Thursday, June 30, 2016

Last photos of......

Three Amigos meeting in Ottawa...Leaders of North America reinforce relatioship

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Three Amigos say relations 'strong' amid rising protectionism, anti-immigrant sentiment
Obama arrived at the Ottawa airport Wednesday morning. Trudeau greeted Obama with a handshake and a warm hug at the National Gallery of Canada. Before getting down to meetings, Trudeau and Obama joined Pena Nieto in the gallery, where an exhibit celebrating the work of Rufino Tamayo, a Mexican modern artist, is currently on display.
The leaders of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico put forward a united front against growing concerns over the rise of protectionism and anti-immigrant sentiment at home and abroad as they concluded their North American Leaders Summit.
"The conversations were friendly, but also frank, and I'm reassured by the progress we have been able to make today," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a joint press conference in Ottawa.
"Relationships between the citizens of our three nations have always been strong, even when our governments haven't always seen eye-to-eye.
Trudeau said he had friendly but "frank" talks with U.S. President Barack Obama and Enrique Pena Nieto, as they agreed to align their respective climate and energy policies and work on resolving border issues at the so-called Three Amigos gathering.
"Today we turned that resolve into action, with the negotiation of an ambitious and enduring North American Climate, Clean Energy and Environment Partnership," Trudeau said at a joint press conference Wednesday.
"This partnership will see our countries stand side-by-side as we work toward the common goal of a North America that is competitive, that encourages clean growth, and that protects our shared environment now, and for generations to come."
Trudeau said there were other issues on the agenda, such as the worst mass shooting in Orlando, Fl., earlier this month.
"One of the first items we discussed was our common respect for diversity, and our firm support for LGBTQ2 rights," Trudeau said, adding that the three leaders were "unanimous" in their belief that North America has a responsibility to lead on the issue.
In his own comments, Obama condemned the terror attacks Tuesday at Turkey's main international airport. The leaders each addressed the anti-trade rhetoric that has been a central theme to both the U.S. presidential primary race and the referendum campaign in Britain over that country's decision to leave the EU.
"We have an integrated economy already, the question is under what terms are we going to shape that economy," Obama told reporters.
"Us trying to abandon the field and pull up the drawbridge is going to be bad for us," Obama added.
Pena Nieto spoke about the importance of working as a trading block and used the example of how the three countries came together to help protect the Monarch butterfly. He noted the butterfly's threatened nesting ground in Mexico has increased almost 10-fold over a single year and said that success was symbolic of the North American relationship. 
"The North American Leader's Summit bears witness that isolated national efforts are insufficient. If we want favourable results for the benefit of our societies it is better to work together as a region," Pena Nieto said
Obama also cautioned against drawing analogies between what happened in the U.K. with what is happening between Mexico, Canada and the U.S., or what all three are trying to do with the TPP.
"It's important to point out that those who argued about leaving the European Union are the same folks, who the very next day, are insisting 'don't worry, we're still going to have access to the single market,'" he said. "So, apparently, their argument was not against trade generally, they just didn't want any obligations to go with the access to the free market."
Although none of the three leaders spoke his name, controversial Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has threatened to tear up the NAFTA trade deal and build a wall along America's southern border, was a constant theme to the press conference.
"Somebody...who has never shown any regard for workers, has never fought on behalf of social justice issues or making sure that poor kids are getting a decent shot in life, or have health care —  in fact have worked against economic opportunity for workers and ordinary people — they don't suddenly become a populist because they say something controversial to win votes, that's not the measure of populism, that's nativism, or xenophobia or worse, or it's just cynicism," Obama said.

U.S. President Barack Obama, accompanied by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Neito, speaks during their trilateral news conference for the North America Leaders' Summit at the National Gallery of Canada, Wednesday, in Ottawa.

