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Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
March 3, 2018

The Cruel and Unusual Punishment of Doyle Lee Hamm

The State of Alabama was warned that its planned execution of Hamm would be painful and torturous. It kept going anyway.
By Jake Bittle Twitter TODAY 8:14 AM

Last Thursday the state of Alabama tried and failed to execute Doyle Lee Hamm, a prisoner who has spent more than half his life on death row for a murder committed in 1987. The botched execution attempt, which lasted hours and left Hamm covered in blood, was one of three lethal injections scheduled in the United States that day. Its gruesome outcome has horrified criminal-justice advocates across the country, who see this execution as yet another blatant violation of the Constitution’s guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment.

According to Hamm’s attorney, Bernard Harcourt, the two-person execution team stuck needles in Hamm’s legs half a dozen times, but were unable to locate a surface-level vein. They then moved on to Hamm’s groin, which they stabbed another half-dozen times. In the process, they may have punctured his bladder and femoral artery—Hamm was gushing blood as the execution proceeded, and he urinated blood for most of the following day, Harcourt reported. At the urging of the state employee who was there, the execution team gave up just before midnight, worried that Hamm’s death warrant would expire.

Harcourt, a Columbia law professor who has represented Hamm since the two men met in 1990, describes the process as “torture,” and there is certainly every indication that the multi-hour execution attempt was cruel, harrowing, and painful. Hamm was “remarkably stoic” and “emotionally mature” as the date of his execution drew nearer, the lawyer said, but when the two men saw each other after the botched execution, Hamm was “traumatized,” shaken up and clearly still in pain.

Hamm’s botched execution is the latest in an expanding list of execution attempts gone horribly wrong (think Clayton Lockett and Joseph Wood, both in 2014, along with many others). But the likely reason for the failure adds a disturbing twist to the tradition. In addition to a history of drug use that makes surface-level vein access difficult, Harcourt says that Hamm has lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system that causes his nodes to swell, blocking access to veins in his groin. After Hamm was diagnosed in 2014, he underwent radiation therapy to remove a large tumor from behind his left eye, but it is not clear that he received any treatment since. Multiple independent examiners have observed swollen lymph nodes on his body since then.

March 2, 2018

Cuba's Capitol reopens after years of restoration

MARCH 1, 2018 / 4:58 PM / UPDATED 6 HOURS AGO

 Nelson Acosta, Sarah Marsh

HAVANA (Reuters) - After eight years of restoration work, Cuba on Thursday re-opened to the public the doors of its Capitol, an imposing neoclassical gem previously shunned as a symbol of U.S. imperialism now to become the seat of its national assembly.

Built in 1929 to house Cuba’s Congress and inspired by Washington’s Capitol, it was swiftly repurposed after Fidel Castro’ 1959 leftist revolution along with other buildings seen as testament to corrupt governments too cozy with the Americans.

Most recently used for the Science and Technology Ministry, its restoration was started in 2010 as part of the Office of City Historian’s revamp of Havana, one of the architectural treasures of Latin America.

Four years later came the landmark announcement of a U.S.-Cuban detente by Cuban President Raul Castro and former U.S. President Barack Obama, although that is now under threat from the more hostile stance of the administration of Donald Trump.


March 2, 2018

To understand slavery, listen to the descendants

To understand slavery, listen to the descendants
By Michael Blakey February 23

Michael Blakey is National Endowment for the Humanities professor of anthropology, Africana and American studies and director of the Institute for Historical Biology at the College of William & Mary.

Since Charlottesville, we’ve heard more discourse around race, diversity and historical symbols, much of it focused on how to realize justice and equality for all Americans. We’ve arrived at an inflection point about the ways our collective past is reflected in our culture and in our public and educational spaces.

Amid the events Charlottesville spawned and the ensuing rhetoric about Confederate statues and what they represent, I have reflected on a different seminal moment: my time at Coolidge High School in Northwest Washington in the late 1960s. Well before “stay woke” became a mantra, students across this country were awakened to the need to include African and African American history and cultures in the curriculum. We were successful at Coolidge.

However, when I returned to Coolidge a decade ago and asked students about the hard-fought changes we achieved, I was told that they had been removed. Sadly, throughout this nation, the history curriculum remains an explicit promulgation of white privilege, exclusion and hoarding. Where is the equality in that?

