2014-05-30

Pakistani Police Stood By As Pregnant Farzana Iqbal Beaten To Death: Husband

Fwd: Thailand

'The burger chain's famous golden arches have become part of the iconography of anti-coup protests and it is warning activists to "cease and refrain" from using its trademarks.

 

One of the McDonald's stores in Bangkok has become a gathering place for protests following the May 22 military takeover because of its central location. Some protesters have used the McDonald's logo in their anti-coup signs, replacing the "m'' in democracy with the yellow arches.

 

McThai, which operates McDonald's restaurants in Thailand, says it is maintaining a "neutral stance" amid political turbulence in the Southeast Asian kingdom famous for its ornate temples, vibrant nightlife and white sand beaches.

 

The company said it could take "appropriate measures" if protesters continue to appropriate its logo.'

 

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/05/30/mcdonald-not-loving-it-in-thailand-as-golden-arches-become-part-anti-coup/=

Fwd: Japan

'The U.S. Air Force has deployed two of its most advanced long-distance surveillance drones to a base in northern Japan over the past week, enhancing its ability to monitor nuclear activities in North Korea and Chinese naval operations.

 

The deployment of the two unarmed Global Hawk drones to Japan, a key U.S. ally, is intended to demonstrate Washington's commitment to security in Asia as part of its rebalancing of forces to the Pacific. But it will likely rankle with China and North Korea, which have been working to improve their own unmanned aircraft fleets.

 

Lt. Gen. Sam Angelella, commander of U.S. Forces Japan, said Friday the drones will remain here until October, when the typhoon season on the drones' home base on the Pacific island of Guam is over. Similar rotations from Guam to Misawa are expected in the future, though Angelella said no firm plans have been made. He refused to comment on the specific missions the drones will carry out but noted that the Global Hawk's "capabilities are well known."

 

The drone is considered particularly valuable because it can conduct long-range missions without the limitations of pilot fatigue, is able to fly at a maximum 60,000 feet (18.3 kilometers) and can "loiter" around any particular site of interest for 24 hours or more.'

 

http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2014/05/30/us_deploys_first_advanced_drones_to_japan.html

 

Fwd: QE



'Quantitative easing, or QE (the Federal Reserve's program of monthly purchases of long-term assets), began as a noble endeavor – well timed and well articulated as the Fed's desperate antidote to a wrenching crisis. Counterfactuals are always tricky, but it is hard to argue that the liquidity injections of late 2008 and early 2009 did not play an important role in saving the world from something far worse than the Great Recession.

 

The combination of product-specific funding facilities and the first round of quantitative easing sent the Fed's balance sheet soaring to $2.3 trillion by March 2009, from its pre-crisis level of $900 billion in the summer of 2008. And the deep freeze in crisis-ravaged markets thawed.

 

The Fed's mistake was to extrapolate – that is, to believe that shock therapy could not only save the patient but also foster sustained recovery. Two further rounds of QE expanded the Fed's balance sheet by another $2.1 trillion between late 2009 and today, but yielded little in terms of jump-starting the real economy.

 

This becomes clear when the Fed's liquidity injections are compared with increases in nominal GDP. From late 2008 to May 2014, the Fed's balance sheet increased by a total of $3.4 trillion, well in excess of the $2.6 trillion increase in nominal GDP over the same period. This is hardly "Mission accomplished," as QE supporters claim. Every dollar of QE generated only 76 cents of nominal GDP.

 

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/stephen-s--roach-forecasts-stiffening-economic-headwinds-for-the-us-as-excess-chinese-saving-dries-up#1MZWPx1xWZMycsx0.99'

 

Fwd: China


'After the financial crash, the authorities in Beijing unleashed one of the biggest stimulus packages anywhere, around four trillion yuan. The effect of this has been massive growth in the debt of its local governments. According to China's National Audit Office, that debt has surged by 20 per cent every year for the past three years, to 10.6 trillion yuan by last summer.

 

Then there are China's banks. According to a report on Bloomberg yesterday: "China's biggest banks are poised to report the highest proportion of bad debts since 2009 after late payments on loans surged to a five-year high." But that's not half the trouble: China's shadow banking system is estimated to account for 70 to 100 per cent of the country's GDP. It is an impenetrable fog of dodgy deals and toxic debt, the complexity of which nobody can fully grasp.

 

On top of this, Morgan Stanley argues that China's corporate debt is equal to the whole country's national income, and China's consumers are in more debt than ever. In fact, when you add it up, since 2008 China's public and private debt has ballooned from 135 per cent of GDP to more than 200 per cent today. That growth in credit is faster than in Japan before 1990 — and the US in 2008.'

 

http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/amol-rajan-be-very-afraid-a-storm-is-coming-in-from-china-9452294.html

 

Fwd: Ukraine


'Washington expressed concern over the appearance of fighters from Russia's war-ravaged region of Chechnya among the insurgents.

