You are browsing the archive for 2018 January 14.

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Why Urban Farming Is Key in the Fight Against Hunger and Climate Change (Video)

January 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch

A new study finds that urban farms are critical to survival in a changing climate.


The urban farms sprouting up and across cities around the world aren't just feeding mouths—they are “critical to survival” and a “necessary adaptation” for developing regions and a changing climate, according to a new study.

Urban farms—which include plain old allotments, indoor vertical farms and rooftop gardens nestled amongst busy streets and skyscrapers—have become increasingly popular and important as the world's population grows and more and more people move to cities.

The United Nations predicts that by 2030, two-thirds of the world's population will be living in cities, with the urban population in developing countries doubling. That's a lot of mouths to feed.

The new paper, published in the journal Earth's Future and led by the Arizona State University and Google, finds that this expected urban population boom will benefit from urban farming in multiple ways.

As the Thomson Reuters Foundation explained from the study, “Urban farms could supply almost the entire recommended consumption of vegetables for city dwellers, while cutting food waste and reducing emissions from the transportation of agricultural products.”

According to the study, urban agriculture can help solve a host of urban environmental problems, from increasing vegetation cover (thus contributing to a decrease in the urban heat island intensity), improving the livability of cities, and providing enhanced food security to more than half of Earth's population.

After analyzing multiple datasets in Google Earth Engine, the researchers calculated that the existing vegetation on urban farms around the world already provides some $33 billion annually in services from biocontrol, pollination, climate regulation and soil formation.

The future of urban agriculture has even more potential, the researchers found.

“We project potential annual food production of 100–180 million tonnes, energy savings ranging from 14 to 15 billion kilowatt-hours, nitrogen sequestration between 100,000 and 170,000 tonnes, and avoided stormwater runoff between 45 and 57 billion cubic meters annually,” the authors wrote.

“In addition, we estimate that food production, nitrogen fixation, energy savings, pollination, …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump’s Response to Hawaii Missile Snafu Proves He Can’t Be Trusted with More Nukes: New York Times

January 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Tom Boggioni, Raw Story

The Times called the president out.


In a cautionary editorial published after the citizens of Hawaii were thrown into a panic over a mistaken alert announcing missiles were incoming, the New York Timessaid the President blithe response was a reason to not entrust him with an expanded nuclear arsenal.

Following the frightening announcement in Hawaii on Saturday morning, the president was reportedly advised about what was going on, but chose to continue to play golf instead of, at the very least, attempting to quell the panic by using his heavily followed Twitter account to dispute the warning.

In fact, long after the warning had been debunked, the only statement issued by the White House stated: “The President has been briefed on the state of Hawaii’s emergency management exercise. This was purely a state exercise.”

Three hours after the alert, the president finally tweeted: “So much Fake News is being reported. They don’t even try to get it right, or correct it when they are wrong. They promote the Fake Book of a mentally deranged author, who knowingly writes false information. The Mainstream Media is crazed that WE won the election!” with no mention of Hawaii.

The Times called the president out for it.

“The authorities quickly announced that the alert was a mistake. But it made tangible the growing fears that after decades of leaders trying to more safely control the world’s nuclear arsenals, President Trump has increased the possibility of those weapons being used,” the editors wrote.

“At a time when many are questioning whether Mr. Trump ought to be allowed anywhere near the nuclear ‘button,’ he is moving ahead with plans to develop new nuclear weapons and expanding the circumstances in which they’d be used,” the editorial continued. “Such actions break with years of American nuclear policy. They also make it harder to persuade other nations to curb their nuclear ambitions or forgo them entirely.”

Noting the the President is about to “make public a new policy that commits America to an increasing investment in those very weapons,” the Times said the plan to invest in “new low-yield nuclear weapons” is “insane.”

“President Barack Obama made …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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White Woman Sprays Herself With Sulfuric Acid and Blames a Nonexistent Black Woman for the Crime

January 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Noor Al-Sibai, Raw Story

The woman has a history of self-harm.


A white woman in Staten Island, New York made false claims that a strange black woman sprayed her in the face with sulfuric acid — only to recant and admit she sprayed herself.

Inside Edition reported that Lizzie Dunn, a resident of the outer borough, claimed she was attacked earlier in the week at her bus stop by a black woman in her 40s who demanded cigarettes and money. Her face burning from the acid, she stumbled into a deli near the stop, causing a major panic inside the establishment and in the neighborhood.

Soon after, local news outlets picked up the story about the acid-spraying stranger before Dunn recanted.

