Sunday, August 17, 2025

Cookies



Blogger said I need to post a notice about cookies if theirs doesn't show up, to satisfy European laws. I don't see theirs on my page, maybe because of something to do with my page setup.
So here it is.
Blogger keeps cookies.
I might have apps that keep cookies, I don't know.
I do not personally keep cookies.


Monday, November 04, 2024

The structure of this blog



I have several blog posts that are at the top of my blog for extended periods of time, because I believe they are of continuing usefulness. So when you look at my blog, the fact that the first few are the same doesn't mean I haven't updated the blog recently.

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, April 05, 2019

Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers


I volunteer with Tax-Aide.

We can file your taxes, but the IRS cannot send out tax refunds until the partial government shutdown is over.


See the following link for information on VITA, TCE, and Tax-Aide sites, and what info you need to bring with you.
Tax-Aide has the fewest restrictions on who can be served by the program.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-you-by-volunteers

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Trump reelection campaign shifted $1.3 million of donor money into his businesses: analysis

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/435221-trump-reelection-campaign-shifted-13-million-of-donor-money-into-his?fbclid=IwAR10Fz3_mVI0B6CSRhoFqc7-DG3xcsWm8TrvvQP542Zs6HUtUpmFgdO3AP8

By Aris Folley - 03/21/19 07:04 PM EDT

Documentation filed by the president’s reelection campaign and reviewed by the business publication revealed that the campaign spent $1.3 million at Trump businesses for rent, food, lodging and other expenses since he took office in 2016.

That includes $800,000 the campaign has paid to Trump Tower Commercial LLC, which is the holding company through which the president reportedly holds interest in the Trump Tower located on Fifth Avenue, and $54,000 to Trump Plaza LLC, which controls property that includes two apartment buildings in New York City, according to the analysis.

Each those payments have been listed as “rent” in documentation filed by the president’s campaign, Forbes reports.

The 2020 effort has also reportedly paid $60,000 to Trump Restaurants LLC, which is another holding company linked to Trump Tower.

•••••

National Cathedral says Trump didn't need to give 'approval' for McCain funeral

https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/435152-national-cathedral-says-trump-didnt-need-to-give-approval-for?fbclid=IwAR1xi-8rqjLBYOa3PrAQ7NFCFMIpt2V0WaPRKhEnEuTXBfJOJUS73VCrQko

By Rachel Frazin - 03/21/19 02:33 PM EDT

The Washington National Cathedral disputed President Trump's claim that he had to "approve" the funeral of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

"Washington National Cathedral was honored to host the funeral service for Senator John McCain. All funerals and memorial services at the Cathedral are organized by the family of the deceased; only a state funeral for a former president involves consultation with government officials," a cathedral spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill on Thursday.

"No funeral at the Cathedral requires the approval of the president or any other government official," he added.

President Trump said on Wednesday in Ohio that he gave McCain "the kind of funeral that he wanted."

“I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president, I had to approve,” he told a crowd at an Ohio event. “I don’t care about this, I didn’t get 'thank you.' That’s OK. We sent him on the way, but I wasn’t a fan of John McCain.”

•••••

Monday, March 18, 2019

China says it has arrested 13,000 'terrorists' in Xinjiang


Conditions must be bad in China if they feel they have to detain so many people.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/18/china-says-it-has-arrested-13000-terrorists-in-xinjiang

Lily Kuo in Beijing
Mon 18 Mar 2019 07.10 EDT
Last modified on Mon 18 Mar 2019 13.07 EDT

China has claimed to have arrested 13,000 “terrorists” in Xinjiang over the last five years, as it launched an aggressive propaganda campaign in defence of its restrictive measures in the far-western region.

Human rights advocates and researchers believe more than 1 million Muslims – mostly Uighurs as well as Kazakhs and other groups – are being systematically imprisoned in internment camps where they are forced to undergo political re-education.

•••••

China’s accounts contrast sharply with satellite imagery that shows prison-like facilities surrounded by barbed wire and watchtowers, and testimonies by former and current residents, as well as ex-detainees of the camps.

James Leibold, an associate professor at La Trobe University focusing on ethnic relations, said: “It’s about competing imagery and competing narrative, and if you can saturate the marketplace with your narrative and your images it can be accepted as truth. They’ve really gone into overdrive.”

