AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1322548 times)

Offline knarf

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average index recently suffered two trading sessions when it lost more than 1,000 points. But American stocks may face a much bigger meltdown, warns banking giant Morgan Stanley.

Appetizer, not the main course,” the bank’s strategists wrote, describing the beginning of the year for the Dow, as quoted by Bloomberg.

The main threat to the stock market is higher bond yields and not faster inflation, according to analysts. A slowdown in the US economy could also be a factor for a decline in stocks.

“It’s when growth softens while inflation is still rising that returns suffer most,” Morgan Stanley wrote. “Strong global growth and a good first-quarter reporting season provided an important offset. We remain on watch for ‘tricky hand-off’ in the second quarter, as core inflation rises and activity indicators moderate.”

Despite the two bad days, the Dow is still up 2 percent since the beginning of the year, erasing all the losses.

Many analysts are comparing the current situation on the US stock markets to 2008 in the wake of the global financial crisis. At the time, stocks also hit several all-time highs, despite warning signs of the impending turmoil.

A recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch fund manager survey for February showed that 70 percent of those polled said the global economy is in its “late cycle.”

https://www.rt.com/business/419318-dow-jones-us-economy-crisis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS
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Offline knarf

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 The populist far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has garnered record high support, latest polling shows. For the first time, the anti-immigrant party has become more popular than the Social Democrats (SPD).

Nationwide public support for AfD, which is known for its controversially harsh anti-Islam and anti-immigrant stances, has once again risen to a record 16 percent, a survey conducted by the INSA polling center for the German Bild daily newspaper shows. Their popularity is now comparable to the record support they once had in September 2016.

At the same time, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is on a downward trend, as the public support for what once was one of the two major “people’s parties” in Germany seems to be waning. In what was called its worst post-war performance, the SPD received just 20.5 percent of the vote in the recent parliamentary elections in September 2017. Now, according to INSA, public support for the party has fallen to yet another all-time low of only 15.5 percent.

The AfD, however, improved its election result by more than three percentage points. Back in September, the far-right party gained 12.6 percent of the vote, allowing it to enter the German parliament for the first time in history.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), are still the strongest political forces in Germany, and they enjoy a clear lead in terms of public backing. The CDU/CSU alliance is still twice as popular as its closest rivals and has the backing of 32 percent of the German population. It is still one percentage point lower than its election result, though.

Notably, the poll figures allege that if the parliamentary elections in Germany had been held last Sunday, the CDU/CSU alliance would be unable to form a majority coalition with the Social Democrats – something that the two political forces are still desperately trying to accomplish almost five months after the elections. According to the poll, the CDU/CSU union and the SPD would only get 47.5 percent of the vote.

In the meantime, the AfD, which capitalized on the refugee crisis by repeatedly criticizing Merkel for her ‘open door’ policy, seems close to becoming the second most popular political party in Germany. The party, however, is still mired in controversy.

Most recently, Andre Poggenburg, state leader of the AfD in Saxony-Anhalt, provoked a wave of criticism by calling Turks living in Germany “camel drivers” who should “go back to where they belong.” His remarks were then lambasted by German politicians, ordinary citizens and even his own fellow party members.

The German Greens have 13 percent of public support. Meanwhile, the Left Party and the Free Democrats (FDP) both sustained small losses of around one percentage point and received 11 and nine percent of public support, respectively.

https://www.rt.com/news/419286-afd-surpass-social-democrats-germany-poll/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS
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Offline knarf

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A top climate scientist is warning that climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.

In a recent speech at the University of Chicago, James Anderson — a professor of atmospheric chemistry at Harvard University — warned that climate change is drastically pushing Earth back to the Eocene Epoch from 33 million BCE, when there was no ice on either pole. Anderson says current pollution levels have already catastrophically depleted atmospheric ozone levels, which absorb 98 percent of ultraviolet rays, to levels not seen in 12 million years.

