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Archive for October 7th, 2014

Video: NYPD Officers Hit Teen in Face with Gun

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 7th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Video: NYPD Officers Hit Teen in Face with Gun
Two NYPD officers are under criminal investigation after punching and bashing a 16-year-old suspect in the face with a gun despite the teen raising his hands to surrender, according to a video obtained by DNAinfo New York. The officers from the 79th Precinct are now targets of a criminal investigation conducted by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau and Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson. “What’s depicted on this video is troubling and warrants a thorough investigation,” Thompson said.

College Students Spend 8-10 Hours a Day on Phones
Female college students spend an average of 10 hours a day on their cellphones and male college students spend nearly eight, with excessive use posing potential risks for academic performance, according to a Baylor University study on cellphone activity published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions. “That’s astounding,” said researcher James Roberts of Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business. “As cellphone functions increase, addictions to this seemingly indispensable piece of technology become an increasingly realistic possibility.”


Pope to visit France in 2015, on top of Asia, US

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 7th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Pope to visit France in 2015, on top of Asia, US
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican says Pope Francis will travel to France next year, as 2015 is shaping up as a busy travel year for the 77-year-old pontiff.

Violence highlights power of gang in Mexican town
IGUALA, Mexico (AP) — Mexico sent federal agents to take over security in a troubled city in southern Guerrero state after the discovery of a mass grave and charges that local police conspired with a criminal gang to kill and disappear students.

New Mexico debate in Spanish part of growing trend
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The moderator gave New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez the nod to start her opening statement. She smiled, then looked at the camera.


Bill Clinton gets in on the “selfie” craze

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 7th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Bill Clinton gets in on the “selfie” craze
The former president threw a line to endangered Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor

Sen. Ted Cruz questions U.S. response to Ebola crisis
The Texas Republican is the latest lawmaker to suggest the Obama administration isn’t reacting swiftly enough


Fox Analyst Suggests The Federal Government Is Holding Back Ebola Treatments

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 7th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Fox Analyst Suggests The Federal Government Is Holding Back Ebola Treatments

Peter Johnson Jr.

Fox News analyst Peter Johnson Jr. suggested that the government was at fault for the shortage of ZMapp, an experimental Ebola treatment yet to be approved for widespread public use, and slammed the first U.S. diagnosis of an Ebola patient as a “poor example of federal government intervention.” But in truth, the government has “set records” in approving drugs to address Ebola outbreaks and has provided crucial funding for research and development.

On the October 7 edition of Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy and Johnson discussed why there is a current shortage of ZMapp, suggesting that a reliance on federal grants by the pharmaceutical company who produced the medication may be to blame for the shortage. Johnson faulted the Centers for Disease Control and Preventation (CDC) for not having the capacity to produce more of the drug and slammed the fact that ZMAPP has been “supported by federal grants only.” He went on to suggest that if the government is “not doing the job they should be doing,” perhaps they should be “stepping out of the way and let private industry do it”:

But Johnson ignored the fact that the federal government has greatly sped up the drug approval process in order to address the public health threat posed by Ebola. According to an October 6 article from The Hill, the FDA recently approved the use of two experimental drugs that treat Ebola — an act that “set agency records” for a process that “typically takes years.”

The reason ZMapp shortages have occurred is not due to government failure, as suggested by the Fox figures. As ZMapp manufacturer Mapp Biopharmaceautical noted, the drug’s production has been slow because “Ebola is a relatively recently discovered disease with sporadic outbreaks,” and “most new drugs take a decade or more of development work prior to commercialization.”

Long production times are also at fault for the shortage of ZMapp. An October 5 article from CBS News explained that the drug is made from a special “biologically-engineered tobacco” that takes some time to grow:

Making more ZMapp takes a long time because the drug is made from a certain type of biologically-engineered tobacco that’s currently being grown at Kentucky BioProcessing, in Owensboro, Kentucky. “It takes time for tobacco to grow; it’s a certain kind of tobacco,” said Turner. “It’s very special, and has been carefully developed to produce authentic human proteins faithfully.” He declined to estimate how much longer it would take, or how big the supply would be. Turner added that his team is currently reviewing other ways they could feasibly produce the drug at a faster rate.


