Violent protests rock Chile amid president’s state-of-the-nation report

•May 25, 2016 • 2 Comments

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chile-protests

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/chile-protests-michelle-bachelet-state-of-the-nation-congress-1.3594748

Violent protests broke out in Chile on Saturday as President Michelle Bachelet presented a state-of-the-nation report to Congress.

One man died of asphyxiation after masked demonstrators burned a pharmacy and a supermarket in downtown Valparaiso, which is where the South American nation’s congress meets.

Local TV broadcast images of smoke rising from different parts of the city. Government spokesman Marcelo Diaz condemned the man’s death in comments to TVN television. The man was identified as 71-year-old Eduardo Lara, who worked as a guard for the municipality.

“Our condolences got to the family of Eduardo Lara. We reject, condemn and are overwhelmed by the fact that the demonstrations ended in the death of a worker,” said Diaz.

The protest began as a peaceful march but turned rough as some demonstrators threw rocks at police and gasoline bombs at buildings. Officers responded with tear gas and high-pressure blasts of water.

Historically, protests in the city to mark annual presidential address cause widespread material damages, but this time the fires got out of hand, consuming businesses and a municipal office. Some of the fires burned for hours after the demonstration.

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south america is really bubbling..chile is just another that seems to be undergoing an “arab spring” type moment..

“The protest began as a peaceful march but turned rough as some demonstrators threw rocks at police and gasoline bombs at buildings. Officers responded with tear gas and high-pressure blasts of water.”

as is often the case..the protests grow from something that is relatively small in the whole scheme of things into something much bigger..

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Scientists create embryos that are both animal and human

•May 25, 2016 • 4 Comments

npr-may16-chimera-final_wide-14b34b26ff94b46a4eeb89217aa71de50c8c6551-s800-c85

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/05/18/478212837/in-search-for-cures-scientists-create-embryos-that-are-both-animal-and-human

A handful of scientists around the United States are trying to do something that some people find disturbing: make embryos that are part human, part animal.

The researchers hope these embryos, known as chimeras, could eventually help save the lives of people with a wide range of diseases.

One way would be to use chimera embryos to create better animal models to study how human diseases happen and how they progress.

Perhaps the boldest hope is to create farm animals that have human organs that could be transplanted into terminally ill patients.

But some scientists and bioethicists worry the creation of these interspecies embryos crosses the line. “You’re getting into unsettling ground that I think is damaging to our sense of humanity,” says Stuart Newman, a professor of cell biology and anatomy at the New York Medical College.

The experiments are so sensitive that the National Institutes of Health has imposed a moratorium on funding them while officials explore the ethical issues they raise.

Nevertheless, a small number of researchers are pursuing the work with private funding. They hope the results will persuade the NIH to lift the moratorium.

“We’re not trying to make a chimera just because we want to see some kind of monstrous creature,” says Pablo Ross, a reproductive biologist at the University of California, Davis. “We’re doing this for a biomedical purpose.”

The NIH is expected to announce soon how it plans to handle requests for funding.

Recently, Ross agreed to let me visit his lab for an unusual look at his research. During the visit, Ross demonstrated how he is trying to create a pancreas that theoretically could be transplanted into a patient with diabetes.

The first step involves using new gene-editing techniques to remove the gene that pig embryos need to make a pancreas.

Working under an elaborate microscope, Ross makes a small hole in the embryo’s outer membrane with a laser. Next, he injects a molecule synthesized in the laboratory to home in and delete the pancreas gene inside. (In separate experiments, he has done this to sheep embryos, too.)

After the embryos have had their DNA edited this way, Ross creates another hole in the membrane so he can inject human induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS for short, into the pig embryos.

Like human embryonic stem cells, iPS cells can turn into any kind of cell or tissue in the body. The researchers’ hope is that the human stem cells will take advantage of the void in the embryo to start forming a human pancreas.

Because iPS cells can be made from any adult’s skin cells, any organs they form would match the patient who needs the transplant, vastly reducing the risk that the body would reject the new organ.

But for the embryo to develop and produce an organ, Ross has to put the chimera embryos into the wombs of adult pigs. That involves a surgical procedure, which is performed in a large operating room across the street from Ross’s lab.

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chimeras are not new..this has been going on for years..but now they are letting the public know more about it because they want to push further..

“We’re not trying to make a chimera just because we want to see some kind of monstrous creature,” says Pablo Ross, a reproductive biologist at the University of California, Davis. “We’re doing this for a biomedical purpose.”

yeah right..screw around with nature and you will open a pandoras box..

“The experiments are so sensitive that the National Institutes of Health has imposed a moratorium on funding them while officials explore the ethical issues they raise.”

they know what they are doing is wack..

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Israeli-born economist confirmed head of Brazil’s Central Bank

•May 25, 2016 • 4 Comments

Ilan-Goldfajn-Brazil

http://www.jta.org/2016/05/17/news-opinion/world/israeli-born-economist-confirmed-head-of-brazils-central-bank

Ilan Goldfajn, an Israeli-born economist with an acknowledged career in both the public and private sectors, was confirmed Tuesday as president of Brazil’s Central Bank.

