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  1. #9616

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Because it is 2020 and, why not, let's have a war.
    Three of the four horsemen. We just need a small famine somewhere for the entire group to be here.
    No need - President Trump will soon be on this, netting him his third Nobel Peace Prize nomination, because he loves peace. Or so say his supporters, as they point to the 'peace treaties' in the Middle East between Bahrain, the UAE and Israel (no matter that they were never true combatants against each other). And, with that special relationship he has with Putin, the President is well suited to this task. Just let him get through the debate.
    Last edited by Jeff in TX; 09-28-2020 at 08:45 PM.
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  2. #9617

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Nah. He will cede this one to Putin, who is also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. 2020 is also apparently the year where the nomination process is exposed as a complete joke.

  3. #9618
    Director of Nothing
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNU View Post
    Nah. He will cede this one to Putin, who is also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. 2020 is also apparently the year where the nomination process is exposed as a complete joke.
    There is the nomination list, which has always been known as a joke because the most ridiculous ones are often leaked. But it's not to be confused with the shortlist, which is not published, rumored about, and is the actual list of contenders.

  4. #9619

    Re: World News Random, Random

    The nomination process is a joke? The ENTIRE PRIZE IS A JOKE. Some winners:
    Henry Kissinger (you have to be kidding)
    Andrei Sakharov (father of the USSR Hydrogen Bomb)
    Mother Theresa
    The European Union (poli-speak for "Participation Trophy")
    Juan Manuel Santos (for surrendering to the FARC and not obeying the mandate of the Colombian electorate)

    A real worthy prize, and I am not even mentioning Aung San Suu Kyi, who deserves her prize being taken away.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  5. #9620
    Director of Nothing
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    The nomination process is a joke? The ENTIRE PRIZE IS A JOKE. Some winners:
    Henry Kissinger (you have to be kidding)
    Andrei Sakharov (father of the USSR Hydrogen Bomb)
    Mother Theresa
    The European Union (poli-speak for "Participation Trophy")
    Juan Manuel Santos (for surrendering to the FARC and not obeying the mandate of the Colombian electorate)

    A real worthy prize, and I am not even mentioning Aung San Suu Kyi, who deserves her prize being taken away.
    I'm not talking about the peace prize only, but the overall institution

    I would also fight you on Sakharov. He deeply regretted his contribution and fought for nuclear disarmament and for democracy at the cost of being in domestic exile for decades.

  6. #9621

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Malala Yousafzai was a solid, commendable pick from recent years.

  7. #9622

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Rebels from Syria recruited to fight in conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, source says

    By Kareem Khadder, Gul Tuysuz and Tim Lister, CNN
    Updated 2:02 PM ET, Thu October 1, 2020

    Further evidence is emerging of rebels from Syria being recruited to fight as mercenaries in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

    CNN spoke to a Syrian national who has been signed up to travel from northern Syria to Azerbaijan. The man, who declined to provide his real name, said he was living in the Afrin area of northern Syria but was originally from Damascus.

    He said he belonged to a faction of the rebel Syrian National Army, which is backed by Turkey. Its leader had asked those prepared to go to Azerbaijan to register. "I voluntarily did that and 90% of my unit signed up," he told CNN via WhatsApp. "They told us that they will give us $1,500 a month."

    "Our contracts are for three months, and every month we will be getting paid by the unit commander," he said, adding that he didn't know who was funding the operation.

    The fighter contacted by CNN said volunteers were gathering in the Hawar Kilis area near the Syria-Turkey border awaiting transportation. The crossing is controlled by a faction of the Syrian National Army.

    CNN reached out to the Turkish government for a response on whether it is recruiting Syrian fighters to go to Azerbaijan. The Foreign Ministry said they were "baseless allegations."

    The Foreign Ministry in Azerbaijan also denied Syrian fighters were on Azeri soil, and spoke of "a completely false and slanderous smear campaign in some foreign media, allegedly in connection with the import of fighters from Syria to Azerbaijan." It said Armenia was behind the allegations.

    The fighter contacted by CNN, a father of three, said his family was living below the poverty line. He was prepared to travel to Azerbaijan "because of the money, and all the world knows that the Syrians living here are dying of hunger."

    To begin with, the man thought the volunteers would be involved in guard duty "but after the first batch of fighters went to Azerbaijan, we learned it was about fighting like the fighting in Syria and Libya."

    "We learned it's war and not work for a security company," he said.

    The man said he had heard that "around 1,000 fighters or more" had been signed up. "None of my relatives have went in the first batch, but I know guys who went in the first batch," he told CNN. He had also heard that some Syrians had been killed in Azerbaijan.

