lundi 31 mars 2014
"To anyone who says every baseball game is created equal, come to the park on Opening Day. “Bunting hanging in a ballpark signifies a couple of things,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said yesterday. “And that’s certainly Day 1 and when you get into October. There’s a special atmosphere that comes along with that. You can close the book on spring training, which in the eyes of many is a good thing. It’s the beginning of a new journey.”
"Nevertheless, the Harper government has shown its disdain for scientists and environmental groups dealing with climate change and industrial pollution. The government has either drastically cut or entirely eliminated funding for many facilities conducting research in climate change and air and water pollution. It has placed tight restrictions on when its 23,000 scientists may speak publicly and has given power to some department managers to block publication of peer-reviewed research. It has closed or “consolidated” scientific libraries, sometimes thoughtlessly destroying invaluable collections in the process. And it has slashed funding for basic research, shifting allocations to applied research with potential payoffs for private companies.
With a deft Orwellian touch, Canada’s national health agency even accused a doctor in Alberta, John O’Connor, of professional misconduct — raising “undue alarm” and promoting “a sense of mistrust” in government officials — after he reported in 2006 that an unusually high number of rare, apparently tar-sands-related cancers were showing up among residents of Fort Chipewyan, 150 miles downstream from the tar sands. A government review released in 2009 cautiously supported Dr. O’Connor’s claims, but officials have shown no interest in the residents’ health since then.
Dr. O’Connor’s experience intimidated other doctors, according to Margaret Sears, a toxicologist hired by the quasi-independent Alberta Energy Regulator to study health impacts in another region near the tar sands operation. Dr. Sears reported that some doctors cited Dr. O’Connor’s case as a reason for declining to treat patients who suggested a link between their symptoms and tar sands emissions."
La totalité de l'article:
"Elsewhere, however, the Socialists lost former strongholds like Toulouse and Limoges, as well as many smaller towns. Manuel Valls, the interior minister, announced late Sunday that the Socialists had lost at least 155 mayoralties in cities with more than 9,000 people. A rare bright spot for the Socialists was Avignon, a major tourist destination known for its prestigious summer arts festival. Just a week earlier it appeared that the far right was leading narrowly there.
The poor showing was expected to result in a cabinet reshuffle by Mr. Hollande and a change in prime ministers as early as Monday.
Economic troubles cast a long shadow over the elections, as Mr. Hollande’s efforts to reverse the trend showed few results even as overall confidence has begun to rise, according to some economic indicators. Unemployment is above average in several of the cities where the far right did well, including Hénin-Beaumont and Béziers, where the rate is close to 20 percent, according to economic surveys and the French government’s statistical agency, Insee."
"Organizers must consider the various expectations and sensitivities of tens of thousands of survivors, victims’ families, police officers, firefighters, rescuers, recovery workers, neighborhood residents and business owners, and an array of former and current political leaders, who, with their special connections to Sept. 11, are all called stakeholders. Who is entitled to visit early? Who deserves to attend the ceremonies? Who gets to speak at the dedication?
Unlike the process of planning the museum, which incorporated years of public outreach, discussion and review, the museum’s rollout was organized by a small group of museum staff members who quietly worked to satisfy competing demands while staying true to the museum’s mission.
And all the arrangements had to be made for a spot that combines the sanctity of a burial ground, the security concerns of a busy airport and the clutter of a construction zone. The unveiling will begin on May 15 — a week before the museum opens to the public — with a dedication, at bedrock, seven stories below ground, in front of an exposed slab of the World Trade Center’s original slurry wall, a hallmark of the underground museum.
"The report attempts to project how the effects will alter human society in coming decades. While the impact of global warming may actually be outweighed by factors like economic or technological change, the report found, the disruptions are nonetheless likely to be profound.
It cited the risk of death or injury on a widespread scale, probable damage to public health, displacement of people and potential mass migrations.
“Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hotspots of hunger,” the report declared."
samedi 29 mars 2014
Le Gouverneur du New Jersey peut-il maintenant relancer sa candidature pour la présidentielle 2016? Des observateurs s'interrogent sur l'étendue de l'enquête interne...
"The governor’s office hired a team of lawyers, led by Randy M. Mastro of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher to carry out the investigation. The report they issued blamed the bridge mess on two people. One was Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, who sent the infamous e-mail saying it was time “for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” and who was fired by Christie in January. The other was David Wildstein, the official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey who was the recipient of that message and who earlier resigned his position.
But the legal team did not interview either of those two, or others whose testimony could have helped fill in some obvious holes in its findings.
