We’re still learning about zebras and the reasons why they have their beautiful stripes. As the world continues to warm, we might be able to learn a lot from them.
Why zebras have stripes has been a matter for scientific debate for decades. A lot of theories have been put forth, such as they’ve evolved for camouflage, to confuse the vision of biting flies, to bewilder predators with “motion dazzle” or that they’re a means of identification among zebras themselves.
But now, new research postulates that zebra stripes may create air flows that provide the animals with a kind of natural air-conditioning system that helps them cool off in the heat of the African sun.
HOT SPRINGS – After Native Americans and other residents roundly rejected the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed draft permits to provide Black Hills water to a foreign uranium mine project promoter, EPA has now revised the wording for a new comment period, it announced Aug. 26.
Members of the public will have a chance to testify on the revised drafts at a hearing on the Dewey Burdock Project set in Hot Springs for Oct. 5, and the written submission period will remain open until Oct. 10, the agency said. However, it has not conducted government-to-government consultation with the First Nations in the matter.
All the bands of the Oceti Sakowin, or Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation, have their resolutions in place in opposition to any uranium mining in unceded 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty territory, which overlaps a five-state area, including the entire Black Hills.
More than 54,000 First Nations children could be eligible for compensation after a human-rights tribunal ordered the government to act, says the Assembly of First Nations.
On Friday, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal said the federal government willfully and recklessly discriminated against Indigenous children living on reserve by failing to provide funding for child and family services.
“The panel finds it has sufficient evidence to find that Canada’s conduct was willful and reckless resulting in what we have referred to as a worst-case scenario under our [Canadian Human Rights] Act,” it said.
“What is more, many federal government representatives at different levels were aware of the adverse impacts."
Canada must provide compensation of up to $40,000 to First Nations children who were unnecessarily taken into care on or after Jan. 1, 2006, the tribunal said, adding its orders also cover parents or grandparents and children denied essential services.
Capitalists seek to maximize profits and reduce the cost of labor. This sums up capitalism at its core. It is defined by these immutable objectives. It is not about democracy. It is not, as has been claimed, about wealth creation for the working class. It has nothing to do with freedom. Those capitalists, especially in corporations, who are not able to increase profits and decrease the cost of labor, through layoffs, cutting wages, destroying unions, offshoring, outsourcing or automating jobs, are replaced. Personal ethics are irrelevant. Capitalists are about acquisition and exploitation.
Capitalists go to absurd lengths to lie about capitalism’s true nature. It is why Business Roundtable’s most recent version of its Principles of Corporate Governance, signed by 181 major CEOs—including the heads of Amazon, General Motors and Chevron, all three of which paid no federal income tax in 2018—rivals the doublespeak of the worst totalitarian regimes of the 20th century.
UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - Forest fires, droughts and other forms of land degradation cost the global economy as much as 15 trillion dollars every year and are deepening the climate change crisis, a top United Nations environment official said Friday.
“In very simple terms, the message is to say: invest in land restoration as a way of improving livelihoods, in reducing vulnerabilities contributing to climate change, and reducing risks for the economy,” Thiaw said in response to a question from IPS.
Thiaw spoke to reporters in New York through a video-link from New Delhi, India, where delegates from UNCCD signatories are gathering for talks on tackling the desertification threat, which runs until Sept. 13.
Droughts and desertification currently hit 70 countries each year, while sand and dust storms are becoming a growing menace around the world, leading to asthma, bronchitis and other health problems, Thiaw warned.
The Ndebele massacre has still not be brought to justice and it will haunt Zimbabwe until closure can be achieved with a truth and reconciliation process.
Robert Mugabe: The greatest trick the devil ever played
By Siphosami Malunga - 7. September 2019
The fallacy of the hero-turned-villain narrative of Robert Mugabe is the greatest trick this devil ever played.
The closest I have to feeling anything is quiet, seething rage.
Rage that this man who killed thousands and destroyed so many livelihoods has died without facing justice for his atrocities. I am not religious but want now more than anything to hang tightly to the promise of purgatory – the halfway house and hell’s holding cell.
