Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dead Zone in Global Oceans Growing

About ten years ago, researchers found that there was a 70 mile dead zone where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico south of New Orleans. At the same time, they found that the delta that helped protect New Orleans from a Katrina level hurricane was also dying. The Mississippi drains 2/3s of the fresh water in the USA. Think about it and vote for someone who can say more than "Drill, Baby Drill and Drill Now!"
clipped from uk.reuters.com
OSLO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - The number of polluted "dead zones" in the world's oceans is rising fast and coastal fish stocks are more vulnerable to collapse than previously feared, scientists said on Monday.

The spread of "dead zones" -- areas of oxygen-starved water -- "is emerging as a major threat to coastal ecosystems globally," the scientists wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Such zones are found from the Gulf of Mexico to the Baltic Sea in areas where algae bloom and suck oxygen from the water, feeding on fertilisers washed from fields, sewage, animal wastes and pollutants from the burning of fossil fuels.
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Nobel Laureates Demand Justice for Cuban Five

No comment needed - read the story for yourself.

Nobel Laureates Demand Justice for Cuban Five

by Ed Pilkington

NEW YORK - Nine Nobel laureates, including the South African campaigner Desmond Tutu and the German novelist G√ľnter Grass, join forces today with more than 100 celebrities from the arts, law and media to protest against the US government's detention of five Cubans for allegedly spying on behalf of the Cuban government.

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Way to Go! 38 Nations Sign on to Protect Migrant Woman's Rights

clipped from www.ilo.org

MANILA (ILO News) – Governments from 38 countries, trade unions, employers’ organizations, the private sector, civil society organizations including women’s and religious associations, academe and international organizations adopted a Manila Call to Action here to enhance opportunities and protect the rights of migrant women and their families all over the world.

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Federal sweep targeting illegal immigrants snares 1,150 statewide

This reminds me of the failed US war against drugs. Arrest lots of folks at the street level, get on the 6 o'clock news, and leave the big fish profiting from exploiting economic immigrants free to go on fishing for greed driven profits.

In the drug war brown and black young men in jail by hordes and money men go their merry way - Shades of the $700 billion bailout!
clipped from www.pe.com

In the biggest action of its kind, federal immigration agents have arrested more than 1,150 people statewide in raids targeting illegal immigrants who ignored deportation orders.

The 3-week sweep, which ended Saturday, netted 420 people in Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange counties. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not break down arrests by county.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Death Penalty Too "Expensive," Fiscally and Morally, for California?

clipped from www.ipsnews.net
BOSTON, Jul 30 (IPS) - A high-level California commission has sounded the death knell for the state's "dysfunctional" death penalty system, calling for an infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars or the closing down of the state's death chamber.

"The time has come to address death penalty reform in a frank and honest way," the commission said in its 145-page report at the end of a four-year-long study.
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Death Penalty Protest in New Hampshire

Members of The New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty stand in front of the Statehouse Friday during a “silent vigil.” The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, New Hampshire’s Episcopal bishop, second from right, participated in the demonstration.

Staff photo by Karen Lovett

Members of The New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty stand in front of the Statehouse Friday during a “silent vigil.” The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, New Hampshire’s Episcopal bishop, second from right, participated in the demonstration.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Deja vu in Viet Nam once again - Bird flu strikes again

They have been trying culling, shots and all the classical ways of controlling a disease and it's not working - why? Because they need to think outside of the box and find ways to get farmers to help end pandemic scourge in a new way - turning bird droppings into methane gas by "cooking" it and at same time kill bird flu and potential human flu.
clipped from www.earthtimes.org
Hanoi - Vietnamese authorities have detected the H5N1 avian flu virus in a flock of ducks on a farm in the southern province of Ca Mau, a government official said Friday. Hoang Van Nam, deputy director of Vietnam's Animal Health Department, said inspectors had found on September 22 that bird flu had killed more than 50 of 500 ducks on a Ca Mau farm.
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World Killing Flu Closer Than Most Think

Pandemics don't just happen; humans play a strong role in their development. When a billion or so people all want to buy live poultry (ducks, geese and chickens) to celebrate Lunar New Year each February, they also create the conditions needed to "grow" a new form of flu and with a 60% probability, pandemic "killing" flu. New thinking is needed but governments are staying with rerunning the past and not getting out of the box to new solutions.
clipped from www.island.lk

The World Health Organisation (WHO) believes the world is
now closer to another influenza pandemic at any time since the last
outbreak in 1968.

The possibility is a pandemic (H5N1) threat having a
reported case fatality rate above 60%.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

US Citizen Being Tried for Torturing People in Liberia

Wonder if this will mean that President and Vice President of USA can be tried for complicity in torture crimes in other nations that they either ordered or did not stop but had knowledge of - hmmm?

