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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 91,890

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Agency: 4,000 fishermen stranded on some Indonesian islands

Source: Associated Press

Agency: 4,000 fishermen stranded on some Indonesian islands
By MARGIE MASON, Associated Press | March 27, 2015 | Updated: March 27, 2015 4:43am

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An estimated 4,000 foreign fishermen are stranded on a number of remote islands in eastern Indonesia, including men revealed in an Associated Press investigation to have been enslaved, an aid group said.

Many of the migrant workers were abandoned by their boat captains following a government moratorium on foreign fishing that has docked vessels to crack down on illegal operators, said Steve Hamilton, deputy chief of mission at the International Organization for Migration in Indonesia.

"It is reasonable to expect many are victims of trafficking, if not outright slavery," he said, adding the group has been working for years with Indonesian authorities to repatriate trafficked fishermen.

~ snip ~

They described horrendous working conditions while at sea, saying they were forced to drink unclean water and work 20- to 22-hour shifts with no days off. Almost all said they were kicked, whipped with toxic stingray tails or otherwise beaten if they complained or tried to rest. They were paid little or nothing..


Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/world/article/Agency-4-000-fishermen-stranded-on-some-6162341.php

Mexican Americans confront high disability rates in later life

26-Mar-2015
Mexican Americans confront high disability rates in later life

The Gerontological Society of America

Life expectancy for Hispanics in the U.S. currently outpaces other ethnic groups, yet a new study finds that Mexican Americans -- especially women who were born in Mexico -- are spending a high proportion of their later years with some form of disability, a fact that suggests a growing need for community assistance and long-term care in the future.

These findings are reported in a new article published online in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological and Social Sciences titled "Longer Lives, Sicker Lives? Increased Longevity and Extended Disability Among Mexican Origin Elders." The authors are Ronald J. Angel, PhD, and Jacqueline L. Angel, PhD, at the University of Texas at Austin, and Terrence D. Hill, PhD, at the University of Arizona.

This is the first study to document the fraction of time the Mexican-American population over 65 years old will spend with significant physical disability prior to death. Employing a unique longitudinal data set that followed older Mexican Americans for 18 years, the researchers estimate that those who reach age 65 spend over one-half of their remaining years, on average, with serious physical impairments.

"The fact that Mexican Americans have an average life expectancy of 81.4 years indicates significant progress against the chronic diseases of aging, although longer life is not an unmixed blessing," said Jacqueline L. Angel. "Unfortunately we have not compressed morbidity as much as we would have liked and many older Mexican Americans need extensive care, either from their families or others. Such a burden has serious implications for Mexican-American families and for long-term care policy."

More:
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-03/tgso-mac032615.php

Court throws out Kirchner case

Court throws out Kirchner case
26 March 2015

A federal appeals court in Argentina has thrown out a case that accused President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of orchestrating a deal to cover up the alleged role of Iranian officials in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre.

The court's decision today upholds the decision of federal Judge Daniel Rafecas, who in February threw out the case saying it was not strong enough to warrant an investigation. His ruling was appealed against by prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita.

Prosecutor Alberto Nisman made the accusations against Ms Kirchner on January 14, and four days later he was found shot dead in his bathroom.

Mr Nisman's mysterious death, which has not been solved, has rocked the South American country.

More:
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/court-throws-out-kirchner-case-31097763.html

Colombian Report on US Military’s Child Rapes Not Newsworthy to US News Outlets

Colombian Report on US Military’s Child Rapes Not Newsworthy to US News Outlets
By Adam Johnson
Mar 26 2015

An 800-page independent report commissioned by the US-friendly Colombian government and the radical left rebel group FARC found that US military soldiers and contractors had sexually abused at least 54 children in Colombia between 2003 and 2007 and, in all cases, the rapists were never punished–either in Colombia or stateside–due to American military personnel being immune from prosecution under diplomatic immunity agreements between the two countries.

The report was part of a broader historical analysis meant to establish the “causes and violence aggravators” of the 50-year-long conflict between the government and rebels that’s presently being negotiated to an end. As Colombia Reports (3/23/15) would spell out:

In his report, the historian cited one 2004 case in the central Colombian town of Melgar where 53 underage girls were sexually abused by nearby stationed military contractors “who moreover filmed and sold the films as pornographic material.”

According to Colombia’s leading newspaper, El Tiempo, the victims of the sexual abuse practices were forced to flee the region after their families received death threats.

Other Americans stationed at the Tolemaida Air Base allegedly committed similar crimes, but possibly also never saw a day in court due to an immunity arrangement for American soldiers and military contractors agreed by Washington and Bogota.

