AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1945136 times)

Offline knarf

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Evacuation ordered for High Level, Alta. as wildfire approaches
« Reply #12780 on: May 21, 2019, 05:29:26 AM »
Electricity in the town of 4,000 people cut off Monday morning

Residents in High Level are preparing to leave their homes following an evacuation alert from the town.

People living in and near High Level, Alta. have been ordered to leave their homes because of danger posed by an out-of-control wildfire.

The Town of High Level issued an evacuation order at 4 p.m. MT Monday, telling residents to secure their residences and take their personal belongings. The evacuation will be done by zones, and residents have been told to be prepared to be away from their homes for at least 72 hours.

Mayor Crystal McAteer said about 4,000 people have to evacuate from the northern Alberta town. Alberta Health Services says 20 acute and long-term care patients have been evacuated from the Northwest Health Centre in High Level.

Shortly after 8 p.m., an evacuation order from the Chief and Council of the Dene Tha' First Nation was issued for the community of Bushe River, southeast of High Level.

A mandatory evacuation order was issued at 11:40 a.m. Monday for Mackenzie County residents in the areas south and southeast of the town. There are 38 homes under the evacuation order, a spokesperson for Mackenzie County told CBC News.

High Level evacuees need to register at reception centres in Slave Lake or High Prairie. The evacuation route is east on Highway 58 and then south on Highway 88. According to a tweet from the Town of Slave Lake, evacuees started to arrive in the town around 9:15 p.m.

Highway 58 to the west of the community and Highway 35 to the south are both closed.

Crews will be going door to door to notify affected residents, the town of High Level said on its website.

Residents have been offered support for moving livestock, the town posted in an update.

Manned barricades will be set up on all roads to prevent people from entering the evacuated areas without permission, the town said.
State of local emergency

A state of local emergency was declared due to the wildfires at 11:15 a.m. on Monday.

"Residents must prepare to leave immediately when officials order an evacuation," Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen said in a news release Monday.

"It's important to stay vigilant at times like this and pay close attention to the advice of emergency management experts."

The fire near the community 450 kilometres north of Grande Prairie has burned 69,000 hectares. It has more than doubled in size since Sunday, when it was burning about 25 kilometres southwest of the town.

The fire is now about three kilometres south of the town, said Scott Elliot, incident commander for Alberta Wildfire.

"The bulk of the fire spread has been to the north and west, and that's taking the main spread of the fire away from the town of High Level," Elliot said. "But we felt in working with the mayor that the level of threat presented by this fire to the community warranted the decision that the mayor and council undertook today."

There's no relief in sight from these extreme burning conditions.

    - Scott Elliot, Alberta Wildfire incident commander

Electric power in the community went out around 8:45 a.m. Monday. Atco Electric is working to get it working again, provincial information officer Derek Gagnon said.

Forestry Alberta raised the wildfire danger to extreme on Monday, amid dry, hot and windy conditions.

"There's no relief in sight from these extreme burning conditions," Elliot said.

"The extreme conditions are really difficult to work in. Safety factors have limited our ability to access the fire in any sort of real, meaningful way."

Resident Deb Stecyk was packing up to leave Monday afternoon, before the evacuation order was declared in her neighbourhood.

"We know that if we have to leave, that means we might come back to nothing like Fort McMurray or Slave Lake," she said.

"It's nerve-wracking because you just don't know."

Fire crews have started setting up sprinklers around homes and close to the hospital and other essential service buildings, she said.

The wildfire danger in much of northern Alberta was rated as extreme, with the risk rated as high to very high in the central-west part of the province. There are seven out-of-control fires burning in the area.

Fire bans are in place in northern Alberta, and the Edson forest area is under a fire advisory as winds and dry conditions are expected to cause the risk of wildfires to increase.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

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Washington becomes first state to legalize human composting
« Reply #12781 on: May 21, 2019, 04:42:16 PM »
On Tuesday morning, Gov. Jay Inslee signed bill 5001, titled “concerning human remains,” making Washington the first state in the U.S. to legalize human composting.

The new law, which takes effect May 1, 2020, recognizes “natural organic reduction” and alkaline hydrolysis (sometimes called “liquid cremation”) as acceptable means of disposition for human bodies. Until now, Washington code had permitted only burial and cremation.

The bill had passed both legislative chambers with ample, bipartisan majorities: 80-16 in the House and 38-11 in the Senate.

This paves the way for Recompose, a project to build the first urban “organic reduction” funeral home in the country. Washington already has several “green cemeteries,” such as White Eagle Memorial Preserve in Klickitat County, where people can be buried without embalming, caskets or headstones. The Recompose model is more like an urban crematorium (bodies go in, remains come out), but using the slower, less carbon-intensive means of “organic reduction,” or composting.

The process, which involves using wood chips, straw and other materials, takes approximately four weeks and is related to methods of “livestock composting” which ranchers and farmers have been using for several years. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, a soil scientist at Washington State University, says that practice can turn a 1,500-pound steer — bones and all — into clean, odorless soil in a matter of months.

Designer Katrina Spade started the endeavor as a nonprofit, called the Urban Death Project, back in 2014. Over the years, Spade has assembled a board of volunteer advisers, including scientists, attorneys and death-care professionals, then converted it to a small-business model called Recompose.

Carpenter-Boggs helped run a test of the process in the summer of 2018 with the remains of six terminally ill people who supported the Recompose idea and had donated their remains for that research. The result, she said, was clean, rich, odorless soil that passed all federal and state safety guidelines for potentially hazardous pathogens and pollutants such as metals.

Nora Menkin, executive director of the People’s Memorial Association, a funeral-home cooperative and consumer advocacy group established as an alternative to higher-priced funeral homes, said around 20 supporters showed up for the signing in Olympia — with six kids (including her own), from 1 to 14 years old.

“Inslee congratulated Katrina pretty effusively,” Menkin said. Menkin has heard of a few people around the country, including in Massachusetts and Michigan, who’ve been following the bill and hope to introduce it to their legislators.

