Wildlife populations fall by half in 40 years

World Wildlife Fund blames human threats to nature for biggest share of decline, particularly in tropical regions.

Al Jazeera, September 30

The world populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles fell overall by 52 percent between 1970 and 2010, far faster than previously thought, according to a new study by one of the biggest [...]

US and Afghanistan sign long-awaited security agreement

A deal signed Tuesday allows US forces to remain in Afghanistan after the majority of NATO coalition forces withdraw.

Al Jazeera, September 30

The United States and Afghanistan on Tuesday signed a long-awaited security pact to allow U.S. forces to remain in the country after the majority of NATO coalition forces withdraw at the end [...]

Ted Cruz finds a core of support among social conservatives frustrated with GOP

Washington Post, By Sebastian Payne & Robert Costa, September 30

While there is not yet a front-runner in the early race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is quickly becoming the favored contender of social conservatives, riding a recent wave of fiery speeches and standing ovations at right-wing conferences.

Cruz’s core [...]

Police Unleash Tear Gas in Hong Kong Protests

New York Times, By Alan Wong & Chris Buckley, September 28

Hong Kong — In a significant escalation of their efforts to suppress protests calling for democracy, the authorities in Hong Kong unleashed tear gas, mobilized riot police with long-barreled guns and closed a subway station Sunday to disperse crowds that have besieged the city [...]

Narendra Modi calls for International Yoga Day

TNN, By Chidanand Rajghatta, September 28

New York – Yoga got a strong leg up on the world stage when Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for observing an International Yoga Day, describing the ancient science as “India’s gift to the world.”

Modi’s unexpected reference to yoga during in his UN General Assembly speech came when [...]

Rosneft Says Exxon Arctic Well Strikes Oil

Bloomberg, By Ilya Arkhipov, Stephen Bierman & Ryan Chilcote, September 27

Russia, viewed by the Obama administration as hostile to U.S. interests, has discovered what may prove to be a vast pool of oil in one of the world’s most remote places with the help of America’s largest energy company.

Russia’s state-run OAO Rosneft (ROSN) [...]

On Allies and Enemies

A little thought experiment: imagine if Samantha Power had been running our foreign policy during WWII? In the quote below, replace Syria with USSR.

U.S. coordination with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over the airstrikes: Syria, she said, is not a reliable partner. “You’re committing terror against your people, you’re the ones using chemical weapons and [...]

US launches air strikes on Syria Islamic State militants

(BBC)- The US and allied nations have launched the first air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, the Pentagon has said.

Spokesman Rear Adm John Kirby said fighter and bomber jets and Tomahawk missiles were used in the attack.

The strikes were expected as part of President Barack Obama’s pledge to “degrade and [...]

People’s Climate March 2014: Massive Global Rally to Be Held Sept. 21

NYT

Latin Post, By Rebecca S. Myles, September 3 ( Agonist thread originally posted Sep.9)

The People’s Climate March, a massive global rally on Sept. 21 in New York City, will lead up to a specially called-for United Nations summit on the climate crisis.

To date, 950 supporting organizations are supporting the mass rally, [...]

Mysterious unidentified spying cell towers found across Washington, DC

RT, September 19

Washington, DC is littered with surveillance devices designed to trick surrounding mobile phones into logging onto signal-lifting networks, thereby allowing for tracking or call-monitoring purposes.

While traveling around the capital city with Washington Post reporters, a top executive using his company’s mobile-security technology detected as many as 18 such devices mimicking legitimate [...]

Weekend Jukebox: The morning after the night before

Any genre, any story, any outcome.

Bear in mind that there are a lot of hangovers after the Referendum today, including mine. So be kind if you can

Post away !   Hangover cure for this morning after:

1. Pop wake-up from The Ting Tings – “That’s Not My Name”

   

[...]

France launches first air strikes on IS in Iraq

BBC, September 19

French jets have carried out their first strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq, the office of President Francois Hollande says.

A statement said planes had attacked an IS depot in north-east Iraq, and there would be more raids in the coming days.

The US has carried out more than 170 [...]

Ukraine president asks US Congress for lethal military aid

Petro Poroshenko thanks US for nonlethal assistance, but says ‘one cannot win a war with a blanket’

Al Jazeera, September 18

The United States said on Thursday that it would provide $46 million in new security assistance to Ukraine’s military, but stopped short of fulfilling an urgent request from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for lethal [...]

WHO: 700 Ebola cases emerge in one week

Sierra Leone shuts down as number of West Africans believed to have died from the virus tops 2,600

Al Jazeera, September 18

In a sign that West Africa’s Ebola crisis is worsening, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that more than 700 new cases of the deadly virus were confirmed in the last [...]

Rights group accuses Nigeria of rampant torture

Al Jazeera, By Wilson Dizard, September 18

Nigeria’s security authorities regularly engage in acts of torture to extract criminal confessions from innocent civilians and further the government’s campaign against the armed group Boko Haram, rights group Amnesty International said in a report published on Thursday.

The report, “Welcome to Hell Fire: Torture and Other Ill [...]

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