Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
Jun 27, 2017, 04:38 AM
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
 on: Today at 04:32 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Czech cave sheds light on Neanderthal-Homo Sapiens transition

International Business Times
15 Jun 2017 at 08:25 ET

Sometime just over 40,000 years ago, the last surviving cousins of the modern humans, Homo Neanderthals, likely met their Homo sapiens kin in the modern-day Moravia region of the Czech Republic, a new paper suggests. It is based on the excavation of 10 layers of sediment in a cave in the region that date back to between 28,000 and 50,000 years old.

The Pod Hradem Cave in the eastern Czech Republic was first excavated in 1956-1958, and again in 2011-2012. The advanced techniques used during the second excavation revealed portable art objects, never-before-seen in the region, as well as raw materials that suggest long-distance travel. The dig turned up over 20,000 objects that include animal bones, stone tools, and weapons, as well as an engraved bone bead — the oldest of its kind found in Central Europe.

“In the early layers the items we’ve found are locally made flakes, possibly used by small communities living and hunting in the vicinity to kill animals or prepare food, but around 40,000 years ago we start to see objects coming from long distances away. Dating from this same time we unearthed a bead made from mammal bone. This is the oldest portable art object of its type found anywhere in central Europe and provides evidence of social signaling, quite possibly used as a necklace to mark the identity of the wearer. So between these two periods, we’ve either seen a change in behavior and human movement or possibly even a change in species,” Duncan Wright, an archaeologist from Australian National University who was a co-author of the paper, said in a statement Wednesday.

Modern humans, or Homo sapiens, are thought to have first arrived in Europe about 45,000 years ago. And the evidence from Pod Hradem suggests an increase in human mobility around the same time. Tools and artifacts recovered from the layer that is about 48,000 to 45,000 years old were made using the material available locally.

“We’ve found that somewhere between 40-48,000 years ago people became highly mobile. Instead of moving short distances near the cave where they lived, they were walking for hundreds of kilometers miles quite often. We know that because we found various artifacts where the raw material comes from 100-200 kilometers away. The artifacts were also made of different materials from different regions. Some from the North-West, some from the North, some from the East,” Ladislav Nejman, an archaeologist from the University of Sydney and lead author of the paper, said in the statement.

A stone tool thought to be a speartip made from radiolarite sourced over 62 miles to the east of the cave. Photo: Miroslav Kralík

The presence of artifacts likely means that groups of people, Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, camped in the area from time to time. And “it's quite possible that the two different species of humans met in this area,” Wright said.

That remains to be confirmed, however, and to test that, samples have been sent for analysis. A new technique, called ancient sediment DNA analysis, will be used for the test. It examines DNA that has been preserved in the sediment and can determine species without the presence of bones.

The thousands of years represented in the different layers of sediment also revealed information about how the climate changed in the region during that time.

“The climate changed quite often from warmer to colder, and vice versa, but at all times it was much colder than the interglacial period that we have lived in for the past 10,000 years,” Nejman said.

The paper, titled “Hominid visitation of the Moravian Karst during the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition: New results from Pod Hradem Cave (Czech Republic),” appeared online in the Journal of Human Evolution.     

 on: Today at 04:28 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Scientist says the sun is sneezing on Earth

Mike Wehner

The sun at the center of our Solar System is one of the big reasons why we’re here today, but it can also be a bit of a nuisance from time to time. Coronal mass ejections — when the sun spews a whole bunch of plasma and energy into space — can seriously mess up human communication infrastructure if they happen to graze Earth. For years, researchers have attempted to forecast and predict CMEs in the hopes that warnings could help prevent damage to electronics and the power grid, and when doing so, they’ve modeled the huge solar blasts as bubbles moving through space. As it turns out, a CME is more like a sneeze.

“Up until now, it has been assumed CMEs move like bubbles through space and respond to forces as single objects,” Professor Mathew Owens of the University of Reading explains. “We have found they are more like an expanding dust cloud or sneeze, made up of individual plasma parcels all doing their own thing.

When the solar wind acts on the CME as it moves through space, it causes the shape and behavior of the energy blast to become unpredictable. “Therefore if we want to protect ourselves from solar eruptions, we need to understand more about the solar wind,” Owens says.

This new study, and the suggestion from the research team that solar wind readings be included in the forecasting and prediction of future CMEs, could help scientists more accurately assess the risk that the ejections pose to human technology, and potentially help mitigate the damage they cause.

 on: Jun 26, 2017, 08:26 AM 
Started by Deva - Last post by Deva
Hi All,

The next step of the EA paradigm is the planetary ruler of the North Node. In the chart we have been practicing with the North Node is in Leo. It’s ruler is the Sun. Let’s put the Sun in the 1st House. My suggestion is to review Pluto in Aries/1st house in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the Mars, Aries/1st house archetype. Then, read this example and write out in your own words an analysis of the planetary ruler in the 1st house as it relates to our practice chart.