In a groundbreaking trial, former Liberian President Charles Taylor's son, Charles McArthur Emmanuel, also known as Chuckie Taylor, is charged with inflicting and ordering the torture of prisoners as head of the elite paramilitary unit in his father's government.

The case marks the first prosecution under a 1994 law criminalizing torture outside US borders. It tests the principle that alleged human rights abusers should answer for their crimes no matter where they are brought to account. The 'Chuckie trial' is a test case in prosecuting torture committed elsewhere by US citizens.
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Chicago-area protest of raid on immigrant community

It's sad that in Chicago area that they have seemingly gotten over past fears of Irish, Italian, Polish, Chinese, etc. legal and illegal immigrants - that our fears of immigrants from Spanish speaking countries still causes so much fear. What happened to Chicago with the "Big Shoulders?"
Jose Herrera said he came to the United States when he was 7. Arrested at an Immigration raid recently and detained for three months in Cook County Jail, he has a court case pending in which he's trying to gain permanent residency.

"I have a 7-year-old child to support," said Herrera, 25. "These raids don't do any good. They just separate families."

He joined more than 100 people Wednesday night who marched and held a candlelight vigil in the western suburbs in an effort to halt raids, address inhuman conditions at Immigration detention centers and urge enactment of a state law that would give clergy access to detainees in county jails.
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Judge overrides jury and orders death penalty

Let the jury decide is the usual tenet in law - why ignore it now? Will the young man's death make up for the death he caused? Will society be better off? I grieve and pray for the family of the police officer killed, for the young man now sentenced to death, and for his family who face losing him now. A tragedy grown larger because the judge cannot honor the jury system.
clipped from www.wsfa.com
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The man convicted of murdering a Montgomery police officer two years ago learned his fate Thursday. Circuit Judge Truman Hobbs, Jr. overrode the jury's recommendation and instead gave Mario Woodward the death sentence.
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India has had bird flu but is banning poultry related products from nations that have had it too - I

India has meat eaters but is predominately a vegan nation - but they raise poultry to export and have had outbreaks of avian flu in their flocks. Now they are banning importation of poultry products from other nations that have similarly afflicted.

It all sounds a bit ironic, oxymoronic, and strange. Will they complain when and if other nations ban the import of birds from India?

There are smart ways to break the pandemic threat but India and others are not looking beyond the easy and political.
clipped from in.reuters.com

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has imposed restrictions on meat imports, particularly from countries which have seen cases of bird flu, the commerce and industry ministry said on Wednesday.

For countries where bird flu cases have been reported, India has banned imports of live birds, including poultry; bird meat and eggs or their products; pigs and unprocessed pig products; and products intended for use in animal feeding, agriculture or industrial use.

The ministry said the restrictions would apply both to cases of "highly pathogenic" and "low pathogenic notifiable avian influenza".

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Fed Up? Vote Silly! Vote Palin; Michael Palin, that is

It's the silly season, so you might as well vote silly! Not really but it is a funny bit and play on the strange choice made by John McCain.
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ga. inmate on Death Row gets last-minute Supreme Court reprieve

clipped from www.freep.com

JACKSON, Ga. — The U.S. Supreme Court gave a reprieve to a Georgia inmate less than two hours before his scheduled execution today for the 1989 slaying of an off-duty police officer.


Davis’ Family and advocates of 39-year-old Troy Davis have long urged he deserves a new trial as seven of the nine witnesses who helped put him on death row have recanted their testimony. His supporters erupted into cheers and tears when the stay was announced.

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I Am an American Citizen Now and Speak English Quite Well - Thank You!

California's immigrants are more assimilated, with more of them reporting last year that they became U.S. citizens and most Spanish speakers now saying they speak English very well, a sharp rise from 2000, according to U.S. census data released today.

Data from the bureau's 2007 American Community Survey showed that California continued to diversify, with whites declining to 42.5 percent and

Latinos, Asians and blacks increasing to 54.4 percent of the state's population, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Immigrants are becoming citizens in huge numbers this year, part of their assimilation into US culture. This photo is from a recent citizenship ceremony in downtown LA.

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Someone's Got to be Kidding

A ticket for littering because you left a water jug for someone who might die without water?
clipped from ktar.com

mmigrant aid worker guilty of littering

September 24th, 2008 @ 5:58am

by Associated Press

A volunteer with an immigrants rights group has been found guilty in Tucson of littering because he left water jugs out in the desert for illegal border crossers.

Daniel Millis had been facing up to six months in jail and up to $5,000 in fines if found guilty.

But the magistrate who found him guilty suspended any sentence.

The 29-year-old Millis was cited for littering at southern Arizona's Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.

