they reverse the decision, your post will be restored. If they uphold the decision, the app will inform you.
The appeals tool is now in testing for decisions surrounding nudity, the company said. It will be available for other types of content ''in the coming months,'' said Bettina Fairman, Instagram's director of community operations.
The Alogos
HestiaPi Touch - You don't get to decide what is happening in your house | Crowd Supply
Fri, 10 May 2019 21:17
If you haven't heard already, earlier this week Nest announced they are killing the support of external devices communicating with the API.[1]
Popular services like IFTTT, along with pretty much most existing integrations will stop talking to Nest as a result of this action! The ''Works With Nest'' program and the API has been the only way to have something outside the Nest ecosystem talk to Nest. And then, there is more! Google is moving to ''Works with Assistant'' which means that not only your home gadgets are isolated now but also you will have to use Home Assistant (Google's Alexa) and if you want to keep interconnecting your home functions you can only buy from the ''Works with Assistant'' approved list. So next time you go shopping, keep looking for a Google sticker on the box or you are out of luck. And the ''Works with Assistant'' sticker is something only Google partners will have. No 3rd party companies!
So thank you Nest for this great reminder on why we need to stay away from centralized, cloud-based, IoT devices in our life! In other words, if you don't have root access, someone else does.
For everyone that's already supported the campaign so far, thanks! You can help us even more by sharing HestiaPi with someone you think will be interested.
Any Collusion?
DiGenova and Toensing: The FBI Set up a Sting Operation Against Papadopoulos Using a Suitcase Full of $10,000 in Cash '' American Greatness
Fri, 10 May 2019 22:21
W ashington power couple Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing appeared on Sebastian Gorka's Salem Radio talk show ''America First'' Thursday, to talk about what they called a blatant FBI sting operation against former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos.
During the show, Toensing, an attorney who partners with her husband at the Washington DC law firm diGenova & Toensing, accused the FBI of trying to frame Papadopoulos with a suitcase full of cash in the summer of 2017.
According to Toensing, Papa-D was vacationing with his then-fiance, Simona Mangiante, in Greece when he was approached by someone who was supposedly impressed with his credentials, and said he wanted to do business with him. The individual allegedly talked the then-29-year-old into traveling to Israel to make a deal, and invited him to his hotel room.
''And there on the bed, is $10,000 in cash in a suitcase,'' she continued. Papadopoulos took the money and gave it to his lawyer, who has it still.
Toensing said when Papadopoulos returned to the United States, he was greeted by FBI agents at Dulles Airport and they started searching through everything that he had ''the second he landed.''
She added, ''in fact, they already had his baggage from the plane. He couldn't believe they had his baggage.''
''It was a set up!'' exclaimed Gorka.
''It was a complete set up,'' agreed Toensing.
DiGenova explained that the Feds already knew that he hadn't declared that he had $10,000 and were expecting to find the undeclared cash so they could arrest him and ''put the thumbscrews on and make him squeal,'' as Gorka put it.
Worst of all, according to Toensing, ''one of the FBI agents said to him, 'this is what happens when you work for Donald Trump.'''
Papadopoulos tweeted that he would like to see Congress investigate the money. ''They are marked bills. They remain with my lawyer in Athens,'' he said.
I want congress to investigate this money. They are marked bills. They remain with my lawyer in Athens. Follow the money!
'-- George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) May 9, 2019
Last August, the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross interviewed the Israeli political strategist who set up the meeting between Papadopoulos and the Israeli oil consultant after he saw a court document filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller referencing the $10,000 cash payment given to the former Trump adviser.
''The defendant provided information about $10,000 in cash he received from a foreign national whom he believed was likely an intelligence officer of a foreign country (other than Russia),'' reads the court filing, which recommends a fine of between $500 and $9,500 for Papadopoulos.
''The defendant has stated that he kept that money in a safe pending his sentencing in this case and Counsel for the defendant has consented to the imposition of this fine amount,'' it continued.
David Ha'ivri, the political strategist, told Ross that he introduced a man named Charles Tawil to Papadopoulos on his ''own initiative'' to work on a business deal ''involving an oil and gas project in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas.''
Ha'ivri said that Tawil ''is a part time consultant for companies that operate in Africa and Middle East'' and that when he introduced Tawil to Papadopoulos, he was under the impression that the former Trump aide had ''good connections'' in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East.
Papadopoulos was arrested at Dulles International Airport on a return trip from overseas on July 27, 2017, according the the Daily Caller.
The acting director of the FBI from May 9, 2017 to August 2, 2017, was none other than Andrew McCabe, who was fired from the Bureau in March of 2018. The disgraced former Deputy FBI Director remains under investigation by federal prosecutors for leaking to the media and lying to investigators.
DiGenova and Toensing are convinced that Papadopoulos was the victim of a botched FBI sting operation and are disappointed that no one at the FBI blew the whistle on such nefarious activities.
''I hear all these people saying, 'don't blame the street agents,' and that's true generally, but here's the truth,'' he said. ''There were no whistleblowers in the FBI and the Department of Justice. Not a single agent, not a single career lawyer stood up and blew whistles on anybody.''
DiGenova noted that there were ''agents in New York who knew stuff, who tried to complain to headquarters,'' but because Main Justice was so corrupt, it went nowhere. ''The truth is, there was no breakout of whisteblowers in the FBI. Even worse, he said, were the career prosecutors at the DOJ who knew what was going on, and said nothing.
''It is a disgrace that people who knew things didn't say anything,'' he lamented.
''There has to be accountability for all this and the only way to have that is by a gigantic investigation into how it all happened''which means grand juries, indictments, if necessary,'' diGenova added.
The three agreed that Attorney General William Barr is doing a fantastic job so far, but they had nothing good to say about the current FBI Director Christopher Wray.
''He's an empty suit. Not only that, he's disingenuous,'' diGenova complained, pointing out that Wray has never bothered to address FBI employees about the Bureau's alleged malfeasance during the 2016 campaign. ''The only thing that Chris Wray has ever cared about is his next job,'' he declared.
(Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)
Banker Behind Biggest Malaysian Corruption Scandal Indicted For Donation To Obama Campaign | Zero Hedge
Fri, 10 May 2019 22:23
Pras Michel, the Fugees rapper who once included a cameo appearance from a pre-Apprentice Donald Trump on his hit solo album "Ghetto Supastar", has been indicted alongside the Malaysian banker and alleged mastermind of the $4.5 billion 1MDB fraud for funneling money stolen from the doomed sovereign wealth fund to benefit President Obama's reelection campaign.
Yes, you read that right.
The rapper, who has largely faded into obscurity until he appeared in several stories about Malaysian financier Jho Low's lavish Vegas parties, was identified as a close friend of Low, and allegedly helped open bank accounts in the US that were used to disguise the source of Low's money, which was donated to PACs working to support Obama's reelection bid.
Michel and Low were indicted Friday afternoon in the same indictment, which - for those who have been keeping track of the sprawling 1MDB probe - ties the 1MDB scandal - one of the biggest financial frauds in history - and former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to political organizations that supported Obama's reelection campaign. And where did this money come from initially? Why, it was raised by Goldman Sachs!
So an international fugitive who is believed to be hiding somewhere in China under the official protection of the Communist Party illegally used foreign money to tamper with a US election.
Sometimes, the truth can be stranger than fiction.
Both men were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States (one of the charges that was bandied about by Russian collusion conspiracy theorists like Rachel Maddow).
Here's more from the DoJ press release announcing the charges.
A United States entertainer and businessman and a Malaysian financier were charged in a four-count indictment unsealed today in the District of Columbia for conspiring to make and conceal foreign and conduit campaign contributions during the United States presidential election in 2012, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski of the Justice Department's Criminal Division.
Prakazrel "Pras" Michel, 46, and Low Taek Jho, 37, also known as "Jho Low," were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States government and for making foreign and conduit campaign contributions. Michel also was charged with one count of a scheme to conceal material facts and two counts of making a false entry in a record in connection with the conspiracy. Michel appeared today for his arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey in the District of Columbia. Low remains at large.