 

The rebels for their part dismissed speculation of a rift in their ranks after a dozen local militants were evicted from their seat of power in Donetsk by a military brigade comprised largely of Chechens and other Russians from the volatile North Caucasus…

 

Ukraine's acting defence chief said his soldiers intended to push ahead with their so-called "anti-terrorist operation" despite demands by Moscow for all military activities to come to an immediate halt.

 

"We will continue working until this region starts working and leading a normal life," said Koval.

 

Ukraine's acting president Petro Poroshenko also vowed to punish those who used a sophisticated surface-to-air missile to shoot the MI-8 helicopter out of the Lugansk sky.

 

"We have to do everything we can to ensure no more Ukrainians die at the hands of terrorists and bandits. These criminal acts by the enemies of the Ukrainian people will not go unpunished," Mr Poroshenko told Ukrainian news agencies.'

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10864323/Ukraine-we-have-completely-cleared-rebels-from-parts-of-east.html

 

2014-05-28

No Driver, No Problem: How Google's Self-Driving Car Transforms Travel - ABC News

Watch both videos...

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/driver-problem-googles-driving-car-transforms-travel/story?id=23895330

VIDEO: You Won't Believe What THIS Is!

http://www.weather.com/special/uncharted/video/you-wont-believe-what-this-is-49119?collid=/video-minutes/uncharted

Fwd: Iran


'Escalating their assault on Internet access, the judicial authorities in Iran have sentenced eight Facebook users to prison terms as long as 20 years and have ordered Mark Zuckerberg, the multibillionaire American founder of Facebook, to testify in a lawsuit that contends the company's social media applications violate privacy, Iranian news sites reported on Tuesday.'

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/28/world/middleeast/prison-terms-in-iran-hint-of-new-reins-on-internet.html?_r=0

 

 

headlines

2014-05-26

The mathematics of weight loss: Ruben Meerman at TEDxQUT

Sugar -- the elephant in the kitchen: Robert Lustig at TEDxBermuda 2013

Recent articles on diet and health, many of which contradict each other.





  • While the authors suggested that people eat a low protein diet in middle age and switch to a high protein diet once they get older, it is not possible to say from the study whether this is what the older participants actually did, as their diets were only assessed once.
High protein diet not as bad for you as smoking

Red meat raises risk for cancer

The food we were born to eat: John McDougall at TEDxFremont

Tackling diabetes with a bold new dietary approach: Neal Barnard at TEDxFremont

"Interestingly enough, blood triglycerides do not go up with eating fat—they go up if you eat a diet high in processed grains, starches, and sugar. Unfortunately for the proponents of high-carbohydrate diets, high blood triglycerides are a major risk factor for heart disease. In addition, low fat/high carb diets lower protective "good" cholesterol and raise insulin.  These diets are implicated in the development of diabetes, which is a potent risk factor for developing heart disease."

Gary Taubles: Why We Get Fat (Suggest watching just the last 10 minutes.)





Debunking the paleo diet: Christina Warinner at TEDxOU

BTW, there are lots of people offering to sell you diets online, but these usually are either low carb/high fat or high carb/low fat diets.

Search for Extraterrestrial life

2014-05-18

Fwd: Aiken's Democrat rival dies

'Singer Clay Aiken's chief rival for the Democratic nomination for Congress died unexpectedly on Monday.

 

Keith Crisco, 71, a former North Carolina secretary of Commerce, died from a fall at his home, reported The Courier-Tribune in Asheboro, N.C. A woman who answered the telephone at Asheboro Elastics Corp., which Crisco founded, confirmed the news to USA TODAY​ and said the company's workers were in shock.

 

Aiken, a former American Idol runner-up, was leading Crisco by 369 votes for the Democratic nomination in North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District but the race was too close to call. The Democratic nominee will go on to face GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in the fall.

 

State elections officials have been counting all the absentee and provisional ballots from last week's primary, and the nine counties in the district had until Tuesday to report their official canvass of votes. Toni Morris, a licensed professional counselor, was running a distant third to Aiken and Crisco.'

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/05/12/clay-aiken-congress-democratic-rival-keith-crisco/9008951/

 

36,000 Illegals, 88,000 Convictions – Sprung by ICE in 2013

Fwd: Health


'In a strategy that combines two of the hottest ideas in cancer research, scientists at the National Institutes of Health said they successfully attacked a woman's disease by using her immune system to home in on genetic mutations unique to her tumors.

 

The findings, published Thursday by the journal Science, come from just one patient—a 45-year-old woman in Montana. But researchers said her case, in which she received billions of immune cells specially grown to target her tumors, amounts to evidence the technique may be a way to treat many common cancers now considered difficult to target with the immune system.

 

So-called immunotherapy has so far shown the most promise in relatively rare cancers such as melanoma and kidney cancers.

 

This new approach "represents the blueprint for making immunotherapy available to treat common cancers," said Steven A. Rosenberg, chief of the Surgery Branch at the National Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Research and senior author of the study. "We've figured out a way to target what is absolutely unique on each cancer. That is the mutations that make the cancer a cancer."'