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Obama warns about calling Trump 'populist'

Agreement for the environment

The agreements reached by the Three Amigos were outlined in a statement issued by the White House even before Wednesday's meetings were underway.
"In recognition of our close ties and shared vision, we commit today to an ambitious and enduring North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership that sets us firmly on the path to a more sustainable future."
The three leaders agreed to move towards a 50 per cent clean power generation across North America by 2025, including renewable energy, nuclear power, carbon capture and storage and increased energy efficiency.
The climate accord pledges to cut methane emissions 40 to 45 per cent below 2012 levels by 2025.

The three leaders also agreed to:
  • Expand the scope and eligibility of programs like NEXUS and Mexico's Viajero Confiable to speed pre-approved travellers across borders.
  • ​Provide businesses with a single online portal at customs.
  • Update the NAFTA rules of origin for a variety of products.
  • Launch a 90-day pilot program by the end of the year to target foreign fugitives with known or suspected ties to North America.
  • Give the UN Refugee Agency $10 million US combined to help with the largest displacement of migrants fleeing wars in countries like Syria and Iraq.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May welcomed the joint commitment on climate change and clean energy but called on the Trudeau government to increase its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
"Canada's GHG reduction target for 2030 is out of step with the U.S. and with the pledges in today's announcement. It is long since time that the Trudeau administration replace the old Harper target," she said in a written statement.
Environmental organizations offered praise for the agreement. Environmental Defence said the new targets will help North America show greater leadership on climate change.
Greenpeace said it applauded the three leaders but remained concerned that "false solutions like nuclear (power) and carbon capture" were included in the plan.
The Pembina Institute, an environmental think tank, said the agreement demonstrated that "when working together, North America can forge important progress on global issues."

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke in the House of Commons after the so-called Three Amigos meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Pena Nieto in Ottawa on Wednesday.
 Speech to Canadian Parliament

Countering anti-protectionist rhetoric

Obama held a bilateral meeting with Mexico's president before the three North American leaders sat down for their trilateral discussions."We had the opportunity to discuss the continuing strength of our business, commercial, trade and people-to-people ties," Obama said."The United States is not just a friend and neighbour of Mexico, but the very character of the United States is shaped by Mexican Americans who have shared our culture, our politics, our business."
"All too often we're hearing rhetoric that ignores the enormous contributions that have been made by Mexican Americans and the enormous strengths we draw from the relationship," Obama said in an apparent reference to Donald Trump's controversial comments during his run to be the Republican nominee for president in this fall's U.S. election.
Pena Nieto also offered a rebuke against rising American and British protectionist forces.
"The world is teaching us lessons," Pena Nieto said in Spanish at the end of his meeting with Obama.
"We need to be very clear in terms of describing the benefits of being an integrated region. Jobs are created, companies are incorporated, trade is free and more development can reach people due to regional integration. Isolationism is not a route towards progress; integration is.
Before Wednesday's meetings, Trudeau and Pena Nieto had cleared away some long-standing trade and travel irritants: Canada will lift its controversial visa requirement for Mexican visitors before the end of the year while Mexico will end restrictions on Canadian beef imports.
The two leaders touted the relationship between their countries as a model of political and economic co-operation, in sharp contrast to the growing strains of protectionism and isolation sweeping the United States and Britain.
After the summit press conference, Trudeau held a bilateral meeting with Obama, who capped his day-long visit to the Canadian capital with an address to Parliament.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The discovery of a deposit of helium is a game changer...and just in time

In the midst of fears of our helium deposits running out, a research team has found a large helium deposit in the volcanic rich Rift Valley in Tanzania using a new method of detection.

Just In Time

Apart from making balloons float and making you sound like a chipmunk, helium is essential to the superconductor industry, and is a crucial ingredient in MRI scans as well as other medical applications. Numerous other applications also require helium, such as quantum mechanics and space technology.