The charges are an outgrowth of the sprawling federal probe into the collapse of 1MDB, which was purportedly looted by former Prime Minister Najib Razak, Low and members of their inner circle. While Michel is in custody, Low remains at large.
Remember this the next time Democrats denounce foreign interference in American elections.
And for anybody interested in hearing that deep-cut Trump cameo, check it out below:
Battery Cars
Vacuum-maker Dyson releases patents for new EV line to debut in 2021
Sat, 11 May 2019 17:32
James Dyson
Larry Busacca | WireImage | Getty Images
Dyson, a British manufacturer best known for vacuums, fans, air purifiers and hand dryers, could add electric vehicles to its product portfolio, the company confirmed this week, releasing images of new patents it has received.
"We've been researching motors, batteries, aerodynamics, vision systems and robotics for 22 years. Now the time is right to bring all our knowledge and experience together into one big project '' an electric car," founder and CEO Sir James Dyson said in a statement on the company's website.
The UK firm has been dropping hints of its interest in electric vehicles since mid-decade, last November revealing plans to set up an assembly line in Singapore, with Dyson indicating the project will cost around $2.7 billion to bring to market.
The patent images, among other things, show what looks like a three-row crossover-utility vehicle that follows the latest industry approach to electric vehicle design, with its battery pack and motors mounted below the floorboards. But while the patents "provide a glimpse" of what the company is working on, the Dyson founder wrote that they "don't reveal what our vehicle will really look like or give any specifics around what it will do."
Launched in 1991, Dyson Ltd. today offers a broad array of products, mostly consumer household goods like the vacuums and fans that are widely advertised. But Dyson has done little to hide his interest in getting into the auto industry.
In 2015, he underscored his commitment with the purchase of Michigan-based Sakti3, a start-up that was developing a new type of battery known as solid state. Proponents contend the technology could offer significant advantages over the more familiar lithium-ion technology in widespread use today by boosting range and reducing charge times, particular pluses for electric vehicles, but also useful for the cordless appliances Dyson has been shifting towards.
Questions about the vehicle program cropped up last year when Dyson wrote off £46 million, or about $60 million, of its £58 million investment in the University of Michigan spin-off due to problems with the technology. But it subsequently announced new details that made it clear the automotive venture was moving forward. That included word that it would build an assembly plant in Singapore, which the company now says will be complete next year.
"Singapore has a comparatively high cost base, but also great technology expertise and focus," CEO Jim Rowan told employees in a letter last November. "It is therefore the right place to make high quality technology loaded machines, and the right place to make our electric vehicle."
The founder's latest e-mail revealed that the project is centered at the old RAF base at Hullavington Airport, 2.5 hours west of London and employees about 500 workers, though with testing set to accelerate next month, that job count is expected to grow.
"Our bespoke automotive development site at Hullavington, UK is a £200m investment in the Dyson electric car. It's 517 acres house restored hangars, with some of the most advanced Research, Design and Development (RDD) labs in the world," the company says on its website.
Dyson said the patent filings reveal an "androgynous vehicle," rather than a specific product under development. But he did offer a few hints at what is coming.
"Signi¬cantly, many of our competitors base their electric vehicles on existing formats and adapt them for electric propulsion systems," Dyson wrote in an email to employees. "Such an approach is cost e¬ective, however, it tends to miss opportunities for mass-reduction and aerodynamic improvements which would improve the energy e¬ƒciency of the vehicle. Another approach has been to focus on smaller vehicles, as this generally keeps the mass of the vehicle low which can extend driving range. However, the size and ride comfort of such vehicles tends to limit their attractiveness and utility."
Referencing the patent renderings, Dyson did note that the basic shape, a bit lower than today's typical SUV and CUV, would reduce aerodynamic drag while "the long wheel base could be employed, increasing the driving range and enabling a larger cabin capacity."
Based on comments James Dyson has made over the last year and reports in various news outlets, the expectation is that three vehicles are in various stages of development, company officials indicating production should launch by 2021. They have offered no details on pricing nor where they plan to launch the product line, though Dyson is expected to set up its own dealer network.
The outspoken company founder has, meanwhile, taken a publicly proactive position in support of a proposal now being studied by Britain's government that would eliminate the sale of all new gas and diesel vehicles. The original concept set a target date of 2040 but British regulators have begun considering the option of pushing that up to 2035. Dyson, for his part, would like the ban to go into effect in 2030.
Similar measures are under study in a number of countries, including China, India, Germany and France. In Norway, where electric vehicles currently account for more than half of the new car market, a ban has already been approved.
Such a move would improve the odds that start-ups like Dyson could carve out a market niche, though traditional automakers like Daimler AG, General Motors and Volkswagen, are intent on reclaiming market dominance. That said, the arrival of upstart Tesla has shown the potential for new entrants, of which plenty more are looking to launch, such as Rivian and Faraday Future. There is also Apple, the technology giant working on its own vehicle program, though it has sent a number of conflicting signals about what it is developing in recent years.
Finland's basic income trial: A springboard for bolder experiments? | Yle Uutiset |
Sat, 11 May 2019 15:27
Tuomas Muraja wrote a book about his basic income experience. Image: Yle News / Ronan BrowneFinland's flirtation with a basic income model will probably continue in some form, says a senior official at the Social Insurance Institution (Kela). The benefits agency is working on a final report on the country's world-famous basic income trial, to be published in spring 2020.
"What's going to happen within the next four years is a huge reform of the social security system and I think - researcher's opinion - we need to experiment with and study different models," Kela senior researcher Minna Ylik¤nn¶ said of the trial. It offered 2,000 randomly-selected unemployed participants a no-strings-attached monthly payment of 560 euros to see if whether or not would encourage them to find work.
Initial analysis of the results suggested that in the first year at least, the limited experiment did not boost employment among the small test group. However Kela itself has said that the findings provide a basis for even bolder experiments such as a negative income tax.
Next government under pressure to follow upWhatever shape a follow-up to the two-year trial takes, Ylik¤nn¶ said she would like to see the test population expanded to yield more reliable results.
"I think we should include different population groups; for example low-income earners, housewives or house husbands, and students; to see how basic income might affect people doing jobs that they perhaps do not want to do, or from which they earn very low income."
A reprise of the much-talked-about scheme will depend on the composition of the next government. After a crushing defeat at the polls in April parliamentary elections, the outgoing centre-right coalition will likely be replaced by a government led by the Social Democratic Party while still including outgoing prime minister Juha Sipil¤'s Centre Party.
"I'm pretty sure the next government will try something. Because Sipil¤'s government opened this up, they wanted to develop this experimental culture, and I think the next government do not want to be seen to be any worse in that sense," she added.
The Kela expert said that the conversation around finding alternative options to the current system of benefits must continue. Advocates of a universal basic income system have been conducting research into this area for a number of years and Ylik¤nn¶ said that their voices should also be heard.
Story continues after photo
Jobseekers were chosen at random for the scheme (file photo). Image:Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva"I think we should listen to them, because they've been really thinking about how the labour markets will turn out - with the effects of digitalisation and automation and things like that," Ylik¤nn¶ said. "It's not just about basic income. It's about thinking about the whole area of labour markets, income security and poverty reduction in a new way."
Life as a basic income "guinea pig"Tuomas Muraja, a 45-year-old author and freelance journalist, was one of 2,000 unemployed people who received a tax-free monthly payment of 560 euros for two years as part of the trial.
Muraja wrote about his experiences in a book entitled Perustulokoe-el¤in in Finnish (or Basic Income Guinea Pig). He described how learning of his selection for the trial gave him an immediate spring in his step.
He said that the feeling of security that a regular income provided - combined with a lack of stress from having to deal with bureaucracy - gave him added motivation and impetus to find a full-time job, and also allowed him the freedom to concentrate on a number of other projects.
