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bananas

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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 11:55 PM
Number of posts: 27,509

Journal Archives

Russia admits targeting non-Isis groups in Syria as airstrikes continue

Source: Guardian

<snip>

Significantly, Russia’s official line appeared to change on Thursday, with a spokesman for Putin saying Russia was going after other groups in addition to Isis. “These organisations are well known and the targets are chosen in coordination with the armed forces of Syria,” the spokesman said.

Russia, like Syria, says all opponents of Assad are terrorists. Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, earlier dismissed reports of targeting non-Isis positions, describing “the rumours” as unfounded. “Our targets are solely the positions of objects and equipment belonging to the armed terrorist group Isil,” Russia Today quoted Lavrov as saying.

Syrian civil defence volunteers put the total civilian death toll from Wednesday’s strikes on Homs and Hama at 40, including eight children. The volunteer group said thermobaric missiles had been used and claimed that they struck a public market, bread distribution point and administrative buildings in Homs, as well as civilian homes.

“We can’t believe an even more advanced military power has arrived in Syria to kill civilians,” said one civil defence volunteer in a statement issued by his organisation.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/01/russia-targeting-non-isis-groups-syria-airstrikes

'Moonspike' Kickstarter Project Aims to Crowdfund Rocket to the Moon

Source: Space.com

A team of rocketeers launched an out-of-this-world Kickstarter campaign today (Oct. 1) to raise $1 million for "Moonspike" – an ambitious project to launch the first crowdfunded rocket to the moon.

The Moonspike project aims to launch a small titanium payload carrying photos and videos from project backers into space, and ultimately crash it into the moon. The resulting dust plume from the impact should observable from orbit, its backers say. While a science return from the mission would be desirable, the main goal is to see if a small group of engineers can create a moon rocket and payload for a reasonable amount of money, Chris Larmour, a co-founder of the project and serial space entrepreneur, told Space.com in an e-mail. It's the first campaign of its kind, with the Kickstarter page going live at 7 a.m. ET (1100 GMT) today.

"We've been working hard to develop our rocket and spacecraft designs over the past few months and today we are opening up our feasibility study document to the public," Larmour said. The other co-founder is Kristian von Bengtson, also a co-founder of Danish private space travel group Cophenhagen Suborbitals. [Related: How Crowdfunding Helps Spur Space Projects]

<snip>

The crowdfunding campaign will be "all or nothing," he acknowledged, with no Plan B if they don't raise the desired million. But if it does end up working out, the group plans to raise several tens of millions of dollars more through more traditional equity financing routes. The initial Kickstarter money will be used for hardware development and other setup to make investors more interested in the product, he added.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.space.com/30712-moonspike-private-moon-rocket-kickstarter-campaign.html

Kerry warns of 'grave concerns' about Russia’s intent with airstrikes in Syria

Source: Washington Post

Just hours after Russia launched airstrikes in Syria, Secretary of State John F . Kerry warned Wednesday of “grave concerns ” about Moscow ’s intention, and said the United States would continue and escalate its own operations against the Islamic State.

U .S . aircraft had carried out “a number of strikes in the past 24 hours, including just an hour ago, ” Kerry said. “And these strikes will continue.”

“We must not and we will not be confused in our fight against ISIL, ” he said, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

Kerry spoke at a United Nations Security Council meeting convened by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov , who opened the session by saying Russia had acted at the request of Syrian President Bashar al- Assad.

<snip>

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/kerry-warns-of-grave-concerns-about-russias-intent-with-air-strikes-in-syria/2015/09/30/ccab60be-6792-11e5-9223-70cb36460919_story.html

Russia launches airstrikes in Syria after parliament approves intervention - live updates

Source: Telegraph

• Russian airstrikes 'hit Isil targets in Syria', says Moscow
• US officials say Russian jets hit non-Isil area near Homs
• Russia told US to 'leave now' one hour before strikes
• Russia parliament unanimously approved Syria intervention
• Kremlin insists role will be short-term, only air strikes: Putin
• Assad wrote letter to Putin requesting military aid

<snip>

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/11900853/Putin-request-for-use-of-Russian-troops-in-Syria-approved-live.html



This article has live updates.

