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Offline knarf

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Why is the Indian Ocean rising so rapidly?
« Reply #9150 on: November 19, 2017, 04:38:47 AM »


Since 1880, sea level in the world’s oceans has risen about nine inches. But one pocket of the Indian Ocean has puzzled scientists for the last 40 years. The Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal rose four inches more than the world’s oceans — a total of 13 inches to date. The north Indian Ocean is creeping up its coastlines.

Why is the Indian Ocean rising so fast? A weakening of Indian summer monsoons has meant warmer ocean water, due in part to a process called “thermal expansion,” according to a recent study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The summer monsoon typically blows heat from north to south. But researchers from the Centre for Climate Change Research in Pune, India have found that these monsoons, for the last three decades, have been too weak to properly push heat through this system. As a result, the heat gets absorbed by the ocean. When water warms, it expands and takes up more volume. That’s thermal expansion.

The research: The team, led by climate scientist Swapna Panickal, reviewed climate and sea level data from the 1950s to 2016 and conducted ocean simulation experiments in the lab. The team’s analysis indicated that summer monsoon winds and rainfall had significantly decreased in frequency and intensity over this time.

After concluding that thermal expansion played a role in this particular region and knowing that global sea level rise is primarily due to melting ice caps and glaciers, they concluded that the two combined were responsible for the acceleration of sea level rise in the northern Indian Ocean.

Why it matters: Rising sea levels are already putting lives at risk. According to the study, 2.6 billion people — or about 40 percent of the global population — live in and around the Indian Ocean. Places in India like Chennai, with its seaside nuclear plant, and Mumbai, with thousands of homes, offices and slum settlements along the coast, are in danger of getting submerged.

From Panickal: “Aerosols, pollutants and ongoing warming is often viewed in a global perspective. And here we see all of these things acting together on a regional scale and causing drastic changes.”

Panickal cautions: “We will have to adapt to this situation and prepare for global temperature extremes and sea level rise. Actions and policies need to be taken by the government. Our institute provides information that the country can use to help those living near the Indian Ocean.”

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/why-is-the-indian-ocean-rising-so-rapidly
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Offline knarf

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Re: The world's saints and sinners, according to Canada
« Reply #9151 on: November 19, 2017, 05:29:28 AM »

A wee bit thick on the rhetoric me thinks...

On the contrary....

Crime and struggle — Palestine’s centenary

Last week coincided with the 100th anniversary of the “British crime” against the Palestinians, represented by the Balfour Declaration to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine.

The crime was legalised by the League of Nations through the British Mandate for Palestine. The mandate document included the establishment of a national home for the Jews without any reference to the political rights of the Palestinians; it only referred to the civil and religious rights.

Britain worked vigorously to enable Jewish immigrants to invade Palestinian territories as a preliminary step towards the establishment of Israel, which was recognised by the United Nations.

Britain and its allies usurped the rights of a people who lived on their land, giving this land that they did not possess to immigrants who left their homes in Europe.

Still, until now, the official British conscience never acknowledged this crime and the British government never apologised for committing this historical sin against the Palestinians.

Yet, the Palestinians’ struggle for their rights has never stopped throughout these 100 years. In the process, they lost more than 150,000 martyrs, hundreds of villages, utilities and projects were demolished and millions of people have been driven away by Israeli racial gangs and institutions.

It is an incommensurate battle between a small nation, limited in potentials, that of the Palestinian people, and millions of Jewish immigrants with absolute American and British support, in addition to the Jewish money and the Zionist influence in Europe and America.

British Prime Minister Teresa May’s statement when “celebrating” the centenary of the crime is void of decency, diplomacy and humanity. It is an example of shortsightedness and political hypocrisy.

She does not see the victim at all and celebrates with the felon. This clearly shows that the racial imperial mentality and submissiveness to Zionist pressures are still prevalent in the British government.

The majority of Britons are innocent of this crime, and today they do not agree with the imperial and inhuman approach adopted by their government.

Unfortunately, politicians usually secure their future at the expense of others, and many think of their political positions before thinking of peoples’ rights or of international and human law.

Occupation, expansion, misleading the world public opinion, falsification of facts, distortion of the Palestinian and Arab image, are all important components of the Zionist movement strategy, which is still aggressively seeking to take over the remaining part of the Palestinian territories and some of neighbouring Arab territories, and to wipe out the demographic, cultural and historical existence of the Palestinian people.

Israel, thus, poses a danger to Palestine and neighbouring Arab countries.

Israel is not ready for peace and does not accept the two-state solution along the 1967 borders. Nor have Britain and the US stopped their material, moral, legal, diplomatic and military support for the occupation.

The Palestinians have never given in and are bound to continue their struggle to regain their rights for as long as it takes.

Israel and Zionism strive to lead the Palestinian people to complete surrender before starting serious negotiations, as enjoined by Ze’ev Jabotinsky 80 years ago.

Palestinians, and the rest of the Arabs, need to capitalise on the transformation in the European and American public opinion about Israel’s aggressiveness, racism and absence of seriousness towards peace.

A new phase of struggle based on reason, science, wisdom, patriotism and law should be started, first by consolidating Palestinian unity, renewing its institutions, bridging the gap between the West Bank and Gaza and not allowing Israel to reinstate division.

Second, the Palestinians’ steadfastness on their land should be supported and promoted through all material, moral and legal means.

Third, the BDS, the international boycott movement against Israel, needs to be lent support, and there should be communication with professional, legal, academic and parliamentary groups throughout the world to protest against laws that were issued against BDS.