"When you feel secure, you feel free; and if you feel free you become creative; and if you are creative you become productive," he said.
Muraja estimated that during the trial's two years, he applied for approximately 100 jobs - a level of activity that is reflected in a report by VATT, the government's institute for economic research, which found that receiving the basic income did not make job-seekers passive.
Although he did not secure a full-time job during the trial period, Muraja did however complete and publish two books. He said he remains very positive about the benefits of the basic income model, arguing that it is "a win-win situation for society and unemployed people".
"One of the lucky ones"Mika Ruusunen was also a participant in the basic income trial but unlike Muraja had a full-time job throughout the trial period. Ruusunen initially became unemployed in 2013, and over the next three years divided his time between job-searching and further education.
Story continues after photo
Mika Ruusunen got a job just before being selected as a participant. Image:Jani Aarnio / YleIn December 2016, after completing a successful internship with an IT company, Ruusunen received an offer of a permanent full-time contract with the company. One week later, he was notified by Kela that he had been randomly selected to participate in the basic income trial.
"I thought 'what the heck is this?'" Ruusunen recalled.
Ruusunen's freshly-signed contract did not preclude him from participating in the trial and although he describes himself as "one of the lucky ones who also had a full-time job" during the trial period, he is now an advocate for replacing the current system with a universal basic income model.
"The current system does not encourage people, as it is very depressing. If you're unemployed you have to constantly fill out forms - for nothing, actually," Ruusunen said.
Fear of entrepreneurshipRuusunen pointed to the lingering effects that the 1990s recession still has on Finnish society, arguing that it has discouraged an entire generation from becoming entrepreneurs and starting their own business. Universal basic income would lessen the risks involved in setting up a business and encourage more people to take the plunge, he claimed.
"Another positive benefit from basic income would be for those people working part-time jobs or starting their own businesses. That will have a massive influence throughout society," he said.
Both Ruusunen and Muraja said they are eager to see Finnish authorities build on the initial findings of the trial, and work towards ultimately adopting some kind of universal basic income model.
"In 10 years I believe we'll have a model of universal basic income in Finland," Muraja predicted.
Syrian American Medical Society - Wikipedia. This US has seen itś budget grow from $100,000 to $15 million in only 4 years!
Mon, 14 Mar 2016 20:49
Syrian American Medical Society (or SAMS) is a non-profit, non-political, professional organization representing thousands of Syrian-American medical professionals in the United States that provides humanitarian assistance to Syrians in need. Since the Syrian Conflict began, SAMS has supported field hospitals, clinics, and surgical centers in Syria while assisting Syrian doctors, nurses, and health workers by paying salaries and providing training.
SAMS has sent Syrian-American medical personnel into Syria, Jordan, and Turkey on medical missions, and has shipped medical equipment and other humanitarian aid into Syria. SAMS also supports Syrian refugees in neighboring countries with psychosocial support and medical and social services. In 2014, SAMS reported supporting over 1.4 million Syrians in need.[1]
History[edit]SAMS was founded in 1998 as a professional society for American physicians of Syrian descent. The society provides networking, educational, cultural, and professional services to its members and helps them stay connected to Syria through medical missions, conferences and charitable work. In 1999 SAMS hosted its first annual conference and began medical missions to Syria in 2002. In 2010, SAMS began a telemedicine program and founded the Avicenna Journal of Medicine.[2]
In 2011, when the Syrian Conflict began, SAMS expanded its outreach to meet the growing healthcare needs in Syria. In 2011, they sent their first medical mission to Turkey to provide care to Syrian refugees. SAMS began sponsoring field hospitals and ambulances, training and paying the salaries of Syrian medical personnel, and sending medical equipment and other humanitarian aid to Syria.[3][4] They also support programs in the surrounding countries providing medical and psychosocial support for Syrians fleeing the conflict. The organization expanded, adding offices in Lebanon, Jordan, and Washington DC, to help meet the healthcare demand in Syria[2] According to its Annual Report SAMS currently operates 94 medical facilities within Syria and has treated 1.4 million patients.
As of November, 2015 SAMS has 19 chapters across the US in Florida, California, Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Michigan, Texas, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington DC, the Tri-State Area, New England the Midwest, and Northwest.
Syria programs[edit]Since the outbreak of the conflict in 2011, SAMS has helped provide healthcare for Syrians inside Syria and those fleeing the country. SAMS works in conjunction with the United Nations helps deliver medical supplies, medicine, equipment, and financial support within Syria. In 2014, they sent 67 medical containers across the Syrian border.[citation needed] They supply medicine including antibiotics, anesthesia, and pain medication, and medical supplies such as blood bags, surgical sets, X-ray machines, gloves, and basic lab kits to areas in need. SAMS also supports ambulances at its medical facilities with fuel, driver incentives, and a budget for supplies. SAMS supports dialysis centers, dental clinics, ICUs, mobile clinics and OBGYN's within Syria.[citation needed]
SAMS runs a telemedicine program for doctors in Syria that allows local medical personnel received consultations and support from SAMS members in the US.[2][5][6]
Field hospitals supported by SAMS have been the target of airstrikes.[7][8][9]
Field hospitals supported by SAMS were among those to have reported treating victims of chemical weapons attacks.[10][11][12]
SAMS has helped vaccinate over 1.4 million Syrian children against polio as part of the Polio Control Task Force.[13][14]
Jordan programs[edit]SAMS operates the largest medical facility in the Al-Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan[15] and organizes home visits from social workers and psychologists for refugees in the capital of Amman.[16][17] SAMS organizes medical missions to this clinic several times annually.
Lebanon programs[edit]SAMS runs 2 dental clinics in Tripoli and Bekaa Valley. In February, 2015, SAMS shipped its first medical container to Lebanon from the US to supply 8 medical facilities.[citation needed]
In 2014, 28 SAMS volunteers participated in 4 medical missions to Lebanon including a specific dental mission. SAMS operates 2 multi-specialty clinics which offer free treatment for a variety of illnesses. The Bekaa Valley clinic Bekaa Valley, where offers internal medicine, OB/GYN, pediatrics,general surgery, physiotherapy, dental care, orthopedics, x-rays, ultrasounds, psychiatry, ophthalmology, urology, and basic lab work. This clinic treats an average of 4,000 patients a month. The Tripoli Clinic offers primary care, pediatrics, dental care, OB/GYN, orthopedics, hematology, x-rays, basic lab work, and dialysis treatment and treats 6,500 each month.[citation needed]
SAMS sponsors a psychosocial program in Bekaa Valley which provides psychological care for Syrian refugees. The SAMS-supported Tripoli surgical center performed 2,233 surgeries.[citation needed]
Turkey Program[edit]SAMS operates dental clinics in and around Turkish refugee camps.[18][19] In the wake of the 2015 Chapel Hill Shooting, which claimed the life of dental students Deah Barakat and Yusor Abu-Salha, an influx of donations in their honor allowed SAMS to help open additional dental clinics in Turkey[20][21] one of which was named in their honor.[22]
In 2012, SAMS began training Syrian medical personnel in Turkey. The program focuses on advanced critical care skills such as trauma care, gender-based violence recognition, specialty care, primary care, and nurse training.[2]
In August 2014, SAMS began cross-border operations in conjunction with WHO, UNICEF, and UNFPA.[23] SAMS helped deliver supplies to IDP camps and medical facilities in Syria.