Anderson’s assessment of humanity’s timeline for action is likely accurate, given that his diagnosis and discovery of Antarctica’s ozone holes led to the Montreal Protocol of 1987. Anderson’s research was recognized by the United Nations in September of 1997. He subsequently received the United Nations Vienna Convention Award for Protection of the Ozone Layer in 2005, and has been recognized by numerous universities and academic bodies for his research.

While some governments have made commitments to reduce carbon emissions (Germany has pledged to cut 95 percent of carbon emissions by 2050), Anderson warned that those measures were insufficient to stop the extinction of humanity by way of a rapidly changing climate. Instead, Anderson is calling for a Marshall Plan-style endeavor in which all of the world takes extreme measures to transition off of fossil fuels completely within the next five years.

    Recovery is all but impossible, he argued, without a World War II-style transformation of industry—an acceleration of the effort to halt carbon pollution and remove it from the atmosphere, and a new effort to reflect sunlight away from the earth’s poles.

    This has do[sic] be done, Anderson added, within the next five years.

    “The chance that there will be any permanent ice left in the Arctic after 2022 is essentially zero,” Anderson said, with 75 to 80 percent of permanent ice having melted already in the last 35 years.

Anderson’s prediction of Arctic sea ice disappearing by 2022 may be closer to reality than a lot of us would hope. In 2016, University of Reading professor Ed Hawkins compiled global temperature data dating back to 1850, prior to the Industrial Revolution of the early 20th century and the oil boom, and turning the data into a time-lapse GIF. The most alarming part of the data showed that temperatures began rising exponentially faster at the start of the 21st century and show no signs of slowing down.

The good news is there are a relatively small amount of culprits responsible for the vast majority of carbon emissions, meaning governments know who to focus on. As Grit Post reported in July of 2017, more than half of all carbon emissions between 1988 and 2016 can be traced back to just 25 fossil fuel giants around the world. 10 of those 25 top emitters are American companies, meaning the onus is largely on the United States to rein in major polluters like ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Marathon Oil. Other offenders include Chinese companies extracting and burning coal, and Russian oil conglomerates like Rosneft, Gazprom, and Lukoil.

However, the bad news for humanity is that as long as Donald Trump is President of the United States, swift action to combat climate change seems unlikely prior to 2020, given that Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords and refuses to even acknowledge the threat of climate change despite warnings from U.S. government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.

https://gritpost.com/humans-extinct-climate-change/

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Offline Surly1

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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #11358 on: February 22, 2018, 03:45:49 AM »
Knarf, where are you? You OK?
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #11359 on: February 22, 2018, 04:01:44 AM »
Knarf, where are you? You OK?

Yea, I'm getting worried also.

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SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline knarf

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Green Eggs and Rancid Ham
« Reply #11360 on: February 22, 2018, 11:08:28 PM »
I want to let the readers on my newz channel know that I have been checking the newz every morning and evening. It all looks like "green eggs and rancid ham" to me right now. So I am not posting anything I see. I don't know if the color of my glasses has changed or that the newz cycle right now is meaningless to me. Probably the first, and as my Buddhist practice involves a changing universe I follow the best I can those changes.
  I am led these past few dayz to go through our data base of collected movies off of uTube. There are about 500 of them. I am deleting the crummy ones and keeping the ones that hold my attention.
  I can make no predictions when this will change or even if it will change. So for now I will be checking the news and possibly post, and continue through the data base.

Knarf
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Re: Green Eggs and Rancid Ham
« Reply #11361 on: February 23, 2018, 01:39:30 AM »
I want to let the readers on my newz channel know that I have been checking the newz every morning and evening. It all looks like "green eggs and rancid ham" to me right now. So I am not posting anything I see. I don't know if the color of my glasses has changed or that the newz cycle right now is meaningless to me. Probably the first, and as my Buddhist practice involves a changing universe I follow the best I can those changes.
  I am led these past few dayz to go through our data base of collected movies off of uTube. There are about 500 of them. I am deleting the crummy ones and keeping the ones that hold my attention.
  I can make no predictions when this will change or even if it will change. So for now I will be checking the news and possibly post, and continue through the data base.