Bill Maher, Ben Affleck and Islam

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 7th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Bill Maher, Ben Affleck and Islam
Dennis Prager, RealClearPolitics
Last Friday night a rare dialogue/debate took place on American television. It was rare because it involved criticism of Islam, one of the many taboo subjects that are labeled “politically incorrect.” And it took place on the program “Real Time with Bill Maher,” a show not generally known for taking politically incorrect positions. But on this night the host, Bill Maher, along with atheism-advocate Sam Harris, had a vigorous debate with Actor Ben Affleck, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. Bill Maher, a man of the left…

Demographics, Hispanic Voters and the Midterms
David Byler, RealClearPolitics
One of the biggest stories of the 2012 election was the Latino vote — how President Obama won Hispanics so convincingly; whether Republicans need Latinos to win future elections; how Republicans can win over Hispanics — but much less attention has been paid to Latinos this election cycle. These voters will likely have less influence in 2014 than they did two years ago, and there are several reasons why. These range from decreased turnout overall in midterms to the low concentration of Latinos in states with key Senate battles to disappointment over the president’s shelving of action…

Screening for Ebola; Latino Influence on Midterms; Wake Island Requiem
Carl M. Cannon, RealClearPolitics
Good morning, it’s Tuesday, October 7, four weeks from Election Day, 2014. With time running short, and his political party in a tough campaign to retain control of the U.S. Senate, President Obama travels to New York City today for three fundraisers. He’s scheduled to return to the White House minutes after the first pitch in Game 4 of the Washington Nationals-San Francisco Giants’ tense playoff series. Hopeful Washington area baseball fans can take solace from a game played 30 years ago today. On this date in 1984, the San Diego Padres won the National League pennant by…

The Triumph of Muddle-Nomics
Robert Samuelson, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — I have been reading Martin Wolf’s “The Shifts and the Shocks,” a detailed analysis of the 2008-09 financial crisis and its aftermath. Wolf is the chief economic columnist of the Financial Times, an English paper with a global audience. He and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman are probably the world’s most influential economic commentators. What Wolf says matters because he is hugely well-informed and respected. By and large, he rejects the standard American explanation of the financial crisis, which blames greedy bankers, incompetent government regulators and naive…


AUDIO: Labour’s Harry Smith on childhood

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 7th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

AUDIO: Labour’s Harry Smith on childhood
RAF veteran and Labour speaker Harry Leslie Smith, 91, tells students on 5 live that he “didn’t have a childhood”.

PM: ‘Panel bid to defuse parade row’
Prime Minister David Cameron says a decision to set up a panel to examine a parade dispute in Belfast is an attempt to “defuse” a difficult situation and denied it was giving in to unionist demands.


Premier Backs Ban on ‘Hate Preachers’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 7th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Premier Backs Ban on ‘Hate Preachers’
Australia will soon introduce a system to ban foreign “hate preachers” from entering the country.



Turkish Inaction on ISIS Advance Dismays the U.S.
As fighters with ISIS bore down Tuesday on the Turkish border, President Obama’s plan to fight the militant group without being drawn deeper into the Syrian civil war was coming under acute strain.



Britain: Terrorism Arrests in London
The British police arrested four men in their early 20s in London raids on Tuesday as part of an investigation into Islamist-related militancy.




The Inventors Of A ‘Revolutionary’ Climate Solution Just Won A Nobel Prize

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 7th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

The Inventors Of A ‘Revolutionary’ Climate Solution Just Won A Nobel Prize

“They succeeded where everyone else had failed,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

The post The Inventors Of A ‘Revolutionary’ Climate Solution Just Won A Nobel Prize appeared first on ThinkProgress.

shutterstock_24236314

CREDIT: Shutterstock

Three men who together helped increase the energy efficiency of lighting systems across the world have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Tuesday.

Professors Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura will share the Nobel for their invention of the blue light-emitting diode (LED), a technology now used to light up smartphones and computer screens, purify polluted water, and bring cost-effective, efficient white light to people all over the world. First created by the trio in 1990, the blue LED has helped “revolutionize” illumination technology — a revolution that the Academy deemed of “greatest benefit to mankind.”

“They succeeded where everyone else had failed,” the Academy said in a statement. “The invention of the blue LED is just twenty years old, but it has already contributed to create white light in an entirely new manner to the benefit of us all.”

White light — the kind naturally produced by the sun — can be artificially made by mixing red, green, and blue light. Before 1990, scientists had only figured out how to make green and red LEDs. That was a problem, because without blue, there was no way to replicate the usable white light formed by florescent lamps or conventional bulbs.

Akasaki, Amano, and Nakamura cracked the code. With their invention of the blue light, white LED light was finally able to be created. Those white LEDs soared in popularity for lighting systems, and for good reason — they are 20 times as efficient as incandescent bulbs; they lack the mercury-related health risks of fluorescent bulbs; and they last as long as 22 years before burning out.

LED lights produce the most lumens of light per watt of electrical power compared to other forms of light.