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303701304579550101737391142?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303701304579550101737391142.html

 

'Researchers have discovered a natural molecule that could be used to treat insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The molecule, a derivative of omega-3 fatty acids, mimics some of the effects of physical exercise on blood glucose regulation.'

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512112547.htm

 

Fwd: Boko Haram

'I Pledge To Allah - Imam Abubakar Shekau

My brethren in Islam, I am greeting you in the name of Allah like he instructed we should among Muslims. Allah is great and has given us privilege and temerity above all people.

 

If we meet infidels, if we meet those that become infidels according to Allah, there is no any talk except hitting of the neck; I hope you chosen people of Allah are hearing. This is an instruction from Allah. It is not a distorted interpretation it is from Allah himself. This is from Allah on the need for us to break down infidels, practitioners of democracy, and constitutionalism, voodoo and those that are doing western education, in which they are practicing paganism…

 

We will die killing and slaughtering them, if you meet infidels in battle field brethren, just harvest their necks; Allah said it and not Shekau. Harvest Jonathan's neck, harvest Kashim's neck, Allah said cut out Burabura's neck, even in Ka'aba if some is doing Salat for so long as he is deviating from what Allah said, he is infidel. Cut out their necks until the time that you will get majority over infidels of the world. And you will get it, Allah said it, time will come that you will form majority over infidels, face to face.

We will hold you as slaves, who told you there is no slave? They said human rights, stupid liars, when did you know human rights? You just come and lying in the name of Allah, Allah who created human doesn't know rights until you stupid?'

 

http://saharareporters.com/video/video-and-translation-boko-haram-leaders-threat-sell-abducted-nigerian-high-school-girls

 


Fwd: France

'French President Francois Hollande says that for now, France intends to go through with a deal to build two warships for the Russian navy. The first of the Mistral-class assault vessels is supposed to be delivered in October.

 

The $1.6 billion deal is the biggest sale to Russia ever by a NATO country. And three years ago, when the contract was signed, French officials hailed it as a sign that Moscow should be considered a partner, not an enemy. Still, there were critics among NATO allies even then.

 

Today, in light of Russia's actions in Ukraine, the warship sale is hugely controversial — even in France.

 

The French foreign minister is in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday and might face pressure to suspend the sale.

 

And when asked on a radio talk show recently whether France should suspend the sale, parliament member Bruno Le Maire responded: "Absolutely."

 

"It's the only way to show Vladimir Putin we're serious," he said. "Putin is playing on Europe's divisions and hesitations."

 

Le Maire did not want to speak to NPR. Neither did several other politicians approached for interviews.

 

That's because it's a sensitive issue, says Etienne de Durand, a defense expert at the French Institute for International Relations.

 

"[There's] a lot of money involved, possibly also jobs at stake, so of course it's a sensitive issue," he says.

 

De Durand says the warships are an easy target for critics because they're so visible. But there are other European countries with more at stake in Russia than France, he says: Germany because of the industrial and energy links; Britain because of all the Russian money that London manages.

 

One of the ships is named the Vladivostok, after the far eastern Russian city. The other ship is the Sevastopol — which is the port and naval base in Crimea, which Russia just annexed from Ukraine.

 

These helicopter assault ships can serve as hospitals or military command centers, with the capacity to carry 16 attack helicopters, 40 tanks and up to 600 troops.'

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/05/13/311907827/europe-could-tighten-screws-on-russia-but-it-doesnt-why

 

What the iPhone 6 will look like.

Fwd: MERS

'After the diagnosis of a second case of MERS in the U.S., federal health officials have posted warnings at airports and reminded customs staff to be on alert for sick travelers.

 

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn't recommend travelers change plans because the risk is low from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus, which tends to spread through close person-to-person contact, usually through relatives or health care workers. The World Health Organization, while saying it was concerned about the virus, has stopped short of calling the recent outbreak a public health emergency.

 

The CDC's health advisory posted at 22 airports urges travelers to prevent spreading of germs by washing their hands and avoiding touching their face. It also discourages contact with sick people.

 

If a traveler develops symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath within 14 days of visiting the Arabian Peninsula, the CDC suggests contacting a doctor and discussing the trip.

 

STORY: MERS not yet a global health emergency

 

Major airports have quarantine stations for travelers exhibiting symptoms. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's center for respiratory diseases, said quarantine staffers and customs officials have been reminded about symptoms and approaches to take.

 

The CDC has asked airline crews to report any passengers feeling feverish or with a temperature of at least 100 degrees, or who has a cough or difficulty breathing. The warning applies to flights from Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestinian territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

 

Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said the agency doesn't recommend screening all passengers coming off flights because they might not have developed symptoms yet or might be sick with something else.

 

The two U.S. cases involved health care workers who had returned from Saudi Arabia and were diagnosed Sunday in Florida and May 2 in Indiana.'