Running out of helium.
The Earth is running out of helium

In recent years, experts have been worried about helium reserves being depleted. Ironically, it is the second most abundant element in space. Since helium is a lot lighter than air, a lot of the Earth’s helium supply quickly seeps out into space. While this means we can never really run out of helium in the universe, harvesting it would become increasingly costly.
The world relies on the US for 75% of its helium supply, and based on estimates, the American reserve can only produce enough to last until 2018, 2020 at best.
But fear not: a large helium reserve has just been found in Tanzania. Scientists from Durham and Oxford University, in collaboration with Helium One, used seismic imaging and geochemical sampling to find the new reserve, on the postulation that volcanic activity is critical in the production of helium. Durham University graduate student Diveena Danabalan presented the team’s findings at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Japan.

1.2 million of these.
1.2 million of these

Current extraction methods include natural gas processing, wherein helium as a by-product of radioactive decay of uranium and other heavy elements are extracted. The new exploration strategy predicts the location of helium reserves by mapping out volcanic activity that would produce enough intense heat as to extricate helium from ancient rocks. This helium would then try to escape upwards and end up in shallower gas deposits, such as the one recently found in the volcanically rich Rift Valley in Tanzania, which can supply an estimated 1.2 million scanners.
“We sampled helium gas (and nitrogen) just bubbling out of the ground in the Tanzanian East African Rift Valley,” Oxford University’s Chris Ballentine said. “This is a game changer for the future security of society’s helium needs, and similar finds in the future may not be far away.”

Finding the Sweet Spot

While this new method presents an effective way to find mother lodes of helium, the researchers still have to work on finding the spot where the helium reserve is not too close to a volcano—so it doesn’t mix with other volcanic gases, since the process to segregate them would be time-consuming and ultimately expensive.
“We are now working to identify the ‘goldilocks zone’ between the ancient crust and the modern volcanoes, where the balance between helium release and volcanic dilution is ‘just right."

Thanx to  one of my favorite websites,, for article

Doomed Doomed Doomed ... Can we change our future? Ask Dr Hawking

[British physicist, Professor Stephen Hawking / CP]

When Larry King first interviewed renowned physicist Stephen Hawking about the state of humankind, his outlook was bleak: “Mankind is in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity.” 
That was six years ago. And it turns out his sentiment hasn’t changed. At all.

King reconnected with Hawking recently and asked if anything has shifted since the last time they spoke.

“Six years ago, I was warning about pollution and overcrowding, they have gotten worse since then,” he replied. “The population has grown by half a billion since our last interview, with no end in sight. At this rate, it will be eleven billion by 2100. Air pollution has increased by 8 percent over the past five years. More than 80 percent of inhabitants of urban areas are exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution.”

Girl Walks Through Smog In Beijing, Where Small-Particle Pollution Is 40 Times Over International Safety Standard
Girl Walks Through Smog In Beijing, Where Small-Particle Pollution Is 40 Times Over International Safety Standard

Child Drinks Water From Stream In Fuyuan County, Yunnan Province
Child Drinks Water From Stream In Fuyuan County, Yunnan Province

Worker Cleans Away Dead Fish At A Lake In Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province
Fish dead from polluted water in lake In Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province

Hawking says the issue of pollution hasn’t been addressed and wonders if it’s too late to avoid dangerous levels of global warming.

The doom and gloom doesn’t end there. Another worry that plagues Hawking is the advance of artificial intelligence. He says governments are engaged in an AI arms race, putting funding into weapons with intelligent technology, rather than project that could directly benefit the human race, like improved medical screening.

“Artificial intelligence has the potential to evolve faster than the human race. Beneficially AI could co-exist with humans,” he says. “Once machines reach the critical stage of being able to evolve themselves, we cannot predict whether their goals will be the same as ours.”

