Sun

29

Apr

2012

Global malaria elimination is at a crucial juncture

From UN WIRE

Some 3.3 billion people are at risk of contracting malaria, a preventable disease that killed 655,000 and afflicted 216 million in 2010, primarily in the developing world. On World Malaria Day, the world is at a critical juncture in its massive effort to halt and reverse malaria in what former British Prime Minister Tony Blair calls the "most achievable" of the Millennium Development Goals.

For more see Voice of America (4/24), The Huffington Post (4/24)

 

2 Comments

Sun

08

Apr

2012

Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Read More 1 Comments

Sat

07

Apr

2012

Avalanche buries 130 Pakistani soldiers

From THE WASHINGTON POST


  Avalanche Buries 130 Pakistani Soldiers On Himalayan glacier Near India

 

ISLAMABAD — An avalanche has buried 130 Pakistani soldiers in a Himalayan region close to India, a Pakistani security official said, the Associated Press reports. The incident happened early Saturday on the Siachen Glacier, where thousands of Pakistani and Indian troops are based.

0 Comments

Wed

04

Apr

2012

Measuring happiness is discussed at the UN

The purpose of development must be to create conditions for the pursuit of happiness and not merely boost the gross domestic product, which does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people, Jigmi Thinley, prime minister of Bhutan, told a high-level United Nations meeting Monday. Jeffery Sachs, an economist at Columbia University who co-edited the UN's First World Happiness Report, said:

 

"The U.S. has had a three time increase of [gross national product] per capita since 1960, but the happiness needle hasn't budged. Other countries have pursued other policies and achieved much greater gains of happiness, even at much lower levels of per capita income." The Washington Post/The Associated Press (4/2), The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Dot Earth blog (4/2)

0 Comments

Wed

04

Apr

2012

India's polio gains nurture hopes for further development

The victory over polio in India is a result of the work of the United Nations, the Global Polio Eradication initiative, the Indian government and the Indian people, write Ted Turner, founder of the United Nations Foundation, and N.R. Narayana Murthy, one of its board members. The success shows that countries can simultaneously accomplish economic and sustainable development, which India also is pursuing through two UN programs, Every Woman Every Child and the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. For more, see The Times of India.  India celebrated an historic milestone earlier this montha (4/2

1 Comments

Tue

27

Mar

2012

Regulators Urge 'Do Not Track' Policy For Web Users

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday called on Congress to shed light on the opaque world of data brokers who collect and sell consumer data but remain largely invisible to the public.
The Federal Trade Commission on Monday called on Congress to shed light on the opaque world of data brokers who collect and sell consumer data but remain largely invisible to the public.

 

HuffPost Technology dailybrief@huffingtonpost.com

In a report released Monday, the FTC called for legislation to give consumers access to personal data held by brokers and allow them to correct any inaccurate information. The commission also suggested a website where brokers could identify themselves to consumers and describe how they collect and disclose information.

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Wed

21

Mar

2012

Naked Bicyclist in Protest

Hundreds of naked and semi-nude bicyclists rode through Lima, Peru to demand safer road conditions.
Hundreds of naked and semi-nude bicyclists rode through Lima, Peru to demand safer road conditions.

AOL


LIMA, Peru -- About 300 nude bicyclists have ridden through the Peruvian capital of Lima to call attention to safety conditions and demand measures protecting cyclists.

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Wed

07

Mar

2012

Women in the World

UN's Bachelet takes stock of Women in the World

As some of the most powerful women in the world convene in New York for the third annual Women in the World meeting, the UN Women's agency is wrapping up its first year of operation. "The biggest challenges everywhere are political participation and economic empowerment -- and ending violence against women," said Michelle Bachelet, executive director of UN Women. 

 

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Wed

01

Feb

2012

Ban ups pressure on Russia over Syria violence

February 1, 2012 | News covering the UN and the world

Ban ups pressure on Russia over Syria violence

The UN Security Council "cannot wait any longer" to take measures to end the violence in Syria, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today. Discussions were ongoing over an Arab-European resolution that calls for President Bashar al-Assad to step aside, but Russia said it would veto the measure in current form. Bloomberg Businessweek (2/1),Time.com/Global Spin blog (1/31), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/31) 

 

0 Comments

Mon

30

Jan

2012

German Satellite Almost Crashed into Beijing

The research satellite Rosat, seen here in a computerized reprodution, crashed to Earth last October.
The research satellite Rosat, seen here in a computerized reprodution, crashed to Earth last October.