Goldfajn, 50, a Haifa native who was raised in Rio de Janeiro, has served as chief economist at Itau, Brazil’s largest private bank, and deputy to the bank governor of Brazil, as well as adviser to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

He is an active member of the Brazilian Jewish community and was educated in Rio’s Liessin Jewish day school. In a May meeting held by the Brazil-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Goldfajn said “Brazil has a lot to learn from Israel.”

Last year, Goldfajn argued during an Israel-Brazil chamber event in Tel Aviv that the deep economic crisis affecting Brazil stems from a lack of fiscal responsibility. In response, he said, Brazil must boost exports and raise taxes, cut government spending and raise the retirement age.

An outspoken critic of the corruption and socioeconomic gaps in Brazil, Goldfajn will face a series of monetary and economic challenges. Latin America’s largest nation is struggling with its worst recession in nearly a century, including the prolonged erosion of the Brazilian currency, the real, steadily rising inflation and the pessimistic projections of a negative 3 percent growth in 2016.

Last week, Michel Temer was named Brazil’s interim president replacing the suspended Dilma Rousseff, who is facing impeachment over her alleged manipulation of the state budget. At the time, Temer had put forward Goldfajn’s name as the mostly like to head the central bank, but Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles delayed the announcement of his economic team until Tuesday.

Fluent in Hebrew, English, Portuguese and Spanish, Goldfajn has a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. In the mid-1990s he was a professor at Brandeis University, followed by a stint as an economist at the International Monetary Fund.

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what a surprise..not!

economist with the IMF..adviser to the world bank..and born into the right race..

“Fluent in Hebrew, English, Portuguese and Spanish, Goldfajn has a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro.”

brazil is in the grip of a coup..without bullets..

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UN says Istanbul humanitarian summit “once in generation” chance

•May 25, 2016 • 18 Comments

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5741ed88ce4e9_9386915eb0f72fd6e18ce73a63ecf2b4cf1ea8ac-1bk3rc8

https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/31670884/un-says-istanbul-humanitarian-summit-once-in-generation-chance/

The world’s first humanitarian summit in Istanbul next week is a “once in a generation” chance to alleviate suffering by improving the global response to crises, senior UN officials said Sunday.

The two-day UN-backed World Humanitarian Summit which opens Monday brings together some 65 heads of state and government with leading NGOs to find a concrete strategy on countering the worst humanitarian crises since World War II.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to to set in motion an ambitious and far-reaching agenda to change the way that we alleviate and prevent the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable people,” UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien told reporters ahead of the meeting.

He said that the summit differed from other such events as it was not aimed as winning financial pledges but a comprehensive strategy for dealing with crises such as the estimated 60 million people displaced around the world.

UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson said that the meeting aimed to tackle the “root causes” of crises emanating from conflict, as well as climate change.

“We spend so much on dealing with the late causes of conflict but very little on prevention,” he said, urging a focus on the early rather than the late stages of the conflict.

Eliasson said the summit should also see a “strong call” for respect of international humanitarian law, which has badly decayed with attacks on schools and hospitals in the conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen.

“We have seen a lack of respect for international humanitarian law which is causing huge damage in the world.”

The summit is the result of years of planning but there has been criticism that its actual outcomes could fall well short of its lofty ambitions.

Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is boycotting the event, saying it risked being just a “fig leaf” for the world’s failure on humanitarian action.

“I regret very much that they came to that decision,” said Eliasson.

“One of the main purposes of this conference is our outrage against violations of international humanitarian law,” adding he hoped the “convictions they (MSF) stand for” would come out of the meeting.

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“last chance”..

“crisis”..

“once in a generation opportunity”..

“UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson said that the meeting aimed to tackle the “root causes” of crises emanating from conflict, as well as climate change.”

climate change??

they think they are some sort of gods who can achieve anything but its all rhetoric..and its being held in turkey ffs..

they cant organise a root in a brothel to put it bluntly!

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Montenegro: Nato’s newest and last member?

•May 25, 2016 • Leave a Comment

montenegro-map-administrative-political-flag-65813584

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36311644

Nato will celebrate the arrival of its latest member, the small Balkan state of Montenegro, as a sure sign of the alliance’s continuing relevance at a time of renewed tensions in Europe.

The decision to admit Montenegro must next be ratified in each of the alliance’s national capitals – but the basic decision has been taken.

Montenegro’s contribution to the alliance’s defences will, in fairness, be limited.

It has a tiny population and an active-duty military of only a little more than 2,000 members.

But, as Nato says: “Montenegro has provided troops for the training mission in Afghanistan and financial support to the Afghan security forces.”

“Montenegro, also plays a constructive role in the Western Balkans region.”

This points to another aspect of Montenegro’s perceived value as a Nato member.

