Showing posts from February 17, 2016

US 'likely culprit' of global spike in methane emissions over last decade

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[Harvard study shows 30% rise across the country since 2002 with peaks coinciding with shale oil and gas boom, reports Climate Central. Christy Clark can't wait for BC to jump to the head of this incredibly stupid class. *RON*]
Bobby Magill, The Guardian, 17 February 2016
There was a huge global spike in one of the most potent greenhouse gases driving climate change over the last decade, and the U.S. may be the biggest culprit, according a new Harvard University study.

The United States alone could be responsible for between 30-60% of the global growth in human-caused atmospheric methane emissions since 2002 because of a 30% spike in methane emissions across the country, the study says.

The research shows that emissions increased the most in the middle of the country, but the authors said there is too little data to identify specific sources. However, the increase occurred at the same time as America’s shale oil and gas boom, which has been as…

Donald Trump will not be president, says Barack Obama

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[The electorate will not pick him, said Mr Obama, because "they recognise that being president is a serious job. It's not hosting a talk show or a reality show, it's not promotion, it's not marketing, it's hard. It's not a matter of pandering and doing whatever will get you in the news on a given day." *RON*]

BBC World News, 17 February 2016.
Republican Donald Trump will not be president because it's a "serious job", President Barack Obama has said.

"I continue to believe that Mr Trump will not be president. And the reason is because I have a lot of faith in the American people," said Mr Obama.

Mr Trump, a billionaire businessman, is the frontrunner in the race to be his party's choice for the White House.

He has won one state primary already, and leads the polls in South Carolina, where Republicans vote on Saturday.

Speaking at the Asean economic summit in California, the president was asked …

Unesco and Italy team up to protect art and artefacts from terrorists

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["Taskforce created to stop organisations such as Isis selling looted antiquities to finance terrorism." This is bizarre. Few countries in Europe and few countries in the world with as huge a heritage as Italy have done as little as they have to protect their own patrimony. *RON*]
Associated Press in Rome, The Guardian, 16 February 2016
Italy is to work with the UN’s cultural agency to protect ancient artefacts and archaeological sites in conflict areas from extremists.

The Italian foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, and Unesco’s director general, Irina Bokova, signed an accord in Rome creating an Italian taskforce and a centre in Turin to train heritage protection experts.

Officials say no country has been chosen yet for the first mission. The taskforce draws on Italy’s carabinieri paramilitary police, which has long fought trafficking in looted artworks.

Gentiloni noted that extremists such as Isis sell looted art and artefacts to financ…

Hoaxmap: Debunking false rumours about refugee 'crimes'

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[An interactive platform counters fake accusations and reports about supposed crimes committed by refugees in Europe. "Rumours are being spread for political reasons and people try to create an atmosphere of fear and distrust." From our other story today, there should be a huge cloud over Cologne: New Year in Cologne: 55 of 58 attackers were not refugees. *RON*]

Teo Kermeliotis, Al Jazeera, 16 Feb 2016

Back in the summer of 2015, at the height of the ongoing refugee crisis, Karolin Schwarz started noticing a disturbing pattern.

Just as refugee arrivals in her town of Leipzig, eastern Germany, began to rise, so did the frequency of rumours over supposed crimes committed by those men, women and children who had fled war and hardship to reach Europe.

As months passed by, the allegations became even more common, increasingly popping up in social media feeds and often reproduced by mainstream news outlets.

"Since January, these rumours …

B.C. budget reveals MSP premiums set to rise 4%

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[I had to hunt for this story in local BC media. The big budget story locally was the tax decrease for homes costing under $750,000. When the MSP was covered, the big story in our bought-and-sold press was that children no longer pay premiums. The real story is that we are the only province in Canada that still charges premiums for so-called universal health insurance. This is a debilitating unfair tax on the poor and, as is the case everywhere else in Canada, healthcare should be paid for out of general tax revenues, which is a progressive tax. The BC Liberals understand this perfectly well. *RON*]
By Jen St. Denis, Business in Vancouver, 16 February 2016.

Medical services plan premiums are going up — again — this time by 4%, or $3 a month, to $78 a month for individuals.

However, the province will reduce monthly MSP payments for families with children and is extending premium assistance to more people by increasing the income cut-off.

The 4% incre…

Bombardier to cut up to 7,000 jobs over 2 years

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[This from one of the greatest recipients of corporate welfare in Canada. Montreal-based Bombardier plans to cut its workforce by up to 7,000 people even as the airline has finally signed a deal to sell its CSeries jets to a major North American airline. *RON*]

CBC News, 17 February 2016
Related Stories
Bombardier cuts: PQ calls on Quebec government to renegotiate bailout
Bombardier stock falls below $1 as Airbus inks Iran jet deal
Bombardier CSeries loses to Boeing in United, Southwest deal

Stock consolidation plan would put new share price between $10 and $20 Montreal-based Bombardier plans to cut its workforce by up to 7,000 people even as the airline has finally signed a deal to sell its CSeries jets to a major North American airline.

Bombardier said Wednesday up to 2,000 of the total cuts will be contractors.
Neil McDonald: Bombardier's strange chokehold on the public purse

The TPP would be the final death blow to American manufacturing

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[NAFTA leveled the country's factory workers. The latest trade agreement threatens to reduce their wages to nothing. *RON*]

Leo Gerard, AlterNet / Salon, 14 February 2016
This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

A century ago, Carl Sandburg dubbed Chicago the City of Big Shoulders: “hog butcher for the world, tool maker, stacker of wheat, player with railroads and the nation’s freight handler; stormy, husky brawling.”

All of this was true of America itself as well: Nation of big shoulders. The United States was a brawny country that would intervene to help win World War I and later quickly retool factories to serve as munitions mills to win World War II. Now, though, as America’s tool makers and freight car builders are furloughed, their factories shuttered and offshored, America is wasting. Ill-conceived free trade deals are reducing it to a nation of stooped shoulders.

The newest proposed deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed…

New Year in Cologne: 55 of 58 attackers were not refugees

Click here to view the original article, Nouvel An à Cologne: 55 des 58 agresseurs n'étaient pas des réfugiés.
[This story doesn't seem to have migrated over to the English-speaking press. Only 3 of 58 suspects were from a nation at war: 2 Syrians and 1 Iraqi. The others were mainly Algerians and Moroccans and not recent arrivals to Germany. Three native Germans were also among those arrested. These figures were provided by the prosecutor of Cologne in an interview with Die Welt. The second twist is that the majority of the attacks were not of a sexual nature. 454 were sexual assaults, which is terrible, but the other 600 were not. (My french is very so-so; to me, the article appears to say "the other 600 complaints concerned flights."??) *RON*]
RTBF, 12 février 2016

Près d’un mois et demi après les faits, l'enquête fait la clarté sur les agresseurs de la nuit de la Saint Sylvestre à Cologne. Et manifestement, ce ne sont pas ceux à qui on a fait porter le chapeau …