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2014/05/14/mers-airports-cdc/9077329/

Fwd: Internet Traffic

'Netflix Now Comprises A Full 1/3rd Of The Internet Traffic In North America

 

If there was any doubt about Netflix's huge popularity in North America, consider that according to a new report from Sandvine, the streaming video service accounts for more than one-third of all Internet traffic.

 

Netflix was responsible for 31.6% of traffic, but with a bump to Super HD (4K) content for users, it's already boosted that number to 34.2%.

 

Perhaps of even greater significance is the fact that "cord cutter" types who rely on services like Netflix as opposed to traditional pay TV are responsible for a whopping 54% of all monthly network traffic. These folks consume an average of 212GB of data every month and watch the equivalent of 100 hours of content every month.

 

How does that compare to average users? It's roughly seven times more than the 29GB per month than a typical user.'

 

http://hothardware.com/News/Netflix-Now-Comprises-A-Full-13-Of-The-Internet-Traffic-In-North-America/?google_editors_picks=true

 

Everything you need to know about the U.S. military’s defense strategy to protect humanity from the walking dead.

Fwd: Islam


'A pregnant 27-year-old Sudanese woman was sentenced to death by hanging Thursday for apostasy after marrying a Christian man and refusing to convert to Islam. Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag also faces charges of adultery.

 

Ibrahim, who was born to a Muslim father but raised Orthodox Christian by her mother, was first sentenced on Sunday, but she was given until Thursday to change her mind and convert. She refused to do so, Al Jazeera reports.

 

"I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy," Ibrahim said.

 

Ibrahim was found guilty of apostasy — the abandonment of one's religious faith – because she was born to a Muslim father and married a Christian man. The adultery charge came as Islamic law prohibits Muslim women from marrying outside of their religion, a rule which effectively voided the marriage.

 

The death sentence will reportedly be carried out after Ibrahim gives birth.'

 

http://time.com/100815/sudanese-woman-death-marrying-christian/

 

Fwd: French ship to Russia


'In a closed-door meeting in February 2010, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates urged his French counterpart not to proceed with the sale of two amphibious assault ships to Russia because it "would send the wrong message to Russia and to our allies in Central and East Europe."

 

The French official, HervĂ© Morin, acknowledged that each of the ships — so-called Mistral-class vessels built for the French Navy to carry troops, landing craft, and helicopters — was "indeed a warship for power projection," according to a confidential diplomatic cable on the meeting, which was made public by WikiLeaks. But Mr. Morin "asked rhetorically how we can tell Russia we desire partnership but then not trust them," the cable added.

 

With Russia's annexation of Crimea and some 40,000 Russian troops deployed near Ukraine, Western officials are no longer putting their trust in Russia's intentions. But despite American objections, the sale is still on track, and the first ship is scheduled for delivery late this year.

 

During a visit here on Tuesday, the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said his government would decide in October whether to proceed with the delivery of two of the ships, and asserted that France had struck the right balance between "dialogue and firmness" in its dealings with Moscow. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated in his meeting with Mr. Fabius that the sale was not helpful, seeking a way to prevent it, according to a State Department official. But Mr. Fabius later asserted to reporters that Mr. Kerry had not demanded that France cancel the sale.

 

To critics, the 1.2 billion euro, or more than $1.6 billion, deal that France struck with Russia has emerged as a classic instance in which a European nation has elevated its business dealings with Moscow over exhortations by the United States to take a firm line on Russian meddling in Ukraine.

 

But the cables obtained by WikiLeaks show that the United States had concerns about the way Russia was obtaining the ships since 2009. In an appearance before Congress last week, Victoria Nuland, the senior State Department official for European Affairs, said that the Obama administration had "consistently expressed our concerns about this sale."

 

Yet the security relationship between the United States and France in recent years has generally been strong. As Mr. Fabius hastened to remind reporters this week, France was poised to participate in an American-led military strike on Syria last year in response to the Assad government's use of chemical weapons, until Mr. Obama halted the military option in return for an agreement that Syria destroy its chemical arsenal.

 

The ships were on the back burner in discussions with the French government. But with Russia's annexation of Crimea, they re-emerged as a major issue.

 

If they are delivered, the ships would augment the Russian military's capabilities against the very nations that now appear to be most vulnerable to the Kremlin's pressure — namely the Black Sea states of Ukraine and Georgia and the Baltic states that belong to NATO.

 

"The technology and capability represented by the Mistral should not be passed to a Russian Federation that continues to threaten its neighbors," said James G. Stavridis, the retired admiral who served as NATO's top commander from 2009 to 2013.

 

"Russia has nothing like it, and without French help could not build it anytime soon," said Stephen J. Blank, an expert on the Russian military at the American Foreign Policy Council.

 

"Since helicopters can also be armed with missiles, it can be a platform for a heliborne missile attack as well as what we in the States call an air assault or heliborne landings or amphibious landings," Mr. Blank added.

 

The French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, has played down the significance of the pending sale, saying that France would only be delivering unarmed "civilian hulls."