“I think this is great,” said Joshua Slocum, director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance, a national public-advocacy group based in Vermont. “In this country, we have a massively dysfunctional relationship with death, which does not make good principles for public policy. Disposition of the dead, despite our huge emotional associations with it, is not — except in very rare cases — a matter of public health and public safety. It’s a real tough thing for people to get their minds around, and a lot of our state laws stand in the way of people returning to simple, natural, uncomplicated, inexpensive ways of doing things.”

Now all Recompose has to do is build its first facility. Spade said she has been looking in the Sodo area and hopes to have the first one up and running, starting with 20-25 “vessels” for individuals, by late 2020. Recompose has already begun talks with the state Department of Licensing and the Funeral and Cemetery Board.

“I feel so happy,” Spade said. “I can’t believe we’ve come all this way, but here we are.”
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

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The Latest: All animals accounted for after safari tornado 21 minutes ago
« Reply #12782 on: May 21, 2019, 04:48:27 PM »

This image made from video provided by KWTV-KOTV shows two funnel clouds formed in Crescent, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2019. An intense storm system that weather forecasters labeled "particularly dangerous" swept through the Southern Plains Monday, spawning a few tornadoes that caused some damage and a deluge of rain but no reports of injuries.

4 more pics in slide show

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on severe weather in the central United States (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says all the animals are accounted for after a tornado hit a drive-through wild animal park.

Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace says only minor damage was reported Tuesday to buildings at the Wild Animal Safari in Strafford, about 10 miles (17 kilometers) northeast of Springfield.

Webster County Emergency Management Director Tom Simmons says there were no reports that people or animals were injured. The park boasts on its website of having more than 450 animals.

Simmons also estimated that half a dozen homes were damaged in the county. In neighboring Wright County, a suspected tornado also damaged some homes and a grocery store.

Pace says there also were several water rescues, including one of an 18-year-old woman who was swept off a flooded road near Joplin and stranded overnight.


5 p.m.

Missouri authorities say heavy rain was a contributing factor in the deaths of two people in a traffic accident near Springfield.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the crash happened around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday when the victim’s sport utility vehicle skidded across the center of U.S. 160 about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) west of Springfield and struck a tractor-trailer. Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace says it was raining heavily at the time.

The victims were identified as 23-year-old Brandon Beasley and his wife, 24-year-old Christin Beasley, of Willard.


4:45 p.m.

A strong band of storms has spawned more than 30 tornadoes across the central U.S., damaging homes in Oklahoma, demolishing a rack track grandstand in Missouri and drenching waterlogged states with more water and more flooding.

The severe weather system started in the southern Plains Monday night and moved to the northeast. Missouri and parts of Illinois and Arkansas are in the crosshairs Tuesday.

By Wednesday the storm will move into Great Lakes region and weaken. But another storm system is gathering steam for later this week, potentially covering an area from Texas to Chicago.

Patrick Marsh of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center says eyewitnesses reported 26 tornadoes Monday and six more Tuesday. One, near Tulsa, was a mile wide and wind was reportedly in the range of 111 mph to 135 mph.


4:25 p.m.

The Army Corps of Engineers says it plans to increase the rate of flow from a dam northwest of Tulsa by 60% after severe storms dropped up to 9 inches (22.86 centimeters) of rain in areas of the Arkansas River drainage basin in northeastern Oklahoma.

Corps hydrologist David Williams said Tuesday that water is flowing from Keystone Dam at the rate of 100,000 cubic feet (2831.7 cubic meters) per second. Williams says the flow will be increased to 160,000 cubic feet (4,530.7 cubic meters) to help lower the level of Keystone Lake, a popular recreational lake that’s more than 20 feet (6 meters) above normal.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum says the additional release will likely cause the Arkansas River in Tulsa to exceed flood levels and cause minor flooding.

that's about 1/6th of the time line
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

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Deutsche Bank Has Rolled on Donald Trump
« Reply #12783 on: May 21, 2019, 05:00:12 PM »
The opening salvo of The New York Times’s big Sunday story about Donald Trump and Deutsche Bank got straight to the point: The bank’s money-laundering watchdogs recommended that multiple overseas financial transactions by Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner be reported to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Executives at Deutsche Bank, however, made no such reports, and the bank took no action against its favored client.

“The nature of the transactions was not clear,” reads the Times report. “At least some of them involved money flowing back and forth with overseas entities or individuals, which bank employees considered suspicious…. [F]ormer Deutsche Bank employees said the decision not to report the Trump and Kushner transactions reflected the bank’s generally lax approach to money laundering laws.”

“You present them with everything, and you give them a recommendation, and nothing happens,” Tammy McFadden, a former Deutsche Bank anti-money-laundering specialist who has filed complaints against the bank’s money-laundering protections with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said in the report. “It’s the D.B. way.”

“I built a great business and don’t need banks,” he wrote.


“President Donald Trump’s latest personal financial disclosure was just released,” reports Russ Choma for Mother Jones, “showing that Trump, who already owed more money than any other president in history, borrowed millions more in 2018. According to the disclosure, Trump borrowed between $5 million and $25 million from Professional Bank, a small Florida outfit that specializes in construction and real estate loans.”

Donald Trump is a liar, in fact 10,000 times a liar according to the frazzled fact-checkers at The Washington Post. This is axiomatic now: His most ardent supporters adore him for his lies because he does it to “own the libs,” which is what passes for policy in this vacant age. Still, this lie is particularly striking for its wanton absurdity. His financial disclosure report for 2018 came out only four days ago. The Professional Bank loan is right there in the documents. He signed them. The man is not just a liar, but a damn lazy one at that.

Rather than getting lost once again in the endless weeds of the president’s negligible relationship with the truth, it is perhaps better to explore why this Times report is so freighted with potential consequence. Over a span of two decades when just about every other bank refused to loan Donald Trump money, Deutsche Bank provided him with more than $2 billion. The bank persisted even as red flags flew up all over and Trump staggered from financial calamity to financial calamity.

In fact, Trump defaulted on his Deutsche Bank loans twice — in 2004, and again in 2008 — causing the bank to cut bait with the ersatz real estate mogul who lost $1.17 billion between 1985 and 1994. The bank eventually loaned him even more money after the second default because it was intensely interested in expanding within the United States, and having media-savvy Trump as a client was the perfect billboard. “Deutsche Bank had a ravenous appetite for risk,” reports the Times, “and limited concern about its clients’ reputations.”