Knarf

Glad to hear you are OK.  At least I know what to serve for breakfast this morning.  :icon_mrgreen:

Why delete movies?  Other Diners might find them of interest even if you don't.

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Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #11362 on: February 23, 2018, 02:35:06 AM »
Quote
Why delete movies?  Other Diners might find them of interest even if you don't.

RE

Had assumed he meant the ones where he lives, not the Diner's postings.

Would have asked  the same thing if I thought otherwise.  :icon_scratch: :icon_scratch:

Offline knarf

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Don't Mourn the End of Objective Journalism
« Reply #11363 on: February 24, 2018, 03:01:22 PM »
“Objectivity” may never have been the right thing to look for in the media.



In January, the Knight Foundation issued a new report on “trust, media, and democracy.” It was a long document—71 pages, with eight headings atop 28 bullet points in the “Key Findings” section alone—and took a detailed look at why modern news organizations struggle to “fulfill their democratic responsibilities of informing the public and holding government leaders accountable.” The report identified many contributing factors, but none more than the perception among the public that the nation’s news organizations weren’t being objective. According to a Gallup-Knight survey conducted for the report, fewer than half of all Americans could think of a news source that “reports the news objectively.” Political partisanship had, apparently, so eroded trust that respondents to a “media trust scale” rated their belief in the news at an abysmal 37 out of 100.

Implicit in both the report and its findings was the assumption that journalism should be objective and nonpartisan—and that the current state of affairs is unusual because it lacks both qualities. It represents a nostalgia for the supposed glory days when the press was the hero behind Watergate and the Pentagon Papers, and when integrity and independence mattered to journalists and publishers. “If I’ve lost Cronkite,” Lyndon Baines Johnson (reportedly) said, “I’ve lost the country.” These are concerns over which the current president likely does not lose much sleep.

Widespread objective, nonpartisan media did once exist in this country, from roughly the 1950s to the late 1970s. But at the time, that was something new, too. Before that, there was no press other than the partisan press. Newspapers controlled by the Federalists branded Thomas Jefferson an “infidel,” while the Democratic-Republican press called George Washington a “traitor.” Before journalism became a “profession” in the Progressive Era, newspaper editors organized parties and held meetings in their offices. So if the passage of modern objective news is lamentable, it is also not all that surprising. Objective reporting in this country arose from a unique confluence of circumstances: a consolidation of distribution technologies (more network television and fewer local newspapers), broad political consensus and bipartisanship, and a strong professional credo of independence. These factors came together like never before and perhaps never again.

With the advent of television, networks began experimenting with serious news programs, eventually enshrined in the 30-minute network news programs of the 1960s. People watched. Lots of them. What choice did they have? Americans consumed more or less the same news, which made it easier to agree on a single set of facts and narratives. Such consensus, unthinkable today, also stemmed from the existing political dynamics. In the postwar years, Democrats and Republicans were not the attack-oriented and ideologically disciplined teams they have become today but rather two loose, overlapping coalitions, with national programs similar enough to one another’s that they didn’t require entirely different facts and values to justify their existence. Political leaders might quibble with the tone or emphasis of news coverage—Nixon was famous for this—but what, really, could they do about it? The mainstream media served as both information gatekeeper and arbiter of fairness. There was no place else to go.

Equally important was that newspapers underwent a dramatic consolidation around this time. For decades, small cities in the United States had morning and evening newspapers with different political slants. Take Charleston, West Virginia, which published the conservative Daily Mail in the morning and the liberal Gazette in the afternoon. As television and radio expanded, the subscription base of newspapers collapsed, sinking news diversity along with it. Chains like Knight Ridder and McClatchy and Scripps took over the smaller markets, pushing out the other voices and imposing a wide-gauge, politically neutral uniformity. Between 1945 and 1968, the number of cities with two or more daily newspapers declined by more than 60 percent. Circulations at the remaining large publications swelled, and the publishers chose to accommodate subscribers, and of course advertisers, by catering to a broad—and yes, objective—range of political views.

