Daily Archives: August 10, 2017

Heated debate | New Scientist – New Scientist

Posted: August 10, 2017 at 6:41 am

In your article about housework (Germ warfare, 14 January), you said that after washing dishes we should rinse with plenty of water, preferably hot. Why hot? Wouldnt it save money if they were rinsed with the cold water that comes directly from the mains?

Iain Sharp, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

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Venezuelan prelate: ‘every day we feel a greater oppression’ – Catholic Culture

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Catholic World News

August 10, 2017

The vice president of the Venezuelan bishops conference denounced the violence and voracious corruption of the regime of President Nicols Maduro and called for an eventual total change of government through general elections.

Thousands of detainees, in little more than three months, give us a hellish picture that would make any person or institution worried about the lives of citizens at stake, Bishop Jos Luis Azuaje Ayala of Barinas said in an interview with EWTN News.

On August 8, a UN human rights team painted a similar picture and denounced widespread and systematic use of excessive force and arbitrary detentions against demonstrators in Venezuela.

Bishop Azuaje said that every day we feel a greater repression of the government through different state agencies or feel the same because of fear of certain groups. It is forming anarchy in the national consciousness; that is to say, the government has lost its legitimacy and authority.

The prelate said that some Venezuelans were forced to participate in the recent vote for a constituent assembly to rewrite the nations constitution:

Many people were coerced and threatened There are stories of people who are Catholic, are part of our parishes and almost confess as if it was an unforgivable sin. They feel humiliated because their freedom was restricted, because they were threatened that they would lose their jobs or benefits received in government social programs.

The constituent assembly, packed with Maduro allies, has assumed all lawmaking power in Venezuela, in an attempt to end any role for the nations legislature, in which the opposition has a large majority.

Bishop Azuaje also characterized the fall 2016 Vatican-brokered dialogue between Maduro and the opposition as a feigned dialogue on the part of the government without any result.

Whenever this government has been at a disadvantage, it has asked to dialogue; but it is always the same script: dialogue is used to gain time and advance in the hegemonic project of totalitarianism and greater power of domination, said the prelate.


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International community failed to prevent Indian oppression against Kashmiris: FO – Geo News, Pakistan

Posted: at 6:40 am

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said on Thursday that the international community has completely failed to prevent mass murders of Kashmiri Muslims by the Indian forces.

He added that the state of India desires to turn the Muslim-majority areas in Kashmir into a minority.

Speaking at his weekly press briefing, he said at least 15 Kashmiris were martyred by Indian forces in the ongoing week.

Responding to a question, Zakaria said that the United States of America is revisiting its policy on Afghanistan, further adding that the only solution for the Afghan crisis is holding ofdialogue between all the parties.

He said Pakistan appreciates the dialogue initiative between Hizb-e-Islami and the Afghan government.

“Dialogue should be held with all groups, including the Taliban,” said the spokesperson.

Zakaria reiterated that Pakistan has been hosting Afghan refugees for the last four decades and stressed that the country did not force any Afghan refugee to leave the country. “We want Afghan refugees to return back voluntarily with honour, he added.

He said that Pakistan has been taking action against all militant groups without any distinction.

The spokesperson said that India is using Afghan soil against Pakistan, adding that the country reserves the right to raise the issue with the US government.

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Performing in Israel means endorsing its government, Pink Floyd singer says – Daily Sabah

Posted: at 6:40 am

Popular progressive rock band Pink Floyd’s co-founder and singer Roger Waters urged participation in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights in an interview with RT, part of which was published Thursday.

Waters’ call comes as another rock band Radiohead refused to participate in the BDS movement and gave a concert in Israel in July.

The BDS campaigners, including Waters, asked Radiohead to cancel its gig in Tel Aviv as a sign of protest against Israeli oppression of Palestinians in the wake of the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Waters said that performing in Israel means endorsing its government and its policies against Palestinians.

Radiohead rejected the call and its leading singer Thom Yorke defended holding the concert.

According to Yorke, playing somewhere does not necessarily mean endorsing the local government. He said that his band does not endorse President Donald Trump, yet still performs in the U.S.

Pink Floyd legend responded by saying that Israel’s case was different from the others.

“Thom Yorke is wrong about not endorsing the policies of the Israeli government by playing there. Spokespersons of that government have said how excited they are that this is the best thing that’s happened for their hasbara (the Hebrew word for “propaganda”), which is the explaining to the rest of the world what a wonderful and precious democracy Israel is,” Waters said.

