Showing posts from March 28, 2017

Cleaning out My Pocket!

[There are far too many stories every day than I can post here, so I end up with a backlog. I'm clearing out older stories in my Pocket account, so here's a large bolus you can quickly scan to pick out whatever catches your eye before I nuke 'em! *RON*]

Exposure to pollution kills millions of children, WHO reports find, Washington Post, 5 March

It’s Time to Start Calling Evangelicals What They Are: The American Taliban, Medium, 23 February

Oil and Gas Lobby Fights California Regulators to Keep Injecting Drilling Wastewater Into Protected Aquifers, Truthout, 7 March

The OECD Penalizes Developing Countries for Trying to Tackle Tax Avoidance, Naked Capitalism, 8 March

Excessive CEO Pay for Dumb Luck, Bloomberg, 6 March

The US has one inspector for every 5,000 miles of pipeline—or twice the length of the country, each, Quartz, 10 March

Naval Exercises Add Trillions of Pieces of Plastic Debris to Oceans, Truthout, 15 March

Monsanto Weed Killer Deserves Deeper Scrutiny As Scientific Man…

The Most Expensive Weapon Ever Built

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[This White Elephant will be around forever because of the Sunk Cost Fallacy and the power of the military-industrial lobby, not because it is in fact an improved jet plane. *RON*]
Daniel Soar, London Review of Books, Vol. 39 No. 7, 30 March 2017, pages 3-5, 3303 words
On the night of 12 January, there was a series of explosions at Mezzeh military airport on the outskirts of Damascus. A few warehouses were destroyed but no one died. The Syrian government blamed rocket attacks launched from inside Israel. The targets were missile systems, sources close to the Israeli government said, that could have been delivered to Hizbullah in Lebanon. According to some reports, however, the attacks were carried out not by rockets but by fighter jets – specifically, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Joint Strike Fighter, a US-built ‘fifth generation’ stealth jet with super-advanced avionics that has been under development for the last twenty years at …

Indigenous communities across Canada move to banish drug dealers

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[This might be challenged under the Constitution. *RON*]
Anna Maria Tremonti, CBC News, 14 March 2017

Listen 23:17

Read full story transcript

The controversial tactic of banishment is catching on in Indigenous communities across Canada.

Fighting rampant drug use, advocates say the tool should be used against drug dealers.

Bobby Cameron, the regional chief for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, is among many prominent figures publicly endorsing the strategy.

He estimates in Saskatchewan alone, 10 First Nations communities have implemented a banishment policy for individuals suspected of dealing drugs.

"And there are many more who have begun the discussion."
Trina Roache, the Atlantic correspondent for APTN National News, says it's difficult to tackle criminal behaviour in small communities because going to the authorities is risky.

"People don't want to go forward because they're going to be labelled as a rat,&quo…

The UK has made 10 times more in arms sales to Saudi Arabia than it's given in aid to Yemen

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[Similarly, the US sold a record amount of arms to Saudi Arabia under Obama’s administration, with sales set to continue under Trump. Earlier this month the State Department approved a resumption in the $300m sale of US-made precision-guided missiles, a deal blocked late in Obama’s administration due to concerns over civilian casualties. *RON*]
Rasha Mohamed, The Independent, 22 March 2017
Bustling, buzzing and bartering. That is how I would once have described a typical market (or souk) in Yemen.

Not any longer. These days they’re often barren and lifeless. During my many visits, I’ve seen the devastation of once busy souks destroyed by Saudi coalition airstrikes. Skeletal structures of buildings and stalls lie empty where once vibrant businesses sold coffee, spices, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, clothes and children’s toys.

By contrast, on the other side of the world a lucrative market in high-tech weaponry is positively thriving. Over th…

As Heroin Infests Farms, a Grieving Parent Fears for the Future

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[What America's heartland looks like under Donald Trump. *RON*]

Jack Healy, New York Times, 12 March 2017

BLANCHESTER, Ohio — A life of farming taught Roger Winemiller plenty about harsh twists of fate: hailstorms and drought, ragweed infestations and jittery crop prices. He hadn’t bargained on heroin.

Then, in March 2016, Mr. Winemiller’s daughter, Heather Himes, 31, died of an opioid overdose at the family farmhouse, inside a first-floor bathroom overlooking fields of corn and soybeans. Mr. Winemiller was the one who unlocked the bathroom door and found her slumped over, a syringe by her side.

Nine months later, Mr. Winemiller’s older son, Eugene, 37, who once drove trucks and tractors on the family’s 3,400-acre farm, overdosed at his mother’s home. Family members and medics had been able to revive him after earlier overdoses. Not this one.

Overdoses are churning through agricultural pockets of America like a plow through soil, tearing at rura…

Another Murderer Crazed by Color, This Time Met by Silence

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[Following "a purported white supremacist who, prosecutors say, not only used a sword to slaughter an innocent man, but had plans to kill more in Times Square... The usual suspects on matters of terrorism have not been rushing to condemn this week’s murder." *RON*]

Jim Dwyer, New York Times, 23 March 2017

Draped in the clouds of his white spacesuit, James Harris Jackson, 28, trim light hair above a shaved, doughy face, was led in handcuffs out of a police station house in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday morning, then driven downtown for his arraignment.

Prosecutors say Mr. Jackson traveled to New York from Baltimore with a single intention, that of killing black men — no one in particular, just blacks in general — and that he plunged an 18-inch blade into Timothy Caughman, 66, late on Monday evening.

In December 2014, a little more than two years ago, another person crazed over color came to New York, also from Baltimore, and made his way t…