AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1579071 times)

Offline knarf

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The boy's birthday cake was "smashed," and officers "poured peroxide on his presents," a lawsuit by the family claims.

The family of a 4-year-old is claiming in a lawsuit that Chicago Police crashed the boy's birthday party with guns drawn, pouring peroxide on his presents and leaving his birthday cake smashed.

The mother, Stephanie Bures, and other plaintiffs in the suit allege the officers had the wrong house in the Feb. 10 raid. The suspect they were looking for had not been a resident of the address for almost five years, the suit says.

Chicago Police told NBC News that they do not comment on pending litigation.

Bures and her family were celebrating the birthday of her son, T.J., in their basement apartment on the city's South Side, when 17 officers raided their home, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Chicago on Tuesday.

The officers entered the home with their guns pointed toward T.J. and his 7-year-old sister, Samari, as well as other relatives, the complaint alleges.


Terrance Jackson Jr with his 7-year-old sister Samari.

"The children were afraid that they and their families were going to be shot," the lawsuit says.

Police "poured peroxide on his presents," "trashed" the apartment, "screamed profanity and insults," and left the boy's birthday cake "smashed," according to a news release from the family's attorney, Al Hofeld, Jr., on Tuesday.

The release also said officers "unlawfully questioned" the two children without their parents present and "joked and laughed throughout the raid."

The lawsuit alleges that the police behavior during the raid violated the constitutional rights of the children and their family, and traumatized T. J. and his sister.

The officers' actions were "not just the product of an avoidable mistake that was the result of sloppy police work, but they displayed force that was excessive, unnecessary, unreasonable, and without lawful justification," the lawsuit says.


TJ's birthday cake that was destroyed by Chicago police when they searched the house.

The family's attorney said his law firm did an online search of the police's intended target and were able to quickly determine the man's current address.

Hofeld also said the raid was not an isolated incident, and that the Bures family's lawsuit is the "fourth of a series of excessive-force cases against the City of Chicago alleging Chicago Police are holding guns on children and terrorizing families on the South and West Sides."

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/chicago-police-guns-drawn-raid-wrong-home-crash-4-year-n988011
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Offline knarf

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South Carolina DMV selling personal information for millions of dollars
« Reply #12226 on: March 27, 2019, 04:07:12 PM »


CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Every day, hundreds of South Carolina residents get in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles and give personal information to the people who work there.

But that information doesn’t always stay at the DMV.

“I can’t, I just can’t believe it," SCDMV customer Evelyn Takeall said. "I’m surprised. I’m in shock.”

Takeall is shocked because the department takes our personal information and sells it.

The DMV sells driver’s license numbers, addresses, phone numbers, crash reports, traffic tickets and current license statuses.

That information is sold to all kinds of people: Insurance companies, bulk data companies, attorneys, journalists--almost anyone.

“The Freedom of Information Act says everything a state agency holds is public information," SCDMV spokesperson Lauren Phillips said. "So it’s not a question of why or why not you do it. It’s a question of it’s the law, so you have to do it.”

Laws in South Carolina have a lot of requirements buyers need to meet so they are allowed to buy that personal information.

But the thought of things like a drivers license number or an address being sold to strangers has a lot of DMV customers pretty worried.

“No, no, I mean that’s my personal information," SCDMV customer Corey Alexander said. "I think if anybody needs to be giving it out, it’s me and me alone.”

“You expect people you don’t know or people you don’t trust to take your information," SCDMV customer Melissa Sheilds said. "You wouldn’t expect it to be coming from the DMV. I mean, you’re supposed to be able to trust the DMV.”

“I just came to enhance my permit," Takeall said. "Now I’m sick to my stomach.”

During the 2018 fiscal year, the DMV sold more than 15 million dollars worth of that information to bulk data companies alone.

And between June and February this year, the department has already brought in more than 9 million dollars. They don’t keep any of that money, though. It all goes to the state’s Department of Transportation which uses it mostly for bridge repairs.

Phillips said she thinks most people know about the state’s Freedom of Information Act which requires the department to give away that information if people meet certain criteria.

But most customers outside the Ladson DMV said Friday they have not heard the DMV is doing this.

“At least give me the choice," SCDMV customer Ronald Tucker said. "As soon as we walk in there, I mean, they should let us know something. Because, you know, it’s just not a good thing.”

The DMV does have one page on its website that says the department can sell your information. Phillips said it is also on the application you fill out to get an ID.

But a lot of customers don’t think they are getting enough warning.

“Mail me something," Takeall said. "You know, you have everybody’s name and address, you mail it to me.”

The DMV does annual audits of the companies that buy people’s information, but some customers like Melissa Shields are still worried it could fall into the wrong hands.

“It may be for research or whatever, but they may take it and use it for their own personal gain,” Shields said.