What is the primary archetype that will be used to develop, or actualize, the North Node in the 9th house? The planetary ruler in the 1st house symbolizes that self-discovery, the development of the independent voice, and initiation of action is the primary archetype through which the North Node in the 9th house is actualized by the Soul. In essence learning how to ask and answer the 9th House questions from within itself. Thus, it’s own knowledge versus someone else’s knowledge, belief, or opinion.

The Mars, Aries, 1st house archetype correlates to a brand new evolutionary cycle, and the need for freedom and independence in order to discover what this new cycle is about. This archetype reflects a continuous state of becoming which is universally experienced: the instinct to become. It is though the initiation of action that self-discovery takes place. In addition, learning occurs on an action/reaction basis. The analogy that is given to us by JWG to illustrate this point is a baby that touches a hot stove: the baby takes action, touching the  stove, and the reaction to that touch, it’s hot, correlates to the knowledge gained. This evolutionary need requires an essential freedom and independence in order to generate whatever experience is deemed necessary in order for self-discovery to take place. It is important to note that there is an instinctive anger towards any restriction of personal freedom.

The archetype of Aries, the 1st House, and Mars also symbolizes instincts. The new evolutionary cycle is put into motion through instinctual response to an immediate experience. In other words, we may be instinctively attracted to a new experience, person, opportunity, etc. Conversely, we may be instinctively repelled by any given life event. The key point within is that by honoring our instincts in both situations that self-discovery occurs.

Additionally, this archetype correlates to fear. Fear can have many causes, and may lead to a resistance towards initiating, acting upon, the necessary experiences that would lead to a new evolutionary cycle. If we make choices that are based on fear, and to only act upon what is known and familiar, the past is then recycled into the future. Conversely, if we act to break free from fear a new evolutionary cycle
is put into motion.

In the context of the development of the North Node in Leo the 9th house, the planetary ruler in the 1st house reflects that development of the independent voice, the ability to ask and answer ones ones questions from within, and maintaining an essential freedom and independence become the vehicles through which the Soul aligns with It’s personal truth and Natural Law, and then actualizes this truth.

As the Soul initiates whatever experiences are deemed necessary a discovery of personal truth and Natural laws is put into action. The elimination of delusive beliefs can occur as the Soul realizes “truth” is based upon direct experience and knowledge,and not a product of the intellect or anybody else’s view points, opinions., or beliefs. In a negative expression, the individual may act upon, and thus recycle, delusive beliefs. In this situation, the need to convince and convert becomes instinctual due to the emotional security that is linked with the beliefs. Creative actualization will reflect either an alignment with Natural Law and direct knowledge, or reflect delusive beliefs.

Consensus State: In the Consensus State, initiation of action, and development of the independent voice within the mainstream society will become a vehicle through which creative actualization of personal “truth” as defined the mainstream society and the culturally held beliefs therein can take place. (North Node in Leo in the 9th house, planetary ruler in the 1st house). The Soul will desire to initiate actions that allow progression through the social strata relative to the actualization of the “truth” has defined by the beliefs of the culture or society of birth.

For instance, as mentioned in the previous example of North Node in Leo in the 9th house, the individual may desire to gain a credential within higher education, and would then put into motion the necessary actions in order to gain the credential. The credential then provides a means to actualize within the mainstream in a new way (planetary ruler in the 1st house) that reflects the Soul’s creative and intuitive capacitie (North Node in Leo in the 9th house), and leads to advancement within the social strata. Potentially, the credential in higher education could be used to help others get head within the system. A new evolutionary cycle would then be put into motion. Another possible expression of this within the Consensus State is the Soul learning to teach within a given field in a new way. A new method of teaching can then become a means for creative actualization to take place. However, some individuals may act upon, or recycle, the delusive belief that their lot in life is to just get by in any way they can, and creatively actualize in way that reflects this belief.

Individuated State: In the Individuated State, initiation of action and the development of the independence voice within an alternative field will become vehicles through which actualization of personal “truth” independent from the mainstream society and the culturally held beliefs within it. The Soul will desire to initiate experiences that allow a discovery of personal truth and the actualization of that truth outside the influence of the mainstream and any social group of like mind. In this Evolutionary State, the individual will develop the capacity to ask and answer It’s own questions from within, and in effect, learn to trust It’s own intuitive knowledge verses someone else’s opinion or belief.In so doing, personal truth can be actualized in a way that is free from the view points and opinions of anybody else. 

