Friday, August 19, 2016

Stopping the World’s Most Rapacious Invasive Species, One Fillet at a Time | Foreign Policy

Stopping the World’s Most Rapacious Invasive Species, One Fillet at a Time | Foreign Policy: "Since Pacific lionfish were first detected off the coast of Florida three decades ago, they have spread around the Caribbean, gobbling up everything that fits in their mouths and reproducing at a phenomenal rate. Scientists have shown that soon after they descend upon a reef, there is a sharp fall in the number of small fish, notably the herbivores on which coral depends for survival. “They’re eating their way through the reefs like a plague of locusts,” said Mark Hixon, a lionfish specialist at the University of Hawaii. It is by far the most destructive invasive species ever recorded at sea, and the blight is believed to have started with aquarium fish released off the Florida Atlantic coast in the mid-1980s.

However, in the last few months, a set of unrelated trends has resulted in two U.S. supermarket chains, Whole Foods and Wegmans, offering Florida lionfish, which has a white, delicate flesh, to consumers with much fanfare. Early signs suggest that the state’s fishery might just be big enough to protect the native denizens of at least some reefs from being decimated.

“If the commercial fishermen can keep their numbers down, we should see an increase in the native species that are being eaten by lionfish,” said Lad Akins, the founder of the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) in Key Largo, Florida, and head of its lionfish study project. “That would be the first time a commercial market controls an invasive species.”"



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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

From California, a Better Way to Retire - The New York Times

From California, a Better Way to Retire - The New York Times: "At any given moment, about half of the private-sector employees in the United States — some 60 million people — do not have any type of employer-sponsored retirement plan. The result is a growing American underclass, in which a third of current retirees live almost entirely on Social Security and fully half of future retirees will face reduced standards of living. Worse, the coverage gap has long proved intractable, with Congress and the financial industry unable or unwilling to design or support truly simple and low-cost retirement savings plans.

And yet, retirement prospects are about to improve for the 6.8 million employees without retirement coverage who work in California for businesses with five or more workers. Next week, the California Legislature is set to vote on a plan, nearly four years in the making, to automatically enroll most uncovered workers in individual retirement savings accounts. Employee advocates are confident the measure will pass, and Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign it. When that happens, Californians will gain more security — and the rest of the nation will gain a national model for promoting retirement savings.

Under the plan, uncovered employees would have up to 5 percent of pay deducted from their paychecks, unless they opted out. Those contributions would be pooled and managed by investment professionals chosen by the state through a bidding process. The plan, called the California Secure Choice Retirement Program, would be overseen by a board of public- and private-sector leaders, appointed by the governor and the Legislature in 2012, when the legislative effort first got underway."



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Friday, August 12, 2016

Mexico mothers searching for loved ones turn up hidden graves

Mexico mothers searching for loved ones turn up hidden graves:



Coatzacoalcos (Mexico) (AFP) - Mothers searching for missing loved ones said they have found seven clandestine gravesites with remains of an undetermined number of people in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz, one of the most afflicted by drug gang violence.
Marcela Zurita Rosas, a participant in the search, said Tuesday the graves were found this week in a plot of land in the city of Veracruz, in an area near a major seaport.
"On Monday, we found three graves with bones and on Tuesday four more were found with remains of people who were murdered," she said.
Rosas, who has received training in forensic anthropology and search techniques, is a member of a group called El Solecito. It was formed by mothers who decided to organize their own searches for missing loved ones after growing tired of waiting for the authorities to act.
Rosas is looking for her son, Dorian Javier Rivera Zurita, who disappeared in Cordoba, Veracruz in October 2012.
The latest finds were made on the same plot of land where five decapitated bodies were found in 2015.


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The Nauru files: cache of 2,000 leaked reports reveal scale of abuse of children in Australian offshore detention | Australia news | The Guardian

The Nauru files: cache of 2,000 leaked reports reveal scale of abuse of children in Australian offshore detention | Australia news | The Guardian:



The devastating trauma and abuse inflicted on children held by Australia in offshore detention has been laid bare in the largest cache of leaked documents released from inside its immigration regime.
More than 2,000 leaked incident reports from Australia’s detention camp for asylum seekers on the remote Pacific island of Nauru – totalling more than 8,000 pages – are published by the Guardian today. The Nauru files set out as never before the assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and living conditions endured by asylum seekers held by the Australian government, painting a picture of routine dysfunction and cruelty.
The Guardian’s analysis of the files reveal that children are vastly over-represented in the reports. More than half of the 2,116 reports – a total of 1,086 incidents, or 51.3% – involve children, although children made up only about 18% of those in detention on Nauru during the time covered by the reports, May 2013 to October 2015. The findings come just weeks after the brutal treatment of young people in juvenile detention in the Northern Territory was exposed, leading to the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announcing a wide-ranging public inquiry.


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Thursday, August 4, 2016

All Politicians Lie. Some Lie More Than Others. - The New York Times

All Politicians Lie. Some Lie More Than Others. - The New York Times: "Falsehood Face-Off
Statements since 2007 by presidential candidates (and some current and former officeholders) ranked from most dishonest over all to least dishonest, as fact-checked by PolitiFact. “Pants on Fire” refers to the most egregious falsehoods.


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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Donald Trump Calls On Russia To 'Find' Hillary Clinton's Emails : NPR

Donald Trump Calls On Russia To 'Find' Hillary Clinton's Emails : NPR: ""Today, Donald Trump once again took Russia's side," Panetta said. "He asked the Russians to interfere in American politics. Think about that for a moment. Donald Trump, who wants to be president of the United States, is asking one of our adversaries to engage in hacking or intelligence efforts against the United States to affect our election."

The crowd at the DNC bood loudly, then cheered this remark from Panetta:

"As someone who was responsible for protecting our nation from cyberattacks, it's inconceivable to me that any presidential candidate would be this irresponsible. Donald Trump cannot become our commander in chief.""



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Friday, July 22, 2016

U.S. lawsuits link Malaysian leader to stolen money from 1MDB fund

U.S. lawsuits link Malaysian leader to stolen money from 1MDB fund: "KUALA LUMPUR/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Thursday judgment should be withheld until all the facts are known after the U.S. government filed lawsuits seeking to seize $1 billion in assets bought with money stolen from a state fund he oversaw.

The U.S. Justice Department lawsuits filed in a federal court on Wednesday did not name Najib, instead referring to "Malaysian Official 1." Some of the allegations against this official were the same as those in a Malaysian investigation into a $681 million transfer to the premier's personal bank account.

The lawsuits said $681 million from a 2013 bond sale by sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was transferred to the account of "Malaysian Official 1".

A source familiar with the investigation confirmed that "Malaysian Official 1" was Najib.

In Malaysia, the hashtag #MalaysianOfficial1 was trending on Thursday."



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