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India cancels plans for huge coal power station — because solar energy is getting so cheap  

LAST UPDATED ON MAY 29TH, 2017 AT 9:36 PM BY MIHAI ANDREI

Good news from India, as authorities report the scrapping of plans for nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations.
Indian energy

India is the world’s second most populous country, and one of the fastest growing economies. Several projections put future India as the world’s most populous country and the world’s third largest economy by 2050, so if we are to truly combat global warming and achieve a sustainable future for the planet, India will be a key player.

Looking at India’s development over the past few decades has been quite a rollercoaster. With poverty running rampant through many parts of the country and a severe lack of infrastructure in the rural areas, it was surprising and inspiring to see the country’s ambitions in terms of renewable energy. In recent years, India has become one of the best markets for solar energy, with more and more panels being installed every day.

There are over 300 million people currently living in India with no access to electricity, most of which live in rugged, inaccessible areas. Establishing a conventional grid would be incredibly costly, but this is the beauty of solar power: it doesn’t really require a conventional grid. Aside from being renewable, clean, and cheap, solar can work with a local or separated grid.

Still, despite India investing massively in renewable energy (mostly solar), they’ve also developed a backup plan — also committing to fossil fuel energy, especially coal; pretty much the dirtiest source of energy. Last year, India announced plans to build more than 300 gigawatts (GW) of new coal capacity by 2030, even though that was found to be almost entirely unnecessary and wasteful, as over 90% of that new capacity would remain idle. Basically, the Indian government remained determined to not put all their eggs in one basket and invest both in renewable and fossil fuel energy.

Coal of the past

In 2017, things changed a bit. The Indian state of Gujarat announced the cancellation of a proposed 4 GW coal ultra-mega power project, citing a surplus of energy in the area and a desire to continue moving away from coal. That was just the start.

Now, in total, 13.7GW of planned coal power projects have been canceled this month alone, which is quite a figure.

Analyst Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said that tariffs have dropped so much in India that a tipping point has been reached: solar energy is now cheaper than coal.

“Measures taken by the Indian Government to improve energy efficiency coupled with ambitious renewable energy targets and the plummeting cost of solar has had an impact on existing as well as proposed coal fired power plants, rendering an increasing number as financially unviable.” 

Quote
“India’s solar tariffs have literally been free falling in recent months,” he added.
It’s a positive prospect for India, which could trigger a chain reaction elsewhere in the world.



http://www.zmescience.com/ecology/renewable-energy-ecology/india-coal-cancel-29-05-2017/
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Incredible new Amazon glass frog is so transparent you can see its beating heart  :o

LAST UPDATED ON MAY 29TH, 2017 AT 6:46 PM BY TIBI PUIU

Deep in the Amazonian lowlands, biologists stumbled across a peculiar glass frog species completely new to science. What makes glass frogs so interesting, unique even, is their chest which varies in different levels of transparency. This trait is so pronounced in some individuals that you can see their beating hearts straight through the limpid chest. Unfortunately, the new species called Hyalinobatrachium yaku may already be threatened with extinction by oil exploitations in the area.

The amazing see-through frog. Credit: Jaime Culebras. The amazing see-through frog. Credit: Jaime Culebras.

Glass frog or “see-through frog” is a unique type of frog that is named that way because of its translucent skin. These usually live in Central and South America, preferring tropical rainforests where they rest high in the treetops right above the water. These unique amphibians are usually tiny, typically 0.78 inches long, though some can reach 3 inches in length.

The body of the frog is usually bright green or olive green in color, and it’s the belly that’s covered in transparent skin. Liver, heart, and intestines can be seen when the glass frog is looked from the underneath.

Glass frogs are arboreal animals, meaning they spend most of their lives in trees and will come to the ground only during the mating season which takes place right after the rainy season. Females lay 20 to 30 eggs on the underside of leaves that hang right above the water. Males, on the other hand, guard the eggs until these are ready to hatch and fall on the below water stream. The males are also very protective of their mates’ eggs and will watch them 24/7. Nothing will sway the males from their jobs and no intrududer is intimidating enough for them. Some males have even been known to kick away wasps that get too close to the egg cluster!

More than 60 different species of glass frogs are known to science, the latest being Hyalinobatrachium yaku which was identified as unique by researchers at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, in Ecuador. The team led by biologist Juan Guayasamin performed DNA sequencing on samples taken from the glass frog and found the genome didn’t match other species. They also found that the dark green spots on its back, its call, and reproductive behavior were different from other known frogs.

A juvenile H. yaku, stands out with its dark green spots and atypical reproductive behaviours.

‘All species in this genus have a completely transparent ventral peritoneum, which means that organs are fully visible in ventral view,’ researchers explain in a new paper, published to ZooKeys.

‘The reproductive behaviour is also unusual, with males calling from the underside of leaves and providing parental care to egg clutches.’

Nobody’s sure why the see-through skin appeared in glass frogs but the discovery of H. yaku might help shed light in the matter. The more members scientists can draw on a family tree, the easier it becomes to identify out evolutionary traits and mechanisms.  ::)

Might be already endangered

All in all, Hyalinobatrachium yaku looks like a fine addition to the 100 to 200 of so new amphibian species discovered each year — far more than new birds or mammals. However, this joy might be short-lived. Like other glass frogs, this amphibian needs pristine streams to breed but these are beginning to dry up or get polluted from nearby oil wells.

“For example, even though a high proportion of the Ecuadorian Amazon is already concessioned to several extractive activities, the Government of Ecuador is planning to intensify oil extraction in the region,” the researchers wrote.

