Friday, May 01, 2020

Reliable and unreliable media


Links to my posts with links to reliability of various "news" web sites

Media bias chart
http://patriciashannon.blogspot.com/2018/01/media-bias-chart.html

10 Journalism Brands Where You Find Real Facts Rather Than Alternative Facts according to Forbes
http://patriciashannon.blogspot.com/2017/03/10-journalism-brands-where-you-find.html

Snopes' Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors
http://patriciashannon.blogspot.com/2016/07/snopes-field-guide-to-fake-news-sites.html

Honest Reporting
http://patriciashannon.blogspot.com/2017/03/honest-reporting.html

If You’re A Liberal, Stop Sharing Links From These Fake News Sites
http://patriciashannon.blogspot.com/2017/03/if-youre-liberal-stop-sharing-links.html

============================================

Fact-checking sites:

https://www.snopes.com/

http://www.politifact.com/

http://factcheck.org/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/

https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/category/fact-checking-project/

Friday, March 15, 2019

Media bias chart


Pretty much fits my observations of the ones I am familiar with.




Monday, July 23, 2018

2018 Global Heat So Far



Published: July 18th, 2018

With the release of the monthly global temperature analysis from NOAA today, it is a good opportunity to compare temperatures so far this year to their historical levels. And as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere, the heat goes on both globally and here in the U.S.

Globally, the past four years have been the hottest four years on record, and 2018 so far is coming in as the 4th hottest. All-time record heat has peppered the Northern Hemisphere this summer.

•••••

According to the WMO, 2018 has been the hottest La Niña year on record, with La Niña years today consistently warmer than El Niño years from 30 years ago. Consensus forecasts are trending toward a new El Niño before the end of the year, meaning 2018 will probably finish as one of the 10 hottest years on record globally.

•••••

Jeff Bezos Named Richest Man in History As Amazon Workers Strike Over Pay and Conditions

https://www.newsweek.com/amazon-staff-strike-over-working-conditions-just-ceo-jeff-bezos-named-richest-1027414

By Brendan Cole On 7/17/18

ust as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was named the richest person in modern history, Amazon workers across Europe have gone out on strike to protest pay and work conditions.

Warehouse workers in Germany, Spain and Poland are protesting against workplace health hazards, and being required to work more hours without getting bonuses.

More than 1,800 workers in Spain walked off the job on Monday in an action that will continue until Wednesday. Thousands of workers from warehouses in Germany will go out on strike on Tuesday, while workers in Poland will work only the minimum, which may cause a slowdown.

•••••

It also comes as Bezos’s worth rose to $152 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
This is more than the inflation-adjusted amount of $149 billion Microsoft founder Bill Gates hit in 1999 and makes Bezos richer than anyone since the first wealth ranking was published in 1982.

His net worth this year has gone up $52 billion, more than the annual GDP of more than 100 countries, including Lebanon, Macau and Slovenia. The increase this year alone is more than the entire worth of Asia’s richest person, Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

•••••

Stefanie Nutzenberger from German labor union Verdi said in a statement on its website: "The message is clear, while the online giant gets rich, it is saving money on the health of its workers."

There has been repeated criticism of Amazon’s working conditions. Warehouse workers walked out in Germany and Italy Black Friday last year, complaining of difficult conditions and reports that some staff were injured on the job and collapsed from exhaustion.

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health named Amazon as one of the most dangerous places to work in the United States.

•••••

Earth's resources consumed in ever greater destructive volumes

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/23/earths-resources-consumed-in-ever-greater-destructive-volumes

Jonathan Watts
Sun 22 Jul 2018

Humanity is devouring our planet’s resources in increasingly destructive volumes, according to a new study that reveals we have consumed a year’s worth of carbon, food, water, fibre, land and timber in a record 212 days.

As a result, the Earth Overshoot Day – which marks the point at which consumption exceeds the capacity of nature to regenerate – has moved forward two days to 1 August, the earliest date ever recorded.

To maintain our current appetite for resources, we would need the equivalent of 1.7 Earths, according to Global Footprint Network, an international research organisation that makes an annual assessment of how far humankind is falling into ecological debt.