The release of the report turned out to be only part of what appeared to be a carefully orchestrated series of events designed to help Christie reemerge publicly after almost three months in which he has shunned the spotlight as multiple investigations played out.
"Public support for capital punishment has ebbed and flowed over time, as indicated by polls going all the way back to the 1930s. But it has been gradually ticking downward for the past two decades, since Pew Research began collecting survey data on this issue.1 Since 1996, the margin between those who favor the death penalty and those who oppose it has narrowed from a 60-point gap (78% favor vs. 18% oppose) to an 18-point difference in 2013 (55% favor vs. 37% oppose)."
"Today’s players, many born in the 1980s, were not. Children learned print and cursive then, as now, but handwriting was generally less of a priority in curriculums.
“In the ‘80s, we started to have people basically say, ‘Oh, handwriting’s not important, because in five or 10 years everything in the world will be computerized,' ” Gladstone said. “But I don’t think we’re yet at the stage of typing our names onto baseballs.”
Players with clean signatures often cite an instructor or relative as their inspiration. For Robertson, it was his grandmother, Martha Robertson, who implored him to sign his full name, instead of “DRob,” when he reached the major leagues in 2008. For Andre Dawson, a Hall of Fame outfielder who played from 1976 to 1996, it was his aunt and first-grade teacher, Alice Daniels, who kept him after school to practice on a chalkboard.
"I had been in Kharkiv three weeks ago too—four days after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country. As I got on the plane then in Moscow, where I live, I had spotted two men in their 50s. One was tall but otherwise nondescript. The other was plump, in a business suit, glasses and a leather overcoat that sported a pin of the Russian flag. The plump one was talking on his mobile phone about the situation in Kharkiv. He seemed well-informed. I asked a casual question—something like, “How is it there at the moment?” The man measured me up, realized that I was a native Russian speaker—I was born and raised in Moscow—and told me, “It will be fine.”
“What do you mean?” I asked him. “I hear Yanukovych has fled, and things could get violent.” “Never mind,” he answered. “Now that the Sochi [Olympics] is over, we will sort them out,” he said with a smile, which made me highly uncomfortable. He didn’t specify who “them” was—he didn’t have to.
I have met men like this before, while reporting about the KGB and its long post-Soviet afterlife in today’s Russia. But there was something particularly nasty about those two. They spoke softly, in half-jokes that gave you goose bumps.
"“President Obama noted that the Ukrainian government continues to take a restrained and de-escalatory approach to the crisis and is moving ahead with constitutional reform and democratic elections, and urged Russia to support this process and avoid further provocations, including the buildup of forces on its border with Ukraine,” the statement read.
Obama also told Putin that the United States supports a diplomatic path in close consultation with Ukraine, according to the statement.
“President Obama made clear that this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” the statement read. “President Obama reiterated that the United States has strongly opposed the actions that Russia has already taken to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
vendredi 28 mars 2014
Encore une histoire de beuverie qui refait surface cette semaine...
mercredi 26 mars 2014
"The alleged behavior would violate Secret Service rules adopted in the wake of a damaging scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, in April 2012, when a dozen agents and officers had been drinking heavily and had brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms before the president’s arrival for an economic summit.
Under the requirements, anyone on an official trip is forbidden to drink alcohol in the 10 hours leading up to an assignment. As members of the advance team for a presidential trip, the CAT members would have been called to duty sometime Sunday for a classified briefing ahead of the president’s arrival on Monday. Drinking late into the night Saturday evening and Sunday morning would have violated that rule.
"Launched in 1931, the workout regime was hailed by dictator Joseph Stalin as a way to get all Russians into tip-top shape to both work and fight for the Fatherland. Known as GTO, the regime required school and university students to pass programs that had names like “Strength and Courage,” “Cheerfulness and Health,” and “Physical Perfection.”
Most of the programs, demarcated by age group, had participants run, swim, ski, climb ropes, and do a lot of pull ups. Other parts of the regime, which was discontinued after the Soviet Union collapsed, involved other crucial elements of Stalinist fitness, like shooting guns and throwing fake grenades.
"Whether or not Putin invades mainland Ukraine, NATO must understand that the Kremlin has decided to begin a new Cold War by attacking the settlement of the last one. Further Western denial—like we saw after the invasion of Georgia—will only encourage more Russian adventurism, with all the attendant risks of wider conflict and major war. While the George W. Bush administration bears its share of the blame here, there is no denying that the Obama White House has repeatedly fumbled the ball with Russia. The famed “reset” was a fine idea if Dmitry Medvedev were actually running Russia, which he certainly was not. Moreover, this White House’s mishandling of Syria, essentially outsourcing U.S. policy to Moscow, only encouraged more hardball from Putin, as was predictable to those who understand this Kremlin.