“Aside from obvious concerns such as water pollution, extraction of natural resources increased the level of regional road development, which could threaten populations of H. yaku.”

http://www.zmescience.com/ecology/animals-ecology/glass-frog-transparent-43242/
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Long but full of new detail.

https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2017/05/manchester-or-innocence-long-lost/
Manchester Innocence Lost - "Torture One Day, Passports The Next"
Raul Ilargi Meijer
May 29, 2017

There are times when you have to talk about things when it appears most inopportune to do so, because they’re the only times people might listen. Times when people will argue that ‘this is not the right moment’, while in reality it’s the only moment.

A solid 99% of people will have been filled, and rightly so of course, with a mixture of disgust, disbelief and infinite sadness when hearing of yet another attack on civilians in Europe, this one in Manchester. An equally solid 99% will have failed to recognize that while the event was unique for the city of Manchester, it was by no means unique for the world, not even at the time it happened.

Though the footage of parents desperately trying to find their children, and the news that one of the dead was just 8 years old, touches everyone in more or less the same place in our hearts, by far most of us miss out on the next logical step. In a wider perspective, it is easy to see that parents crying for missing children, and children killed in infancy, is what connects Manchester, and the UK, and Europe, to parents in Syria, Libya, Iraq.

What’s different between these places is not the suffering or the outrage, the mourning or the despair, what’s different is only the location on the map. That and the frequency with which terror is unleashed upon a given population. But just because it happens all the time in other places doesn’t make it more normal or acceptable.

It’s the exact same thing, the exact same experience, and still a vast majority of people don’t, choose not to, feel it as such. Which is curious when you think about it. In the aftermath of a terror attack, the mother of a missing, maimed or murdered child undergoes the same heartbreak no matter where they are in the world (“I hope the Russians love their children too”). But the empathy, the compassion, is hardly acknowledged in Britain at all, let alone shared.

Not that it couldn’t be. Imagine that our papers and TV channels would tell us, preferably repeatedly, in their reports in the wake of an attack like the one in Manchester how eerily similar the emotions must be to those felt in Aleppo, Homs and many other cities. That would change our perception enormously. But the media choose not to make the connection, and the people apparently are not capable of doing it themselves.

None of that changes the fact, however, that British lives are not more valuable than Syrian and Libyan ones. Not even when we’ve gotten used to ‘news’ about bombings and drone attacks executed for years now by US-led coalitions, or the images of children drowning when they flee the area because of these attacks.

The overall theme here is that 99.9% of people everywhere in the world are innocent, especially when they are children, but their governments and their societies are not. That doesn’t justify the Manchester attack in any shape or form, it simply lays equal blame and condemnation for western terror attacks in the Middle East and North Africa, perpetrated by the people we elect into power.

This is something people in the west pay no attention to. It’s easier that way, and besides our media with great enthusiasm pave the way for our collective ignorance, by calling some other group of people ‘terrorists’, which while they’re at it is supposed to justify killing some other mother’s child.

There’s another thing that is also different: they didn’t start. We did. The British and French terrorized the region for many decades, since the 19th century, even way before the Americans joined in. The presence of oil, and its rising role in our economies, caused them to double down on that terror.

Yes, it’s awkward to talk about this on the eve of a deadly attack, and it’s easy to find arguments and rhetoric that appear to deflect responsibility. But at the same time this truly is the only moment we can hope that anyone will listen. And lest we forget, the UK carries an outsized share of the responsibility in this tragedy, both historically and in the present.

You can say things about the city coming together, or the country coming together, or “not allowing terrorists to affect our way of life”, but perhaps it should instead really be all the mothers who have children missing or dying, wherever they live, coming together. They all see their ways of life affected, and many on a daily basis.

Those mothers in Syria and Libya, who have been through the same hellhole as those in Manchester, are a lot closer to you than the politicians who send out jet fighters to bomb cities in the desert, or sell arms to individuals and organizations to control these cities for their own narrow personal gain, such as the governments of Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The traumatized mothers in the desert are not your enemies; your enemies are much closer to home. Still, most of you will tend to react to fear and panic by looking for protection in exactly those circles that are least likely to provide it. The UK government under Theresa May, like those of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron before, is as cynically eager as their predecessors to send bombers into the desert, and sell arms to those living there.

We can illustrate all this with a few bits of news. First, the US-led coalotion, of which the UK is a substantial part, killed more civilians in Syria than at any time since they started bombing the country almost 3 years ago. They keep saying they don’t target civilians, but to put it mildly they don’t appear to go out of their way not to hit them. For instance, a single attack on Mosul, Iraq in March killed over 105 civilians. ‘Collateral damage’ in these cases, and there are hundreds by now, is a very disrespectful term. Moreover, the files released by Chelsea Manning show US soldiers killing people ‘with impunity’.

Deadliest Month For Syria Civilians In US-Led Strikes

    US-led air strikes on Syria killed a total of 225 civilians over the past month, a monitor said on Tuesday, the highest 30-day toll since the campaign began in 2014. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the civilian dead between April 23 and May 23 included 44 children and 36 women. The US-led air campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria began on September 23, 2014. “The past month of operations is the highest civilian toll since the coalition began bombing Syria,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. “There has been a very big escalation.” The previous deadliest 30-day period was between February 23 and March 23 this year, when 220 civilians were killed, Abdel Rahman said.

And it’s not as if the British didn’t or couldn’t know what was going on. That was clear as early as 2003, when Tony Blair couldn’t wait to join the Bush coalition to invade Iraq on the false premise of weapons of mass destruction. Before Libya was invaded, which led to Hillary’s disgusting ‘we came we saw he died’, Gaddafi, the one who did die, warned Blair about what would happen. It indeed did, which makes Blair a guilty man.