But Phillips said that’s not something customers should be worried about.

“We have never had a founded report of any misuse of information,” Phillips said.

Still, DMV customers said they are hoping the chance for change is not completely gone.

“If it’s being used for the right stuff, alright, just let me know about it," Alexander said. "Let me know what’s going on with my information.”

The DMV doesn’t sell all of people’s personal details.

The department legally is not allowed to sell social security numbers, photos, signatures and any medical or disability information.


http://www.wmbfnews.com/2019/03/27/south-carolina-dmv-selling-personal-information-millions-dollars/
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Offline Eddie

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Re: The ‘Self-Made’ Myth: Our Hallucinating Rich
« Reply #12227 on: March 27, 2019, 05:34:41 PM »

Research & Commentary
September 23, 2012

by Sam Pizzigati

In real life, working hard only takes you so far. Those who go all the way — to grand fortune — typically get a substantial head start. So documents a new analysis of the Forbes 400.

Let’s cut Mitt Romney some slack. Not every off-the-cuff comment the GOP White House hopeful made at that now infamous, secretly taped $50,000-a-plate fundraiser last May in Boca Raton reveals an utterly shocking personal failing. Take, for instance, Mitt’s remark that he has “inherited nothing.”

A variety of commentators have jumped on Romney for that line. They’ve pointed out that Mitt, the son of a wealthy corporate CEO, has enjoyed plenty of privilege, everything from an elite private school education to a rolodex full of rich family friends he could tap to start up his business career.

On top of all that, the young Mitt also enjoyed $1 million worth of stock his father threw his way to tide him over until big paydays started arriving.

Not quite “nothing.” But no reason to pick on Mitt either. Most really deep pockets, not just Mitt, consider themselves entirely “self-made.” The best evidence of this predilection to claim “self-made” status? The annual September release of the Forbes magazine list of America’s 400 richest.

Each and every year Forbes celebrates the billionaires who populate this list as paragons of entrepreneurial get-up-and-go. The latest top 400, Forbes pronounced last week, “instills confidence that the American dream is still very much alive.”

Of America’s current 400 richest, gushes Forbes, 70 percent “made their fortunes entirely from scratch.”

Forbes made the same observation last year, too, and most news outlets took that claim at face value. Researchers at United for a Fair Economy, a Boston-based group, did not. UFE analysts stepped back and took the time to investigate the actual backgrounds of last year’s Forbes 400. They released their findings last week, on the same day Forbes released its new 2012 top 400 list.[pullquote]Most of our super rich were born on third base and think they hit a triple.[/pullquote]

The basic conclusion from these findings: Forbes is spinning “a misleading tale of what it takes to become wealthy in America.” Most of the Forbes 400 have benefited from a level of privilege unknown to the vast majority of Americans.

In effect, as commentator Jim Hightower has aptly been noting for years, most of our super rich were born on third base and think they hit a triple.

In its just-released new report, United for a Fair Economy extends this baseball analogy to last year’s Forbes 400. UFE defines as “born in the batter’s box” those Forbes 400 rich who hail from poor to middle-class circumstances. Some had nothing growing up. Others had parents who ran small businesses.

About 95 percent of Americans, overall, currently live in these “batter’s box” situations. Just over a third, 35 percent, of the Forbes 400 come from these backgrounds.

Just over 3 percent of the Forbes 400, the United for a Fair Economy researchers found, have left no good paper trail on their actual economic backgrounds. Of the over 60 percent remaining, all grew up in substantial privilege.

Those “born on first base” — in upper-class families, with inheritances up to $1 million — make up 22 percent of the 400. On “second base,” households wealthy enough to run a business big enough to generate inheritances over $1 million, the new UFE study found another 11.5 percent.

On “third base,” with inherited wealth over $50 million, sit 7 percent of America’s 400 richest. Last but not least, the “born on home plate” crowd. These high-rollers, 21.25 percent of the total Forbes list, all inherited enough to “earn” their way into top 400 status.[pullquote]The narrative of wealth and achievement that Forbes is pushing ignores the other side of the coin.[/pullquote]

Last year, a rich American had to be worth at least $1.05 billion to make the Forbes 400. This year’s entry threshold: $1.1 billion, the highest ever.

Forbes, the United for a Fair Economy researchers sum up, has glamorized the myth of the “self-made man” and minimized “the many other factors that enable wealth,” most notably the tax breaks and other government policies that help the really rich get ever richer.

The narrative of wealth and achievement that Forbes is pushing, the new UFE study adds, “ignores the other side of the coin — namely, that the opportunity to build wealth is not equally or broadly shared in contemporary society.”

And many of those who do have that opportunity — like the mega millionaires in Boca Raton who applauded so warmly when Mitt Romney asserted he had “inherited nothing” — see absolutely no reason to turn that coin over.

https://inequality.org/research/selfmade-myth-hallucinating-rich/

In effect, as commentator Jim Hightower has aptly been noting for years, most of our super rich were born on third base and think they hit a triple.