•••••

White supremacy is on the march, and Trump is at least partly to blame


Trump lovers attribute any good news to him. So if he is responsible for everything good that has happened on his watch, he must also be responsible for things like this.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/18/white-supremacy-donald-trump-christchurch-shooting

Mon 18 Mar 2019 11.10 EDT
Last modified on Mon 18 Mar 2019 13.21 EDT

Last Friday, after the horrific news had broken that a racist gunman had killed 50 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, a reporter at the White House asked Donald Trump if he believed that white nationalism was a growing threat around the world. “I don’t, really,” Trump responded. “I think it’s a small group of people.”

•••••

Well, Trump can deny, Conway can deflect and Mulvaney can repeat his line as often as he likes, but the president’s record speaks louder – much louder – than any of their words. Trump may try to evade the issue, but the fact remains that a dangerous and global white supremacy is on the march, and Trump himself is at least partly to blame.

Consider how, in January 2017, a man stormed a mosque in Quebec City and shot six people dead while they prayed. An ardent Trump supporter, the man said he was afraid that refugees coming to Canada were a threat to him and his family.

The New Zealand shooter scrawled the Quebec City shooter’s name on one of his ammunition cartridges. The New Zealand shooter also directly applauded Trump in his own manifesto. “Were/Are you a supporter of Donald Trump,” the document asks (the two different verb tenses are there presumably because the shooter didn’t know if he would survive his own terrorist attack). “As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure,” he writes. “As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no.” (Because the shooter questioned Trump’s ability to formulate policy doesn’t absolve Trump of anything. It should be clear to anyone that Trump infinitely prefers to play to his base than to govern effectively.)

In fact, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), far-right attacks in Europe have jumped 43% between 2016 and 2017. On the domestic front, the rise is even more disturbing. According to CSIS, the number of terrorist attacks by far-right perpetrators in the United States more than quadrupled between 2016 and 2017.

The intimate connections between the president and white nationalists are well known. I doubt anyone needs to be reminded that the president refused to condemn the white nationalists who marched through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, screaming such disgusting nonsense as “Jews will not replace us.”

•••••

Who can forget that this is the president who stated “I think Islam hates us” during a 2015 CNN interview while on the campaign trail? And who exactly is the “us” in his statement? Using few words, Trump was able to repeat a blatant falsehood about Islam and foment needless and dangerous divisions between peoples. Talk of a Muslim ban (now in effect and routinely tearing families apart) followed, signaling to white nationalists everywhere that Muslims can and ought to be treated differently than everyone else simply for being Muslim. The number of organized anti-Muslim hate groups nearly tripled in 2017, a rise that the Southern Poverty Law Center credited in part to the “incendiary rhetoric” of Trump.

•••••

Would anyone then be shocked to learn that hate crimes generally have risen precipitously since Trump appeared on the national political stage? Nationwide, hate crimes across the board rose by 17% in 2017, according to FBI statistics, the third year in a row to see an uptick (2018 numbers are not yet available).

Listing all the winks and nods (and well-paying jobs) that Trump has given to avowed racists would take far too long and be far too depressing an undertaking.

•••••

The president – any president – sets the national tone for what is permissible speech and impermissible speech in the political arena. Trump, on the other hand, merely revels in the impermissible.

•••••

I often wonder just how stupid these politicians and their cronies think we are (and just as often marvel at how stupid we all too frequently are). Trump, Conway and Mulvaney can deflect, distract and divide us as much as possible, but none of their words can erase the fact that the president is unambiguously connected to this far-right political violence that is sometimes performed with him directly in mind. Let me be clear. Trump is not criminally responsible for these acts. That would be a ludicrous idea. But he is politically responsible, and understanding that distinction will be the first step to rejuvenating our politics.

Myspace loses all content uploaded before 2016


Glad I have my music in more than one place.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/mar/18/myspace-loses-all-content-uploaded-before-2016

Alex Hern
Mon 18 Mar 2019 11.33 EDT
Last modified on Mon 18 Mar 2019 12.17 EDT

Myspace, the once mighty social network, has lost every single piece of content uploaded to its site before 2016, including millions of songs, photos and videos with no other home on the internet.

The company is blaming a faulty server migration for the mass deletion, which appears to have happened more than a year ago, when the first reports appeared of users unable to access older content. The company has confirmed to online archivists that music has been lost permanently, dashing hopes that a backup could be used to permanently protect the collection for future generations.

More than 50m tracks from 14 million artists have been lost, including songs that led to the rise of the “Myspace Generation” cohort of artists, such as Lily Allen, Arctic Monkeys and Yeasayer. As well as music, the site has also accidentally deleted pictures and videos stored on its servers.