What equality does one have if American and world history are taught as a white history with sidebars for the full spectrum of humanity? The Founding Fathers commanded and watched the work of our ancestors, writing histories that omitted their accomplishments. The lives of the enslaved people who actually built our country and produced its initial resources are left unacknowledged — one does not give credit to a mule for pulling the plow.


March 2, 2018

Listen to the new single by Herencia de Timbiqu with Rubn Blades

Listen to the new single by Herencia de Timbiquí with Rubén Blades

The Colombian group seeks to raise awareness among its fans about the environment and technology


"Climate change is not a mystery, we are all seeing the consequences it brings. There are natural phenomena that are happening more and more, "says William Angulo, Herencia singer.

A couple of years ago, Herencia de Timbiquí opened a concert by Rubén Blades in Bogotá. The Cauca group was in their dressing room and the Panamanian came in unexpectedly to get the typical photo of the main artist with the opening act. The members of Herencia began to explain that they were a Pacific music band. "He said, 'No, no, I already know them, I've already heard their music. I really like how the Cuban son mixes with the rhythms of the Caribbean and the Pacific, "recalls vocalist Begner Vázquez in an interview with ROLLING STONE.

Blades left Colombia and continued his tour. Heritage did the same. A week later, the Panamanian wrote in his Twitter account that he liked to meet a group like Timbiquí's. "We were very happy and surprised," says Vázquez. "We told him that we would love, one day, to record with him. And after two months he said, 'If Timbiquí's Heritage wants to record, I'm ready. [He rubs his hands] We settle in and we think what to do. "

Vazquez wrote the song, Herencia entered the studio and in a week the subject was ready. "We sent it to him and we said, 'Teacher, record what you want, what you do is fine'", recalls the singer. Everyone was on tour, so they could not do it in person. Thus was born What will be , the new single of Herencia de Timbiquí with Rubén Blades, a song that talks about some very specific topics, such as the care of the environment and the technological impact on society.

"Climate change is not a mystery, we are all seeing the consequences it brings. There are natural phenomena that are occurring more and more, "says William Angulo, the other Herencia singer. "But from home we can start with the separation of waste and education of children." This last point is one of the most important for Herencia, that is why Vázques says that "education solves all social problems", including those generated by technology.

Vázquez gives a very clear example. People who arrive at their homes and, instead of eating with their family, go directly to the computer or to talk on the cell phone. Those moments are the ones that are getting lost.

. . .

"They do not pay us, nor do we have where to 'get wet'," says Angulo. "We live in a country where social classes have an immense division. There will be children who can have an education, but there are others who do not have the opportunity to have a guide in life. "

But, in the end, the change must be done by each person. "Sometimes you have to stop along the way to start rethinking the actions," says Vázquez. "Here we want to propose solutions". For this reason, Herencia has several social projects, such as an annual gift giving in Timbiquí to low-income children.

February 28, 2018

Drop Everything And Watch This Shaolin Monk Puncture Glass by Throwing a Needle

The slow-motion replays are so, so good!


There are apparently 72 arts you need to master as a Shaolin monk, and according to the accomplished masters in this video, being able to throw a needle hard enough to pierce a sheet of glass is among the hardest skills to conquer.

We'll take their word on it. But to be truly impressed by this feat, you really need to watch the process when it's slowed down to a few thousand frames per second.

Gav and Dan – the guys behind the YouTube channel 'The Slow Mo Guys' – invited a trio of Shaolin monks to put their talent on display in front of their Phantom v2511 camera.

The v2511 can record film at rates of more than 25,000 frames per second, which is plenty slow enough to see the needle hit home and the tiny splinters of glass fly.

February 28, 2018

Brazil military's growing role in crime crackdown fuels fears among poor

Brazil military's growing role in crime crackdown fuels fears among poor
Dom Phillips in São Gonçalo

Tue 27 Feb 2018 03.01 EST

. . .

Police with automatic rifles slung around their necks stood behind an armoured car near the entrance of the Salgueiro favela, a half-hour drive from Rio across the Guanabara Bay.

Nearby, Joelma Milanes, 38, cried as she recalled the night last November when she and her husband found her son Márcio Sabino, 21, lying dead with several others after a police and army operation.

The army told the Guardian its special forces battalion – Brazil’s equivalent of the US navy Seals – participated in the operation which left seven dead, but denied they fired the shots.