Gaddafi Warned Blair His Ousting Would ‘Open Door’ To Jihadis

    Muammar Gaddafi warned Tony Blair in two fraught phone conversations in 2011 that his removal from the Libyan leadership would open a space for al-Qaida to seize control of the country and even launch an invasion of Europe. The transcripts of the conversations have been published with Blair’s agreement by the UK foreign affairs select committee, which is conducting an inquiry into the western air campaign that led to the ousting and killing of Gaddafi in October 2011. In the two calls the former British prime minister pleaded with Gaddafi to stand aside or end the violence. The transcripts reveal the gulf in understanding between Gaddafi and the west over what was occurring in his country and the nature of the threat he was facing.

     

    In the first call, at 11.15am on 25 February 2011, Gaddafi gave a warning in part borne out by future events: “They [jihadis] want to control the Mediterranean and then they will attack Europe.” In the second call, at 3.25pm the same day, the Libyan leader said: “We are not fighting them, they are attacking us. I want to tell you the truth. It is not a difficult situation at all. The story is simply this: an organisation has laid down sleeping cells in north Africa. Called the al-Qaida organisation in north Africa … The sleeping cells in Libya are similar to dormant cells in America before 9/11.”

     

    Gaddafi added: “I will have to arm the people and get ready for a fight. Libyan people will die, damage will be on the Med, Europe and the whole world. These armed groups are using the situation [in Libya] as a justification – and we shall fight them.” Three weeks after the calls, a Nato-led coalition that included Britain began bombing raids that led to the overthrow of Gaddafi. He was finally deposed in August and murdered by opponents of his regime in October.

What they are guilty of is no more and no less than Manchester. No hyperbole, but a warning from Blair’s own intelligence services back in 2003. The real weapons of mass destruction were not in Iraq, but in the White House and Downing Street no. 10. The CIA issued warnings similar to this.

British Intelligence Warned Tony Blair Of Manchester-Like Terrorism If The West Invaded Iraq

    Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq led by the U.S. and U.K., he was forcefully and repeatedly warned by Britain’s intelligence services that it would lead to exactly this type of terrorist attack — and he concealed these warnings from the British people, instead claiming the war would reduce the risk of terrorism. We know this because of the Chilcot Report, the seven-year-long British investigation of the Iraq War released in 2016. The report declassifies numerous internal government documents that illustrate the yawning chasm between what Blair was being told in private and his claims in public as he pushed for war.

     

    On February 10, 2003, one month before the war began, the U.K.’s Joint Intelligence Committee — the key advisory body for the British Prime Minister on intelligence matters — issued a white paper titled “International Terrorism: War With Iraq.” It began: “The threat from Al Qaida will increase at the onset of any military action against Iraq. They will target Coalition forces and other Western interests in the Middle East. Attacks against Western interests elsewhere are also likely, especially in the US and UK, for maximum impact. The worldwide threat from other Islamist terrorist groups and individuals will increase significantly.”

     

    And it concluded much the same way: “Al Qaida and associated groups will continue to represent by far the greatest terrorist threat to Western interests, and that threat will be heightened by military action against Iraq. The broader threat from Islamist terrorists will also increase in the event of war, reflecting intensified anti-US/anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim world, including among Muslim communities in the West.”

Not long behind Blair came David Cameron, a man after Tony’s heart:

Cameron Brags Of ‘Brilliant’ UK Arms Trade As EU Embargoes Saudi Arabia

    European ministers have embarrassed David Cameron by voting to impose an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia on the same day the British prime minister praised the UK for selling “brilliant” arms to the country. Speaking at a BAE Systems factory in Preston, the prime minister said the UK had pushed the sale of Eurofighter Typhoons to countries in the Middle East, including Oman and Saudi Arabia. [..] Cameron’s speech in Preston came at the same time the European Parliament voted to impose an EU-wide ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia, citing criticism from the UN of its bombing in Yemen.

     

    Asked at the talks how he was helping to export the planes, Cameron said: “With the Typhoon there is an alliance of countries: the Italians, Germans and ourselves. We spend a lot of time trying to work out who is best placed to win these export orders. We’ve got hopefully good news coming from Kuwait. The Italians have been doing a lot of work there. The British have been working very hard in Oman.” The vote will not force EU members to comply with the ban, but will force the government to examine its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

     

    In the last year the British government has sold £3 billion (US$4.18 billion) worth of arms and military kit to the Gulf state, as well as providing training to Saudi forces. A report released by Amnesty International on Friday called the ongoing trade with Saudi Arabia “truly sickening,” and urged governments to attend meetings in Geneva on Monday to discuss the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The report names the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the US as having issued licenses for arms to Saudi Arabia worth more than £18 billion in 2015.

     

    The arms sold include drones, bombs, torpedoes, rockets and missiles, which have been used by Saudi Arabia and its allies for gross violations of human rights and possible war crimes during aerial and ground attacks in Yemen, the campaign group said. Control Arms Director Anna Macdonald said: “Governments such as the UK and France were leaders in seeking to secure an ATT – and now they are undermining the commitments they made to reduce human suffering by supplying Saudi Arabia with some of the deadliest weapons in the world. It’s truly sickening.”

British MPs from Cameron’s own party didn’t like it either, but what meaning does that have if it takes 5 years to issue a report, and moreover he can simply refuse to give evidence?

MPs Deliver Damning Verdict On David Cameron’s Libya Intervention

    David Cameron’s intervention in Libya was carried out with no proper intelligence analysis, drifted into an unannounced goal of regime change and shirked its moral responsibility to help reconstruct the country following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, according to a scathing report by the foreign affairs select committee. The failures led to the country becoming a failed a state on the verge of all-out civil war, the report adds. The report, the product of a parliamentary equivalent of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, closely echoes the criticisms widely made of Tony Blair’s intervention in Iraq, and may yet come to be as damaging to Cameron’s foreign policy legacy.