Even though many users had deserted Myspace by the end of the noughties for newer social networks such as Facebook, the site retained a significant user base well into this decade as musicians had cultivated their fan followings on it. A disastrous relaunch in 2013 led to most bands having to rebuild their communities from scratch.

That relaunch also cleared much of the text content on the site, including “wall posts” between users. But music and images were left up, in the hope that they could be the building blocks for a music-focused second life that never came.

•••••

Harvard researchers say soda and sports drinks increase risk of dying from heart disease and breast and colon cancers

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/18/harvard-researchers-say-soda-sports-drinks-increase-risk-of-dying.html

Angelica LaVito
Mar. 18,2019

Drinking soda, sports drinks and other sugary beverages increases the risk of dying from heart disease and some types of cancers, according to new research.

Harvard researchers found that the more sweetened beverages a person drank, the greater their risk of dying from heart disease. In a study published Monday in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, they also found sugary drinks were associated with a moderately higher risk of dying from breast cancer or colon cancer.

Drinking artificially sweetened drinks did not produce the same effects. However, women who drank more than four diet beverages per day died at a higher rate than other groups, particularly from heart disease. Lead author Vasanti Malik warned that this statistic might be inflated because people could have switched from drinking regular soda.

Researchers also found that swapping sugary drinks for diet versions could moderately reduce a person’s risk of death, though they still recommend that people drink water. The study adds to a growing body of research suggesting that sugary drinks can cause people to gain weight and possibly lead to a slew of health conditions, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

•••••

Researchers found that for every additional sugary drink a person consumed, their risk of dying from heart disease increased by 10 percent. Malik said while the optimal amount of sweet drinks a person should drink is “zero,” the risk of drinking one or two per week would probably be small or undetectable.

•••••

What Kind of World

What Kind of World
© copyright 2016 Patricia M. Shannon

(chorus)
What kind of world do we want to leave the future?
What will they say about us when we are gone?
Will they thank us? Will they curse us?
Will there be anybody left to care at all?
Will they thank us? Or will they curse us?
Will there be anybody left to care at all?
Will there be anybody left to care at all?

(verse1)
We have learned much, risen from the muck.
Will we throw it all away?
We could continue on so far, maybe even to the stars,
if we don't throw it all away, if we don't throw it all away.

(chorus)

(verse 2)
When we take a stand, we can heal the land,
if we work together now.
We could get power from the sun, prevent our own extinction,
if we would work together now,
if we just work together now.

(chorus)

(verse 3)

[Wrote this verse the evening of Sept. 12, 2017, the day after tropical storm, formerly super hurricane Irma, came thru the metro Atlanta area.]

We've known a long time we're committing a grave crime
if we refuse to change our ways.
Now the time has come to pay: drowning, burning, blown away.
Because we wouldn't change our ways.
We just refused to change our ways.




Beira city '90 percent destroyed' by Cyclone Idai, hundreds dead


I feel sorrow for the victims of cyclone Idai

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/cyclone-idai-death-toll-215-beira-city-90-percent-destroyed-190318101752250.html

Mar. 18,2019

President Filipe Nyusi feared the death toll could rise to 1,000 in Mozambique in the wake of Cyclone Idai he said in a nationwide address on Monday.

"For the moment we have registered 84 deaths officially, but when we flew over the area ... this morning to understand what's going on, everything indicates that we could register more than 1,000 deaths," he said.

So far the total death toll has risen to at least 215 after the storm tore into central Mozambique last week before continuing on to Zimbabwe and Malawi, bringing flash floods and ferocious winds.

At least 126 people were killed in Mozambique and Malawi, according to the Red Cross, and Zimbabwe's information ministry on Monday put the number of dead at 89 in the country.

Most of the deaths in Mozambique happened in the central port city of Beira, 90 percent of which was destroyed, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

A large dam burst on Sunday in the city, cutting off the last road to the city of about 530,000 people, the IFRC said in a statement.

"The scale of damage caused by Cyclone Idai that hit the Mozambican city of Beira is massive and horrifying," it said.

•••••

tags: extreme weather, severe weather

The Rapid Decline Of The Natural World Is A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Change


Of course, climate change is contributing to the decline of the natural world, and vice versa.




By John Vidal
03/15/2019 05:45 am ET Updated 3/17/2019


Nature is in freefall and the planet’s support systems are so stretched that we face widespread species extinctions and mass human migration unless urgent action is taken. That’s the warning hundreds of scientists are preparing to give, and it’s stark.

