Showing posts from December 6, 2015

Jimmy Carter says his brain cancer is gone

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[He's just one fella out of 7.125 billion, but I say "Good for you, Jimmy!" An amazing man with great moral fortitude. *RON*]

BBC World News, 6 December 2015.

Former US President Jimmy Carter has said that his brain cancer is gone, US media report.

The 91-year-old made the announcement during a Sunday school class in Plains, Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) newspaper said.

Mr Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981 and won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, announced his illness in August.

Last month, Mr Carter said he was responding well to treatment and there were no signs of further cancer growth.

Jill Stuckey, a member of the congregation at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, told AJC that Mr Carter was teaching the class of about 350 people when he made the announcement.

"He said he got a scan this week and the cancer was gone," she said.

"The church, everybody here, just erupted in applause."

US broad…

The Vast Majority Of Canadians Support Doctor-Assisted Suicide: Poll

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[British Columbia led the pack at 90 per cent approval, followed by Quebec (83 per cent), Alberta (82 per cent), Atlantic Canada (74 per cent), Ontario (72 per cent) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (68 per cent). I wonder if these provincial differences correlate with average age and/or religious affliations? *RON*]
By Rebecca Zamon, Huffington Post, 4 December 2015

Only 15 per cent of Canadians are opposed to the idea of doctor-assisted suicide, according to a survey that crossed location, age and gender.

Insights West, a market research polling firm, asked 1,035 Canadians if they supported or opposed physician-assisted suicide, if (1) the request is made by a competent adult person who clearly consents to the termination of life, and (2) the person has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her co…

End the Gun Epidemic in America

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​[This is the first time since 1920 that the New York Times editorial has appeared on Page 1. I've never seen reader numbers this high in my news feed. "These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection... Let’s be clear: These spree killings are all, in their own ways, acts of terrorism." See also: The New York ‘Daily News’ Takes on the NRA and Conservative blogger shoots holes through New York Times editorial. *RON*]

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD, New York Times, 4 December 2015

All decent people feel sorrow and righteous fury about the latest slaughter of innocents, in California. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are searching for motivations, including the vital question of how the murderers might have been connected to international terrorism. That is right and proper.

But motives do not matter to the dead in California, nor did they in Colorado, Oregon, S…

Top judge leads calls to scrap mandatory daily Christian worship in UK schools

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["Influential report urges end to religious assemblies and raises concern over segregation." I had no idea they were still insisting on this in UK schools. When did this stop in Canada - in the early 1960s? And the article calls these radical proposals for reform. *RON*]
Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, 6 December 2015
Schools should no longer face a legal requirement to provide daily acts of worship of a Christian character, under radical reforms being proposed by a top-level inquiry into the place of faith in multicultural Britain.

The Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life, led by former high court judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, also recommends curtailing the segregation of children by faith and a radical overhaul of the teaching of belief to make it more realistic and relevant in a diverse and increasingly secular country.

The weighty report is expected to set out proposals on the place of faith in the next coronation, …

Unlocking Climate Finance

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[Private-public partnerships here! Because the corporatocracy deserves to be able to pillage the reclamation efforts necessitated by their pillaging. *RON*]
Luis Alberto Morena, Project Syndicate, 4 December 2015

Luis Alberto Moreno is President of the Inter-American Development Bank, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Foundation Board.

WASHINGTON, DC – Record-strength hurricanes, submerged coastal cities, scorched dust bowls – these are the sort of apocalyptic images that are often used to illustrate the devastating consequences of climate change. But for millions of farmers in Latin America and the Caribbean, a slow-motion catastrophe is already underway.

A fungus known as rust, or roya in Spanish, is attacking coffee plantations from Mexico to Peru. Scientists blame the rapid spread of the disease – which suffocates trees by coating their leaves – on climate change. Rust thrives when it rains often and temperatures are unusually warm – co…

A Chinese artist vacuumed up Beijing’s smog for 100 days and made a brick from what he collected

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["The next step, Nut Brother said, is to give the brick to a construction site, and make it part of a new building in Beijing. He would like to let the brick disappear into the concrete jungle, he said, “just like putting a drop of water in the ocean.”" *RON*]
By Zheping Huang, Quartz, 1 December 2015
While many Beijing residents are staying indoors to escape the cloud of heavy pollution hanging over the city, one man with a vacuum cleaner has been exposing himself to the toxic air four hours a day, for 100 days in a row.

Nor, he isn’t hoping the Air Quality Index will improve thanks to his industrial-strength vacuum. Instead, he’s making a public point about the capital’s notoriously heavy smog, by turning the dust he collects into a brick.

“Nut Brother,” a 34-year-old performance artist from Shenzhen, first announced his plan to vacuum the dust from Beijing’s air in late July. Every day since then, the pony-tailed guy in a work jacket—…

Former Australian Politician: Country Should Issue Travel Warning for US After Shootings

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["...after the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, the U.S. Passports & International Travel website issued an alert to all international travelers from the U.S. The alert did not single out any one country. Fischer thinks it should be the other way around." *RON*]
 By Marie Solis, Policy.Mic, 4 December 2015
Australia's former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer thinks the U.S. could take a page or two out of Australia's playbook when it comes to gun control. During his time as deputy prime minister, Fischer pushed for the gun control legislation that has significantly reduced the country's firearm mortality rate over the last couple decades, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

In the wake of the San Bernardino shootings that killed at least 14 and wounded 21, Fischer is taking issue with the U.S. State Department's Dec. 2014 travel alert to Americans traveling to Sydney, following what NBC News called a "lone-wolf" a…

Defense Contractors Cite “Benefits” of Escalating Conflicts in the Middle East

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[Oh goody. Death and destruction has a silver lining. Thirty pieces of it. *RON*]
Lee Fang and Zaid Jilani, The Intercept, 4 December 2015
Major defense contractors Raytheon, Oshkosh, and Lockheed Martin assured investors at a Credit Suisse conference in West Palm Beach this week that they stand to gain from the escalating conflicts in the Middle East.

Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President Bruce Tanner told the conference his company will see “indirect benefits” from the war in Syria, citing the Turkish military’s recent decision to shoot down a Russian warplane.