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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 111,147

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Albatrosses spend 50 years together

Albatrosses spend 50 years together
Attenborough's Story of Life Attenborough

The birds form one of the longest partnerships

By Matt Walker
27 February 2017

Watch the moment when Sir David Attenborough and BBC filmmakers recorded the extraordinary partnerships formed by albatrosses.
Even better, you can watch a further 1,000 more memorable moments, for free, anytime, on your smartphone or tablet, via Attenborough's Story of Life app, which is now available to download via Google Play, or Apple's app store.


Colombia military asks forgiveness for 2006 massacre of 10 policemen

Colombia military asks forgiveness for 2006 massacre of 10 policemen
written by Jamie Vaughan Johnson February 24, 2017

The Colombian army has formally asked forgiveness for a 2006 massacre of 10 anti-narcotics police agents by an army unit working for local drug traffickers.

Colonel Byron Carvajal and 14 other members of the army were imprisoned for their involvement in the May 22, 2006 massacre in Jamundi, a town south of Cali.

The soldiers had been bribed by local drug traffickers to ambush and kill a group of 10 anti-narcotics policemen who were investigating the narcos.

The public apology was offered by Brigadier General Juan Vincente Trujillo, commander of the Third Brigade, after being ordered to do so by the court.


How Trump's Deportation Crackdown Could Sink El Salvador

Ioan Grillo / San Salvador
12:52 PM Central

Outside El Salvador’s international airport, families gather by a guard post to see their loved ones who have been deported by plane from the United States. Wearing a straw hat in the blazing sun, Elsa Canales, a 58-year-old woman from a fishing village on Salvador’s Pacific coast, waits for her son Marvin Sorto Canales who has been away almost two decades working without papers in San Antonio, Texas. Sorto, 36, was arrested in December after failing to turn up to an immigration court appearance several years earlier. His deportation order rapidly came through this month, Canales says.

“I am glad to be seeing him of course. But I am also sad because he is leaving his children in the United States,” she says. “And I worry about how he will survive here, and how our family will survive.”

Sorto worked as a machine operator on construction sites in San Antonio and would send home $150 to $200 a month to help his family back home, she says. The money kept afloat a household of eight people, including his parents, siblings and nephews, supplementing the money they make from fishing. Without his remittances, they will struggle to afford medicines, schoolbooks and adequate food.

The family’s anxiety is shared by millions in this small Central American nation of coffee growers and sugar plantations. About 1.2 million people who were born in El Salvador live in the United States and, last year, they sent home $4.6 billion - equivalent to 17% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), one of the highest remittance rates in the world. In Mexico, by comparison, remittances are worth less than 3 percent of GDP. Salvadorean remittances often go to the poorest families here, clothing children, buying vital medicines, helping old people who have no pension.


Border Wall Would Cut Across Land Sacred To Native Tribe

February 23, 20174:35 AM ET

The proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico would run right through Native lands, and tribal leaders in the region say it would desecrate sacred sites.

"Over my dead body will we build a wall," says Verlon Jose, vice chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation. "It's like me going into your home and saying 'You know what? I believe in order to protect your house we need some adjusting.' And you're going to say, 'Wait a minute, who are you to come into my house and tell me how to protect my home?' " he says.

The Tohono O'odham reservation straddles the U.S.-Mexico border about an hour south of Tucson. Tohono O'odham means people of the desert.

On a recent drive through the Sonoran desert — where rain has make the palo verde trees even greener and the saguaro stand a little taller — Jose points to a cactus plant. He says every living thing has a story and each story comes with a teaching.


Leading a Law to Extinction: Endangered Species and the GOP


In its first few weeks in power, the Trump administration has already targeted NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Parks Service, and the USDA. Now they’re after the Endangered Species Act.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed in 1973 to protect animal species that are under threat of extinction and to protect the ecosystems they live in. It was passed because Congress understood the importance of science, ecology, and the dangerous implications of losing precious ecosystems and species. This bill wasn’t just supported by the majority—it passed with a 92-0 vote. The Endangered Species Act is the greatest weapon protecting biodiversity against big corporations and political greed. For decades corporations and conservative politicians have threatened to defund, weaken, or repeal the act, but the current administration’s style and bent are proving a legitimate threat; according to the Center for Biological Diversity, in the last six years over 230 pieces of GOP-backed legislation have been proposed to undermine the ESA—now, with a Republican-controlled House and Senate, the fate of environmental protection is far more insecure.

A common phrase heard from the Trump administration, usually in regards to the Affordable Care Act, is “repeal and replace.” The Endangered Species Act is no stranger to those words. In December Republicans proposed scrapping the act altogether and replacing with a “better” more convenient-to-their-agendas act.

Over time, however, repealing the act has proven to be a challenge. Repealing such an act shows a blatant disregard for the beautiful living creatures and ecosystems of our planet, and truly reveals the greed of the lobbies and politicians in their pockets. So how could this act be changed less dramatically, but with similar results? The answer for Republicans seems to be to transform the law into something so useless that it becomes extinct itself.


Mars Life Could Lurk Within These Salty Streaks

Mars Life Could Lurk Within These Salty Streaks
By Elizabeth Howell, Seeker | February 21, 2017 01:22pm ET

Life as we know it requires liquid water. So you can imagine the excitement when, in 2015, hydrated minerals — or compounds that form in the presence of water — were seen on the same Martian slopes as mysterious features known as "recurring slope lineae" or, simply, RSL.