Maybe the author heard Hightower say it, but the line belongs to the late Anne Richards, who said it about George Bush Sr. Most ultra high net worth individuals come from wealth.  The only ones that don't in my generation are the inventors of some disruptive technology.

Sons of rich fathers are usually assholes. They lie about a lot of things, the source of their wealth being a favorite. See Donald Trump, for example.

People do bootstrap themselves....but zero to billionaire...not many.

I care less that Mitt Romney lied about his inheritance than I do about the way he supposedly earned his own money....as an LBO specialist. Americans are so clueless what predators they manage to elect to government and look up to as "good businessmen". There is nothing good about LBO's. That's the kind of financial predation that ruined this country.
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Fed official: Climate change is an ‘international market failure’
« Reply #12228 on: March 27, 2019, 05:40:54 PM »


Climate change was already worrying enough — now a report from the U.S. central bank cautions that rising temperatures and extreme storms could eventually trigger a financial collapse.

A Federal Reserve researcher warned in a report on Monday that “climate-based risk could threaten the stability of the financial system as a whole.” But possible fixes — using the Fed’s buying power to green the economy — are currently against the law.

Glenn Rudebusch, the San Francisco Fed’s executive vice president for research, ranks climate change as one of the three “key forces transforming the economy,” along with an aging population and rapid advances in technology. Climate change could soon hit the banking system “by storms, droughts, wildfires, and other extreme events” making it harder for businesses to repay loans.

Rudebusch warns that crops and inundated cities have already started to hurt the economy: “Economists view these losses as the result of a fundamental market failure: carbon fuel prices do not properly account for climate change costs,” he writes. “Businesses and households that produce greenhouse gas emissions, say, by driving cars or generating electricity, do not pay for the losses and damage caused by that pollution.”

A hefty carbon tax alone wouldn’t be enough to fix the problem — what he calls an “intergenerational and international market failure.”

Since Congress has yet to take sufficient action, Rudebusch says that the Fed could, in theory, take matters into its own hands by encouraging a shift away from fossil fuels. The problem is, the Fed’s only official job is to keep inflation tame and unemployment low. And its tools are limited to buying and selling government debt to tweak interest rates.

That means it can’t help companies make a shift to a low-carbon economy by, for instance, lending them money in the bond market. By contrast, the European Central Bank has been buying “green” bonds since 2016. An ECB research note last July found that those purchases have helped boost the market for these kind of investments, helping spur environmental improvements.

Along with a report last week from the insurance industry saying that climate change could eventually make insurance unaffordable for most people, Rudebusch’s report is part of a growing body of evidence that climate change poses an existential threat to the world economy as it currently exists.

Last month, Fed chairman Jerome Powell told legislators that asking why the Fed doesn’t currently consider the risks of climate change was a “fair question.”

https://grist.org/article/federal-reserve-climate-change-economy-green-bonds/
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17th Extinction Rebellion Newsletter
« Reply #12229 on: March 27, 2019, 05:54:11 PM »
Welcome to the 17th Extinction Rebellion Newsletter!

As we approach the 1st of April, we’re deadly serious about the need for rebellion.

It’s with regret, therefore, that we must first announce a postponement of the planned Dover Blockade action: organisers have decided to focus their resources on the many other actions coming up.

Our main focus right now is International Rebellion. Those rebelling in London can use this new form to either request or offer accommodation (email xr.accommodation@gmail.com for queries), and coming to London just got a whole lot easier with the option of XR coaches. Unless you’d rather walk!

Before then, we’re asking rebels across the globe to join us in Painting the Streets. We’ve painted the town red in London and painted Glasgow blue. Next is covering the world in a green message. And with the Letters to the Earth campaign starting soon after (with the submissions deadline on March 29th), we’ll be spreading this message through airwaves and public spaces.

Elsewhere, XR has seen some exciting international developments. In  Belgium, XR and Greenpeace members have joined forces to pressure their government towards legislation on climate. Not far away, French rebels gathered in Paris for a phenomenal declaration of rébellion. There have been yet more actions in Spain, Australia and India. See below for details!

And before the International Rebellion gets going, we need training. See our Announcements for opportunities to get trained in First Aid and in speaking to the media, and check out our events page to find a Non-Violent Direct Action training near you.

If you’d like to get more involved with XR, please check out our volunteers page. To help out in your area, get in touch with your nearest XR group. If you can’t spare time, but can donate money instead, please see our fundraiser page.

You can check out local upcoming events on our website at rebellion.earth/events. Or create your own event by filling in our talks and trainings form! If you’re new, or haven’t already seen it, remember to check out our Campaign Overview Document.

