We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for May 28th, 2014

Nigerian Girls Found, But No Rescue Attempt

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Nigerian Girls Found, But No Rescue Attempt
Nigeria’s military knows where the more than 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram are but has ruled out using force to rescue them, the state news agency quoted chief of defence staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh as saying on Monday. “The good news for the parents of the girls is that we know where they are, but we cannot tell you,” Badeh said. “But where they are held, can we go there with force? We can’t kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back.” Most officials think any raid to rescue them would be fraught with danger and probably not worth the risk that the girls would be killed by their captors — an Islamist group that has shown a degree of ruthlessness in killing civilians. Since the girls were captured, at least 470 civilians have been killed by Boko Haram, which says it is fighting to establish an Islamic state in religiously mixed Nigeria, in various locations, according to a Reuters count.


France’s Le Pen still searching for EU allies

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

France’s Le Pen still searching for EU allies
BRUSSELS (AP) — French National Front leader Marine Le Pen struggled on Wednesday to get enough international support for a full-fledged parliamentary group in the European Parliament, despite unprecedented victories gained by the far right in last week’s European Union elections.


America “stronger when we lead by example,” Obama says

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

America “stronger when we lead by example,” Obama says
From climate change to maritime law disputes, President Obama says America cannot cannot exampe itself “from the rules that apply to everyone else.”

The tea party may be down, but is it out?
Is the movement really losing, or has the fight just gotten more expensive?

The up-and-down relationship between Maya Angelou and Obama
Not always allies, Angelou and the president did forge a bond, however


Fox Callously Dismisses Value Of 4.3 Million Lives Lost To Pollution

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Fox Callously Dismisses Value Of 4.3 Million Lives Lost To Pollution

Fox News brushed aside the value of Environmental Protection Agency research grants for clean cooking and heating technologies, saying that the dangerous indoor pollution from dirty stoves is only “a mere contribution” to 4.3 million deaths, and fearmongered that the EPA would soon come after American stoves. However, even Fox News’ “favorite” environmental pundit has said that the fact that millions are dying from dirty cooking stoves — more deaths than from AIDS and malaria combined — is an “immediate problem.”

EPA To Give Grants For Research Into Clean Stove Technology

EPA Awarded Grants To Universities To Research Clean Cookstove Technology. On May 27, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would distribute nearly $9 million in research grants to six universities across the country to research clean cookstove technology. From the EPA’s blog:

Nearly three billion people worldwide rely on burning fuels such as wood, plant matter, coal, and animal waste. And because most of that occurs indoors, it’s a health hazard, too. The World Health Organization estimates that exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves leads to 4.3 million premature deaths per year.

[…]

What’s more, it’s not just a local problem. The smoke from traditional cookstoves is a major source of black carbon, an air pollutant linked to a range of impacts associated with our changing climate, including increased temperatures, accelerated ice and snow melt, and changes in the pattern and intensity of precipitation.

[…]

Funded through our Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, the research will focus on measuring and communicating the benefits of adopting cleaner cooking, heating, and lighting practices. The impact of the work will improve air quality and protect the health of billions of people, as well as slow climate change–a benefit for everyone, and the global environment, too. [EPA blog, 5/28/14]

Pollution From Dirty Stoves Kills More People Than AIDS And Malaria Combined

World Health Organization: Nearly 3 Billion Use Dirty Technology To Cook And Heat Homes. The World Health Organization (WHO), an agency of the United Nations, states that currently about 3 billion people — nearly half of the global population — cook and heat their homes using inefficient and dirty technologies, including open fires and “simple stoves burning biomass (wood, animal dung and crop waste) and coal.” The WHO calls this phenomenon “the forgotten 3 billion.” [World Health Organization, accessed 5/28/14]

WHO: 4.3 Million Deaths Are “Attributable To” Pollution Caused By Clean Stoves. The WHO determined that the pollutants from inefficient stoves lead to 4.3 million premature deaths each year, and are particularly harmful towards women and children:

More than 50% of premature deaths among children under 5 are due to pneumonia caused by particulate matter (soot) inhaled from household air pollution.

[…]

In poorly ventilated dwellings, indoor smoke can be 100 times higher than acceptable levels for small particles. Exposure is particularly high among women and young children, who spend the most time near the domestic hearth.

[…]

4.3 million people a year die prematurely from illness attributable to the household air pollution caused by the inefficient use of solid fuels (2012 data). Among these deaths:

  • 12% are due to pneumonia
  • 34% from stroke
  • 26% from ischaemic heart disease
  • 22% from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and
  • 6% from lung cancer. [World Health Organization, accessed 5/28/14]

Pollution From Dirty Stoves Kills More People Than AIDS And Malaria Combined. Reuters reported that “there were about 1.7 million AIDS-related deaths in 2011 and malaria killed about 660,000 people in 2010,” while 3.5 million die early each year from indoor air pollution from dirty stoves, according to earlier 2012 data from the WHO (the number has since increased to 4.3 million per year):

Air pollution is an underestimated scourge that kills far more people than AIDS and malaria and a shift to cleaner energy could easily halve the toll by 2030, U.N. officials said on Tuesday.