Refuge officials say they'll continue to cite anyone caught littering on the refuge, including people leaving full bottles of water for migrants. There are concerns the plastic jugs can be harmful to animals, along with the tons of trash on the refuge left by illegal immigrants.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Paratrooper To Get Conscientious Objector Status, Discharge.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
[Michael Barnes, his wife, Pearl, and their children, Noah, 4, and Kylee, 15 months, pause outside the U.S. Courthouse in Anchorage after a May 12 hearing. Sept. 22, 2008, U.S. District Judge John Sedwick ordered the Army to give Barnes conscientious objector status and an honorable discharge. (Bill Roth / ADN photograph)]Michael Barnes, his wife, Pearl, and their children, Noah, 4, and Kylee, 15 months, pause outside the U.S. Courthouse in Anchorage after a May 12 hearing. Sept. 22, 2008, U.S. District Judge John Sedwick ordered the Army to give Barnes conscientious objector status and an honorable discharge. (Bill Roth / ADN photograph)
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Maryland may drop death penalty for good

Good point made here is if you keep it, then spend the money to be sure - for equal justice sake - that those accused have good legal representation.
clipped from www.examiner.com

(Map, News)
A former U.S. senator and a New Jersey police chief argued against the death penalty Monday before a commission that is expected to deliver recommendations to lawmakers later this year.

Former U.S. Sen. Joseph Davies Tydings, D-Md., and West Orange, N.J., Police Chief James Abbott told the commission they were not philosophically opposed to capital punishment, but each expressed serious misgivings about its application.

Tydings said if Maryland wants to keep the death penalty "you have be willing to spend the money" to provide an adequate defense so innocent defendants aren't placed on death row.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

New Protection Against Domestic Violence in Ohio

Speak out if you are concerned

Supreme Court Seeks Public Comment on New Protection Order Warning Forms

The Supreme Court of Ohio will accept public comment until Oct. 22 on proposed judicial firearms notification forms for those who’ve been charged with domestic violence or are subject to a protection order.

House Bill 562, which took effect June 24, requires judges to provide an oral or written notice about the firearm disqualification for misdemeanor domestic violence offenders. Consistent with the Supreme Court’s role of providing standardized domestic violence forms, the Commission on the Rules of Superintendence has drafted proposed language to support judges’ mandate to provide due notice to domestic violence offenders. The protection order warning page has been revised to include new language that clarifies federal law and recommends that offenders contact an attorney to determine if they are weapons disqualified.

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Not Oops! Pakastani Allies Fire on US Helicopters!

Oops! or Not Oops? Our "Bush League" President does not seem able to protect our troops from supposed allies.
clipped from www.reuters.com

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani troops fired on two U.S. helicopters that intruded into Pakistani airspace on Sunday night, forcing them to turn back to Afghanistan, a senior Pakistani security official said on Monday.

It was the second such incident in a week, and reflects frayed relations with the United States over Pakistan's failure to act more forcibly against Islamist fighters in the tribal lands bordering Afghanistan.

The number of missile attacks by U.S. drone aircraft in the remote tribal areas has multiplied in recent weeks.

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Less meat in diet = Less Global Warming

Makes sense; all the energy that goes into raising crops for animals meant for your plate and the costs of transporting them, etc., etc.
clipped from news.bbc.co.uk

The FAO figure of 18% includes greenhouse gases released in every part of the meat production cycle - clearing forested land, making and transporting fertiliser, burning fossil fuels in farm vehicles, and the front and rear end emissions of cattle and sheep.

Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC chairman
Dr Pachauri has chaired the Nobel Prize-winning body since 2002

The contributions of the three main greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide - are roughly equivalent, the FAO calculates.

Transport, by contrast, accounts for just 13% of humankind's greenhouse gas footprint, according to the IPCC.

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Death Penalty on "trial" in Texas

It's not just people in Texas or USA watching these cases - the whole world watches us for justice and democracy - so how are we doing?
clipped from www.thetimes.co.za

A Texas prosecutor plans to review some 40 pending death penalty cases, after several recent instances in which capital convictions were overturned, by DNA testing.

Dallas prosecutor Craig Watkins said his goal in reviewing the cases is "to make sure that an innocent person won’t be executed" in Texas, which carries out the most executions in the United States a year.

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Justice is not easy but 14 years is truly hard time

TEXAS: A man on death row in Texas for
14 years for the murder of a young girl has been exonerated after DNA tests, the
Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) reported on Friday.

Blair who was sentenced to death for the 1993 killing of seven-year-old Ashley
Estell, had his capital murder charges dismissed in late August by the Collin
County court after hair used as evidence to convict him, was shown to belong to
somebody else.
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