Waters equaled performing in Israel to making a public statement about endorsing the Israeli government, “because that is what will be reported in Israel, and that is what gets reported around the world.”

Waters added that performing in the U.S. during Trump presidency is OK because American civil society has not called on the artists from the outside to not come, while Palestinian civil society came together and organized the BDS movement.

When asked about the lack of coverage the BDS receives, the Pink Floyd singer answered by saying that “it comes from above.”

“You can figure it out for yourself. It’s not rocket science,” Waters said.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is a Palestinian-led movement that lobbies for the boycott of Israel and its products over the occupation of Palestinian land. It says on its website that BDS was “inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement.”

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The Party of Oppression – Yellowhammer News

Posted: at 6:40 am

Opinion Editorial by Kaela Carpenter

The Democratic Party was formed by the anti-federalists, who opposed the ratification of the 1787 constitution. Founded by Andrew Jackson, (who supported slavery and would play a large role in the Indian removal), the party advocated westward expansion, Manifest Destiny, and greater equality among white men. When the Civil War began in 1860, it was a war between the mostly Republican north and the mostly democratic, slaveholding south. However, the portrayal of the history of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on their website reads: For more than 200 years, our party has led the fight for civil rights, health care, Social Security, workers rights, and womens rights.

For the DNC to say that they have been fighting for civil rights for the past 200 years is to ignore the history behind the relationship between Democrats and civil rights. By definition, civil rights is the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality. This includes the African American slaves at the time. However as seen above, the Democratic Party was willing to split up the United States in order to continue to hold human beings as slaves. Additionally, Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, vetoed a bill that extended the rights of emancipated slaves by stating that any person born in the United States, regardless of race, is a U.S. citizen.

Along with the fact that the Democratic Party did not fight for equality and civil rights in its history, their claim that they have also been fighting for health care, Social Security, workers rights, and womens rights for more than 200 years is false as well. Health care and the governments involvement in it did not truly exist until the 1900s. Social Security did not exist until 1935 when Franklin Roosevelt sighed it into being, and by doing so he went against the Democratic Partys original intent to keep government small and forever changing the way the party ran. Additionally, womens rights were not put in place until 1919. Workers rights are the only point they make that they could argue to have fought for 200 years.

Unions, organized to ostensibly protect the rights and interests of the group were headed by heavily democratic leaders. However, while the unions may have helped protect the rights of the workers, the eventually began to bully business owners. So while the workers were being protected, who was protecting the business owners?

Because the DNC is ignoring their own history and choosing to wash it away and pretend it never happened, it is hypocritical for the Democrats to continually insult President Trump for stating falsehoods while they are trying to erase their own history. This is one of the main problems with the DNC, they bully and bash others for mistakes and statements that pale in comparison to the lies being told within the DNC.

Editors Note: The views of our Guest Contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Yellowhammer.

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US Secretary of State offers Philippine President help with war on drugs, if he changes tactics – ABC News

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During their meeting Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered President Rodrigo Duterte U.S. assistance in his controversial war on drugs — if he would change tactics.

According to senior aide R.C. Hammond, Tillerson made a general offer of help, not specific resources. The goal was to offer solutions to Duterte, not just criticism.

The two leaders met for more than an hour Monday at the presidential palace in Manila and covered a wide variety of topics, including recapping the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, policing the South China Sea and threats from North Korea and its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Duterte came into power on a brash promise to violently crack down on drug use and, since then, he has been widely criticized by human rights groups for what they say have been thousands of extrajudicial killings. Tillerson has been criticized for a perceived lack of focus on Duterte’s human rights record in their meetings — a topic aides say was raised today.

“Mr. President, we are all aware of the American peoples criticism of you and your handling of drug cartels,” Tillerson told Duterte, in what critics described as a soft, indirect condemnation of the drug policy.

A majority of the time was spent talking about ISIS, according to Hammond. The Secretary gave an update on the coalition’s fight in Syria and Iraq and the fighters leaving and traveling to the Philippines. Duterte gave his assessment of how he thought his military is doing in the fight against ISIS, and together they reviewed the role the US is playing in the fight in the Philippines.

The Philippines has long battled Muslim separatist in its southern region, but most recently they’ve had to bear back a self-declared ISIS affiliate that seized the city Marawi.

The U.S. has provided two Cessna planes and a couple of drones to aid Filipino surveillance and reconnaissance against the terror group, along with some training and guidance for Filipino forces. Hammond deferred reporters’ questions about any changes in the American role to the Pentagon.

