Showing posts from January 8, 2016

Drug Kingpin ‘El Chapo’ Has Been Arrested, Mexican President Says

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[Just came out in the NY Times 20 minutes ago. *RON*]

By Azam Ahmed, 8 January 2016
MEXICO CITY — Nearly six months after his escape from a maximum security prison in Mexico, the drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera, also known as El Chapo, has been arrested by the Mexican authorities, according to the Twitter feed of the country’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto.

The arrest came after an intense gun battle this morning in the city of Los Mochis, a seaside area in Mr. Guzman’s home state of Sinaloa.

“Mission Accomplished: We have him,” read the tweet from Mr. Peña Nieto. “I would like to inform the Mexican people that Joaquin Loera Guzman has been detained.”

The mission began shortly before 5 a.m. Friday, after an anonymous tip came in from a citizen concerned about armed men in a nearby home.

Site C Dam Protesters Arrested

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[So, I see that these peaceful First Nations protesters were thrown in jail faster than any action has been taken against the armed "ready to die" terrorists illegally occupying federal offices in Oregon. *RON*]
By Keven Drews, Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 7 January 2016
VANCOUVER — First Nations protesting the construction of the $9-billion Site C dam in northeastern British Columbia are preparing for their own arrests while they implore Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intervene to stop the hydroelectric project.

Helen Knott of the Prophet River First Nation said in an interview from the protest site that she and six other demonstrators are camped at Rocky Mountain Fort, the former site of a North West Company fur-trading post established in 1794, near Fort St. John.

RCMP said they arrested three protesters on Wednesday who had been blocking an access road needed by BC Hydro crews to begin work on the dam, the third on the Peace River…

B.C. Byelection Rules Restrict Freedom Of Expression

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[Banana Republic. "B.C. courts have already found that these provisions of the Election Act, which amount to a ban on unregistered free expression, infringe the Charter right to free expression -- but they have so far refused to force the government to change the law... An individual inside one of the two ridings who put up a sign in their window without registering would be violating the law." *RON*]
Vincent Gogolek, Huffington Post, 8 January 2016

Unbeknownst to many, a gag was put on free expression across British Columbia.

When the B.C. government called the long-awaited byelections in the districts of Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, public communication about many of the important issues facing the province suddenly became "election advertising."

Until both byelections are concluded on February 2, public communications about any issue even indirectly related to one "with which a registered politic…

The EPA Finally Admitted That the World’s Most Popular Pesticide Kills Bees—20 Years Too Late

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[In a corporatocracy, once the truth of corporate harm has become inescapable the only option is to take microscopic corrective actions at a geologic pace. *RON*]

By Tom Philpott, Mother Jones, 7 January 2016

Bees are dying in record numbers—and now the government admits that an extremely common pesticide is at least partially to blame.

For more than a decade, the Environmental Protection Agency has been under pressure from environmentalists and beekeepers to reconsider its approval of a class of insecticides called neonicotinoids, based on a mounting body of research suggesting they harm bees and other pollinators at tiny doses. In a report released Wednesday, the EPA basically conceded the case.
The report card was so dire that the EPA "could potentially take action" to "restrict or limit the use" of the chemical by the end of this year.

Marketed by European chemical giants Syngenta and Bayer, neonics are the most widely used i…

B.C. Premier to pitch byelection voters on the fruits of austerity: financial ‘dividends’ through services

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[Politics Scrooge McDuck-style. Clark's announcement reminded me of this old State Farm Insurance commercial.

Rob Shaw, Postmedia News, National Post, 8 January 2016

The League of Extraordinary Assholes

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[Subtitled: 'There’s a jerk in every room. Is it you?' Kingwell is a good writer; I haven't seen anything by him in ages, though. I must be hanging out in the wrong places. Fun to read in conjunction with this piece about Robert Trivers, a highly influential evolutionary biologist and renowned rude-nik: Trivers' Pursuit*RON*]

By Mark Kingwell, The Walrus, January/February 2016

WHO AMONG US has not felt the affront? Macadamia nuts arrive in a bag, not on a dish, and something shrivels in the soul. Are we animals? Did we execute the challenging task of being born insanely wealthy only to eat in-flight snacks from a bag? We did not. And that is why, when Korean Air heiress Cho Hyun-ah was confronted by a bag of nuts on a flight out of New York in December 2014, she became enraged and forced the plane back to the gate. Now forty-one, Cho, daughter of the airline’s chairman, Cho Yang-ho, was charged with offences including assault a…

China burned through $3.5 billion a day in December

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[$2.5 million per minute. "The thing is, as China's economy weakens, that rate may have to pick up speed. That would put the government in a vicious cycle where it has to allow the yuan to weaken, then throw money at it to stop capital flight, and then allow it to weaken again, then throw more money at it ... Where does it end?" *RON*]
Linette Lopez, Business Insider, 7 January 2016

China burned through $108 billion in December, according to China's central bank, as the country tried to stabilize the yuan as it depreciated against the dollar.

That works out at to about $3.5 billion per day.

That effort didn't stop the yuan from ending the year down 4.5% against the dollar. And it hasn't stopped the currency from continuing to decline in the first days of 2016.

That said, it has allowed the currency to glide down more gently than it would if the government weren't propping it up by buying it.

How Scientists Detect Nuclear Explosions Around the World

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[Unfortunately it's worth knowing this nowadays. And, again, from this morning: North Korea wants an H-bomb but experts doubt it tested one. *RON*]
By Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, 6 January 2016

The world was literally shaken before news broke that North Korea detonated what leaders in the Hermit Kingdom claimed was a hydrogen bomb Tuesday morning local time.

Officials and experts around the world quickly cast doubt on that claim, as the amount of energy produced by the explosion was likely too small to be that of a hydrogen bomb. Instead, early evidence suggests North Korea may have instead detonated a boosted-fission bomb, which produces a smaller explosive yield. It will likely take several more days to determine what kind of nuclear device Pyongyang actually detonated.

Seismological evidence was key to alerting world leaders to North Korea’s deed. But how did scientists know this event was a bomb rather than an earthquake, volcano,…