 

But Senator Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and three other lawmakers said in a recent letter to President Obama that each of the ships would be able to carry 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 60 armored vehicles, 13 tanks and up to 700 soldiers.

 

The Kremlin has joined the debate as well. Dmitri O. Rogozin, a deputy prime minister, recently suggested that a decision to derail the deal would hurt France more than Russia. "France is starting to undermine trust in itself as a reliable supplier," he said on his Twitter account. "Probably our colleague is not aware of the number of jobs created in France thanks to our partnership."

 

French officials first informed their Western counterparts in 2009 that Nicolas Sarkozy, who was president at the time, was interested in selling the warships to Russia. That December, a cable from the American Embassy in Paris outlined the economic logic behind the deal. The Russians, an embassy economic officer wrote, had little confidence in their own shipyards, and Mr. Sarkozy was interested in lining up new clients for France's ailing shipbuilding industry.

 

Georgia, whose breakaway regions were occupied by Russian troops in 2008, was worried by the potential sale, especially after a Russian naval commander was quoted as saying Russia's Black Sea Fleet could have carried out its mission during that conflict "in 40 minutes" if it had possessed a ship like the Mistral.

 

In a November 2009 cable, John R. Bass, the American ambassador to Georgia, described the deal as "the wrong ship from the wrong country at the wrong time."'

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/15/world/europe/frances-sale-of-2-warships-to-russia-worries-us.html?_r=0

 

We should probably buy these two ships from France for the same price they were going to be sold for.

2014-05-17

Sugar and all things nice - Livemint

... I was turning into a health food fascist.
Then this happened. I made some of these doughnut muffins for Sunday
breakfast and with one bite my resolve and new-found principles simply
evaporated. They were so good, after I had eaten the first I would
have sold my granny for another. I didn't stop until I had eaten
four—by late morning I was in a sugar coma.
I decided right then that any life that didn't contain the occasional
taste of something as outrageously sweet and delicious as muffins that
taste like doughnuts (and really, really good doughnuts at that)
wasn't the life for me.
http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/Po54xrqWzhpn2pGtNKiLPL/Sugar-and-all-things-nice.html

2014-05-16

Would Obama bomb Iran?

Fwd: Medical price transparency

'Trying to find out the price of a medical service is a headache for consumers. When researchers called hospitals around the country to find out the cost of a hip replacement, only 10 percent were able to provide an answer. About 332,000 total hip replacements were performed in the U.S. in 2010. Shouldn't it be simple to find out the price of something that's bought and sold 900 times a day?

 

Three of the U.S.'s largest health insurers plan to make what they pay for medical care more transparent to consumers. Aetna (AET), Humana (HUM), and UnitedHealthcare (UNH) are joining with a nonprofit called the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) to turn their databases of medical claims into a useful online tool for consumers.

 

When the yet-to-be-named website goes live next year, anyone will be able to type in a medical service and search for prices, says David Newman, executive director of the HCCI. The site will show the average price paid by insurers in a given Zip Code (or wider areas if not enough data are available). It will also show a range of high- and low-end prices to indicate how much variation there is for a given service. He likens the information to car-buying site Edmunds.com.'

 

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-15/health-insurers-want-to-make-medical-prices-easier-to-discover

 

 

Deep Sea Graveyard Discovered

Not That Great: Jupiter's Red Spot Hits a New Low

The 'Right To Be Forgotten,' Or Europe's Embrace Of Its Own Decline

The Trick That Makes Google's Self-Driving Cars Work

Fwd: Capital Punishment

From: <larry.r.trout

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/377821/another-round-death-penalty-debate-john-r-lott-jr

 

From: Trout, Larry 

 

'Support for the death penalty in 1994 was the highest ever recorded (80%), according to Gallup. But consider instead all the 43 surveys from 1936 to 2012. Those surveys showed that an average of 63.8 percent of Americans supported the death penalty. Sixty percent in 2013 is down slightly from the average over the preceding 76 years….

 

And why has support dropped? Probably because crime has fallen. In 1994, the murder rate was 9.0 per 100,000 people. By 2012, it had fallen to almost half that, 4.7…

 

In murder cases, whites are executed much more frequently. Nationally, from 1977, when the death penalty was reinstituted, to 2011, the last year for which the FBI has compiled data, 64.7 percent of those executed were whites, but whites committed only 47 percent of the murders.

 

Furthermore, DNA evidence has improved its accuracy in trials over the past couple of decades, as it has become more commonly used.

 

Finally, all this ignores one extremely important point: There is overwhelming evidence that the death penalty deters murder and saves lives. Combine that with the fact that errors, few to begin with, are becoming ever less common, and objections to the death penalty are basically eviscerated.'

 

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/377488/shaky-case-against-death-penalty-john-r-lott-jr

Fwd: Vietnam


'At least 21 people were killed and nearly 100 injured in Vietnam on Thursday during violent protests against China in one of the deadliest confrontations between the two neighbours since 1979.

 

Crowds set fire to industrial parks and factories, hunted down Chinese workers and attacked police during the riots, which have spread from the south to the central part of the country following the start of the protests on Tuesday.