All warnings were ignored, and now a reckoning appears to be at hand. The symbiotic and less-than-ethical relationship between the president and the bank is now under heavy investigation by multiple agencies and House committees, and in order to lessen the blow Deutsche executives know is coming, they are cooperating fully.

Bill Palmer explains for the Palmer Report blog:

    The NY Times story quotes one of the employees who was fired from Deutsche Bank for daring to point out Trump’s money laundering patterns. But this happened to her a couple years ago, and she never spoke up until right now. This suggests that she’s been limited by some kind of nondisclosure agreement. So who leaked this story to the media, thus allowing her to go ahead and speak up? There’s no way to know for sure, but the most logical answer is Deutsche Bank itself.

This all looks bad for Deutsche Bank, of course. If whistleblowers like Tammy McFadden are correct, the bank has spent many years deliberately ignoring massive illegal behavior by its clients in order to maintain high-profile relationships and pump its stateside brand. The fact that its leaders are cooperating means they have finally been convinced the party’s over, and are now trying to stave off even greater calamity. Rep. Maxine Waters (D–California), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, already has some of the documents in question, and will probably have them all before too much time passes.

“In other words,” reports Bill Palmer, “all of the financial improprieties between Deutsche Bank and Donald Trump are about to surface anyway — including the fact that Deutsche thought Trump was a Russian money launderer, and illegally covered it up instead of reporting it. Considering the timing, it feels like Deutsche is trying to get out ahead of this while it still can.”

If this were a “Game of Thrones” episode review, I’d be raving about the plot twist: The Iron Bank of Braavos has sold out the Pretender King! For good or ill, however, this is the real world, and these events are unfolding at the highest levels of finance and government.

Trump is fighting a two-front war to keep his financial documents from being released. His legal team filed two lawsuits to that purpose, one to defend documents in the possession of Deutsche Bank, and another to prevent his accounting firm, Mazars USA, from responding to a subpoena issued by House Democrats. The fight is not proceeding as he had hoped.

Trump wanted his legal action to drag the inquiry out for as long as possible, but Judge Amit Mehta rejected Trump’s argument in the Mazars matter on Monday. “It is simply not fathomable that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a President for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct — past or present — even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry,” Judge Mehta wrote in his opinion.

The fight for these documents is not over yet, of course. “We will appeal it,” Trump said of the Mazars decision to White House reporters on Monday afternoon. “It’s totally the wrong decision by, obviously, an Obama-appointed judge.”

If it is ultimately revealed that Trump has been laundering money — Russian or otherwise — through his real estate dealings, or if the documents reveal parallel criminal activity, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have little choice but to get off the dime and open impeachment proceedings. According to reports in both Politico and The Washington Post, her own leadership team is now pushing hard for the Speaker to finally reverse her stance on the constitutional remedy.

The pressure is rising, and the old rule still applies: Always follow the money.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline RE

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Re: Deutsche Bank Has Rolled on Donald Trump
« Reply #12784 on: May 21, 2019, 06:38:21 PM »
The amount of evidence leaking out is overwhelming, and with the perpetual stonewalling and ignoring of CONgressional subpoenas, the Demodopes will have little choice but to impeach.  If/when they do so, it will be interesting to see how that plays with the vox populi in the election year.  Great Circus!

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Re: Deutsche Bank Has Rolled on Donald Trump
« Reply #12785 on: May 21, 2019, 08:00:49 PM »
The amount of evidence leaking out is overwhelming, and with the perpetual stonewalling and ignoring of CONgressional subpoenas, the Demodopes will have little choice but to impeach.  If/when they do so, it will be interesting to see how that plays with the vox populi in the election year.  Great Circus!


I'm waiting for the fired whistleblowers to come forward. Meanwhile...

Donald Trump goes completely off the deep end about his Deutsche Bank money laundering

| 12:01 pm EDT May 20, 2019

Palmer Report » Analysis

Yesterday the New York Times revealed that a Deutsche Bank money laundering expert flagged Donald Trump’s transactions in 2016 and 2017 for reeking of foreign money laundering, and that the bank tried to cover it up by firing her. This morning Donald Trump decided to let us know precisely how he feels about it. Translation: he’s scared to death of what’s about to surface.

Donald Trump’s meltdown about Deutsche Bank starts off with a predictable attack on the “Failing New York Times” for daring to reveal the real truth: “I didn’t use many banks because they didn’t want to do business with me.” Trump of course insisted that this was “WRONG! It is because I didn’t need money.” Thats fascinating, considering that Trump has been deeply in debt to banks for his entire adult life, and has such a reputation as a non-payer, American banks now uniformly refuse to touch him.

Trump goes on to accuse the NY Times of using “unnamed sources (because their sources don’t even exist),” even though the newspaper article in question spells out its key sources by name. It’s pretty clear that Trump didn’t bother to read it. Clearly agitated by what’s been exposed here, Trump resorted to screaming “FAKE NEWS” and “ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE.” This guy really is running out of catch phrases, isn’t he?

This part of Donald Trump’s meltdown is interesting: “Now the new big story is that Trump made a lot of money and buys everything for cash, he doesn’t need banks. But where did he get all of that cash? Could it be Russia? No, I built a great business.” Trump is entering a new phase in which he confesses to exactly what really happened (Russia), only to immediately deny it.

"...reprehensible lying communist..."

Offline Surly1

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What Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Nadler are really doing right now with Trump
« Reply #12786 on: May 21, 2019, 08:05:37 PM »
What Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Nadler are really doing right now with Donald Trump’s impeachment

| 10:00 pm EDT May 21, 2019

Palmer Report » Analysis

Madam Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying everyone’s patience. Jerrold Nadler seems to be slow-walking subpoena enforcement. People are fed up, and they want action. But there is method to this madness. And the big picture here isn’t just Donald Trump.

It’s the entire Republican Party. The GOP is now so filthy with Russian money that getting rid of Trump is only treating a symptom, not a cure. The reason Pelosi and Nadler are being very thoughtful about their approach is they want to see those Trump tax returns; they want to hear Mueller testify. Nothing is going to happen until those possibilities play out, and right now, Trump’s financial records are an appeals court ruling away from being turned over to the House.

