Extreme right and militarism in Latin America


This International Peace Bureau video says about itself:

The Extreme Right and Militarization in Latin America. Webinar 28.5.2020

Dr. Pedro Páez Pérez, professor at the Central University of Ecuador and specialist on economic development and the political economy, joins IPB to discuss contemporary Latin American politics with particular attention to the ascension of far-right forces to power and their role in the militarization of the region.

In recent years, Latin American politics has shifted and brought to power far-right leaders. A central aspect of these politicians’ platforms has been a glorification of national militaries and policies of confrontation. Such positions highlight the increasing militarization of the region. Dr. Páez will cover these developments and provide insights into what this means for the future of the region.

Dickinsonia, ancient Ediacaran animals


This 29 May 2020 video says about itself:

How We Identified One of Earth’s Earliest Animals

Scientists had no idea what type of organisms the life forms of the Ediacaran were—lichen, colonies of bacteria, fungi or something else. It turns out, the key to solving the puzzle of Precambrian life was a tiny bit of fossilized fat.

CNN journalist Jimenez, arrested in Minneapolis, interviewed


This 29 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

CNN Reporter Omar Jimenez Speaks on Arrest While Reporting | NowThis

CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was arrested on live TV this morning while reporting on the protests in Minneapolis — listen to him reflect on the incident just hours later.

This 29 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Minneapolis police arrest a black CNN reporter and his team on live television. John Iadarola and Ana Kasparian break it down on The Damage Report.

How sea snakes can see under water


This 2014 video is called The adaptations of sea snakes – The Wonder of Animals: Episode 11 Preview – BBC Four.

From the University of Plymouth in England:

Sea snakes have been adapting to see underwater for 15 million years

May 28, 2020

Summary: A study has for the first time provided evidence of where, when and how frequently species have adapted their ability to see in color.

Sea snakes first entered the marine environment 15 million years ago and have been evolving ever since to survive in its changing light conditions, according to a new study.

Research led by the University of Plymouth (UK) has for the first time provided evidence of where, when and how frequently species have adapted their ability to see in colour.

It suggests sea snakes’ vision has been modifying genetically over millions of generations, enabling them to adapt to new environments and meaning they can continue to see prey — and predators — deep below the sea surface.

In an unexpected twist, the study published in Current Biology also suggests that diving sea snakes actually share their adaptive properties not with other snakes or marine mammals, but with some fruit-eating primates.

The research was led by Dr Bruno Simões, Lecturer in Animal Biology at the University of Plymouth, and involved scientists from the UK, Australia, Denmark, Bangladesh and Canada.

Dr Simões, formerly a Marie Sk?odowska-Curie Global Fellow at the University of Bristol (UK) and University of Adelaide (Australia), said: “In the natural world, species obviously have to adapt as the environment around them changes. But to see such a rapid change in the sea snakes‘ vision over less than 15 million years is truly astonishing. The pace of diversification among sea snakes, compared to their terrestrial and amphibious relatives, is perhaps a demonstration of the immensely challenging environment they live in and the need for them to continue to adapt in order to survive.

“Our study also shows that snake and mammal vision has evolved very differently in the transition from land to sea. Sea snakes have retained or expanded their colour vision compared to their terrestrial relatives, whereas pinnipeds and cetaceans underwent a further reduction in the dimensions of their colour vision. This contrast is further evidence of the remarkable evolutionary diversity of snake eyesight.”

In the study, scientists say that despite being descended from highly visual lizards, snakes have limited (often two-tone) colour vision, attributed to the dim-light lifestyle of their early snake ancestors.

However, the living species of front-fanged and venomous elapids are ecologically very diverse, with around 300 terrestrial species (such as cobras, coral snakes and taipans) and 63 fully marine sea snakes.

To try and establish how this diversity occurred, scientists analysed various species of terrestrial and sea snakes from sources including fieldwork in Asia and Australia and historical museum collections.

They investigated the evolution of spectral sensitivity in elapids by analysing their opsin genes (which produce visual pigments that are responsible for sensitivity to ultra-violet and visible light), retinal photoreceptors and eye lenses.

Their results showed that sea snakes had undergone rapid adaptive diversification of their visual pigments when compared with their terrestrial and amphibious relatives.

In one specific example, a particular lineage of sea snake had expanded its UV-Blue sensitivity. Sea snakes forage on the seafloor in depths exceeding 80metres, yet must swim to the surface to breathe at least once every few hours. This expanded UV-Blue sensitivity helps the snakes to see in the variable light conditions of the ocean water column.

Also, most vertebrates have pairs of chromosomes resulting in two copies of the same genes. In some fruit-eating primates, the two copies might be slightly different (alleles) resulting in visual pigments with different spectral properties, expanding their colour vision. This study suggests that some sea snakes used the same mechanism to expand their underwater vision with both UV sensitive and blue-sensitive alleles.

Dr Kate Sanders, Associate Professor of the University of Adelaide and senior author, said: “Different alleles of the same gene can be used by organisms to adapt new environmental conditions. The ABO blood types in primates are a result of different alleles of the same gene. However, despite being very important for the adaptation of species this mechanism is still poorly reported. For vision, it has been only reported on the long-wavelength opsin of some primates but our study suggests an intriguing parallel with diving sea snakes.”

US nuclear weapons in Europe, who decides?


This 9 August 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

Donald Trump’s comments on nuclear weapons are alarming.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Secret US documents: The Netherlands had nothing to say about stored nuclear weapons

Recently, top-secret 1961 documents from the United States military revealed new information about the storage and role of nuclear weapons in the Netherlands. This shows that the Netherlands had no say in what happened to those weapons. It is not clear why this is because the Dutch government has never confirmed or denied the presence of nuclear weapons.