The nonpartisan news consensus began to unravel in the 1980s. Cable television imposed a new kind of pressure on the broadcast networks, forcing them to forgo the serious, fact-based news that was the staple of objective, nonpartisan professional journalism in favor of eye-grabbing sensationalism. In 1969, 58 percent of network news stories had “civic affairs” content; by 1997, that number had fallen to just 36 percent. In 1987, Reagan revoked the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters to provide balanced news coverage, and conservative talk radio exploded: Between 1990 and 2009, the number of news or talk radio stations increased more than sixfold, reaching 53 million listeners per week. In 1996, Rupert Murdoch launched Fox News, which became the first partisan national television news network, forever altering the norms and underlying values of the profession. The internet did the rest.

The current wave of media consolidation has not resulted in more objectivity, as anyone who has ventured online for a read knows. Opinion-oriented blogs and full-fledged opinion web sites have supplanted many of the outlets of traditional media in influence, resulting in a sprawling range of partisan content. Professional norms have adapted to the dynamics of the new reality, self-optimizing for the powerful emotions of anger, threat, and outrage. This is great for political engagement—see Fox News—but bad for objectivity.

Is there a way to reverse the trend? Probably not. U.S. politics is now organized largely around national issues, which makes pragmatic compromise harder: People are less likely to give ground on these broad, symbolic issues, which tend to take on an all-or-nothing quality in the service of zero-sum partisan warfare. More important, Republican ideology has evolved from a vague antipathy to academics and intellectuals into an all-out hostility to almost all forms of science and expertise. Note that in the Knight Foundation report, it is Republicans who overwhelmingly—67 percent—claim to see a “great deal” of media bias, while only 26 percent of Democrats do. For people consuming rightward media, truth is not the stuff of fact checks and scientific method. It has an almost religious quality and is a matter of faith and feeling.

Technology will surely change again. Perhaps in a new era of virtual reality, the costs of news production will rise, and so, too, will the barriers to entry, pushing the bloggers and political hotheads out of the game and restoring objectivity. But even if the hot takers depart, opinions in hand, there is no guarantee that something good will replace them: Lack of news diversity could easily translate into centralized, totalitarian power, which may be one reason why the anti-tyranny ethos of the early United States produced a First Amendment that protected the free press.

More likely, Americans will have to learn to live with partisan media, which is the norm in most democracies, just as conflict and contestation are democratic norms (consensus politics deprives voters of meaningful choices). Partisan media can amplify existing partisan divisions—see Fox News yet again—but mostly they reflect them. In a political system divided on fundamental questions of science, religion, and national identity, the question of what responsible media looks like will only get more pressing—but it can’t be answered in terms of “objectivity.”

https://newrepublic.com/article/146895/learning-trust
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Offline knarf

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Using Statistics to Predict the Next World War
« Reply #11364 on: February 24, 2018, 03:06:47 PM »

The Correlates of War interstate war data ( 30 ) as a conflict time series, showing both severity (battle deaths) and onset year for the 95 conflicts in the period 1823–2003.

It’d be nice if we could foretell the future, wouldn’t it? Predicting the next social media trend could give our business an edge and allow it to thrive in a saturated market. But the closest we can get to some kind of soothsayer magic is learning from the past: looking back at what we know has happened and using that information to make estimated guesses about what might occur — and when.

Statistical analysis of many, many years worth of data (decades, if not centuries’ worth) can help us predict everything from hashtags to flu outbreaks — in fact, researchers have even used Twitter activity to predict flu activity. Researchers are even using historical data to improve weather forecasting and predict natural disasters.

Now, Aaron Clauset, an assistant professor and computer scientist at the University of Colorado, has attempted to predict one of the greatest threats to humanity: war.
An Era of Peace?