Contents

    Recent Activity
    Upcoming Activity
    Act now
    International Highlights
    Announcements
    News & Recommended Content

LONG

https://xrblog.org/2019/03/27/newsletter-17-paint-the-streets/?link_id=0&can_id=d4e96a888a65b26abfffc48652b2e679&source=email-newsletter-17-paint-the-streets&email_referrer=email_518923&email_subject=newsletter-17-paint-the-streets
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Offline knarf

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EU Parliament backs ban on single-use plastic products
« Reply #12230 on: March 28, 2019, 04:04:40 AM »
The EU Parliament has voted in favor of a ban on disposable plastic products, bringing the ban one step closer to reality. The ban would affect a wide range of products that have alternatives, such as straws and cutlery.

The EU Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in support of a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics to counter pollution from the discarded items that pollute waterways and fields.

The parliament backed the ban 560-35. EU member states have given their support but need to vote on the measure for it to go into effect.

The ban would be implemented from 2021 and would affect a range of plastic products that have reasonable alternatives, such as plastic cutlery, foam takeout food containers, straws and drink stirrers.

Disposable utensils would not be completely banned, but the measure calls for them to be made of sustainable materials when possible.

Products subject to labels

Other products will not be banned but subject to new design and label requirements, while producers will be under tougher waste management obligations to minimize their use.

Wet wipes packaging, for example, must inform consumers of the presence of plastic in the wipes and the damage that is done to the environment if they are not thrown in a bin.

The approved legislation also sets a goal of having plastic bottles be 90 percent recycled by 2025, and to cut in half the amount of litter from the 10 items that turn up in oceans most often.

Inside an attempt to live without plastic packaging

Less edible, more functional


These liquid soaps and cleaning liquids on the other hand are not for drinking. They don't all smell divine either, but they serve a purpose. Two in fact, given that, besides cleaning, they also remove the need to buy their plastic-wrapped factory-made counterparts.

Cosmetics with a difference


Berlin now has two shops that sell unpackaged ingredients for making your own cosmetics and cleaning products, and the internet has an endless supply of suggested combinations for soft, sweet-smelling skin. What's not to like?

The proof of the pudding...


... because you genuinely could eat it all. That's not to say it would taste good or necessarily be nutritious, but it is testimony to the natural nature of many make-your-own potions, lotions and creams. And not a tube or plastic bottle in sight.

Teething problems


As with cosmetics, there are many recipes for homemade toothpaste online. But if that's an (understandably) acquired taste too far, it's possible to get hold of minty tooth tabs either loose or in paper bags. These can be used with a bamboo toothbrush, and if you really want to go for it, complemented with a length of all-natural floss.

The hard stuff


Keeping clean doesn't have to involve a row of plastic bottles. Soap, which predates shower gel by donkey's years, has always been widely available. But even solid shampoos and conditioners are becoming easier to get hold of. And for all their hard exterior, they have a soft touch.

Bags of potential


Supermarkets still have rolls and rolls of those thin plastic bags for customers to use to carry fruit and veg home. Once there, the vast majority are immediately disposed of. Doesn't make a lot of sense, and even said supermarkets must be cottoning on, because they are also starting to sell cloth bags for the same purpose.

Totes to last


And while we are on the subject of bags... Plastic carriers have not been banned in Germany, although some shops have taken it on themselves to stop offering them. It's not as if there are no alternatives. It's just a matter of having them with you when needed.

Paper all the way


Alternatives are harder to come by in the world of toilet paper and tissues. Given their destiny, the need to wrap them in plastic reads like one of life's little mysteries. It's for the sake of hygiene, manufacturers have been known to note. Really?

Changes to cost millions

The EU has estimated the changes will cost the bloc's economy €259 million to €695 million per year ($291 million-$781 million.)

The European Parliament has said plastics production is now 20 times higher than it was during the 1960s.

Read more: The plastics issue we seem to ignore

The proposals "will help us move on from single-use plastics and toward less consumption, the multiple use of better designed products, more innovation and a cleaner environment," said Margrete Auken, an EU lawmaker for the Greens/EFA group. "The next step is to move away from our waste-based culture.

The plastics ban was partly driven by China's decision to stop importing some of the EU's waste.

The age of plastic


Plastic is lightweight, durable — and wildly popular. We've produced 8.3 billion metric tons of the material since mass production began in the 1950s. Because it doesn't easily biodegrade, much of what we've made now lives in landfills like this one on Nairobi's outskirts. Rubbish pickers there hunt for recyclable plastics to earn a living. But a lot of plastic also ends up in the ocean ...

7 more pics

https://www.dw.com/en/eu-parliament-backs-ban-on-single-use-plastic-products/a-48088221

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Offline knarf

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Fukushima contaminants found as far north as Alaska's Bering Strait
« Reply #12231 on: March 28, 2019, 04:19:55 AM »
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Radioactive contamination from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant hit by a tsunami in 2011 has drifted as far north as waters off a remote Alaska island in the Bering Strait, scientists said on Wednesday.