Hammond says the conversation then “naturally” turned to drugs and the drug war — although Duterte has blamed drugs for the presence of ISIS in his country, without any evidence.

The Secretary spoke about the U.S.-Mexican partnership on transnational crime, pointing out that 60 million people had drug addictions in the U.S. to show that he understood the problem the Philippines is facing. He described how then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly had set up a task force to help find a way to counter drug trafficking. It was then that he offered assistance to help obtain better tactics.

The response was cordial, but noncommittal, according to U.S. officials, who said it is now up to President Duterte to accept or decline.

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Commentary: Trump’s policy is another ‘war on drugs’… – MyStatesman.com

Posted: at 6:40 am

President Donald Trump was recently briefed on the opioid crisis, and he offered the following advice afterward. The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they dont start, they wont have a problem So, if we can keep them from going on and maybe by talking to youth and telling them: No good, really bad for you in every way. But if they dont start, it will never be a problem.

It is obvious that Trump has no understanding of addiction or abuse. His words are reminiscent of Nancy Reagans Just say no policy and drug education programs such as the DARE program. The evidence is clear that Just say no and DARE were and are nave and ineffective.

So, the message is dont start but for those who do, the Trump administration has a second prong to their approach, which is the criminal justice system and punishment.

COMMENTARY: Im a Trump supporter. Thank you for disagreeing with me.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier this month the requirement that federal prosecutors must charge drug offenders with the most severe offenses possible. Sessions words in the speech send a clear message: In recent years some of the government officials in our country I think have mistakenly sent mixed messages about the harmfulness of drugs We cannot capitulate intellectually or morally unto this kind of rampant drug abuse. We must create a culture thats hostile to drug abuse.

For the past 50 years, we have been waging a war on drugs that has relied nearly exclusively on supply control and tough punishment. It hasnt worked.

Despite the logic of limiting the availability of drugs and threatening and punishing those who are involved in the drug trade and using drugs the report card for tough on drug crime is bleak. We have invested more than $1 trillion during the past 45 years on the war on drugs. There is essentially no evidence in support of the success of that effort, and one would be hard-pressed to find many with knowledge of the war on drugs who would claim it has worked.

Why has it failed?

The medical community declared nearly 70 years ago that drug and alcohol addiction and dependence are medical disorders. We cant punish diabetes or cancer away. Why do we think getting tough on addiction would work?

To complicate the landscape, approximately 40 percent of opioid-dependent individuals have depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder, and some have co-occurring psychiatric disorders. Post-traumatic stress disorder and personality disorders are also present, though less frequently. Punishment is not only ineffective, it often exacerbates these mental health disorders.

Punishment also does not deter those with substance use disorders. Today, the vast majority of individuals who enter the U.S. criminal justice system have problems with drug addiction, dependence or abuse. The recidivism rate for those with such disorders is nearly 80 percent. The reason is simple: Punishment does nothing to address drug abuse, dependence or addiction.

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Its time to stop disregarding the scientific and clinical evidence. Its time to get realistic about how we should address the drug problem. The evidence is unequivocal: We cannot effectively control supply. There is simply too much money to be made. We should recalibrate drug policy by ramping up evidence-based strategies of demand reduction.

The only way to reduce the incidence of substance-use disorders is effective treatment. Ideally, that should occur outside the confines of the justice system with community-based treatment. Those who end up in the justice system should be diverted to treatment, not simply locked up.

Drug abuse is a public health problem. It is time we treat it that way.

Kelly is a professor of sociology at the University of Texas and an author of books on criminal justice reform.

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The War on Drugs cover Warren Zevon’s Accidentally Like a Martyr … – Consequence of Sound (blog)

Posted: at 6:40 am

Photo by Philip Cosores

The War on Drugs are the latest act to partake in the Spotify Singles series. As with past contributions, the band recorded a live take of one of their own tracks as well as a cover song at Spotify Studios NYC.

For their own song, TWOD delivered Holding On, the lead single off their forthcomingA Deeper Understanding. The bands choice of cover was Warren Zevons ballad Accidentally Like a Martyr. While remaining largely faithful to the original, TWODs unmistakably psychedelic take on heartland sounds amplifies the guitar bends throughout. Take a listen:

(Read:Top 50 Albums of1987)

A Deeper Understanding is due out August 25th, and The War on Drugs will tour behind it throughout the fall. Their updated itinerary is ahead.