[…]

A 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) study found that 3.5 million people die early annually from indoor air pollution and 3.3 million from outdoor air pollution. 

[…]

By comparison, U.N. reports show there were about 1.7 million AIDS-related deaths in 2011 and malaria killed about 660,000 people in 2010. [Reuters, 4/9/13]

Fox News Heartlessly Dismisses Need For Clean Cookstoves

Fox’s Varney: Dirty Stoves Are “A Mere Contribution To Those [4.3 Million] Deaths.” Fox News contributor Stuart Varney dismissed the WHO statistics on the May 28 edition of Fox & Friends, saying that dirty stoves were only “a mere contribution” to 4.3 million deaths, not a cause:

VARNEY: The World Health Organization says that cooking stoves, smoky fires contribute to 4.3 million premature deaths per year. What does contribute mean? Does it mean that cooking fires create 4.3 million premature deaths? No. A mere contribution to those deaths. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/28/14]

Fox News Fearmongers: “Obama’s EPA Targets Your Stove.” Fox Nation promoted a Washington Times article with the headline “Obama’s EPA Targets Your Stove Now …” However, the Washington Times article actually disparaged the research because “most of the problem lives far from the shores of the U.S.,” suggesting that “an agency charged with protecting Americans from pollution” should not be “focused on a problem that is far more prevalent off U.S. shores.” [Washington Times, 5/26/14; Fox Nation, 5/27/14]

Even Fox’s “Favorite” Environmental Pundit Agrees: Clean Cookstoves Are Important Global Issue

Fox’s “Favorite” Bjorn Lomborg: Dirty Stoves Are An “Immediate Problem.” Fox’s Stuart Varney once called Bjorn Lomborg, who frequently uses his media platform to deride large-scale action on climate change, “our favorite rational environmentalist.” Lomborg recently argued that dirty heating and cooking technology is a “more immediate problem” than climate change in a New York Times op-ed:

There’s a lot of hand-wringing about our warming planet, but billions of people face a more immediate problem: They are desperately poor, and many cook and heat their homes using open fires or leaky stoves that burn dirty fuels like wood, dung, crop waste and coal.

About 3.5 million of them die prematurely each year as a result of breathing the polluted air inside their homes — about 200,000 more than the number who die prematurely each year from breathing polluted air outside, according to a [2012] study by the World Health Organization.

[…]

Even more people — an estimated three billion — still cook and heat their homes using open fires and leaky stoves, according to the energy agency. More efficient stoves could help. And solar panels could provide LED lights and power to charge cellphones. [Media Matters, 7/12/11; New York Times, 12/3/13]

Cookstoves Are Part Of A Global Issue That Will Impact U.S.

Dirty Cookstoves Are A Major Contributor To Manmade Climate Change. The WHO detailed that inefficient stove combustion emits “black carbon (sooty particles) and methane,” both of which are “powerful climate change pollutants.” The New York Times expanded on the contribution of dirty stoves to global climate change, reporting they are “perhaps the second biggest contributor to global warming”:

The stoves also contribute to global warming as a result of the millions of tons of soot they spew into the atmosphere and the deforestation caused by cutting down trees to fuel them.

[…]

Although the toxic smoke from the primitive stoves is one of the leading environmental causes of death and disease, and perhaps the second biggest contributor to global warming, after the industrial use of fossil fuels, it has long been neglected by governments and private aid organizations. [World Health Organization, accessed 5/28/14; New York Times, 9/20/10]

Without Change In Policy Or Technology, Reliance On Dirty Cookstoves Will Prevent Sustainable Development. According to the World Bank, a substantial shift in policy is necessary to decrease the total number of people relying on dirty fuels by 2030, and that “the use of polluting fuels also poses a major burden on sustainable development.” [World Bank, 2010, via World Health Organization]

Climate Change Already Impacts The United States. A recent federal report from the U.S. Global Change Research Program detailed the current and future impacts of climate change across the country, stating that climate change “has moved firmly into the present.”

Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present. Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington State, and maple syrup producers in Vermont are all observing climate-related changes that are outside of recent experience. So, too, are coastal planners in Florida, water managers in the arid Southwest, city dwellers from Phoenix to New York, and Native Peoples on tribal lands from Louisiana to Alaska. This National Climate Assessment concludes that the evidence of human-induced climate change continues to strengthen and that impacts are increasing across the country. [U.S. Global Change Research Program, 5/6/14]


Why Restraint Makes Us Stronger

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Why Restraint Makes Us Stronger
E.J. Dionne, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — By laying out a long-term foreign policy vision in a speech at West Point on Wednesday, President Obama challenged his critics, at home and abroad, not to speak in vague terms about American “decline” or “weakness” but to answer the question: Exactly what would you do differently? This is as close as we have gotten to an Obama Doctrine, and here it is: The United States “will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it — when our people are threatened; when our livelihoods are at stake; when the security of our allies is in danger.” But in…


Clegg and Cable facing questions

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Clegg and Cable facing questions
Nick Clegg and Vince Cable are facing questions over the Liberal Democrats’ future leadership, after Lord Oakeshott quit the party he said was “heading for disaster”.

Analysis: Clegg stronger for now
Where Oakeshott’s broadside leaves Clegg and Cable


Obama taking on foreign policy critics

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Obama taking on foreign policy critics
The White House is mounting a concerted defense of President Obama’s foreign policy.


The Extremist Organizations ‘on the Front Lines’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

The Extremist Organizations ‘on the Front Lines’
Islamic extremism has decentralized over the past decade. Some groups have links to Al Qaeda, but most of them focus more on waging local battles than on attacking the West.

Storming a Spanish Border in North Africa
More than 1,000 would-be immigrants tried to forced their way over razor-wire barriers into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla on Wednesday.



Leader of French Far-Right Hopes to Fix Europe From the Inside
Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front, outlined ambitions to reshape Europe’s direction during her visit to Brussels.




New York City Rejects Possibility Of 2024 Olympic Bid

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

New York City Rejects Possibility Of 2024 Olympic Bid

New York joins a list of cities that has decided the cost of hosting the Olympic Games simply isn’t worth it.

The post New York City Rejects Possibility Of 2024 Olympic Bid appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Sochi Olympics

CREDIT: AP

One of the most prominent cities considering a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics has reportedly decided against it. New York City never formally announced its attention to bid on the Games and was only one of a handful of American cities considering a bid, but according to a Wednesday report in the Wall Street Journal, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration will not prepare a bid in part because it does not believe the cost of hosting the Olympics would be worth it to the city.

Proponents of hosting the Olympics often argue that the Games will boost the economy, lead to job growth, and provide increases in tourism. New York has rejected those arguments, however, in deciding not to bid on the Games.

“Very few people would say that New York City is not quote on the map and is not a major global city,” Alicia Glen, the city’s deputy mayor for housing and economic development, told the Journal, adding that the Olympics could actually “deter tourism to some extent” as New York has seen record tourism numbers.

Ms. Glen said top officials also feared an Olympic bid would distract from the mayor’s economic-development agenda. If the city focused on particular sporting venues, or particular neighborhoods where events would be held, other parts of the city could be neglected, she said.

Those feelings are rejections of basic arguments for hosting the Olympic Games, but New York isn’t alone: a litany of academic research argues that the Games and other mega-events like them are not the economic boons proponents say they are, and as Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky noted Tuesday, “a long list of potential hosts” for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games “have given up on their Olympic dreams because the whole thing is one huge, useless waste of money.” Cities in Poland, Germany, and Sweden have walked away from potential Olympic bids, each of them citing the costs, and a similar bid is falling apart in Norway as public support for hosting the Games evaporates.

There are still two potential hosts lined up for 2022, and a large group of cities still considering bids for 2024. But mass media coverage of the cost of recent Olympics and other mega-events — namely the $50 billion Sochi Winter Olympics and the social unrest around Brazil’s attempts to host both the World Cup and Olympics between now and 2016 — has drawn public attention to the fact that these events are not the sure success stories they are promised to be. We’re still going to have the Olympics, and we should. But perhaps this sort of recognition from potential hosts and major cities across the world, as sports economists have told me before, is a major step toward holding them in much more cost-efficient, responsible ways that allow hosts to capture the social and cultural benefits that do exist without creating the problems that too often come along as well.

The post New York City Rejects Possibility Of 2024 Olympic Bid appeared first on ThinkProgress.


Is Obama Moving the ‘War on Terror’ to Africa?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Is Obama Moving the ‘War on Terror’ to Africa?
From: Zoë Carpenter

Despite talk of a pivot to Asia, the US military‘s gaze has settled on Africa. 

Congress Could Slow Obama’s Push for a Longer Afghan War
From: George Zornick

Obama wants to keep almost 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014, but some members of Congress are saying “not so fast.”

Let’s Stop Subsidizing Economic Inequality
From: Katrina vanden Heuvel

Why must you and I foot the bill, via our taxes, for the callousness of Wal-Mart or Domino's?

Maya Angelou’s Civil Rights Legacy
From: John Nichols

A brilliant author who organized with Dr. King and served on the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.