     

    It concurs with Barack Obama’s assessment that the intervention was “a shitshow”, and repeats the US president’s claim that France and Britain lost interest in Libya after Gaddafi was overthrown. Cameron has refused to give evidence to the select committee. In one of his few reflections on his major military intervention, he blamed the Libyan people for failing to take their chance of democracy.

     

    The committee, which has a majority of Conservative members, did not have Chilcot-style access to internal papers, but took voluminous evidence from senior ministers at the time, and other key players such as Blair, the chief of the defence staff, Lord Richards, and leading diplomats. The result of the French, British and US intervention, the report finds, “was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of Isil [Islamic State] in north Africa”.

It seems obvious that if there were an impartial international body with the power to prosecute, Bush, Cheney, Blair, Cameron, Hillary etc. etc. (don’t forget France) would be charged with war crimes. And Obama too: his ‘shitshow’ comment must be seen in light of the ‘we came we saw he died’ comment by Hillary Clinton, his Secretary of State. Think he didn’t know what was happening?

Another person who should be charged is Theresa May, Cameron’s Home Secretary from May 2010 till July 2016, and of course Britain’s present PM, who sells as much weaponry to Saudi Arabia as she possibly can while the Saudi’s are shoving the few Yemeni’s they leave alive back beyond the Stone Age. And then May has the gall to talk about humanitarian aid.

Theresa May Defends UK Ties With Saudi Arabia

    Theresa May has defended her trip to Saudi Arabia, saying its ties with the UK are important for security and prosperity. The prime minister is facing questions about the UK’s support for the Saudi-led coalition which is fighting rebels in neighbouring Yemen. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said UK-made weapons were contributing to a “humanitarian catastrophe”. [..] Mrs May said humanitarian aid was one of the issues she would be discussing on her trip. “We are concerned about the humanitarian situation – that’s why the UK last year was the fourth largest donor to the Yemen in terms of humanitarian aid – £103m. We will be continuing with that,” she told the BBC.

     

    [..] Mr Corbyn called for the immediate suspension of UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia. He criticised the “dictatorial Saudi monarchy’s shocking human rights record” and said the PM should focus on human rights and international law at the centre of her talks. “The Saudi-led coalition bombing in Yemen, backed by the British government, has left thousands dead, 21 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and three million refugees uprooted from their homes,” he said. “Yemen urgently needs a ceasefire, a political settlement, and food aid, not more bombing. “British-made weapons are being used in a war which has caused a humanitarian catastrophe.”

The one person who would probably not be in front of such a court is Jeremy Corbyn, opponent of May’s in the June 8 elections. Though there is the issue that he never protested in much stronger terms as an MP. Still, if you have to pick one of the two, what is not obvious?

Theresa May Claims Selling Arms To Saudi Arabia Helps ‘Keep People On The Streets Of Britain Safe’

    Theresa May has staunchly defended selling arms to Saudi Arabia despite the country facing accusations of war crimes, insisting close ties “keep people on the streets of Britain safe”. Jeremy Corbyn called on the Prime Minister to halt those sales because of the “humanitarian devastation” caused by a Saudi-led coalition waging war against rebels in Yemen. The Labour leader spoke out after the Parliamentary committee charged with scrutinising arms exports said it was likely that British weapons had been used to violate international law.

     

    The Saudis stand accused of bombing multiple international hospitals run by the charity Médecins Sans Frontières, as well as schools, wedding parties and food factories. In the Commons, Mr Corbyn linked weapons sales to the ongoing refugee crisis, which he said should be Britain’s “number one concern and our number one humanitarian response”. He added: “That is why I remain concerned that at the heart of this Government’s security strategy is apparently increased arms exports to the very part of the world that most immediately threatens our security.

     

    The British Government continue to sell arms to Saudi Arabia that are being used to commit crimes against humanity in Yemen , as has been clearly detailed by the UN and other independent agencies.”

     

    But, in response, Ms May pointed out she had called on Saudi Arabia to investigate the allegations about Yemen when she met with the kingdom’s deputy crown prince at the recent G20 summit in China. The Prime Minister dismissed Mr Corbyn’s suggestion that “what happened in Saudi Arabia was a threat to the safety of people here in the UK”. Instead, she said: “Actually, what matters is the strength of our relationship with Saudi Arabia. When it comes to counter-terrorism and dealing with terrorism, it is that relationship that has helped to keep people on the streets of Britain safe.”

May’s, and Britain’s, utterly mad stance in this is perhaps best exemplified, in one sentence, by her comments during the speedy trip she made to Turkey, again to sell more arms to an at best highly questionable regime. Why do it, why drag your entire nation through the moral gutter for $100 million or a few billion? The military industrial complex.

Theresa May Signs £100m Fighter Jet Deal With Turkey’s Erdogan

    Theresa May issued a stern warning to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan about respecting human rights yesterday as she prepared to sign a £100m fighter jet deal that Downing Street hopes will lead to Britain becoming Turkey’s main defence partner.

And once again, no, none of this justifies the Manchester bombing. Neither a government nor an extremist movement has any right to kill innocent people. But let’s make sure we know that neither does.

There’s another aspect to the story. MI6 had close links to the Libyan community in Manchester.

‘Sorted’ by MI5: How UK Government Sent British-Libyans To Fight Gaddafi

    The British government operated an “open door” policy that allowed Libyan exiles and British-Libyan citizens to join the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi even though some had been subject to counter-terrorism control orders, Middle East Eye can reveal. Several former rebel fighters now back in the UK told MEE that they had been able to travel to Libya with “no questions asked” as authorities continued to investigate the background of a British-Libyan suicide bomber who killed 22 people in Monday’s attack in Manchester.