    The man, who used to be a carpenter, said he wanted life to return to normal and was only going to Azerbaijan for the money.
    "I wish that the war will stop in Azerbaijan and Armenia but the only work is security work and that way I still can provide food and living for my children."

    CNN reported earlier this year that dozens of Syrian rebels had been recruited by Turkish military contractors to fight on behalf of the transitional government in Libya.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in February that members of the Syrian National Army had gone to Libya to support the government.

    Kareem Khadder reported from Jerusalem and Gul Tuysuz reported from Istanbul. Tim Lister wrote in Cordoba.

  8. #9623

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Hanna Liubakova
    #Belarus #Minsk Great video that shows the scale of the rally. There were several crowds of protesters who couldn't join because security forces didn't allow to do so.Nevertheless,at least 100,000 people came out to the streets again. They demanded political prisoners be released
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  9. #9624

    Re: World News Random, Random

    ‘An End to the Chapter of Dictatorship’: Chileans Vote to Draft a New Constitution
    Voters overwhelmingly approved a bid to scrap the charter inherited from Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, a move that could set a new course for the country.

    By Pascale Bonnefoy
    Published Oct. 25, 2020
    Updated Oct. 26, 2020, 12:39 a.m. ET

    Chileans waiting in line to vote. Turnout appeared to be high.Credit...Javier Torres/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    SANTIAGO, Chile — The protests started over a small hike in metro fares, then exploded into a broad reckoning over inequality that shook Chile for weeks. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets, calling for sweeping change in their society, with higher wages and pensions, better health care and education.

    The movement soon seized on a vehicle for their demands: Chile’s Constitution.

    The existing charter, drafted without popular input during the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet and approved in a fraudulent plebiscite in 1980, was widely blamed for blocking change — and seen as a lingering link to a grim chapter in Chile’s history.

    On Sunday, just over a year after the massive demonstrations swept the nation, Chileans voted to scrap the dictatorship-era document and write a new one — a process that could transform the politics of a country that has long been regarded as one of the most stable and prosperous in Latin America.

    With 100 percent of the ballots counted, voters approved the referendum in a landslide victory, and 78 percent voted in favor of a new Constitution.

    “This plebiscite is not the end; it is the beginning of a path we should all undertake together,” President Sebastián Piñera said in an address from the presidential palace.

    “Until now, the Constitution has divided us,” he added. “As of today, we should all cooperate to make the new Constitution become one home for all of us.”

    Until the protests last year, the idea of a new Constitution “wasn’t on anyone’s agenda,” said Lucía Dammert, a political scientist and board member of the research center Espacio Público. “The fact we are now discussing a new Constitution is a victory of the social movement.”

    The vote, originally scheduled for April, was postponed as Chile went on lockdown during the pandemic. Now, with most of the capital, Santiago, and other areas gradually opening up, voter turnout was high.

    Thousands of people flocked to the Plaza Italia in Santiago to celebrate on Sunday night, chanting, dancing, waving flags and setting off fireworks. Demonstrators unfurled banners addressed to Pinochet, with messages like “Goodbye, General,” and “Erasing your legacy will be our legacy.”

    “Today, citizenship and democracy have prevailed, and peace has prevailed over violence,” Mr. Piñera said. “This is a victory for all Chileans.”

    On Sunday morning, Chileans turned out in droves to participate. Throughout the country, voters in masks ringed block after block in calm, orderly lines.

    After transitioning to democracy in 1990, Chile’s market-friendly business environment, framed in part by the Constitution, attracted foreign investment. The country grew consistently and saw poverty go down. But this came at the cost of an acute concentration of wealth and growing inequality. Last year, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America estimated that nearly a quarter of total income goes to 1 percent of Chile’s population.

    To cover the high cost of living, Chileans are greatly indebted. The Central Bank found last year that on average nearly three-fourths of household income was used to pay debt. The public health care and education systems are in shambles, and meager pensions force most people of retirement age to continue working.

    Amalia Gómez, 66, barely gets by on a $125 monthly pension and picks up seamstress jobs to compensate. She and many others like her see a new Constitution as a path to better lives and a more equitable country for future generations.

    “Why not, if we are a country rich in minerals, fish, agriculture?” she said. “Why can’t we use those resources to our benefit, for our education and health?”

    Sunday’s ballot asks voters whether they want a new Constitution, and who should draft it: a body of only newly elected representatives or a convention in which half of the delegates would be members of Congress.