 

 

 

                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last October, the German research satellite Rosat plunged into the Bay of Bengal, more than 20 years after it had been launched into orbit. But had it remained aloft for just seven more minutes, it would have landed in Beijing instead, new calculations show.

By Christian Schwägerl


Press here to read the whole article


0 Comments

Fri

20

Jan

2012

From Thom Hartmann in Truthout Jan 3rd, 2012

In news you probably won’t hear on GOP TV – there were two arson attacks in New York City against Muslims and Hindus.  On Sunday night – security cameras caught an unidentified man drive up to a Hindu house of worship and hurl a Molotov cocktail at the building.  The night before – two Molotov cocktails were thrown at an Islamic Center in Queens as 80 people were gathered inside for dinner.  Luckily – there were no injuries in either attack – and only minimal damage done to the buildings.  Police are investigating the attacks as as “bias crimes.”

 

http://www.truth-out.org/news-thom-hartmann/1325612530

1 Comments

Fri

20

Jan

2012

Montana State Supreme Court: Citizens United Not Welcome Here

By alexa  Created 2012-01-04 06:55  Sam Ferguson [1]  Source: 
Truthout  Display date: Wednesday 4 January 2012

 

In a rebuke to the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Montana has held that Citizens United does not apply to Montana campaign finance law.

 

Last Friday, the Montana Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a 1912 voter initiative - the Corrupt Practices Act - that prohibits corporations from making contributions to or expenditures on behalf of state political candidates and political parties. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that a similar federal prohibition was unconstitutional, prompting a wave of bills and court rulings that erased prohibitions on corporate and union political expenditures around the country.

0 Comments

Fri

25

Feb

2011

Fourth baby dolphin found dead on Horn Island

By KAREN NELSON - klnelson@sunherald.com

HORN ISLAND -- The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies has confirmed that a fourth baby dolphin has washed ashore on Horn Island,

To read more click here


 

3 Comments

Fri

13

Nov

2015

Are Languages Products of their Environment?


shutterstock_222422665_151112


DISCOVER MAGAZINE published this very interesting article: 


  Languages Are Products of Their Environments


The characteristics that make each language unique may actually be adaptations to the acoustics of different environments.

0 Comments

Tue

03

Jun

2014

The Case for Reparations

 

The Case for Reparations

 

Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.

 

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

May 21, 2014

 


Chapters

  1. I. “So That’s Just One Of My Losses”
  2. II.  “A Difference of Kind, Not Degree”
  3. III. “We Inherit Our Ample Patrimony”
  4. IV. “The Ills That Slavery Frees Us From”
  5. V. The Quiet Plunder
  6. VI. Making The Second Ghetto
  7. VII. “A Lot Of People Fell By The Way”
  8. VIII. “Negro Poverty is not White Poverty”
  9. IX. Toward A New Country
  10. X. “There Will Be No ‘Reparations’ From Germany”
0 Comments

Mon

02

Jun

2014

A Look At 19th Century Children In The USA

PHILADELPHIA — DINNER with your children in 19th-century America often required some self-control. Berry stains in your daughter’s hair? Good for her. Raccoon bites running up your boy’s arms? Bet he had an interesting day.

 

As this year’s summer vacation begins, many parents contemplate how to rein in their kids. But there was a time when Americans pushed in the opposite direction, preserved in Mark Twain’s cat-swinging scamps. Parents back then encouraged kids to get some wildness out of their system, to express the republic’s revolutionary values.

The New York Times

Sunday Review

By JON GRINSPAN MAY 31, 2014

 

A late 19th century family taking a stroll down a set of railroad tracks
A late 19th century family taking a stroll down a set of railroad tracks

American children of the 19th century had a reputation. Returning British visitors reported on American kids who showed no respect, who swore and fought, who appeared — at age 10 — “calling for liquor at the bar, or puffing a cigar in the streets,” as one wrote. There were really no children in 19th-century America, travelers often claimed, only “small stuck-up caricatures of men and women.”

 

This was not a “carefree” nation, too rough-hewed to teach proper manners; adults deliberately chose to express new values by raising “go-ahead” boys and girls. The result mixed democracy and mob rule, assertiveness and cruelty, sudden freedom and strict boundaries. Visitors noted how American fathers would brag that their disobedient children were actually “young republicans,” liberated from old hierarchies. Children were still expected to be deferential to elders, but many were trained to embody their nation’s revolutionary virtues. “The theory of the equality” was present at the ballot box, according to one sympathetic Englishman, but “rampant in the nursery.”