The War on Drugs 2017 Tour Dates:09/18 Portland, ME @ State Theatre 09/19 New York, NY @ Terminal 5 09/21 Philadelphia, PA @ Dell Music Center 09/22 New York, NY @ SummerStage in Central Park 09/23 Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion 09/25 Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore Charlotte 09/26 Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle 09/28 Dallas, TX @ The Bomb Factory 09/29 Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Outside Lawn) 09/30 Austin, TX @ Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater 10/05 Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre 10/06 Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre 10/09 Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre 10/10 Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre 10/11 Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall 10/13 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex 10/14 Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre 10/15 Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre 10/18 St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre 10/19 Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre 10/20 Columbus, OH @ Express Live! 10/21 Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall 10/22 Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall 10/23 Washington, DC @ The Anthem 11/02 Amsterdam, NL @ AFAS Live 11/03 Cologne, DE @ E-Werk 11/04 Brussels, BE @ Forest National 11/06 Paris, FR @ Bataclan 11/07 Lille, FR @ lAronef 11/09 Glasgow, UK @ Barrowlands 11/10 Glasgow, UK @ Barrowlands 11/12 Manchester, UK @ O2 Apollo Manchester 11/13 Manchester, UK @ O2 Apollo Manchester 11/14 London, UK @ Alexandra Palace 11/15 Portsmouth, UK @ Portsmouth Guildhall 11/17 Zurich, CH @ X-tra 11/18 Milan, IT @ Fabrique 11/20 Mnchen, DE @ Muffathalle 11/21 Hamburg, DE @ Groe Freiheit 36 11/22 Berlin, DE @ Tempodrom 11/24 Oslo, NO @ Spektrum 11/25 Copenhagen, DK @ Tap 1 11/26 Copenhagen, DK @ Tap 1 11/27 Stockholm, SE @ Annexet 11/29 Antwerp, BE @ Lotto Arena

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State ups the ante for charitable gambling – Post-Bulletin

Posted: at 6:40 am

As gambling manager of Rochester Juvenile Hockey Association, Mark Hickey has watched as state taxes continue to take a bigger bite out of the charity’s profits.

In fact, the group spends far more on taxes than it does on its charitable mission, which includes helping pay for the Graham 4 hockey arena. From July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017, the nonprofit donated $178,000 raised from paper and electronic pull-tabs. It paid out $461,000 in state taxes.

“We’re just trying to do our part, but the taxes are overwhelming,” said Hickey, who also serves on the Rochester City Council.

Charitable gambling groups are sounding the alarm over what they see as an unfair tax system. Allied Charities Executive Director Al Lund went so far as to pen a tongue-in-cheek obituary for charitable gambling in the state, writing “charitable gambling will now be known as The State of Minnesota Charity. Details are yet to be worked out, but beneficiaries of past charitable donations will need to go to St. Paul to ask for help.”

Lund said that based on preliminary estimates he expects Minnesota charitable gambling groups in 2017 will for the first time pay more in state taxes than they donate to their causes.

“What I keep telling the Legislature is you are strangling the goose,” Lund said. “At some point, the groups are going to say en masse, ‘We’re done.'”

Allied Charities has organized meetings across the state to talk about the issue, including one at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 17 at American Legion Post No. 92 in Rochester. The group wants state law changed so organizations’ charitable donations are no longer taxed.

Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, is sponsoring a bill to do just that. She said it is time that these groups raising money for local charities get some tax relief.

“It’s not fair. That’s the only business in our state that has to pay taxes on its charitable donations,” she said.

A tough sell with a big price tag

But efforts to pass the bill stalled last session, despite bipartisan support. One major reason is the bill’s cost. The Minnesota Department of Revenue estimates the charitable tax exemption would cost the state upwards of $28 million per year. House Taxes Committee Chairman Greg Davids said there is another roadblock charities face in convincing lawmakers to get on board.

“There are some folks that say, ‘This is supposed to be a revenue raiser for the state,'” Davids said.

The Preston Republican lawmaker wants to see charitable gambling taxes lowered, but said it has been a tough sell in St. Paul.

So will charitable gambling groups have paid out more in state taxes than donations in fiscal year 2017? Gary Danger, a compliance officer with the Minnesota Gambling Control Board, said it is too early to know for sure. Final numbers will not be available until October or November.

“We know that sales far exceed anything that we’ve seen in 30 years. But there’s a lot of other things that have to be factored in yet before we can find out the rest of the story,” Danger said.

Preliminary numbers show charitable gambling groups had sales of $1.72 billion for fiscal year 2017. That’s up from $1.5 billion the year before. Of that money, more than 83 percent was paid out in prize money. So far, Danger said he hasn’t seen a drop in the number of groups doing charitable gambling. It has held fairly steady at about 1,100.