Analysis of seawater collected last year near St. Lawrence Island revealed a slight elevation in levels of radioactive cesium-137 attributable to the Fukushima disaster, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Sea Grant program said.

“This is the northern edge of the plume,” said Gay Sheffield, a Sea Grant marine advisory agent based in the Bering Sea town of Nome, Alaska.

The newly detected Fukushima radiation was minute. The level of cesium-137, a byproduct of nuclear fission, in seawater was just four-tenths as high as traces of the isotope naturally found in the Pacific Ocean.

Those levels are far too low to pose a health concern, an important point for people living on the Bering Sea coast who subsist on food caught in the ocean, Sheffield said.

Cesium-137 levels some 3,000-times higher than those found in the Bering Sea are considered safe for human consumption under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards, officials said.

A 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami in March 2011 triggered meltdowns at three of the Fukushima Daiichi plant’s six reactors, spewing radiation into the air, soil and ocean and forcing 160,000 residents to flee.

It was the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl 25 years earlier.

LONG-TERM STUDY

The results reported on Wednesday came from a long-term but small-scale testing program.

Water was sampled for several years by Eddie Ungott, a resident of Gambell village on the northwestern tip of St. Lawrence Island. The island, though part of the state of Alaska, is physically closer to Russia than to the Alaska mainland, and residents are mostly Siberian Yupik with relatives in Russia.

Fukushima-linked radionuclides have been found as far away as Pacific waters off the U.S. West Coast, British Columbia and in the Gulf of Alaska.

Until the most recent St. Lawrence Island sample was tested by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the only other known sign of Fukushima radiation in the Bering Sea was detected in 2014 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA scientists found trace amounts of Fukushima-linked radionuclides in muscle tissue of fur seals on Alaska’s St. Paul Island in the southern Bering Sea. There was no testing of the water there, Sheffield said.

The people of St. Lawrence Island, who live well to the north of St. Paul Island, had expected Fukushima radionuclides to arrive eventually, she said.

“They fully anticipated getting it. They didn’t know when,” she said. “The way the currents work does bring the water up from the south.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-alaska-fukushima/fukushima-contaminants-found-as-far-north-as-alaskas-bering-strait-idUSKCN1R90BV?utm_source=reddit.com
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US blasted at UN for recognising Israeli sovereignty over Golan
« Reply #12232 on: March 28, 2019, 04:26:43 AM »
US widely denounced at UN Security Council after Trump signed off on Israel's 1981 annexation of Syria's Golan Heights.


Syria denounced the American move as a 'flagrant violation' of UN resolutions

The United States came under sharp criticism from 14 other United Nations Security Council nations for its decision to recognise Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights in violation of international law.

The Security Council met on Wednesday at the request of Syria, which in a letter to the council called the US move a "flagrant violation" of UN resolutions.

President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on Monday in which the US recognised Israel's annexation of the strategic plateau that it seized in 1967 and annexed in 1981.

Speaker after speaker at the council session supported Syria's sovereignty over the Golan Heights and opposed Israel's annexation after Trump's proclamation.

"This unilateral action does nothing to assist in finding a long-term peaceful solution to the conflict in the Middle East," South Africa's UN Ambassador Jerry Matjila said.

Syria's closest ally, Russia, urged governments to continue to view the Golan Heights as Israeli-occupied territory.

"If anybody feels any temptation to follow this poor example, we would urge them to refrain from this aggressive revision of international law," Russia's Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said.

France warned any attempt to turn from international law was "doomed to fail", as the US prepares to unveil its Middle East peace proposals.
Israel's 'security'

Three Security Council resolutions call on Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights, which it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed - a move not recognised internationally.

The US defended its decision, arguing the recognition bolstered Israel's security and could contribute to the stability of the entire Middle East by keeping Syria and its Iranian ally in check.


President Donald Trump smiles at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday

To allow the Golan to be controlled by Syria "would turn a blind eye to the threats emanating" from Damascus and from Iran and its Hezbollah allies, which want to use the territory to attack Israel, said US diplomat Rodney Hunter.

China, meanwhile, recalled that UN resolutions had declared the Golan as a territory occupied by Israel. Said Deputy Ambassador Wu Haitao: "China is opposed to any unilateral action that attempts to alter that fact."

While Syria got support for its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen and Britain's Ambassador Karen Pierce also used the meeting to criticise President Bashar al-Assad's government for bombing civilians, using chemical weapons and violating human rights violations during the ongoing eight-year civil war.
UN peacekeepers?

Trump's proclamation that the Golan Heights was part of Israel, raised questions about the future of a UN peacekeeping force after its mandate expires on June 30.