Adoption of a popular boycott in the Arab region will be most effective.

Fourth, the distorted image fabricated by Israel about the Palestinians has to be corrected, and the human, intellectual, cultural, artistic, scientific aspects of the Palestinian people has to be highlighted at every meeting, international or popular institutions and on every occasion.

Fifth, Israeli media campaigns and electronic sites that aim to export crises to the Arab communities through distorted religious, sectarian, racial or regional platforms or predicaments and through political expressions that aim to turn Palestinians away from their struggle should be carefully monitored and countered.

And sixth, international parliamentary and legal institutions must be approached and solicited to support Palestinian rights, while asking Britain to apologise for its historical responsibility for the displacement of the Palestinian people.

Palestinians have been struggling for 100 years against Zionist Israeli apartheid and imperialism.

History is made by freedom-seeking people; the quest for their rights will never stop for the Palestinians.

http://www.jordantimes.com/opinion/ibrahim-badran/crime-and-struggle-%E2%80%94-palestine%E2%80%99s-centenary
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Offline Eddie

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Re: The Demise of Dissent: Why the Web Is Becoming Homogenized
« Reply #9152 on: November 19, 2017, 01:25:24 PM »
In other words, we'll be left with officially generated and sanctioned fake news and "approved" dissent.
We've all heard that the problem with the web is fake news, i.e. unsubstantiated or erroneous content that's designed to mislead or sow confusion.
The problem isn't just fake news--it's the homogenization of the web, that is, the elimination or marginalization of independent voices of skepticism and dissent.
There are four drivers of this homogenization:
1. The suppression of dissent under the guise of ridding the web of propaganda and fake news--in other words, dissent is labeled fake news as a cover for silencing critics and skeptics.
2. The sharp decline of advertising revenues flowing to web publishers, both major outlets and small independent publishers like Of Two Minds.
3. The majority of advert revenues now flow into the coffers of the quasi-monopolies Facebook and Google.
4. Publishers are increasingly dependent on these quasi-monopolies for readers and visibility: any publisher who runs afoul of Facebook and Google and is sent to Digital Siberia effectively vanishes.
The reason why publishers' advert incomes are plummeting are four-fold:
1. Most of the advert revenues in the digital market are being skimmed by Facebook and Google, as the chart below illustrates.
2. Ad blockers have become ubiquitous.
3. Few people click on the display ads that are the standard in desktop web publishing; in other words, these ads simply don't work very well, and much of the revenue being generated is click-fraud, i.e. bots not real people clicking on adverts because they're interested in the product/service. As a result, advertisers are pulling away from these type of ads as they search for advert models that aren't so vulnerable to click-fraud.
4. The web is increasingly shifting to mobile, which has fewer advert spots due to the small size of the display. In addition, major third-party advert services such as Google Adsense place restrictions on the number and size of ads being displayed on publishers' sites.
The systemic erosion of advert revenues for everyone other than FB and Google is evident everywhere: for example, BuzzFeed Set to Miss Revenue Target, Signaling Turbulence in Media Prospects for a 2018 initial public offering by the high-profile publisher now appear remote.
Digital publisher BuzzFeed is on track to miss its revenue target this year by a significant amount, the latest sign that troubles in the online-ad business are making it tough for new-media upstarts to live up to lofty expectations.
As a result of these two dynamics--the censorship of dissenting views under the excuse of limiting fake news, and the erosion of advert income--independent publishers are losing ground. While those posting on Facebook and other social media sites have little expectation of monetizing their content, many web publishers made enough income off adverts or affiliated income (from YouTube channels, for example) to justify the enormous time and effort they expended keeping their channel/site going.
As advert income has dwindled, there are only two other revenue models available to publishers: a subscription service or Patreon, i.e. the direct financial support of users/readers/viewers. Major publishers are struggling to build a subscription base large enough to fund their operations, a task made more difficult by the expectation that all content is free or should be free.
Patreon has been a boon for thousands of independent writers, journalists, cartoonists, filmmakers and other creators of content. The Patreon model (as I understand it, and yes I have a Patreon campaign) is not based on content that's behind a paywall available to subscribers only, but on providing incentives in the form of content or other rewards to those who choose to contribute.
The Patreon model only works if enough users/readers/viewers step up to support content creators they value. I think the success of Patreon suggests that many people are willing to support the content creators they value. But like all voluntary revenue models, there's the free-rider issue: people who may have the income to pay a bit for content choose not to, and in essence free-ride on those few who do contribute/pay for content.
Some people have advanced the model of micropayments as the solution to the problem of compensating content creators fairly. While this model has some obvious benefits--pennies charged for access to content might add up to a living for content creators if their audience was large enough--it would still be a voluntary system, and thus it would have the same free-rider issue as every other voluntary payment-for-content idea.
Posting "free" content on social media ends up driving advert revenues to the social media and search monopolies, leaving nothing for the content creators. There is only so much serious content that can be created for free.
If what we're left with is "free" content (i.e. the creator gets no income for creating and posting content), Facebook, Google and click-bait link farms of sensationalist headlines, we'll end up with a thoroughly homogenized web of "approved content" underwritten by lobbyists, the entertainment industry and elitist foundations/think tanks, and little in the way of real dissent or diversity of independent analysis.
In other words, we'll be left with officially generated and sanctioned fake news and "approved" dissent: unemployment is at record lows, inflation is near zero, the "recovery" is alive and well, Russia is the enemy and any suggestion to the contrary is propaganda that must be eradicated as fake news, etc.
Simply put, the web is becoming Orwellian. There's plenty of approved "diversity of opinion," but dissent is being sidelined to the fringes as a risk to the perfection of managed content.



http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.ca/2017/11/the-demise-of-dissent-why-web-is.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+google/RzFQ+(oftwominds)

This is all pretty much on the money, imho.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline knarf

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Methodist Church appoints first transgender minister
« Reply #9153 on: November 19, 2017, 04:24:41 PM »

A university chaplain has become the Methodist Church's first transgender minister - after hiding her true identity for more than four decades.