Pelosi and Nadler believe something is so egregious in those tax returns, even the Republicans will be afraid of what will happen to them if they try to defend him. They believe Mueller’s testimony will be so damaging that the Senate Republicans will finally move toward impeachment. Even if the Republicans don’t, Pelosi and Nadler are betting that the GOP’s defense of Trump will become so offensive to the average voter that it will destroy the entire Republican Party from the inside out.

Let’s hope they’re right. It would be naive for them to think anything short of Trump actually shooting someone on Fifth Avenue would do it, and I don’t even think that would. Republicans have defended pedophiles, so what’s defending murder? Especially when their Dear Leader is all about doing their bidding. Pelosi and Nadler know this is a long haul. Their approach is judicious, considering the historical precedent they are setting. But no one can be blamed for losing patience over it.

"...reprehensible lying communist..."

Offline AJ

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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #12787 on: May 22, 2019, 03:28:56 AM »
Maybe this person is right, BUT I think the dem leadership hopes to run out the clock on impeachment - that Trump will be defeated in reelection first. I wonder if the tax returns are only an appeals court ruling away. The losing side could always appeal it to the Supreme Court and they could put it on the docket for next year, so it could be a long way off. IMHO.
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Offline knarf

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Nevada passes National Popular Vote bill in bid to upend Electoral College
« Reply #12788 on: May 22, 2019, 04:43:33 AM »
Assembly Bill 186 headed to Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak

The Nevada Senate approved Tuesday a National Popular Vote bill on a party-line vote, sending the legislation aimed at upending the Electoral College to the governor.

Assembly Bill 186, which passed the Senate on a 12-8 vote, would bring Nevada into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement between participating states to cast their electoral votes for the winner of the popular vote.

If signed as expected by Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, Nevada would become the 16th jurisdiction to join the compact, along with 14 states and the District of Columbia. The compact would take effect after states totaling 270 electoral votes, and with Nevada, the total would reach 195.

While the effort has been billed by organizers as bipartisan, Democrats have embraced the NPV in the aftermath of President Trump’s 2016 victory, which saw the Republican win the electoral vote but not the popular vote.

Leftist groups like Common Cause, Indivisible and Public Citizen cheered the Nevada vote.

“The movement to abolish the electoral college is winning,” tweeted Public Citizen.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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May snow wallops Denver area and many other places across the US
« Reply #12789 on: May 22, 2019, 04:53:28 AM »
Only several days ahead of Memorial Day weekend -- the unofficial start of summer -- heavy snow pounded the Denver area Monday evening into Tuesday morning. Many in Colorado were disappointed to find a heavy blanket of snow outside their windows.

"I hate the snow! It broke my maple tree! It’s May 21 here in Colorado and it’s 32 freaking degrees," Twitter user Nancy Lambert said in a tweet, posting a photo of her snow-crushed tree.

In the Denver area, snow continued to accumulate on Tuesday. The heaviest snow will fall in areas that were also pounded Monday night, which are south and east of Castle Rock and in Colorado Springs, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Boulder, Colorado. The snow will change to rain on the plains later Tuesday.

Denver International Airport picked up 3.4 inches of snow as of 6 a.m, local time, Tuesday. Snow continued to fall overnight with areas of rain near the eastern border. The heaviest snow fell through 4 a.m, local time, in Elbert County and near the Wyoming border with up to 1 inch per hour.

This is the latest measurable snowfall in Denver in at least 10 years. The latest date of last measurable snowfall on record is June 2, 1951, when Denver received 0.3 of an inch of snow. The average date for last snowfall is April 27, according to the NWS.

Though many saw the late-May snow as a nuisance, some recognized some positives in the winterlike weather. "While a lot of Colorado Twitter is complaining about the late May snow, this makes me so happy," Twitter user Joe Ventura said in a tweet on Tuesday morning.

Several locations accumulated more than a foot of snow by Tuesday morning. Black Forest was clobbered by 20 inches and Peyton was buried by 18 inches. These are the highest snowfall totals recorded in Colorado by mid-day, according to NWS snowfall reports.

"Summer break starts in 2 days ... can someone please alert the weather gods," Twitter user Jessica Sharp said in a tweet on Tuesday.

1 of 16 pics

Thirteen states, mainly in the western U.S, received measurable snowfall early this week. Many social media users expressed disappointed with snowfall in May.

"Is that seriously happening out there right now?" flabbergasted Twitter user Michael Phillippi wrote on Twitter Sunday, in response to a photo of a winterlike scene shared by the NWS office in Duluth, Minnesota.

Phillippi is far from the only social media user to express his dismay with the winter display. Meteorologist Joe Moore declared the May snow in Duluth was 'CRAZY.' Many other social media users responded with disappointed memes about the snowy post.

Duluth picked up 2.4 inches of snow on Sunday, a record for May 19 that surpassed the previous snowfall record of 0.2 of an inch of snow for that date set back in 1963, according to NWS. However, temperatures reached the upper 50s on Monday, so most of the snow has likely melted, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist John Gresiak.

"It does snow in May there on occasion but usually not very much," Gresiak said.

The latest recorded day for snowfall in the region is May 28, 1965, when 0.4 of an inch was recorded, NWS Duluth said in a tweet.

Earlier this month, Duluth set a record for a May snowstorm when the city was hit with about 10 inches over two days. Currently, the area is not forecast to receive any more snow over the next several days.

Minnesota was not the only state to receive snowfall early this week. Areas throughout the West, mostly at higher elevations, also received snow.

While snowfall in May seems surreal for many regions across the U.S, March through May is typically the snowiest time of year in the Rockies. Snowfall is all about the terrain in the West.

Flagstaff, Arizona, which is at an elevation of about 7,000 feet, received about an inch of snow on Monday. The area even experienced the snowfall with thunder and lightning, Gresiak said. And in the afternoon, about 90 miles north of Flagstaff, just outside of Tuba City, a tornado briefly touched down, which was part of a larger severe weather outbreak taking place over parts of Kansas, eastern Oklahoma and into north-central Texas.