     

    Salman Abedi, 22, the British-born son of exiled dissidents who returned to Libya as the revolution against Gaddafi gathered momentum, is also understood to have spent time in the North African country in 2011 and to have returned there on several subsequent occasions. Sources spoken to by MEE suggest that the government facilitated the travel of Libyan exiles and British-Libyan residents and citizens keen to fight against Gaddafi including some who it deemed to pose a potential security threat.

     

    One British citizen with a Libyan background who was placed on a control order – effectively house arrest – because of fears that he would join militant groups in Iraq said he was “shocked” that he was able to travel to Libya in 2011 shortly after his control order was lifted. “I was allowed to go, no questions asked,” said the source. He said he had met several other British-Libyans in London who also had control orders lifted in 2011 as the war against Gaddafi intensified, with the UK, France and the US carrying out air strikes and deploying special forces soldiers in support of the rebels.

     

    “They didn’t have passports, they were looking for fakes or a way to smuggle themselves across,” said the source. But within days of their control orders being lifted, British authorities returned their passports, he said. Many Libyan exiles in the UK with links to the LIFG [Libyan Islamic Fighting Group ] were placed on control orders and subjected to surveillance and monitoring following the rapprochement between the British and Libyan governments sealed by the so-called “Deal in the Desert” between then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Gaddafi in 2004.

     

    According to documents retrieved from the ransacked offices of the Libyan intelligence agency following Gaddafi’s fall from power in 2011, British security services cracked down on Libyan dissidents in the UK as part of the deal, as well as assisting in the rendition of two senior LIFG leaders, Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi, to Tripoli where they allege they were tortured.

Torture one day, passports the other. Lovely. And it still gets better: MI6 didn’t just have close contacts with Libyans in Manchester, it knew the alleged perpetrator’s family, and used his father multiple times as on operative:

Manchester Attack as MI6 Blowback

    According to Scotland Yard, the attack on the crowd leaving the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena, 22 May, has been perpetrated by Salman Abedi. A bankcard has been conveniently found in the pocket of the mutilated corpse of the ‘terrorist’. This attack is generally interpreted as proof that the United Kingdom is not implicated in international terrorism and that, on the contrary, it is a victim of it.

     

    [..] In 1992, Ramadan Abedi [Salman’s father] was sent back to Libya by Britain’s MI6 and was involved in a British-devised plot to assassinate Muammar Gaddafi. The operation having been readily exposed, he was exfiltrated by MI6 and transferred back to the UK where he obtained political asylum. He moved in 1999 to Whalley Range (south of Manchester) where there was already resident a small Libyan Islamist community. In 1994, Ramadan Abedi returned again to Libya under MI6’s direction. In late 1995 he is involved in the creation of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), a local branch of Al-Qaeda, in conjunction with Abdelhakim Belhadj.

     

    The LIFG was then employed by MI6 again to assassinate Gaddafi, for a payoff of £100,000. This operation, which also failed, provoked heated exchanges within British Intelligence, leading to the resignation of one David Shayler. Other former members of the LIFG have also lived at Whalley Range, including Abedi’s friend Abd al-Baset-Azzouz. In 2009, this last joined Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and became a close associate of its chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri. In 2011, al-Baset-Azzouz is active on the ground with the NATO operation against Libya.

     

    On 11 September 2012, he directs the operation against the US Ambassador in Libya, Christopher Stevens, assassinated at Benghazi. He is arrested in Turkey and extradited to the US in December 2014, his trial still pending. Nobody pays attention to the fact that Ramadan Abedi has linked LIFG members to the formation of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and, in 2011, he takes part in MI6’s ‘Arab Spring’ operations, and in LIFG’s role on the ground in support of NATO. In any event, Abedi returned to Libya after the fall of Gaddafi and moves his family there, leaving his older children in the family home at Whalley Range.

     

    According to the former Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar, Abdelhakim Belhadj was involved in the assassinations in Madrid of 11 March 2004. Later, he is secretly arrested in Malaysia by the CIA and transferred to Libya where he is tortured not by Libyan or American functionaries but by MI6 agents. He is finally freed after the accord between Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [Gaddafi’s son] and the jihadists.

Luckily, perhaps the Brits are not that stupid:

Half of Britons Blame UK’s Foreign Wars for Terror Attacks at Home

    Slightly over a half of people in the UK agree that the nation’s involvement in wars abroad has increased the terror threat to the country, a poll out Friday has showed. The survey found that 53% of 7,134 UK adults sampled by YouGov said they believed wars the UK supported or fought were in part responsible for terror attacks at home. [..] Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who made a speech earlier in the day to mark his return to general election campaigning, said UK’s war on terror had not worked. He cited intelligence experts who said foreign wars, including in Libya, threatened the country’s security.

If that is true, Theresa May obviously should have no chance of winning. May can and will try to use the horror of Manchester, and the subsequent pause in the campaign, to strengthen her position in the upcoming election, by playing on people’s fear and making them believe she’s in control. Even if the very attack itself makes clear that she’s not. The Tories have already attacked Corbyn for saying their policies have failed; it was the wrong time to say that, according to them.

But it’s not. It’s the very best time. This is when people pay attention. And having this discussion doesn’t disrespect the victims of Manchester. If anything, it shows more respect than not having the discussion. Because you want to make sure this doesn’t happen again, neither here nor there. And to achieve that, you have to look at why these things happen.

An 8-year old child in Manchester, just like one in Mosul or Aleppo, is innocent. Yourself, perhaps not so much. The politicians you vote into power, and the media you read and watch to inform you, not a chance. Guilty as hell.
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Agelbert Newz / Re: Hat tip to RE
« Last post by agelbert on Today at 02:57:53 PM »
http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/29/us/alaska-bogoslof-volcano-eruption/

Highest aviation alert level issued after Alaskan volcano erupts
Joe Sutton Profile


By Euan McKirdy and Joe Sutton, CNN

Updated 8:28 AM ET, Mon May 29, 2017
An ash cloud from the erupting Bogoslof volcano, seen from nearby Unalaska island.