A university chaplain has become the Methodist Church's first transgender minister after hiding her true identity for more than four decades.

Joy Everingham, 46, spent years secretly applying lipstick and wearing women's clothes before finally coming out three years ago.

She first announced that she planned to transition while training to become a minister, before becoming ordained last summer.

It is the first time a transgender person has been appointed as a minister in the church with the church's knowledge.

The mother-of-two from Canterbury, Kent, says she first knew she was different aged just five, and 'didn't fit in with everyone else'.

She said: "I wasn't like the boys, I was always more like the girls.

"My dad used to joke 'I've got three kids, one of each', so I was obviously different - I couldn't hide it.

"I went through my teenage years trying to be as boyish as possible. It always felt really disjointed, so I hid.

"If I'd admitted how I really felt at secondary school I think I would have been beaten with sticks.

"I'd put make-up on, put my mum's shoes on. It was liberating, but at the same time I felt dirty, and I felt wrong.

"I felt like I was the only person in the world who was like that."

Aged 15, Joy became a Christian, which she says was life-changing.

Four years later, she started dating her best friend of six years, Ruth, and the pair married when she was 22.

For eight years, Ruth was oblivious to the secret life her husband was living, unaware he was hiding clothes in the loft and continuing to dress as a woman.

But shortly after the birth of their first son, Joy, 27, travelled to Leeds on a secret trip to a transgender club, and it proved to be a defining moment in her journey.

She added: "It made me realise it wasn't going to go away. I felt so at ease with myself. I felt normal.

"Coming back to the hotel that night I was thinking 'I don't want to take 'me' off'.

"I didn't want to go back to being what I what was. I knew I had to tell Ruth.

"We were sitting in bed and said 'I've got something to tell you'.

"I started crying and couldn't breathe - it was probably the hardest thing I've ever done.

"Ruth was convinced I was either having an affair, or I was gay, it was obviously a bit of a shock.

"I thought she was going to leave me, or kick me out, but she said 'I've got to think about this'."

Much to Joy's relief, Ruth was prepared to help her explore her identity, but she said she would leave if Joy transitioned.

After the birth of the couple's second son in 2002, they decided Joy would live full-time as a man and all of her clothes were taken to a charity shop.



She became hugely depressed, and aged 45, Joy was referred to a gender clinic and diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

But despite doctors confirming what she always knew, the threat of Ruth leaving was very real, forcing Joy to continue to lock her true identity away.

Aged 41, she decided to become a minister with the Methodist Church.

After two years of training in Birmingham, Joy started work at St Peter's Methodist Church in Canterbury, arriving in the September of 2014 and setting up home in Faversham.

The following month Radio 5 DJ Stephanie Hirst - then called Simon - revealed on air she was going to transition to a woman, which prompted Ruth's acceptance of Joy's feelings.

She told senior church leaders of her plan to transition, receiving their full support, before revealing it to her new congregation in a notice handed out before a service.

Joy began living as a woman full-time and 18 months ago started taking cross-sex hormones.

She said: "Ruth loves me for who I am, but she's still attracted to men.

"I'm not sure she is really attracted to me sexually anymore, but we're still in love and we're still best friends.

"She still sees me as the same person, I just look a bit different.

"Transitioning has made our lives easier, it has become wonderfully normal."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/17/methodist-church-appoints-first-transgender-minister/
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Offline knarf

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Millennials say no to kids, population 'replacement level' turns negative
« Reply #9154 on: November 19, 2017, 04:28:48 PM »
America is in a “baby bust,” driven by millennials who are having kids at record low rates, according to a new report that warns America is no longer making enough babies to keep pace with deaths.

While moms need to have 2.1 births to keep pace with deaths, a number last hit in 2010, it has dropped dramatically to just 1.8, according to a report from the Negative Population Growth Inc., which cheers negative growth.

“The fertility rate decline is driven entirely by millennial mothers in their teens and twenties,” said the report. “Birth rates for all age groups of women under 30 fell to record lows in 2016,” it added.



The trend is also being seen among immigrant millennials, said the report. While immigrants have a record of producing more babies than the native population, the report found a huge shift. The group’s analysis said:

“Birth rates among the foreign born, including Millennials, have been higher than those of the U.S. born. But recent data shows that the foreign born rate is now falling significantly faster in all foreign born age groups than among the U.S. born. [The report] concludes that in matters of family size, immigrant millennials have embraced the ‘smaller is better’ ethos of their host nation.”

As a result, it said, “the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has slipped below the 2.1 children per mother threshold regarded as the ‘replacement level.’”

The report explains the shift to smaller families is driven by the poor economy, broken American Dream, and job losses millennials witnessed growing up.

It said, “Millennials came of age during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Many saw their parents lose their jobs, their homes, and their dignity — and vowed they would not repeat those mistakes. As a result, life-cycle milestones so prized by their Baby Boomer parents — the first driver’s license, marriage, children, home-ownership — are postponed, or abandoned altogether, by millennials.”

