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Showing posts from July 30, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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U.S. bombers fly over South Korea after North's 2nd ICBM test

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[Aircraft escorted by South Korean fighter jets. See also: ANALYSIS | With North Korea pushing hard, U.S. faces high stakes, limited options. *RON*]
Associated Press, CBC News, 30 July 2017
The United States flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Sunday in a show of force against North Korea following the country's latest intercontinental ballistic missile test.

The B-1 bombers were escorted by South Korean fighter jets as they performed a low-pass over an air base near the South Korean capital of Seoul before returning to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the U.S. Pacific Air Forces said in a statement.

It said the mission was a response to consecutive ICBM tests by North Korea this month. Analysts say flight data from the North's second ICBM test, conducted Friday night, showed that a broader part of the mainland United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago, is now in range of Pyongyang's weapons.

"North Korea…

Federal judge blocks Arkansas from enforcing extreme abortion laws

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[Arkansas has become a trendsetter in particularly draconian abortion restrictions. See also: Abortion rights face a full-on assault at the state level; and Arkansas is turning into a modern day Handmaid’s Tale. *RON*]

Tara Culp-Ressler, ThinkProgress, 29 July 2017
A federal judge has blocked Arkansas from enforcing several extreme abortion restrictions that reproductive rights advocates say would have had a devastating effect on patients.

The preliminary injunction from U.S. District Court Judge Kristine Baker on Friday ensures that four new laws will not go into effect on Tuesday — including a controversial law that could require patients to get permission from their sexual partners or family members before proceeding with an abortion.

“Arkansas women can feel a little relief today, knowing that these laws are blocked from taking effect,” Rita Sklar, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, said in a statement.

The…

EU-Canada agreement on passenger names declared illegal: ECJ

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["Several of its provisions are incompatible with the fundamental rights recognised by the EU." The court’s decision comes after it annulled in 2015 a EU-US arrangement allowing firms like Facebook and Google to transfer the personal information of European citizens to the United States. *RON*]
Dan Alexe, New Europe, 26 July 2017



The agreement between the European Union and Canada to share airline passenger data that the two sides say is vital to fighting terrorism has been declared invalid today by the EU’s top court, because parts of it are not in line with fundamental EU laws.

The deal which the EU and Canada began negotiating in 2010 would interfere with the right to privacy, the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice said in a statement.

“The court declares that the agreement envisaged between the European Union and Canada on the transfer of Passenger Name Record data may not be concluded in its current form,” the European Court …

Sea level fears as Greenland darkens

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["White snow reflects up to 90% of solar radiation while dark patches of algae will only reflect about 35% or even as little as 1% in the blackest spots." *RON*]
David Shukman, BBC News, 24 July 2017

Scientists are "very worried" that the melting of the Greenland ice sheet could accelerate and raise sea levels more than expected.

They say warmer conditions are encouraging algae to grow and darken the surface.

Dark ice absorbs more solar radiation than clean white ice so warms up and melts more rapidly.

Currently the Greenland ice sheet is adding up to 1mm a year to the rise in the global average level of the oceans.

It is the largest mass of ice in the northern hemisphere covering an area about seven times the size of the United Kingdom and reaching up to 3km (2 miles) in thickness.

This means that the average sea level would rise around the world by about seven metres, more than 20ft, if it all melted.

That is why Greenland, thou…

UK 'has stripped 150 jihadists and criminals of citizenship'

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[Ministers reportedly stepped up passport bans amid fears that militants would seek to return from Syria after collapse of Isis. *RON*]

Press Association, The Guardian, 30 July 2017
More than 150 suspected jihadists and criminals have been stripped of their citizenship and banned from returning to the UK, it has been reported.

Ministers stepped up the “deprivation orders” amid fears that the collapse of Islamic State would lead to an influx of militants from Syria, according to the Sunday Times.

Quoting official figures and security sources, the newspaper said more than 40 suspects had their right to a passport removed this year, with about 30 targeted since March.

Those who have had their citizenship removed include gunmen and “jihadi brides” who travelled to Syria, it added.

They are all dual nationals, including British-born people with parents of different nationalities, because ministers cannot take away citizenship if it would leave a suspect s…