A new evolutionary cycle can begin as the Soul actualizes It’s personal truth that is based on knowledge derived from direct experience within an alternative field. For example, the Soul could teach philosophical or metaphysical principles that advocate direct, or hands on, experience of these principles as a primary teaching tool. Teaching in this way could then become a means for creative actualization. In this way, a new cycle of evolution can take hold. These individuals will encourage others to act upon the individuation impulse, and to actualize their personal truth independent from the mainstream society and culturally held beliefs within it.

Spiritual State: In the Spiritual State, initiation of action and development of the independent voice occurs through actualization of personal truth as defined by Timeless, Natural principles that are universally experienced. The Soul will desire a high degree of personal freedom and independence in order to spiritually develop in whatever ways are deemed necessary outside the influence of any spiritual group, organization, or teacher.The individual will initiate actions that allow creative actualization of Natural Law as reflected in the manifested Creation.

In this evolutionary state, the Soul will spiritually develop through initiation of action that allow an alignment with Timeless, Universal principles through direct experience and knowledge of these principles These Souls will encourage others to spiritually develop through independent action, and through direct knowledge of Natural Laws as reflected in the manifested Creation. For example, the individual may desire to merge with the Source through Nature and the Naturals Laws within it. In so doing, a new evolutionary cycle can then take place as the Soul learns to trust It’s own intuitive knowledge outside the influence of any spiritual teacher, organization, or group, and to creatively actualize in a way that reflects this knowledge.



 on: Jun 26, 2017, 05:57 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Billions to bail out ailing Italian banks

By Beata Stur

Two banks in the Venice region are being bailed out by the Italian government, at a cost of €5.2bn. The good assets of Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca will be taken on by Intesa Sanpaolo.

As reported by the BBC, Italy’s government will appoint special administrators for the two ailing banks, which face bankruptcy.

In a separate report, the Reuters news agency noted that the final cost for the state could rise to up to €17bn.

Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan told reporters on June 25 that on top of the €5.2bn payment, the state will offer additional guarantees for up to €12bn to cover for potential losses stemming from a due diligence of the two banks’ bad and risky loans.

According to Bloomberg, the government tried for months to rescue the two banks, but its efforts ended on June 23 when the ECB turned the matter over to the Single Resolution Board in Brussels for disposal. The SRB, in turn, passed the issue to Italian authorities after concluding there was no public interest in resolving them under European Union law, a process that would have exposed senior debt holders to losses.

 on: Jun 26, 2017, 05:55 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Trump Has Psychotic Episode And Blames Obama For Russia Attack He Claims Never Happened

By Jason Easley

In a social media statement that can only be labeled psychotic, Trump blamed former President Obama for not stopping the Russia attack on the 2016 election that he claims never happened.

Trump tweeted:

    Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2017

Yesterday, Trump called the Russia scandal a Democratic hoax:

    …Why did Democratic National Committee turn down the DHS offer to protect against hacks (long prior to election). It's all a big Dem HOAX!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017

Today, Trump is claiming that the scandal is real, and it is all Obama’s fault.

Guilty people throw as many conspiracies and allegations as they can muster at the crime that they are accused of committing. Trump is trying to muddy the waters by both denying that the election interference ever happened while blaming Obama if it did.

Trump just admitted that Russia interfered in the election, but if Russia interfered in the election that makes the investigations legitimate.

With each tweet, Trump is digging his way to impeachment or prison 140 characters at a time.


Trump eager for big meeting with Putin; some advisers wary


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is eager to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin with full diplomatic bells and whistles when the two are in Germany for a multinational summit next month. But the idea is exposing deep divisions within the administration on the best way to approach Moscow in the midst of an ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. elections.

Many administration officials believe the U.S. needs to maintain its distance from Russia at such a sensitive time — and interact only with great caution. But Trump and some others within his administration have been pressing for a full bilateral meeting. He's calling for media access and all the typical protocol associated with such sessions, even as officials within the State Department and National Security Council urge more restraint, according to a current and a former administration official.

Some advisers have recommended that the president instead do either a quick, informal "pull-aside" on the sidelines of the summit, or that the U.S. and Russian delegations hold "strategic stability talks," which typically don't involve the presidents. The officials spoke anonymously to discuss private policy discussions.

The contrasting views underscore differing views within the administration on overall Russia policy, and Trump's eagerness to develop a working relationship with Russia despite the ongoing investigations.

