Donald Trump and the Dark Soul of the GOP...

Jul 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The Republican National Convention was a parade of fear and loathing. David Corn MOTHER JONES Carolyn Kaster/AP This is what you need to know about Donald Trump’s GOP. At the convention in Cleveland, Alex Jones, a prominent peddler of conspiracy theories, was in the hall as a special guest. Jones sells paranoia. He is a 9/11 truther who claims that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were in on the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. He has promoted the idea that dissidents in America will be rounded up and placed in FEMA camps. His website maintains that the tragic Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax orchestrated so gun safety advocates could demonize gun owners. Jones tells his followers that the world is controlled by a global cabal—a coven of...

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Droughts Dry Up Amazon’s ‘Green Lungs’...

Jul 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Tim Radford / Climate News Network   VIA TRUTHDIG     A reduction of the Amazon rainforest’s canopy is contributing to climate change. (Phil Blackburn via Flickr) This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Researchers have confirmed once again that if the Amazon rainforest is one of the planet’s “green lungs”, it may be running short of breath. Repeated drought and tree loss mean that there is increasing risk that the forest may one day cease to be a “sink” for atmospheric carbon released by the combustion of fossil fuels. But even as climate scientists shake their heads in distress, plant taxonomists may be holding their heads in despair. They have just been told that so rich and various are the trees of the great Brazilian rainforest that another three centuries may...

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What Republicans Really Think About Trump...

Jul 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Nicholas Kristof   NYTIMES Photo Credit Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times CLEVELAND — The arena here at the Republican National Convention echoes with applause for Donald Trump, but the cacophony and extravagant stage effects can’t conceal the chaos in the G.O.P. and in the Trump campaign. Republican senators suddenly are busy fishing, mowing the lawn or hiking the Grand Canyon; conservative celebrities mostly sent regrets. This vacuum reflects the horror that many leading conservatives feel for their new nominee. Pundits like me are gnashing our teeth as Trump receives the presidential nomination of the party of Lincoln, but, frankly speaking, we don’t have much credibility in Cleveland since many of us aren’t all that likely to support a Republican nominee in any case. So instead of again inflicting on you my views of...

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New Gas Infrastructure Is Going To Completely Undermine U.S. Climate Goals...

Jul 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Samantha Page CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo/Jim Cole A new report shows that with the proposed natural gas pipelines, the United States cannot meet its climate commitments.   The climate action movement has gotten a lot of wins during the Obama administration. The Keystone XL pipeline permit denial. The Clean Power Plan. The proposed methane rules. These things are all part of an effort to limit carbon emissions and avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. But, as it turns out, these actions are not enough. The country is in the process of building hundreds of miles of natural gas pipeline that will tie the United States to fossil fuel production and consumption for decades — well past when most scientists predict we will have done irreparable harm to our human...

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“Tiny buses for everyone!” says Elon Musk...

Jul 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] TED Conference You get a bus and you get a bus! By Heather Smith   GRIST Tesla has had a rough ride lately. A Tesla Model S on autopilot slammed into a semi-truck in May, killing the driver and prompting a federal highway safety investigation. There’s talk that the company’s yearned-for merger with Solar City might fall apart, and its high-flying stock has plunged 12 percent in three months.What better time for Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, to unveil his “Master Plan Part Deux,” which says, essentially: “Don’t look at right now! Look waay over there, in the amazing future!” The plan, released on Tesla’s blog Wednesday, is full of wondrous whizbangery. There will be cars so autonomous that they will earn money for you when you aren’t driving, battery-enhanced solar panels so beautiful that you will...

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There’s Something Disturbing About One of Hillary’s Top VP Picks...

Jul 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Five things to know about USDA chief Tom Vilsack, who’s emerged at the top of HRC’s Veep shortlist. Tom Philpott MOTHER JONES Normcore: Vilsack addresses the American Farm Bureau Federation. USDA/Flicker Tom Vilsack is a trendy guy—but only if by “trendy,” you mean “normcore.” He has spent the past eight years as secretary of the US Department of Agriculture—the country cousin of presidential cabinet positions. He’s a solid centrist Democrat from Iowa, where he served two terms as governor as well as a stint as mayor of a town called Mt. Pleasant (pop. 8,668). He even calls himself a “workhorse, not a show horse.” But he has been generating massive buzz as the possible vice presidential pick of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, recently catapulting to the upper echelons of her Veep short...

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Trump’s Terrifying Pitch: It Was Better Than You Think...