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/millennials-say-no-to-kids-population-replacement-level-turns-negative/article/2640743?
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Offline Surly1

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Re: The Demise of Dissent: Why the Web Is Becoming Homogenized
« Reply #9155 on: November 19, 2017, 06:45:11 PM »
In other words, we'll be left with officially generated and sanctioned fake news and "approved" dissent.
We've all heard that the problem with the web is fake news, i.e. unsubstantiated or erroneous content that's designed to mislead or sow confusion.
The problem isn't just fake news--it's the homogenization of the web, that is, the elimination or marginalization of independent voices of skepticism and dissent.
There are four drivers of this homogenization:
1. The suppression of dissent under the guise of ridding the web of propaganda and fake news--in other words, dissent is labeled fake news as a cover for silencing critics and skeptics.
2. The sharp decline of advertising revenues flowing to web publishers, both major outlets and small independent publishers like Of Two Minds.
3. The majority of advert revenues now flow into the coffers of the quasi-monopolies Facebook and Google.
4. Publishers are increasingly dependent on these quasi-monopolies for readers and visibility: any publisher who runs afoul of Facebook and Google and is sent to Digital Siberia effectively vanishes.
The reason why publishers' advert incomes are plummeting are four-fold:
1. Most of the advert revenues in the digital market are being skimmed by Facebook and Google, as the chart below illustrates.
2. Ad blockers have become ubiquitous.
3. Few people click on the display ads that are the standard in desktop web publishing; in other words, these ads simply don't work very well, and much of the revenue being generated is click-fraud, i.e. bots not real people clicking on adverts because they're interested in the product/service. As a result, advertisers are pulling away from these type of ads as they search for advert models that aren't so vulnerable to click-fraud.
4. The web is increasingly shifting to mobile, which has fewer advert spots due to the small size of the display. In addition, major third-party advert services such as Google Adsense place restrictions on the number and size of ads being displayed on publishers' sites.
//


http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.ca/2017/11/the-demise-of-dissent-why-web-is.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+google/RzFQ+(oftwominds)

This is all pretty much on the money, imho.

Yes, indeed. And just wait until Ajit Pai delivers for his paymasters.
Premium lanes, fast lanes for pay, slow lanes, and fuck-you lanes for freebies and nonprofits like this pissoir. Enjoy your internet and the Diner while you can; in ten minutes you won't be able to find it.
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Offline David B.

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Re: The world's saints and sinners, according to Canada
« Reply #9156 on: November 19, 2017, 09:58:01 PM »

A wee bit thick on the rhetoric me thinks...

On the contrary....

Crime and struggle — Palestine’s centenary

Last week coincided with the 100th anniversary of the “British crime” against the Palestinians, represented by the Balfour Declaration to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine.

The crime was legalised by the League of Nations through the British Mandate for Palestine. The mandate document included the establishment of a national home for the Jews without any reference to the political rights of the Palestinians; it only referred to the civil and religious rights.

Britain worked vigorously to enable Jewish immigrants to invade Palestinian territories as a preliminary step towards the establishment of Israel, which was recognised by the United Nations.

Britain and its allies usurped the rights of a people who lived on their land, giving this land that they did not possess to immigrants who left their homes in Europe.

Still, until now, the official British conscience never acknowledged this crime and the British government never apologised for committing this historical sin against the Palestinians.

Yet, the Palestinians’ struggle for their rights has never stopped throughout these 100 years. In the process, they lost more than 150,000 martyrs, hundreds of villages, utilities and projects were demolished and millions of people have been driven away by Israeli racial gangs and institutions.

It is an incommensurate battle between a small nation, limited in potentials, that of the Palestinian people, and millions of Jewish immigrants with absolute American and British support, in addition to the Jewish money and the Zionist influence in Europe and America.

British Prime Minister Teresa May’s statement when “celebrating” the centenary of the crime is void of decency, diplomacy and humanity. It is an example of shortsightedness and political hypocrisy.

She does not see the victim at all and celebrates with the felon. This clearly shows that the racial imperial mentality and submissiveness to Zionist pressures are still prevalent in the British government.

The majority of Britons are innocent of this crime, and today they do not agree with the imperial and inhuman approach adopted by their government.

Unfortunately, politicians usually secure their future at the expense of others, and many think of their political positions before thinking of peoples’ rights or of international and human law.

Occupation, expansion, misleading the world public opinion, falsification of facts, distortion of the Palestinian and Arab image, are all important components of the Zionist movement strategy, which is still aggressively seeking to take over the remaining part of the Palestinian territories and some of neighbouring Arab territories, and to wipe out the demographic, cultural and historical existence of the Palestinian people.

Israel, thus, poses a danger to Palestine and neighbouring Arab countries.

Israel is not ready for peace and does not accept the two-state solution along the 1967 borders. Nor have Britain and the US stopped their material, moral, legal, diplomatic and military support for the occupation.

The Palestinians have never given in and are bound to continue their struggle to regain their rights for as long as it takes.

Israel and Zionism strive to lead the Palestinian people to complete surrender before starting serious negotiations, as enjoined by Ze’ev Jabotinsky 80 years ago.

Palestinians, and the rest of the Arabs, need to capitalise on the transformation in the European and American public opinion about Israel’s aggressiveness, racism and absence of seriousness towards peace.

A new phase of struggle based on reason, science, wisdom, patriotism and law should be started, first by consolidating Palestinian unity, renewing its institutions, bridging the gap between the West Bank and Gaza and not allowing Israel to reinstate division.