•••••

While ever greater food production, mineral extraction, forest clearance and fossil-fuel burning bring short-term (and unequally distributed) lifestyle gains, the long-term consequences are increasingly apparent in terms of soil erosion, water shortages and climate disruption.

•••••

“Our current economies are running a Ponzi scheme with our planet,” he said. “We are borrowing the Earth’s future resources to operate our economies in the present. Like any Ponzi scheme, this works for some time. But as nations, companies, or households dig themselves deeper and deeper into debt, they eventually fall apart.”

The situation is reversible. Research by the group indicates political action is far more effective than individual choices. It notes, for example, that replacing 50% of meat consumption with a vegetarian diet would push back the overshoot date by five days. Efficiency improvements in building and industry could make a difference of three weeks, and a 50% reduction of the carbon component of the footprint would give an extra three months of breathing space.

•••••

Separate scientific studies over the past year has revealed a third of land is now acutely degraded, while tropical forests have become a source rather than a sink of carbon. Scientists have also raised the alarm about increasingly erratic weather, particularly in the Arctic, and worrying declines in populations of bees and other insect pollinators, which are essential for crops.

Links



A 15-year-old Indonesian girl who was raped by her older brother has been jailed for six months for having an abortion, an official said on Saturday.
The girl was sentenced on Thursday alongside her 17-year-old brother in a closed hearing at Muara Bulian district court on the island of Sumatra, the court spokesman Listyo Arif Budiman said.
“The girl was charged under the child protection law for having an abortion,” he said.
Her brother was sentenced to two years in jail for sexually assaulting a minor.
She was helped by her mother, who faces separate charges.
Abortions account for between 30% and 50% of maternal deaths in the country, according to a 2013 World Health Organisation report.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/21/indonesia-girl-jailed-for-abortion-after-being-raped-by-brother


July 19, 2018
President Donald Trump’s requested military parade is expected to cost about $12 million, according to initial planning estimates, the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday.
The parade was initial set for Nov. 11, Veterans Day, but now will take place Nov. 10 to accomodate international celebrations on Nov. 11 set to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The parade costs were first reported by CNN.
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/07/18/initial-cost-for-trump-military-parade-comes-in-at-12-million-dod-says/


Doctors Interrupt Patients, Stop Listening After 11 Seconds On Average, Study Says
https://www.newsweek.com/doctor-patient-visits-1035514


According to the Pew Research Center, Republican Party identification fell 3 points, to 26 percent, from 2016 to the end of 2017. The number of self-identified independents increased at the same time, from 34 percent to 37 percent, while the number of Democrats remained steady. Gallup shows a similar change: From November 2016 to November 2017, there was a 5-point drop in the number of people who called themselves Republicans, from 42 percent to 37 percent. Democratic self-identification remained unchanged at 44 percent.
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/07/the-pro-trump-republican-base-that-many-politicians-fear-may-be-shrinking.html


Unusual weather conditions for the month of July have impacted the central and eastern states the past few days from a weather pattern not typically seen in mid-summer.
A potent southward dip in the jet stream has moved from the Midwest into the East where it will linger to begin this week and contribute to a heavy rain threat.
The National Weather Service in Tampa Bay described the unusual weather pattern best in a tweet Sunday morning: "If someone randomly showed up with this satellite image and told me to guess what month it was from...July would not be my first guess. It wouldn't be my second or third guess either."
Typically the jet stream flows in a flat west-to-east fashion near the Canadian border in July. That's why its current amplified north-to-south configuration over the eastern states is out of season.
[One of those arctic incursions we've been getting in the winter, which have been getting more frequent because of global warming. Now happening in the summer.]
https://weather.com/news/news/2018-07-22-late-july-weather-pattern-odd


July 22, 2018
A deadly heat wave is expected to continue early this week across Japan.
https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/deadly-heat-wave-to-grip-japan-into-early-this-week/70005554


