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Showing posts from August 22, 2015

Holocaust victims' traumas could be passed onto their children in DNA

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[I disagree with the statement that "The idea of epigenetic inheritance remains controversial." I believe the evidence for epigenetic transmission is well proven, and that this will be a very exciting field in the years to come. *RON*]
By Zairah Khurshid, International Business Times, 22 August 2015

A study on Holocaust survivors finds that they could have passed on trauma to their children's genes. Researchers at New York's Mount Sinai hospital claim that this could be some of the first concrete evidence that a person's life experiences can be passed on to subsequent generations.

The study, carried out on 32 Jewish men and women, found that trauma suffered in their lifetime could have influenced changes in their DNA that affects their children. They found an increased likelihood of stress disorders, and compared the results to Jewish families that were not in Europe during the war.

Rachel Yahuda, director of the Traumatic Str…

The Mystery of ISIS

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[An "ex-NATO official" sets out the reasons why ISIS has, on its own terms, been improbably successful. "Lawrence of Arabia advised that insurgents must be like a mist—everywhere and nowhere—never trying to hold ground or wasting lives in battles with regular armies. Chairman Mao insisted that guerrillas should be fish who swam in the sea of the local population." ISIS’s strategy bucks historical insurgency norms. *RON*]

Anonymous, New York Review of Books, 13 August 2015 ISSUE
ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror
by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan
Regan Arts, 270 pp., $14.00 (paper)
ISIS: The State of Terror
by Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger
Ecco, 385 pp., $27.99

The author has wide experience in the Middle East and was formerly an official of a NATO country. We respect the writer’s reasons for anonymity.
—The Editors
Ahmad Fadhil was eighteen when his father died in 1984. Photographs suggest that he was relatively short, chubby, and wore…

Black teen killed by St. Louis police shot in back: autopsy

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[Black injustice tipping point. The bullet, which hit the teen in the back, hit his heart and an artery next to it, but the police say he continued to run away. *RON*]
By Carey Gillam, Reuters, 21 August 2015

A black teenager shot and killed by white St. Louis police officers this week died from a single gunshot that entered his back and struck his heart, a medical examiner said on Friday, which appears to contradict the police account of the shooting.

News of the preliminary results of an autopsy escalated tensions that had flared after Wednesday's killing of Mansur Ball-Bey, as protesters and family of the slain 18-year-old questioned police accounts that he pointed a gun at officers.

In angry clashes Wednesday night, officers in riot gear fired tear gas and more protests followed on Thursday night.

Fresh protests are planned for Friday night in the area of the shooting, according to social media posts by activists.

Munir Sheikh, Ex-StatsCan Head, Says Harper's Debt Policies Risk Canada's Future

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["Could it be that our zeal in balancing our government books come hell or high water may be contributing to the buildup of household debt and risking our future economic prospects, as well as the present? That seems quite likely in an economy in which the private sector is reluctant to invest, and things are not going to be pretty with the crash in oil prices and the resulting slashing of investment in this sector." *RON*]
By Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post, 21 August 2015


A former head of Statistics Canada has waded into the federal election campaign, arguing in a newspaper column that the Harper government’s dual policies of fighting deficits and boosting the housing market are risking Canada’s economic future.

In a column published in the Globe and Mail Friday, Munir Sheikh said Canada has managed to hold down growth in its public debt better than most G7 countries — but at the price of running up risky levels of household debt.

“Could …

Harper's Economic Record Is Sub-Mediocre

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["Even Mr. Harper's most ardent apologists have to admit that this statement is 100 per cent statistically correct. No Prime Minister has done worse on growth in 80 years." *RON*]
Ralph Goodale, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Member of Parliament for Wascana and former Finance Minister, Huffington Post, 21 August 2015


On Stephen Harper's watch, Canada has suffered through two recessions. He failed to anticipate either one.

Before the first one (which began in late 2008), Mr. Harper's management was reckless. He ignored warnings about housing bubbles and banking weaknesses in the United States. He overspent by three-times the rate of inflation. He mangled the tax base. He eliminated all previous federal contingency reserves and prudence factors, and put the country back on the verge of a deficit once again -- all BEFORE any downturn actually hit.

Mr. Harper foolishly denied a recession was likely and predicted fiv…

Fracking Halted Temporarily After 4.6-Magnitude Earthquake Near Fort St. John

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[The LAST sentence: "Progress Energy is owned by Petronas of Malaysia, which also owns Pacific NorthWest LNG, the firm planning to build a giant LNG export facility near Prince Rupert, supplied by gas fracked in northeastern B.C." *RON*]
By Betsy Trumpener, CBC / Huffington Post, 22 August 2015

The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission is investigating the cause of a 4.6 magnitude earthquake earlier this week that triggered the shutdown of a major fracking operation just a few kilometres away.

The earthquake struck on Monday afternoon, some 110 kilometres north of Fort St John, and was felt in Charlie Lake, Fort St John and Wonowon.

The earthquake's epicentre was just three kilometres from Progress Energy's fracking site, which the company immediately shut down, even though their activities have not been linked to the quake.

After shutting down, Progress Energy notified the commission of the quake, as it is required to do under B.C. regulati…

Kinder Morgan pipeline hearings postponed after consultant's evidence struck from record

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[Regulatory capture defined: a consultant who prepared evidence in favour of the Kinder Morgan project was appointed by Harper to the National Energy Board. *RON*]

Canadian Press, CBC, 21 August 2015
A National Energy Board panel has postponed hearings that were supposed to begin next week into Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, because a consultant who prepared evidence in favour of the project will soon work for the regulator.

Kinder Morgan Canada, the company behind the project, filed evidence with the board in late 2013 that was prepared by Steven Kelly, a consultant with IHS Global Canada at the time. The report supported the project's economic benefits.

In July, federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford announced Kelly had been appointed to a seven-year term on the National Energy Board starting Oct. 13.

As a result, the hearing panel has decided to strike Kelly's evidence from the record and has directed Kin…