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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
Number of posts: 42,710

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Chelsea Manning- Solitary confinement is 'no touch' torture, and it must be abolished

Shortly after arriving at a makeshift military jail, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, in May 2010, I was placed into the black hole of solitary confinement for the first time. Within two weeks, I was contemplating suicide.

After a month on suicide watch, I was transferred back to US, to a tiny 6 x 8ft (roughly 2 x 2.5 meter) cell in a place that will haunt me for the rest of my life: the US Marine Corps Brig in Quantico, Virginia. I was held there for roughly nine months as a “prevention of injury” prisoner, a designation the Marine Corps and the Navy used to place me in highly restrictive solitary conditions without a psychiatrist’s approval.

For 17 hours a day, I sat directly in front of at least two Marine Corps guards seated behind a one-way mirror. I was not allowed to lay down. I was not allowed to lean my back against the cell wall. I was not allowed to exercise. Sometimes, to keep from going crazy, I would stand up, walk around, or dance, as “dancing” was not considered exercise by the Marine Corps.

To pass the time, I counted the hundreds of holes between the steel bars in a grid pattern at the front of my empty cell. My eyes traced the gaps between the bricks on the wall. I looked at the rough patterns and stains on the concrete floor – including one that looked like a caricature grey alien, with large black eyes and no mouth, that was popular in the 1990s. I could hear the “drip drop drip” of a leaky pipe somewhere down the hall. I listened to the faint buzz of the fluorescent lights.

For brief periods, every other day or so, I was escorted by a team of at least three guards to an empty basketball court-sized area. There, I was shackled and walked around in circles or figure-eights for 20 minutes. I was not allowed to stand still, otherwise they would take me back to my cell.

more

http://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2016/may/02/solitary-confinement-is-solitary-confinement-is-torture-6x9-cells-chelsea-manningno-touch-torture-and-it-must-be-abolished

Monday Toon Roundup

GOP




































Bigots




Iraq








TTIP Documents Revealed

By Alexander Hagelüken and Alexander Mühlauer


The United States government is putting more intense and significantly more far-reaching pressure on the European Union than previously thought during the ongoing negotiations to reach an accord on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This has become evident from copies of confidential negotiation documents that have been made available to Süddeutsche Zeitung and the German radio and television stations WDR and NDR. The material, consisting of 240 pages, was provided by Greenpeace and will be published this coming Monday. Several people familiar with the negotiations confirm that the documents provided are current.

According to the documents, Washington is threatening to prevent the easing of exports for the European car industry in order to force Europe to buy more U.S. agricultural products. The U.S. government concurrently has criticized the fundamental prevention principal of the EU Consumer Centre which protects 500 million Europeans from consuming genetically modified food and hormone-treated meat. The documents further reveal the fact that the U.S. has blocked the urgent European call to replace the controversial private arbitration tribunals, responsible for corporative lawsuits, with a public State model; instead, Washington has made a suggestion on the matter that had hitherto not been disclosed to the public.

The publication of these TTIP documents provides citizens with an unfiltered insight into the negotiations between the U.S. and Europe. Ever since the start of negotiations three years ago, the public could only try to guess what both sides were discussing, which has prompted millions of people to take to the streets in protest of TTIP. While the EU is making its suggestions publicly available, the U.S. insists on keeping their stances on issues secret. Washington utilizes this tactic to ensure a larger scope for negotiations. The disclosure of these 16 TTIP negotiation papers finally offers a fuller transparency for the 800 million people spread over two continents whose lives will be affected by the biggest bilateral trade agreement in history.

The papers allow for a deep insight into U.S. tactics, such as Washington’s active push to prevent the easing of export regulations of the European car industry, as this sector plays a central role in Europe’s economy. One of the confidential documents demonstrates that the U.S. government “hastened to point out that it would need to consult with its industry regarding some of the products and that progress on motor vehicle-related parts would only be possible if the EU showed progress in the discussion on agricultural tariffs.”

more
http://international.sueddeutsche.de/post/143690739565/ttippapiere

Sanders raised nearly 26 million in April

His campaign said after April, it has received 7.4 million total contributions from 2.4 million individual donors, totaling $210 million.

It pointed out that his nearly $26 million April haul topped Clinton's $21 million in March. Clinton has not yet released her April numbers.

"What our campaign is doing is bringing millions of Americans into the political process," said Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, in a statement accompanying a news release announcing the April numbers.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/01/politics/bernie-sanders-26-million-fundraising-april/index.html

Clinton News Network and The New Shillary Times may want to spin this another way, but these are remarkable numbers.

China will launch a Mars rover in 2020

China has announced new details of its mission to explore Mars, indicating that it intends to send an uncrewed spacecraft to the red planet in just four years' time, with a planned launch occurring sometime in 2020.

The project will include three components: an orbiter, a lander, and a rover. "What we want to achieve is to orbit Mars, land, and deploy the rover in one mission, which will be quite difficult to achieve," China's National Space Administration director Xu Dazhe told media in Beijing last Friday.

The aim of the mission will be to study Mars' surface and atmosphere, analysing soil and looking for any traces of water that can hopefully be found.

