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Showing posts from July 17, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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Nuclear Weapons Site Alarms Shut Off, Scientists Inhale Uranium

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[I only now came across this 3 week-old story. Someone must be pushing hard to keep this off the front pages. Most scientists were not told of risks for months after 2014 incident; investigation shows more mishaps at Nevada and New Mexico nuclear sites. *RON*

Patrick Malone, Peter Cary, R. Jeffrey Smith, The Center for Public Integrity / Scientific American, 27 June 2017
At the nation’s top nuclear weapons labs and plants, safety mishaps have imperiled life and limb, and hindered national security operations. This Scientific American story is part of a one-year investigation by reporters at the Center for Public Integrity that reveals many problems and little accountability. In addition to the Nevada accidents, a near-fission calamity in 2011 at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico led to an exodus of nuclear safety engineers and a four-year shutdown of operations crucial to the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Yet penalties for these incidents…

Shocking Federal Report Details Continued Use of Solitary Confinement for Mentally-Ill Inmates

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[The report "makes fifteen recommendations– many of which are so obvious one wonders why an OIG Report was necessary at all. But it also describes a system that seems to be so broken, I’m not sure what – if any – real effect these suggestions will have. Or whether, even if everyone agrees they’re necessary and desirable, that they’ll actually be adopted. Nor do I hold out much hope that even if adopted, -sufficient staff and money will be made available to implement them effectively. One small glimmer of hope might be that courts could step in and mandate changes. I’m not holding my breath in that regard– I don’t see the current Supreme Court membership as a bastion of support for better treatment of prisoners.  And even what tepid support does exist will likely erode further as Trump nominates– and a Republican-controlled Senate confirms– his judicial picks." *RON*]
Jerri-Lynn Scofield, Naked Capitalism, 17 July 2017
By Jerri-Lynn Scof…

Canada: Expedite Snowden-Linked Asylum Cases

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[Hong Kong threatens to deport families who aided US whistle-blower. "No one should have to risk return to torture or persecution because they opened their door to another who feared the same. Canada has a unique opportunity to provide these people and their children both safety and a future." *RON*]

Human Rights Watch, 17 July 2017


(New York) – The Canadian government should fast-track its consideration of the refugee claims of seven people who sheltered US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden before he left Hong Kong in 2013..

The Hong Kong government has sent the adult asylum seekers detention notices, indicating that they could soon be deported to countries where they would face a credible risk of persecution and abuse. Their very young children face possible persecution if returned, or separation from their parents if the adults are detained and deported.

“The compassionate act of letting Edward Snowden into their ho…

Jeremy Corbyn, Emmanuel Macron and the age of volatility

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[Notes on the rise of populist politicians in Britain and France. "Electorates are no longer armies, but crowds. Identities shaped by religion, class, region, ideology and tradition weaken. Conventional parties are hollowed out, and disoriented and angry voters turn to single-issue campaigns or insurgent populism. Populism is unlikely to come to power in normal circumstances because of its evident risks. However, volatility is now normal, and accidents happen"]
Robert Tombs, New Statesman, 16 July 2017

Britain seems to have joined the rest of the democratic world in the volatility of its politics. Electorates are no longer armies, but crowds. Identities shaped by religion, class, region, ideology and tradition weaken. Conventional parties are hollowed out, and disoriented and angry voters turn to single-issue campaigns or insurgent populism. In every country this takes diverse forms shaped by political institutions and political cultu…

Globally, More Name U.S. Than China as World’s Leading Economic Power

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[How the world sees China and America, based on opinion polling in 38 countries. America is seen as the top global economic power, leading China in aggregate opinion by 42% to 32%. But seven out of the ten EU countries surveyed — including Germany and the UK — rate China as the world’s top economy. China is most admired in sub-Saharan Africa and in Russia, least admired among its East Asia neighbours. Xi Jinping is distrusted by 53% of respondents; Donald Trump by 74. *RON*]

Richard Wike, Jacob Poushter, Laura Silver & Caldwell Bishop, Pew Global, 13 July 2017
The past decade has witnessed significant changes in the global economy as many nations around the world have struggled with the Great Recession and its aftereffects. While the United States and other relatively wealthy Western nations have slowly bounced back from the crisis, economic growth rates have been low compared with those of China, India and other emerging economies. Still, th…