Despite his disheartening predictions, Hawking isn’t ready to call it a day just yet. When he was asked what keeps him going, he replied: “There are questions I want to answer.”
Hawking is attending the Starmus Festival in the Canary Islands, where the festivities this year focus on his accomplishments and research.
But don't give up hope. If Dr Hawking is so knowledgeable about all our problems,
maybe he will come up with a few solutions. Isn't it about time we educated ourselves about pollution, global warming and the dawn of the 'Technological Singularity' ? In the future, knowledge will be our best defense.
 Blow your mind, go to

Monday, June 27, 2016

So now what happens?? ...UK out

A pedestrian shelters from the rain beneath a Union flag themed umbrella as they walk near the Big Ben clock face and the Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament in central London on June 25, 2016
Brexit - Britain's exit from the EU - has left a sea of confusion in its frothy wake. Here is a quick look at some of the current key questions yet to be answered following Thursday's referendum.

When is the UK leaving? Why hasn't it left already?

For the UK to leave the EU, it has to formally invoke an agreement called Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. No country has ever left the EU, so Article 50 is untested.
Once Article 50 has been invoked in a letter or a speech, the formal process of withdrawing from the EU can begin, at which point the UK has two years to negotiate its withdrawal with the other member states.
In his statement after the results of the referendum, UK Prime Minister David Cameron - who backed Remain - said he would resign in October and leave it to his successor to decide when to trigger Article 50.
Leave campaigners say they want informal discussions with the EU first, but the foreign ministers of France and Germany have called for Article 50 to be triggered as soon as possible to avoid prolonging a period of uncertainty.

Could Brexit break up the UK?

Unlike England and Wales, Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says it is "democratically unacceptable" for the country to be taken out of the union against its will.
A second independence referendum for the country is now "highly likely", she says, and recent polls suggest roughly 60% of Scots are now in favor of leaving the UK in order to remain in the EU.
One constitutional expert has suggested Scotland could go further under its law and effectively veto Brexit, although others have dismissed this idea as extreme.
Northern Ireland also voted in favour of remain, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, of the Sinn Fein party, has called for a referendum on reuniting the North
with the South, which is outside the UK and remains in the EU.
But the Westminster-based Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has ruled out the call for a vote, saying there was no legal framework for it to be called.
There is uncertainty over whether a so-called "hard border" would have to be put in place between the North and the South if the North exits the EU.

Is the Leave campaign abandoning its pledges?
Within hours of the results, the Leave campaign was being accused of rowing back on several of its key campaign pledges. Among them, the bold claim that the UK would take back £350m donated to the EU every week . The pledge was widely criticized during the campaign by many who pointed out that £350m is the UK's gross contribution, and that it receives vast sums of money back from the EU. 
Other key campaign pledges have been called into question. Leave promised to "take back control of Britain's borders" and reduce immigration, but several key Leave campaigners have since suggested that the UK may need to accept freedom of movement in order to have access to the single European market.
"A lot of things were said in advance of this referendum that we might want to think about again," said Leave campaigner and former Conservative minister Liam Fox.

Is UK politics falling apart?

The days since the vote have produced scenes of political upheaval unprecedented in recent political history, with both the government and the opposition in turmoil. "A country renowned for its political and legal stability is descending into chaos," wrote the New York Times on Monday.
On Friday morning, the prime minister announced his resignation, just over a year into his second term, telling the country he would stay on until October to smooth the transition.
The Conservative party now has to find a new leader but it has been fiercely divided by the referendum. The front-runner is former London mayor Boris Johnson, who led the Leave campaign. Other key contenders include Home Secretary Theresa May and Chancellor George Osborne, but both were on the losing side of the Brexit vote.
This would normally play into the hands of the Labor party, the main opposition, but Labor too finds itself in crisis. Waves of the party's shadow cabinet have resigned in the wake of the referendum, ahead of an expected vote of no-confidence in leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Many Labor MPs believe Mr Corbyn failed to mobilize Labor voters to support the Remain campaign and would fail to win a snap general election in the likely event one were to be called later this year.
If the motion of no-confidence is successful there will be a vote for a new Labour leader. There is disagreement within the party about whether Mr Corbyn would automatically be entitled to a place on the ballot.
Has the Leave campaign encouraged racism?
There are no official statistics, but there has been a significant number of reports on social media of racist abuse linked to the Leave win. Some high-profile incidents have been verified by police.
In Hammersmith, west London, on Sunday, suspected racist graffiti was painted on the front entrance of the Polish Social and Cultural Association.
And in Cambridgeshire, police are investigating laminated cards that were posted through letterboxes and left outside a school, which read: "Leave the EU/No more Polish vermin" in both English and Polish.
There has been a stream of reports on social media of people hurling abuse at others they assume to be immigrants. The Leave campaign has faced accusations that it encouraged hostility towards immigrants