Tomorrow on NY Radio We'll Be Dropping a Bomb on Facebook

Source: Al Giordano, Narco News



Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 30 at 6 p.m. ET I'm going on the radio in the media capital of the world at the peak of afternoon drive time.

I've been asked to speak for Narco News and the nonprofit Fund for Authentic Journalism, and I'll announce that we're taking our 27,000+ Facebook users to Tsu as our response to Facebook and Instagram owner Mark Zuckerberg banning links to his upstart competitor last weekend.

And I'll invite all of New York City to join us in the exodus to our new social media home.

<snip>

It's all going to happen on The Katie Halper Show, which is a popular Big Apple radio program y'all should be listening to anyway. Katie is a 2010 graduate of the School of Authentic Journalism, and has returned each year since as one of its professors. She's a social humorist, stand-up comic and authentic journalist. The Katie Halper show on 99.5 FM WBAI in New York, in her first few months on the air, has quickly become a “must listen” event each Wednesday afternoon.

<snip>

For readers, friends and supporters in or near New York City, I’m in town this week also to celebrate Narco News' 15th anniversary with readers, supporters and friends. If you’d like to join the party Saturday evening, send me an email at [email protected] for an invitation. We'll start at 8 p.m. And if you've attended any of our previous anniversary fetes, you know already it's an amazing, interesting crowd that includes graduates and professors from the School of Authentic Journalism, the best readers in the word, and artists and journalists of accomplishment in their own fields.

<snip>

Read more: http://narcosphere.narconews.com/thefield/5105/tomorrow-ny-radio-well-be-dropping-bomb-facebook

So many symptoms, only one disease: a public good in private hands

http://bjoern.brembs.net/2015/09/many-symptoms-one-disease/

So many symptoms, only one disease: a public good in private hands
September 17, 2015

Science has infected itself (voluntarily!) with a life-threatening parasite. It has given away its crown jewels, the scientific knowledge contained in the scholarly archives, to entities with orthogonal interests: corporate publishers whose fiduciary duty is not knowledge dissemination or scholarly communication, but profit maximization. After a 350-year incubation time, the parasite has taken over the communication centers and drained them of their energy, leading to a number of different symptoms. Symptoms for which scientists and activists have come up with sometimes quite bizarre treatments:

    <snip some symptoms>

  • These coveted top-rank journals also publish the least reliable science. However, it’s precisely the rare slots in these journals which eventually help the scientist secure a position as a PI (that’s the whole idea behind all the extra work in the previous example). This entails that for the last few decades, science has preferentially employed the scientists that produce the least reliable science. Perhaps not too surprisingly, we are now faced with a reproducibility crisis in science, with a concomitant exponential rise in retractions. Perhaps equally unsurprisingly, scientists reflexively sprung into action by starting research projects to first understand the size and scope of this symptom, before treating it. So now there exist several reproducibility initiatives in various fields in which scientists dedicate time, effort and research funds to find out if immediate action is necessary, or if corporate publishers can drain the public teat a little longer.

    <snip more symptoms>


What is it, that keeps us from being ‘radical’ in the best sense of the word? The Latin word ‘radix‘ means ‘root’: we have to tackle the common root of all the problems and that is the fact that knowledge is a public good that belongs to the public, not to for-profit corporations. The archiving and making accessible of this knowledge has become so cheap, that publishers are now not merely unnecessary, on top of the pernicious symptoms described above, they also increase these costs from what currently would amount to approx. US$200m world-wide per year to a whopping US$10b in annual subscription fees.

I’m not the only one, not even the first to propose taking back the public good from the corporations, as well as the US$10b we spend annually to keep it locked away from the public. If we did that, we would only have to spend a tiny fraction (about 2%) of the annual costs we just saved to give the public good back to the public. The remaining US$9.8b are a formidable annual budget to ensure we hire the scientists with the most reliable results.