 

Boys, in particular, spent their childhoods in a rowdy outdoor subculture. After age 5 or so they needed little attention from their mothers, but were not big enough to help their fathers work. So until age 10 or 12 they spent much of their time playing or fighting.

 

The writer William Dean Howells recalled his ordinary, violent Ohio childhood, immersed in his loose gang of pals, rarely catching a “glimpse of life much higher than the middle of a man.” Howells’s peers were “always stoning something,” whether friends, rivals or stray dogs. They left a trail of maimed animals behind them, often hurt in sloppy attempts to domesticate wild pets.

 

And though we envision innocents playing with a hoop and a stick, many preferred “mumbletypeg” — a game where two players competed to see who could throw a knife closer to his own foot. Stabbing yourself meant a win by default.

 

Left to their own devices, boys learned an assertive style that shaped their futures. The story of every 19th-century empire builder — Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt — seems to begin with a striving 10-year-old. “Boy culture” offered training for the challenges of American manhood and a reprieve before a life of labor.

 

But these unsupervised boys also formed gangs that harassed the mentally ill, the handicapped and racial and ethnic minorities. Boys played an outsize role in the anti-Irish pogroms in 1840s Philadelphia, the brutal New York City draft riots targeting African-Americans during the Civil War and attacks on Chinese laborers in Gilded Age California. These children did not invent the bigotry rampant in white America, but their unrestrained upbringing let them enact what their parents mostly muttered.

 

Their sisters followed a different path. Girls were usually assigned more of their mothers’ tasks. An 8-year-old girl would be expected to help with the wash or other physically demanding tasks, while her brother might simply be too small, too slow or too annoying to drive the plow with his father. But despite their drudgery, 19th-century American girls still found time for tree climbing, bonfire building and waterfall-jumping antics. There were few pretty pink princesses in 19th-century America: Girls were too rowdy and too republican for that.

 

So how did we get from “democratic sucklings” to helicopter parents? Though many point to a rise of parental worrying after the 1970s, this was an incremental change in a movement that began a hundred years earlier.

 

In the last quarter of the 19th century, middle-class parents launched a self-conscious project to protect children. Urban professionals began to focus on children’s vulnerabilities. Well-to-do worriers no longer needed to raise tough dairymaids or cunning newsboys; the changing economy demanded careful managers of businesses or households, and restrained company men, capable of navigating big institutions.

 

Demographics played a role as well: By 1900 American women had half as many children as they did in 1800, and those children were twice as likely to live through infancy as they were in 1850. Ironically, as their children faced fewer dangers, parents worried more about their protection.

 

Instead of seeing boys and girls as capable, clever, knockabout scamps, many reconceived children as vulnerable, weak and naïve. Reformers introduced child labor laws, divided kids by age in school and monitored their play. Jane Addams particularly worked to fit children into the new industrial order, condemning “this stupid experiment of organizing work and failing to organize play.”

 

There was good reason to tame the boys and girls of the 19th century, if only for stray cats’ sake. But somewhere between Jane Addams and Nancy Grace, Americans lost track of their larger goal. Earlier parents raised their kids to express values their society trumpeted.

 

“Precocious” 19th-century troublemakers asserted their parents’ democratic beliefs and fit into an economy that had little use for 8-year-olds but idealized striving, self-made men. Reformers designed their Boy Scouts to meet the demands of the 20th century, teaching organization and rebalancing the relationship between play and work. Both movements agreed, in their didactic ways, that playtime shaped future citizens.

 

Does the overprotected child articulate values we are proud of in 2014? Nothing is easier than judging other peoples’ parenting, but there is a side of contemporary American culture — fearful, litigious, controlling — that we do not brag about but that we reveal in our child rearing, and that runs contrary to our self-image as an open, optimistic nation. Maybe this is why sheltering parents come in for so much easy criticism: A visit to the playground exposes traits we would rather not recognize.

 

There is, however, a saving grace that parents will notice this summer. Kids are harder to guide and shape, as William Dean Howells put it, “than grown people are apt to think.” It is as true today as it was two centuries ago: “Everywhere and always the world of boys is outside of the laws that govern grown-up communities.” Somehow, they’ll manage to go their own way.

 

________________________________

 

A National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Massachusetts Historical Society who is writing a book on the role of young people in 19th-century American democracy.