 

The violence has been sparked by the dispute concerning China stationing an oil rig in an area of the South China Sea claimed by Vietnam. The two nations have been fighting out a maritime battle over sovereignty and that battle has now seemingly come ashore.

 

Early Thursday morning a 1,000-strong mob stormed a giant Taiwanese steel mill in Ha Tinh province, central Vietnam, where they set buildings ablaze and chased out Chinese employees…

 

"There were about 100 people sent to the hospital last night. Many were Chinese. More are being sent to the hospital this morning," the doctor said.'

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/15/vietnam-anti-china-protests-oil-rig-dead-injured

 

'More than 600 Chinese business people and tourists have crossed Vietnamese border into Cambodia to escape anti-China riots in Vietnam, Cambodian National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith confirmed Thursday.'

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90883/8628515.html

 

'Smoldering nationalist anger in Vietnam exploded into frenzied violence in the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh City this week as thousands of rioters swept through industrial parks north of the city's commercial hub, razing any factory believed to be Chinese owned. After more than two decades of peace, Beijing and Hanoi are at odds again.

More

Anti-China Riots in Vietnam Leave at Least 21 DeadVietnamese Protesters Torch Factories in Anti-China UnrestVA Docs Defied Opiate Rules in Treating Vets, Audit Finds NBC NewsMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostComet Outlives Predictions Weather.com

 

China's decision earlier this month to deploy a colossal, state-owned oil rig in fiercely contested waters off the Vietnamese coast appears to have succeeded in derailing the delicate relations between the countries.

 

The Chinese state press lashed out publicly at its southern neighbor on the heels of several maritime skirmishes last week, with one hawkish editorial calling on Beijing to teach Vietnam the "lesson it deserves." The language closely resembled Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping's 1978 vow to teach Hanoi a "lesson" — and the echo is most unfortunate, because on that occasion the result was tens of thousands of deaths…

 

In the winter of 1978, when Deng Xiaoping made his threat of a "lesson," more than 80,000 Chinese troops were sent across the border into Vietnam. Chinese Deputy Defense Minister Su Yu boasted of being able to take Hanoi in a week, but the untested and under-equipped People's Liberation Army (PLA) met fierce resistance from battle hardened Vietnamese forces deployed across the frontier's limestone karsts. The Chinese were slaughtered by local militia from positions that had been utilized for centuries against invaders from the north.

 

"More Chinese soldiers were getting killed because they were fighting like it was the old times," says Vietnamese veteran Nguyen Huu Hung, who witnessed the PLA's human waves being mown down near the city of Lang Son. "They were in lines and just keep moving ahead … they didn't run away."

 

It would take just six weeks for Beijing to call off its "self-defensive counteroffensive." Teaching the Vietnamese a lesson turned out to be a costly affair. Official casualty statistics have never been released by either Beijing or Hanoi; however, analysts have estimate that as many as 50,000 soldiers died during the confrontation.'

http://time.com/100417/china-vietnam-sino-vietnamese-war-south-china-sea/

 

Fwd: Conop 8888

'Buried on the military's secret computer network is an unclassified document, obtained by Foreign Policy, called "CONOP 8888." It's a zombie survival plan, a how-to guide for military planners trying to isolate the threat from a menu of the undead -- from chicken zombies to vegetarian zombies and even "evil magic zombies" -- and destroy them.

 

"This plan fulfills fictional contingency planning guidance tasking for U.S. Strategic Command to develop a comprehensive [plan] to undertake military operations to preserve 'non-zombie' humans from the threats posed by a zombie horde," CONOP 8888's plan summary reads. "Because zombies pose a threat to all non-zombie human life, [Strategic Command] will be prepared to preserve the sanctity of human life and conduct operations in support of any human population -- including traditional adversaries."

 

CONOP 8888, otherwise known as "Counter-Zombie Dominance" and dated April 30, 2011, is no laughing matter, and yet of course it is. As its authors note in the document's "disclaimer section," "this plan was not actually designed as a joke."

 

Military planners assigned to the U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska during 2009 and 2010 looked for a creative way to devise a planning document to protect citizens in the event of an attack of any kind. The officers used zombies as their muse…

 

CONOP 8888 is designed to "establish and maintain a vigilant defensive condition aimed at protecting humankind from zombies," according to the plan's purpose, and, "if necessary, conduct operations that will, if directed, eradicate zombie threats to human safety." Finally, the plan provides guidance to "aid civil authorities in maintaining law and order and restoring basic services during and after a zombie attack."

 

The "worst case threat scenario," according to the plan, suggests a rather dark situation: a zombie attack in which there would be high "transmissibility," lots of zombies eating lots of people, zombies infecting humans at a rapid rate, and little or no immunity and few effective countermeasures.

 

Under "Zombie Threat Summary," the plan highlights the different kinds of zombie adversaries one might find in such an attack.'