There are potential benefits to a meeting with Putin. A face-to-face meeting can humanize the two sides and often removes some of the intrigue involved in impersonal, telephone communication. Trump — the ultimate dealmaker — has repeatedly suggested that he can replace the Obama-era damage in the U.S.-Russia relationship with a partnership, particularly on issues like the ongoing Syria conflict.

There are big risks, though. Trump is known to veer off-script, creating the possibility for a high-stakes diplomatic blunder. In a brief Oval Office meeting with top Russian diplomats last month, Trump revealed highly classified information about an Islamic State group threat to airlines that was relayed to him by Israel, according to a senior administration official. The White House defended the disclosures as "wholly appropriate."

In addition, many observers warn that Putin is not to be trusted. Oleg Kalugin, a former general with Russia's main security agency, known as the KGB, said Putin, a shrewd and experienced politician, has "other priorities" than discussing the accusations that Russia hacked the U.S. election with Trump, such as easing sanctions, raising oil prices, as well as next year's presidential elections in Russia.

"Putin knows how to redirect a conversation in his favor," Kalugin said. Nina Khrushcheva, a Russian affairs professor at the New School, said Trump is in an "impossible position." "He can't be too nice to Putin because it's going to be interpreted in a way that suggests he has a special relationship with Russia," she said. "He can't be too mean because Putin has long arms and KGB thinking. So Trump needs to have a good relationship with him but he also needs to fulfill his campaign promises of establishing better relations with Russia."

The White House said no final decision has been made about whether a meeting will take place. It did not respond to questions about the opposing views within the administration. Bilateral meetings are common during summits like the G20, where many world leaders and their advisers are gathered in one place. The meetings are typically highly choreographed affairs, with everything from the way the two leaders shake hands to the looks that they exchange and the actual words spoken offering glimpses into the state of affairs.

The last U.S.-Russia bilateral meeting was a 2015 encounter between Putin and President Barack Obama that began with an awkward handshake and ended with progress on the brutal civil war in Syria. That 2015 meeting, the first in two years, involved a 90-minute sit-down at U.N. headquarters. Putin and U.S. officials later said the two leaders had made progress on issues related to Syria, which had strained their already tense relationship. For the Obama administration, cautious engagement was the name of the game, with the U.S. working tirelessly to find middle ground with Moscow on Syria, Ukraine and other issues.

The disconnect between Trump and his advisers in the State Department and National Security Council over Russia runs deeper than the debate over a G20 bilateral. A former administration official who spoke anonymously to discuss classified information said that frustration is growing among foreign policy advisers over the failure of the White House to embrace a more cautious and critical approach to Russia. All 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have agreed Russia was behind last year's hack of Democratic email systems and tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Trump.

Trump has to directly "say to Putin, 'We're not happy about you interfering in our election,'" said Steven Pifer, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. "If you don't say that, you are going to get hammered by the press and Congress and you can guarantee Congress will pass sanctions legislation against Russia."

"They also need to keep their expectations very, very modest," added Pifer. "If they aim for a homerun in Hamburg, my guess is they'll strike out."

 on: Jun 26, 2017, 05:48 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Angela Merkel and Donald Trump head for clash at G20 summit

German chancellor plans to make climate change, free trade and mass migration key themes in Hamburg, putting her on collision course with US

Patrick Wintour Diplomatic Editor
Monday 26 June 2017 06.00 BST

A clash between Angela Merkel and Donald Trump appears unavoidable after Germany signalled that it will make climate change, free trade and the management of forced mass global migration the key themes of the G20 summit in Hamburg next week.

The G20 summit brings together the world’s biggest economies, representing 85% of global gross domestic product (GDP), and Merkel’s chosen agenda looks likely to maximise American isolation while attempting to minimise disunity amongst others.

The meeting, which is set to be the scene of large-scale street protests, will also mark the first meeting between Trump and the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, as world leaders.
Sign up for Guardian Today US edition: the day's must-reads sent directly to you
Read more

Trump has already rowed with Europe once over climate change and refugees at the G7 summit in Italy, and now looks set to repeat the experience in Hamburg but on a bigger stage, as India and China join in the criticism of Washington.

Last week, the new UN secretary-general, António Guterres, warned the Trump team if the US disengages from too many issues confronting the international community it will be replaced as world leader.

On climate change, Merkel has prepared the ground carefully, hosting in Berlin the two allies she most needs – the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, and the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang.

China is the single largest emitter of carbon, and India the third. If they followed America in rejecting the Paris agreement, the whole process would unravel. Both countries have said they will not pull out of the treaty, and will beat their Paris commitments.