Second, the Palestinians’ steadfastness on their land should be supported and promoted through all material, moral and legal means.

Third, the BDS, the international boycott movement against Israel, needs to be lent support, and there should be communication with professional, legal, academic and parliamentary groups throughout the world to protest against laws that were issued against BDS.

Adoption of a popular boycott in the Arab region will be most effective.

Fourth, the distorted image fabricated by Israel about the Palestinians has to be corrected, and the human, intellectual, cultural, artistic, scientific aspects of the Palestinian people has to be highlighted at every meeting, international or popular institutions and on every occasion.

Fifth, Israeli media campaigns and electronic sites that aim to export crises to the Arab communities through distorted religious, sectarian, racial or regional platforms or predicaments and through political expressions that aim to turn Palestinians away from their struggle should be carefully monitored and countered.

And sixth, international parliamentary and legal institutions must be approached and solicited to support Palestinian rights, while asking Britain to apologise for its historical responsibility for the displacement of the Palestinian people.

Palestinians have been struggling for 100 years against Zionist Israeli apartheid and imperialism.

History is made by freedom-seeking people; the quest for their rights will never stop for the Palestinians.

http://www.jordantimes.com/opinion/ibrahim-badran/crime-and-struggle-%E2%80%94-palestine%E2%80%99s-centenary
Speaking only for myself as a Canadian more or less in line with the liberal party I would say you have confirmed the unspoken rule we follow in Canada. We will leave the middle east well enough alone. Say anything at all in line with Israel you get hammered for it, come out in support of the Palestinians and an equal and opposite hammer will crunch you. Yearly the more left leaning parties condemn various governments it's expected and a little righteous red meat for a section of the faithful. Not my cup of tea myself I'm what we call a small l liberal myself.  I do find it odd that you rarely hear mention the role massive overpopulation plays in the region. Too many people too little water not enough arable land little in terms of resources other then oil too many versions of god. A powder keg.
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Offline knarf

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Re: The world's saints and sinners, according to Canada
« Reply #9157 on: November 20, 2017, 04:40:02 AM »

Speaking only for myself as a Canadian more or less in line with the liberal party I would say you have confirmed the unspoken rule we follow in Canada. We will leave the middle east well enough alone. Say anything at all in line with Israel you get hammered for it, come out in support of the Palestinians and an equal and opposite hammer will crunch you. Yearly the more left leaning parties condemn various governments it's expected and a little righteous red meat for a section of the faithful. Not my cup of tea myself I'm what we call a small l liberal myself.  I do find it odd that you rarely hear mention the role massive overpopulation plays in the region. Too many people too little water not enough arable land little in terms of resources other then oil too many versions of god. A powder keg.

Well, I guess your lucky to live in Canada.
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Offline knarf

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Charles Manson Dead After Spending 46 Years Behind Bars
« Reply #9158 on: November 20, 2017, 04:43:47 AM »


After spending nearly half a century in prison, Charles Manson has passed away at the age 83 on Sunday, Nov. 19, TMZ reports. Debra Tate, sister of actress/Manson victim Sharon Tate, confirmed the news to the online outlet. The 83-year-old mass murderer was rushed to a hospital in Bakersfield, CA on Nov. 12, according to TMZ and his condition quickly deteriorated. "It's not going to get any better for him," a source said shortly before his death, explaining that the inmate had undergone various procedures, all while being accompanied by five cops. "It's just a matter of time."

Charles' situation seemed beyond repair ever since he was sent to the hospital for internal bleeding in January. He needed to get surgery to repair a lesion in his intestines, but the doctors said he was too weak to operate on, so he was sent back to prison. It's a wonder he lasted almost a whole year without the lifesaving procedure.

Charles' death means relief for the many families affected by the murders of his cult in the late 1960's. Nine people were killed under his instructions, and he was sentenced to the death penalty in 1971, but his life was spared when California abolished capital punishment just one year later. Charles went on to spend 46 years behind bars.

The cult leader was perhaps at the peak of his pop culture relevance when he died, after many TV shows referenced him in 2017. American Horror Story: Cult used his image as portrayed by Evan Peters while his name came up multiple times in Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders. There have also been many documentaries and shows about the killer, including the 2015 drama Aquarius, where Gethin Anthony played Charles. We hope this brings closure to the many people affected by Charles' crimes.

http://www.intouchweekly.com/posts/charles-manson-dead-146901
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Offline knarf

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Germany bans children's smartwatches
« Reply #9159 on: November 20, 2017, 04:46:30 AM »

The German telecoms regulator urged parents to destroy children's smartwatches

A German regulator has banned the sale of smartwatches aimed at children, describing them as spying devices.

It had previously banned an internet-connected doll called, My Friend Cayla, for similar reasons.

Telecoms regulator the Federal Network Agency urged parents who had such watches to destroy them.

One expert said the decision could be a "game-changer" for internet-connected devices.

"Poorly secured smart devices often allow for privacy invasion. That is really concerning when it comes to kids' GPS tracking watches - the very watches that are supposed to help keep them safe," said Ken Munro, a security expert at Pen Test Partners.

"There is a shocking lack of regulation of the 'internet of things', which allows lax manufacturers to sell us dangerously insecure smart products.

"Using privacy regulation to ban such devices is a game-changer, stopping these manufacturers playing fast and loose with our kids' security," he added.

In a statement, the agency said it had already taken action against several firms offering such watches on the internet.

"Via an app, parents can use such children's watches to listen unnoticed to the child's environment and they are to be regarded as an unauthorised transmitting system," said Jochen Homann, president of the Federal Network Agency.