 

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/05/13/exclusive_the_pentagon_has_a_plan_to_stop_the_zombie_apocalypse

 


Headlines

2014-05-15

Cancer


'Mayo Clinic researchers announced a landmark study where a massive dose of the measles vaccine, enough to inoculate 10 million people, wiped out a Minnesota woman's incurable blood cancer.

 

The Mayo Clinic conducted the clinical trial last year using virotherapy. The method discovered the measles virus wiped out multiple myeloma cancer calls. Researchers engineered the measles virus (MV-NIS) in a single intravenous dose, making it selectively toxic to cancer cells.

 

Stacy Erholtz, 49, of Pequot Lakes, was one of two patients in the study who received the dose last year, and after 10 years with multiple myeloma has been clear of the disease for over six months.

 

"My mindset was I didn't have any other options available, so why wouldn't I do it? I had to have failed all conventional treatment to do that trial. That actually happened last March," Erholtz told KARE. "It was the easiest treatment by far with very few side effects. I hope it's the future of treating cancer infusion."

 

Steven Russell, a Mayo Clinic hematologist, spearheaded the study and said the concept was previously tested in mice, but never in humans.

 

"It's a huge milestone in that regard," said Russell. "We have known for some time viruses act like a vaccine. If you inject a virus into a tumor you can provoke the immune system to destroy that cancer and other cancers. This is different, it puts the virus into bloodstream, it infects and destroys the cancer, debulks it, and then the immune system can come and mop up the residue."

 

Two multiple myeloma patients were chosen because they are immune-compromised, and can't fight off the measles before it has time to attack cancer. Both had limited previous exposure to measles, and therefore fewer antibodies to the virus, and essentially had no remaining treatment options. Of the two subjects in the study, Stacy was the only to reach full remission. The other patient's cancer returned after nine months.

 

Russell believes it's still a medical milestone, and he hopes his team can one day transform this research into a single shot cure.

 

"It's like a call to action. It's not just good for our virus. It's good for every virus everybody's developing as a cancer therapy. We know this can happen," said Russell.

 

Mayo researchers are also testing the measles virus's effectiveness at fighting ovarian, brain, head and neck cancers and mesothelioma. They are also developing other viruses that seem to have potential to kill cancer cells.

 

"I think it's just remarkable. Who would have thought?" said Erholtz, who said she returns to the Mayo in June for a check up.

 

The Mayo is moving immediately into a phase two clinical trial involving more patients with a goal of FDA approval within four years.'

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/05/15/measles-vaccine-cancer-mayo-clinic/9115363/

 

2014-05-14

Dr. Manny: Why the new study on resveratrol isn’t really bad news for red wine drinkers | Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/05/13/dr-manny-why-new-study-on-resveratrol-isnt-really-bad-news-for-red-wine/

Re: China to US Train

'China is considering building an 8,000-mile high-speed rail link to America that would take less than two days to travel.

 

Travelling at around 217mph, the train would leave the north east of the country, run through Siberia and enter a 125-mile tunnel under the Bering Strait, the shortest crossing between Russia and Alaska.

 

It would then resurface and head south through Canada, before reaching its destination in the US.

 

It is unclear whether the American, Canadian or Russian governments have agreed to the proposals.

 

But engineers claim it would provide a viable alternative to air travel, according to China Daily.

 

If completed, it would be 2,300 miles longer than the Trans-Siberian Railway, making it the longest train route in the world.

The underwater passage would also be four times the length of the Channel Tunnel, which connects France and the United Kingdom.

 

Even though the plans have not been finalized, it is believed the project would be developed and financed by the Chinese, who have become global leaders in high-speed rail travel.

 

The country has constructed the world's longest bullet train network with more than 6,200 miles of routes in service.

 

In 2012, they opened the world's longest high-speed link between Beijing and Guangzhou.

 

The 1,428-mile trip had previously taken 24 hours, but trains travelling at 168mph cut the journey to a mere eight.'

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2623491/China-considers-building-rail-link-AMERICA-8-000-mile-journey-two-days-involve-going-125-mile-undersea-tunnel-Alaska.html



... Where is the need?  40+ hours to travel by train.  Maybe 15 by plane. 

2014-05-13

Commentary Magazine

My brethren in Islam, I am greeting you in the name of Allah like he
instructed we should among Muslims. Allah is great and has given us
privilege and temerity above all people. If we meet infidels, if we
meet those that become infidels according to Allah, there is no any
talk except hitting of the neck; I hope you chosen people of Allah are
hearing. This is an instruction from Allah. It is not a distorted
interpretation it is from Allah himself. This is from Allah on the
need for us to break down infidels, practitioners of democracy, and
constitutionalism, voodoo and those that are doing western education,
in which they are practicing paganism.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/

MERS

‘2 Orlando health workers ill after exposure to MERS patient’

 

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/05/13/2-orlando-health-workers-ill-after-exposure-to-mers-patient/

 

‘There is a second confirmed case of MERS imported into the United States, the CDC announced Monday.

 

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health are investigating.