Germany insists it is not seeking confrontation at the summit. Sigmar Gabriel, the German foreign minister, points out there will be many far more rightwing governments present in Hamburg than Trump, and they will receive far less obloquy from the expected tens of thousands of street protesters.

Nor does he pretend his country wishes to set itself up as a rival to America, saying Germany has got enough responsibilities already. “As German foreign minister, you wake up in the morning with a demand for leadership, and in the evening you go to bed with it,” Gabriel said.

Merkel is reluctant to be cast in the role of leader of western liberal vales, although a poll published last week by Pew Research found Merkel’s favourability ratings on the rise, especially on the left, with an impressive 52% of all Europeans surveyed confident she would “do the right thing in world affairs”.

But the G7, and Trump’s subsequent decision to shun the Paris climate change treaty, clearly left a permanent mark on her, leading to her famous declaration of independence four days later at a Christian Social Union (CSU) rally in a Bavarian beer tent. In remarks seen in the US as marking a new chapter in the trans-European alliance, she said: “The times in which we could completely rely on others are over to a certain extent. That is what I experienced in the last few days. That is why I can only say: We Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands.”

European voters’ decisions to give a commanding parliamentary majority to Emmanuel Macron, and not to provide the same to Theresa May, will have confirmed Merkel’s belief that Europe once again can be master of its own fate.

The fact that the only country Trump will visit in Europe before the G20 is Poland – the bad boy of Europe and its greatest carbon emitter –is symbolic of a president uneasy with Europe’s new confidence. Poland and Trump also both oppose Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, due to double the amount of gas being sent from Russia to Germany.

On protectionism, Merkel was blunt in speaking to German business this week about her belief in open markets. “We’ll do all we can to get as broad an agreement on this as possible in Hamburg. Given the new American administration that’s not easy, but nonetheless we need to make the effort.”

But Europe’s leaders are not the only ones re-evaluating their relationship with the US. The Canadian foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, told her parliament last week the fact that the US, under its new administration, “has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership”, means Canada, like other countries, must “set our own clear and sovereign course”.

Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, in March claimed many regional partners were locked in a “strategic holding pattern”, waiting to see where Trump will go.

Argentina, the next host of the G20, has also told Trump that it has tried isolation and it does not work.

So at the broadest level, the G20 summit will be a first test of whether other leaders can, or indeed want to, escape from America’s shadow.

But it is Merkel’s compact for Africa that most animates her, according to foreign ministers that have seen her recently.

Merkel fears that long term demographic trends mean 100 m Africans could come to Europe driven by climate change, poverty, and Europe is wholly unprepared.

Combating poverty upstream in Africa as a way to stem the mass migrant flow to Europe downstream is her guiding idea. Her specific initiative is to team up African nations which have committed to economic reforms with private investors who would then bring jobs and businesses.

 on: Jun 26, 2017, 05:45 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Macron to visit Romania as part of his campaign against social dumping

By NEOnline

French President Emmanuel Macron will visit Romania as part of his tour against the “posted workers” regime.

The Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis, invited the French President for a visit Bucharest on Friday, on the sidelines of the EU Summit in Brussels. The French President accepted.

The objective of the visit will be to make the case against social dumping practices, including “posted workers.” Macron’s resolve has raised concerns in Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania, where low wages and social insurance costs are exploited as a competitive advantage.

Political context

A “posted worker” is an employee sent by his employer to carry out a service in another EU Member State on a temporary basis and, therefore, paid and insured in terms of the country of origin. The practice is seen as a form of “social dumping,” as it undercuts working conditions in high-earning EU member states.

During a speech at the end of May, Emmanuel Macron promised to curb untaxed and uninsured Eastern European labour in France, blaming the UK and “ultra-liberal” EU member states for social dumping practices.

Following the same line of argumentation, EU Employment Commissioner Marianne Thyssen announced an overhaul of how long truck drivers can work under the home of origin regime when traveling between EU member states.

This new French position derailed a deal on EU mobility rules, which was expected to be signed-off during the Maltese Presidency on Thursday (15 June) in Luxembourg. Mr. Macron argued that in Luxembourg that unless the EU deals with work that has lower social cost it risks unraveling.
Spectre of Brexit

France is advocating for new rules that would ban “temporary workers” from working in another member state without adhering to local social insurance and taxation regime for more than a year. The Maltese proposal extended this period to two years. Currently, this period is unlimited.

