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Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
July 31, 2018

A piece of Alaskan paradise is at risk. Here's why we must save it

Kim Heacox
The Tongass national forest is America’s premier temperate rainforest, but Sonny Perdue wants it open for business

Tue 31 Jul 2018 03.57 EDT

Over the years, I’ve walked many visitors into the Tongass national forest in Alaska, and watched the city tinsel drop from their eyes. They often sit quietly and look around, and for the first time in a long time breathe from the bottom of their lungs.

. . .

I live here, in this land made of water, where green is not just a color, it’s a texture. Where salmon run and bears roam, and whales swim into my dreams. Where my neighbors and I build our homes from wood selectively cut and locally milled. Where we pick berries and hunt deer, and remember the slaughter, back in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, when US taxpayers heavily subsidized large-scale clearcut logging.

The trees often became pulp, which in turn became rayon and cellophane to make disposable diapers and other throwaway consumer products. Whole logs were even shipped to China and Japan.

For all this, our senator William Proxmire – bless his courageous heart – gave the US Forest Service (USFS) the “Golden Fleece Award” to draw attention to such waste.

July 31, 2018

Uribe vows to combat death squad claims 'in freedom or from jail'

by Adriaan Alsema July 30, 2018

Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe said Sunday that “in freedom or from jail” he will defend his family against claims he and his brother formed death squads in the 1990s.

The former President, whose family was closely associated with the Medellin Cartel, announced his resignation from the Senate after he was called in for questioning by the Supreme Court over alleged attempts to silence witnesses.

Uribe’s resignation would have shielded him from further investigation by the Supreme Court that can only prosecute elected officials. According to local media, however, the Prosecutor General’s Office has also opened an investigation, making it almost impossible for Uribe to evade further judicial scrutiny.

. . .

Despite his admitted business ties to Medellin Cartel founders and his alleged ties to death squads, Uribe continues to enjoy popularity among conservative and far-right Colombians who support his radically anti-communist rhetoric.


July 31, 2018

South Colombia mayor arrested over social leader's murder

by Stephen Gill July 30, 2018

The mayor of a town in the south of Colombia was arrested on Saturday over his alleged involvement in the murder of a social leader last year.

Miguel Antonio Rico, the mayor Pitalito in the Huila province, was captured in the capital Bogota for allegedly ordering the murder of lawyer and social leader Luis Gerardo Ochoa.

. . .

The murder of Ochoa comes as a wave of violence against social leaders, human rights activists and journalists grips Colombia.

Far-right group Aguilas Negras has vowed to “exterminate” all Colombia’s human rights defenders and social leaders, calling them “guerrillas in disguise.”

July 29, 2018

Colombian journalists say death threats reflect 'ugly' climate since presidential election

Journalists say ‘dangerous new atmosphere’ has emerged since Iván Duque, a fierce opponent of the peace process, won election

Ed Vulliamy in Bogotá
Sat 28 Jul 2018 03.00 EDT

Prominent Colombian journalists have warned that a string of death threats over their coverage of the country’s peace process reflects an “ugly and dangerous new atmosphere” in the country since the election of its new president.

María Jimena Duzán of the weekly magazine Semana was threatend on Twitter with a message urging she be “raped, spat upon, chopped up with a chainsaw and hung in the Plaza de Bolívar” – the main square in the capital, Bogotá.

Minutes after the threat was sent, the account which posted it and the IP address were closed.

Duzan said threats to her and other journalists have escalated since the election of conservative Iván Duque, a protégé of former president Álvaro Uribe – who viscerally opposes the peace deal with the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the Farc. Duque, who will be sworn in on 7 August, has vowed to “overhaul” the peace accord.

July 29, 2018

Brazilian celebrities hold 'Free Lula' concert in Rio

People hold up masks depicting the Brazilian former president Luiz Inacio da Silva during the Lula Free festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, July 28, 2018. Popular Brazilian musicians and social movements organized a concert to call for the release of da Silva, who has been in prison since April, but continues to lead the preferences on the polls ahead of October’s election. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) Leo Correa AP

Brazilian celebrities hold ‘Free Lula’ concert in Rio
The Associated Press

July 28, 2018 08:23 PM
Updated 4 hours 13 minutes ago

Some of Brazil's most popular musicians called for jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to be freed in a concert Saturday in Rio de Janeiro attended by tens of thousands of people.

Da Silva, a leftist ex-president universally known as Lula, was convicted of corruption and money laundering, but his supporters say the sentence was politically motivated.

Saturday's festival in front of Rio's iconic Lapa Arch featured household names in Brazil like Chico Buarque and other Latin American musicians.

Da Silva's image could be seen everywhere: On shirts, bandanas and masks, while his animated image danced on screens next to the stage. In between sets, supporters broke out into chants of "Free Lula!" as organizers urged them to scream loud enough for da Silva to hear them from the southern city of Curitiba.


July 29, 2018

NLG letter to Honduran officials demands justice and accountability for murder of Berta Cceres

NLG letter to Honduran officials demands justice and accountability for murder of Berta Cáceres

National Lawyers Guild President Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan sent a letter in Spanish on behalf of the Guild to judicial officials in Honduras on 26 July, urging justice and full accountability for the murder of Berta Cáceres, the indigenous, environmental and human rights leader slain in her home on March 2, 2016.