After the bitter Balkan wars, Nato is slowly bringing the new democracies of the region into its fold; a means of spreading a security blanket across Europe’s once fractious south-eastern flank.

Nato’s expansion since the end of the Cold War has been dramatic.

As a journalist covering defence matters during the late 1980s, I used to receive a regular copy of a journal called Nato’s Sixteen Nations.

Once the Berlin Wall came down and Nato’s doors were opened, it had to change its name with the arrival of each new member, and then it gave up.

Today, with Montenegro, there will be 29 Nato members in all.

Two countries, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have been offered what Nato calls membership action plans, a kind of waiting-room for membership.

———

“The decision to admit Montenegro must next be ratified in each of the alliance’s national capitals – but the basic decision has been taken.”

purely symbolic..

“Today, with Montenegro, there will be 29 Nato members in all.”

keeps growing..

“After the bitter Balkan wars, Nato is slowly bringing the new democracies of the region into its fold; a means of spreading a security blanket across Europe’s once fractious south-eastern flank.”

security blanket..please..

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Austria presidential vote: Postal ballots to decide result..Van der Bellen elected president

•May 24, 2016 • 13 Comments

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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36355615

Postal ballots will decide Austria’s presidential election after polling station results from Sunday’s vote gave the far-right candidate a slender lead.

Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party was slightly ahead of his rival, Alexander Van der Bellen, the interior ministry said on Sunday.

If elected, Mr Hofer would be the first far-right head of state in the EU.

A key campaign issue was Europe’s migrant crisis, which has seen asylum-seeker numbers soar.

About 90,000 people claimed asylum in Austria last year, equivalent to about 1% of the Austrian population, and the Freedom Party ran an anti-immigration campaign.

Some 750,000 postal votes from roughly 12% of Austria’s 6.4m voters are due to be counted on Monday.

Austria’s election has revealed a profound split over which direction the nation should take.

Support for the Freedom Party has risen in recent years because deep frustration with the established parties of the centre left and centre right. Fears about the migrant crisis have boosted the far right still further.

The presidency is a mainly ceremonial post, but a victory for the Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer would give momentum to populist and far- a fortnight agoright parties in other European countries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norbert_Hofer

He is an honorary member of the conservative school fraternity (pennal-conservative Burschenschaft) Marko-Germania zu Pinkafeld and a honorary knight of the Order of St. George.

———-

the “freedom” party got rolled by postal votes..

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36362505

Alexander Van der Bellen has won Austria’s presidential election, preventing Norbert Hofer from becoming the EU’s first far-right head of state.

Mr Van der Bellen, a pro-EU independent backed by the Greens, beat Mr Hofer by just 31,000 votes among the 4.64m cast.

The president-elect vowed to address the “divisions” among Austrians that the poll had “made visible”.

Mr Hofer’s campaign had targeted anti-EU feelings and fears about migrants. He said his defeat was a “sad day”.

small margin but thats enough..dont know much about va der bellen if any of the readers can fill us in please do so..

401

Obama in Vietnam

•May 24, 2016 • 15 Comments

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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36354326

Barack Obama has arrived for the start of his three-day visit to Vietnam, only the third by a sitting US president since the end of the Vietnam War.

The trip comes amid warming ties between the countries as the US seeks to build relations with Pacific allies.

Vietnam is keen for the US to lift an arms embargo that has been in place since 1984.

Mr Obama will later fly to Japan for a G7 summit. He will also become the first US president to visit Hiroshima.

While in Vietnam, Mr Obama is expected to meet dissidents and make the case for Vietnam to remove obstacles to the US-led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal.

Ben Rhodes, Mr Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said before the visit that talks on removing the United States’ embargo on selling arms to Vietnam would be discussed.

Doing so would allow Vietnam to bolster its defences at a time of territorial disputes with its neighbour China, which was unhappy with a partial lifting of the ban in 2014.

However, White House officials indicated the ban would be lifted only if there was an improvement in human rights in Vietnam.

On Friday, Mr Obama will tour Hiroshima, where a US nuclear bomb was detonated in 1945, killing at least 140,000 people.

In an interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK on Friday, Mr Obama said he would not apologise during his remarks in Hiroshima.

“It’s important to recognise that in the midst of war, leaders make all kinds of decisions, it’s a job of historians to ask questions and examine them,” he said.

“But I know, as somebody who’s now sat in this position for the last seven-and-a-half years, that every leader makes very difficult decisions, particularly during wartime.”

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“While in Vietnam, Mr Obama is expected to meet dissidents and make the case for Vietnam to remove obstacles to the US-led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal.”

and that is what its really all about..

“Ben Rhodes, Mr Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said before the visit that talks on removing the United States’ embargo on selling arms to Vietnam would be discussed. Doing so would allow Vietnam to bolster its defences at a time of territorial disputes with its neighbour China, which was unhappy with a partial lifting of the ban in 2014.”

gee..i wonder after the embargo is lifted..who will get to supply the arms?

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