The last year has seen a slew of brutal and terrifying warnings about the threat climate change poses to life. Far less talked about but just as dangerous, if not more so, is the rapid decline of the natural world. The felling of forests, the over-exploitation of seas and soils, and the pollution of air and water are together driving the living world to the brink, according to a huge three-year, U.N.-backed landmark study to be published in May.

The study from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform On Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), expected to run to over 8,000 pages, is being compiled by more than 500 experts in 50 countries. It is the greatest attempt yet to assess the state of life on Earth and will show how tens of thousands of species are at high risk of extinction, how countries are using nature at a rate that far exceeds its ability to renew itself, and how nature’s ability to contribute food and fresh water to a growing human population is being compromised in every region on earth.

Nature underpins all economies with the “free” services it provides in the form of clean water, air and the pollination of all major human food crops by bees and insects. In the Americas, this is said to total more than $24 trillion a year. The pollination of crops globally by bees and other animals alone is worth up to $577 billion.

The final report will be handed to world leaders not just to help politicians, businesses and the public become more aware of the trends shaping life on Earth, but also to show them how to better protect nature.

•••••

Around the world, land is being deforested, cleared and destroyed with catastrophic implications for wildlife and people. Forests are being felled across Malaysia, Indonesia and West Africa to give the world the palm oil we need for snacks and cosmetics. Huge swaths of Brazilian rainforest are being cleared to make way for soy plantations and cattle farms, and to feed the timber industry, a situation likely to accelerate under new leader Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist.

•••••

Industrial farming is to blame for much of the loss of nature, said Mark Rounsevell, professor of land use change at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, who co-chaired the European section of the IPBES study. “The food system is the root of the problem. The cost of ecological degradation is not considered in the price we pay for food, yet we are still subsidizing fisheries and agriculture.”

This destruction wrought by farming threatens the foundations of our food system. A February report from the U.N. warned that the loss of soil, plants, trees and pollinators such as birds, bats and bees undermines the world’s ability to produce food.

An obsession with economic growth as well as spiraling human populations is also driving this destruction, particularly in the Americas where GDP is expected to nearly double by 2050 and the population is expected to increase 20 percent to 1.2 billion over the same period.

•••••

“The loss of trees, grasslands and wetlands is costing the equivalent of about 10 percent of the world’s annual gross product, driving species extinctions, intensifying climate change and pushing the planet toward a sixth mass species extinction,” says the report.

•••••

While people are familiar with the threats to whales, elephants and other beloved animals, the problem goes far deeper than that. Animal populations have declined by 60 percent since 1970, driven by human actions, according to a recent World Wildlife Fund study.

And insects, vital to the diets of other animals, as well as the pollinators of our food, are facing a bleak future as populations appear to be collapsing. Land use changes and increased pesticide use are destroying habitats and vastly reducing numbers. In Europe, up to 37 percent of bees and 31 percent of butterflies are in decline, with major losses also recorded in southern Africa, according to the pollinators section of the report.

•••••

This destruction is also driving mass human migration and increased conflict. Decreasing land productivity makes societies more vulnerable to social instability, says the report, which estimates that in around 30 years’ time land degradation, together with the closely related problems of climate change, will have forced 50 to 700 million people to migrate.

“It will just be no longer viable to live on those lands,” said Watson.

•••••

What surprised me the most about this study was that it became clear that the older cultures, like the indigenous peoples of the Americas, have different values which protect nature better [than Western societies],” said Watson. “No one should romanticize indigenous peoples, and we cannot turn the clock back, but we can learn a lot from them on how to protect the planet.”

Indigenous people, however, continue to experience discrimination, threats and murder. In Brazil, for example, Bolsonaro’s election has cemented a pro-corporate, anti-indigenous agenda that has already started to undermine the rights of the country’s native communities.

•••••

Public awareness of the crisis is also growing, with new social movements setting up to put pressure on governments to act urgently. The Extinction Rebellion movement, which began in London in October, argues that we face an unprecedented emergency. Backed by academics, scientists, church leaders and others, including Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky and Vandana Shiva, it claims to have spread to 35 countries in its first two months.

•••••

Public awareness of the crisis is also growing, with new social movements setting up to put pressure on governments to act urgently. The Extinction Rebellion movement, which began in London in October, argues that we face an unprecedented emergency. Backed by academics, scientists, church leaders and others, including Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky and Vandana Shiva, it claims to have spread to 35 countries in its first two months.