Advocacy[edit]SAMS advocates for protection of civilians and medical neutrality during the Syrian conflict. It joined with 130 NGOs for the #WithSyria campaign to show international support for increased humanitarian aid to Syria and greater civilian protection.[24] SAMS has testified before the United Nations Security Council[25] the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs[26][27][28][29][30] about the chlorine gas attacks in March, 2015. In October, 2015, SAMS staged a 'Die-in' with Physicians for Human Rights in New York to show solidarity with Syrian health care workers.[31]
References[edit]^About SAMS^ abcdSAMS Annual Report^Cousins, Sophie. "Under attack: Aleppo's hospitals". The Lancet384 (9939): 221''222. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(14)61197-1. ^Amos, Deborah. "Syrian-American Doctors Head To The Battle Zone". Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^Soguel, Dominique. "How webcams in Syria's bombarded hospitals offer a lifeline for war victims". Christian Science Monitor. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^"How webcams are helping Canadian doctors save lives in Syria". CTVNews. Retrieved 2016-01-09. ^"Russian airstrike hits Syrian hospital, aid group says -". CNN. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^"13 dead as Russia strike hits Syria field hospital: monitor". Yahoo News. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^"Medical Groups Accuse Russia of Carrying Out Airstrikes Against Syrian Hospitals | VICE News". VICE News. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^Shoumali, Karam; Yeginsu, Ceylan (2015-08-24). "New Report of ISIS Using Poison Gas in Syria". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^"Syria's Hospitals Go Underground As Bombs Fly Overhead". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^"Syria conflict: New 'IS chemical attack' - BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-01-09. ^Root, Tik (2014-06-22). "Polio vaccine effort in Syria reaches 1.4 million children as volunteers brave violence". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-01-09. ^Motlagh, Jason; 05, for National Geographic PUBLISHED March. "Fighting Polio Amid the Chaos of Syria's Civil War". News. Retrieved 2016-01-09. ^"Remarks at the 2015 Global Diaspora Week Launch Event "Partnering for Global Impact"". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^Johnson, Matt (2014-05-27). "A Tidal Wave of Trauma". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^"Syria Has a Massive Rape Crisis". The Atlantic. Hayley Romer. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^Program brings dental care to Syrians^"Deah Barakat's death brings Syria's dental health crisis to light". Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^"Donations mushroom in honor of slain Muslim students; will help thousands who fled Syria". Public Radio International. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^"The Chapel Hill victims' legacy of good lives on". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^"Even in death, three students killed in Chapel Hill still helping others". News Observer. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^"UNFPA Regional Situational Report for Syria Crisis #25"(PDF). UNFPA Regional Syria Response Hub. December 2014. Retrieved 2016-01-08. ^With Syria Partners With Syria Campaign^Sengupta, Somini (2015-04-16). "U.N. Security Council Sees Video Evidence of a Chemical Attack in Syria". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^House witnesses describe use of chlorine gas in barrel bombs by Assad regime in SyriaWashington Post^"Doctor Testifies to Congress on Alleged Chlorine Gas Attacks in Syria | VICE News". VICE News. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^"Aid Workers Describe Horrific Effects of Syria's Chlorine Warfare". ABC News. 2015-06-17. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^Ross, Alice; Malik, Shiv. "Syrian doctors to show the US evidence of Assad's use of chemical weapons". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-01-06. ^[1] United States. Cong. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs. Hearing: Assad's Abhorrent Chemical Weapons Attacks. June 17, 2015. 114th Cong. 1st sess. Washington: GPO, 2015 (statement of Mohamed Tennari, M.D., Idlib Coordinator, Syrian American Medical Society).^Hundreds Don White Coats, Stage 'Die-In' for Syrian Doctors, Medical WorkersNewsweek
VIDEO - Doctor Says Syrian Government Is Increasing Bombings Of Hospitals : NPR
Sun, 12 May 2019 15:08
NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to Dr. Ahmad Tarakji, president of the Syrian American Medical Society, who says hospitals in Syria are being targeted during airstrikes conducted by government forces.
Next we have a reminder that the war in Syria goes on. It would be easy for many Americans to overlook that. The U.S. declared victory against ISIS, but that other war, the civil war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, continues. Rebels still control much of Idlib, which is the name of a city and a province in northwestern Syria. The government and its Russian allies have bombed the rebels there, and doctors who work there say that in the past week or so airstrikes hit numerous hospitals.
Dr. Ahmad Tarakji leads the Syrian American Medical Society, which operates hospitals inside Syria. He is an American, and between trips to Syria, he told us hospitals are targeted despite efforts to shelter them.
AHMAD TARAKJI: We try to put those hospitals underground, as we found that they are the primary target of any military operation. But also, you cannot do that in every single hospital that's there inside Syria.
INSKEEP: So you just said that hitting hospitals would be the primary target of any military operation. Did I understand you correctly?
TARAKJI: That's perfectly correct. When there is an intent to displace people, then hospitals start to get targeted and in a pattern that's very predictable. We've seen it before in Aleppo. In addition to putting those hospitals in underground structures or in caves hospital (ph), we share the location, the coordinates of these hospitals with the U.N. agencies, with Russia, with the United States, as they both are leading the humanitarian task force in Syria.
So everybody is aware of the locations of those hospitals. And last week for example, going back to what's going on in Idlib, when you have 12 hospitals hit in a small area, when they're struck and they're damaged directly, you realize that this is beyond just collateral damage and beyond just a limited-scale operation.
INSKEEP: Are these bombings of medical facilities that you describe causing the health care system, what's left of it, to collapse?
TARAKJI: Yes. So there are two major consequences of those attacks. One is the major new displacement wave that we are seeing right now. We estimate that about 190,000 people have been displaced from southern and western parts of Idlib trying to go up north. And also the health system is really fragile, it's up to its limit. And barely we're able to provide emergent medical services.
And with more hospitals being destroyed, we're just - it's beyond our capacity even to respond at this time. Our hope that over the last few years - and we try to focus on that - is to stabilize the communities wherever we are at. And now we're seeing regular hospitals being bombed, dialysis centers and so on. That undermines any effort to stabilize the communities in this area.
INSKEEP: If we were having this conversation - I don't know - five, six years ago, it might be possible to envision a scenario in which rebels would win the war at some point. It's getting harder and harder to imagine that scenario at all. What are the rebels still fighting for?
TARAKJI: Well, I mean, as you know, as a physician I focus more on the humanitarian sector. The people who are fighting, who are carrying the weapons, those fighters unfortunately, on both sides, are the younger generation who have only lived through the war for the last seven or eight years. That's their only source of income. There is an ideological fuel, if you would want, into the war. And it's very easy right now anywhere in Syria to get a weapon as opposed to get an antibiotic.
INSKEEP: What crosses your mind when you visit Syria and come back to the United States?
TARAKJI: So I am from the city of Aleppo. It's a big city. It's an old city. In my mind it's similar to San Francisco. And I feel that the area of Idlib is comparable to the Central Valley in California, where it's green land. And usually there's lots of agriculture and farmers and so on. I think many of us take it for granted that security, peace, stability is something that is natural. Actually, it's an active process. We all have to make sure that we protect each other first, and we all have to protect each other and protect our safety and security in our homeland here in the States.
INSKEEP: Dr. Tarakji, thanks so much.
TARAKJI: Thank you for the opportunity.
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VIDEO - Fmr WH Chief of Staff John Kelly: Trump's Family 'Influence' Has to Be 'Dealt With' | Breitbart
Sun, 12 May 2019 13:26
Wednesday during an interview with Bloomberg TV's ''The David Rubenstein Show,'' former White House chief of staff John Kelly said members of President Donald Trump's family serving on the White House staff were ''an influence that has to be dealt with.''
When asked if it is complicated to have the president's family working at the White House, Kelly said, ''They're an influence that has to be dealt with.''
He added, ''I by no means do I mean Mrs. Trump. The first lady is a wonderful person.''
Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner are senior advisors to the president.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
VIDEO - Flashback: Journalists Mocked Contempt for Obama's AG as 'Political Theater'
Sun, 12 May 2019 12:03
TV journalists are framing House Democrats' threat to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress as a justifiable measure to combat the Trump administration's perceived stonewalling. But in 2012, when House Republicans held then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for his refusal to comply with a lawful subpoena, many of the same talking heads dismissed the act as absurd ''political theater.''