Roughly 92 percent of all charitable gambling in the state is in the form of paper or electronic pull tabs. In 2012, lawmakers overhauled the state’s charitable tax system to help pay for the Minnesota Vikings stadium. Under state law, charities pay taxes on money raised minus prizes paid called net receipts. The tax rate climbs as profits’ net receipts increase from a low of 9 percent to a high of 36 percent. All tax revenues above $36.9 million are automatically deposited into the stadium reserve fund.

Rod Toomey, gambling manager for the Rochester Eagles Club, said it’s frustrating to see more and more money going to the state for taxes. In fiscal year 2016, the club donated $61,100 to charities but paid nearly twice that amount in taxes. Luckily for the Eagles, sales have continued to climb. But Toomey worries what happens if sales stagnate or decline.

“At some point, this unfair tax structure is really hurting the charities,” Toomey said.

As for Hickey, he said he would be happy to see any sort of a tax break to enable charities to donate more. Even dropping the top tax rate from 36 percent to 27 percent would be a big help.

He added, “It would just really help our bottom line. We’d have more money to contribute to our charitable purpose.”

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Legalising euthanasia: What you need to know after parliamentary inquiry announced – ABC Online

Posted: at 6:39 am

Updated August 10, 2017 15:41:13

WA Parliament has set the stage for a renewed debate on legalising euthanasia, but the push to allow medically-assisted death still faces plenty of hurdles to eventuate.

Parliament has agreed to set up a committee to look at the matter and a vote on whether to legalise euthanasia could come as soon as next year.

Here is what you need to know about the euthanasia debate and what happens from here.

Officially, the Legislative Assembly has voted to establish the ‘Joint Select Committee on End of Life Choices’.

The motion set up by Morley MP Amber-Jade Sanderson will report on the “need for laws in Western Australia to allow citizens to make informed decisions regarding their own end of life choices”.

In practice, that means the committee will hold a series of hearings over the coming months to investigate proposed legislative changes and review the laws in other jurisdictions.

If it were to recommend changes to euthanasia laws, it would also need to suggest a scope for laws – in other words, who would be allowed to end their life and under what circumstances.

The committee will then be due to report back within a year.

If Premier Mark McGowan gets his way, that committee’s work will lead to a vote on euthanasia legislation as early as next year.

It is Mr McGowan’s hope that a bill comes out of the committee’s work, with every MP in Parliament to be given a free vote.

But even if that progresses as advocates plan, and a bill is voted upon by Parliament in 2018, it could still be some time until euthanasia becomes legal in WA.

The model currently being considered by Victoria would not allow people to seek a medically assisted death until 2019 and it is possible any WA change would also be somewhat delayed.

Mr McGowan supports voluntary euthanasia for those with terminal illnesses, but will give Labor MPs a conscience vote on the matter and the party has been split on the matter in the past.

Both the Liberals and Nationals will give their MPs a conscience vote, while One Nation is also expected to leave the choice up to its three Upper House members.

Within both of the major parties, there are a mix of people either firmly for or against legalising euthanasia.

The Greens are firmly supportive of euthanasia though, stating on their website that those with terminal illnesses should have the choice of a “dignified, pain-free death”.

Because the vast majority of MPs are not bound to a party position, it is unlikely to become clear for a long time whether any bill would make it through Parliament.

Yes, in fact the debate has regularly come up in Parliament over the last two decades.

In 2010, a bill put forward by Greens MP Robin Chapple was defeated 11-24 in the Upper House and never made it to the Legislative Assembly.

Both the major parties allowed their MPs a conscience vote on the matter for that 2010 debate.

But not a single Liberal MP supported the measure after then-Premier Colin Barnett labelled it “sanctioned killing” while five out of 11 Labor MPs also voted against it.

Private members bills introduced in 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2002 also made little progress.

Euthanasia was briefly legal in the Northern Territory but is now illegal in all Australian jurisdictions.

Recent efforts to legalise it in Tasmania and South Australia were defeated, but Victoria is considering allowing those with advanced and incurable medical conditions to seek a medically assisted death from 2019.

Some US states have legalised euthanasia, including California – where those with a terminal illness and aged over 18 can request life-ending medication.

Euthanasia or assisted suicide are also legal in a handful of European countries, Canada and Japan.

Topics: euthanasia, state-parliament, wa

First posted August 10, 2017 13:17:10

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