What happens to immigrants already in the UK?

EU immigrants already in the UK would probably be granted indefinite leave to remain, as the Leave campaign has not called for them to be deported, but there are no guarantees at this stage.
Under current EU freedom of movement law, citizens are free to travel and settle in other member states. If the UK negotiates to keep freedom of movement after Brexit, EU immigrants in the UK (about 3 million) and British migrants abroad (about 1.2 million) will be unaffected.
But the UK government may find itself under significant pressure to withdraw from freedom of movement after the Leave campaign pledged to reduce European immigration. This would then probably require UK citizens to obtain a visa to work or live abroad, and the same for EU citizens wanting to settle in the UK. Immigrants from outside of the EU are not affected by the change.
This decision was so wrong. United, Europe is stronger, has more power and clout, a force to be reckoned with. The UK has been defeated by a lot of retirees who want to turn the clock back . Isolation does not work in this new, harsher world. The 'Leave' people are impeding the, already snail's pace, progress toward a united world. The idea is to welcome immigrants and absorb them into our society. Everyone's family, in the western world, originally, came from someplace else. And I believe this decision may mean economic hardship for the UK.
The future lies in being a united planet. To save the world from global warming will take a united effort. Beating ISIS will take a united effort. Defeating crazy dictators with ideas of world domination and nuclear war, will take a united effort. World hunger? ... United effort. Apocalyptic viruses and alien landings...'united we stand'.
As for migrant peoples from Syria and parts of Africa ...  they should be accommodated according to the size of the host country. People who have braved the Mediterranean in a rubber raft, in desperation, to escape untold horrors, deserve to be shown some mercy and humanity. We all need to do better regarding that situation.
Opting out is not the solution.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Roving Reporter : British parties in turmoil after anti-EU vote

Svenja O'Donnell and Robert Hutton, Bloomberg News on Jun 26, 2016
Published in News & Features
LONDON –– The turmoil engulfing British politics worsened as the country's biggest parties descended into chaos after last week's national vote to leave the European Union.

Senior Labour Party lawmaker Hilary Benn was fired after calling on Jeremy Corbyn to quit as party leader, triggering the resignation of seven other members of Corbyn's shadow cabinet. In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is planning a possible second referendum on EU membership, while suggesting that she could block Britain's exit without another vote. And the campaign to succeed Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron began, with the Sunday Telegraph reporting that his allies will try to stop Boris Johnson from getting the job.

As infighting grips the country's two biggest parties, investors, executives and the EU's other 27 nations are waiting for the Britain to provide details on of how it plans to leave the EU.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Brussels and London Monday to discuss the situation with foreign policy officials.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Berlin Monday. The heads of what will be the EU's three biggest economies after Briain is gone are expected to discuss their response ahead of a meeting of the bloc's 28 leaders in Brussels on Tuesday.

There are differences within the governments on how tough a line to take with Britain, with the British political power vacuum also complicating the issue.

Corbyn may survive a Labour leadership challenge because of his popularity with the party membership, but he has lost authority over many of its lawmakers. Those pushing for him to go fear that whoever replaces Cameron will call a snap election, in which Labour would need a clear position on its attitude to the European Union and a leader who looks like a potential prime minister.