Wasting water



Mar. 18, 2019

A simple thing we can do for a healthier environment is stop wasting water. I see people who supposedly care about the environment letting the water run to rinse dishes as they are washing them. If you want to use running water to rinse dishes, it is extremely easy to wash a sinkful with the water off, then rinse them all at once. And much less water can be used if you are rinsing more than a few by rinsing them in a pan of water, instead of running water.

A couple of days ago, I saw someone scrubbing paint off their hands under running water. The paint removal was done with a scrubber. The running water did not contribute. It would have been easy to wet his hands, turn off the water, scrub, then turn on the water to rinse.

We need to be in the habit of not wasting water whether or not we are having a water shortage. Purifying water takes energy and resources, and creates pollution. Materials needed for the purification are mined somewhere.

He Worked In College Admissions And Had To Admit A Bunch Of Mediocre Rich Kids

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/anonymousadmissions/college-admissions-scam-felicity-huffman-lori-loughlin-ivy

Ben Kothe / BuzzFeed News

•••••

I saw firsthand how colleges and well-intentioned parents alike can play a crucial role in perpetuating inequity in higher education by prioritizing the acceptance of white, wealthy, and male students to meet their bottom line. The real scourge of higher education isn’t affirmative action, but wealthy families who will pay any price to prioritize their own children and keep their family’s elite status alive.

•••••

It isn’t news that the wealthy hold undue influence over the college admissions process. ProPublica editor Daniel Golden wrote a book about it all the way back in 2006’s The Price of Admission (which included details about Jared Kushner’s curious acceptance into Harvard). And yet the members of my wealthy, majority-white town, and the parents of kids from other wealthy, majority-white towns I visited as an admissions counselor, were far more worried about race-conscious affirmative action policies that aim to increase the numbers of underrepresented races in college student bodies.

•••••

I knew that college admissions was a messy business. I knew that, even though we claimed to value diversity and offered millions of dollars in financial aid every year, that there were far more white guys wearing salmon shorts on my campus than there are in the general American population. But it wasn’t until I saw hundreds of applications cross my desk that I realized how much the deck is stacked against poor students, particularly poor students of color.

•••••

The more applications stacked up on my desk, the shorter the bitter-cold winter days got, and the grumpier and more gossipy everybody in the office became, it became clearer and clearer to me that the admissions gold mine was a male student who didn’t need any financial aid. I saw so many of them. Some were actually good and deserving students. But others fit a similarly bleak profile: students with mediocre grades from fancy private schools, with a year of postgrad at prep school to make their GPAs less frightful-looking. Hockey recruits. Lacrosse recruits. Basketball recruits. If these were full-pay kids, they were more likely than not to be admitted. Even though I scored them accurately and fairly according to our guidelines, and even when I wrote scathing rejection notes, I knew in my gut that most of them were going to get in anyway, the same way I knew that some of the poorer students for whom I fiercely advocated were not. It all came down to the limited number of spots for students who need financial aid. If a student could pay full tuition, he was immediately more desirable. (Even though we were specifically looking to beef up the number of men admitted, full-pay, mediocre white girls could sometimes skate by too.)

•••••

3 cities in the U.S. have ended chronic homelessness: Here’s how they did it



By Adele Peters
Mar. 11, 2019

In late February, the city of Abilene, Texas, made an announcement: It had ended local veteran homelessness. It was the first community in the state and the ninth in the country to reach that goal, as part of a national program called Built for Zero. Now, through the same program, Abilene is working to end chronic homelessness. While homelessness might often be seen as an intractable problem because of its complexity–or one that costs more to solve than communities can afford–the program is proving that is not the case.

“By ending homelessness, we mean getting to a place where it’s rare, brief, and it gets solved correctly and quickly when it does happen,” says Rosanne Haggerty, president of Community Solutions, the nonprofit that leads the Built for Zero program. “That’s a completely achievable end state, we now see.” The nonprofit, which calls this goal “functional zero,” announced today that it is accelerating its work in 50 communities.

•••••

One key to the process is data, and a visual dashboard that lets agencies track people experiencing homelessness in real time. In Abilene, with a population a little more than 120,000, for example, the city located every homeless veteran, gathered information about each individual situation, and stored this information in a “by-name list” that was continually updated. “It basically just forced us to continuously look to change improvements to our system, and how to use real-time data to improve our performance,” says John Meier, the program manager for supportive services for veteran families for the West Central Texas Regional Foundation.

•••••

Continuing to use real-time data helps the county identify new problems that are emerging; right now, for example, they’re seeing an uptick in both young people and seniors who are homeless. “The data is so important because by the time you know it’s a problem, it’s too late,” says Julia Orlando, director of the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Service Center. “So if you can start seeing trends before it’s a really bad problem, you can start adjusting your policies or trying to get additional services in your facility to try to address that.” For example, they can now start planning to add skilled nursing care to their shelter and searching for different types of grants to support eldercare.