Macron makes the case that the Leave campaign in the UK focused on social damping and the EU must move to defend its lower middle class, dismissing this is an “east-west” debate. His argument has enraged Warsaw, with Prime Minister Beata Szydlo accusing Emmanuel Macron of “hostility” against Eastern European governments.

 on: Jun 26, 2017, 05:40 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Theresa May: Selling England by the Pound

By Dan Alexe
Contributing Editor, New Europe   

“Selling England by the Pound” is an album by the mythical British progressive rock group Genesis, where the first song starts with the line: “Can you tell me where my country lies?”

At the latest Brexit-dedicated summit, on June 22-23 in Brussels, Theresa May has been told by Jean-Claude Juncker, the powerful EU Commission boss, that her offer to let EU citizens stay after Brexit was ‘insufficient’.

“‘It’s a first step, but that step is not sufficient,” EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said at the key Brussels summit.

The EU Commission President said May’s “fair and serious”offer to let millions of EU citizens already living in Britain stay permanently does not go far enough.

Theresa May has so far refused to confirm that EU migrants who arrived after Britain triggered Article 50 in March will be given permanent residency rights after Brexit, and has flatly rejected Brussels‘s proposal to give EU courts the power to prtect their rights into the future.

Who is she? Who is this Theresa May who is now “selling England by the pound”?

A “bloody difficult woman”, said about her a party colleague, the media-savvy Kenneth Clarke.Until the Brexit disaster, she kept being compared with Margaret Thatcher.

A eurosceptic, she discreetly helped Cameron and let Boris Johnson lead the Brexit campaign. When Boris utterly failed and fled, she made him foreign secretary. She was denied any sense of humour by those who know her intimately, but the nomination of Johnson as Foreign Secretary proved everybody to be wrong. An astonished Paddy Ashdown (ex-Leader of the Lib Dems, amongst other things, and ex-High Representative in Bosnia) even tweeted: “Boris as Foreign Secretary is the silliest appointment since Caligula made his horse a Consul.”

Described as “utterly intractable” by a Cameron ally, May proves on the contrary to be extremely careful. Thus, she didn’t take out from the list of new nobles inherited from Cameron the former prime minister’s hairdresser. Theresa May let him on the list, and the hairstylist will be anointed as a Member of the British Empire by the Queen at a ceremony inside Buckingham Palace.

When she was in the opposition, she received systematically the less gratifying shadow ministries: family, environment and others such. Her rival inside the Tory party, Andrea Leadsom, even tried to block her candidature by underlining the fact that May can’t be a good head head of government because she has no children. As soon as she became prime minister, after a short homage to her predecessor Cameron (and keeping the hairdresser on the list of future nobles), she startled with a discourse in which she presented her vision of the society.

A Conservative of the purest breed, she surprised as prime minister with a leftist discourse. The poor, she said, suffer from ill-treated ailments and are excluded from the health system; Blacks receive a harsher treatment in the judicial system; women earn less than men, the education system is underperforming and the young are today unable to buy a home. This can’t go on, she said, asking for a greater control over the salaries of  the bankers and the privileged. The “fortunate few”, she menacingly said, will have to pay.

Here are excerpts from what she said:

“If you‘re black you are treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you‘re white.

“If you‘re at a state school you‘re less likely to reach the top professions than if you‘re educated privately.

“If you‘re young you will find it harder than ever before to own your own home. We will build a better Britain, not just for the privileged few’.

The former chancellor of the exchequer Osborne dreamed of turning Britain into a fiscal paradise… Theresa May speaks of regulating capitalism. She wants multinationals to pay more taxes. This let many party pundits flabbergasted. Charity is good, indeed, we had it in our program, they thought, but social justice? What the heck! Is she sliding to the left of Jeremy Corbyn? Is she emulating Bernie Sanders? Actually, none of these. She is simply a “bloody difficult woman”.

 on: Jun 26, 2017, 05:36 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Poland limits access to morning-after pill

By Beata Stur

A new law in Poland restricts access to emergency contraception and will have a “catastrophic impact on rape survivors,” warned a leading human rights organisation.

Polish President Andrzej Duda on June 23 approved legislation that will end prescription-free access to the morning-after pill. The new law comes into effect next month.

“We consider it as another blow to women’s rights, and will affect teenagers and those in remote rural areas, and will have a particularly catastrophic impact on rape survivors,” said Draginja Nadazdin, director of Amnesty International in Poland, in a statement issued on June 25.

As reported by The Telegraph, critics say this could take too long to arrange a doctor’s appointment and lead to unwanted pregnancies, even in the case of rape, because the pill has to be taken as soon as possible.

Quick access to a doctor could be even harder for people in rural areas, and young girls in particular may baulk at seeing a physician owing to a sense of shame.