"Researching these matters is really researching humanity itself and the origins of life," said Xu. "Only by completing this Mars probe mission can China say it has truly embarked on the exploration of deep space."

more

http://www.sciencealert.com/it-s-official-china-will-launch-a-mars-rover-in-2020

Bernie Sanders is on pace to take more than 60 percent of the vote in the Cal's June 7 primary.

Bernie Sanders needs something huge in order to turn the race against Hillary Clinton, and a new poll analysis suggests that he could have it in the form of a big win in California.

After a winning streak that stretched across most of April, Sanders ended the month by suffering losses in the New York primary followed by poor showing in the eastern seaboard states that voted last Tuesday. With the wins, Hillary Clinton has built up a large and nearly insurmountable delegate lead, leaving Sanders to hope for a game-changer in the upcoming primaries.

One new analysis shows there could be hope at the end of the line for Sanders. An analysis of California polls from Political Analyzer found that Bernie Sanders is on pace to take more than 60 percent of the vote in the state’s June 7 primary.

“The current situation in California tells us that the strength of Vermont Senator is still great and he’s by far the most popular politician,” the analysis found.

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/3050424/bernie-sanders-polls-desperately-seeking-momentum-sanders-may-now-have-it-new-analysis-predicts-a-61-percent-win-in-california/

Theorists perplexed by hints of unexpected new particle

Physicists may soon know if a potential new subatomic particle is something beyond their wildest dreams — or if it exists at all.

Hints of the new particle emerged last December at the Large Hadron Collider. Theorists have churned out hundreds of papers attempting to explain the existence of the particle —assuming it’s not a statistical fluke. Scientists are now beginning to converge on the most likely explanations.

“If this thing is true, it’s huge. It’s very different than what the last 30 years of particle physics looked like,” says theoretical physicist David Kaplan of Johns Hopkins University.

The speculation was triggered by a subtle wiggle in data from two experiments, ATLAS and CMS, at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (SN: 1/9/16, p. 7). The bump suggests a new particle that decays into two photons, but what that particle might be is unclear — its properties don’t line up with scientists’ expectations.

“I’m not aware of anybody who’d predicted the existence of such a particle,” says John Ellis of King’s College London. “There’s a dish on the table that nobody can remember ordering.”


more

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/theorists-perplexed-hints-unexpected-new-particle

It’s Official: Maine Will Be Voting On Marijuana Legalization This November

It’s official – Maine voters will see marijuana legalization on the ballot when they vote in the General Election in November. The marijuana legalization initiative made the ballot after a legal battle that seemed ridiculous from the start. Below is a press release from the campaign:

State officials announced Wednesday that a proposed initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine has officially qualified for the November ballot.

After a court-ordered review of petitions it had previously invalidated, the Maine Secretary of State’s Office determined the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted more than the 61,123 signatures that were needed to qualify.

Last month, the secretary of state informed the campaign that the initiative had been disqualified because only 51,543 valid signatures had been submitted. The campaign filed a lawsuit challenging the decision, and a Kennebec County Superior Court judge ruled in their favor earlier this month after learning state officials invalidated more than 5,000 petitions —which included more than 17,000 signatures from Maine voters that were validated by town clerks — without actually reviewing every petition in question. The petition was then remanded to the Secretary of State’s Office to review all of the disputed petitions and determine whether enough valid signatures were collected.


more

http://www.theweedblog.com/its-official-maine-will-be-voting-on-marijuana-legalization-this-november/

Stunning jellyfish, captured on film by the NOAA



The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA) released an extremely impressive video of a jellyfish seen on April 24. The video was captured during a deepwater exploration of the Enigma Seamount of the Marianas at 3,700 meters beneath the surface.

The stunning jellyfish that appears in the video has been identified by scientists as belonging to a group of jellies known as genus Crossota. According to the NOAA, the extended, long motionless tentacles on the jellyfish suggests it is in ambush predation mode.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Stunning-jellyfish-captured-on-film-by-the-NOAA-7385961.php

Scientists Discover 'Woolly Wolf' Is Likely a New Species




The enigmatic Himalayan wolf —popularly known as the "woolly wolf" — has long vexed taxonomists, but now an international research team says they believe the animal is likely a new species of wolf and not a subspecies of the gray wolf as was previously thought.

As described in a new study published in the journal ZooKeys, after discovering the wolf in the Annapurna Conservation Area of Nepal, Madhu Chetris, a graduate student at Hedmark University College in Norway and a team of scientists analyzed the wolf's mitochondrial DNA through its droppings. According to National Geographic, after conducting DNA laboratory tests, the researchers found that the Himalayan wolf was "significantly different from any other wolves and is likely a distinct species."

"Frequent sightings and observation in the wild made me little bit suspicious as they look totally different of what was previously assumed to be a Gray wolf Canis lupus that roam in the Himalayas of Nepal before (these) findings," Chetris told weather.com in an email. "It hit me 10 years ago, when I encountered these animals visually and finally with the recent DNA technology identification of the animal become possible. We compared with the available sequences so far described on wolves and confirmed that the species belong to Himalayan wolf lineage that were not reported previously from the wild from Nepal Himalayas."

more

https://weather.com/science/nature/news/scientists-spot-woolly-wolf
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