The remainder of July will be dominated by a resurgence of heat across the northwestern United States.
The recent reprieve from the mid-July heat wave in the Northwest has come to an end as the heat intensifying over the Southwest will also expand its grip northward.
"This stretch of heat actually looks to be longer than what was experienced in mid-July," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said. "After returning on Sunday, the heat could last right through next weekend."
Highs are expected to soar 5-15 degrees above normal daily through the final full week of July. That will translate into highs near 90 F in Seattle; 90s in Portland, Oregon; around 100 in Pendleton, Oregon, and Boise, Idaho; and the lower 100s in Medford, Oregon.
https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/heat-wave-to-have-firm-grip-on-northwestern-us-into-end-of-july/70005564

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Links


July 17, 2018
After hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans were denied FEMA assistance to rebuild their homes after Hurricane Maria, most of the families who have appealed the agency's decision have not received aid.
FEMA has either denied or not answered 79 percent — almost eight-in-ten — of the appeals, leaving residents and officials worried about the fate of their dwellings as the island faces another hurricane season.
https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/puerto-rico-crisis/fema-has-either-denied-or-not-approved-most-appeals-housing-n891716?cid=sm_npd_nn_fb_ma


April 15, 2018
On The Deficit, GOP Has Been Playing Us For Suckers
https://www.forbes.com/sites/stancollender/2018/04/15/on-the-deficit-gop-has-been-playing-us-all-for-suckers/#691f5464694f


July 21, 2018
Nearly 1,000 homes on evacuation alert in B.C., Canada due to wildfires
http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/environment/nearly-1-000-homes-on-evacuation-alert-in-b-c-due-to-wildfires/article/527629


July 20, 2018
A federal appeals court in San Francisco on Friday rejected the Trump administration’s renewed bid to dismiss a lawsuit by young activists who say the U.S. government is ignoring the perils of climate change.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-climatechange-lawsuit/u-s-loses-bid-to-end-childrens-climate-change-lawsuit-idUSKBN1KA2SB


by George F. Will July 17, 2018
Like the purloined letter in Edgar Allan Poe’s short story with that title, collusion with Russia is hiding in plain sight. We shall learn from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation whether in 2016 there was collusion with Russia by members of the Trump campaign. The world, however, saw in Helsinki something more grave — ongoing collusion between Trump, now in power, and Russia. The collusion is in what Trump says (refusing to back the United States’ intelligence agencies) and in what evidently went unsaid (such as: You ought to stop disrupting Ukraine, downing civilian airliners, attempting to assassinate people abroad using poisons, and so on, and on).
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/this-sad-embarrassing-wreck-of-a-man/2018/07/17/d06de8ea-89e8-11e8-a345-a1bf7847b375_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d7ea8c247b24

White House: U.S. Can’t Afford Veterans’ Health Care Without Cuts



By Eric Levitz
July 17, 2018

Last year, the Trump administration insisted that its regressive tax cuts were so important, it was worth adding $1.5 trillion ($1,500 billion) to the national debt to ensure their passage. Now, the White House is warning Congress that the United States cannot afford to add $1.6 billion to the deficit to expand health-care options for veterans.

In a letter Monday, the Trump administration demanded that lawmakers fund a popular veterans’ health-care program — which allows former troops to spend public funds on private doctors and hospitals — with cuts to other parts of the budget. Democrats, and some top Senate Republicans, prefer to raise the current caps on discretionary spending instead.

•••••

Links



Americans born into poverty are more likely than ever before to stay that way, according to a United Nations report on poverty and inequality in the US.
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/22/us/america-poverty-un-report/index.html


Heard on the radio that last week had record low unemployment claims. As usual, no mention was made of the numerous fires in the western U.S., and the storms in the middle that are keeping people from being able to get to unemployment offices to apply. We need time to see if this truly reflects reality..