0 Comments

Mon

21

Apr

2014

Investigating Family's Wealth, China's Leader Signals a Change

From The New York Times 

By CHRISTOPHER DREW and JAD MOUAWAD

APRIL 19, 2014

 

HONG KONG — His son landed contracts to sell equipment to state oil fields and thousands of filling stations across China. His son’s mother-in-law held stakes in pipelines and natural gas pumps from Sichuan Province in the west to the southern isle of Hainan. And his sister-in-law, working from one of Beijing’s most prestigious office buildings, invested in mines, property and energy projects.

 

In thousands of pages of corporate documents describing these ventures, the name that never appears is his own: Zhou Yongkang, the formidable Chinese Communist Party leader who served as China’s top security official and the de facto boss of its oil industry.





A visitor at the Zhou family's ancestral graves in Xiqliantou, eastern China.  Intrigue surrounds the family after a spate of arrests.  Sim Chi Yim for the New York Times
A visitor at the Zhou family's ancestral graves in Xiqliantou, eastern China. Intrigue surrounds the family after a spate of arrests. Sim Chi Yim for the New York Times

But President Xi Jinping has targeted Mr. Zhou in an extraordinary corruption inquiry, a first for a Chinese party leader of Mr. Zhou’s rank, and put his family’s extensive business interests in the cross hairs.

 

Even by the cutthroat standards of Chinese politics, it is a bold maneuver. The finances of the families of senior leaders are among the deepest and most politically delicate secrets in China. The party has for years followed a tacit rule that relatives of the elite could prosper from the country’s economic opening, which rewarded loyalty and helped avert rifts in the leadership.

Zhou Family Ties

1 Comments

Fri

13

Nov

2015

Are Languages Products of their Environment?


shutterstock_222422665_151112


DISCOVER MAGAZINE published this very interesting article: 


  Languages Are Products of Their Environments


The characteristics that make each language unique may actually be adaptations to the acoustics of different environments.

0 Comments

Tue

03

Jun

2014

The Case for Reparations

 

The Case for Reparations

 

Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.

 

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

May 21, 2014

 


Chapters

  1. I. “So That’s Just One Of My Losses”
  2. II.  “A Difference of Kind, Not Degree”
  3. III. “We Inherit Our Ample Patrimony”
  4. IV. “The Ills That Slavery Frees Us From”
  5. V. The Quiet Plunder
  6. VI. Making The Second Ghetto
  7. VII. “A Lot Of People Fell By The Way”
  8. VIII. “Negro Poverty is not White Poverty”
  9. IX. Toward A New Country
  10. X. “There Will Be No ‘Reparations’ From Germany”
0 Comments

Mon

02

Jun

2014

A Look At 19th Century Children In The USA

PHILADELPHIA — DINNER with your children in 19th-century America often required some self-control. Berry stains in your daughter’s hair? Good for her. Raccoon bites running up your boy’s arms? Bet he had an interesting day.

 

As this year’s summer vacation begins, many parents contemplate how to rein in their kids. But there was a time when Americans pushed in the opposite direction, preserved in Mark Twain’s cat-swinging scamps. Parents back then encouraged kids to get some wildness out of their system, to express the republic’s revolutionary values.

The New York Times

Sunday Review

By JON GRINSPAN MAY 31, 2014

 

A late 19th century family taking a stroll down a set of railroad tracks
A late 19th century family taking a stroll down a set of railroad tracks

Read More 0 Comments

Mon

21

Apr

2014

Investigating Family's Wealth, China's Leader Signals a Change

From The New York Times 

By CHRISTOPHER DREW and JAD MOUAWAD

APRIL 19, 2014

 

HONG KONG — His son landed contracts to sell equipment to state oil fields and thousands of filling stations across China. His son’s mother-in-law held stakes in pipelines and natural gas pumps from Sichuan Province in the west to the southern isle of Hainan. And his sister-in-law, working from one of Beijing’s most prestigious office buildings, invested in mines, property and energy projects.

 

In thousands of pages of corporate documents describing these ventures, the name that never appears is his own: Zhou Yongkang, the formidable Chinese Communist Party leader who served as China’s top security official and the de facto boss of its oil industry.





A visitor at the Zhou family's ancestral graves in Xiqliantou, eastern China.  Intrigue surrounds the family after a spate of arrests.  Sim Chi Yim for the New York Times
A visitor at the Zhou family's ancestral graves in Xiqliantou, eastern China. Intrigue surrounds the family after a spate of arrests. Sim Chi Yim for the New York Times

Read More 1 Comments