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Paul E Ester

Profile Information

Member since: Tue Jan 13, 2009, 12:46 PM
Number of posts: 952

About Me

When I clicked this thread, I said to myself, \"I wonder who said the inevitable stupid thing.- You did not disappoint.\" - WilliamPitt Hmmm. Interesting…nt - SidDithers What the hell is going on here, anyway? -Hekate This is one of the most hilarious threads I have read on DU… - defacto7 \"That has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever read on DU.\" - AsahinaKimi

Journal Archives

Cook County board prez: Why are we closing schools and packing the jail?

As the top official in Cook County government, Toni Preckwinkle didn't have any formal say in the decision by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his education team to shutter 54 Chicago elementary schools.
But she does have a few thoughts on the matter. Like: What are they thinking?

"I talked to a member of the school board that I knew and said what a terrible idea I thought it was," Preckwinkle told me in an interview. "You know, schools are community anchors. They're social centers. They're part of a community's identity. And often kids go half a dozen blocks and they're in different gang territory.

"The closings are going to take place almost entirely within the African-American community, and given the problems we already have with violence, I think it's very problematic."

Preckwinkle, the county board president, wasn't just venting. The county oversees the local criminal justice system, and she's made a priority of reducing the number of people caught up in it—along with the cost to taxpayers. I had stopped by her office to discuss the recent news that the population of the county jail has surged despite her goals. It was disturbing how smoothly the conversation shifted to school closings.


http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2013/03/22/county-board-prez-why-are-we-closing-schools-and-packing-the-jail

"I talked to somebody the other day I've known for a long time who's in the public school system. Her view was that things were bad and getting worse, and she wondered whether there was a deliberate effort to weaken the public schools in order to make the case stronger for charter schools and contract schools.

Israeli prime minister apologizes to Turkish leader over flotilla raid

Source: CNN

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phoned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan on Friday to apologize for a 2010 Israeli commando raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed several Turkish activists, the Israeli and Turkish governments confirmed.

Netanyahu made the call during an airport meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama before Obama departed Israel after his first visit to the Jewish state since taking office in 2009.

He apologized for what happened and acknowledged "operational mistakes," and Erdogan accepted the apology for the raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara flotilla ship, a vessel transporting aid to Gazans and intent on breaking an Israeli sea blockade.

Eight Turks and an American of Turkish origin were killed in the raid.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/22/world/meast/israel-turkey-apology/index.html?c=homepage-t



Score one for President Obama. They also decided to normalize their fractured diplomatic ties, agreeing to return ambassadors to their posts.

Tell W3C: We don't want the Hollyweb

Hollywood is at it again. Its latest ploy to take over the Web? Use its influence at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to weave Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) into HTML5 — in other words, into the very fabric of the Web.

http://www.defectivebydesign.org/no-drm-in-html5

https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/html-media/raw-file/tip/encrypted-media/encrypted-media.html

North Carolina Police Officer Resigns After Road Rage Video Goes Viral

A North Carolina deputy who is the focus of a YouTube video that is gaining a lot of traction along the coast has resigned.

In an interview Wednesday, Deputy Craig Culpepper said he just wanted the man in the pickup truck with the video camera to just go away.

"I felt antagonized by him and I really just wanted the guy to go away," Culpepper said. "If you want to go do your thing, go do your thing. Don't bother me with it."

Culpepper, who worked for the Onslow County Sheriff's Office, was in North Charleston for K-9 training earlier this week, Sheriff Ed Brown said Wednesday, when he was caught up in a road rage incident on I-526.

"Deputy Culpepper, for no apparent reason, did what is called a brake check (immediately applied his brakes) thus the irate citizen struck Deputy Culpepper's vehicle in the rear," Brown said. "Deputy Culpepper tendered his resignation immediately after the Administrative Staff of the Onslow County Sheriff's Office and I addressed the matter with Deputy Culpepper."


http://www.abcnews4.com/story/21731404/video-shows-collision-with-cop-on-526

US General Kelly plays down Guantanamo hunger strike

A senior United States military commander has played down reports that a group of Guantanamo Bay prison inmates are on hunger strike.

Gen John Kelly, the head of US Southern Command, told the House Armed Services Committee that some prisoners "were eating a bit, but not a lot".

Reports say the protest against alleged mishandling of the Koran began in February. Gen Kelly denied such abuse.

More than 20 inmates are now thought to be on hunger strike, the jail says.

Prison spokesman Navy Capt Robert Durand said the number had risen from 14 on Friday.

Eight of them had lost so much weight that they were being fed through tubes and two were being treated for dehydration, he added.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21872214

Acupuncturist guilty of intentionally infecting 16 people with HIV

A court in Switzerland has found a self-styled acupuncturist guilty of intentionally infecting 16 people with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

A regional court in the canton (state) of Bern said the man was sentenced Friday to 12 years and 9 months in prison.