The 1,000-strong UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was dispatched to a buffer zone between Israel and Syria in the Golan in 1974, tasked with monitoring a ceasefire.

Hunter told the council the UN force has "a vital role to play in preserving stability between Israel and Syria" - an assurance the Trump administration's recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the strategic plateau won't affect its operation.

He also criticised "the daily presence of the Syrian armed forces" in the area of separation, where UN troops are the only military force allowed, calling it a violation of the 1974 ceasefire.

The US called on Russia to use its influence with President Assad "to compel the Syrian forces to uphold their commitment" to the ceasefire "and immediately withdraw from the area of separation", Hunter said.

UN Undersecretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo expressed hope that "the recent developments will not be used as an excuse by anyone to pursue actions that could undermine the relative stability of the situation on Golan and beyond".

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/blasted-recognising-israeli-sovereignty-golan-190328033237476.html
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Former Ford executives found guilty for aiding in the 1970s torture of workers
« Reply #12233 on: March 28, 2019, 04:37:22 AM »
Two former Ford executives have been sentenced to more than a decade in prison. They were convicted for assisting in the torture of union workers in Argentina over forty years ago.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/PceTiUr0eTE&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/PceTiUr0eTE&fs=1</a>

Adolfo Sanchez is one of the victims of the torture. He’s something of a cult figure in Argentina. He became very popular as Julio Cesar in the popular wrestling TV show, “Titanes en el Ring” back in the 1980s and 90s. But long before that he worked at the Ford motor factory in Buenos Aires. It was there that he and 23 other workers were detained and tortured.

In an historic trial, in December 2018, two former Ford executives and one military officer were sentenced to 12 years for these “crimes against humanity.”

“Americas Now” met with Sánchez. He relives that episode in his life and shares his fight for justice.

https://america.cgtn.com/2019/03/24/former-ford-executives-found-guilty-for-aiding-in-the-1970s-torture-of-workers
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Gunman opens fire during Seattle rush hour, killing two
« Reply #12234 on: March 28, 2019, 04:43:31 AM »
  Seattle: Three people were shot, including one who was killed, in what appears to be a random shooting on Wednesday afternoon in North Seattle, according to police.

A second person was killed when his car collided with a vehicle driven by the suspect, according to Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. The suspect also was injured.


Sand Point Way Northeast, where two cars collided following a shooting in Seattle.Credit:

One of the wounded victims was a King County Metro bus driver, who was shot while driving his bus through the area.

None of the 12 passengers aboard the bus was hit, Metro said.

The suspect was detained by Seattle police after the shootings near Northeast 120th Street and Sand Point Way Northeast around 4pm, according to police. Police have responded to several locations in the area.

The bus driver on the Metro Route 75 was one of the victims taken to Harborview, according to a tweet from King County Metro.

The driver hit an emergency alarm at 4:05pm while at 33rd Avenue Northeast and Northeast 125th Street and reported he had been shot, according to Metro.

He was hit in the torso, but was able to walk to a gurney to be taken to the hospital by paramedics, according to Kenneth Price, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 58.

As gunfire broke out, the Metro driver apparently put the bus in reverse to flee from a "complicated situation" and then continue a few blocks before stopping on Northeast 125th Street.

"My understanding is, even after he had been struck by gunfire, he was able to manoeuvre the bus, to back out, and get his passengers to safety, before hitting the emergency alarm button," said Metro spokesman Jeff Switzer.

The driver has been with Metro since 2012.

Metro doesn't know yet why someone would have fired at the bus, Switzer said.

"We're still gathering information. It's still early," said Switzer.

Camera footage from a city traffic camera showed several police cars around a Metro bus. Several bullet holes pierced the bus' windshield.

The Seattle Division of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting Seattle police in their investigation, as is the King County Sheriff's Office and Metro Transit Police.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/gunman-opens-fire-during-seattle-rush-hour-killing-two-20190328-p518i0.html
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Offline knarf

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Brunei brings in death by stoning as punishment for gay sex
« Reply #12235 on: March 28, 2019, 05:02:37 AM »
From 3 April, people in the tiny south-east Asian kingdom will be subject to a draconian new penal code based on sharia law

Brunei is to begin imposing death by stoning as a punishment for gay sex and adultery from next week, as part of the country’s highly criticised implementation of sharia law.

From 3 April, individuals in the tiny southeast Asian kingdom will be subject to a draconian new penal code, which also includes the amputation of a hand and a foot for the crime of theft. The capital punishments are to be “witnessed by a group of Muslims.”

Brunei, which has adopted a more conservative form of Islam in recent years, first announced back in 2014 its intention to introduce sharia law, the Islamic legal system which imposes strict corporal punishments. It was a directive of the Sultan of Brunei, who is one of the world’s richest leaders with a personal wealth of about $20bn and has held the throne since 1967.