He escaped justice in this life, I pray it is waiting for him in the next. I hope he is “under arrest” right now and will be denied bail just as he arrested and denied the thousands he persecuted in his four decades in power.
BRAZIL - FUNAI senior employee Maxciel Pereira dos Santos was shot dead on Friday evening in Tabatinga, a small town of 60,000 in Amazonia State on the border with Peru and Colombia. He worked at the base of the indigenous organization in the Javari Valley, which has been attacked four times since last year.
The crime occurred yesterday around 6:50 PM, according to the State Police. Santos was riding his motorcycle on Avenida da Amizade, the busiest street in Tabatinga, when he was shot twice in the back of the head. His wife and stepdaughter witnessed the murder.
Indigenist Maxciel Pereira dos Santos was murdered execution-style in front of members of his family in the Amazon town of Tabatinga, INA, a union group representing workers at Brazil’s indigenous protection agency FUNAI, confirmed.
Santos was shot twice in the head as he rode a motorbike down a main street of Tabatinga, located deep in the Amazon rainforest on Brazil’s border with Colombia and Peru, the Folha de S.Paulo and The Rio Times newspapers reported.
Folha de S.Paulo said police were investigating whether Santos’ death was related to his work at FUNAI but did not have enough information to determine the motivation behind the crime.
The new Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG) only entered office a few months ago after a long-running political scandal led to the resignation of his predecessor but he’s already making waves with his ambitious vision of turning this resource-rich but poverty-stricken island country into “the richest black Christian nation on earth”. James Marape made his Trump-like nationalist proclamation in late July during his visit to Australia, which was his first foreign trip since assuming his position, where he also spoke about his plan of one day “participating with Australia looking after smaller island nations”. He aims to achieve this through a combination of fairer resource deals with transnational corporations and a renewed focus on the agricultural sector, but the success of his vision will largely rest on his ability to “balance” between the West and China, as well as making unprecedented progress on the socio-economic development of the hinterland with its mostly Indigenous territories.
Marape’s predecessor, Peter O’Neill, was regarded as extremely close to China, though he was also at the same time responsible for laying the basis of his successor’s “balancing” act by agreeing to allow the US and Australia to jointly operate a naval base in the northern island of Manus. PNG’s new leader emphasized his more visibly neutral position by recently stating that his country is “friends to all, enemies to none” and that “every businessman and woman is welcome in our country, and the Chinese investors will not receive any special treatment and preference, just like Australian investors will not receive any special favour or treatment.” That’s a very pragmatic approach and one that’s much-needed if he hopes to make good on his bold promise because he can’t do it without cooperating equally with both “sides” of the New Cold War. Australia is a long-standing strategic partner while China is a much more recent one, but investment from both is crucial to Marape’s plans.
While especially in Brazil the forest fires continue, Amazon countries met to bolster rainforest protection but apart from ensuring each other over their sovereignty, the pact only provided for hot air.
Presidents and ministers from seven Amazon countries met in Colombia on Friday to agree on measures to protect the world's largest rainforest, under threat from wildfires and rampant deforestation.
The summit took place in the wake of an international outcry over months of raging fires that have devastated large swaths of the Amazon. Fires have also raged in recent weeks in Bolivia, where some sources accuse president Evo Morales of allowing rainforest to be turned into coca and cocoa plantations.
"It's just an amazing thing that people have done."
The BC Parks Foundation in British Columbia, Canada, has successfully fundraised $3 million to purchase nearly 2,000 acres (800 hectares) of forest in order to protect it from logging. The land is in Princess Louisa Inlet, a stunning remote fjord at the top of Jervis Inlet that is already a popular destination for boaters.
When several logging companies expressed interest in the privately-owned land, many citizens were upset. They approached the foundation and asked what could be done to protect the area. A price was negotiated, but with a deadline of August 28, which added pressure to the subsequent fundraising campaign. As the CBC reported, it almost didn't happen: "The last amount of the money needed came in at the last minute, right on Tuesday's deadline."