Jul 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Richard Eskow   CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE The Gettysburg address, it wasn’t. Donald Trump’s acceptance speech clocked in at one hour and 15 minutes, and that’s not counting the time dilation effect demagoguery can produce in some observers. Lincoln’s speech lasted less than two minutes. A columnist in the New York Post said that Trump gave “the speech of his life.” Actually, he gave several of them. Abe Lincoln’s grace and humility were nowhere to be found. But then, the self-effacement of Lincoln’s words – “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here” – would hardly suit Trump’s oversized persona. To be fair, this speech needed to be long. Trump needed to present a number of false and contradictory identities to the electorate, and that takes time. He was both...

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On RNC’s Final Night, Donald Trump Yells at America for More Than an Hour...

Jul 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Playing on fears, Trump advances white nationalist theme of ‘America First.’ By Adele M. Stan / AlterNet   CLEVELAND—“Build the wall!” “Lock her up!” “Keep us safe! “U-S-A!” “America First!” So chanted the thousands of Republicans gathered in the the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday night, punctuating the speech delivered by Donald J. Trump in acceptance of his party’s nomination for president. On the convention floor, the chants were delivered in a mood of gleeful anger forceful enough to set a seasoned reporter back on her heels. Playing on fears of a dwindling white majority amid an era of flat wages and an economy that is reshaping itself in ways that has rendered the skill sets of many workers obsolete, Trump repeatedly wove in motifs of white nationalism, whether highlighting a handful of deaths that occurred at the hand...

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Big Pharma Feels the Bern

Jul 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] < Ever since Reagan, conservatives have been telling us about "welfare queens." The way they put it, there are thousands of undeserving poor people in this country right now bilking taxpayers for all they're worth, all while you and I are sweating out a hard day's work. And here's the thing: conservatives are right. There are a lot of undeserving people getting rich off the commons and the working class. But they don't fit the racist and classist stereotypes of popular conservative mythology -- far from it. The entities that are really getting rich off the commons are the corporations and corporate executives who, with the help of sellout Republicans, have turned our economy and tax system into their very own get-rich-quick scheme. Case in point: Big Pharma. While big drug companies like to talk...

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Greenpeace reports jump in radioactive contamination in Fukushima waterways...

Jul 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Greenpeace Japan member Mai Suzuki removes sediment samples from a remotely operated grabber at Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture on March 22. | © CHRISTIAN ÅSLUND / GREENPEACE National by Eric Johnston Staff Writer OSAKA – Greenpeace Japan on Thursday said it has discovered radioactive contamination in Fukushima’s riverbanks, estuaries and coastal waters at a scale hundreds of times higher than pre-2011 levels. One sample of sediment taken along the Niida River, less than 30 km northwest of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant, revealed the presence of cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels of 29,800 becquerels per kilogram. That was just one of 19 samples of dried sediment and soil the environmental activist group took and analyzed from the banks of the Abukuma, Niida, and Ota rivers. The samples were collected by...

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50 Shockingly Extreme Right-Wing Proposals in the 2016 Republican Party Platform...

Jul 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Steven Rosenfeld / AlterNet greg / CC BY-ND 2.0 This piece first appeared at AlterNet. The Republican Party platform  is a wish list for what Republicans in Congress and Donald Trump would like to impose on America. What’s surprising about it is that it goes further to the right than what’s even been heard on the campaign trail from Trump as he has promised to build a wall along the Mexican border and embrace the religious right’s long-held tenets opposing abortion, LGBT rights, and more. The GOP 2016 platform would make Christianity the official American religion, English the official American language, replace sex education with abstinence-only advice for teenagers, privatize almost all areas of federal services, cut taxes and regulations for the rich and titans of industry ,and impose a belligerent foreign...

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A New Study Adds Fuel to Calls for a Fracking Ban...

Jul 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] On the eve of the Democratic National Convention, researchers found that people living near fracking activity face a “significantly higher” risk of asthma attacks. By Zoë Carpenter THE NATION A fracking well in the Eagle Ford Shale region, near Karnes City, Texas. (AP Photo / Aaron M. Sprecher) About 386 million years ago, Pennsylvania received a great gift—or, depending on your point of view, a curse: the Marcellus Shale, a formation of black rock and limestone containing vast reserves of natural gas. The formation stretches from New York through the Appalachian Basin, but it’s Pennsylvania that has played host to the most intensive plundering of those reserves since the mid-2000s, when energy companies began to use hydraulic fracturing to free up the gas trapped a mile below the surface of the earth. Pennsylvania will...