Making no mention of the values of equality and democracy, Israel has passed into law a highly controversial bill that serves to define the nature of the state of Israel, with critics slamming it as the "nail in the coffin" of Israeli democracy.
The nation-state bill passed in its second and third readings following an hours-long debate in the Knesset, Israel's parliament. The law establishes Israel as the historic home of the Jewish people with a "united" Jerusalem as its capital and declares that the Jewish people "have an exclusive right to national self-determination" in Israel.
But the law fails to mention either equality or minority rights -- both of which were integral parts of Israel's Declaration of Independence in 1948, which explicitly states that Israel "will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture."
An earlier version of the bill would have allowed for segregated Jewish-only communities, but that clause sparked criticism from multiple directions. Some of Israel's most prominent current and former politicians -- including President Reuven Rivlin, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and the former chair of the prominent nonprofit the Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky, all expressed reservations about that clause, saying it would damage Israel's international standing and would likely be struck down by the High Court.
An updated clause instead promotes "Jewish settlement as a national value" and commits the government to further its establishment.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/19/middleeast/israel-nation-state-legislation-intl/index.html


we learned of the arrest of Maria Butina, who is accused of being a Russian agent who infiltrated the National Rifle Association, the most important outside organization in the Republican firmament. Legal filings in the case outline a plan to use the N.R.A. to push the Republican Party in a more pro-Russian direction.
If the N.R.A. as an organization turns out to be compromised, it would shake conservative politics to its foundation. And this is no longer a far-fetched possibility. “I serve on both the Intelligence Committee and the Finance Committee,” Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, told me. “So I have a chance to really look at this through the periscope of both committees. And what I have wondered about for some time is this whole issue of whether the N.R.A. is getting subverted as a Russian asset.”
This is not a question that Republicans are eager to answer. Before Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee abruptly closed their investigation into Russian election interference, committee Democrats wanted to interview both Butina and Erickson. Their Republican colleagues refused. “If there were efforts towards a back channel towards the N.R.A., they didn’t want to know,” Representative Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who is the ranking member on the committee, told me. “It was too hot to handle.”
On Monday, a few hours after news broke of Butina’s arrest, the Treasury Department announced a new rule sparing some tax-exempt groups, including the N.R.A., from having to report their large donors to the I.R.S. Wyden called the move “truly grotesque,” saying it would “make it easier for Russian dark money” to flow into American politics. You might ask who benefits. The answer is: not just Trump.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/20/opinion/republican-party-national-rifle-association-trump-russia.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage


As Russia’s virtual war against the United States continues unabated with the midterm elections approaching, the State Department has yet to spend any of the $120 million it has been allocated since late 2016 to counter foreign efforts to meddle in elections or sow distrust in democracy.
As a result, not one of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center — which has been tasked with countering Moscow’s disinformation campaign — speaks Russian, and a department hiring freeze has hindered efforts to recruit the computer experts needed to track the Russian efforts.
The delays have infuriated some members of Congress, which approved the funding transfer with bipartisan support.
[Congress ss can pass laws and set the budget, but the president appoints the heads of agencies actually carry out the laws.]
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/04/world/europe/state-department-russia-global-engagement-center.html


Prices rose at their highest clip since 2012 over the past year, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
The 2.9 percent inflation for the 12-month period ending in June is a sign of a growing economy, but it's also a painful development for workers, whose tepid wage gains have failed to keep pace with the rising prices.
The cost of food, shelter and gas have all risen significantly in the past year. Gas skyrocketed more than 24 percent, rent for a primary residence jumped 3.6 percent and meals at restaurants and cafeterias rose 2.8 percent.
Prices have risen roughly at the same rate as wages, erasing any gains workers may have hoped to realize via bigger paychecks.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-inflation-rates-20180713-story.html


Inflation-adjusted wages have fallen for three straight quarters on a year-over-year basis, according to data released by the Labor Department Tuesday. MarketWatch’s Steve Goldstein provided a chart that shows a dismal picture for real wages this year:
The only thing that’s booming is stock buybacks, while business investment is only moderately higher and wages are falling.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/gop-tax-cuts-arent-boosting-wages/ar-AAAgLtL?ocid=mailsignout


One of the most destructive tornado outbreaks of this relatively quiet 2018 tornado season hit Iowa on Thursday, causing severe damage and up to 17 injuries.
The Marshalltown tornado was just one of many tornadoes that raked Iowa on Thursday. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) logged 28 preliminary reports of tornadoes on Thursday--27 in Iowa and 1 in Minnesota. Minutes before the Marshalltown tornado hit, a separate tornado heavily damaged Bondurant, Iowa (population 3,900), then demolished two buildings at the Vermeer Corp. plant, a farm and construction equipment manufacturer near Pella.
https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Tornadoes-Rake-Iowa-Dangerous-Severe-Weather-Outbreak-Expected-Friday