Cities surrounding Flagstaff accumulated one to three inches of snow Monday into Tuesday. Snow is also forecast in the area again on Wednesday into Thursday and the high temperatures are expected to be 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit below normal on Wednesday. While it is late in the season for this winterlike weather, the latest recorded measurable snowfall in Flagstaff was on June 8, 1907, when the area picked up 0.2 of an inch, according to the NWS. The average last day for snow in the Flagstaff area is April 25.

"One of the many reasons we love Flagstaff ... snow in late May!" Northern Arizona University (NAU) Police said in a tweet, sharing a video of the snow. Meanwhile, the Arizona Department of Transportation posted photos taken by highway cameras on Twitter with a message saying that the scene looked "more like mid-January than late May."

Other noteworthy snow accumulation totals for Sunday into Monday included Cedar Grove, California, which notched a reading of 14 inches; Lake Thomas Edison, California, picked up a foot of snow; and back in the Midwest Poplar, Wisconsin, recorded 7.3 inches of snow. Of course, not everyone was disappointed by the continued snowfall. Mammoth Mountain ski resort in California reported that it measured another 3 inches of snow on Sunday, bringing its four-day total to about 16 inches.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

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Trump vs. New York Times: the executive editor’s perspective
« Reply #12790 on: May 22, 2019, 05:00:32 AM »
In a wide-ranging and sometimes intimate conversation with 500 of his closest professional colleagues — close because they’ve been meeting in his building all week — New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet confessed Friday about what keeps him up at night.

He also confided to the INMA World Congress of News Media audience how (in)capable he is at producing news video, the significance he attaches to datelines, what worries him about the loss of local media outlets nationwide, and where he feels the Times has improved since miscalculating online publishing in 2014 and misjudging the election in 2016.

One thing he declined to reveal, though, is what U.S. President Donald Trump wanted when he called once to personally complain about something.

“I’m trying to decide whether I can say … I think I’m going to save what he exactly said for my memoir, if I ever write one,” Baquet said.

The 62-year-old career journalist and New Orleans native has been leading the Times' news operations through what must be one of the most challenging periods ever in the 167-year history of America’s flagship broadsheet. His newsroom has not been entirely spared the financial ravages of the global decline in newspaper readership and advertising, and his editorial staff is attacked almost daily by a much-aggrieved, name-calling leader of the free world.

“We’ve evolved,” Baquet said of how he’s handled Trump’s bashings. “I remember the first time he attacked us. It was shortly after the election, the first time he attacked very powerfully…. We had never had a president attack us in such a public way. And we responded, forcefully.

“We also started to understand in the days afterward that our readers were also responding. And that there were a certain number of people who so powerfully believe in the importance of The New York Times and its existence and power that they started subscribing. And they started subscribing for their friends. And I felt like that was an inspiring cheering section that said: Carry on, push forward, and do what you do. That gives me strength.

“We don’t respond every time now. We only respond if he lobs something that’s so forcefully aimed at our integrity.”

Asked about the kinds of interactions his office has with Trump, Baquet said they vary: “On the one hand, he talks to us.... On the other hand, he complains to us. He feels somehow spurned by us. And I’m not sure I can help him with that.

“I also don’t think he quite understands us. Remember, this is a guy who grew up in the world of tabloid journalism — New York, American tabloid journalism — which is fawning, isn’t always questioning. I’m talking about The New York Post, for instance — and gave him the headlines he wanted. And he could sort of trade off a little bit of gossip for a little bit of this.

“Then suddenly he’s in a world where, when he tries to do that, he’s talking about trade policy that affects trillions of dollars. It’s a different world, and the press has a different role.”

Despite the president’s repeated references to the “failing New York Times,” Baquet said his news brand remains successful and influential.

“Our influence is outsized. But I want to be read by a lot more people. I want to be read by a more diverse audience. I want to be read by conservatives. I want to be read by liberals. I want to read by people who can’t afford to pay the full freight. I think it is perilous — probably for the business, but more for journalism — if, as other news organisations die, the news is dominated by a handful of very elite institutions on the coasts, driven by the coasts. I think we have to work very hard to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“I grew up in a working class community in New Orleans, in an all-black neighbourhood in New Orleans. I would hate it if the kid that I was does not have great news to read. I would argue that kid now has more news to read than I did. I had two so-so print newspapers. That same kid can read The Guardian for free and can read a lot of The New York Times. But I would hate it if that kid did not have access to quality news.”

Asked about the letter to Times’ readers that he and Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. wrote immediately following Trump’s surprise election, Baquet said it was appropriate at the time.

“That letter was an acknowledgement of something important. I didn’t regard it as an apology. It wasn’t. It was an acknowledgement that the American press … did not quite understand the Trump phenomenon. Nobody in my newsroom — nobody in front of me — said that they thought Donald Trump could win….

“I don’t think we got how much the American economic crisis and its repair had left people behind, freaked people out, and made people feel like they had lost their access to the American dream. I don’t think we quite understood how much anger there was in the country. My goal now is to understand that. And I already think we’ve done a better job. I think we’ve come a long way.”

Since Trump took office, the Times has been a constant thorn in his side, regularly reporting on the often unflattering inner workings of his administration with the help of anonymous inside sources.

“This is a White House that leaks like crazy,” Baquet said. “I was the Washington bureau chief for most of the Obama years. It was watertight. And for the last year of (George W.) Bush, which was also pretty watertight in its relationship to the press.

“My own analysis is this was a president who was elected without a core, fully developed philosophy about most of the giant issues of the day. Barack Obama, George Bush, and the others had profoundly developed philosophies about the Middle East, about trade, and about other things. And they picked people who understood those issues and could get them what they want.

“I think Donald Trump, because he's not been a politician, came in with, like, ‘I don’t know what my policy should be on same-sex marriage or this or that.’ So all of these people who wanted to influence and create policy on the fly came in. And when they didn’t get what they wanted …"

As for Trump’s use of social media platform Twitter to communicate his unfiltered viewpoints, pronounce his policies, and rally his supporters against his perceived opponents, Baquet said the Times has had to adapt its coverage.

“It’s now so frequent, mostly we don’t cover the tweets. Mostly the tweets are repeats or baits. We cover the tweets when he says something that affects policy, or when he says something outrageous. If he just criticizes, you know, a political candidate, it doesn’t feel newsworthy.