"According to our research, parents' watches are also used to listen to teachers in the classroom."

The agency also asked schools to "pay more attention" to such watches among students.
Tracking children

Such watches - which are sold by a large number of providers in Germany - are generally aimed at children between the ages of five and 12.

Most are equipped with a Sim card and a limited telephony function and are set up and controlled via an app.

In October, the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) reported that 'some children's watches - including Gator and GPS for kids - had flaws such as transmitting and storing data without encryption.

It meant that strangers, using basic hacking techniques, could track children as they moved or make a child appear to be in a completely different location.

It is not clear whether the German decision to ban such devices was based on the privacy issues associated with them or wider security flaws that have been uncovered by NCC and others.

Both firms said that they had resolved the security issues.

Finn Myrstad, head of digital policy at the NCC said: "This ban sends a strong signal to makers of products aimed at children that they need to be safer."

He called for Europe-wide measures to increase the security of such devices.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42030109
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Why there can never be a two-state solution
« Reply #9160 on: November 20, 2017, 04:53:19 AM »

In June 1967, Israel defeated the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, resulting in the Palestinian 'Naksa'

For the past 50 years, a United Nations Security Council resolution has helped to sustain Israel's occupation of Palestine, analysts say.

Ghada Karmi, a British-Palestinian author and lecturer at Exeter University's Institute of Arab and Islamic studies, says the central issue is that Israelis "never intended" to comply with UNSC Resolution 242.

"From the steady colonisation of the Palestinian area, you can see that there has been no attempt on the part of Israel to comply with any part of the resolution," she said.
Resolution 242

Following the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, a resolution called on Israel to give up the territories it occupied in exchange for a lasting peace with its neighbours.

Israel defeated the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, resulting in the Palestinian "Naksa", or setback, in June 1967.

In that year, Israel expelled some 430,000 Palestinians from their homes. The Naksa was perceived as an extension of the 1948 Nakba, or catastrophe, which accompanied the founding of the state of Israel.

In a matter of six days, Israel seized the remainder of historic Palestine, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. Later that year, Israel annexed East Jerusalem as well.

Apart from the Sinai Peninsula, all the other territories remain occupied to this day.

Under the sponsorship of the British ambassador to the UN at the time, Resolution 242 aimed to implement a "just and lasting peace in the Middle East" region.

The resolution's preamble explicitly prohibited the continuation of Israeli control over territory that was acquired by force during the war, citing "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security".

The resolution called on Israel to withdraw its forces from territories it had occupied in the Six-Day War, and urged all parties to acknowledge each other's territorial sovereignty.

    (i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force

    UN Security Council Resolution 242, Article 1

However, the resolution was used by Israel to continue its occupation of the territories, as it also called for "achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem" while falling short of addressing the Palestinian people's right to statehood, analysts note.

As a result, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which at the time was perceived by the international community and by the UN as the representative of the Palestinian people, refused to acknowledge the resolution until two decades later.

The resolution was later used as the basis for Arab-Israeli peace negotiations and the notion of creating a two-state solution along the internationally recognised 1967 borders.

But in the US-based Journal of Palestine Studies, lawyer and Georgetown University professor Noura Erekat wrote that Israel has used Resolution 242 to justify the seizure of Palestinian land.

"When Israel declared its establishment in May 1948, it denied that Arab Palestinians had a similar right to statehood as the Jews because the Arab countries had rejected the Partition Plan," Erekat wrote, referencing UN Resolution 181.

The final language of Resolution 242 did not correct the failure to realise Palestinian self-determination, referring merely to the "refugee problem", she added.

"Following the 1967 war, Israel argued that given the sovereign void in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip the territories were neither occupied nor not occupied," Erekat said, noting that Israel used this argument "to steadily grab Palestinian land without absorbing the Palestinians on the land".

Though Resolution 242 qualifies "occupied territories" as those areas occupied or acquired during the war, analysts say Israel used the "vagueness" of the language to its benefit.

"[Israel and its allies] are saying there isn't anything specific - there aren't any specific territories mentioned - which means, 'We can have this or that,'" Karmi said.

"This whole vagueness argument is artificial, to throw dust in the eye. The problem with the resolution is that it has never been implemented. That is one of the most serious things about it."
Sustaining the occupation

Mouin Rabbani, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute for Palestine Studies, said the political context of the time was the underlying force behind the resolution's lack of execution.

"Israel's victory in 1967 was largely seen as an American victory as much as an Israeli victory," Rabbani told Al Jazeera. "This was in the height of the cold war."

The United States' UN representative at the time played a significant role in trying to steer the resolution in Israel's favour, he said.

"It [Israel] had absolutely no intention of leaving, and it never came under sufficient political or military pressure whereby the costs of remaining in the occupied territories became higher than benefits of doing so," he said.

The importance of Resolution 242 actually came much later, after political developments formed the basis of an international consensus for a two-state-solution - a notion that began to emerge among the Palestinian leadership in the 1970s, Rabbani said.

"Today, we always talk about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict - that didn't really exist at the time," he said. "It was the Arab/Israeli conflict and the question of Palestine."
Palestinian dispossession

The fact that Palestinian statehood was not awarded much significance in the resolution is not the outcome of deliberate sidelining; rather, it is due to the political lens in which Palestine was seen at the time.

Despite the fact that Resolution 242 paved the way for negotiations, it is now "completely irrelevant", Karmi said.

"The basic issue to resolve this conflict is return. This is the basic issue - these people [the Palestinians] are dispossessed," she said.