"Lightning in the Aleutians is mostly due to volcanic plumes, as the meteorological conditions for lightning are not common," Freymueller said.

"The combination of lightning and seismic data allowed us to go to red within about half an hour of the start of the eruption."

The eruption lasted for about 50 minutes, the AVO said.


Flight path concern

The volcano sits under the flight path of many flights from Asia to North America and its ash cloud could adversely affect aircraft. "Ash and aircraft do not mix, as volcanic ash is abrasive, melts at jet engine temperatures, and can cause engine failure," according to the United States Geological Survey.

Aircraft are often instructed to fly around or over ash clouds, although in some circumstances air traffic has been grounded due to the hazards from airborne ash. In 2010 the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland caused the cancellation of flights around Europe for six days.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last week said that flights were being rerouted around a similar ash cloud when the volcano previously erupted, according to CNN partner CBC.

'Heightened state of unrest'

An image taken by AVO scientists around 14 minutes after the start of the eruption, from nearby Unalaska Island, showed a large white-gray mushroom cloud form over the site. Ash fallout was occurring to the west of the site, according to AVO.

Bogoslof volcano remains at a heightened state of unrest and in an unpredictable condition," according to a report issued by the Observatory, which added that "additional explosions producing high-altitude volcanic clouds could occur at any time."


Bogoslof volcano

It warns that continuing low-level activity could "pose a hazard in the immediate vicinity of the volcano."

Previous volcanic activity earlier in 2017 "significantly changed the shape and coastline of the island" and the land mass tripled in size between early 2015 and January of this year.

There have been eight documented eruption events at Bogoslof, the most recent one in 1992. Previous eruption events have lasted weeks to months, according to the AVO. This current eruption sequence started in December, 2016.


   

On the bright side, if she blows big time, all those aerosols will slow down global warming for a few years.   8)
5
http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/29/us/alaska-bogoslof-volcano-eruption/

Highest aviation alert level issued after Alaskan volcano erupts
Joe Sutton Profile


By Euan McKirdy and Joe Sutton, CNN

Updated 8:28 AM ET, Mon May 29, 2017
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Story highlights

    Eruption on Alaskan island causes raising of aviation alert
    Ash cloud reached at least 35,000 ft., observers say

(CNN)A volcanic eruption Sunday prompted the temporary raising of the highest aviation alert, the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) said Sunday.
The event, which took place on Alaska's Bogoslof Island, part of the Aleutian island chain, caused the issuance of a code "red" aviation alert, which was subsequently downgraded to "orange."
The cloud from the eruption reached at least 35,000 ft., and possibly as high as 45,000 ft., the Observatory said.
"We actually went to color code red this afternoon because of numerous lightning detections and increased seismic signals," Jeffrey Freymueller of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks tells CNN.
CNN Map


Bogoslof Volcano


© Mapbox © OpenStreetMap Improve this map
"Lightning in the Aleutians is mostly due to volcanic plumes, as the meteorological conditions for lightning are not common," Freymueller said.
"The combination of lightning and seismic data allowed us to go to red within about half an hour of the start of the eruption."
The eruption lasted for about 50 minutes, the AVO said.
An ash cloud from the erupting Bogoslof volcano, seen from nearby Unalaska island.
An ash cloud from the erupting Bogoslof volcano, seen from nearby Unalaska island.
Flight path concern
The volcano sits under the flight path of many flights from Asia to North America and its ash cloud could adversely affect aircraft. "Ash and aircraft do not mix, as volcanic ash is abrasive, melts at jet engine temperatures, and can cause engine failure," according to the United States Geological Survey.
Aircraft are often instructed to fly around or over ash clouds, although in some circumstances air traffic has been grounded due to the hazards from airborne ash. In 2010 the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland caused the cancellation of flights around Europe for six days.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last week said that flights were being rerouted around a similar ash cloud when the volcano previously erupted, according to CNN partner CBC.
'Heightened state of unrest'
An image taken by AVO scientists around 14 minutes after the start of the eruption, from nearby Unalaska Island, showed a large white-gray mushroom cloud form over the site. Ash fallout was occurring to the west of the site, according to AVO.
Bogoslof volcano remains at a heightened state of unrest and in an unpredictable condition," according to a report issued by the Observatory, which added that "additional explosions producing high-altitude volcanic clouds could occur at any time."


It warns that continuing low-level activity could "pose a hazard in the immediate vicinity of the volcano."
Previous volcanic activity earlier in 2017 "significantly changed the shape and coastline of the island" and the land mass tripled in size between early 2015 and January of this year.
There have been eight documented eruption events at Bogoslof, the most recent one in 1992. Previous eruption events have lasted weeks to months, according to the AVO. This current eruption sequence started in December, 2016.

   

On the bright side, if she blows big time, all those aerosols will slow down global warming for a few years.   8)
6
Geopolitics / Re: Donalditry Trumpovetsky
« Last post by agelbert on Today at 02:28:01 PM »
Quote
K_dog: I still want to know what the beef is about Russia.

Simple: Russia is the biggest country in the world, and has over 7,000 ICBMs aimed at the US, which has absolutely NO DEFENCE against them, other than to fire first and hope Putin instantly surrenders. This gives Putin the confidence to stand up to the Empire in Syria and Iran and Ukraine, and thereby giving confidence to Cuba, Venezuela, Philippines and North Korea, to do likewise.  This won't do at all, undermining US ability to coerce little countries into making economic deals favourable to the US, and supporting economic sanctions against its enemies even though it harms them economically.