More:
http://fair.org/blog/2015/03/26/colombian-report-on-us-militarys-child-rapes-not-newsworthy-to-us-news-outlets/

Ronald Reagan’s genocidal secret: A true story of right-wing impunity in Guatemala

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 11:13 AM CDT

Ronald Reagan’s genocidal secret: A true story of right-wing impunity in Guatemala

Here's the real story of how a genocide trial against former Guatemalan head of state Efraín Ríos Montt fell apart
Miles Culpepper

On Jan. 5 of this year, the Associated Press issued two short reports on a trial against aging former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt that by and large went unnoticed in the United States. The first announced that the genocide trial, suspended in 2013, would finally resume. The second, hours later, updated the story by informing readers of a delay along the lines of what happened in 2013, preventing one of the world’s most notorious living war criminals from facing justice.

In the early 1980s, Ríos Montt presided over the most ruthless and violent military regime of the Guatemalan Civil War. This distinction is no small feat, given the brevity of his time in office (16 months) and the competition—namely, the succession of tyrants who led the military government in the aftermath of the 1954 CIA coup which removed Jacobo Arbenz from power at the behest of the United Fruit Company. Of the roughly 200,000 deaths that occurred during the war, researchers estimate that 86,000 took place during Ríos Montt’s savage counterinsurgency campaign in the Maya majority Altiplano of Guatemala.

Lost in the short AP reports issued earlier this month is the fact that Ríos Montt was not without his allies in the United States. The Reagan Administration lost its bids to restore military aid to Guatemala until 1985, but not for want of trying. Following a meeting with the dictator in December 1982, President Reagan opined that Ríos Montt had simply gotten a “bum rap” in the United States, and in fact was fully committed to restoring democracy and “promoting social justice.” Under the General’s stewardship, Reagan assured, Guatemala deserved the resumption of military aid immediately. When a liberal Congress, mindful of a growing anti-war movement and the memory of the Vietnam War, denied the request in March of 1983, the Reagan Administration still managed to support Ríos Montt by applying pressure to international lending agencies to help the military government manage its foreign currency reserve crisis, and by reaching out to a growing grassroots network of Cold War hardliners in the Christian Right. They also still managed to bump up “economic development” assistance provided by USAID.

Ríos Montt’s presidency garnered support from the US Christian Right because in many ways the dictator was one of them. He converted to Pentecostalism at the Iglesia del Verbo in Guatemala City, a church founded in 1976 by North American evangelicals from the Eureka, CA based Gospel Outreach. In 1979, Ríos Montt traveled to Eureka to meet ministers there who would later join his government as “spiritual advisors.” When Ríos Montt seized power in a military coup, Gospel Outreach ministers Joseph Anfuso and David Sczepanski received a call informing them of the change in power before most Guatemalans knew. The two ministers wrote approvingly of one of their own taking on the presidency.

More:
http://www.salon.com/2015/03/24/ronald_reagans_genocidal_secret_a_true_story_of_right_wing_impunity_in_guatemala/

Feds reopen comment period for mountain caribou protections

Feds reopen comment period for mountain caribou protections
By KEITH RIDLER, Associated Press | March 24, 2015 | Updated: March 24, 2015 5:37pm

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened for comment a proposed plan to change the protected status of a herd of caribou in northern Idaho and northeastern Washington from endangered to threatened.

The agency on Tuesday opened the 30-day comment period based on new information about declining herds in Canada.

The agency made the initial proposal last May after deciding to lump the small herd of about 14 caribou into the Southern Mountain Caribou distinct population that has another 14 herds in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta with a total of about 1,300 caribou.

But Canadian officials that same month determined those herds are faltering and protection levels there should be increased from what that government calls "special concern" to endangered, the same term as used by U.S. officials.

More:
http://www.chron.com/news/science/article/Feds-reopen-comment-period-for-mountain-caribou-6156252.php

What You Need to Know about Venezuela

What You Need to Know about Venezuela

Venezuela is a “national security threat” only because it refuses to be controlled by the US.

by George Ciccariello-Maher

3.19.15

George Ciccariello-Maher, an assistant professor of political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, is the author of We Created Chávez: A People’s History of the Venezuelan Revolution.

There’s a lot of confusion about what’s going on in Venezuela. Following the death of President Hugo Chavez in 2013, the left-wing government of Nicolas Maduro has dealt with goods shortages, growing inflation, and civil unrest. Here’s George Ciccariello-Maher with some key points about the situation in the country and recent provocations from the United States.