All the same, I have never had much sympathy for neoconservative critiques of Putin’s Russia, which too often have counseled needless hostility and willful disregard for legitimate Russian interests in Moscow’s “near abroad,” as well as unwise emphasis on missile defense, seen by the Kremlin as a threat. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Western powers, including the United States, were indeed too casually dismissive of Russian concerns—the Balkan wars of the 1990s being a major case in point—and Moscow has now gotten its revenge, repaid with interest, in Ukraine.
"So far only $1.6 billion of the total cost is committed, the result of five-year bonds that will be repaid through a loan that has been pledged by the federal government and that is tied to revenue from dependable authority tolls. But the authority has yet to appoint a task force to study how to come up with the rest of the money and pinpoint what the tolls will need to be while the old bridge is still up, when the new bridge is completed, and in the years afterward.
“There would have to be an awful lot of tolls to make up for the $2.3 billion,” State Senator John A. DeFrancisco, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in an interview, referring to the gap that remains to be financed.
Tolls have been kept artificially low on the Tappan Zee — $5 compared with $13 for the George Washington Bridge, which is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — because Rockland County commuters are not well served by trains or buses and so are compelled to drive.
By one rough calculation — taking $3.9 billion amortized at 4 percent interest and dividing that result by the 24,539,849 vehicle round trips taken in 2012 — paying off construction bonds could add more than $6 to the current toll.
"The McPhersons were swept apart, her in one direction, him in another. When things stopped moving — the house ripped into pieces and shoved 200 feet from its foundation — Mr. McPherson found himself trapped. He could breathe but not reach the surface of the enveloping muck, his leg pinned by a beam of the house he had just been sitting in.
He reached around and found a stick where he lay, perhaps part of his recliner, and began fighting for his life, digging at the mud.
“He was able to poke up through the rubble,” said his sister-in-law, Irene Kuntz. Friends spotted him struggling and dug him out. As they helped him out, Mr. McPherson begged his rescuers to leave him and find his wife, please find his wife. But she died.
Michelle Obama effectuait un séjour en Chine et les médias s'intéressent à la question de la transparence, autant en Chine qu'aux États-Unis où on reproche à l'administration Obama d'éloigner les journalistes...
La disparition du vol 370 obtient une couverture médiatique parfois discutable, pendant ce temps on parle peu de ce glissement de terrain dans l'état de Washington. Le glissement de terrain aurait été précédé d'un petit tremblement de terre. Les habitants d'Oso connaissaient les risques, mais ça ne rend pas la situation plus facile à accepter...
"A handful of people were miraculously pulled from the wreckage in Washington right after a mountain of mud rolled over two towns there Saturday. But no one has been found alive since, and the grim toll rises by the day.
At least 16 have been confirmed dead. And on Wednesday, rescuers will work to salvage another eight bodies they believe they have located under rubble of the landslide that covers about a square mile. At least 176 people are unaccounted for. But officials have stressed that some names of those missing have been duplicated, so there is hope the actual number may be smaller.
Finding them will be toilsome in Oso, with a population of about 180, and Darrington, a town of about 1,350. In some places, the debris is 30 to 40 feet thick.
mardi 25 mars 2014
He noted that conspiracy-theory coverage of the missing plane became a news story in itself, even as the CNN's wall-to-wall approach to the story upped its primetime ratings. "Because the only thing less likely than an airplane disappearing out of the sky is CNN's ratings doubling," he said.Stewart let Fox and MSNBC have it, too, for claiming to be above baseless speculation while spouting nonsense theories themselves.%%
lundi 24 mars 2014
U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders have decided to end Russia's role in the group of leading industrialized nations, the White House said Monday.
The move to suspend Russia's membership in the G8 is the latest direct response from major countries allied against Russia's annexation of Crimea. "International law prohibits the acquisition of part or all of another state's territory through coercion or force," the statement said. "To do so violates the principles upon which the international system is built. We condemn the illegal referendum held in Crimea in violation of Ukraine's constitution. "We also strongly condemn Russia's illegal attempt to annex Crimea in contravention of international law and specific international obligations." Earlier in the day, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said being kicked out of G8 would be no big deal.
"G8 is an informal organization that does not give out any membership cards and, by its definition, cannot remove anyone," he said during a news conference. " All the economic and financial questions are decided in G20, and G8 has the purpose of existence as the forum of dialogue between the leading Western countries and Russia.
"It was put on auction as the only camera that made it to the moon and back. And it had its price — nearly $760,000.