It’s been more than 70 years since the last major world war. In fact, both World War I and World War II occurred within just a thirty-year period. Although there has been significant interstate conflict in the decades since, we have not had a global conflict in nearly a century.

Some scholars argue that it’s only a matter of time. Others insist that we are living in an era of peace and that wars of that caliber, while part of our history, will not be part of our future. But is there any way to know for sure? Especially as technological advances have caused the very nature, and definition, of modern warfare to evolve?

In an attempt to answer these questions, Clauset reviewed data on wars occurring between 1823 to 2003, collected by the Correlates of War Project, an online repository of war-related datasets available to the public. He then created computer models that could help put that data into context.

As he reviewed the data, Clauset paid close attention to what the world was like before, during, and after a long period of conflict. He specifically wanted to find other post-war periods in history during which humanity went decades without another major war. By identifying these periods, he hoped to be able to suss out what, if anything, has set the current seventy-year stretch of global peace apart.

What he found was that, while this period of “peace” may feel remarkable to us, in the vast span of human history, it isn’t even unusual. Indeed, for the post-World War II era of peace to be even significant statistically, it would need to persist uninterrupted for 100-140 years.

We’re not even three-quarters of the way there.

“These results imply that the current peace may be substantially more fragile than proponents believe,” Clauset wrote in his analysis, published in the journal Science Advances. That being said, Clauset’s analysis does point out that war itself is an inherently rare event.

He also asserted that the close proximity of the two world wars, which were periods of incredible violence in the world, was essentially counterbalanced by the sporadic periods of war that have ensued since.

“In a purely statistical accounting sense,” Clauset wrote, “the long peace has simply balanced the books relative to the great violence.” He argued that if the books have been balanced, then in terms of predicting when the next major war will occur (statistically speaking, anyway), “the hazard of a very large war would remain constant.”

Clauset anticipated that, while humanity would probably appreciate the ability to predict moderate-to-major conflicts, the bigger question always remains: How far are we from the kind of catastrophic warfare that would put an end to life on Earth?

So Clauset also used his statistical model to predict the timeline of humanity’s ultimate downfall. Accounting for all the variables — changes in the global population, technological advances, and shifting political landscapes — his best guess put humanity’s doomsday anywhere between 383 to 11,489 years from now, with a median of 1,339 years.

He conceded that the probability of such a highly variable event is “likely unknowable.” But Clauset concluded that even if we can’t know for sure, “the prospect of a civilization-ending conflict in the next 13 centuries is sobering.”

https://futurism.com/using-statistics-predict-world-war/

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Offline knarf

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Rohingya refugee children are too scared to leave their tents at night for fear of being attacked by wild elephants, snakes, rapists, thugs and human traffickers.

The finding was revealed in a new report released by the Save the Children foundation marking the six-month anniversary of the Rohingya refugee crisis, which has already seen at least 688,000 Rohingya refugees displaced into Bangladesh. More than half of them are children.

The refugees have been living in temporary camps comprised of bamboo and plastic tents since the August 25, 2017, crackdown by Myanmar military, which was touted as an anti-terrorist "clearance operation".

Those children who survived the ensuing violence — including the murders of family members and the destruction of their homes — continue to live in fear and turmoil.

Many have told researchers they face harassment by men at camp toilets, attacks by "forest men" while collecting firewood, and dangers posed by wild animals.

"Everybody suffers when collecting firewood. There was once a girl who was raped when collecting firewood at night," one girl is reported as saying.

Other children said they avoided leaving their homes or made sure to travel in groups in order to avoid being kidnapped by human traffickers.

At least 32 trafficking cases have been reported so far, though aid workers suspect many incidents have gone unreported.

"The overwhelming message from these children is that they are afraid … afraid of being taken in the night, afraid of what the future holds," Bangladesh Director for Save the Children Mark Pierce said.