Unfortunately, Trumpoversky has managed in a few short months to upset the Pacific countries by scrapping the TPP, to upset the Europeans by scrapping the TTIP, refusing to go along with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and demanding they pay more into NATO, and dumping the Ukrainian mess into their laps. HE has also managed to alienate Turkey with the failed coup and his choice of proxy forces in Syria, and Muslims everywhere with his rants about them all being terrorists, and Mexicans with his rants about them all being criminals and rapists, and insisting Mexico pay for The Wall. Let's not forget the Philippines, who he has driven into the arms of the Chinese and Russians.

On the Grand Chessboard method of scoring the great game, he has been a complete disaster, which probably led to Brzezinski's death from apoplexy.

In other words, no good reason!  Preserving the empire of affluence is no good reason, not enough people are members and new members are not being accepted.  The bit about defense from ICBMs is a bit exaggerated.  There is more up in the sky than most people have a clue about.  Yet the biggest deterrent is that Russians suffer from sanity.  Nowhere in your explanation do I see evidence of Russian aggression which would be a good reason.

Cashing in on a cold war cultivated hatred of Russia for short term gain seems to me to be grasping at straws.  But I forget which side of the bell curve I live on.  Remembering that the strategy becomes effective.  Yet effective or not it is a move which reeks of desperation. 


Nothing Palloy said had BEANS to do with "Russian aggression" (retaliatory nuclear weapon capability IS NOT aggression when dealing with the empire, it is SANITY), "grasping at straws" or "cold war cultivated hatred".

Palloy stated REALITIES the empire is uncomfortable with because the empire does not like to share power with anybody.

What Palloy left out, and you certainly always wish to ignore or downplay, is the  fact that Russia is not averse to gaming useful idiots like Trump for their survival against a neocon mad max machine run by BOTH the Democrats AND the Republicans. That is treason. Yeah, the empire does exactly the same hither and yon, including inside Russia itself. AND? Do you really think that all the nefarious skullduggery we have been involved with has endeared us to Russia? Anyone that thinks that is nuts or a Trumper (but I repeat myself  ;D).

The COLD WAR stopped on the Russian side with Gorbachev. But BUSH double crossed Gorbachev and KEPT IT GOING  by OWNING corrupt Yeltsin the same way Russia now owns corrupt Trump (Clinton did NOTHING to stop or slow down that destruction of the Russian economy BY the U.S.). THAT caused Russia to go through a WORSE DEPRESSION than the one the U.S. went through in the 1930's.

So, Putin is clearly out to castrate the empire on the behalf of Russian Oligarchs. That makes Russia a THREAT to our Oligarchs for a VERY GOOD REASON.

The only one grasping at straws here is YOU. The claim that a foreign government OWNING the POTUS is "no big deal" is a STRAW, and evidences a rather desperate straw grasping attempt to defend Trump's Treason.

The rational that "the Democrats are worse because they would start WWIII" is what remains to be proven by any actual acts by the empire. The total destruction of the social contract of this country and rampant resurrection of racism is a price you seem all too will to pay based on your hysterical claim that Trump is "averting WWIII, so we should all be happy campers". I don't think so.


Trump  Treason is NOT TRIVIAL (see below):

40 Shady Things We Now Know About Trump and Russia

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/w6OVwwS5vBo" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/w6OVwwS5vBo</a>

Published on May 24, 2017

After a deluge of revelations, here’s what we’ve learned so far.  :(

This is How Low the Trump Apologists Will Stoop
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/l5AM-UUeCXI" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/l5AM-UUeCXI</a>

Published on May 22, 2017

The shameful conspiracy theory that won’t distract from Russia.
7
Geopolitics / Re: Donalditry Trumpovetsky
« Last post by K-Dog on Today at 12:09:37 PM »
Quote
K_dog: I still want to know what the beef is about Russia.

Simple: Russia is the biggest country in the world, and has over 7,000 ICBMs aimed at the US, which has absolutely NO DEFENCE against them, other than to fire first and hope Putin instantly surrenders. This gives Putin the confidence to stand up to the Empire in Syria and Iran and Ukraine, and thereby giving confidence to Cuba, Venezuela, Philippines and North Korea, to do likewise.  This won't do at all, undermining US ability to coerce little countries into making economic deals favourable to the US, and supporting economic sanctions against its enemies even though it harms them economically.

Unfortunately, Trumpoversky has managed in a few short months to upset the Pacific countries by scrapping the TPP, to upset the Europeans by scrapping the TTIP, refusing to go along with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and demanding they pay more into NATO, and dumping the Ukrainian mess into their laps. HE has also managed to alienate Turkey with the failed coup and his choice of proxy forces in Syria, and Muslims everywhere with his rants about them all being terrorists, and Mexicans with his rants about them all being criminals and rapists, and insisting Mexico pay for The Wall. Let's not forget the Philippines, who he has driven into the arms of the Chinese and Russians.

On the Grand Chessboard method of scoring the great game, he has been a complete disaster, which probably led to Brzezinski's death from apoplexy.

In other words, no good reason!  Preserving the empire of affluence is no good reason, not enough people are members and new members are not being accepted.  The bit about defense from ICBMs is a bit exaggerated.  There is more up in the sky than most people have a clue about.  Yet the biggest deterrent is that Russians suffer from sanity.  Nowhere in your explanation do I see evidence of Russian aggression which would be a good reason.

Cashing in on a cold war cultivated hatred of Russia for short term gain seems to me to be grasping at straws.  But I forget which side of the bell curve I live on.  Remembering that the strategy becomes effective.  Yet effective or not it is a move which reeks of desperation. 
8
Knarfs Knewz / Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Last post by K-Dog on Today at 11:43:59 AM »
I had the same problem with reading science fiction once.  I started reading and could not stop.