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Another Disastrous Side Effect of Monsanto’s Notorious Roundup Pesticide Discovered...

Jul 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment The controversial main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup is being connected to algae blooms that have fouled drinking water and killed wildlife. By Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch   VIA ALTERNET Glyphosate, the controversial main ingredient in Monsanto‘s Roundup and other herbicides, is being connected to Lake Erie’s troubling algae blooms, which has fouled drinking water and suffocated and killed marine life in recent years. Phosphorus—attributed to farm runoff carried by the Maumee River—has long beenidentified as a leading culprit feeding the excessive blooms in the western Lake Erie basin. Now, according to a new study from chemistry professor Christopher Spiese, a significant correlation has been established between the increased use of glyphosate to the percentage of dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) in the runoff. As No-Till Farmer observed from the study, DRP loads in Lake Erie increased in the mid-1990s at...

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Gardasil Devastation is NO Coincidence...

Jul 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   by Vicki Austin | Guest Writer | Vaccination, Risk & Failure Reports Caitlin Grace Fifteen-year-old Caitlin Grace is my hero. Once a green belt in karate, walking over 10 miles per day, she is now physically debilitated from a vaccine that was supposed to prevent her from getting cancer. This is her story. Caitlin received the full series of three Gardasil shots between September 2012 and July 2013.  In hindsight, I should have trusted my mother’s intuition and not allowed Caitlin to receive the vaccine. When I asked her pediatrician of ten years if he would give it to his own daughter, he said that he definitely would. I trusted him and we gave her the full series. I live with the guilt to this day. In February 2013, my healthy, active,...

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Regulating Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Could Improve the Health of the Next Generation...

Jul 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] With more than 100,000 chemicals on the global market, it is a tremendous challenge to identify those that might cause harm to humans or wildlife. One class of chemicals, endocrine disruptors (chemicals that interfere with natural hormones), is receiving significant attention in the United States, European Union, and elsewhere. Expert panels from the United Nations Environment Programme and World Health Organization, the Endocrine Society, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and others have concluded that the evidence linking endocrine disrupting chemicals to human diseases is strong. How do we determine if a chemical is an endocrine disruptor? How do we separate the ‘bad actors’ from all of the other non-hazardous compounds? Although this may seem like an easy task, in fact, it has proven to be quite difficult. In the US, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency...

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Microfiber Madness: Synthetic Fabrics Harm Wildlife, Poison the Food Supply and Expose You to Toxins...

Jul 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment With every wash, your synthetic fleece jacket releases microfibers that harm marine animals. By Reynard Loki / AlterNet Colourful Textile fleece sport shirts hanging in row at store Photo Credit: dvoevnore/Shutterstock Doing laundry isn’t something most of us enjoy doing. And now the evidence is clear that the world’s aquatic animals don’t enjoy it either. It turns out that clothes made from synthetic fibers shed tiny plastic microfibers in every wash. This fibrous debris goes from your washing machine, through the municipal sewage system and ends up in all sorts of waterways—marine, coastal and freshwater—where the tiny fibers are ingested by fish, crabs and other aquatic wildlife. In turn, many of these animals end up in our food supply—and on our dinner plates. It seems we are slowly, and literally, eating the...

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50 Shockingly Extreme Right-Wing Proposals in the 2016 Republican Party Platform...

Jul 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] What Trump, a GOP Congress and GOP-appointed Supreme Court would do to America. By Steven Rosenfeld / AlterNet Photo Credit: www.donaldjtrump.com The Republican Party platform is a wish list for what Republicans in Congress and Donald Trump would like to impose on America. What’s surprising is that it goes further to the right than what’s even been heard on the campaign trail from Trump as he has promised to build a wall along the Mexican border and embrace the religious right’s long-held tenets opposing abortion, LGBT rights and more. The GOP 2016 platform would make Christianity the official American religion, English the official American language, replace sex education with abstinence-only advice for teenagers, privatize almost all areas of federal services, cut taxes and regulations for the rich and titans of industry, and impose a...

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Ballot Initiatives, Explained

Jul 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Democracy & Government 2016 is shaping up to be a big year for ballot measures. By Gail Ablow   A reader, Mary Ellen Quinn, asks: “Why does a state like California have so many ballot initiatives and referenda? Could any one of them throw that state into turmoil the way the Brexit has rocked Britain?”     Short answer: When California voters go to the polls this November, they will have to plow through the longest, fattest ballot they have seen in almost two decades. In addition to the candidates running for office, there will be 17 ballot initiatives — or “propositions,” as California refers to them — for voters to consider. Overwhelmed voters can blame nonvoters, in part, for the time they will spend poring over the proposed policies. That’s because the number...