From the outset, liberal journalists accepted at face value that Barr deserved to be found in contempt, confining their discussions about the resolution only to whether it would be effective. For example, CNN's Erin Burnett on May 1: ''Chairman of the House Committee, Jerrold Nadler, is threatening to subpoena Barr, hold him in contempt. Is that enough?''
In a piece published May 7, CNN White House reporter Stephen Collinson wryly argued that holding only Barr in contempt would be insufficient: ''House Democrats might as well save everyone's time and declare the entire administration in contempt of Congress. The White House has repeatedly shown nothing but disdain for the fundamental principle of U.S. democracy.''
But the same media in 2012 derided the contempt vote for Eric Holder as cynical political grandstanding, if not outright abuse of power. Watch the video below for the media's reaction back then:
On June 19, 2012 (the evening before the House's contempt vote for Holder), Matthews repeatedly compared the gesture to a demeaning (and perhaps racist) ''stop-and-frisk'': ''Is this sort of stop-and-frisk at the highest level? Go after the Attorney General, get him to empty his pockets, stand under the spotlight as long as they can and see if anything happens?''
The following day, CNN's Brooke Baldwin grilled Republican Congressman John Mica on why such a vote was even necessary: ''Why go ahead with a contempt vote? Why?'' Baldwin later added: ''For a lot of people, this is Republican versus Democrat, and they say, 'This is just theater, it amounts to nothing.'''
MSNBC's Chris Hayes dismissed the development as sheer politics, opening his June 23 show by remarking: ''Given what we know about the Republican Party '-- and the way the House of Representatives conducts itself when run by Republicans and with a Democrat in the White House '-- it shouldn't really count as news when a House committee finds the Democratic Attorney General in contempt of Congress.''
Predictably, politicians on both sides of the aisle have virtually traded scripts with their 2012 counterparts; those who worried in 2012 about Congressional overreach have instead begun complaining about Executive stonewalling, and vice versa. But as explicitly partisan political actors, such is their prerogative. What's troubling is that for the past week, many journalists who purport to be objective arbiters have engaged in exactly the same partisan side-switching.
VIDEO - On Contact - Deep rot in American journalism w/Matt Taibbi - YouTube
Sun, 12 May 2019 11:18
VIDEO - Johnny Yash '­¸ '­¸ '­¸ on Twitter: "And this is why Trump chose William Barr 🧐ðŸ'... "
Sun, 12 May 2019 10:30
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VIDEO - Police clash with demonstrators as yellow-vest protests reach six-month mark | Euronews
Sun, 12 May 2019 04:59
French police fired tear gas at masked demonstrators in Lyon and Nantes on Saturday as heavy rain kept the number of yellow vest demonstrators down in Paris.
Saturday marked the 26th straight weekend of protests against President Emmanuel Macron and his economic reform agenda.
Police estimated 18,600 people took to the streets around France, including 1,200 in the capital,
Organisers had been hoping to regain momentum following a record low turnout last weekend.
The government says fewer than 19,000 people turned out last Saturday - although organisers said this was because of May Day demonstrations a few days earlier.
In a bid to widen the protests, demonstrations were organised in the regional cities of Lyon, Nantes and Toulouse.
In Nantes, black-hooded demonstrators on the fringes of a largely peaceful protest hurled bottles and smashed shop windows, while in Lyon tear gas swirled as police tried to funnel protesters away from the central Place Bellecour.
Saturday's apparently low turnout nationwide will be a relief to Macron, little more than two weeks out from European elections.
Protester numbers have dwindled from highs of over 300,000 nationwide at the peak in November to below 30,000 in recent weeks, according to government estimates.
Sun, 12 May 2019 04:59
Bogdan Andrei is the head of Samos Volunteers, one of the few NGOs helping the many migrants who are stranded in Samos, in one of the so-called "hotspots" set in several of the the greek islands of the North Agean sea.
He speaks to euronews reporter Val(C)rie Gauriat about the ordeal they are going through, and how the european immigration policies are failing to improve the situation.
Val(C)rie Gauriat: "It doesn't look like the situation has improved in the past years?"
Bogdan Andrei:
"The situation hasn't improved in any way.
Right now there's over 3300 refugees on Samos. The capacity of the camp is 650. The delays on the asylum procedures are extremely long. We've seen recently people getting interview days for 2022, even someone in 2023, for their appeal. Which is incredibly long. Having people waiting for such a long period of time, without any clear information, without knowing what's going to happen with them , without having a proper integration process in place, or having the possibility to work and provide for themselves, really affects people. Especially their mental health, and this causes a lot of distress.
It doesn't look like things are going to change any time soon. Because the system is broken right now. If we look at the EU-Turkey deal, it has never properly worked. People's cases were supposed to be treated very quickly. The hotspots were supposed to be a "triage" point, where people that are supposed to get asylum are allowed to stay, and the others that are rejected for asylum should be quickly returned to Turkey or to their home country. Right now what is happening is that people are waiting for months or years for their asylum procedure to be completed. And without knowing what's going to happen.
Even if they get a rejection, they are still staying here for a very long period of time with no prospect whatsoever.
Hosted inhumane conditions, people are kept in a limboThe asylum service doesn't have enough capacity to deal with it. Maybe there's also not enough willingness to deal with it. There are people saying that having hot spots in very bad conditions will prevent more people from coming. It's absurd even to think that someone is considering this as a way of preventing people coming. That is not true. People are continuously coming, and are hosted inhumane conditions. This is not acceptable. It's inhumane.
Let's say people are transferred to better living conditions. Again they will have to wait for 2 years, 3 years maybe, for their asylum claim to be solutioned, and will be kept in a limbo, where they don't know whats going to happen to them.
They cannot start rebuilding their lives. They are just waiting and waiting and waiting.
People are just parked somewhere waiting for their asylum claim to be solutioned and this very long process definitely affects them. It affects their mental health. It's going to be much harder for them to integrate in the society after this period of isolation. No one knows how things will move.
Greece also has stated that their capacity of integration is 12000 people per year. There's much more people arriving . Also the capacity of dealing with asylum claims is about 30000 per year. which is more or less half of the number of the people that arrive per year. So theres a huge backlog and it doesn't seem that enough resources are put in to deal efficiently with this problem.
Val(C)rie Gauriat: "So where is the money going?
Bogdan Andrei:
"Right now the policy of the European Union is to send the big chunk of money to the Greek government. This has changed from 2016 when a lot of money was sent directly to big organisations or NGOs. But now the money is funneled through the Greek government, which does not reach the beneficiaries. If we look at the camp in Samos right now, yes there is a lot of money sent by the EU to the Greek government. But the money does not reach the people on the ground.
It's not acceptable that someone has to live in a tent for 8 months, a year or a year and a half. With no sanitation, no protection, no proper food. Looking at the most vulnerable, like children or babies or pregnant women. They have to live in a tent for a long period of time. There is a lot of money sent but the money does not reach the ground. So a lot of the initiatives, like our group, work only on private donations. We don't get government money. Most of the groups providing services here, work with private donations. So where is the money ?
The money is in the central government, in the bureaucratic system. It seems like the process of getting from the central government to the people on the ground is sometimes unsurmountable. "
VIDEO - Migrants and Greeks in Samos share anger and despair | Euronews
Sun, 12 May 2019 04:58
Ahead of the European elections, immigration is one of the most divisive issue facing voters. In this latest episode of Insiders we visited the Greek island of Samos, where an inadequately resourced refugee camp is causing suffering and creating tension.Bridging the divide between islanders and asylum seekersFor the past few years Manolis Mantas and his wife Vasilika, a retired Greek couple, have lived on the frontline of Europe's refugee crisis. Their summer house, which they built on the beautiful Greek island of Samos a few years ago, now backs onto a miserable collection of tents amongst a maze of paths strewn with rubbish. There, asylum seekers and other migrants eke out an existence whilst they wait for their papers to be processed.