"They have gone from living in a community where they know the neighborhood, have close friends, a routine, a good variety of food and safe places to play, to a chaotic, overcrowded and frightening place.

"Many are orphaned and lost, living in a perpetual state of anxiety."

Save the Children, together with World Vision and Plan International are propsiing a raft of measures to help protect children living in the Rohingya camps.

They include a review of current camp safety patrols, raising awareness about the risk of trafficking, adjusting camp layouts and signage to prevent children becoming lost, and empowering teenage girls to feel safer.

The call comes just a day after one of several bombs targeting government offices and other places in Myanmar's troubled Rakhine state were detonated.

Three bombs exploded and three unexploded devices were seized in Sittwe, the state capital. One police officer was reportedly injured.

One of the explosions was in front of a high-ranking government official's residence, state police officer Aung Myat Moe said.

Last month, local police fired at protesters in the ancient city of Mrauk-U, killing at least seven Rakhine Buddhists and injuring a dozen.

Communal violence in Sittwe in 2012 displaced more than 120,000 Rohingya Muslims now confined to camps outside of the city, where most Rakhine Buddhists remain.

https://www.9news.com.au/world/2018/02/25/08/36/rohingya-refugee-crisis-children-wild-animals-thugs-human-traffickers

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American Airlines, the world's largest carrier, is enjoying strong financial results, but service agents who work for a subsidiary carrier say they aren't sharing in that wealth.

A survey of 900 workers at regional carrier Envoy Air found that 27% of those who responded said they must accept food stamps and other public assistance to make ends meet. Other workers say they are forced to buy out-of-date food, borrow from retirement accounts and even sell blood to get by.

Envoy Air operates under the brand name American Eagle. American Airlines reported $1.9 billion in net profits for 2017.

A union representing Envoy's service agents has launched a social media campaign to highlight the workers' claims and to put pressure on American during contract negotiations, which have lasted nearly two years.

The workers, some of whom are paid as little as $9.48 an hour, rallied last week at airports in Phoenix, Philadelphia, Orlando, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C.

The social media campaign features video interviews with workers, including a sobbing woman who said she works so many hours that she doesn't have time to spend with her family.

"I talk to some of my coworkers, and sometimes I bring groceries for them because they have nothing to eat," said the service agent, identified as Angelica Gutierrez.

A spokeswoman for Envoy declined to comment on the campaign, saying, "Out of respect for the integrity of the collective bargaining process, it's not appropriate to comment on the status of any provisions under discussion at this time."

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-travel-briefcase-airline-wages-20180223-story.html
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Photo: Taking part in the testing has made Russell Mitchell more careful around chemicals.

It was only 10 years ago that Russell Mitchell, a sheep farmer from Glenthompson in western Victoria, started wearing gloves when dealing with farm chemicals.

But as a growing body of evidence points towards detrimental health impacts, more farmers like Mr Mitchell are taking safety precautions.

"I realised, 'Gee, if we don't use best practice for handling our chemicals, we can really develop some long-term health problems'," he said.

Mr Mitchell was part of a study by the National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) tracking pesticide exposure in farmers.

Every month for a year he underwent a finger-prick blood test that detected exposure to a common group of insecticides called organophosphates.

"Every time I used a chemical, my levels would go up — especially with an insecticide," he said.

"From that, when I spray I actually wear a mask in the tractor too."

The NCFH showed that making this test part of a regular health check-up could prevent future exposure to pesticides, simply by raising farmer's awareness.

Organophosphates work by attacking an insect's nervous system — the chemicals attack humans in the same way but on a lesser scale.

Lead researcher Dr Jacquie Cotton said while humans may not display any symptoms, they could still be experiencing low-level exposure.

"That's where monitoring exposure is really important, and that's where the research we're doing here at the centre comes in," she said.
Parkinson's disease risk still speculative

There has long been speculation that exposure to organophosphate pesticides could lead to Parkinson's disease.

In 2016, researchers found a cluster of Parkinson's disease cases in cropping regions of western Victoria, where pesticides were commonly used.