Science fiction sometimes paints a bleak vision of the future, with wrecked landscapes where technology runs amok and humans struggle to survive.
But Sarena Ulibarri, editor-in-chief of World Weaver Press, says science fiction is not limited to dystopic visions.
Ulibarri: “Science fiction is not only a literature of warning. It can also be a literature of inspiration.”
She says there’s a growing subgenre that’s been dubbed “solarpunk.” In solarpunk stories, people work together to develop creative, innovative responses to a changing climate.
https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2018/07/solarpunk-the-antidote-to-gloom-and-doom/


Feb 14, 2018
Despite increasing scrutiny of Georgia’s voting technology ahead of the 2018 midterms, the state will not join more than a dozen others asking the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for special help protecting its election system from hacks, the Secretary of State’s office confirmed this week.
Russia views the upcoming midterms as a potential target for interference, top U.S. intelligence officials told Congress on Tuesday.
https://www.wabe.org/georgia-says-no-thanks-election-security-help-feds/

Friday, July 20, 2018

America's poor becoming more destitute under Trump, UN report says


Please read the whole article at the following link.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/22/us/america-poverty-un-report/index.html

By Lynda Kinkade, CNN
Updated 2343 GMT (0743 HKT) June 22, 2018

Americans born into poverty are more likely than ever before to stay that way, according to a United Nations report on poverty and inequality in the US.
"The United States, one of the world's richest nations and the "land of opportunity," is fast becoming a champion of inequality," the report concluded.

•••••

Philip Alston, a New York University law and human rights professor, led a UN study traveling across US. The group went to Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Alabama, California, Georgia, West Virginia were among the states they visited.
"Most Americans don't care about it. They have bought the line peddled by conservative groups that poor people deserve what they are getting," Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, told CNN.
The report notes that the US has highest child mortality rate of 20 rich countries (OPEC comparison). It also has among the highest child poverty rates in the developed world, at 21%. It also considered obesity rates, income inequality and incarceration rates.

•••••

More than 40 million Americans live in poverty, according to the US census.

•••••

The official unemployment rate might be at record lows, but Safehouse Outreach says it's seeing an increase in the number of underemployed.
Nolan English runs the outreach program.
"At least 40% of the people we serve are working, they're holding down two to three jobs, have children, they may be trying to land on someone's couch, some live in abandoned buildings, in their cars, then they come here and they go on shift, they work," he said.

•••••

Across the US, people working for tips can often earn as little as $2.13 an hour and have to make up the rest in tips to meet the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
"They're not livable wages, they're little tokens they're throwing, they're crumbs from your table," English said.

•••••

More than 5 million Americans live in third world conditions also known as "absolute poverty," according to the report.
In Lowndes County, Alabama, the report found residents lacked basic sewage systems. Unable to afford a septic tank some people constructed their own homemade sewerage lines using PVC piping.
The UN study also found 19 out of 55 people tested in Alabama had hookworm. It's a disease typically found in developing countries, one that was thought to have been eradicated in the US in the 1980s.
While the issue is not new, the problem is becoming more dire under the Trump administration according to the UN.
It found Trump's policies seem "deliberately designed to remove the basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship."

•••••

Forty-six million Americans depend on food banks, which is 30% above 2007 levels, according to Feeding America.
"Even people who are working full time can't afford a decent living. They do need food stamps. They do need the sort of assistance that government can provide, but instead what we see is a constant cut back in all of those benefits by this administration," Alston said.

Global heat wave: an epic TV news fail


NPR didn't do any better. I don't remember them mentioning it, although they did report on the fires in Sweden, including inside the Arctic, but w/o mention of GW.
They are indebted to their big fossil fuel donors.