When we meet Manolis is keen to show us his "many friends." We walk to the fence at the bottom of his garden where he and his wife hand out cakes to two of the children waiting patiently on the other side of the divide.
Next to them an African asylum seeker shows us the pictures on his phone through the fence. "Look at the conditions in the camp, see how we sleep, look!" he says.
In another photo there is a nondescript meal in its packaging. "This is food? How can I eat this for dinner?"
"It's like we are in hell ... they are blocking us from our future," a friend next to him says.
Vasilika cooks every day for some of the couple's unfortunate neighbours. Today it's pasta and tuna, a simple gift of charity perhaps, but one that is controversial to many of the islanders on Samos.
"People who help are stigmatized, we are told why you help them, they are sick, they are this, that," she says.
"This man and his wife, they have a good heart and I'm praying that God blesses them, and gives them a long life," says one of the asylum seekers when Vasilika hands over a plate of pasta over the fence.
"In the beginning everyone helped, almost everyone.. But afterwards, more and more migrants came, and among them there were criminals. So people are scared," Vasilika tells us.
"It's very hard for us," Manolis says. "They are forced to defecate on these properties all around. Things are desperate. There is sanitary chaos. They have destroyed our fence several times. I have a small pension and it is with this income that I struggle to maintain this place."
"If Europe believes in the ideal of equality between states, it needs to deal with this issue. And not let Greece become a huge camp of lost souls."
Samos is less than two kilometres away from the Turkish coast. It's beautiful landscape contrast with the dark realities of the camp. One of the five registration centres, or so-called hotspots, for asylum seekers on the Greek islands of the north Aegean Sea
Nearly 4,000 migrants are piling up inside and around the camp, which was only designed to hold 650 people.
Since the agreement between the European Union and Turkey in 2016, asylum seekers have been banned from entering the continent until their asylum application has been processed.
This can take months, or even years.
There's a medical centre in the camp; dozens are queing at it's door. They have heard that the most vulnerable have a chance to be transferred quicker to the mainland.
The only doctor in the centre, Manos Logothetis is clearly overwhelmed when we visit him.
"If you talk to European leaders, they say the crisis is over. Because the influx decreased. Here we didn't see any difference. Because people still come. And moreover they are trapped here'' he says. ''The hope goes down the frustration goes up. So it's ten times more difficult, even for us."
The head of the camp refuses to be interviewed. We're only allowed to visit for an hour, and at distance from the shabby dwellings.
We pursue our tour outside the boundaries of the overpopulated centre. Dozens of tents form what the refugees and locals alike have baptised "the jungle".
Jungle woesMohamed Malek Kassas escaped the conflict in Syria and arrived on the island 10 months ago.
"We have rats here. Sometimes we see snakes. And like you see there's no water here, no bathroom, nothing, because we live outside the camp. It's very cold in the winter and in the summer it's very hot. It's very difficult to live here."
Another camp inmate tells us his story.
"I applied for asylum six months ago and was told the big interview would be in 2021. Can you imagine! 2021!"
We look at his official letter. It says: "date of the interview for the examination of the application, January 13, 2021."
"Does it mean you have to wait here?" we ask.
"I do not know. I've been here for six months, nearly seven. I'm going mad. We don't eat well, we don't sleep well. We live like animals."
Some of the asylum seekers are so despairing of their situation, of living in limbo for months on end, that they just want a decision to be made, even if it's that they're not be given refugee status.
Saba Al Maliki left Iraq eight months ago:
"I was thrown here, amng the insects and the rats.. I had skin diseases. My psychological state is very bad. Give me a solution! If I'm not someone who suits their conditions to be a refugee, they can tell me, so that I don't keep suffering, and suffering. They only have to open the door and I will leave Greece."
Seth left the Democratic Republic of Congo where he was threatened. His interview for his asylum application is scheduled in a year and a half. Like many of the asylum seekers he goes to the camp's Alpha community centre every day. It's run by Samos Volunteers, one of the charities that helps migrants on the island and provides comfort, as well as legal advice, and language courses.
The team has about thirty volunteers from all over the world; about twenty asylum seekers also work in the centre. Only a few locals, such as Alex who works in the tourism business, come to lend a hand. He helps out by teaching Greek. But helping migrants in Samos, has become a sensitive subject with locals.
"People are feeling that nothing is changing with the situation. And they feel neglected by the Greek government and the politicians who are always promising that the situation will change and the refugees will move to another place," he tells us.
"Nobody's willing to help anymore. And the people who are willing to help are seen as people who do not care about the place and the prosperity of the island." says Alex.
Tourism and Refugees
It's a widespread feeling in the island's capital, Vathi, which holds some 5000 inhabitants.
The refugee camp, set just metres away from the city centre is becoming increasingly resented by the local population.
Michalis Mitsos is the head of the Samos Bar Owners Association. He says the tourism industry which is integral to the economy of Samos, has taken a hit.
"When people know that around 4,000 to 5,000 refugees from 51 different countries live in the city, some don't want to come and visit. They prefer to go and stay at other places in Samos, than to come here," he says.
"All Samians have shown their humanity. In the past five years we have helped a lot these people who are coming to our island. But it's been a very long time. Five years is too much, and I think this has to change."
Michalis is renovating his summer bar before the tourist season begins. He says it's been burgled 13 times.
"They stole the bottles of alcohol that we stock here for the summer; they stole the whole sound system, the computers, everything they could find and sell."
We ask if he's sure that asylum seekers did this. "Nine times out of thirteen, they were caught on the spot. They were sent to the judge, and they were released an hour later," he replies.
"They also stole from the business next door, and the one on the other side too."
Does he feel let down by the EU we ask? "Yes.The fact that we have refugees and migrants stuck, trapped on the four islands of the northern Aegean for the last two years, and they are not allowed to leave for other places in Europe or even Greece, makes all Samians believe that Europe has sacrificed these islands to save itself."
Last April, hundreds of people from Samos gathered in protest during a visit by the minister in charge of immigration, to demand the closure of the camp.
The anger has not subsided.
No mixing in the classroomWe have an appointment to visit one of the primary schools in Vathi, at opening time.
A few weeks earlier, parents' associations had removed their children from the school and several other public schools for a few days, to protest the presence of refugee children.
The head of the Samos Parents' Association explains:
"They face very serious problems in their everyday life. The live in tents next to rats and mice, there are piles of garbage next to them. This raises concern for public health. We say: transfer those kids to proper facilities and then bring them to school," Stamatia Thomasouli says.
"Our kids over the last years see things that are far from the usual. We never used to see wounded children walking without shoes along the road. We were never used to seeing kids coming out of the trash bins," Sonia Paschalaki, another of the parents' association member adds.
These mothers resent being sometimes accused of xenophobia. A few days before Easter, they have prepared gifts for the refugee children.
"It is a welcome gesture to wish them a good stay during the short time they will stay in our country," Thomasouli says matter of factly. ''And they get to know more about our traditions'' adds her friend.
"Our daily life has been affected. What we want is for the camp to be moved somewhere else, outside from the city, or to be closed down," Vasilia Vakra, another mother, concludes.
We see the children from the camp arriving at the school, once the Greek children have left. They enter through a different entrance.
Impossible integrationWhile waiting for their fate to be decided on, the integration of refugees into Samos society is a challenge.
They are not allowed inside many of the city's shops.
We meet the owners of one of the few waterfront cafes where refugees are welcome.
A Syrian refugee, Abed was a fashion designer in his country.
He opened this cafe a year ago. Alongside his Greek associate Ioanna, a Samos native.
"At the beginning, we had some Greek customers, but not from Samos.'', says Ioanna.
''Nobody supported us here. Since the summer season ended, our only customers are the refugees.
Many local people when they pass by the cafe, turn their heads, look at the refugees and nod their head disdainfully. As if they were doing something bad. This is what makes me sad. Very sad''
Abed arrived in Samos 2 years ago. He's still waiting for a reply to his asylum request.