    Voters overwhelmingly opted for a newly elected constitutional convention, without automatic inclusion of Congress members. Elections will be held in April to choose the delegates, among whom there must be gender parity. Political factions are still negotiating whether to reserve seats for Indigenous delegates.

    Chileans are now scheduled to vote in 2022 to approve or reject the Constitution the convention drafts.

    As the nation geared up for voting, tensions were high.

    After last year’s immense protests — known as the “estallido,” or explosion — rocked the country, the pandemic sent demonstrators home for much of 2020. Timid protests returned last month, leading to clashes between demonstrators and the police.

    In one protest on Oct. 2, a police officer pushed a teenager off a bridge and into the bed of the Mapocho River in Santiago. The teenager survived with fractures, and the officer was charged with attempted murder and expelled from the force.

    Last Sunday, tens of thousands flocked to the protests’ epicenter, Plaza Italia, to commemorate the anniversary of the uprising. The demonstration was largely peaceful, but late in the afternoon small groups set fire to two churches, including one used by the police for religious services.

    Last year’s demonstrations often devolved into violence and were met with police brutality. The Public Prosecutor’s Office received 8,827 reports of human rights violations, including hundreds of complaints of permanent eye damage from rubber bullets; two people lost their sight completely.

    By early last November, the clashes had left five people dead and nearly 1,800 wounded. Mr. Piñera was facing competing calls to deploy the armed forces to restore order — or to resign. Instead, he announced he was willing to open the process for a new Constitution — an idea that sharply divided his own party.

    The 1980 Constitution has undergone several changes since it was drafted behind closed doors by a Pinochet-appointed commission. The most significant shift, in 2005, eliminated major authoritarian provisions.

    Still, many Chileans saw Sunday’s vote as highly symbolic.

    It “means putting an end to the chapter of dictatorship,” said Hernán Becker, 58, a salesman who participated in a demonstration last Sunday. “Its origin is totally illegitimate: under military rule, with no freedom of expression, no freedom of assembly.”

    Rewriting the charter will also allow greater flexibility for Chile to make the economic and policy changes demanded by protesters.

    Under the current charter, new laws may be subjected to scrutiny by a constitutional tribunal, which has the final say on whether they pass muster. And laws that touch on education policy, political parties, the military, the electoral system, mining and reforming the Constitution, among other topics, require a supermajority for approval.

    Several provisions make altering the free market model enacted under military rule nearly impossible, experts said.

    “Chile’s Constitution is neoliberal in nature, and its basic role is to guarantee conditions for the free market, even in traditional social areas such as education, health and social security,” said Fernando Atria, a law professor specializing in constitutional matters. “What we need is a Constitution that guarantees social rights more than market conditions.”

    While the proposal to write a new Constitution enjoys widespread support, opponents say it would be a mistake to scrap a charter that has been instrumental in Chile’s economic success.

    “It guarantees freedom, protects individuals from the excesses of the state, ensures the protection of property and guarantees social rights,” said Gerardo Jofré, a businessman and one of the directors of the Independents for Rejection campaign. “Those who are rebelling in Chile don’t want to change the Constitution, they want to change the model, and that is a monumental mistake.”
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  10. #9625

    Re: World News Random, Random

    We need some positive news as well so here is an article about Iberian Lynx, once the most endangered feline but now after a lot of conservation effort doing a lot better.

    The lynx effect: Iberian cat claws its way back from brink of extinction
    A 20-year project to reintroduce the species across the peninsula has seen their numbers rise to 855

    Spotty of coat, tufty of ear, and teetering on the verge of extinction less than two decades ago, the Iberian lynx is continuing to claw its way back across Spain and Portugal.

    According to the latest survey, the lynx population on the peninsula has increased ninefold over 18 years, rising from 94 in 2002 to 855 this year. Experts say that if the current conservation and reintroduction efforts can maintain their momentum, the species could be out of danger by 2040.

    The 2019 census, carried out using camera-traps and large reserves of patience, revealed that more than 80% of the lynx population is in Spain, that 311 kittens were born on the peninsula last year and that there were 188 females of reproductive age. There are populations in the Sierra Morena and Donaña national park.

    At the end of the last century, however, things looked decidedly bleak for the bearded cats – and for rabbits, which make up 90% of their diet.

    Government efforts to get rid of creatures considered to be vermin, which lasted until the mid-1970s, took a terrible toll, as did a catastrophic drop in rabbit numbers following the arrival of myxomatosis in the 1950s and then rabbit hemorrhagic disease in the 1980s. Both those factors were compounded by the destruction and isolation of habitats that came with motorway building and a greater human presence.