Corbyn, a long-time euroskeptic who voted against EU membership in 1975, ran a low-key campaign for staying in. He didn't make his first speech on the topic until two months after Cameron announced the referendum, and in his rare media appearances he repeatedly highlighted the EU's flaws, even while arguing for a "Remain" vote. Much of Labour's traditional strongholds in northern and central England, and Wales, voted to leave the bloc.

"There is growing concern in the shadow cabinet and the parliamentary party about his leadership," Benn said. "Jeremy is a good and decent man but he's not a leader. And that's a problem."

Among the shadow cabinet members who resigned were the party's education spokeswoman, Lucy Powell, and its health spokeswoman, Heidi Alexander.

Former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith told the BBC on Sunday that it would be "very, very difficult for the public -- who have voted for leaving the European Union -- to find they have a prime minister who opposed leaving the European Union."

Meanwhile, Sturgeon suggested that Scotland could block a British withdrawal from the EU because the necessary legislation might have to be approved in its Parliament in Edinburgh.

"Looking at it from a logical perspective, I find it hard to believe that there wouldn't be that requirement," she said on BBC. "I suspect the U.K. government will take a very different view on that, and we'll have to see where that discussion ends up."
Visit Bloomberg News at

The Roving Reporter            G .

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Roving Reporter : Louisiana twins found dead inside 3-year-old hot pickup truck

BOSSIER CITY, La. (WGNO) -– Police are investigating the heat deaths of a little boy and his twin sister. The toddlers were found inside a pickup truck outside their home in Bossier City Saturday afternoon.

KTBS reports that the twins' mother called neighbors looking for her children before discovering them in the truck.

No word on how the twins managed to climb inside the truck and close the door.

Authorities said they easily could have been inside for two hours.

The children's father was not home at the time. KTBS reports that he is a Bossier Parish sheriff`s deputy.

RIP  little angels .

Friends  this is a terrible shock ,they  live  across the river  from us .  

My heart goes out to them .

The Roving Reporter                  G.

The U.S. Supreme Court upholds ban on assault weapons

A Bushmaster rifle belonging to Sandy Hook Elementary school gunman Adam Lanza in Newtown, Connecticut is seen after its recovery at the school in this police evidence photo released by the state's attorney's office on November 25, 2013


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left in place gun control laws in New York and Connecticut that ban military-style assault weapons like the one used in last week's massacre at an Orlando nightclub, rejecting a legal challenge by gun rights advocates.
The court's action underlined its reluctance to insert itself into the simmering national debate on gun control. The Supreme Court issued important rulings in gun cases in 2008 and 2010 but has not taken up a major firearms case since.
The justices declined to hear an appeal of an October ruling by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld laws prohibiting semiautomatic weapons and large capacity magazines in the two northeastern states.
"Sensible gun safety legislation works. The Supreme Court's action today in declining to hear this appeal affirms that the reforms enacted in Connecticut following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School were reasonable, sensible and lawful,"
Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, a Democrat, said.
The New York and Connecticut laws, among the strictest in the nation, were enacted after a gunman with a semiautomatic rifle killed 20 young children and six educators in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
The gunman in the June 12 attack at an Orlando gay nightclub that killed 49 people, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, used a semiautomatic rifle that would have been banned under the New York and Connecticut laws.
"The overwhelming majority of responsible gun owners want reasonable and effective gun control legislation," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. "They know that there is no place for weapons of war on the streets of America. New York's assault weapons ban keeps New Yorkers safer - period."
Schneiderman, a Democrat, urged other states to enact similar laws.
The legal challenge mounted by gun rights groups and individual firearms owners asserted that the New York and Connecticut laws violated the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms. The court denied the appeal with no comment or recorded vote.
The challengers to the Connecticut law said it banned "some of the most popular firearms in America," guns they said are owned by millions of Americans for the lawful purposes of self-defense, hunting and recreational shooting. The state said these kinds of guns are used in "the most heinous forms of gun violence."
In December, the court declined to hear a challenge to a Illinois town's assault weapons ban. But the justices in March threw out a Massachusetts court ruling that stun guns are not covered by the Second Amendment and sent the case back to the state's top court for further proceedings.
The United States has among the most permissive gun rights in the world. Because the U.S. Congress long has been a graveyard for gun control legislation, some states and localities have enacted their own measures.
In total, seven states and the District of Columbia ban semiautomatic rifles. A national law barring assault weapons expired in 2004. Congressional Republicans and some Democrats, backed by the influential National Rifle Association gun rights lobby, foiled efforts to restore it.
In the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, the Senate was taking up gun legislation on Monday, although the four measures were not expected to win passage.
There is a longstanding legal debate over the scope of Second Amendment rights.
In the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller case, the Supreme Court held for the first time that the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual's right to bear arms, but the ruling applied only to firearms kept in the home for self-defense. That ruling did not involve a state law, applying only to federal regulations.
Two years later, in the case McDonald v. City of Chicago, the court held that the Heller ruling covered individual gun rights in states.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Roving Reporter : Police say they found a man living with 12 girls, 1 'gifted' to him