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We’re Helping Deport Kids to Die...

Jul 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Nicholas Kristof   NYTIMES Nicholas Kristof nduras told Elena to be his girlfriend, even though she was only 11, she knew better than to reject him. Credit Nicole Salazar/Show of Force — Humanity on the Move TAPACHULA, Mexico — Elena was 11 years old when a gang member in her home country, Honduras, told her to be his girlfriend. “I had to say yes,” Elena, now 14, explained. “If I had said no, they would have killed my entire family.” Elena knew the risks because one of her friends, Jenesis, was also asked to be a gang member’s girlfriend, and declined. Elena happened to see the aftermath, as Jenesis staggered naked and bleeding away from gang members. “She had been raped and shot in the stomach,” Elena recalled in the blank tone of a...

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Healthy eating can include ‘a lot’ of (good) fat, analysis of 56 diet studies concludes...

Jul 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] To Your Health By Ariana Eunjung Cha  WASHINGTON POST (iStock) Hanna Bloomfield’s bosses at the Department of Veterans Affairs had been reading a lot about the plant-based Mediterranean diet. Some highly publicized recent studies had shown that eating lots of fresh vegetables and olive oil along with maybe a splash of red wine could have tremendous health benefits, and they wondered whether it was something the VA, as an organization, should consider recommending to its more than 9 million patients. They tasked Bloomfield with figuring out whether this health effect was real — or simply hype. Bloomfield, associate chief of staff for research for the Minneapolis VA Health Care System and a professor at the University of Minnesota, pulled 56 previously conducted studies on the subject and re-analyzed all the data. Her work...

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For the first time, scientists explore the atmosphere of an Earth-sized exoplanet...

Jul 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Speaking of Science By Rachel Feltman washington post Artist’s view of planets transiting a red dwarf star in the TRAPPIST-1 system. (NASA, European Space Agency and Space Telescope Science Institute) Forty light years away in the constellation Aquarius, a trio of planets orbit a small, cool star. They are worlds quite unlike our own, tidally locked so that each has a face in constant day and another in eternal night. But now two of these exoplanets have become a little less mysterious. Researchers have begun to examine their atmospheres, and have showed that at least two of the worlds have small, contained atmospheres — like the ones that surround Earth, Venus or Mars. Their results were published Wednesday in Nature. [Why NASA’s top scientist is sure that we’ll find signs of alien life in the next decade]...

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Why one of the world’s best fossil sites is full of severed bird feet...

Jul 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Speaking of Science By Brian Switek WASHINGTON POST One of the isolated legs found in Germany. (Gerald Mayr) Prehistoric creatures aren’t exactly renowned for their table manners. Most dinosaurs, for example, were incapable of chewing and had to swallow their food whole. But some ancient eaters were messier than others. And in southwestern Germany, something especially sloppy left severed bird feet strewn about a dense fossil boneyard. The Messel Pit is one of the greatest fossil sites in the world. Within stacks of 47-million-year-old oil shale is an unmatched record of life in and around an ancient lake. There are early mammals preserved down to their fur, pairs of turtles that somehow died in the middle of mating, dozens of plant species and more than 1,000 bird skeletons. It’s the closest paleontologists can...

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Norovirus strikes the Republican National Convention...

Jul 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] To Your Health By Joel Achenbach, Elahe Izadi and Ed O’Keefe July 19 at 6:30 PM A worker adjusts the sign for the California delegation at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Saturday. (John Moore/Getty Images) CLEVELAND — A terrifying word circulated Tuesday at the Republican National Convention: norovirus. A dozen staffers in the California delegation who had arrived in Cleveland early have fallen ill with the extremely contagious virus, California GOP chairman Jim Brulte said. The virus causes extreme vomiting and diarrhea and has been known to spread explosively through people in closed places, such as cruise ships, schools and nursing homes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Brulte said that, so far, no delegates or alternates have shown symptoms. He said his delegation will continuing to attend the...

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California’s Mandatory Vaccination Law Takes a Hit...