This plan entails two initial actions: one is to cut subscriptions to regain access to the funds required to implement a modern scholarly infrastructure. The other is to use the existing mechanisms (e.g. LOCKSS) to ensure the back-archives remain accessible for us indefinitely. As many have realized, this is a collective action problem. If properly organized, this will bring the back-archives back into our control and provide us with sufficient leverage and funds to negotiate the terms at which they can be made publicly accessible. Subsequently, using the remaining subscription funds, the scholarly infrastructure will take care of all our scholarly communication needs: we have all the technology, it just needs to be implemented. After a short transition period, at least in the sciences, publications in top-ranked journals (to which then only individuals subscribe, if any) will be about as irrelevant for promotion and funding as monographs are today.

<snip>

U.S. official: Russia 'ready' to launch airstrikes in Syria

Source: CNN

Russian airstrikes in Syria could happen at any time, a U.S. official with knowledge of the latest intelligence told CNN.

<snip>

Russia continues to position itself to potentially launch airstrikes in Syria -- but their movements suggest that their targets are something other than ISIS, according to U.S. officials.

<snip>

Separately, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work confirmed to the Senate Tuesday that Russia has violated a missile treaty with the United States but indicated that the administration didn't plan to take any action at present.

<snip>

Meanwhile, America's own efforts to turn the tide in Syria have faltered once again.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/29/politics/russia-syria-airstrikes-isis/index.html

Japan kept no record of talks over revised constitution, report says

Source: UPI



Japan did not leave a record of discussions regarding its reinterpretation of the country's pacifist constitution, making it harder in the future to verify how the change took place.

Tokyo's Cabinet Legislation Bureau said Monday the dialogue that was held before July 1, 2014, was not on record, Kyodo News reported. Instead, on June 30, 2014, the day prior to the Cabinet's reinterpretation, the bureau told Japan's National Security Council that it had "no comment" on the constitution's reinterpretation.

The bureau is responsible for producing explicit records of legal screenings, the Mainichi Shimbun reported. The lack of documentation on a historic decision has drawn criticism from analysts including Shinichi Nishikawa, professor of politics at Meiji University, who said he is "appalled" at the absence of records.

<snip>

The Cabinet Legislation Bureau plays the role of applying a brake on government decisions, but Nishikawa said the agency has "apparently lost that function."

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2015/09/28/Japan-kept-no-record-of-talks-over-revised-constitution-report-says/7701443452388/



Right-wing fascist neocons forced this through, gosh I wonder why they would do that?

Gil Levin was on The Space Show on Friday

https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/dr-gil-levin-friday-9-25-15/

Analyst: Tighter emissions goals won’t save N.Y. nuclear industry

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/09/8577897/analyst-tighter-emissions-goals-wont-save-ny-nuclear-industry

Analyst: Tighter emissions goals won’t save N.Y. nuclear industry

By Scott Waldman 5:41 p.m. | Sep. 25, 2015
follow this reporter

ALBANY — Market analysts are warning investors about New York’s nuclear plant operators as two such facilities face possible closure.

<snip>

The New York plant closures have come despite the fact that the state participates in the market-based Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the carbon cap-and-trade program that charges for air pollution. That makes turnaround in the nuclear industry seem unrealistic, according to the analysis.

<snip>

Under new federal rules, New York must reduce air pollution emissions from power plants by about 19 percent by 2030. The state expects to meet that target ahead of time because of the Cuomo administration’s energy plan, which seeks to double the amount of renewables on the power grid to about 50 percent.

<snip>

“If retirements move forward as contemplated, we see a real corresponding uplift to the renewable industry as this becomes the growing source of 'plugging' for any further holes in meeting prospective carbon targets,” he wrote.


This is good news. These dangerous old reactors should be shut down as soon as possible.
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