Prosecutors had asked for a 15-year sentence for causing serious bodily harm and spreading human diseases.

They accused him of using various pretexts to prick his victims with a needle and infect them with HIV between 2001 and 2005.


http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_SWITZERLAND_HIV_ACUPUNCTURIST?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-03-22-08-06-56

NM man films horse killing to send message to activists

Source: KOB 4

A video posted on YouTube has sparked outrage among animal activists and left death threats against a Roswell meat company.

In the video, an employee at the Valley Meat Company out of Roswell, NM - which is working with the USDA to get a horse slaughter plant in the area - brings a horse out of its pen, swears at activists and then kills the horse with a single gunshot.

“To all you animal activists, f**k you,” Tim Sappington, a maintenance contractor with Valley Meat Company, said in the video.

He then shoots the horse point blank in the head. The horse falls to the ground and dies.

Sappington has received several death threats for the video. People who operate the plant, who contend they had nothing to do with the video, are also receiving threats.

Now, the FBI is involved.




Read more: http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S2971822.shtml?cat=500



News report at the link.

Starbucks CEO to opponents of same sex marriage if you don't like it "sell your shares of Starbucks"

The CEO of Starbucks defended his support of same-sex marriage at the company’s annual meeting in Seattle. Starbucks came out in favor last year of Washington’s referendum legalizing same-sex marriage. Opponents of that measure vowed to make Starbuck’s pay, and the National Organization for Marriage launched a boycott of Starbucks.

At the company’s annual meeting Wednesday, shareholder Tom Strobhar suggested that the boycott had indeed bled the company of value.

“In the first fill quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earrings — shall we say politely — were a bit disappointing,” he said
.

CEO Howard Schultz shot back that the decision to back gay marriage was not about the bottom line, but about respecting diversity. He said the company had delivered a healthy return last year, boycott or no.

“If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much,” he said, to loud applause from the audience.



http://kplu.org/post/schultz-defends-starbucks-support-same-sex-marriage
Audio at the link.

Apple Says Data Centers Now Use 100% Renewable Energy


In its environmental update, Apple said a 100-acre solar farm next to its largest data center, in Maiden, North Carolina, became fully operational in December.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) now uses only renewable energy sources to power its data centers, the iPhone maker said in an updated report on its environmental policies.

The company’s data centers now run on energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal, instead of coal or other fossil fuels, Apple said on its website. The centers house server computers that store and distribute songs, applications and other content from services such as iTunes, iMessage and iCloud.

A year ago, Apple was targeted by Greenpeace International, which ranked Apple 12th out of 14 large technology companies in a report called “How Clean Is Your Cloud?” The environmental group, which held protests at Apple’s offices in Cupertino, California, charged Apple with relying on electricity from coal plants and gave Apple a grade of no better than D in the four categories it tracked.
In its environmental update, Apple said a 100-acre solar farm next to its largest data center, in Maiden, North Carolina, became fully operational in December. With the solar array and a large installation of fuel cells, which convert biogases into energy, Apple said it met a goal of generating 60 percent of the energy for the data center on-site.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-21/apple-says-data-centers-now-use-100-renewable-energy.html

Terrorist Designations of Ansar al-Dine

The Department of State has designated Ansar al-Dine (AAD) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. As a result of the designation, U.S. persons are prohibited from knowingly providing material support or resources to AAD, and all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which AAD has any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with the organization or to its benefit.

AAD has also been listed by the United Nations 1267/1989 al-Qa’ida Sanctions Committee. The UN listing requires all member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo against AAD. The UN action demonstrates international resolve to eliminate AAD’s violent activities in Mali and the surrounding region.

Ansar al-Dine is an organization operating in Mali which cooperates closely with al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. AAD was created in late 2011 after AAD’s leader, Iyad ag Ghali, failed in an attempt to take over a secular Tuareg organization due to his extremist views. Ghali was designated by the Department of State under E.O. 13224 on February 26, 2013.

AAD has received support from AQIM since its inception in late 2011, and continues to maintain close ties to the group. AAD has received backing from AQIM in its fight against Malian and French forces, most notably in the capture of the Malian towns of Agulhok, Tessalit, Kidal, Gao, and Timbuktu, between January and April 2012. In AAD’s March 2012 attack against the town of Aguelhok, the group executed 82 Malian soldiers and kidnapped 30 more. Before the French intervention in January 2013, Malian citizens in towns under AAD’s control who did not comply with AAD’s laws faced harassment, torture, or execution.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2013/03/206493.htm
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