•••••

To date, nine communities have reached the goal of “functional zero” for veteran homelessness, and three communities have reached the goal for chronic homelessness. Another 39 have made measurable progress toward those goals by gathering meaningful data.

•••••

Dead whale found with 40 kilograms of plastic bags in its stomach



By Matthew Robinson, CNN
Updated 8:55 AM ET, Mon March 18, 2019

A young whale whose carcass washed up in the Philippines died of "dehydration and starvation" after consuming 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of plastic bags, scientists have found.
Marine biologist and environmentalist Darrell Blatchley told CNN that the juvenile male Cuvier's beaked whale was found "showing signs of being emaciated and dehydration" and had been "vomiting blood before it died."

•••••

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Ruthless cartel violence drives a wave of Mexican asylum seekers

https://www.desertsun.com/in-depth/news/2019/02/27/guerrero-family-seeking-asylum-from-mexican-drug-cartel-violence-chilapa/2280726002/

By Rebecca Plevin and Omar Ornelas | Reporting from Chilapa de Álvarez, Mexico
Feb. 27, 2019

•••••

For decades, people like Alfredo and his siblings have left Guerrero, one of the poorest states in Mexico, mainly for economic reasons. The mostly low-skilled migrants labored in fields in California, or in restaurants in New York, without authorization, and sent money home to their families. But the number of unauthorized migrants from Mexico apprehended at the southwest border has been steadily declining since 2004 and flattened since 2014, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The improving Mexican economy, enhanced U.S. immigration enforcement and a long-term drop in Mexico’s birth rate all contributed to the change, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C., focused on immigration.

But a different Mexican migration pattern is emerging as homicides reached a record 33,341 in 2018 and as more than 37,000 people remain missing amid the country’s extended drug war. The violence is particularly intense in the southwestern states of Guerrero and Michoacán, two of five Mexican states the U.S. government says Americans should not travel to due to crime. In recent years, people have been fleeing Guerrero and Michoacán not only to improve their lives, but to save their lives.

•••••

Today, there are military checkpoints along the highway into and out of Chilapa. Soldiers with combat helmets and guns slung across their chests guard Chilapa’s zócalo. Yet the rival groups continue firing at each other in the streets. They kidnap people and demand ransoms.

They also engage in more covert terrorism. The groups extort people who own stores and small stands in the markets. Business owners must pay the weekly fee or face consequences. The groups post hit lists on social media sites like Facebook and WhatsApp. They identify people by their names or nicknames and use crude language and slang to threaten them.

•••••

In Guerrero, he said, people believe that some police collaborate with the criminal groups, and worry that if they serve as witnesses or report a crime, the groups will retaliate. In February 2019, four municipal police officers from Chilapa were arrested for working with Los Rojos.

The fear of retribution is so entrenched, people typically don’t speak the names of the groups suspected of crimes, even when discussing violent incidents.

•••••

The violence spurred by the extended drug war, combined with the widespread mistrust and fear of Mexican authorities, and the lack of justice in the country, are major reasons people flee Mexico, said Everard Meade, a professor at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, who often serves as an expert witness in Mexican asylum cases.

“I haven’t done an asylum case in the past couple years where the risk and the threats people face for reporting (crimes) wasn’t part of the persecution,” Meade said. Impunity, he said, is “at the core of what people are fleeing.”

•••••

Another 43 lots of medication used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure recalled

http://www.wafb.com/2019/03/16/another-lots-medication-used-treat-high-blood-pressure-congestive-heart-failure-recalled/

By Kevin Foster | March 16, 2019 at 6:45 PM CDT - Updated March 17 at 11:07 AM

Legacy Pharmaceutical Packaging is voluntarily recalling 43 lots of medication used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. The news is the latest in a series of medication recalls announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiated due to the potential presence of cancer causing impurities.

In two different recalls announced Friday Mar. 15, the company said it’s falling in line with two other pharmaceutical companies, Camber Pharmaceuticals and Torrent Pharmaceuticals, which recalled medications after detecting trace amounts of N-Nitroso N-Methyl 4-amino butyric acid (NMBA). The tablets were made by Hetero Labs Limited.

NMBA is the second potential threat to result in a recall. The other potential threat, NDEA, led to several recalls of losartan, valsartan and irbesartan.

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