 

The first U.S. case was reported this month in Indiana.’

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/12/health/mers-outbreak-u-s-/index.html

 

2014-05-12

5 moments that made someone's day | KSL.com Mobile

http://m.ksl.com/index/story/sid/29857864

MERS

‘There is a second confirmed case of MERS imported into the United States, the CDC announced Monday.

 

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health are investigating.

 

The first U.S. case was reported this month in Indiana.’

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/12/health/mers-outbreak-u-s-/index.html

 

2014-05-11

You Don't Need a Reason to Watch These Adorable Puppies Playing

Anti-aging gene that boosts brain functions opens new gates for treatment of Alzheimer's, other diseases

Artificial arm

Segway Maker’s Amazing Lifelike “Luke” Prosthetic Arm Funded By DARPA, Gets FDA Approval - HotHardware

http://hothardware.com/m/News/Segway-Makers-Amazing-Lifelike-Luke-Prosthetic-Arm-Funded-By-DARPA-Gets-FDA-Approval-/default.aspx

VIDEO: Significant Tornado Outbreak Possible Today

http://www.weather.com/video/significant-tornado-outbreak-possible-today-46100?collid=/weather/twc-weather

2014-05-05

Fried food causes more weight gain in people with the 'fat gene'

MERS

'The first patient in the U.S. infected with the mysterious MERS virus continues to improve and does not so far seem to have infected anyone else, health officials said Monday.

 

The patient, at Community Hospital in Muncie, Indiana, is a health care worker who had traveled from Saudi Arabia, where the virus was first seen.

 

"All of the tests in close contacts have been negative," Don Fesko, CEO of the hospital, told a news conference. Officials said about 50 health workers had contact with the patient before they began taking extreme measures -- wearing masks, gloves, gowns and eye protection.

 

    "All of the tests in close contacts have been negative."

 

The patient is in good spirits, has been taken off supplementary oxygen, has been walking around and is cooperating with isolation precautions, officials said. Family members have been asked to isolate themselves and to wear face masks when they go out in public, just in case they are infected and haven't begun to show any symptoms yet.

 

The incubation period for MERS is usually about five days but it's been known to take as long as 14 days to cause symptoms, so the doctors are taking the most cautious approach.

 

Middle East Respiratory Sydrome (MERS) virus was first seen in 2012 and most cases are linked to the Middle East, although it's now been seen in more than a dozen countries around the world. Many of those who are sick enough to show symptoms have had other conditions, such as cancer, diabetes or kidney disease.

 

It spreads from person to person, but usually only with close and prolonged contact. But Centers for Disease Control and Prevention experts and state health officials are testing health care workers and other close contacts of the patients, and will continue to test them for 14 days, just to be sure.

 

"It appears MERS picked the wrong hospital, the wrong state, and the wrong country to take hold," said Indiana state health commissioner Dr. William VanNess.

 

Officials are tracking down about 100 passengers from an airplane the patient traveled on and 10 bus passengers to make sure they don't have any symptoms. But experts say MERS has not been known to pass from casual contact such as sitting next to someone on public transport.

 

Health officials are releasing very little information about the patient but say he lives and works in Saudi Arabia. "He was working at a hospital in Saudi Arabia," said Dr. Daniel Feikin, CDC's medical epidemiologist at the hospital.

 

"He does not recall directly working with a patient who had MERS although he did work in a hospital that had cases of MERS."

 

He came to the U.S. on April 24 and went to the emergency department at the hospital on the 28th.'

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/mers-patient-well-does-not-seem-have-infected-others-n97306

 

2014-05-02

MERS

'The first U.S. case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus has been reported in Indiana, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

 

The CDC and the Indiana State Department of Health are conducting a joint investigation into the case, according to a CDC statement.

 

Further details were to be released at a briefing at 3 p.m. ET.

 

The coronavirus, known as MERS-CoV, was first reported in the Middle East -- specifically, the Arabian Peninsula -- in 2012.

 

Since then, it has sickened 339 people in Saudi Arabia alone and killed nearly a third of them, according to the Saudi Ministry of Health. Late last month, Saudi officials noted a spike in new cases.

 

MERS-CoV comes from the same group of viruses as the common cold and attacks the respiratory system, according to the CDC. Symptoms, which include fever, cough and shortness of breath, can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure.

 

Although many of the cases have occurred on the Arabian Peninsula, people have died of the infection elsewhere, including in European countries and Tunisia in North Africa. Egypt also reported a case on Thursday, according to the World Health Organization.

 

However, all of the people involved contracted the disease in the Middle East before being diagnosed. Limited human-to-human transmission of the disease has also occurred in other countries.'

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/02/health/indiana-mers/

 

Google self-driving car on city streets | Watch the video - Yahoo Finance

http://finance.yahoo.com/video/google-self-driving-car-city-154804310.html

5 Reasons Apple Looks Like the Next Sony - Forbes

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kylesmith/2014/03/25/5-reasons-apple-looks-like-the-next-sony/