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HIV diagnosis rate fell by third in US over decade

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

HIV diagnosis rate fell by third in US over decade
NEW YORK (AP) — The rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the United States each year fell by one-third over the past decade, a government study finds. Experts celebrated it as hopeful news that the AIDS epidemic may be slowing in the U.S.

Multiple bus crash in Germany kills 10, injures 69
BERLIN (AP) — Several buses crashed on a German highway near the eastern city of Dresden, leaving nine people dead and 43 injured, police said Saturday.


Ronald Reagan’s index cards of one-liners

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Ronald Reagan’s index cards of one-liners
The “Great Communicator” had a secret comedic weapon: Stacks of 3×5 note cards filled with ready quips and zingers

Obama to sign orders protecting gay employees
The president plans to sign executive orders prohibiting discrimination against LGBT workers in the government and its contracting agencies

Ted Cruz: Obama, Democrats trying to “ransom” migrant children
Texas Republican says Obama invited the flood of unaccompanied minors crossing the border, and now he’s trying to capitalize on the crisis


Life & Death of a Russian Freedom Fighter

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Life & Death of a Russian Freedom Fighter
Cathy Young, RealClearPolitics
Valeria Novodvorskaya, the firebrand Russian activist and writer who died in Moscow on July 12 at the age of 64, was practically unknown abroad and had a somewhat scandalous notoriety at home. Enemies derided her, often in crudely misogynist terms, as a demented Russia-hating hag; even many allies viewed her as something of an embarrassment, a ridiculous old woman prone to saying things that made the already marginalized liberal opposition look crazy. In death, she was quickly and almost literally canonized by the same opposition. Many said that they were only now beginning to understand what…

United 232 and the Miracle in a Cornfield
Carl M. Cannon, RealClearPolitics
Twenty-five years ago today, a traveling Chicago-based corporate accountant named Joseph Trombello finished up the audit he was doing of a hotel property in Grand Junction, Colo., ate dinner, called his wife, and went to sleep. The next day, he was scheduled to fly back, via Denver’s Stapleton International Airport, to O’Hare, and his home 15 minutes from the airport in Vernon Hills, Ill. After a mechanical delay in Grand Junction and a bumpy ride on the propeller plane to Denver, Trombello learned he had a two-hour delay at Stapleton. His company flew him first class, but it was…


VIDEO: The Andrew Marr Show paper review

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

VIDEO: The Andrew Marr Show paper review
Andrew Marr reviews the Sunday newspapers with Sarah Baxter of The Sunday Times, former Russia Today broadcaster Sara Firth and comedian Robin Ince.

Chinese TV firm to create 70 jobs
One of China’s largest TV manufacturers hopes to create 70 jobs after opening its European manufacturing headquarters in Port Talbot.


Obama golfs with staffers in Virginia

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Obama golfs with staffers in Virginia
The president flew to Fort Belvoir from Camp David.

Racy Photos Were Often Shared at N.S.A., Snowden Says

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Racy Photos Were Often Shared at N.S.A., Snowden Says
Edward J. Snowden said lax oversight allowed for members of the United States military to pass around sexually explicit photos they had intercepted.

Kerry Says Russia Trained Separatists to Use Antiaircraft Missiles
Secretary of State John Kerry stopped short of saying Russia provided the missile unit that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.






Africans Open Fuller Wallets to the Future
Across sub-Saharan Africa, consumer demand is fueling the continent’s economies in new ways, driving hopes that Africa will emerge as a success story.






Sinosphere Blog: U.S. Naval Ties With China Advance, Symbolically
While the United States chief of naval operations was spending time aboard China’s aircraft carrier, the Chinese Navy was participating for the first time in the United States-led multinational exercises off Hawaii.






Contributing Op-Ed Writer: Russia’s Anti-West Isolationism
The rhetoric emanating from the Kremlin has been one of the main drivers of support for the Ukrainian conflict.







An 11-Year-Old Girl Is The Latest Victim Of Chicago’s Gun Violence Epidemic

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

An 11-Year-Old Girl Is The Latest Victim Of Chicago’s Gun Violence Epidemic

Shamiya Adams was making s’mores when a stray bullet struck and killed her. She was one of 22 people shot in a 12-hour span over the weekend.

The post An 11-Year-Old Girl Is The Latest Victim Of Chicago’s Gun Violence Epidemic appeared first on ThinkProgress.

shamiya_adams

CREDIT: Screenshot from Fox32

An 11-year-old girl in Chicago was shot and killed late last week when a stray bullet flew through a window and struck her in the head during a sleepover at a nearby friend’s house.