By Dawn Stover, July 19, 2018

This month’s scorching heat wave broke records around the world. The Algerian city of Ouargla, with a population of half a million, had a temperature of 124.3 degrees Fahrenheit on July 6, the hottest reliably measured temperature on record in Africa. In Ireland and Wales, the unusually hot weather revealed ancient structures normally hidden by grass or crops. In Chino, California, the mercury soared to 120 degrees. Another round of hazardous summer heat is expected this week, with record high temperatures possible in the southern United States.

The prolonged heat wave has been a staple of television news for weeks. However, most of the coverage has been sorely lacking in context: Humans are warming the planet, and scientists have already linked some heat waves to climate change. A recent analysis published in the journal Nature Climate Change concludes that human-driven climate change, rather than natural variability, will be the leading cause of heat waves over the western United States and Great Lakes region as early as the 2020s and 2030s, respectively.

Like the heat itself, much of the media coverage was stupefying. “Major broadcast TV networks overwhelmingly failed to report on the links between climate change and extreme heat,” according to a Media Matters survey. “Over a two-week period from late June to early July, ABC, CBS, and NBC aired a combined 127 segments or weathercasts that discussed the heat wave, but only one segment, on CBS This Morning, mentioned climate change.”

TV coverage would undoubtedly improve if weather forecasters were better informed about climate science. But four Republican senators with close ties to the fossil fuel industry are trying to eliminate government funding for a National Science Foundation designed to help forecasters (and by extension, the general public) “become more familiar with the science behind how their local weather and its trends are related to the dynamics of the climate.”

Links



The wildfires burning in southwest Oregon showed little signs of slowing Thursday morning, bringing declining air quality and evacuations.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a statewide wildfire emergency to make Oregon National Guard (ONG) troops and resources available. Fire teams are battling more than 100 wildfires from Crater Lake to the South Coast.
https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2018/07/19/southern-oregon-wildfires-evacuations-wimer-grants-pass-applegate-valley-hendrix-fire-grave-creek/800682002/


Brett Kavanaugh Is Polling Like Robert Bork And Harriet Miers
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/brett-kavanaugh-is-polling-like-robert-bork-and-harriet-miers/


Staff at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) organized for a new office desk to air out in a remote warehouse for a week so that former agency head Scott Pruitt wouldn’t have to breathe in any traces of the carcinogenic chemical formaldehyde from his furniture, emails obtained by Politico have revealed.
At the same time, Pruitt was refusing to more strictly regulate the chemical, despite sitting on a report that said it’s putting Americans at risk of leukemia and throat cancer.
Last month it emerged key figures in the EPA were suppressing an agency report, completed just before Donald Trump took office, that found that a majority of Americans inhale unacceptably high levels of formaldehyde vapor in the course of daily life, which puts them at risk of developing cancer of the blood, throat and nose. According to Politico, a trade group representing the businesses could face new regulations if the study were released had frequent access to EPA officials and successfully pressured them to refrain from publishing the report.
While EPA officials went to such lengths to ensure Pruitt’s safety, they have done nothing to regulate levels of formaldehyde, and continue to delay the report’s release. In states that don’t have specific regulations, it is still used in compressed wood, adhesives and other materials.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/19/scott-pruitt-formaldehyde-report


More than 400,000 people could be living in “modern slavery” in the US, a condition of servitude broadly defined in a new study as forced and state-imposed labor, sexual servitude and forced marriage.
The report estimates most victims of modern slavery live in Asia. North Korea has the highest prevalence of modern slavery globally, with one in 10 of the population, or 2.6 million people, victims of modern slavery.
A third, or 15 million, of victims of modern slavery enter through forced marriage, an issue that disproportionately affects women and girls. “Overall, the cultural practice of forced marriage places women at greater risk of exploitation, and the potential subjection to a life of servitude, financial bondage and sexual exploitation that comes with modern slavery,” the report said.
The report also argues the US figures are in themselves deceptive because the US exacerbates the global slavery problem by importing products, including laptops, computers, mobile phones, garments, fish, cocoa and timber, at risk of being produced through forced labor.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/19/us-modern-slavery-report-global-slavery-index

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Links



The Trump administration announced Wednesday that it is relaxing rules for the disposal of spent coal used to fuel hundreds of power plants nationwide.
The coal industry petitioned the Trump administration for the roll back, announced by Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler — a former lobbyist for the coal industry.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-s-epa-rolls-back-obama-era-coal-ash-regulations-n892586


