Politics


Russia says it has IRREFUTABLE evidence that actors staged the chemical attack in Syria

14th April 2018

RUSSIA has evidence that foreign actors staged the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Mr Lavrov said in a press conference on Friday: “We have irrefutable evidence that this was yet another performance and that security services of a country which is trying to be in the frontlines of the Russophobic campaign were involved in this performance.”

He announced that Russian experts had examined the site of the alleged attack in the city, and found no trace of chemical weapons.

But Mr Lavrov failed to mention the country he alleges is spearheading a Russo-phobic campaign with the “fabrication”.

The foreign minister’s comments come after the US and several of its allies accused Damascus of using chemical gas during an offensive in Douma, killing up to 70 people.

US President Donald Trump also accused Russia and Iran of aiding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and promised to make a decision within 48 hours on his response to the alleged chemical weapons attack, threatening to launch “nice and new” missiles at Syria.

According to the foreign minister, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) experts left to Syria “not very quickly, without excessive enthusiasm” and only under pressure from Russia and Syria.

And in a press conference on Friday, Russia’s UK Ambassador, Alexander Yakovenko claimed the UK-funded White Helmets are “famous for staging attacks” in Syria.

He said:”Syrian authorities were immediately blamed for the so-called attack, no proof was presented and no questions were asked.

“I think the conclusions were based on social media. Russian services for security visited the incident and didn’t find any kind of substances there, no traces of chemical poisoning were found in local hospitals.

“We are interested in meeting experts there to carry out necessary tests.”

He added: “At the request of the Syrian government, OPCW experts will be on ground tomorrow. We would like them to visit the place of the alleged incident and take samples, not just studying social media images and stories.”

The foreign minister has accused a state of spearheading a Russo-phobic attack
Prime Minister Theresa May has said it is highly likely that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government was responsible for the attack.

Mrs May said on Wednesday: “All the indications are that the Syrian regime was responsible…”

 

 

 

source/read more; https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/945645/russia-syria-chemical-attack-usa-actors-staged

Los Angeles painting city streets white in bid to combat climate change

11th april 2018

California officials are hoping their latest attempt to stem the rising tides of climate change leads to a more socially conscious — and cooler — summer.

Officials in Los Angeles have been painting streets white to reduce the effect of urban “heat islands” and combat the effects of climate change.

The LA Street Services began rolling out the project last May, which preliminary testing shows has reduced the temperature of roadways by up to 10 degrees. The project involves applying a light gray coating of the product CoolSeal, made by the company GuardTop.

“CoolSeal is applied like conventional sealcoats to asphalt surfaces to protect and maintain the quality and longevity of the surface,” according to the company website. “While most cool pavements on the market are polymer based, CoolSeal is a water-based, asphalt emulsion.”

While each coasting could can last up to seven years, they are also pricey, with the estimated cost of $40,000 per mile, the L.A. Daily News reported.

CoolSeal does pass the California skid test in addition to the slip test for wet traction, and is applied in two coats, each 50 microns thick, over an asphalt roadway or a slurry-sealed asphalt roadway, according to the streets department.

By reducing the temperature of the city streets, officials say it can help reduce temperatures in the neighborhoods where the sealant is applied.

With its numerous streets and freeways, Los Angeles suffers from the “heat island” effect, which causes urban regions to become warmer than their rural surroundings, forming an “island” of higher temperatures.

“Heat islands occur on the surface and in the atmosphere,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency. “On a hot, sunny summer day, the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50–90°F hotter than the air1, while shaded or moist surfaces—often in more rural surroundings—remain close to air temperatures.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who may make a run for president in 2020, has used the project as part of an overall plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city by 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2025.

 

 

 

source/read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/04/10/los-angeles-painting-city-streets-white-in-bid-to-combat-climate-change.html

Trump privately presses for U.S. military to pay for border wall

29th March 2018

President Donald Trump, who repeatedly insisted during the 2016 campaign that Mexico would pay for a wall along the southern border, is privately pushing the U.S. military to fund construction of his signature project.