    Miguel Ángel Simón, a biologist who spent 22 years conserving and building up lynx numbers before retiring last year, remembers the daunting scale of the task he and his colleagues faced.“When we started back in 2000, we didn’t even know how many lynxes were left,” he says.

    “We found out from the first census that there were 94 and we thought that they were going to disappear. We just didn’t know if there was any way to save them – they were right on the edge and in critical danger of extinction. Back then, they were the most endangered felines in the world. Our first aim was just to stop them becoming extinct.”

    Their strategy of seeking money and engagement from politicians, and cooperation from landowners and the public, gradually paid off.

    A series of projects, coordinated by the Andalucían government in conjunction with other Spanish regions, the Portuguese authorities and conservation NGOs, has arrested the decline, expanded populations and seen lynxes reintroduced to other areas.

    “Today, the situation is pretty good and I think we can be optimistic and fairly calm because we haven’t just recovered the population in Andalucía, we’ve also built populations in Portugal – where the lynx was extinct – and in Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha,” says Simón.

    The latest phase of the programme, the five-year Life Lynxconnect project, has a budget of €18.8m, 60% of which comes from the EU.

    Javier Salcedo, the project’s new leader, said the main aim was to join up existing populations and increase their genetic diversity. “We need to see an exchange of animals that will give us an exchange of genes,” he says.

    Ramón Pérez de Ayala, the large carnivores coordinator for WWF Spain – one of 21 partners in the latest project – warns that lynx populations are in danger of developing genetic problems if they remain isolated.

    “We’re going to do some genetic tracking so we can monitor the situation and see if we need to move individuals artificially.”

    Pérez de Ayala is also upbeat about the future of the lynx and hopes to see it move from the endangered category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species into the vulnerable category.

    He estimates it will take another 20 years of hard work before Spain and Portugal can claim to have saved the lynx. “If we carry on, if we can maintain the population growth momentum, and if luck stays on our side, we’ll have at least 750 females of reproductive age – which means more than 3,000 lynxes in total – by 2040,” he says.

    Between now and then, existing populations will have to be blended and increased, and new ones established in rabbit-rich habitats. Equally important will be the mapping and marking of blackspots: in 2019, 34 lynxes died after being run over.

    For Pérez de Ayala and many others, protecting the lynx is a moral and ecological imperative. “Every species has an intrinsic value that can’t be lost – it would be like demolishing a cathedral,” he says. “And you’re talking about an animal that does a really good job of balancing out the food chain of the Mediterranean ecosystem.”

    In the absence of lynxes, medium-sized predators that eat rabbits – such as foxes and Egyptian mongooses – put prey species under a lot of pressure. When a lynx comes along, explains Pérez de Ayala, the density of foxes and mongooses goes down and rabbit populations increase.

    But, he adds, environmental harmony is only one of the many reasons why the peninsula’s unique wild cat must remain well spotted.

    “On a more emotional level, the lynx is a jewel and a thing of beauty to behold.”
    Roger forever

  11. #9626

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Meanwhile Tiny has declared open season on the gray wolf.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  12. #9627

    Re: World News Random, Random

    This is easily reversed if you manage not to elect him again.
    Roger forever

  13. #9628

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Philippines orders evacuation as world's strongest 2020 typhoon approaches
    MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine officials on Saturday ordered evacuation of thousands of residents in the southern part of the main Luzon island as a category 5 storm that is the world’s strongest this year approaches the Southeast Asian nation.

    Typhoon Goni, with 215 kph (133 miles) sustained winds and gusts of up to 265 kph (164 mph), will make landfall on Sunday as the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines since Haiyan that killed more than 6,300 people in November 2013.

    Pre-emptive evacuations have started in coastal and landslide-prone communities in the provinces of Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, while Albay provincial government would order residents in risky areas to leave their homes, Gremil Naz, a local disaster official, told DZBB radio station. “The strength of this typhoon is no joke.”

    Typhoon Molave last week killed 22 people, mostly through drowning in provinces south of the capital Manila, which is also in the projected path of Goni, the 18th tropical storm in the country.

    Authorities are facing another hurdle as social distancing needs to be imposed in evacuation centres to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Philippines has the second highest COVID-19 infections and deaths in Southeast Asia, next only to Indonesia.

    Relief goods, heavy machinery and personal protective equipment are already positioned in key areas, Filipino Grace America, mayor of Infanta town in Quezon province, told DZBB radio. “But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our funds for calamity concerns and expenses are insufficient.”

    Local officials cancelled port operations and barred fishers from setting sail.