First imaged in high resolution by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) in 2006, these features tend to appear and disappear over several months, appearing at times when the sun shines most strongly upon those slopes. Now, the theory is that these RSL could be seasonal flows of water flowing down the slopes. On Earth, where there's water, there's life — could this hold true for the Red Planet?

The challenge for life on Mars is that this water is extremely salty, with a far higher salt concentration than the limit known for Earth microbes. But they are still regions of interest for possible life, and a potential source of water for future Mars exploration.

. . .

"The discovery of a large deposit produced by brines on Mars could hold the key to further human exploration or even colonization of the Red Planet," wrote Javier Martin-Torres and Maria-Paz Zorzano, both members of Lulea University of Technology's division of space technology. "The question then is, are we ready for the next exploration impulse? And from a political and operational point of view it must be asked, in what ways would the discovery of brines on Mars help steer our exploration efforts? In what ways would it hinder our control over Mars contamination? And if we were to colonize Mars, can we do so without further contaminating the planet?"


The psychology behind Trump's 'clasp and yank' handshake

FEBRUARY 21 2017 - 8:46PM

The psychology behind Trump's 'clasp and yank' handshake

Geoff Beattie

Handshakes are meant to be relatively simple affairs, at least in terms of their signalling function. “Shake hands on it,” we are told. “Shake and make up.” They have been used as a civilised greeting for at least 2500 years. But Donald Trump is in the process of redefining the handshake, transforming it into the opening salvo in a battle for supremacy.

Handshakes date back at least as far as ancient Greece – and there are artefacts from that period featuring images of Herakles shaking hands with Athena. Glenys Davies, writing in the American Journal of Archaeology, said that this particular scene “represents the acceptance of Herakles as an equal by the gods”.

On other artefacts we find images of Hera, the goddess of women and marriage in Greek mythology, shaking hands with Athena, the goddess of wisdom, craft and war. These handshakes are symmetrical and equal in their execution. The sort of handshake that we would recognise instantly today.

Our common understanding is that the handshake originated as a gesture of peace, demonstrating that the hands are free and not holding a weapon. It is meant to signal co-operation, reflected in the symmetrical nature of the shape of the hands and the movement, not aggressive competition. But tell that to Trump, who uses handshakes as a weapon in his games of one-upmanship.


Young Cubans make pedal-powered Model T for transport, fun

Young Cubans make pedal-powered Model T for transport, fun
Associated Press Updated 11:58 am, Tuesday, February 21, 2017

HAVANA (AP) — In a country where few can afford a car, some Cuban high school students have built a replica of a Model T Ford propelled with pedals instead of a gasoline engine. They've painstakingly acquired and installed thousands of nuts, bolts and used car parts to complete the creation.

Transportation can be daunting for many Cubans, with old cars selling for more than $30,000 and new cars more than $50,000. The state-run bus system is overburdened and unreliable.

Eighteen-year-old Dany Gomez was the mastermind behind the homemade pedal car, which gets four people to nearby beaches and onto the coastal Malecon boulevard at night. Gomez says it's not perfect, but allows him and his friends to get around. And they can get a little exercise while doing so.


AP Exclusive" Malnutrition killing inmates in Haiti jails

AP Exclusive" Malnutrition killing inmates in Haiti jails
David Mcfadden, Associated Press Updated 10:56 am, Monday, February 20, 2017

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Dozens of emaciated men with sunken cheeks and protruding ribs lie silently in an infirmary at Haiti's largest prison, most too weak to stand. The corpse of an inmate who died miserably of malnutrition is shrouded beneath a plastic tarp.

Elsewhere, prisoners are crammed shoulder-to-shoulder in cellblocks so overcrowded they have to sleep in makeshift hammocks suspended from the ceiling or squeeze four to a bunk. New arrivals at Haiti's National Penitentiary jostle for space on filthy floors where inmates on lockdown 22 hours a day are forced to defecate into plastic bags in the absence of latrines.

"Straight up: This is hell. Getting locked up in Haiti will drive you crazy if it doesn't kill you first," said Vangeliste Bazile, a homicide suspect who is among the about 80 percent of those incarcerated who have not been convicted of a crime but are held in prolonged pretrial detention waiting for their chance to see a judge.

Overcrowding, malnutrition and infectious diseases that flourish in jammed quarters have led to an upsurge of inmate deaths, including 21 at the Port-au-Prince penitentiary just last month. Those who monitor the country's lockups are sounding an alarm about collapsing conditions.


Editorials and other articles:

Bomb near bogota bullring injures more than 30

Bomb near bogota bullring injures more than 30

Police have made 12 arrests in connection with the explosion but it remains unclear who is responsible for it.
By Stephen Feller | Feb. 19, 2017 at 9:21 PM

Feb. 19 (UPI) -- One person died and more than 30 people were hurt Sunday, many of them police officers, after a bomb detonated down the street from a crowded bullfighting ring in Bogota, Colombia.

An explosion rocked the La Macarena neighborhood of Bogota on Sunday down the street from the Santamaria bullfighting ring just before the last fight of the season, killing a police officer and injuring 3There no claim of the bombing, but some speculated that a group opposed to bullfighting in Colombia -- the sport is controversial and has triggered violent protests in the past -- was responsible for the explosion.

. . .

Hundreds of people protested Bogota's first bullfights in four years when they started at the Santamaria in January.1.


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