Judi LynnJudi Lynn's Journal
Source: Colombia Reports
written by Richard Kelleher March 2, 2017
The former leader of a paramilitary death squad will face the family of one his victims in a Washington court on Friday, reported The Guardian newspaper.
In an unprecedented case, a family will be permitted to speak in a US court about the impact of the perpetrators crimes.
Hernan Giraldo Serna once led the Tayrona Resistance Block, a faction of the now-defunct AUC paramilitary group that was responsible for the murder of hundreds of farmers, leftist organizers and indigenous leaders on Colombias north coast.
This included the torture and murder of farmer Julio Henriquez in 2001, the father of the family that he will be face in court when he will be sentenced for conspiring to import cocaine into the United States when he was a leader of the paramilitary group.
Read more: http://colombiareports.com/colombia-family-speak-ex-paramilitary-leader-landmark-us-trial/
Mexicos Maya could predict hurricanes
The Maya Temple of the God of the Wind, in Tulum, Mexico, used
a web of holes to create a loud whistling sound that warned the
population of an impending hurricane
By Brigitte Leoni
CANCUN, Mexico, 1 March 2017 Mexicos historical Maya civilisation created not only a written language and a binary mathematical system, but also a hurricane warning system that still works today.
It is housed in the clifftop Templo Dios del Viento, or Temple of the God of the Wind, in Tulum, a Maya site that had its heyday in the years 1200 to 1450.
The temple contains an intricate web of holes that cause an extremely loud whistling sound when early hurricane-force winds blow in from the Caribbean Sea towards Tulum.
To this day, the temple serves as a complementary warning system for the millions of tourists and local residents in the vicinity of Tulum. Fittingly, the site is 130 kilometres south of the city of Cancun, which in May hosts the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Templo Dios del Viento [/center]
Just found more info:
Detail of Templo del Dios del Viento (Temple of the Wind God)
The Temple of the Wind God (Templo del Dios del Viento) served as a lookout post and also a storm warning system. The building was constructed with a hole in the roof which produces a whistle when high winds blow. When a hurricane approached the area, the Maya would know to take shelter when they heard the whistle.
This building is associated with the Yucatec Maya deity known as Kukulcán, the feathered serpent. According to Maya mythology: Kukulkan always travels ahead of the rain god Chaac, helping to predict the rains as his tail moves the winds and sweeps the earth clean.
See a shoreline view of the building here: Tulum: El Templo del Dios del Viento
Source: Colombia Reports
US authorities order recapture of Colombia ex-minister
written by Jamie Vaughan Johnson March 1, 2017
US authorities on Monday requested a warrant for the arrest of Colombias former agriculture minister amid concerns that he wants to flee to evade criminal prosecution in Colombia.
Andres Felipe Arias a.k.a. Little Uribe who is facing a 17 year sentence for embezzling funds worth over $20 million meant for poor farmers was arrested in the US in August last year but later was released on bail.
Wilfredo Ferrer, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida released a seven page letter dated February 27, requesting the arrest of Arias citing the high risk of the ex-minister skipping the country.
Consequently, the Government respectfully requests that the Court order the arrest of Arias Leiva or, in the alternative, that the Court order that his bail conditions be consolidated, states the document.
Read more: http://colombiareports.com/us-authorities-order-recapture-colombia-ex-minister/
He's in Miami, naturally.
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
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.
Ioan Grillo / San Salvador
12:52 PM Central
Outside El Salvadors 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 Salvadors 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 familys 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 countrys 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.
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.
BY MEGHAN HAMILTON 21 FEBRUARY 2017
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 theyre 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 wasnt just supported by the majorityit 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 administrations 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 ESAnow, 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
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?"
FEBRUARY 21 2017 - 8:46PM
The psychology behind Trump's 'clasp and yank' handshake
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.
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