“The people who should be protecting us are killing us,” Milanes said. “They do what they want. There won’t be justice.”


February 28, 2018

New Files Reveal US Sold Argentina Military Aircraft to Dump Bodies in Ocean

Published 16 December 2016
Uki Goñi in Buenos Aires

Tue 9 Aug 2016 14.05 EDT

Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger jeopardized US efforts to stop mass killings by Argentina’s 1976-83 military dictatorship by congratulating the country’s military leaders for “wiping out” terrorism, according to a large trove of newly declassified state department files.

The documents, which were released on Monday night, show how Kissinger’s close relationship to Argentina’s military rulers hindered Jimmy Carter’s carrot-and-stick attempts to influence the regime during his 1977-81 presidency.

Carter officials were infuriated by Kissinger’s attendance at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina as the personal guest of dictator Jorge Videla, the general who oversaw the forced disappearance of up to 30,000 opponents of the military regime.

At the time, Kissinger was no longer in office after Carter defeated Gerald Ford in the 1976 presidential election, but the documents reveal that US diplomats feared his praise for Argentina’s crackdown would encourage further bloodshed.

February 28, 2018

Argentina Dirty War ex-general Luciano Menndez dies at 90

4 hours ago

Image caption
Menendez was sentenced to life imprisonment for kidnap, murder and torture

Former Argentine army general Luciano Benjamín Menéndez, convicted of crimes against humanity, has died aged 90.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment for kidnapping, murdering and torturing hundreds of opponents of Argentina's brutal military regime.

Menéndez, also known as "The Hyena," was the military commander of ten Argentine provinces from 1975 to 1979.

Some 30,000 people are estimated to have been killed by the military in its infamous Dirty War against dissidents.

February 27, 2018

Ministry of Education to Investigate University Course Called '2016's Coup'

02/23/2018 - 11H22

Ouvir o texto


A subject called "the coup of 2016 and the future of democracy in Brazil", offered by the undergraduate political science course of UnB (University of Brasilia), triggered off a reaction from the Ministry of Education, which requested, on Thursday (22), an "administrative misconduct" investigation related to the course's creators.

The course is scheduled to start on March 5, taught by professor Luis Felipe Miguel, full professor of the Political Science Institute, and one of its goals is "to understand the fragility elements of the Brazilian political system which allowed the democratic rupture in May and August 2016, resulting in the ousting of President Dilma Rousseff [PT] ".

The subject also intends to analyze "the agenda of setbacks regarding rights and restrictions on freedom" under Michel Temer's (MDB) administration.

The Ministry had previously issued a note accusing the course creators of "political and ideological proselytism by means of a public institution".


February 27, 2018

2 lions from Mideast war zones reach South African refuge

Christopher Torchia, Associated Press Updated 1:46 pm, Monday, February 26, 2018

IMAGE 1 OF 15 A 4-year-old lion named Simba, who was rescued from Syria by the animal rights group Four Paws, is released into an enclosure at the Lionsrock Lodge and Big Cat Sanctuary in Bethlehem, South Africa? in Bethlehem, South Africa, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. Two lions rescued from neglected zoos in war zones in Iraq and Syria were transported to South Africa on Monday to live at a sanctuary with other animals that survived harsh conditions in captivity elsewhere in the world.

LIONSROCK BIG CAT SANCTUARY, South Africa (AP) — Two lions rescued from neglected zoos in war zones in Iraq and Syria arrived in South Africa on Monday to live at a sanctuary with other animals that survived harsh conditions in captivity elsewhere in the world.

The male lions were transported in metal crates on a Qatar Airways flight after leaving an animal refuge in Jordan on Sunday. They were loaded onto vehicles for a drive of several hours to their new home at the Lionsrock facility near the town of Bethlehem. The lions emerged into separate grassy enclosures, and other lions behind nearby fences let out deep-throated growls and moans.

"They are already saying, 'Hello,'" said Hildegard Pirker, head of the animal welfare department at Lionsrock. As one of the new arrivals bounded around his new home, Pirker said: "You're in Africa, finally."

Born in captivity, the lions had never been on the continent. They were emaciated and dehydrated after the international animal welfare group Four Paws extracted them from a zoo in eastern Mosul in Iraq and an amusement park near Aleppo in Syria. The two cities have experienced some of the worst fighting that has hit both countries in recent years, killing large numbers of people and leaving neighborhoods in ruins.


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