The first hearing in the murder trial of nine defendants in the case will open on Friday, July 27. The Guatemala Human Rights Commission notes that “After tremendous international pressure, the skilled work of the Honduran legal team, and with the courageous insistence of Berta’s family and organization, COPINH, eight suspects have been arrested and the real story of Berta’s murder is becoming clear. The gunmen who stormed her home were apparently coordinated by an active duty Honduran intelligence officer together with a former military officer working in a private security company, who had been hired by executives of the DESA Corporation. DESA sought to build the Agua Zarca dam in Lenca territory, a dam the communities opposed. Berta, as an effective and internationally recognized human rights defender, was a problem in the way of DESA’s plans….There are well-founded concerns that the Honduran state prosecutor is undermining the possibility of justice by withholding evidence that could incriminate intellectual authors and provide accused murders with grounds to appeal a guilty verdict…to date, the public prosecutor’s office has repeatedly refused to comply with court orders to hand over the vast majority of the evidence it has gathered in the investigation.”

The men being brought to trial are:

  • Douglas Geovanny Bustillo is a retired army officer and former chief of security for the DESA corporation building the Agua Zarca dam. He is accused of planning the murder with DESA president David Castillo while Bustillo worked for an unrelated private security company.

  • Major Mariano Diaz Chavez, a long-time associate of Douglas Bustillo, was an active duty military officer at the time of his arrest and the chief of special forces intelligence at the time the murder plan was set into motion.

  • July 28, 2018

    Minke whale hunting ends in Iceland

    28 JUL 2018

    The controversial hunt for minke whales in Iceland has come to end after declining profits led to the local industry closing, the International Fund for Animal Welfare said on Friday.

    Only six minke whales were caught in June and none in July -- usually the peak month for hunting -- out of a quota of 262, the IFAW said in a statement.

    It was the smallest number since Iceland resumed whaling in 2003, with 17 animals caught last summer, and 46 in 2016.

    The head of whaling company IP-Utgerd Ltd, Gunnar Jonsson, confirmed to AFP that hunting has stopped.


    July 28, 2018

    Three women stabbed in Chile pro-abortion march

    3 hours ago
    Bridie Chetwin-Kelly

    Three women have been stabbed in Santiago, Chile during a march for free and safe abortions.

    The women and a police officer were attacked by a group of people wearing hoods, leaving them with non-life threatening injuries.

    Santiago resident and pro-abortionist, Ale Silva, told Newshub the group were men from a far-right group, and the Chile media ignored the attack.

    "It very easily could've been me or any of my friends. They were targeted because they were women and were marching, as it so usually happens... prolifers stabbing people, the irony," she said.

    July 27, 2018

    Architect Freddy Mamani Has Transformed El Alto, Bolivia, Into a Mecca of Modern Architecture

    Freddy Mamani has established a distinctive New Andean architectural style while inspiring a generation of architects to follow his lead

    Posted July 25, 2018

    These buildings are locally referred to as a "cholet," for their indigenous architecture.

    Photo: Getty Images/Noah Friedman-Rudovsky

    Many of architect Freddy Mamani Silvestre's buildings in Bolivia feature a similar setup—there's commercial space on the first floor, a ballroom on the second, and apartments above that, and all of it is crowned by the owner's living space. They also happen to be designed with the most vividly colorful façades and interiors that, before Mamani came along, had never before been seen in the world of architecture, let alone in his predominantly brick and adobe hometown of El Alto, Bolivia.

    A quick history lesson: Conquered first by the Incan empire and then by the Spanish, the region now known as Bolivia established its independence in 1825. Then 180 years later, in 2005, the country elected its first-ever president of indigenous descent, Evo Morales. That same year, Freddy Mamani designed his first building. Though not a formally trained architect—he was a bricklayer turned civil engineer—Mamani, in his mid-40s, has established the distinctive New Andean architectural style, which is characterized by a design vernacular that both reclaims cultural motifs and sends them hurtling into the future on buildings that have been likened to spaceships.


    Prepare your eyes to feast on these incredible Freddy Mamani buildings in Bolivia: https://tinyurl.com/ycuav8ae


    July 27, 2018

    Guardian slammed for 'wildly inaccurate coverage' in open letter signed by 28 academics, journalists

    Guardian slammed for ‘wildly inaccurate coverage’ in open letter signed by 28 academics, journalists and activists


    In an open letter, 28 academics, journalists and activists have slammed the Guardian for its “wildly inaccurate coverage of Nicaragua”. And for one human rights lawyer who signed the letter, this forms part of “the greatest misinformation campaign” he has ever witnessed.

    Political tensions in Nicaragua
    As The Canary has previously reported, Nicaragua has been convulsed by protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega since April. The demonstrations began over a government proposal to partially reform the country’s social security system, which was met with public outcry from across the political spectrum. The government withdrew the plans, but by then the mobilization had morphed into a broader movement calling for either Ortega’s resignation or the calling of early elections, which are currently scheduled for 2021. Opponents of the government claim that Ortega’s government has become increasingly “authoritarian” and that he has been attempting to establish a political dynasty. But others, including award-winning journalist Max Blumenthal, have argued that public unrest has been cynically seized upon by upper-class and Washington-backed opponents of Ortega, who have long held the objective of forcing him from office.

    Either way, the protests have become increasingly violent and confrontational, and have in turn been met with a robust response from state forces which are attempting to contain the upheaval. Street battles have ensued between opposing sides. But while there have certainly been recorded incidents of violence on the part of both pro- and anti-government factions, most of the Western press has focused almost exclusively on the opposition’s stance (that the government’s response to rioting has been disproportionate, if not outright repressive) without giving sufficient attention to incidents of violence on the part of the opposition.

    “Wildly inaccurate coverage” from the Guardian
    An open letter on Max Blumenthal’s Grayzone website has now called the Guardian out for consistently placing the blame for Nicaragua’s violence primarily on the Ortega government. The letter – which has 28 signatories from across the worlds of journalism, political activism and academia – states that:

    despite plentiful evidence of opposition violence, almost all your 17 reports since mid-April blame Daniel Ortega’s government for the majority of deaths that have occurred


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