According to Health Minister Konstanty Radziwill, hormonal means of contraception were being abused and had harmful health effects.

By being forced to see a doctor, he said women will now “get advice on whether these substances negatively affect their health”.

He has also suggested the pill induced an early abortion.

Health experts, however, dismissed Radziwill’s claims, pointing out the morning-after pill prevents conception rather than causing an abortion, and that there is little or no scientific evidence indicating it had harmful and long-lasting side-effects.

 on: Jun 26, 2017, 05:35 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Missing babies: Israel's Yemenite children affair

By Yolande Knell BBC News, Jerusalem
26 June 2017

In the years after the creation of the Israeli state hundreds of babies went missing. Their parents, mostly Jewish immigrants from Yemen, were told their children had died, but suspicions linger that they were secretly given away to childless families - and newly released documents have revealed some disturbing evidence.

When Leah Aharoni remembers losing her baby daughter five decades ago, she bursts into tears.

"I just saw her for a short time. She was pretty with fair skin. She opened her eyes and looked at me, as if she was saying: 'Don't let me go,'" she says.

Leah had given birth to premature twins in a hospital near her home in Kiryat Ekron, in central Israel, but the little girls were sent away to be cared for.

She was told they were being taken to a special clinic in Tel Aviv. But when Leah's husband visited soon afterwards, only one of the twins was there. The other, Hanna, had died, he was informed.

Leah was shocked not to be shown a body or a grave - a common feature of such stories - but she and her husband did not doubt the heart-breaking news.

It was only years later that she began asking questions, when her surviving daughter, Hagit, turned 18 and was called for national military service.

Two draft notices arrived in the post simultaneously. One for Hagit - and one for Hanna. This is another hallmark of missing baby stories.

"It started to bother me. Something was not right. I couldn't sleep at night. I decided I had to know what happened," Leah says.

Leah had experienced many calamities long before the loss of her baby. As a child, she and her family had joined thousands of Jews fleeing violence in Yemen. They were robbed as they trekked from one end of the country to the other and Leah was reduced to begging for food. Then they were rescued in an airlift known as Operation Magic Carpet.

"It was the land I had always dreamed about," the 78-year-old recalls, remembering the flight to Israel.

"When we got off the plane everyone kissed the holy ground.

"Then we heard the bombs and grenades and saw the smoke."

They had arrived, malnourished and penniless, during the first Arab-Israeli war.

Many Yemenite Jews spent periods in transit camps before being settled in homes, and stories of babies going missing began to arise immediately.

Some reports talk of children disappearing after visits to the camps by wealthy American Jews.

In other cases children appeared to be recovering in hospitals from relatively minor ailments when the parents were suddenly told they had died.

On kibbutzes, where some of the Yemenites settled, it was typical for youngsters to be separated from their parents and looked after together, and here too it's said that some children vanished.

Estimates of the number of missing children range from hundreds to thousands.

In many cases the parents believe their children were really kidnapped and given or sold to families of European Jews - occasionally Holocaust survivors who had lost their children - or Americans.

Over time, Leah, like many other parents, ceased to believe in the story of her child's death.

"I went to my father and told him, but he said I should never suspect another Jew stole my child," she says.

She went in search of documents that would reveal the truth about what happened to Hanna, and was deeply disturbed by what she found.
Image caption Leah shows a death certificate for her daughter from 1969 - she was also given one dated 1966

One document she obtained said the babies were moved to Tel Aviv after the date on Hanna's death certificate.

Another was a second death certificate, dated three years later than the first - long after Leah and her husband had been told their daughter had died.

Like Leah, most parents received no information about their child's grave. When they did, in some cases it transpired that the grave was empty, or DNA tests showed that the body was not theirs.

Three government inquiries have looked into the Yemenite Children Affair, as it is known, since the 1960s, and all have concluded that most children died of diseases and were buried without their parents being informed or involved.

But many of the families involved suspect a cover-up and continue to believe that there was an organised operation to snatch children, involving health workers and government officials.

So last year the government of Benjamin Netanyahu decided to open up most of the archives of the public inquiries and put them online.

Netanyahu said this marked a new era of transparency and would "right an historic wrong".

Last week it led to shocking revelations in a Knesset committee about medical experiments on Yemenite children. Testimony given under oath at one of the earlier inquiries revealed that four undernourished babies died after being given an experimental protein injection, and that many children died as a result of medical negligence.