“By the way, it took us a while to get there. In the beginning, we never had a president who tweeted two or three times a day. It took us a while to get past the point where I’d be on the phone with the Washington bureau and they’d ask: What about this one? And I would say: He’s the president. He uttered something. We’ve got to cover it. Right? Well, that doesn’t hold true when the president tweets pretty constantly.”

In holding the president accountable for routinely making claims contrary to facts, the Times, unlike some other news brands, will call out instances it considers to be outright lies.

“I am reluctant to use the word ‘lie,’” Baquet said. “If you get loose with the word lie, you're going to look pretty scurrilous. Right? It’s going to be in every story… So I have to sign off on use of the word ‘lie’ because I don’t want it to be used loosely.”

Beyond Trump and politics, Baquet also responded to questions about:

Harvey Weinstien sexual abuse scandal: “This is not a good reflection on society, but those stories had huge impact because there were movie stars in it. Because we wrote similar stories about Donald Trump when he was running for president … I got e-mails from people when we did the Donald Trump stories, literally e-mails from people who said: Oh, those women threw themselves at him; he was a handsome billionaire. Something changed the argument when suddenly there are people you can identify with. And when it’s Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow — that moved the story; it affected the whole debate.”

Datelines and reader understanding: “One of the most shocking days of my career as an editor was when I was the editor of the LA Times and we did a survey of our readers and we showed them datelines, and our readers thought that that meant the reporters were in Los Angeles calling to those cities. So that meant one of the great givens of journalism, which is that if you see somebody and there’s a Kabul dateline, you know they’re there. Our readers didn’t really understand that.

“And then in comes an era when people don’t trust the press. So I figured the way for people to trust is if they know us better, see us, know who we are, know a little bit about our backgrounds. If they make mistakes, I think they’re more forgiving.

“Alissa Rubin, who’s been covering wars from the very beginning for The New York Times and who won a Pulitzer Prize a couple of years ago for her coverage of Afghanistan, I don’t think our readers knew, when she writes a story, she is writing as someone who has spent a huge chunks of her life living in danger. And if the reader doesn’t know that, of course they don’t trust us — especially if we have a White House that’s saying it’s all bullshit. So I think we’ve got to let people know who we are. I think we have to be transparent about how we do our work.”

Digital innovation: “The original Innovation Report essentially said we didn’t think about our audience and it was right. Now we talk about our audience every day in our daily meeting. Does that mean we chase clicks? No. It means we want to understand what people are reading. We want to understand what time we should publish to make it to them ….

“I think that it is a very different newsroom. We take risks. We screw up. We try stuff. But I think the boldest things we’ve done are to openly embrace our audience, to openly move away from just writing traditional news stories, to openly embrace having a television show, a podcast, and to say: We can tell stories many different ways. Let’s try it.”

Safety concerns: “The safety of correspondents keeps me awake at night. I’m so confident in the business, to be frank, especially from The New York Times’ perspective — not so much the local news — but I’m so confident now that The New York Times will survive and thrive. But I worry about the safety of correspondents.”

The future of journalism: “I do think it’s an attractive profession. It may be a more attractive profession because there are so many more things to do. There’s video — I’m probably the first executive editor of The New York Times who cannot do the job of half the people in the newsroom. When I started, I could be a reporter, I could be an editor, I’m a lousy headline writer but I could try. But I have no idea how to do video. I know it when I see it but I have no idea. I find that exciting.”

Newsroom technology: “I think technologists should be an important part of the discussion in the newsroom. But at the end of the day, the newsroom should be led by the people who, when they get called by the CIA and say, ‘Don't report this,’ who understand why the reasons should almost always be we’re going to do it anyway. Those are journalists.”

Trust in media: “I honestly believe that our power as a news organisation rests in the fact that people know we try to get it right and that we’re not advocating. The story we did about Donald Trump’s taxes, the two stories we’ve done, my honest belief is that, even if you don’t like us, you believe those stories. I think if those stories had appeared in the Nation, which is an openly left publication that I happen to admire, it would not have had the same impact. One of my jobs is to protect the view that, if you like us or not, we try to be fair and we try to get it right and we’re not influenced by political perspective.”

The future of newspapers: “The greatest crisis in American journalism is the death of local news…. I don’t know what the answer is. Their economic model is gone. I think most local newspapers in America are going to die in the next five years, except for the ones that have been bought by a local billionaire….

“I don’t know what the answer is, but I think that everybody who cares about news — myself included, and all of you — should take this on as an issue. Because we’re going to wake up one day and there are going to be entire states with no journalism or with little tiny pockets of journalism… I’m not worried about Los Angeles and New York. I don’t know what the model is for covering the school boards in Newark, New Jersey. That makes me nervous.”
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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Ford’s Way to Finish Driverless Deliveries: Package-Carrying Robots
« Reply #12791 on: May 22, 2019, 05:03:55 AM »
(Bloomberg) -- It’s a headless robot in a driverless car.

Ford is working on a way to resolve what self-driving researchers refer to as “the last 50-foot problem.” If an autonomous delivery vehicle arrives at your house, without any humans aboard, who’s going to carry the package, grocery bags or piping-hot pizza to your doorstep? A robot, of course, could be up to the task—with no tipping necessary.

In Ford’s case, the solution is Digit, an android with two stork-like legs, arms capable of carrying a 40-pound load and a camera-encrusted torso topped by a puck-shaped laser-radar sensor. It could be the headless cousin of a battle droid from the much maligned Star Wars prequels.

The business case for driverless delivery is even more compelling than robotaxis—and potentially easier to execute. For one thing, there’s no need to worry about the safety of human passengers. And the rise of online shopping has turned package delivery into a huge growth area. Just ask Amazon, which spent $27 billion on delivery costs last year.

Remove the human driver from the equation, and delivery costs could plunge by 60 percent or more. The benefits could be in the billions.

Ford would like to deploy Digit delivery robots  as early as 2021, alongside the planned introduction of its autonomous vehicle fleets to ferry people and packages around the clock. “We’re going to have an AV fleet out there, and my goal is to get robots to be able to be there and ready at the same time,” said Craig Stephens, director of controls and automation in Ford's research and advanced engineering.