Alcohol is already banned in Brunei and there are fines and jail sentences for having children out of wedlock and failing to pray on a Friday. However, a heavy international backlash against Brunei imposing some of the more brutal sharia punishments has slowed their full implementation over the past five years.

Brunei was a British colony until 1984 and the two countries still enjoy strong ties. Homosexuality had been illegal in Brunei since British colonial rule but under the new laws it is now punishable by death rather than prison, which will also apply to sodomy, adultery and rape.

The announcement that sharia law is to be rolled out from next week, specifically targeting the gay community, was met with horror by human rights groups. Amnesty International urged Brunei to “immediately halt” implementing the new penalties, which they said were “deeply flawed”.

“To legalise such cruel and inhuman penalties is appalling of itself,” Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Brunei researcher at Amnesty International, said in a statement, adding that some of the potential offences “should not even be deemed crimes at all, including consensual sex between adults of the same gender”.

The sharia law would apply only to Muslims, who make up about two-thirds of the population.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/28/brunei-brings-in-death-by-stoning-as-punishment-for-gay-sex
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Re: Brunei brings in death by stoning as punishment for gay sex
« Reply #12236 on: March 28, 2019, 05:47:05 AM »
From 3 April, people in the tiny south-east Asian kingdom will be subject to a draconian new penal code based on sharia law

Brunei is to begin imposing death by stoning as a punishment for gay sex and adultery from next week, as part of the country’s highly criticised implementation of sharia law.

From 3 April, individuals in the tiny southeast Asian kingdom will be subject to a draconian new penal code, which also includes the amputation of a hand and a foot for the crime of theft. The capital punishments are to be “witnessed by a group of Muslims.”

Brunei, which has adopted a more conservative form of Islam in recent years, first announced back in 2014 its intention to introduce sharia law, the Islamic legal system which imposes strict corporal punishments. It was a directive of the Sultan of Brunei, who is one of the world’s richest leaders with a personal wealth of about $20bn and has held the throne since 1967.

Alcohol is already banned in Brunei and there are fines and jail sentences for having children out of wedlock and failing to pray on a Friday. However, a heavy international backlash against Brunei imposing some of the more brutal sharia punishments has slowed their full implementation over the past five years.

Brunei was a British colony until 1984 and the two countries still enjoy strong ties. Homosexuality had been illegal in Brunei since British colonial rule but under the new laws it is now punishable by death rather than prison, which will also apply to sodomy, adultery and rape.

The announcement that sharia law is to be rolled out from next week, specifically targeting the gay community, was met with horror by human rights groups. Amnesty International urged Brunei to “immediately halt” implementing the new penalties, which they said were “deeply flawed”.

“To legalise such cruel and inhuman penalties is appalling of itself,” Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Brunei researcher at Amnesty International, said in a statement, adding that some of the potential offences “should not even be deemed crimes at all, including consensual sex between adults of the same gender”.

The sharia law would apply only to Muslims, who make up about two-thirds of the population.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/28/brunei-brings-in-death-by-stoning-as-punishment-for-gay-sex
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A deep ocean current shift gives 400-year notice of massive climate change
« Reply #12237 on: March 29, 2019, 04:38:38 AM »

Nick Balascio examines an earth core in his McGlothlin-Street Hall laboratory. His is a co-author on a Nature Communications paper that reports a discovery that a deep-water Atlantic current system is a 400-year harbinger of climate change.

The warm waters of the Gulf Stream flow up along the east coast of North America, moderating the climate of vast areas of northern and western Europe.

Once the Gulf Stream gets far enough north, the warm waters cool. As they cool, they sink and start flowing south, forming what scientists call the North Atlantic Deep Water.

Nick Balascio explained that the Gulf Stream/Deep Water system is known as the AMOC, or Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Balascio, an assistant professor in William & Mary's Department of Geology, is a member of a group of scientists that found evidence that changes in the strength of AMOC can serve as an precursor to massive future climate changes.

Their findings were published in the journal Nature Communications in a paper "Deep-water circulation changes lead North Atlantic climate during deglaciation." Deglaciation, or the widespread melting of glaciers, have triggered massive shifts in climate. Balascio explains that the team's evidence shows that a strengthening in the AMOC flow was a precursor to a sudden warming trend about 11,000 years ago.

Conversely, a weakening AMOC was followed by what is known as the Younger Dryas stadial, a major cooling period about 13,000 years ago. Balascio pointed out that each shift in AMOC strength preceded the climactic shift by the same amount of time—around 400 years.

He also noted that the AMOC has been weakening once again for the past century or so. The paper indicates that once the Younger Dryas settled in, air temperatures in Greenland dropped by about six degrees.

"These results suggest that changes in ocean circulation precede major global climate events," he said. "So we should therefore take seriously the evidence that suggests the AMOC has been slowing down over the past century or more."