Jul 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The debate over vaccine choice and medical freedom in California is heating up. The legality of the state’s new medical mandate will now be questioned in court on the basis of constitutionality, discrimination, and invasion of privacy. A high-class legal team is leading the challenge. New information about a planned secret meeting between a doctor in the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and officials from the California Medical Board was just uncovered which has also lead to a formal complaint being filed against the CDPH for alleged collusion and attempts to illegally garner medical information from student records. Such actions may be a violation of several state laws already in effect. Those fighting California’s new mandatory vaccination law are supporting the legal team’s efforts to overturn what is viewed as a gross...

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Guest Column: A response to criticism of the movie “Vaxxed”...

Jul 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Jenny Smith I must respond to the inaccurate opinion column written by Nicholas Seabrook about the movie, “Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe.” “Vaxxed” is not “anti-vaccine.” It is about malfeasance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over 10,000 documents have been handed to U.S. Rep. Bill Posey who is also in the film. The movie is about a senior scientist and four others who were responsible for analyzing data in relation to the MMR vaccine and autism. What they did was slice and dice the data to get rid of that effect (MMR causing autism). The movie recommended splitting up the MMR vaccine into single vaccines since studies did not show this effect. Does that sound anti-vaccine? Andrew Wakefield never said in his article (later pulled from the Lancet )...

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How an Indigenous Community Is Boosting Crop Productivity While Conserving the Rainforest (Video)...

Jul 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment “We are reforesting and restoring the land so that our grandchildren and our children have a future.” By Laura Jamison / Rainforest Alliance   VIA ALTERNET naranjilla fruit Photo Credit: Rainforest Alliance In the Napo province of Ecuador, the Kichwa people have been cultivating naranjilla—a citrus fruit that looks like a tomato but tastes like a blend of lime and rhubarb—and selling it informally in markets across the country for many years. In fact, naranjilla production has been the primary cash crop for indigenous Kichwa communities in the Hatun Sumaco parish. Unfortunately, naranjilla has also been the primary driver of deforestation in the area—and thus directly contributing to climate change. Without direct access to markets, the Kichwa had traditionally sold their harvests to middlemen, who promoted dangerous quantities of highly toxic, red-listed pesticides...

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Commentary: Update of Toxic Substances Control Act a worthy step that’s long overdue...

Jul 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., center, joined by, from left, Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Sen. David Vitter, R-La., Bonnie Lautenberg, widow of the late New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito R-W. Va., talks about bipartisan legislation to improve the federal regulation of chemicals and toxic substances, Thursday, May 19, 2016. J. Scott Applewhite/AP In a groundbreaking report six years ago, a National Cancer Institute panel warned that it was time to pay closer attention to environmental causes of a disease that takes more than a half-million American lives each year. “[T]he true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated,” the panelists wrote in their transmittal letter to President Obama in April 2010. “With nearly 80,000 chemicals on the market in the United States,...

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Nuclear weapons contractors repeatedly stifle whistleblowers, auditors say...

Jul 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The Energy Department lets its private contractors police themselves, producing “chilled work environments” in which employees who find wrongdoing have no useful path for complaints By Patrick MaloneCENTER FOR PUBLIC...

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Turkey rounds up thousands of suspected participants in coup attempt...

Jul 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Middle East Turkish Prime Minister: 2,839 members of military detained Embed Share Play Video0:53 Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says 2,839 members of military have been detained in connection with an attempted coup. (Reuters) By Erin Cunningham, Liz Sly and Zeynep Karatas WASHINGTON POST ISTANBUL — The Turkish government on Saturday quelled most of the last threats from an attempted military coup, but it was a greatly diminished Turkey that emerged from the chaos of the night before. As dazed citizens stumbled through streets littered with the remains of tanks and armored vehicles used by the renegade troops, authorities embarked on a sweeping roundup of thousands of people suspected of involvement in what appears to have been a long-planned effort to replace Turkey’s democratically elected government with a military junta. The widespread sense...

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14 to 1: Post-Katrina Architecture by the Numbers...

Jul 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The postdiluvian landscape contains little cutting-edge design but rather an abundance of familiarity and replication. What does this reveal about New Orleans society? Richard Campanella with Cassidy Rosen Musicians’ Village, a Habitat for Humanity project in New Orleans. [Tanya Lukasik] All human landscape has cultural meaning — no matter how ordinary. … All our cultural warts and blemishes are there, and our glories too. — F. Pierce Lewis, “Axioms of the Landscape,” 1976 Last year the world media converged noisily on New Orleans to mark the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. This year marked a quieter but still significant milestone: it’s been a decade since the actual start of the structural recovery, which began tentatively in early 2006. So this is an apt moment to assess the results. How have the citizens of...

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