Trump has told advisers that he was spurned in a large spending bill last week when lawmakers appropriated only $1.6 billion for the border wall. He has suggested to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and congressional leaders that the Pentagon could fund the sprawling project, citing a “national security” risk.

After floating the notion to several advisers last week, Trump told House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that the military should pay for the wall, according to three people familiar with the meeting last Wednesday in the White House residence. Ryan offered little reaction to the idea, these people said, but senior Capitol Hill officials later said it was an unlikely prospect.

Trump’s pursuit of defense dollars to finance the U.S.-Mexico border wall underscores his determination to fulfill a campaign promise and build the barrier despite resistance in the Republican-led Congress. The administration’s last-minute negotiations with lawmakers to secure billions more for the wall failed, and Trump grudgingly signed the spending bill Friday after a short-lived veto threat.

Four days later, Trump continued to express regret over signing the $1.3 trillion package, which funded the government and averted a shutdown, saying it was a mistake and he should have followed his instincts.

In another interaction with senior aides last week, Trump noted that the Defense Department was getting so much money as part of the spending bill that the Pentagon could surely afford the border wall, two White House officials said. The Pentagon received about $700 billion in the spending package, which Trump repeatedly lauded as “historic.”

 

 

source/read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-military-pay-border-wall-20180327-story.html

David Hogg Admits He Was at Home During Parkland Shooting

27th March 2018

In a recently leaked excerpt of a CBS documentary, David Hogg admits he was at home during the Parkland shooting.

According to a breaking report by The Columbian Post, Hogg states “On the day of the shooting, I got my camera and got on my bike and rode as fast as I could three miles from my house to the school to get as much video and to get as many interviews as I could because I knew that this could not be another mass shooting.”

Hogg makes no mention of why he was not at school, or how he heard about the shooting, and the interviewer never questions either of these details.

 

 

 

 

 

source/read more: https://squawker.org/politics/exposed-david-hogg-admits-he-was-at-home-during-parkland-shooting/

More than half of US adults say legal gun owners actually make the country a safer place

25th March 2018

Nearly six in 10 American adults believe citizen gun ownership does more to improve public safety because it allows law-abiding people to protect themselves in case of danger, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Friday.

The March 10-14 survey found 58 percent of people think legal gun owners help make the country a safer place compared to 38 percent who think the chance for accidental misuse of firearms is connected to more people having them.

Over the past two decades since the 1999 Columbine massacre, the public’s beliefs on gun ownership and safety have dramatically changed.

 

source/read more;  https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/more-than-half-of-us-adults-say-legal-gun-owners-actually-make-the-country-a-safer-place-poll

Florida school shooting: Students now required to wear clear backpacks

24th March 2018

Broward County School Superintendent Robert Runcie informed students from MS Douglas High School they would be required to wear clear backpacks as part of a number of safety measures set to be implemented across the district.

Superintendent Runcie sent a letter to families on Wednesday outlining the security measures, following the shooting where 17 people were killed at the Parkland school on February 14.

The security measures for MS Douglas High School included student identification badges, extra security and the potential for the introduction metal detectors at the entrance of the school.

“While we cannot change the heartbreaking and senseless act of violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, by working together, we can change the future,” Superintendent Runcie wrote in the letter to families in the district.

All students deserve safe schools. We are proud of our students’ determination to effect positive change in this country – and for the incredible support from the Broward community and across the country.”

MS Douglas High School had another incident on Wednesday after two students were charged with bringing weapons onto campus, according to CNN.

Despite the incident, many students are preparing for their trip to Washington for March for Our Lives on Saturday.

 

source/read more; https://www.sbs.com.au/news/florida-school-shooting-students-now-required-to-wear-clear-backpacks

Democrats Are 3 Times More Likely to Unfriend You on Social Media, Survey Says

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Is anyone actually surprised at this point?