There have been a lot of fires in Brazil this year – about 76% more than there were during the same period last year. And just 48 hours after Brazil’s government put a ban on burning and land clearing, to help stop the fires spreading, satellite data found that 2,000 more fires started in the Amazon alone. The 2019 fires will have a big and long-lasting impact on the forest itself, and the wider world.
Tanzania seizes ivory tusks equivalent to killing 117 elephants
By Reuters - 05. September 2019
DAR ES SALAAM — Tanzania has seized ivory tusks equivalent to killing at least 117 elephants, its tourism minister said, part of its drive to stamp out organized criminal networks involved in years of industrial-scale poaching.
The elephant population in Tanzania, famed for its wildlife reserves, shrank from 110,000 in 2009 to barely 43,000 in 2014, according to a 2015 census, with conservation groups blaming rampant poaching. The government says numbers have now started to recover.
Demand for ivory from Asian countries such as China and Vietnam, where it is turned into jewels and ornaments, has driven the surge in poaching across Africa.
Investors call for urgent action to address the human rights impacts of Amazon fires
All financial actors were urged to review supply chains and business relationships to ensure they are not indirectly contributing to the conflagrations through deforestation as they have direct human rights impacts for local indigenous communities.
NEW YORK, NY – Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility issued a statement today calling on companies with operations and supply chains connected to the Amazon rainforest to take immediate action to safeguard the human rights and ecosystems that are being devastated by fires exacerbated by unchecked deforestation.
The scale of the crisis is unfathomable: the skies of Sao Paulo darkened with smoke from the Amazon aflame thousands of miles away. A terrifying climate double whammy is upon us: As the forest burns, the trees release stored carbon in the form of greenhouse-gas-inducing carbon dioxide; and as these forests vanish, we lose the carbon-storing potential of the trees. It may seem there’s nothing we in the United States can do, but the drivers of this destruction, including agribusiness and their financiers, are more closely connected to us than we may realize—heightening our responsibility to act.
In response to the global fury at these fires, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has played up his nationalist rhetoric: What right does the rest of the world have to tell us what to do with our forests? But this is not about foreigners telling Brazilians what to do with their natural resources. This is about people around the world standing up for the Amazon’s globally vital ecosystems in solidarity with indigenous people who call those forests home.
UN Report on Yemen: US, UK and French Accomplices to Atrocities, While Inaction of the International Community Continues (video)
By RNN - 04. September 2019
Prof. Asad Abukhalil argues that the UN Human Rights Council's report on Yemen acknowledges US and UK complicity in the war crimes being committed, but it still soft-pedals them because the US dominates the world body
GREG WILPERT: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Greg Wilpert.
In what is considered the deadliest airstrike of the year, Saudi-led forces bombed a detention facility in the western city of Dhamar in Western Yemen, killing about 100 people on Sunday. The prison was under control of the Houthi rebels. Senator Bernie Sanders condemned the attack via Twitter, reminding his followers that the US is deeply involved in the war in Yemen. Sanders wrote, “U.S. bombs, logistical support and intelligence for the Saudi dictatorship’s airstrike make us complicit in this nightmare. The U.S. Congress has declared this war unconstitutional. We must now stand up to Trump and defund all U.S. Involvement in these horrors.”
Calling BS on the ‘Bad Apples’ Theory of Police Misconduct
The whole concept of "Police" only came into existance when the first imperialist, fascist states established these armed enforcement units.
A rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.
When it comes to licensed killers (aka the hashtag #police), however, it's NEVER just one apple. The tree itself is rotten to its core and can only produce rotten apples. There's no such thing as a "good" cop. It's a myth like Santa Claus.
The misleading motto "to protect and serve" is hashtag #doublespeak for "to punish and enslave."
The police exist to protect the system against citizens, not to protect the people.
Please research "Castle Rock v. Gonzales, No. 04-278". The American supreme court ruled in June 2005 that the police do NOT have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm even those who obtain a court-issued protective order against other individuals. Another popular myth is that without police there'd be chaos.
Such a myth neglects hundreds of thousands of years of continuous human civilization when communities policed themselves free of a central government.