But even with a series of brokered peace talks, there has been no real progress towards implementing a two-state solution, with discussions at a stalemate amid the expansion of Jewish settlements.

The soaring settlement project, which is in direct contravention of international law, has brought around 600,000 Israelis into dozens of Jewish settlements throughout the occupied West Bank. Israeli authorities expropriate Palestinian land and carry out home demolitions on a regular basis, most commonly to expand existing settlements, or occasionally to build new ones.

Checkpoints and Israel's separation wall have further hindered Palestinians' freedom of movement.

"Israel is totally in control of the Palestinian territories - not just the West Bank, but also Gaza," Karmi said.

The Gaza Strip, home to about two million people, has been under siege for more than a decade. In 2007, after the election victory of Hamas and the group's assumption of control over the territory, Israel imposed a strict land, aerial and naval blockade.

"The fact of total Israeli control of 100 percent of Palestine is precisely and fundamentally why you can't have a two-state solution," Karmi said.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/state-solution-171119093352403.html
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Wake Up and Smell the Traffic? London Tries Coffee to Power Buses
« Reply #9161 on: November 20, 2017, 01:15:31 PM »

The first batch of coffee-based oil added to the fuel for London’s buses would be enough to run one of the vehicles for about a year.

It was part of the imagery of much earlier times: a red double-decker bus nudging through London streets shrouded in smog created in part by its own exhaust fumes.

Such was the vehicle’s lumbering notoriety that a musical duo popular in the 1950s and ’60s, Flanders and Swann, composed a tongue-in-cheek panegyric to the “London Transport diesel-engined 97-horsepower omnibus.” They called their song “A Transport of Delight.”

On Monday, though, the city’s 9,500 buses — still mostly painted red — laid claim to a fresher narrative.

While the worst smogs, or “pea soupers,” have long dispersed, London still chokes on high levels of pollution. Seeking to curb toxic diesel fumes, transportation officials and companies are hunting for new sources of energy for the buses.

The latest idea? Coffee grounds.

On Monday, in a much-hyped debut, a company called Bio-bean, in partnership with the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, introduced relatively small amounts of oil produced from coffee grounds into the mix of diesel and biofuels mandated by the city authorities.
Continue reading the main story
Related Coverage

    London's Beloved Bus Returns, With an Update DEC. 29, 2011
    Opinion Dot Earth Blog
    London, L.A., Beijing, Delhi, Nairobi… Is Smog an Inevitable Urban Growing Pain? FEB. 15, 2015
    OBSERVATORY
    Diesel, Made Simply From Coffee Grounds (Ah, the Exhaust Aroma) DEC. 15, 2008

The first batch of 6,000 liters, or about 1,580 gallons, would power one bus for a year, Bio-bean said in a news release. According to official figures in 2015, London’s buses used 240 million liters of diesel fuel a year.

Given the tiny proportion of coffee-based oil in the bus fuel, there was no immediate, empirical indication that the noisome whiff of central London’s air would turn into the alluring aroma of, say, a Roman cafe, or even a Starbucks. Coffee-based oil does have a strong smell of coffee, Bio-bean said, “but once it is processed, distilled, blended and mixed with mineral diesel, that odor is removed.”

Despite their traditional penchant for tea, Londoners drink an average of 2.3 cups of coffee a day, producing about 200,000 tons of used grounds, the news release said. Bio-bean collects that waste from coffee shops and factories and processes the sludge into oil.

“It’s a great example of what can de done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped source,” Arthur Kay, the company’s founder.

At present, according to Transport for London, which operates London’s public transportation system, the city authorities want to ensure that increasing numbers of buses are fueled by a blend of diesel and biofuels made of products such as waste cooking oil and tallow from meat processing companies.

Additionally, more than a sixth of the bus fleet is powered by hybrid engines, and that proportion is set to grow. The authorities also want to convert the 300 single-deck buses to run on electricity or hydrogen, which emit no exhaust fumes, Transport for London said.

For years, the British authorities offered lower vehicle taxes to motorists using low-carbon diesel engines. But in recent years, London and many other European capitals have become alarmed by concentrations of harmful nitrogen oxides in the city’s air. And a backlash against diesel has grown with the scandal over secret efforts by several major carmakers, Volkswagen in particular, to circumvent emissions controls.

“We’ve got a health crisis in London caused directly by the poor-quality air,” Mayor Sadiq Khan said in October. “Roughly speaking, more than 9,000 Londoners die prematurely because of the poor-quality air.”

His remarks were made as the authorities introduced a charge for people driving into the city center in vehicles powered by engines that do not meet the latest European Union emissions standards, usually older diesel-powered models.

The so-called T-charge, meaning Toxicity Charge, is 10 pounds, or roughly $13 a day, in addition to the so-called congestion charge levied on drivers since 2003, which now stands at £11.50 a day, Monday through Friday.

That has brought the potential costs for a weekday drive into the city center to £21.50, approaching $30 — far more, in fact, than the cost of a latte or a double espresso.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/20/world/europe/london-coffee-buses.html
« Last Edit: November 20, 2017, 01:26:28 PM by knarf »
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AT&T Faces U.S. Antitrust Suit Over Time Warner Deal
« Reply #9162 on: November 20, 2017, 01:25:42 PM »
he U.S. Justice Department is poised to sue to block AT&T’s $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner, according to a person familiar with the matter, culminating more than a week of sparring over the deal and dealing a major blow to the carrier’s bid to create a media and telecommunications empire, Bloomberg News' Sara Forden and David McLaughlin report.