"If they took the decision to send us back to Turkey or to Syria, I will lose everything.'', he says. ''Like I lost everything in Syria, I will lose everything again here. "
A few weeks ago, Ioanna and Abed decided to put the caf(C) up for sale and leave Samos.
"I could stay if I wanted to. But even if this refugee story ended, and I decided to keep the place, I don't think any locals would support me'' concludes Ioanna.
''I could do something else. But I want to go. I would like to do something else in my life'... Somewhere else, away from Samos."
Abed has not given up on hope ''We started together and we have more ideas, to make together.'' he says.
I have more dreams. I have more ideas and I will make it. I think I won't be stopped here. Some day they will accept me."
Voices in the villageThe government has promised to close down the Vathi camp soon and open a new and bigger one, a few kilometres away from the capital and near the village of Mytilinioi.
It has made many of the villagers both fearful and angry.
The head of the village, Georgios Eleftheroglou, takes us to look at some grafitti scrawled over a sign on a pavement in the village and tells us what it says in Greek.
"When I said that we didn't want a migrant centre in our area, some people threatened me. Here we read 'Bimba you're next,' meaning they will slaughter me. This shows the division of the people."
Sitting outisde a cafe other villagers express a range of emotions, fears and beliefs.
"We do not let them go to the destination they want to go themselves. And we keep them here by force and so they are giving us their misery. I mean, their misery becomes ours," says Alexandros Georgiadis.
"There can't be people wandering around us without knowing their identity, being uncontrollable next to us while they might be criminals, thieves, rapists," says Eyaggelia Kokaraki.
"We don't want them here. This is the issue. They can take them wherever they want but here we don't want them. That's it," cries Dora Kalogrea.
"We cannot live with those people. They have 800 diseases. If you go to the hospital it is full of black people. It has been said before that they steal, we can't live with them. We will take the law in our hands," Nikolas Moschonas says.
"Europe has closed its borders, and it is Greece that has paid the price for it.", adds another villager.
"Those Europeans who take and give orders, can't they understand that the only thing they are going to achieve is the rise of the far right?'' concludes the leader of the community.
''Little by little they are pushing us to the extremes. This is what Europe has succeeded in. This is what you should tell them."
VIDEO - European Parliament elections 2019: all you need to know about how they work | Euronews
Sun, 12 May 2019 04:57
Turnout for European Parliament elections has been on a downward trend ever since the first poll forty years ago.
There are many arguments put forward to explain this, including the complexity of understanding how Brussels works.
To help you get your head around this spring's European elections, we've put together this handy explainer.
What is happening?Voters across the European Union will go the polls to select the 705 MEPs to serve in the European Parliament for the next five years.
When is the vote?As you will discover, European elections are a smorgasbord of different systems, with a distinctly disjointed approach.
It's no different for when voters go the polls: for most, it will be Sunday, May 26; for others the 23rd, 24th or 25th.
How will Brexit affect things?In April the EU agreed to a Brexit extension for until the end of October under the condition that the UK take part in the European elections '-- unless a withdrawal deal is agreed before May 23.
If the UK secures a Brexit withdrawal agreement before the elections, it will shake up how EU Parliament seats are distributed. The number of MEPs for the next five-year term would be reduced to 705, down from 751 during the 2014-2019 period.
The biggest beneficiaries would be France and Spain, who would both have five extra members in the chamber.
READ: The UK will have to take part in European elections if it extends Article 50 for more than three months
How are MEPs elected?Confusingly, there are different voting systems used across the EU. But all are some form of proportional representation, which is where parties gain seats in relation to the number of votes they get.
Closed lists: Some vote for parties, who have selected a fixed list of candidates to appear on the ballot paper.
The number of MEPs a party gets elected is proportional to its vote share, as long as it passes a minimum threshold, often 5%.
So if party X gets 30% of votes in a country allocated 10 MEPs, it would get 30% or 3 MEPs.
Candidates at the top of the list are chosen first.
Open lists: Other countries have more open lists where voters choose a party or indicate who is their favourite candidate.
This allows voters to change the order of the party lists and influence who is elected first, in contrast to the fixed or closed list.
Single transferable vote: There is also the single transferable vote, where electors choose as many candidates as they like and number them by preference
The numbers tell those counting to transfer the vote of any candidate that has passed the threshold to be elected or has no chance of winning.
When a winning candidate gets enough votes, all additional ballot papers with him as the first choice are ignored and second preferences counted instead.
What do MEPs do?MEPs are elected to represent regions in some countries, like Italy, while in others, such as Germany, they have the whole country as their constituency.
They will serve a five-year term (2019-2024) and spend their time between European parliaments in Strasbourg and Brussels.
The number each country gets its proportional to its population.
Germany, the most populous, will get 96 MEPs for its 82.8 million people, while tiny Malta, with 475,000 people, has just six.
They pass EU laws and approve its budget, along with the European Council, which comprises the heads of state of each country.
MEPs represent individual countries or regions but in parliament sit in transnational groups according to political ideology.
For example, there are groupings to represent the centre-right, socialists, greens and others for eurosceptics.
MEPs also help choose the president of the European Commission, the EU's civil service.
The largest political grouping after May's election has the strongest mandate to have its choice head up the commission.
Last time around that was the European People's Party, who managed to get its candidate, Jean-Claude Juncker, into the hot seat.
The process is that another body, The European Council, comprising chiefs of EU countries, first votes on a nominee chosen after taking into account the election result.
If they approve the candidate, it goes to the European Parliament, where he or she must get the support of a majority of MEPs.
Only then does he or she become president of the European Commission.
What could overshadow the election?Firstly, growing anti-EU populism across the continent could see a louder eurosceptic voice in parliament.
This might slow down the legislative process and make decision making much more of a challenge:
Secondly, there is also the question of legitimacy: turnout at EU elections has been on a downward trend since 1979.
It's dropped from 62% to 42% over the last four decades.
That's despite a handful of countries, including Belgium, Greece and Bulgaria, where voting is compulsory.
VIDEO - M3thods on Twitter: "Trump told us back in 2011 exactly what he would do on Trade with China...🎠"I'd drop a 25% tax on China...Listen you Motherf-ckers, we're going to tax you 25%." Full:'..."
Sat, 11 May 2019 22:13
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VIDEO - Hatari - Hatri° mun sigra - Iceland 🇮🇸 - Official Music Video - Eurovision 2019 - YouTube
Sat, 11 May 2019 16:28
VIDEO - Measles outbreak hits 100,000 people in Europe WHO confirms - Daily Star
Sat, 11 May 2019 15:11
The World Health Organisation said the rise in cases was "unprecedented" for a preventable disease.
They revealed they are rapidly ramping up their response to the outbreak, which has spread over two years, ''based on the growing number of children and adults affected by and dying from the disease".
Measles is one of the leading causes of death in the world from a disease that can be cured by a vaccine.
It poses a particular danger to children and gives sufferers excruciating rashes, fever, and inflamed eyes.
WHO revealed today that, since the beginning of last year, more than 90% of countries across the continent have together reported over 100,000 measles cases and over 90 related deaths.
DANGER: Children are most at risk (Pic: GETTY )
LIFE SAVER: A child in the UK is vaccinated (Pic: GETTY)
In recent years, conspiracy theories and fake reports have led to many parents stopping their kids having a vaccine, which is effective at preventing the disease.
The WHO highlighted ''the persistence of pockets of non-immunized or under-immunized individuals in many countries fuelling the continuing spread of measles.''
More than half a million UK children could be at risk of disease after missing crucial jab, children's charity Unicef warned last month.
And earlier this week, it was reported that so-called ''anti-vaxxers'' in Germany could face fines of over £2000 children in their care are not given a jab.
''We have observed an unprecedented upsurge in people sick with this preventable disease, and too many have lost their lives to it,'' Dr Dorit Nitzan, a WHO regional emergency director in Europe, said.