But Dr Cotton said there was a lack of data to prove the two were linked.

    "What we don't have a lot of is longitudinal studies to really get an indication of whether neuro-degenerative disease is a result of chemicals they've been using," she said.

"That sort of data just doesn't exist, because these types of tests weren't conducted 20 or 30 years ago."

The NCFH is hoping to change that by making the pesticide exposure test available in regular health check-ups for farmers.
Making tests available to all farmers

Dr Cotton's team has started training nurses and clinicians across Victoria to conduct the tests.

"It's really important that farmers across Australia have access to this type of testing," she said.

"And from a research perspective we're able to gain a better picture of what's going on."

Tam Phillips, a registered nurse at the NCFH, said farmers responded well to the test, and wanted to know what was going on in their bodies.

"To be able to present them with a number in a place it shouldn't be sitting, that identifies there may be a low-level exposure, helps us with educating them with wearing personal protective equipment," she said.

The NCFH wants more farmers like Russell Mitchell to get involved, but Mr Mitchell said some farmers did not understand why he wears gloves and a mask.

"But hopefully long-term it might just help," he said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-25/testing-farmers-for-pesticide-exposure/9477950
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A driver has suffered life-threatening head injuries from an "unknown weapon" during an alleged road rage assault on the M1 at Yatala.

Police believe the 29-year-old man was involved in a road rage incident with the occupants of a white van or minibus on the major Gold Coast highway last night.

Officers were called to the side of the M1 between Pimpama and Yatala about 9.45pm, where the driver of the Subaru Forester station wagon was allegedly threatened and assaulted by the van’s occupants.

Police believe a physical altercation happened at the roadside, during which the 29-year-old "sustained serious head injuries from being assaulted with an unknown weapon by occupants of the van".

As many as 13 people may have been travelling in the van, which left the scene before emergency services arrived.

The 29-year-old is in a critical condition with life-threatening injuries at the Gold Coast University Hospital.

Police have appealed for any witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage taken in the area between 9.30pm and 9.45pm to contact them.

https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/02/25/07/38/road-rage-assault-leaves-driver-with-life-threatening-head-injuries
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Tiki bar built at Cal Fire station ordered to be removed
« Reply #11369 on: February 24, 2018, 03:25:15 PM »
Cal Fire officials investigate alcohol-related incident at Ione training facility

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —

A tiki bar built on state property by a Cal Fire firefighter in the Santa Clara County city of Morgan Hill was ordered to be taken down and an investigation is ongoing, a Cal Fire spokesperson confirmed to KCRA.

"It is unacceptable," said Mike Mohler, Cal Fire deputy director of communications. "We are in the public eye, and the chief has zero tolerance for this."

The tiki bar was ordered taken down in December, Mohler said.

A source told KCRA that pictures of the tiki bar were posted online and involved an employee in a management position.

Cal Fire would not comment on the identity of the individual involved, other than to say he lived on state-owned property in Morgan Hill.

Meanwhile, KCRA confirmed Tuesday that a separate investigation is also underway at Cal Fire's training center in Ione in Amador County.

That investigation focuses on an alcohol-related incident that happened off-campus involving firefighter trainees last September, Mohler said.

At least 30 students are facing disciplinary action for violating a code of conduct contract signed by all trainees, Mohler said.

As of Thursday, 14 of them had already been issued termination notices.

This is the second time in three years the Ione training center has been the target of an alcohol-related investigation. However, Mohler said this latest investigation should be viewed as a sign of progress, not as indication of problems at the training center.

"Absolutely not. In fact, the chief is pleased that no staff was involved," Mohler said. "They immediately took that complaint to our new process, the Professional Standards Unit. Is that a culture at the training center now? Absolutely not."

Both investigations are ongoing and could include further administrative actions, according to Mohler.

http://www.kcra.com/article/in-armmewith-movement-teachers-ask-to-be-armed-but-not-with-guns/18668149
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