How real humans will react to this delivery android is a key part of Ford’s research, which is just getting underway and will include real-world tests inside Ford factories, and on the sidewalks of Dearborn, Michigan, and Pittsburgh. “Digit looks actually pretty friendly to me,” Stephens said. The “inoffensive” appearance is “going to be a key thing for people to be able to trust a robot.”

Digit was created by Agility Robotics, a startup with fewer than 30 people based in Albany, Oregon. Chief Technology Office Jonathan Hurst said he hasn't seen anyone react negatively when meeting Digit or a forbearer that lacked a torso and was simply a pair of piston-like legs attached to a motorized midsection. The robots have been allowed out on the town.

“I have a lot of people ask us, ‘Could this be perceived as creepy?’” Hurst said. “There is a small subset of people who stay far back,” he said, “and whip out their smartphone and starting taking video.”

While the design is likely to evolve, Hurst doesn't see a need to give Ford’s delivery robot a head. In fact, he wonders if that might freak people out more. “If it looks very close to an animal or a human but is not quite there, then immediately people are revolted by it,” Hurst said. “And we didn't physically need a head up there for our current perception needs.”

Others are tinkering with delivery robots, not all of which are humanoid. Anybotics and German auto-parts giant Continental demonstrated a robotic delivery dog concept at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. Segway has shown a rolling delivery device that looks like a mobile office copier, and FedEx is testing a boxy rolling bot that can climb stairs and carry up to 100 pounds. Starship Robots, which look like squat storm troopers with six wheels, are deployed in several cities around the world, according to the startup based in San Francisco and Estonia. And Postmates, which is researching autonomous grocery-getting with Ford, has a cute delivery robot known as Serve with googly eyes like Pixar's Wall-E, along with four oversize wheels.

Ford is worried that wheeled robot couriers would be blocked by front-porch steps found outside most homes in America. Digit, by comparison, can climb steps and raise its arms to catch itself in a fall. Its tiny feet, soled in corrugated rubber, can traverse concrete, grass, wood, and gravel.

Ford’s decision to go with two legs, instead of wheels, came with help from researchers at the University of Michigan. “Our world is designed for bipedals—us,” Stephens said. “So there's an inherent attractiveness to a bipedal robot.”
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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How robots and your smart fridge can keep you out of a nursing home
« Reply #12792 on: May 22, 2019, 05:07:36 AM »
Your end-of-life caregiver may be a robot — why that might not be such a bad thing

For 40 years, Vicky and Kyle have lived in their suburban home. The house is where they’ve collected a lifetime of memories. Every square foot of their three-bedroom split-level is a monument to their shared life’s work. But the aging couple now finds this symbol of their shared success is becoming a challenge.

Vicky and Kyle’s unspoken strategy is divide and conquer. Kyle takes the lead on yard work, car maintenance and appliance repairs. He can still do most jobs around the house. But certain tasks, like seasonally hauling out the ladder to change the batteries of the dozen smoke alarms scattered throughout the house, have gone from rituals to major chores.

Vicky is effectively the home’s chief purchasing officer, taking charge of grocery and pharmacy shopping. She takes the lead in arranging doctor’s appointments and helping Kyle maintain a diet and medication regimen to manage his diabetes. Diagnosed with macular degeneration, she does most errands during the day as driving at night has become more difficult.

Vicky has an idea of the challenges ahead. While caring for her parents, she saw how all the big and little tasks that are required if one is to live at home independently can eventually become unmanageable. Neither Vicky nor Kyle is certain how long they can keep it up.

They are not alone. According to an AARP survey, 77% of adults over 50 would like to stay in their current homes as they age. However, only 46% believe they will be able to do so.

    77% of adults over 50 would like to stay in their current homes as they age. However, only 46% believe they will be able to do so.

How can older adults like Vicky and Kyle solve for what amounts to a constellation of challenges in maintaining their homes and their independence? The solution probably won’t come in the form of a singular moonshot (e.g., a discovery of the Fountain of Youth), but rather as a battery of small innovations working together to accomplish something greater.

What my MIT AgeLab colleague Chaiwoo Lee and I imagine is a convergence of sensor, communication and AI technologies that transform the home into a platform of services to keep us connected, provide convenience and deliver care as we age.

The growing intelligence of everyday digitized objects has made it possible for everything from kitchen appliances to home heating systems to manage tasks by themselves. Many of these products are well-known: the Nest thermostat, the internet-enabled refrigerator, smart televisions, home-monitoring systems, even the humble Roomba. While automation of home security and entertainment is not new, the introduction of AI-based smart speakers, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, has made connecting and controlling various technologies throughout the home far easier for people of all ages. These smart “hubs” are a bedrock for future connected homes.

Read: How to find the best place for you to retire

Smart devices alone do not transform the home into a service platform. It is the combination of these devices along with a growing number of on-demand service providers that is creating an ecosystem of services that will support the demands of retirees like Kyle and Vicky who wish to stay in their homes.

Kyle’s home-maintenance routine will be far easier with home systems that not only monitor the home but automatically connect to trusted service providers. Internet-of-things company Notion, for example, offers a multisensor system that can detect everything from air temperature to water leaks. Major home insurers are now offering insurance discounts for homeowners who use such systems.

While detecting a leak is important, fixing it is the hard part. Notion has gone further in teaming up with Home Advisor, a professional pre-screening company for repair services, so that once a leak is detected the homeowner is then connected to an available plumber. Intelligent device-plus-service transforms a simple sensor into a comprehensive home service.

The home is also evolving as a platform for connected health care. AI-enabled devices and services help people manage medical conditions, such as Kyle with his diabetes, as well as detect changes that might predict a health event.

    How will the home-as-service be marketed, sold, and maintained? These are the questions that have scarcely been answered even as the Internet of Things balloons as a product category.

The Pria home companion from Black & Decker combines a smart medication manager with communication technologies that allow family members to remotely monitor meds, set health reminders and video chat with a distant loved one.

Telehealth and teletherapy providers like Teladoc are now providing home video consultations with physicians for acute conditions such as the flu and even behavioral health issues such as depression. Philips recently announced Sonicare Teledentistry, a service that enables users to share their brushing data remotely with a dentist.