The Justice Department said it plans to make a major antitrust announcement Monday afternoon, without specifying the topic. The person familiar with the matter said the news regards the government’s plan to sue to block the proposed AT&T merger with Time Warner.

Developing...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-20/at-t-faces-u-s-antitrust-suit-over-time-warner-deal
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The Keystone XL pipeline passed a major hurdle on Monday after Nebraska regulators approved the route for the project, which faced opposition from environmentalists and the Obama administration.

The approval is also something of a victory for President Donald Trump, who overturned his predecessor's decision on a pair of controversial pipelines in the opening days of his presidency.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission voted 3 to 2 to approve TransCanada's route for Nebraska's portion of the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline. However, the future of the project is still subject to the outcome of a likely legal battle, and could yet be derailed by problematic economics in an age of low oil prices.

Groups that opposed the construction can appeal the commission's decision in state district court. It also remains to be seen whether the project is still commercially viable following three years of weak oil prices.

"As a result of today's decision, we will conduct a careful review of the Public Service Commission's ruling while assessing how the decision would impact the cost and schedule of the project," TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling said in a statement.

Nebraska landowners fought a yearslong legal battle with TransCanada over the project. The company withdrew its application with the state's Public Service Commission in 2015 after the State Department blocked the pipeline. It submitted a new application with the commission in February after Trump issued an executive memo to advance the project.



he Keystone XL would bring oil from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would connect to an existing Keystone pipeline system. TransCanada shut part of the existing line last week after 5,000 barrels leaked from the system, contaminating land in northern South Dakota

Then-President Barack Obama refused to approve the cross-border project, saying the environmental review was not adequate in light of its route through the Sandhills ecosystem in Nebraska.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry denied TransCanada a presidential permit in November 2015, saying the Keystone XL would not have a major impact on America's energy security, lower gas prices or contribute meaningfully to the economy. At the same time, he said, the pipeline could impact local communities, water supplies and cultural heritage sites, and would facilitate the import into the United States of "a particularly dirty source of fuel."

TransCanada countered that the Keystone XL would create thousands of construction jobs and generate tens of millions of dollars in property taxes annually to counties along the route.

Environmentalists oppose the project because it will encourage the development of Canada's oil sands, a type of oil resource that requires more energy to tap than conventional reserves. The Keystone XL has become a lightning rod in a movement to discourage oil production by blocking pipelines, the primary way of transporting it to market.

"Today the Nebraska PSC chose to stand with Trump, climate denial, and Big Oil," Stephen Kretzmann, executive director of Oil Change International, said in a statement. "Good luck with that. Whatever happens now there is precisely zero chance that the global citizen, investor, and government momentum behind the Paris [climate agreement] goals and against the fossil fuel industry will be stopped."

Backers of the project say it will reduce U.S. reliance on oil from the Middle East and allow the country to fulfill its energy needs from one of its closest allies.

"Nebraska recognizes the Keystone XL pipeline is in the public interest bringing good paying jobs and more affordable energy for U.S. consumers," Andy Black, president and CEO of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, said in a statement.
Commercial viability

The business case for moving Canadian crude to the United States through the line has dimmed somewhat since 2015, and TransCanada has reportedly had trouble lining up customers.

"Pipeline construction would negatively affect TransCanada's business risk profile through increased project execution risk, and would likely put pressure on financial metrics," Gavin MacFarlane, lead analyst for TransCanada at Moody's Investors Service, said in a statement.

However, some analysts believe the project could still make sense.

Zachary Rogers, refining and oil markets research analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said Monday's decision "greatly diminishes political risk" for the project. He noted that some comments on TransCanada's latest earnings conference call suggest the company is satisfied with the number of commitments it has secured from customers.

"The pipeline's commercial viability is strengthened as declining heavy oil production in Mexico and ongoing Venezuelan risk has recently tightened the heavy-crude market in the Gulf Coast," he said in a briefing after the decision.

Pulitzer prize-winning oil analyst Daniel Yergin told CNBC last week the Keystone XL could help U.S. refiners secure heavy crude at a time when supplies from Venezuela are uncertain.

If exports from Venezuela are disrupted, "people will wish they had built the Keystone XL pipeline because it really is Canada that can make up for some of that," said Yergin, vice chairman at IHS Markit.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/20/nebraska-commission-approves-keystone-xl-pipeline-route.html
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Nigeria suicide bombing kills 50 in Adamawa state
« Reply #9164 on: November 21, 2017, 05:00:49 AM »


At least 50 people have been killed in a suicide bombing in the eastern Nigerian state of Adamawa, police say.

A bomber struck inside a mosque packed with worshippers during morning prayers in the town of Mubi.

Witness Abubakar Sule told AFP news agency that it appeared the bomber was part of the congregation.

No-one has said they were behind the bombing but the Islamist militants Boko Haram typically target crowded places in northern Nigeria.

Some 20,000 people have been killed in Boko Haram's eight-year insurgency.

The BBC's Ishaq Khalid reports that Boko Haram militants have recently stepped up suicide bombings in Nigeria's north-east after the military recaptured territories previously controlled by the group.

At least 45 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack in the same state last December.

In that attack two female suicide bombers detonated their explosives in a busy market.

Boko Haram at a glance

    Founded in 2002
    Known locally as Boko Haram, meaning "Western education if forbidden"
    Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state
    Designated a terrorist group by US in 2013
    Declared a caliphate in areas it controlled in 2014
    Most territory now recaptured by army

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-42065509
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