LED lights produce the most lumens of light per watt of electrical power compared to other forms of light.

CREDIT: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

The Academy lauded the inventors for creating something environmentally-friendly, and noted that replacing all regular light bulbs and fluorescent tubes with LEDs would lead to a “drastic reduction” of electricity requirements for lighting. According to the Academy, 20 to 30 percent of all electricity consumed in industrial economies comes from lighting. If all of those bulbs were replaced with LEDs, that percentage would drop down to about 4 percent, the Academy said.

Though not mentioned by the Academy in its award, a reduction in electricity use as drastic as 16 to 26 percentage points would provide benefits to the climate. In the United States, for example, it is estimated that if every household replaced just one regular light bulb with an LED, it would prevent the emissions of approximately 2.5 million tons of greenhouse gases — the emissions equivalent to taking about 550,000 cars off the road. Replace all those bulbs, and the emissions reductions would be even greater.

The Academy also noted that LEDs are helping improve the quality of life for more than 1.5 billion people around the world who don’t have access to electricity grids. Because the LED bulbs have such low power requirements, they don’t need grids; they can be powered by cheap, small, solar panels. And because powering the lights doesn’t require non-renewable, costly fossil fuels, the solar panel pays for itself over time, and electricity generated is eventually free — both monetarily and emissions-wise.

Clean LED lights have already been helping transform rural areas in India, as noted by a ThinkProgress report from Uttar Pradesh in July. There, dairy farmers are using LED lanterns powered by solar to milk their cows before sunrise; women who weave saris are using them to work longer hours and make extra money; and students are using them to study at night.

LED lights have also helped decrease the emissions of a substance known as “black carbon,” or soot, a particle that makes climate change worse by temporarily changing the energy makeup of the earth. In Uganda, for example, researchers discovered that the kerosene lamps widely used there were major emitters of black carbon. That problem was easily solved by replacing the lamps with cheap LED replacements.

The post The Inventors Of A ‘Revolutionary’ Climate Solution Just Won A Nobel Prize appeared first on ThinkProgress.


Eric Schneiderman Is Still Seeking Justice for the Financial Crisis

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 7th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Eric Schneiderman Is Still Seeking Justice for the Financial Crisis
From: Katrina vanden Heuvel

The New York attorney general has been almost single-handedly fighting an uphill battle to hold the banks accountable.

The NBA’s 21st-Century Vampires
From: Dave Zirin

Blood testing to build a better basketball cyborg? The newest NBA data-driven health craze that will further dehumanize—“thingify”—the players.

Trumka Wants a More Populist Approach From Democrats
From: George Zornick

Talking directly about economic fairness will increase Democratic turnout, the labor leader says.

When Christopher Hitchens Went to Hong Kong, He Saw ‘Wised-Up Young People’ on a ‘Globalized Globe’
From: Back Issues

And a DC lawyer reflects on his essay from 1984, when Hong Kong was “full of life.”

Waiting for the Iranian Godot
From: Foreign Policy In Focus

The United States and its allies keep waiting on Iran to make more concessions on its nuclear enrichment program. But they’re missing the bigger picture.


How Dems Could Maintain Senate Control

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 7th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

How Dems Could Maintain Senate Control
Stuart Rothenberg, Roll Call
A few weeks ago I wrote Senate Republicans would gain at least seven seats, even though the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call race ratings showed a likely Republican gain of five to eight seats.That expectation was based on national survey results that showed the president extremely is unpopular and voters are unhappy with the direction of the country, as well as state polling that showed Democratic incumbents well below the critical 50 percent threshold in ballot tests against their GOP opponents.

Roberts Court’s Brief Progressive Moment
Jeffrey Toobin, New Yorker
It’s hard enough to know what the Justices of the Supreme Court are talking about when they write opinions, which tend to be dense, convoluted, and laden with coded references that are decipherable only to a few. But, on Monday, the Court presented an even greater interpretive challenge: determining what it meant when it said nothing at all. Without comment, the Court let stand successful challenges to the bans on same-sex marriage in five states. Those lower-court rulings had been stayed while the parties waited to hear from the Justices. Now that they won’t be saying anything,…

Elbert Guillory & Reverse Southern Strategy
Robert Tracinski, Federalist
Elbert Guillory has just shown us the way forward.Guillory is a Louisiana state senator who caused a stir last year when he switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. That would not have been news if Guillory were white; in fact, he would have been pretty far behind the curve. But Guillory is black and represents a poor black district, which makes his spirited defense of the Republican Party much more significant.

Obama’s Remarkable Dispassion
Kathleen Parker, Washington Post