Police told the New York Daily News that the Staten Island woman “has a history of self-harm,” and her deception was revealed after they began pressing her for more details on her attack claims.

Dunn “suffered second-degree burns on the left side of her face and scalp,” the report noted. It remains unclear whether or not police will charge her with filing a false police report.

Watch below:

 

 

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Source: ALTERNET

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Trump’s First Year Has Been the Private Prison Industry’s Best

January 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Lauren-Brooke Eisen, Salon

The Trump administration has been a godsend for the private prison industry.


Exactly 17 months ago, in August of 2016 — back when most election polls had Hillary Clinton clinching the 2016 presidential election — the Obama administration announced that it would end the Justice Department’s (DOJ) reliance on private prisons. The announcement came seven days after the DOJ’s inspector general (IG) called on the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to more rigorously oversee its contracts with private prison companies. The IG’s report found that private prisons at the federal level consistently fail to measure up to federal standards in preventing dangerous conditions, intercepting contraband, and ensuring internal accountability for staff misconduct.

Shares of the private prison titans tanked.

CoreCivic and GEO Group’s stocks both ended the day down more than 35 percent and 39 percent, respectively — an indication that the nation’s largest for-profit prison corporations' profitability might be on the wane. The day after the announcement, GEO Group CEO George Zoley stated in a conference call, “There’s been an overreaction to the news about the contracts. We think, in time, this will correct itself.” Even George Zoley couldn’t have predicted today’s turnaround.

With the election of Donald Trump to the White House a few months later, Zoley’s prescient statement of an “overreaction” made him look like a fortune teller.

On Nov. 7, 2016, when the closing bell of the American Stock Exchange rang and before any sense of who the 45th president of the United States would be, CoreCivic traded at 14.36 and GEO Group stood at 15.93. Following Trump's electoral victory, private prison company stocks skyrocketed. Today, CoreCivic is trading at  23.19 (a 61 percent increase) and GEO Group is trading at 23.03 (a 45 percent increase). And for good reason. The Trump administration is a godsend for the private prison industry.

First, there is the dangerous and misguided rhetoric that President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions constantly spew — despite evidence to the contrary — about how the nation’s violent crime rate is rising and America’s streets are filled with carnage. Second, along with this bombastic language are their calls for harsher sentencing and draconian enforcement of drug and immigration offenses. …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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‘Sh*thole’ Projected onto Trump Hotel in Washington DC

January 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Tom Porter, Newsweek

The arrow points directly at the hotel entrance.


 

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Source: ALTERNET

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What I Learned from Being on Oprah’s Talk Show

January 14, 2018 in Economics

By Walter Olson

Walter Olson

The week’s spotlight on all things Oprah reminded me of
the time I was on her show as a novice author back when and what I
learned about the worlds of entertainment and hard work.

At the time I had almost no experience doing national TV, let
alone the highest-rated show of all. The publishers of my first
book, “The Litigation Explosion,” had sent galleys to
her show way in advance (as was standard practice given the
show’s power and reach). Her producers picked up on it right
away, pre-interviewing me on the phone at length and then spending
weeks developing a segment based on it, all before my book’s
publication date and before any reviews had hit other than the
trade reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus.

Finally they called me to say: We’re ready to shoot in a
couple of days, here’s your flight to Chicago. At that point
I realized I had never actually sat down to watch the show and only
one episode was airing before I had to be there. The theme of the
show that day was blind dates between star athletes and gorgeous
supermodels separated from each other by a curtain. I wondered how
I was going to fit the history of civil procedure into that
format.

The week’s spotlight on
all things Oprah reminded me of the time I was on her show as a
novice author back when and what I learned about the worlds of
entertainment and hard work.

The limo that picked me up at my Chicago hotel delivered me to
the studio at exactly the same moment as a second vehicle delivered
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who was there as the
balance, to provide the argument that lawsuits were a wonderful
thing and America needed more of them.

Of course I recognized him and introduced myself. They whisked
us to the same green room (pre-show waiting room for guests) and at
almost the same moment we both said — “Do they really
want to leave us together?” Sure enough, a producer arrived a
moment later to say Mr. Dershowitz had been brought to the wrong
place and would he please come with her. As I later discovered was
the practice at some other shows when there was a debate on, they
gathered the guests on each side in separate green rooms so that we
did not waste good conversational firepower that should be saved
for live, or worse yet, accidentally come to like each other and
pull our punches on camera as a result.

The segment as a whole featured, besides me …read more

Source: OP-EDS