    Typhoon Goni, moving westward at 20 kph (12 mph) from the Pacific Ocean, will bring intense rains over the capital and 14 provinces nearby on Saturday evening, and threats of floods and landslides.

    Another typhoon, Atsani, is gaining strength just outside the Philippines. Around 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year.

    (This story corrects year of Haiyan to 2013 instead of 2014 in paragraph 2)
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  14. #9629

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Strong earthquake kills 19 people in Turkey and Greek islands
    IZMIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Nineteen people were killed in Turkey and Greece after a strong earthquake struck the Aegean Sea on Friday, bringing buildings crashing down and setting off tidal waves which slammed into coastal areas and islands.

    People ran onto streets in panic in the Turkish city of Izmir, witnesses said, after the quake struck with a magnitude of up to 7.0. Neighbourhoods were deluged with surging seawater which swept debris inland and left fish stranded as it receded.

    Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said 17 people died, one due to drowning, while 709 people were injured. On the Greek island of Samos two teenagers, a boy and a girl, were found dead in an area where a wall had collapsed.

    Search and rescue operations continued at 17 collapsed or damaged buildings in Izmir, AFAD said. Authorities were setting up tents with a total capacity of 2,000 people near areas with the highest damage, Urbanisation Minister Murat Kurum said.

    Ilke Cide, a doctoral student who was in Izmir’s Guzelbahce region during the earthquake, said he went inland after waters rose following the earthquake.

    “I am very used to earthquakes ... so I didn’t take it very seriously at first but this time it was really scary,” he said, adding the earthquake had lasted for at least 25-30 seconds.

    Crisscrossed by major fault lines, Turkey is among the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. More than 17,000 people were killed in August 1999 when a 7.6 magnitude quake struck Izmit, a city southeast of Istanbul. In 2011, a quake in the eastern city of Van killed more than 500.

    Ismail Yetiskin, mayor of Izmir’s Seferihisar, said sea levels rose as a result of the quake. “There seems to be a small tsunami,” he told broadcaster NTV.

    Footage on social media showed debris including refrigerators, chairs and tables floating through streets on the deluge. TRT Haber showed cars in Izmir’s Seferihisar district had been dragged by the water and piled on top of each other.

    Idil Gungor, who runs a hotel in Izmir’s Seferihisar district, told broadcaster NTV that people were cleaning the debris after the floodwaters receded. She said fish had washed up on the garden of the hotel, around 50 metres (55 yards)from the shore.

    Residents of the Greek island of Samos, which has a population of about 45,000, were urged to stay away from coastal areas, Eftyhmios Lekkas, head of Greece’s organisation for anti-seismic planning, told Greece’s Skai TV.

    “It was a very big earthquake, it’s difficult to have a bigger one,” said Lekkas.

    High tidal wave warnings were in place in Samos, where eight people were also injured, according to a Greek official.

    “We have never experienced anything like it,” said George Dionysiou, the local vice-mayor. “People are panicking.” A Greek police spokesman said there was damage to some old buildings on the island.

    The leaders of Turkey and Greece - caught up in a bitter dispute over exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean - spoke by phone and expressed hopes that both countries would see a speedy recovery from the quake, Turkey’s presidency said.

    Both leaders said they were ready to help the other country if needed and emphasised the importance of solidarity.

    “Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wrote in a tweet.

    “That two neighbors show solidarity in difficult times is more valuable than many things in life,” Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan wrote in a tweet responding to Mistotakis.

    Cooperation between the two countries after the devastating 1999 earthquake led to a period of warmer ties between them.

    AFAD put the magnitude of the earthquake at 6.6, while the U.S. Geological Survey said it was 7.0. It was felt along Turkey’s Aegean coast and the northwestern Marmara region, media said.
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  15. #9630

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Several injured in Vienna shooting, police say
    Published 11 minutes ago

    Several people have been injured in a shooting in central Vienna, police say.

    The interior minister described the incident as a "terror attack" and said that one attacker had died.

    Another was "on the run" in the Austrian capital after the shooting.

    A large-scale security operation is under way.

    Police have urged people to avoid all public spaces in the area and not to take public transport.

    Road blocks have been set up around the city centre. Footage posted on social media showed people running as what was reported to be gunshots could be heard.

    The shooting reportedly took place on a street near a synagogue.

    Jewish community leader Oskar Deutsch tweeted that it was unclear if the Vienna synagogue was targeted in the attack as it was closed at the time.

    "It sounded like firecrackers, then we realised it was shots," said one eyewitness quoted by public broadcaster ORF, according to AFP news agency.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

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