__________

On March 9, the Obama administration issued an executive order declaring Venezuela a threat to US national security and imposing sanctions on several individuals. What’s the backstory?

The pretext for these sanctions is so-called human rights abuses that occurred more than a year ago, during a wave of street protests against the government of Nicolás Maduro. I say so-called because what actually happened in the streets a year ago has been systematically misrepresented. The opposition narrative is one of spontaneous, peaceful protests by all Venezuelans against a tyrannical government — in the vein of the Arab Spring or the Occupy Movement — to which the government responded with brutal repression.

The reality was very different: the protests were hardly spontaneous, and in fact part of a strategy by the radical right-wing sector of the opposition to overthrow a democratically elected government. The means were far from peaceful, and while in some cases the police and national guard responded brutally, they were on the whole incredibly patient with the protesters, who they allowed to blockade entire areas of cities for more than a month.

In the end, the forty-three deaths were distributed evenly among Chavistas, the opposition, and security forces. But while many of the police responsible for violence were arrested, the same can’t be said for the protesters who, for example, decapitated motorcyclists with barbed wire and sniped at police from rooftops. And their constituency was far from “all Venezuelans” — nearly all the protesters were from the middle and upper classes, as were the neighborhoods that saw protests.

More:
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/03/venezuela-maduro-us-executive-order/

Mujica Leads Uruguay's Venezuela Solidarity March

Mujica Leads Uruguay's Venezuela Solidarity March



Jose Mujica headed up the Venezuela solidarity march. | Photo: EFE

Published 23 March 2015 (19 hours 33 minutes ago)


Last week Mujica said that whoever says that the South American country could be “a threat” to the U.S. “has a screw loose.”
Jose Mujica, Uruguay's much-loved former president, led a march in the capital city Montevideo for “peace in Latin America” and “in solidarity with the people of Venezuela.”



Hundreds of Uruguayans walked alongside Pepe and Vice President Raul Sendic, demanding that the United States withdraws its declaration that Venezuela presents an “extraordinary” threat to “national security.”



Mujica has been vocal in the outcry over the U.S. aggression towards Venezuela.



Earlier this month, Mujica said that he was “fed up with (the U.S.) meddling” in internal Latin American business.

More images:
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Mujica-Leads-Uruguays-Venezuela-Solidarity-March-20150323-0038.html

More than half of Colombia officials think domestic violence ‘should be solved in privacy’

More than half of Colombia officials think domestic violence ‘should be solved in privacy’
Mar 23, 2015 posted by Alice Bradshaw-Smith

The majority of Colombia’s government officials believe that spousal abuse “should be solved in privacy” rather than by judicial authorities, a recent study showed.

When asked if they agreed with the statement that “what happens in privacy should be solved in privacy,” 54% of the polled government officials said they did, according to data from a study carried out by the Presidential Adviser on Equality for Women in 2014.

This is just one shocking statistic to come from the study, which highlights the discrepancy between the public officials’ opinion and the laws they are obligated to enforce.

While Colombian law prohibits legal conciliation efforts in the case of family violence, 64% of public officials believe is it better to attempt reconciliation between an abusive husband and his victimized wife.

More:
http://colombiareports.co/most-colombian-officials-say-domestic-violence-should-be-solved-in-privacy/

At least 54 Colombian girls sexually abused by immune US military: Report

Source: Colombia Reports

At least 54 Colombian girls sexually abused by immune US military: Report
Mar 23, 2015 posted by Adriaan Alsema


US soldiers and military contractors have sexually abused more than 54 children in Colombia between 2003 and 2007, according to a recently released historic document on the country’s conflict. The alleged sex offenders have not been prosecuted due to immunity clauses in bilateral agreements.

The 800-page independent historic report was commissioned by the Colombian government and rebel group FARC to establish the causes and violence aggravators of the 50-year-long conflict they are negotiating to end. The document is to help negotiators determine who is responsible for the 7 million victims or the armed conflict between leftist rebels and the state while they are negotiating peace.

One of the scholars that helped redact the historians’ report, Renan Vega of the Pedagogic University in Bogota, focused part of this historic document on the American military that has actively supported the Colombian state in its fight against drug trafficking and leftist rebel groups like the FARC and ELN.

According to Vega, “there exists abundant information about the sexual violence, in absolute impunity thanks to the bilateral agreements and the diplomatic immunity of United States officials.”

Read more: http://colombiareports.co/more-than-54-colombian-girls-sexually-abuses-by-us-military-report/
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