The team recorded the relative strength of the AMOC and the development of the Deep Water Formation through comparison of various coring samples of ice and sediment from various points across the North Atlantic, including sites from the land, ocean and lakes.

"Each record provides one piece of the puzzle," Balascio said. "So each record provides information on a different aspect of the climate system such as past atmospheric temperatures and surface ocean conditions."

The team was led by Francesco Muschitiello, who is associated with the University of Cambridge and Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Other members of the team were from the Norwegian Research Centre & Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Oregon State University, the University of Sheffield and Purdue University.

Balascio's contribution was to conduct tephra analysis, or examination of key volcanic ash layers to establish the chronology in the marine sediment record that generated much of the data for the study.

"In order to address questions about leads-and-lags of climate and ocean circulation, we had to establish how old sections of the core were with precision," he said.

Balascio acknowledges that the ocean and climate conditions of today are quite different from the days when the Younger Dryas was getting a toehold on the world's climate.

"But these results provide insight into the mechanisms for how the systems respond and interact," he said. "If we use them, we can better model and predict future changes."

https://m.phys.org/news/2019-03-deep-ocean-current-shift-year.html
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Offline knarf

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$500,000 a Year Yet Struggling? Let's Do a Double Take
« Reply #12238 on: March 29, 2019, 04:49:14 AM »
No matter how you cut it, a family that takes home a half-million a year is doing great.



Every so often you come across an article about someone who makes a lot of money, but who claims to be just scraping by. Among the more famous of these was a Wall Street Journal infographic from 2013 depicting the travails of single mothers making $260,000 a year and married couples making $650,000. Another was a 2017 graph on Reddit showing how a young Seattle resident spends a $100,000 annual income. Just this month, CNBC ran a story entitled “Here’s a budget breakdown of a couple that makes $500,000 a year and still feels average.” The story was based on a report by the website Financial Samurai, about a 30-something couple with two children living in New York City.

Defenders of these stories will point out that because living costs and tax rates differ from place to place, a high income in New York City or San Francisco buys much less than a high income in a small town in Texas. This is certainly true. For example, the website Apartment List shows the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco as $3,100 a month — more than three times as much as the $1,020 a comparable apartment lists for in Houston. A small town would cost even less than Houston. And Texas has no state income tax, while California’s tax rates range from 1 percent to 12.3 percent.

But these regional differences only go so far. The median annual income for a family of four in New York City is a little more than $104,000. There’s no city in the world where a $500,000 income, like the one described in the Financial Samurai article, wouldn't be considered very high.

Spending $18,000 on vacations a year, giving another $18,000 to charity, keeping two luxury cars in New York City, and spending $10,000 a year extra because “something always comes up” are things that are out of reach for the vast majority of Americans. One recent survey found that 40 percent of Americans couldn’t even cover a $400 emergency expense.

But also, despite the claim to be scraping by, this family saves quite a lot of money in addition to the $7,300 “left over” every year. Contributions to 401(k) retirement plans are savings. That’s $36,000 a year for two adults — and that’s not even counting any employer-matching contributions, which probably aren’t included in the couple’s income in this table. The couple also makes $60,000 in mortgage payments a year and $32,000 in student-loan payments. Some of these payments are applied to the principal on their loans, which increases the couple’s net worth by either building their home equity or by reducing their student debt. So that’s also savings.

Depending on how much of their loan payments are going to principal, this family is probably saving $100,000 a year, or 20 percent of their gross income. They aren’t scraping by — they’re socking away quite a bit of money, building up wealth in 401(k) accounts and the family home.

Because 401(k) contributions and mortgage payments are structured methods of wealth-building, they might not feel like savings. But both 401(k) plans and mortgages are commonly cited as strategies to nudge Americans to save more. Ironically, their success may be predicated on the fact that people don’t realize how much they’re putting away every month.

But there might also be another reason high-income Americans don’t feel as rich as they are — in a country of rampant inequality, there’s always someone richer. A couple making $500,000 might rub elbows with other couples making $2 million. That couple will go to events and meet other couples making $20 million, and so on. At each level of affluence, many social climbers probably look at the people on the next rung higher and feel a burning need to keep pace.

Ultimately, living a happy life probably requires letting go of envy and appreciating what one has. But it’s also no wonder that so many Americans, even members of the elite, yearn for a more equal society. Even wealthy people might benefit from a smaller gap between the classes.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-28/living-on-500-000-a-year-in-income-can-seem-hard
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Watch: Turkish man flies with umbrella in strong winds
« Reply #12239 on: March 29, 2019, 04:58:09 AM »
Just a quick click, and the guy really does fly!

https://www.euronews.com/2019/03/28/watch-turkish-man-flies-with-umbrella-in-strong-winds
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