But stop and think about this:



Maybe some brains belong in the pan.  They don't choose to be anywhere else.
9
Developing brains of young people at risk from powerful pot strains, CMAJ editorial says


A young woman smokes a large marijuana joint at the Vancouver Art Gallery during the annual 4/20 day, which promotes the use of marijuana, in Vancouver. (Ben Nelms/Reuters)

Marijuana legalization will harm the health of youth unless major changes to the proposed law are made to protect their developing brains, a medical journal editorial says.

Dr. Diane Kelsall, interim editor in chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, says Bill C-45 fails to safeguard vulnerable youth.

"There are a number of things in the legislation that are truly worrisome," Kelsall said in an interview. "If the intent is truly a public health approach and to protect our youth this legislation is not doing it."

Canadian youth ranked first for cannabis use in North America and Europe, with one-third saying they tried it at least once by age 15, the Canadian Pediatric Society says.

Before the federal election, physicians said the right legislation to legalize pot might curb teen toking by restricting access.

The editorial takes issue with several aspects of the bill, which:

    Sets the minimum age to buy recreational marijuana at 18. Kelsall calls that too young given evidence suggesting that the human brain doesn't mature until about age 25.
    Allows people to grow pot at home, which Kelsall said increases the likelihood of diversion to young people.
    Lacks limits on potency of strains despite increased risk of harmful effects with higher-strength cannabis.

Marijuana as a psychosis trigger

At the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, psychiatrist Romina Mizrah uses PET scanners to study how cannabis use changes brain function in young people with an average age of 20.

In young people who regularly use cannabis, preliminary evidence points to a reduction in an enzyme that regulates the endocannabinoid system that buffers key chemistry within the brain, said Mizrahi.

"There is some understanding at this point from epidemiological studies that certainly marijuana is a trigger," said Mizrahi, director of the Focus on Youth Psychosis Prevention program. "Marijuana use predates the psychosis. Whether it causes the psychosis, that's a different question and that we don't know."
More potent pot

Mike Stroh, 35, of Toronto says he's part of a generation who grew up smoking current strains of marijuana, which have been genetically selected to produce a powerful high, with THC levels of about 20 per cent. That's up from around seven per cent in the 1960s and '70s.       

From age 13, Stroh got high almost daily until age 30.

"I was into sports," Stroh recalled. "I wanted to do stuff at school, but I wouldn't make it to the practice, I wouldn't make it to the tryouts, because I was either up all night selling drugs, trying to get them, fall asleep in a drug-induced coma, and then wake up in a mess."


Mike Stroh started smoking pot almost daily from age 13 until he was 30. He says it's an 'illusion' that pot is a relatively harmless drug. (CBC)

Stroh also lived with depression and anxiety and said he was never able to like himself. "That's the torment that brought me to my knees."

He felt robbed of being himself and the opportunity for emotional maturity, cognitive development and professional opportunities. 

"Because marijuana doesn't bring you to your knees as quickly as other drugs may … there's this illusion that because you can be high and do things, it's not bad, so to speak."

Stroh is now a mental health advocate who draws on his personal and family experiences to educate.

"We need to teach kids how to take care of themselves so when they do feel anxious and do feel depressed, scared or … frustrated with life, because yes, that's a part of being a teenager, then they learn that there's so many things they can do to help themselves as opposed to use drugs."

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/health/cannabis-bill-teens-cmaj-1.4134161

I know that there are people who smoke too much pot, and that it can certainly affect motivation. But I have to take these anecdotal stories with a grain of salt. The pot available today doesn't seem to me to be stronger than what was available in the late 70's and early 80's, before my long hiatus. Even then I knew people who had clones they'd been improving for a decade. Quality varied widely. Overall the quality is better now, because the old Mexican dirt weed isn't around much.

In my opinion, many, many legal drugs can be a trigger for psychosis.

Medications known to include possible psychotic side effects include:
Muscle relaxants
Antihistamines
Antidepressants
Cardiovascular medications
Antihypertensive medications
Analgesics
Anticonvulsants
Antiparkinson medications
Chemotherapy agents
Corticosteroids

http://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/drug-psychosis/


I always suspect hidden agendas when I read about physicians who issue these dire warnings (especially ones in political positions like the editor of a major journal)...and also drug counselors, who are biased toward complete abstinence (because most of them are 12 steppers).
10
Geopolitics / Re: Donalditry Trumpovetsky
« Last post by agelbert on Today at 11:27:23 AM »
Quote
K_dog: I still want to know what the beef is about Russia.

Simple: Russia is the biggest country in the world, and has over 7,000 ICBMs aimed at the US, which has absolutely NO DEFENCE against them, other than to fire first and hope Putin instantly surrenders. This gives Putin the confidence to stand up to the Empire in Syria and Iran and Ukraine, and thereby giving confidence to Cuba, Venezuela, Philippines and North Korea, to do likewise.  This won't do at all, undermining US ability to coerce little countries into making economic deals favourable to the US, and supporting economic sanctions against its enemies even though it harms them economically.

Unfortunately, Trumpoversky has managed in a few short months to upset the Pacific countries by scrapping the TPP, to upset the Europeans by scrapping the TTIP, refusing to go along with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and demanding they pay more into NATO, and dumping the Ukrainian mess into their laps. HE has also managed to alienate Turkey with the failed coup and his choice of proxy forces in Syria, and Muslims everywhere with his rants about them all being terrorists, and Mexicans with his rants about them all being criminals and rapists, and insisting Mexico pay for The Wall. Let's not forget the Philippines, who he has driven into the arms of the Chinese and Russians.

On the Grand Chessboard method of scoring the great game, he has been a complete disaster, which probably led to Brzezinski's death from apoplexy.


Of course. Everything you said is common knowledge to those who have unbiased eyes to see. But that excludes a statistically significant portion of the voting public (though not the majority IMHO). The propaganda pushers consistently refrain from voicing the facts you just mentioned because it might make people think logically.
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