The Hasselblad 500 sold over the weekend is described by Vienna auctioneers Galerie Westlicht as part of the equipment carried by the 1971 Apollo 15 mission — and the only camera ever bought back from the moon. It says the others were left behind to make room for mineral samples.
Galerie Westlicht identifies the new owner as Japanese businessman Terukazu Fujisawa. It says the owner of an electronics chain placed his winning bid of 550,000 euros by phone. Bidding started Saturday at 80,000 euros — just over $110,000.
""Often firearms and schools don't mix," Timothy Baird, a teacher at Craver Middle School in Colorado City, Colo., told the station. "There's a big fear there. So we are pushing the safety aspect and hopefully ease some people’s fears."
The school got permission from the county sheriff's office and students' parents for the trip. A non-profit called Appleseed, an organization dedicated to teaching "rifle marksmanship and our early American heritage," was also involved in the outing.
"We've never been allowed to bring actual real firearms into a school," Appleseed's Elizabeth Blackwood told KRDO. "Until this week. This is a very big deal. We had them touching fire arms, holding them, and learning about how to handle them safely."
"Decades of litigation have established that public schools cannot teach creationism or intelligent design. But private schools receiving public subsidies can — and do. A POLITICO review of hundreds of pages of course outlines, textbooks and school websites found that many of these faith-based schools go beyond teaching the biblical story of the six days of creation as literal fact. Their course materials nurture disdain of the secular world, distrust of momentous discoveries and hostility toward mainstream scientists. They often distort basic facts about the scientific method — teaching, for instance, that theories such as evolution are by definition highly speculative because they haven’t been elevated to the status of “scientific law.”
And this approach isn’t confined to high school biology class; it is typically threaded through all grades and all subjects.
One set of books popular in Christian schools calls evolution “a wicked and vain philosophy.” Another derides “modern math theorists” who fail to view mathematics as absolute laws ordained by God. The publisher notes that its textbooks shun “modern” breakthroughs — even those, like set theory, developed back in the 19th century. Math teachers often set aside time each week — even in geometry and algebra — to explore numbers in the Bible. Students learn vocabulary with sentences like, “Many scientists today are Creationists.”
"A Chicago Transit Authority train derailed, hit a platform at O’Hare International Airport and ran up an escalator early Monday morning. More than 30 people were injured but not seriously, according to initial news reports.
“The train actually climbed over the last stop, jumped up on the sidewalk and then went up the stairs and escalators,” said Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Jose Santiago, according to NBC Chicago. Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said it was unclear how fast the train was traveling. Santiago said it was not immediately known if the train’s operator had a medical problem prior to the accident."
dimanche 23 mars 2014
samedi 22 mars 2014
"A Republican co-sponsor, Representative Marsha Blackburn, a conservative from Tennessee, hails the project as one created “by the women of this nation for the women of future generations.” With so many museums and causes now dotting the capital scene, many subsidized with taxes, an institution dedicated to women in history is long overdue. Senate sponsors, led by Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Susan Collins of Maine, note that fewer than 5 percent of the country’s 2,400 National Historic Landmarks chronicle women’s achievements.
Only nine of 210 statues in the Capitol are of female leaders. Soon after the statue of the three suffragists was completed in 1921, opponents in an all-male Congress banished it and had its inscription, which lawmakers denounced as “blasphemous,” removed. It read: “Woman, first denied a soul, then called mindless, now arisen, declared herself an entity to be reckoned.”
vendredi 21 mars 2014
Accusé de viol et d'Adultère le Général américain s'en tire avec un simple blâme après des négociations avec la partie adverse... Rien pour redorer le blason de l'armée américaine grandement affectée par de multiples cas d'agressions sexuelles.
"Mathilde Duval-Laplante a apprécié le fait qu'il a beaucoup été question d'identité pendant le débat, mais pas « de façon positive » selon elle. L'étudiante a déploré l'attitude du chef libéral Philippe Couillard et son ton « populiste », brandissant la menace d'un référendum, tout en appréciant la façon dont Pauline Marois s'est défendue. « Mais je pense que la grande gagnante du débat des chefs c'est Mme David. Elle s'est démarquée, elle a eu des propos justes et une attitude très positive » affirme l'étudiante.
Antoine Godin-Landry partage aussi cet avis. « Selon moi, c'est madame David qui sort gagnante de ce débat-là, parce que les trois autres partis ont passé leur temps à s'insulter et à faire des attaques personnelles, déplore-t-il. Mme David, elle, a toujours gardé en tête que ce qu'elle venait promouvoir, c'était la plate-forme de Québec solidaire, elle a vraiment mis l'accent sur ces idées là. »