Shamiya Adams was a student at Melody Elementary School last year, and was getting ready to enter 6th grade in the fall. She was making s’mores with her friends on Friday night when gunshots erupted. One bullet crashed through the window of Rosemarie Jones, who was hosting her daughter’s friends for the sleepover.

Adams was transported to a nearby hospital with critical brain injuries, but an emergency surgery and breathing machine were not enough to save the girl. She was pronounced dead early on Saturday morning.

“She was just a baby,” Adams’s aunt lamented to the Chicago Sun-Times. “She didn’t deserve this.”

Gun violence has reached almost endemic levels in Chicago. In addition to Adams, 21 other people were shot in a 12-hour span from Friday afternoon to early Saturday morning. Adams and one other victim died. This comes two weeks after a similar spree in the city’s streets left nine dead and more than 60 others injured over the Independence Day weekend.

That figure is actually up from the same holiday weekend a year ago, when 34 people were injured or killed by gun violence on July 4th. And the city has seen more than its fair share of extremely violent weekends.

Gun deaths have taken a particularly large toll on the city’s sizable black population. A recent study found that African-Americans were 10 times more likely to be shot by police than white people. Children have also been frequent victims, often innocent bystanders of deadly shootings.

These stretches of violence have been cited by conservatives as proof that strict gun laws have no effect on actual gun violence. They point to the city’s tough gun laws as evidence, but neglect to mention that while Chicago has passed numerous measures in an attempt to make it harder for people to purchase deadly weapons, the rest of the state has lagged far behind. Forty three percent of guns seized in the Chicagoland area were purchased elsewhere in the state, while most of the remaining guns were brought to the city from out of state.

Compare that to New York, a city with three times as many people but fewer incidents of gun violence. Like Chicago, New York City has equally strict gun laws, but unlike Illinois, New York State also has firm gun laws in place that make it harder for middlemen to bring firearms into the city.

The post An 11-Year-Old Girl Is The Latest Victim Of Chicago’s Gun Violence Epidemic appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Here’s What Has Happened Since The Malaysian Plane Went Down

As the international community mourns the nearly 300 people who were killed in Thursday’s plane crash, there are still many more questions than answers.

The post Here’s What Has Happened Since The Malaysian Plane Went Down appeared first on ThinkProgress.

A memorial forming the letters MH17 to mourn the victims of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

A memorial forming the letters MH17 to mourn the victims of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

CREDIT: AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin

It’s been three days since a commercial plane was shot down over Ukraine, killing the hundreds of people on board. While some of the questions about the crash have been resolved, many details remain murky, and new controversies have begun to unfold. Here’s what has happened since Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 fell from the sky on Thursday:

A list of all the passengers and crew members aboard MH17 has been released.

On Saturday, the official manifest from the flight was released, providing a comprehensive list of the people who were aboard MH17. That helped bring clarity to some earlier reports about the passengers; for instance, although it was initially feared that as many as 100 prominent AIDS researchers were on the plane on their way to a major public health conference, the manifest reveals that just six conference attendees were on the flight. The New York Times is currently compiling profiles of the victims of the crash, and inviting those individuals’ loved ones to share memories about them.

And even more information about the victims’ final hours may become available soon. On Sunday, Ukrainian rebels said they’ve recovered the plane’s black boxes — the electronic recording devices that facilitate the investigation of aviation accidents — and promised to hand them over to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The plane victims’ bodies have been seized by pro-Russian rebels.

According to several media reports, separatist rebels have seized all of the bodies that have been recovered from the site of the MH17 crash. Ukrainian officials say that armed rebels forced the emergency workers at the scene to hand over all 196 bodies, and then loaded them onto refrigerated train cars bound for the rebel-held city of Torez. One emergency worker told the Associated Press that they simply had no choice but to relinquish the bodies: “They are armed and we are not. The militiamen came, put the bodies onto the trucks and took them away.”

The rebel leaders say they removed the bodies in order be “humane,” intending to keep them preserved until they’re able to be identified. They maintain that they will not withhold them from Western powers. But the move has horrified the international community. “What’s happening is really grotesque,” Secretary of State John Kerry said on Meet The Press on Sunday morning. A statement from his office added that seizing the bodies represents an “affront to all those who lost loved ones and to the dignity the victims deserve.”

There will be an international investigation into the crash, although rebels are already being accused of tampering with evidence.

On Friday, President Obama called for a “credible international investigation” into what happened with MH17. Ukraine has also urged Moscow to exert its influence over the pro-Russia rebels to ensure that international experts are given the ability to conduct a “thorough, impartial investigation” into the plane crash. Nonetheless, there’s been widespread outrage over the way that the wreckage is being handled so far. The U.S. State Department has accused separatist rebels of tampering with the evidence at the crash site.