FAKE NEWS: Parents in Italy protest against mandatory vaccinations (Pic: GETTY)
''This is unacceptable and we need to be bolder and scale up our response to the next level.
''I am proud to see that different parts and levels of WHO are intensifying their combined efforts to stop these outbreaks.''
Dr Masoud Dara, of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, added: ''WHO has been working closely with countries in the European Region to enhance their capacity to protect children from measles.
''However, this alarming resurgence is a warning that the Region's immunization coverage is not yet sufficient''.
He continued: ''Escalating our response will enable us to raise political awareness and will help in strengthening European health systems in the longer term to avoid future outbreaks.''
Related articles Measles WARNING as Europe cases hit record levels '' urgent alert issued Measles OUTBREAK: More than 500K UK children at risk of disease after missing crucial jab Western tourists trapped in town on lockdown after 'outbreak of BLACK DEATH'
VIDEO - Coin Center on Twitter: "Today in Congress Rep. Sherman called for a bill to ban all cryptocurrencies. This is why Coin Center is needed in DC now more than ever.'..."
Sat, 11 May 2019 15:04
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VIDEO - Rep. Sherman on Cryptocurrencies |
Sat, 11 May 2019 14:47
March 21, 2018 | Clip Of News Review with Representative Brad Sherman This clip, title, and description were not created by C-SPAN. User-Created ClipJune 7, 2018 2018-03-21T09:29:06-04:00 Rep. Sherman taking the dissent, calling cryptocurrencies a crock. Note: While his stance on ICOs is fair -- pointing out that ICOs do not go through the rigorous SEC disclosure requirements of IPOs, and that many people may lose their investments in them -- his views on cryptocurrencies are otherwise outdated and/or misinformed. "One of the things being touted by the people pushing these cryptocurrencies is that they're a device to evade government taxation, to evade government regulation, move money to terrorists or criminals." 1) That's an awfully broad brush with which he's painting the industry. It has progressed far beyond the days of Silk Road. 2) Plenty of crypto investors are willing to pay taxes on them (even though the IRS makes it very difficult). 3) Using an immutable, pseudonymous, public, distributed ledger for illicit finance is so poorly thought out that the government should be happy when it happens because it creates a verified permanent record of the transaction.Rep. Sherman taking the dissent, calling cryptocurrencies a crock. Note: While his stance on ICOs is fair -- pointing out that ICOs do not'... read more
Rep. Sherman taking the dissent, calling cryptocurrencies a crock. Note: While his stance on ICOs is fair -- pointing out that ICOs do not go through the rigorous SEC disclosure requirements of IPOs, and that many people may lose their investments in them -- his views on cryptocurrencies are otherwise outdated and/or misinformed. "One of the things being touted by the people pushing these cryptocurrencies is that they're a device to evade government taxation, to evade government regulation, move money to terrorists or criminals." 1) That's an awfully broad brush with which he's painting the industry. It has progressed far beyond the days of Silk Road. 2) Plenty of crypto investors are willing to pay taxes on them (even though the IRS makes it very difficult). 3) Using an immutable, pseudonymous, public, distributed ledger for illicit finance is so poorly thought out that the government should be happy when it happens because it creates a verified permanent record of the transaction. close
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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Sat, 11 May 2019 14:16
VIDEO - CDC: St. Clair County infant did not have measles
Sat, 11 May 2019 05:53
WBRC Staff | May 10, 2019 at 4:58 PM CDT - Updated May 10 at 6:23 PM MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - The Alabama Department of Public Health announced Friday that a St. Clair County infant identified as a 'presumptive positive' case of measles earlier this month in fact did not have them.
The ADPH said Friday test results received from the CDC came back negative.
The initial lab test results received by the ADPH on May 2 from a commercial laboratory came back positive.
The Department of Health said the initial 'presumptive positive' case was reported out of an abundance of caution after determining it was in the best interest of the public while they waited on additional test results to confirm the case was or was not measles.
As of May 8, the ADPH says there have been a total of 252 reports investigated for measles in 2019. Only 82 of those cases remain open for investigation.
With this case determined negative, Alabama does not have any currently diagnosed cases of measles.
Copyright 2019 WBRC. All rights reserved.
VIDEO - Tom Elliott on Twitter: ".@Comey: "Reasonable," "totally normal step" to plant undercover sources in a political campaign" / Twitter
Fri, 10 May 2019 22:35
Replying to
@Comey On the Steele Dossier and Trump collusion, Robert Mueller hasn't convinced James
@Comey, who says it's "possible" Russia is secretly exerting leverage over Trump.
VIDEO - WATCH VIDEO: Ben Shapiro has mega TANTRUM on the BBC | Spectator USA
Fri, 10 May 2019 17:55
America could learn from our colonial cousins when it comes to debating the news on television
Ben Shapiro is the famous, fast-talking pundit who regularly 'owns' aggressive campus students with his quick wit and rapid repartee.
Alas, Shapiro isn't so 'crazy smart' when he comes up against difficult questions from a real interviewer. Yesterday he just couldn't cope with an interrogation from the BBC's Andrew Neil. He decided that Neil must be a typical BBC leftist and had an epic tantrum.
Watch the full interview here:
Here's @afneil interviewing @benshapiro on #politicslive'' this is the full, unedited version. It is not Fox News or an unmediated YouTube video but a tough interrogation.
'-- Rob Burley (@RobBurl) May 10, 2019
Oh dear '-- should have done your research Ben. The idea that Andrew Neil, who just so happens to also be chairman of The Spectator, is some sort of rabid leftist is hilarious to anybody who has a clue about British media. As Cockburn knows, he is often attacked for being too unacceptably un-left for the BBC. He was just doing what interviewers should do: challenging his guest to justify his views. Facts don't care about your feelings, after all.
More like this: Like Spectator USA on Facebook
Poor Ben clearly realized he messed up and tweeted an apology last night:
Just pre-taped an interview with BBC's @afneil. As I'm not familiar with him or his work, I misinterpreted his antagonism as political Leftism (he termed the pro-life position in America ''barbaric'') '' and that was apparently inaccurate. For that, I apologize.
'-- Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) May 9, 2019
Cockburn can't help feeling that the trouble is not just with Shapiro. It is a symptom of America's stultifying news media. Pundits are so used to having their views echoed back to them in interviews '-- or only challenged by people who don't know what they are talking about '-- that they can't handle a robust interrogation.
Britain may have its problems, but Cockburn thinks America could learn from our colonial cousins when it comes to debating the news on television.
Show comments
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VIDEO - Coin Center on Twitter: "Today in Congress Rep. Sherman called for a bill to ban all cryptocurrencies. This is why Coin Center is needed in DC now more than ever." / Twitter
Thu, 09 May 2019 21:15
Today in Congress Rep. Sherman called for a bill to ban all cryptocurrencies. This is why Coin Center is needed in DC now more than ever.

Clips & Documents

All Clips
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Dan Britt - Orbits and Ice Ages - The History of Climate-2012.mp3
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From Turning Pont USA-Venezuelans Who Fled Socialism DESTROY Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez!.mp3
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gomert on the coup Nadler committee.mp3
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new defense secry DN.mp3
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NPR Venezuela ex UnderSec State Tom Shannon-2-What about Russia and CHINA.mp3
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protests and weirdness at Venezuela embassy DN.mp3
Samos Euronews radio play.mp3
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Samos is overflowing with no end in sight-2-EU sends money into a black hole.mp3
SF pediatrician under fire for vaccine exemptions.mp3
teacher haas to pay for her replacement story.mp3
Today in Congress Rep. Sherman called for a bill to ban all cryptocurrencies..mp3
trade talks jeff glore one CBS.mp3
trade talks TWO CBS.mp3
Trump in 2011 on taxing China 25%.mp3
Tucker and Andrew Yang on VAT in USA.mp3
untold story of whistle blwoer scahill involved.mp3
warren wants to break up tech giants.mp3
women running former PPH woman DN gaffe.mp3
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