An Alabama sheriff who once endorsed Roy Moore for U.S. Senate — and whose office helped investigate a fire at the home of one of Moore’s accusers — is now mired in his own scandal: Police are investigating him for allegedly having sex with underage girls in the early ’90s, according to AL.com.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sheriff-who-once-endorsed-roy-moore-accused-of-having-sex-with-underage-girls_us_5b4f6279e4b0de86f488eb64


Deaths from liver disease have risen sharply in the U.S., and doctors say the biggest factor is drinking —especially among young adults.
A study published Wednesday found a 65 percent increase in deaths from cirrhosis of the liver since 1999. The biggest increase is among millennials: the team found that deaths from cirrhosis are rising 10 percent a year among people aged 25 to 34.
People so young might not even realize that they can drink themselves to death so quickly, but they can, said liver specialist Dr. Haripriya Maddur of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
“Surprisingly, it only takes about 10 years of heavy drinking to actually lead to cirrhosis,” said Maddur, who was not involved in the study.
“From 1999 to 2016 in the U.S., annual deaths from cirrhosis increased by 65 percent, to 34,174, while annual deaths from hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) doubled to 11,073,” they wrote in their report, published in the British Medical Journal.
Earlier this week, the National Center for Health Statistics reported a 43 percent increase in death rates from liver cancer between 2000 and 2015. The increase made liver cancer the sixth-leading cause of cancer death in 2016, up from the ninth-leading cause in 2000.
One 2013 study found that even one drink a day raises a person’s risk of dying from cancer — not just liver cancer, but also breast cancer and cancers of the mouth and throat.
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/deaths-liver-disease-are-surging-drinking-blame-n892521


A 71-year-old man died after consuming "flesh-eating" bacteria on an oyster, Florida health officials confirmed Wednesday.
The Florida resident consumed the oyster, tainted with Vibrio vulnificus, at a restaurant on June 8, two days before he died of a gastro-intestinal illness, the Florida Department of Health told media.
https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Florida-man-dead-oyster-flesh-eating-bacteria-13086434.php

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Sweden Asks the European Union for Help as It Battles Nearly a Dozen Wildfires in the Arctic Circle
This year’s hot and dry summer has led to dozens of wildfires throughout Sweden, according to the Copernicus Earth observation program. The Nordic region has suffered from an intense heat wave in the last few days. In Finland, Norway and Sweden, temperatures have soared past 90 degrees Fahrenheit, CBS News reported.
At least 40 wildfires are burning in Sweden, particularly in the central and western parts of the country, according to Swedish broadcaster SVT.
“This is definitely the worst year in recent times for forest fires. Whilst we get them every year, 2018 is shaping up to be excessive,” Mike Peacock, a university researcher and local resident, told The Guardian.
The United States has also been hard hit by wildfires this year, particularly in the West. Colorado, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Oregon have seen their fair share of wildfires in recent weeks.
The Ferguson fire near Yosemite National Park is the latest blaze to strike California. The fire, which ignited on Friday, has already spread to 17,319 acres, CalFire reported.
https://www.newsweek.com/sweden-asks-european-union-help-it-battles-nearly-dozen-wildfires-arctic-1031773


Was Georgia’s Election System Hacked in 2016?
July 18, 2018
Robert Mueller’s latest indictments raise new questions about the integrity of Georgia’s voting infrastructure. Why is the state stonewalling?
“[It] appears that Kemp and the State Board prefer not to know [what may have happened on that server],” Marks told me. “Nor do they want plaintiffs to find out, as they are continuing to block all attempts at litigation discovery.”
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/18/mueller-indictments-georgia-voting-infrastructure-219018