Post-mortem examinations were carried out on children, who were then buried in mass graves in violation of Jewish tradition, the special Knesset committee on the disappearance of children heard. In some cases the children's hearts were removed for US doctors, who were studying why there was almost no heart disease in Yemen.

"It's a big scandal that the doctors didn't tell the parents they were doing experiments and research on their children," says Nurit Koren, the chair of the committee.

"And even worse there are healthy babies who died from an experimental treatment. It's a crime, it was on purpose, and it let to their death."

Koren is herself the child of parents from Yemen. One of her cousins and her mother-in-law's sister were among the children who disappeared. So one of her objectives, on being elected, was to reopen the subject, which she describes as "an open wound in the heart of the Israeli nation".

One of the disturbing aspects of the Yemenite Children Affair is the way the darker-skinned immigrants appear to have been treated as second-class citizens. The founders of Israel were mostly Ashkenazi Jews, of European descent, some of whom expressed fears that Mizrahi (literally "Eastern") Jews brought with them a backwards "Oriental" culture that might damage the new state.

"Zionism - what is it really about?" asks Rafi Shubeli, a Yemenite-Israeli historian and activist from the group Our Brothers Do Exist.

"What were its intentions towards Mediterranean Jews, the Jews of the Islamic world?

"There are very many elements in Israeli society who want to avoid this kind of discussion."
Image caption Rafi Shubeli, Yemenite-Israeli historian and activist from the group Our Brothers Exist, giving evidence in the Knesset

Whether there was an organised conspiracy to snatch Yemenite babies and give them away for adoption remains unproven though, according to historian Tom Segev, who has written books on Israel's early years and served as an expert witness for one government inquiry.

He points out that hundreds of thousands of immigrants arrived in Israel at a time of war, and in the years immediately afterwards, when the country was still reeling.

"All these people came in very, very difficult conditions and it's a story of chaos," Segev says.
Media captionTom Segev: "I don't think there was a conspiracy"

Yemenites were housed in tents and had to endure heavy winters. There were child mortality rates of 50%, he points out.

Some children may have been given away, he accepts.

"In some cases this might have happened: one, two, three, four, 10 - I don't know how many," he says.

But in most cases the children just died, he believes.

"It's probably the most tragic story of the return of Jews to Israel."

Working with Nurit Koren, MyHeritage, a company that researches family ancestry, recently began offering help to Yemenite Jews who have a missing child, or who think they were secretly adopted.

Leah Aharoni, who has long been convinced that her daughter, Hanna, could be alive and searching for her biological family, gave a DNA sample - samples of cells from the inside of her cheek - to be checked against others in a new database for Yemenite-Israelis.

"I want to find out where my daughter went. I want her to know that I didn't abandon her, that I love her," Leah says. "I was tricked."

She is encouraged by a few cases in which adults in Israel and abroad found out they had been adopted, and managed to trace their Yemenite parents. She is still waiting to find out if there is a match for her.

At a beachside cafe in Haifa, I meet a physicist who is philosophical about how his life was shaped by this time of turmoil.
Image caption Yehuda Kantor found his biological family through DNA testing

A few months ago, Yehuda Kantor became the first person to be reunited with his biological family through the MyHeritage testing programme.

He had spent more than 20 years searching for his biological mother - making regular appearances in the media to publicise his case.

"I got hundreds of telephone numbers and lots of information but none quite fitted my story. I tried some DNA tests but it was in vain," Yehuda says.

Yehuda had a happy childhood, raised in nearby Afula by Batia and Asher Kantor, an Ashkenazi Jewish couple originally from Eastern Europe.

However, it was not until he reached his twenties that he discovered what much of his close-knit community already knew: he was adopted.

His mother, who had been unable to conceive, revealed she had brought him home from a small orphanage, aged three.

She always feared losing him and so, out of respect for his adoptive parents, it was only after they died that Yehuda opened his adoption file.

This showed no signature of consent from his Yemenite biological mother and gave only her first name, Zahara.

MyHeritage was able to use that to trace a grave for a woman who had died 17 years ago.

They then approached her five children asking them to do DNA tests. These showed they are the half-brother and half-sisters of Yehuda.

"Wow, there are a lot," remarked Yehuda, as he was told the news ahead of an emotional first meeting filmed by Israeli television.

His biological siblings had never been told of the existence of an older brother and were unable to explain the circumstances of his adoption.

However, they were able to give some information on his roots and Yehuda is delighted to be getting to know them better.

"I'm happy the circle was completed and I now know the history, the origin and I know which family [I'm from] from a genetic point of view," he says.

"You cannot regret what happened in the past. This is my life. I accept it as it is."

Additional reporting by Erica Chernofsky

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10