Published time: 29 Mar, 2017 15:52 Basking in Brexit glory, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has claimed that 70 percent of Britons would vote to leave the EU if the referendum held in June of last year was repeated tomorrow. Brexit mastermind Farage celebrated the invocation of Article 50 on Wednesday at a Westminster pub, […]
Across the globe, there is not a single “hot spot” where the Trump Administration is not escalating conflict. Drone strikes are up over 400 percent. Civilian deaths are skyrocketing in Iraq and Syria after stepped-up US bombardment. The Pentagon says it needs thousands more troops for Afghanistan and more military participation in the horrible war […]
Back in August, the Obama administration issued a memo that many hoped signaled an end to the government’s use of for-profit prison corporations. That memo, issued by then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, stated that the Justice Department would stop contracting with CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America) to run 13 federal prisons. This directive was […]
With premiums increasing for those with coverage through the ACA marketplace, a lot of people are criticizing Obamacare. But many doctors and healthcare professionals are saying that isn’t really the problem.
Cathleen London is a primary care physician in Milbridge, a rural town in Maine. She claims the problem isn’t Obamacare itself, but rather, the entire health insurance system and insurance companies are to blame.
Comment: The above video, from 2014, has a lively conversation on Obamacare…you be the judge.
Corruption in the crime lab: Massachusetts to overturn 24K drug convictions due to falsified test results
Massachusetts prosecutors will move in mid-April to vacate nearly all of the roughly 24,000 drug convictions tainted by a single corrupt forensic lab chemist, The Boston Globe reported Saturday, marking the denouement of one of the largest drug lab scandals in U.S. history.
A Massachusetts prosecutor told the state’s Supreme Judicial Court last week that D.A.’s would seek to keep fewer than 1,000 of the 24,000 convictions tainted by drug lab chemist Annie Dookahn, who pled guilty in 2012 to falsifying test results in favor of law enforcement and tampering with evidence over a nine-year period starting in 2003.
“Without putting numbers on it, it’s in the ballpark that the court was looking for,” Robert J. Bender, a Middlesex County assistant district attorney, said during a March 16 hearing, according to Globe. “Hundreds of cases, not thousands of cases.”
Since Dookhan was convicted, the Massachusetts criminal justice system has been reeling under the number of so-called “Dookhan defendants” and how to ensure justice for all of them. Dookhan managed to taint an estimated one in six drug cases in Massachusetts between 2003 and 2012.
The US Department of State is off the air again as it seeks a permanent spokesperson. Gone are the daily press briefings of the Obama era, leaving many reporters at Foggy Bottom frustrated by Rex Tillerson’s corporate management style.
Tillerson, a former Exxon Mobile chief executive, took only one reporter along on his first trip to Asia earlier this month. During the first six weeks of the Trump administration, the State Department didn’t hold a single on-camera press briefing, only restarting the practice on March 7.
Acting spokesman Mark Toner delivered on-camera briefings twice a week for two weeks, alternating them with on-the-record telephone briefings. Toner, a foreign service professional, is now being transferred to another post, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The State Department said it would not hold video briefings for at least two weeks, but would brief reporters intermittently on specific topics. Monday’s background briefing was about Tillerson’s upcoming trip to Turkey.
A rescue in Cambodia saved 11 Asian elephants from a muddy death after they fell into an old bomb crater. The herd — three adult females and eight juveniles — was discovered in the large crater in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary on March 24, covered in mud and unable to escape, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Local farmers notified the Cambodian Department of Environment, which called in the WCS to save the unfortunate pachyderms. [Watch Video of the Muddy Elephants Rescued from Pit]
“Too often, the stories around conservation are about conflict and failure, but this one is about cooperation and success,” Ross Sinclair, the country director for WCS in Cambodia, said in a statement. “That the last elephant to be rescued needed everyone to pull together on a rope to drag it to safety is symbolic of how we have to work together for conservation.”
German researchers have discovered endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which could adversely affect development and reproduction, to be contained in 18 different bottled water products. Of the 24,520 suspect chemicals found to be present in bottled water, the one that showed consistent results and illustrated anti-androgenic and anti-estrogenic activity is di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate (DEHF). Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the hormone system. They can cause cancerous tumours, birth defects, cardiovascular disorders, metabolic disorders, and as mentioned earlier, other developmental disorders(1).
This study comes from Martin Wagner and Jorg Oehlmann of the Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, and Michael Schlusener and Thomas Ternes of the German Federal Institute of Hydrology. They determined that bottled water could contain serious amounts of EDCs that should be a cause for concern.
Researchers used spectrometric simulation to narrow down their findings to DEHF as the only possible EDC giving rise to harmful activity. DEHF is also known as an anti-estrogenic compound, which means that another unidentified EDC must be present in the samples that showed anti-androgenic activity.
March 29, 2017, 7:46 PM (IDT) All 15 resolutions passed by the Arab summit which took place in Jordan Wednesday, March 29, were devoted to an indictment of Iran, its Revolutionary Guards Corps and Lebanese surrogate, Hizballah. They were a testament to the depth of Arab-Iranian animosity and exposed the extent of the rift between the Sunni and Shiite Muslim worlds. A US-Saudi-Egyptian initiative covers the Palestinian issue
March 29, 2017, 7:40 PM (IDT) Eitan Ben-David, the head of Israel’s counterterrorism bureau, was appointed on Wednesday to serve concurrently as the acting chief of the country’s National Security Council. He previously served for years in the Shin Bet domestic security service where he held posts including deputy head of the protective security department. Ben-David became head of the counterterrorism bureau in March 2012.
The NSC is a secret body responsible for various security-related projects including planning for emergency situations as well as annual and multi-year evaluations of Israel’s situation in the national security and diplomatic spheres.
March 29, 2017, 11:15 AM (IDT) On Wednesday, the prime minister officially told the EU’s other 27 members that the UK wants to pull out, just over nine months after the British public backed withdrawal in a referendum. By triggering Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, Theresa May set in motion the two-year negotiations on the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU on 29 March 2019.
The Scottish parliament Tuesday approved the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s request for a second popular referendum on independence, in the hope of reversing the first negative result and opening the way for applying for separate membership of the European Union.