Ahead of 2016 elections, some states rejected federal help to combat hackers
October 28, 2016
CBS News has found that 11 states - including the battlegrounds of New Hampshire and Michigan - have not accepted the Department of Homeland Security’s help to try and bolster the cyberdefenses of their voter registration systems.
The federal offer, which comes free of charge to state and local election agencies, includes services from remote “cyber hygiene” scans to on-site inspections. The services look for vulnerabilities within the voter registration system that hackers could exploit.
Experts said the largest danger is not whether hackers could change actual vote counts but instead that they could modify or delete registration rolls, disqualifying voters on Election Day.
Seven states have declined the offer outright: Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ahead-of-elections-states-reject-federal-help-to-combat-hackers/


This week, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos saw his net worth soar above $150 billion, giving him the most billions among all the billionaires on the billionaire lists. Bill Gates, in second place, is worth a modest $94 billion, according to Forbes. Bezos first appeared on Forbes’ list in 1998, with a $1.6 billion fortune.
The Amazon founder’s vast wealth is enough to buy several countries’ stock markets outright. Currently, for example, he could purchase every company listed in Ireland, another popular place for tech firms, and still have a few billion dollars left over.
https://qz.com/1330631/jeff-bezos-is-now-worth-150-billion-as-much-as-many-entire-stock-markets/


Seattle Repeals Tax On Big Business After Opposition From Amazon, Starbucks
Amazon, Starbucks and investment company Vulcan each paid $25,000 toward the referendum effort, KUOW reports. The No Tax on Jobs campaign raised $350,000.
The law passed in May was itself a watered-down version of the original plan, to tax companies $500 per employee. Amazon temporarily halted construction of a tower in downtown Seattle in opposition.
https://www.npr.org/2018/06/13/619444956/seattle-repeals-tax-on-big-business-after-opposition-from-amazon-starbucks

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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Trump chose Pence. If Trump is being influenced by Russia, they are encouraging Trump to select people who will at best sow discord in our country.


I have noticed it is sometimes taking several attempts to load a site. Other friends have mentioned similar problems. In my experience, these problems tend to be worse in bad weather, like the fires out west. Sometimes it happens right before they announce the discovery of a virus or other bug spreading on the internet.


“Forest bathing,” or immersing yourself in nature, is being embraced by doctors and others as a way to combat stress and improve health.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/12/well/take-a-walk-in-the-woods-doctors-orders.html


The White House eliminated the position of cybersecurity coordinator on the National Security Council on Tuesday, doing away with a post central to developing policy to defend against increasingly sophisticated digital attacks and the use of offensive cyber weapons.
A memorandum circulated by an aide to the new national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the post was no longer considered necessary because lower-level officials had already made cybersecurity issues a “core function” of the president’s national security team.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/15/technology/white-house-cybersecurity.html


What is the biggest myth about outer space? That there is no gravity in space.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2018/07/17/this-is-the-biggest-myth-about-outer-space-according-to-a-nasa-flight-controller/#76fadfa4712f


Liver cancer death rates jumped 43 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The research collected data from adults 25 and older in the United States from 2000 to 2016.
During this time, liver cancer rose from the ninth leading cause of cancer death in 2000 to the sixth leading cause of death by 2016.
According to Mayo Clinic, risk factors for liver cancer include chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus, as well as cirrhosis, inherited liver diseases and excessive alcohol consumption.
“Obesity is a big risk factor that often goes overlooked,” he added. Long-term obesity can cause fatty liver disease, one of the leading causes of liver damage, he said.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/sc-hlth-liver-cancer-death-rates-increase-20180717-story.html


The truth about ‘breakthrough’ drugs
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/07/17/the-truth-about-breakthrough-drugs/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b8570ee08065


A bad marriage with frequent conflicts could have a serious detrimental impact on your health, according to psychologists.
Veronica Lamarche, a professor of social psychology at the University of Essex who was not involved in the study, warned that these bodily responses to relationship conflict can cause long-term damage.
“There’s quite a bit of research linking relationship conflict to different types of physiological responses, such as increased release of stress hormones, inflammation, changes in appetite regulation, and immune functioning,” she said.
“It isn’t the case that a single fight in a relationship will irreparably harm your health, but frequent fighting over many years will take a toll – it’s important to work on communicating with each other effectively to help minimise conflict.”
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jul/16/a-bad-marriage-is-as-unhealthy-as-smoking-or-drinking-say-scientists

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