 

11March 2018

This year’s bitter presidential election has caused a rift in online relationships. According to a new survey, 13% of Americans reported blocking or unfriending a “friend” on social media because of their political postings

But the results of the study, carried out by the non-partisan Public Religion Research Institute, show the impulse to block varies widely based on gender and political leanings.

The study shows Democrats were almost three times more likely than Republicans (24% vs. 9%) to have unfriended someone after the election. A similar disparity turned up for self-identified liberals versus conservatives (28% vs. 8%). Meanwhile, only 9% of independents reportedly booted someone out of their online social circles because of politics.

The survey also identified “Democratic women” as the most likely of all groups to block someone on social media…

 

 

 

source: http://fortune.com/2016/12/19/social-media-election/

 

Should people with ‘addictions’ be euthanased?

Do you believe in Euthanasia? Is it ok for the elderly? The chronically ill? The people in depressive and emotional pain? Recently cases regarding decisions to die have been in the news as the Netherlands passed a law to allow people who are depressed and seemingly cannot recover to end their lives. What do you think of that?

What do you think when it is extended to someone who has an addiction to a substance? Is it the same? –TMN

 

10th March 2018

For all those who don’t think that the “slippery slope” argument is valid, just consider this. In Belgium and the Netherlands, the category of “addiction” is now valid grounds for euthanasia. And tragically, this has already started to occur.

As recently as 2016, a man named Mark Langedijk, who suffered from chronic alcoholism, was granted permission to be euthanased. This is how the heart-breaking scene of his death was described by The Independent:

On the day of his death, he “laughed, drank, smoked, ate ham and cheese sandwiches and soup with meatballs” until his doctor arrived at his parents’ home at 3.15pm.

His doctor explained the procedure, before telling Mr Landedijk to get into bed and to stay calm.

At this point, they all “started crying, my parents, everyone actually, even Mark”.

“We cried, told each other that we loved each other, that it would be all right, that we would care for each other, that we would see each other again, we held each other,” he said. “If it was not so terrible, it would have been nice.

“Mark’s eyes turned away, he sighed deeply. His last. Dr Marijke injected the third syringe. His face changed, lost color. My little brother was dead.”

Wayne Hall, Centre of Youth Substance Abuse Research, UQ, and Malcolm Parker, Emeritus Professor of Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, UQ, have written that cases like these are far from being exceptions. They are instead, part of an international trend in relaxing euthanasia laws. As they explain:

The range of medical conditions for which patients can request euthanasia has expanded over time. It now includes not just terminal or degenerative illnesses but any condition that, in the patient’s view, produces unrelieved, intolerable suffering. The grounds for euthanasia in these countries have been taken recently to include intractable depression, chronic forms of addiction, autism and personality disorders and people who do not claim to have any disorder but are simply ‘tired of living’ and want to die.

For their part, Hall and Parker state that their “aims in considering this case are not to argue for or against euthanasia” but to “prompt discussion of this issue within the field of addiction” and “to identify important issues that need to be considered by physicians”.

Against the popular scholarly consensus, Hall and Parker challenge the “disease model” for understanding addiction. They have to do this because, as they themselves acknowledge, “…we recognise that chronic alcohol and other drug use can produce illnesses that may reduce capacity, such as severe depression or cognitive impairment.” What they suggest is their own ‘Twelve-Step Program’, similar to hugely successful Alcoholics Anonymous. Except, rather than helping people to be free of their addictions, it is a checklist to see if it’s valid to put them out of their misery.

Richard E. Ashcroft—School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK—has published an excellent, and concise, critique to Hall and Parker’s proposal, arguing that we should be extremely slow to “accept addiction as a reason for performing euthanasia”. Ashcroft makes two insightful and important points.

First, Ashcroft argues that, “If we are not willing to do so [to view addictions as a brain disease], we cannot see them readily as objects of treatment and medical care, and thus much of the medical model of care and treatment falls away, along with some of the medical, although not all the social, arguments for harm reduction, heroin (or other drug) prescribing in addiction treatment, and so on.”

 

 

 

 

source/read more: https://www.spectator.com.au/2018/03/should-people-with-addictions-be-euthanased/