In addition to connecting residents with care providers, the home can also be an active health and safety monitor. MIT startup Emerald is introducing fall-detection and health-measuring technology that doesn’t require users to wear a pendant or sensor. Instead, Emerald monitors activities and detects changes in behavior, such as a lack of movement or a change in gait, that predict the probability of a fall.

Taken together, these technologies could help Kyle and Vicky live better as they age and remain in their home longer. But such a sweeping array of devices also presents new questions and responsibilities for their users, not to mention for the companies hoping to make a profit by selling them.

How will the home-as-service be marketed, sold and maintained? These are the questions that have scarcely been answered even as the internet-of-things balloons as a product category. Few people will want to purchase and integrate these devices and services one function at a time. Consumers may find major value in the bundling of technologies and services that might at first glance seem worlds apart. The question is what kind of businesses would be best suited to function as providers and brands for an expansive home technology suite.

Tech behemoths like Amazon and Google appear as the most capable players, given their resources and expansive presence, but others may arise. Home insurers could get into the business not only of insuring against risk but selling tools that reduce or prevent risk. Communications companies such as cable and wireless providers, utilities and even delivery companies like UPS may find new opportunities in bundling technologies and services together as branded platforms. Best Buy’s introduction of new services and technologies to support family caregivers may be seen as the beginning of a new service-industry category of home logistics for an aging marketplace.

Another major advantage for Best Buy in this area would be its well-known Geek Squad technical support service, which could address the problems of installation and maintenance for a complicated array of technologies. The fact that these devices would occupy the intimate space of the home makes their reliability and maintenance even more important. Few people, irrespective of age, will remain even-keeled when they discover that their smart toilet is on the fritz, and they will prize assistance rendered efficiently and effectively. A provider that commits to playing a role in the installation and ongoing support of their products will have a leg up on the competition.

A final question returns us to the older buyers and users who would benefit most from a home service platform: How will retirees like Kyle and Vicky be able to afford this? Saving for retirement has always involved accounting for big-ticket costs such as housing and health care. Technology-enabled services loom as a new and heretofore unaccounted-for retirement expense. Aging baby boomers have come to believe that Wi-Fi connectivity is a basic need. Soon, tech services that were once considered a convenience will be vital to care and a necessary cost of retiring well.

That cost may prove to be a moving target. It’s hard enough to predict what technologies will be available in the next few decades, without having to forecast what their prices will be. Potentially high costs may also present an equity issue as far as the less affluent being able to afford vital tools for aging well.

Given the widespread desire among older adults to age in place, many people will consider the expense to be worth it. The internet has made our lives easier in all sorts of ways; and transforming the home into a service platform — not to mention a more livable place — appears to be the logical next step.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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The Chinese master is believed to have carried out self mummification, in an ultra-religious move only practised by a few

THIS is the mummified remains of a Buddhist monk who meditated to death, encased inside a 1,000-year-old ancient statue.

Scientists scanned the Buddha and made the grisly discovery, when they saw bones of an ultra religious man clearly sat in the lotus position.

The ancient Buddhist statue was found to be holding a grisly secret

The remains of a monk, who died around 1100AD, in China was found inside

It is thought to be the remains of Zhang - known as Patriarch Zhanggong and Liuquan Zhanggong - who belonged to the Chinese Meditation School and died around 1100AD.

He is believed to have carried out self mummification, in an ultra-religious move only practised by few. The aim was to become a living Buddha.

For the first 1,000 days monks stopped all food except nuts, seeds, and berries to strip body fat.

The next 1,000 days saw a diet of bark and roots before they consumed poisonous tea made from sap of the Urushi tree.

This caused vomiting and a rapid fluid loss and acted as a preservative to stop decay after death.

After six years of this, the monk would be locked in a small stone tomb with an air tube and a bell.

He would meditate in the lotus position until he died - signified when the bell stopped ringing.

The tomb would then be sealed for mummification before he became a Buddha.

Samples were taken from inside the statue in 2015 - where instead of organs, scientists found rotten material and paper with ancient Chinese character prints.

The statue caused a rift between the Netherlands and China, after tests were carried out more than 20 years after it was allegedly stolen from China by a Dutch antique collector.

Community leaders in Yangchun Village, east China, repeatedly asked for its return before a case was brought to a Ductch court.

Last December it was reported Chinese and Dutch lawyers hadn't reached an agreement, and it is not known exactly where the statue is.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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US judge rules Qualcomm practices violate antitrust law
« Reply #12794 on: May 22, 2019, 05:31:53 AM »
    Qualcomm unlawfully suppressed competition in the market for cellphone chips and used its dominant position to impose excessive licensing fees, a U.S. judged ruled.
    The ruling sent the company’s shares down 13% in premarket trade.
    The judge sided with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which in 2017 filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm, accusing the company of using “anticompetitive” tactics to maintain its monopoly on a key semiconductor used in mobile phones.

Qualcomm unlawfully suppressed competition in the market for cellphone chips and used its dominant position to impose excessive licensing fees, a U.S. judged ruled, sending the company’s shares down 13% in premarket trade.

“Qualcomm’s licensing practices have strangled competition in the CDMA and the premium LTE modem chip markets for years, and harmed rivals, OEMs, and end consumers in the process,” U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh wrote in a ruling on Tuesday.

Qualcomm’s operating segment relating to its chip and software business is called Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT). Qualcomm’s operating segment relating to the licensing of its patents is called Qualcomm Technology Licensing (QTL).

Koh sided with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which in 2017 filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm, accusing the company of using “anticompetitive” tactics to maintain its monopoly on a key semiconductor used in mobile phones.

In its complaint, the FTC said the patents that Qualcomm sought to license are standard essential patents, which means that the industry uses them widely and they are supposed to be licensed on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

The FTC complaint also accused Qualcomm of refusing to license some standard essential patents to rival chipmakers, and of entering into an exclusive deal with Apple.

Qualcomm’s licensing practices have been the subject of government investigations in the U.S. since at least 2014 and in Asia and Europe since at least 2009, according to the court filing.

Qualcomm did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Shares of the company fell 13% to $67.50 in trading before the bell on Wednesday.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)