Banned by 102 countries – NOT including the USA
The Pentagon will allow the United States military to once again arm itself with older cluster munitions, a type of weapon that has been banned by 102 countries largely because of concerns that they disproportionately harm civilians.
The change, detailed in a memo released on Friday, reverses a prohibition issued under President George W. Bush, and appears to be a concession by the United States that finding safer variants of the weapons has so far failed…
Though the United States is not a signatory to the international treaty banning the weapons, it pledged in June 2008 to sharply restrict their use and reduce risks to civilians.
None of which means a damned thing to our fake president.
Environmental and indigenous groups are cheering a landmark decision by Canada’s highest court on Friday, which ordered the Yukon Territorial Government to abide by a negotiated plan to preserve one of the largest intact wilderness areas in North America.
The Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous decision marks the end of a three-year legal battle between the Yukon government and a coalition of indigenous First Nations and environmental groups over the future of the Peel Watershed, a wildlife-rich region of mountains and rivers that also has significant deposits of gas, coal, iron, and other minerals. Roughly the size of the Republic of Ireland, the pristine region was featured in an article in the February 2014 issue of National Geographic.
A commission made up of representatives from the First Nations and the Yukon government spent seven years negotiating the fate of the Peel Watershed via a process laid out in land claims agreements signed by Yukon First Nations and the federal and territorial governments. The commission produced a final recommendation in 2011 to keep 80 percent of the watershed roadless and off-limits to resource extractors.
Anyone think the US Supreme Court – with its supply of Republican pimps for corporate mining interests – would ever have the integrity and wisdom to produce a similar ruling here in the states?
❝ More than 100,000 acres in Southern California have been burned by wildfires in the last week, with some 27,000 residents being forced to flee areas like Bel Air and the Getty museum. More than 1,000 firefighters are now battling the biggest blaze, named Thomas, which is far from under control…
But as more and more people are forced to flee their homes, there are some uplifting stories coming out of the destruction. In Ventura County, as residents fled Thomas Fire on Highway 1, a passing news crew was able to capture footage of a man doing something pretty amazing at the side of the road…
AFAIK, the young men wouldn’t give his name, didn’t care to be interested by the TV crew.
❝ On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese bombers staged a surprise attack on U.S. military forces at Pearl Harbor Hawaii. In less than three hours, the United States suffered more than 2,400 casualties and loss of or severe damage to 188 airplanes and 8 battleships.
At one station, Army privates were running the radar and at 7:02 a.m., a large white blip appeared. The privates marked this activity and the continuing movements of incoming planes. Pvt. Joseph Lockard reported this to the Information Center, but a group of American B-17s were due to arrive that day from San Francisco, and Lockard was told to forget about what he saw. It was only after arrival at camp that they received word that at 7:55 a.m. the Japanese had begun dropping bombs on Pearl Harbor.
They realized that the planes they had been tracking on the radar plot were not American, but the Japanese attacking force. They had witnessed the start of World War II for America, but they hadn’t realized it.
And so it began.
❝ The fight over a critical loophole in U.S. surveillance law may not be resolved in Congress before the year ends, but the Trump administration appears to have no qualms about keeping it open, even if the law expires…
❝ As The New York Times reports, “executive branch lawyers have now concluded that the government could lawfully continue to spy under the program through late April without new legislation,” a revelation that is sure to be just as controversial as the surveillance law itself, which is harshly criticized by privacy advocates for its practice of sweeping up the communications of American citizens while spying on foreign targets.
Trumps gets his shorts bunched if some kind of Fed says they’re going to check his tax returns. Turning loose any ordinary citizen’s communications to be Hoovered up by that Great NSA Vacuum Cleaner in the Sky doesn’t bother him in the least.
Police Sergeant using taser on handcuffed prisoner
❝ Corporal Matthew Stice pointed his Taser at Martini Smith’s bare chest.
Smith was 20 years old, pregnant and stripped nearly naked, standing in a cell in the Franklin County jail in Columbus, Ohio. She had been detained on charges of stabbing a boyfriend she’d accused of beating her. Stice and a deputy had ordered her to disrobe, take off all jewelry and don a prison gown. But she hadn’t been able to obey one command – remove the silver stud from her tongue.
❝ “Take the tongue ring out,” Deputy Shawnda Arnold said. Smith continued struggling to unscrew the ring, inserting fingers from both hands into her mouth. No luck. Her fingers were numb, she protested: She had been cuffed for six hours with her hands behind her back.
“I will Tase you,” Stice said. The ring was slippery, Smith said, asking for a paper towel. The deputies refused. “I just want to go to sleep,” Smith cried.
Stice warned her again, then fired. The Taser’s electrified darts struck Smith’s chest; she collapsed against the concrete wall and slid to the floor, gasping, arms over her breasts.
❝ “Why did you Tase me?” she moaned. “I wasn’t harming nobody. I can’t just take it out.”
Five days later, Smith had a miscarriage…
❝ Reuters identified 104 deaths involving Tasers behind bars, nearly all since 2000 – 10 percent of a larger universe of more than 1,000 fatal law enforcement encounters in which the weapons were used. Some of the in-custody deaths were deemed “multi-factorial,” with no distinct cause, and some were attributed to pre-existing health problems. But the Taser was listed as a cause or contributing factor in more than a quarter of the 84 inmate deaths in which the news agency obtained autopsy findings.
RTFA and begin to understand why most poor or non-white or just ordinary workingclass folks consider our police departments to be something other than institutions chartered to “serve and protect”.
❝ There’s still much that remains unknown about the Greenland ice sheet, which at roughly 650,000 square miles is more than twice the size of Texas. The sheet, up to two miles thick, contains enough ice that, if it all melted, would raise oceans around the world by 24 feet. Precisely how the ice melts — half or more by warming on the surface, the rest by ice sheet movement toward the sea, where it melts or calves off as icebergs — can greatly affect how much and how fast the seas rise.
❝ Greenland is currently losing an average of about 260 billion tons of ice per year; at this rate, it would contribute about two inches to sea level rise by the end of the century. This ice loss is estimated through gravity measurements by satellites, but computer models that simulate physical processes are used to estimate the surface runoff. The field study was meant to improve those models by providing on-the-ground data on the flow of meltwater.
Science, of course, isn’t invoked just to give hope – or spread fear. Facts are facts. It takes corrupt politicians to turn them into fake news. RTFA.