According to reports, “intoxicated, aggressive gunmen” have been preventing international monitors from having enough access to the remains. In addition to bodies being removed, monitors from Europe’s Organization for Security and Cooperation say that debris and evidence is also being dragged away from the area. There are questions about where the black boxes actually are and whether the rebels have moved them. Some reports alleges there’s been looting at the site, as rebels are rifling through dead passengers’ bags and taking anything that isn’t broken.

During an appearance on Face the Nation on Sunday, Kerry called on Russia to do more to protect the investigation while it proceeds. “Because of Russia’s linkage to these separatists, they have a greater ability to exert influence, and we need Russia to become part of the solution, not part of the problem,” the secretary of state said. “The evidence is there. But we need a full access to this site in order to conduct a thorough investigation.”

U.S. and Ukrainian officials say there’s mounting evidence that Russia supplied the technology necessary to shoot down the plane.

Who’s really at fault for the crash has been an open question — the Russian rebels maintain they don’t have the capacity to shoot down a plane at that height; Ukraine insists that the rebels must have done it with help from Russia; and Russian officials have denied all involvement and suggested that Kiev’s military is at fault. But officials from the United States and Ukraine are saying that the emerging evidence points to Russia.

On Face the Nation, Kerry said that there’s an “enormous amount of evidence” that Russia supplied the separatist rebels with the training and tools they needed to shoot down the Malaysian plane, pointing out that this isn’t the first time they’ve shot down an aircraft. Meanwhile, Ukraine now says that it can prove Russia provided the surface-to-air missile system that downed the plane, claiming that it has photographic evidence of the missiles being transported into Ukraine.

Tensions with Russia are escalating.

The United States has already upped its economic sanctions on Russia, and its major European allies appear to be considering following suit. “We hope this is a wake-up call for some countries in Europe that have been reluctant to move,” the secretary of state said on Face the Nation this weekend.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have suggested the evidence that Russia may have been involved in the crash could have serious ramifications. “This should be a game changer if we find out that either it was Russian-back separatists who did this or Russia itself,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) told reporters on Friday. Meanwhile, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-NY) maintained that the U.S. should be pursuing diplomatic solutions with Russia, but agreed that the relations between the two countries are “now at Cold War levels.”

The post Here’s What Has Happened Since The Malaysian Plane Went Down appeared first on ThinkProgress.


Flight MH17: More Than an Accident

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Flight MH17: More Than an Accident

Liberals Pity Obama, Tolerate Clinton, Love Warren
K. Glueck, Politico
DETROIT — At a high-profile gathering of progressives this week, Hillary Clinton was tolerated, Barack Obama was pitied, and Elizabeth Warren was treated like a hero.The annual liberal confab known as Netroots Nation brought together around 3,000 activists converged for several days of campaign training, a protest or two, and speeches from Warren, Vice President Joe Biden and other Democrats.

Will Voters Give Rick Perry a 2nd Chance?
Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard

Obama Aides Knew of Brewing Border Crisis
Nakamura, et al, Wash Post
Nearly a year before President Obama declared a humanitarian crisis on the border, a team of experts arrived at the Fort Brown patrol station in Brownsville, Tex., and discovered a makeshift transportation depot for a deluge of foreign children.


BP Oil Spill in Lake Michigan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 19th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

BP Oil Spill in Lake Michigan
BP crews on Thursday more than doubled their earlier maximum estimate of how much oil spilled into Lake Michigan when a refinery malfunction occurred in Indiana this week. Company representatives now estimate between 630 and 1,638 gallons of oil has been recovered since the spill at BP’s Whiting Refinery on Monday, March 24. It was estimated Wednesday that between 377 and 755 gallons of crude oil had spilled. BP said the initial numbers were based off visual observation.

American in Ukraine crash had lived in New Jersey

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 19th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

American in Ukraine crash had lived in New Jersey
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The only American identified so far as a victim of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine lived in New Jersey as a child and returned to the Netherlands when he was 5.

Kenya Red Cross: 7 die in militant attack on coast
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Seven people were killed when gunmen attacked a bus at the Kenyan coast where previous attacks had left 87 people dead, the Kenya Red Cross said Saturday.

In US, fearful campers eye Middle East conflict
OTISFIELD, Maine (AP) — Fighting in the Middle East has made for a summer of high tension, tearful phone calls and unlikely friendships between Israelis and Palestinians attending camps in the U.S. that host participants from the region.