The United States National Security Archives have published the documents “to spark a broad discussion about the different facets of nuclear history.”

The documents reveal an “unmistakable nuclear hierarchy”, writes geopolitical expert Ko Colijn in Clingendael Spectator. The United States was allowed to decide whether to use nuclear weapons in the Netherlands, without our country having any say in that. The same was true for the weapons in Denmark, Greece, Italy and Portugal.

Other countries, such as France, the United Kingdom, … Japan and Canada, did have this authority. “They always negotiated a kind of veto and could have their say if circumstances allowed,” writes Colijn. Eg, the documents state that the British Prime Minister must be called before the weapons are used.

Volkel

It has long been an open secret that US American nuclear weapons are stored in Volkel in North Brabant, but the Dutch government has never confirmed this.

Plant grows perches for birds


This 26 May 2020 video says about itself:

The Plant That Grows Perches for Birds

The rat’s tail plant, or Babiana ringens earns its name for the distinct stem that grows above its flowers. But what’s the purpose of this odd-looking appendage?

Hosted by: Michael Aranda.

This plant species is endemic to South Africa.

Not even CNN safe from Minneapolis police


This 29 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Police arrest CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and crew on live television

CNN’s Omar Jimenez was taken into police custody during a live broadcast at the site of the protests in Minneapolis, after clearly identifying himself to officers. Jimenez’s crew were also placed in handcuffs.

So, apparently, not even an establishment medium like CNN is safe from United States police denial of press freedom.

It reminds me of Ferguson, Missouri, USA after the police killing of Michael Brown. Police then attacked and arrested not just peaceful protesters; but mainstream media journalists as well.

This 29 May 2020 video about the USA says about itself:

CNN Reporter Omar Jimenez ARRESTED Live on Air Covering Minneapolis Protests

Earlier this morning, CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested while covering the protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is unacceptable, not only because people have a right to peacefully assemble, but because the arrest of journalists is a direct attack on democracy, freedom, and accountability for the powerful.

It should also be noted that Omar Jimenez is a black man, making his arrest even more questionable as white journalists haven’t been treated like this. Given that these events were sparked by the passing of George Floyd, this makes it all the more troubling

Minneapolis demonstrators

Talking about Minneapolis …

This 28 May 2020 video about the USA says about itself:

Amy Klobuchar FAILED to prosecute Derek Chauvin, cop who took George Floyd’s Life

We have an emerging story from Mintpress News and the Guardian that Amy Klobuchar, when she was a prosecutor in Minneapolis and Minnesota, failed to prosecute Derek Chauvin, cop who took George Floyd’s Life. As reported by the Guardian, Klobuchar systematically failed to hold police officers to account when they had interactions with black citizens. This included at least one incident from Derek Chauvin in 2006.

This should end Amy Klobuchar’s career, and should end her consideration to be Joe Biden‘s running mate for Vice President in 2020. She cannot be seen as a champion for justice and equality for black Americans.

This 29 May 2020 video about the USA says about itself:

The Far Right Wants To Turn Minnesota Into A War Zone

As Americans rise up against police terror, the far right has a horrible plan that could backfire on all of us…

Thom Hartmann reveals the white supremacist plans for to use the unrest in Minnesota after George Floyd’s murder by a police officer was caught on tape, sparking massive outrage.

Will the protesters be able to get justice for George Floyd or will this right-wing plan disrupt them and our democracy?

Demonstrators

Protests rage across US over George Floyd’s death as Trump threatens ‘thugs’ with further state violence: here.

COVID-19 pandemic in Donald Trump’s USA


This 29 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

How Many Lives Did Donald Trump Cost Us?

When looking at all of the data, we have to beg the question of how many lives Donald Trump and Jared Kushner cost us. Michael Brooks and the Majority Report crew discuss this.

Rise in deaths attributed to pneumonia suggests official US coronavirus death toll is grossly undercounted. By Bryan Dyne and Benjamin Mateus, 29 May 2020. The actual number of COVID-19 dead in the United States is likely to be at least 150,000, 50 percent more than what has been officially reported.

American ruling class exploits the pandemic to escalate assault on jobs and wages. 29 May 2020. Major US corporations that have received billions in government bailout money are slashing thousands of jobs while protecting their corporate executives and biggest shareholders: here.

Automakers expand US production, even as COVID-19 cases increase. By Shannon Jones, 29 May 2020. The almost daily exposure of new COVID-19 cases in auto plants has not slowed the rush to increase production by North American carmakers, who face enormous pressure from financial markets.

California Governor Gavin Newsom ramps up reopening despite serious public health threats. By Norisa Santa Cruz and Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 29 May 2020. The Democratic governor is accelerating the re-opening of the state, allowing resumption of business for shopping malls, dine-in restaurants, and large gatherings, despite the enormous dangers of COVID-19.

Despite governor’ green light, California synagogues will mostly stay closed.

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in 24 states, Trump is recklessly demanding the immediate reopening of schools: here.

Letter from an American teacher: “In a pandemic, no one is safe unless we are all safe.”. 29 May 2020. The WSWS Teacher Newsletter has received this letter from a high school AP Biology teacher in the Bay Area, California for publication.

New York governor exempts nursing home operators from criminal liability after taking millions from the industry. By Philip Guelpa, 29 May 2020. Governor Andrew Cuomo took millions in donations from hospital and nursing home executives and then protected them from responsibility for deadly criminal actions regarding COVID-19.