June 19th 2016 On Thursday, police outside Philadelphia found a 51-year-old man living with 12 girls ranging in age from 6 months to 18 years old.
The man, Lee Kaplan, now faces a multitude of charges including statutory sexual assault.

Investigators say Kaplan fathered a 3-year-old and a 6-month-old with the now 18-year-old. That young woman came into Kaplan's home after her parents reportedly "gifted" her to Kaplan.

Police say the 18-year-old's parents, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus, gave their daughter to Kaplan after he helped them with their financial problems. They have been charged with endangering the welfare of children. Daniel Stoltzfus is also charged with criminal conspiracy and statutory sexual assault. reports the local district attorney said Kaplan had "brainwashed" the Stoltzfuses. 

The couple reportedly told police they're the parents of the nine other children found in Kaplan's home.

However, local media reports that authorities are struggling to confirm the identify of the girls because they can't find their birth certificates or social security cards. Investigators say they believe the girls are Amish.
"They were living down in the basement, they were hiding in the chicken coop," Lower Southampton Public Safety Director Robert Hoopes said.

A neighbor who was suspicious told KYW-TV she called the state's child abuse hotline.

"It was just an instinct. Like, I just felt like I wasn't going through another summer where everybody should be outside kinda thing and not see those little girls again," said Jen Betz, the neighbor who made the call. 

WPVI reports previous calls were made to police about Kaplan's home, but the authorities never had enough evidence to enter the property because none of the complaints were for child abuse. 
All three adults are each being held on $1 million bail.

The Roving reporter              G.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Roving Reporter : Happy Father's Day

 Anna Jarvas

On June 19, 1910, the governor of the U.S. state of Washington proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day.” However, it was not until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official, that the day became a nationwide holiday in the United States.
The “Mother’s Day” we celebrate today has its origins in the peace-and-reconciliation campaigns of the post-Civil War era. During the 1860s, at the urging of activist Ann Reeves Jarvis, one divided West Virginia town celebrated “Mother’s Work Days” that brought together the mothers of Confederate and Union soldiers. In 1870, the activist Julia Ward Howe issued a “Mother’s Day Proclamation” calling on a “general congress of women” to “promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, [and] the great and general interests of peace.”

Did You Know?
There are more than 70 million fathers in the United States.

However, Mother’s Day did not become a commercial holiday until 1908, when–inspired by Jarvis’s daughter Anna, who wanted to honor her own mother by making Mother’s Day a national holiday–the John Wanamaker department store in Philadelphia sponsored a service dedicated to mothers in its auditorium. Thanks in large part to this association with retailers, who saw great potential for profit in the holiday, Mother’s Day caught on right away. In 1909, 45 states observed the day, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson approved a resolution that made the second Sunday in May a holiday in honor of “that tender, gentle army, the mothers of America.”

The campaign to celebrate the nation’s fathers did not meet with the same enthusiasm–perhaps because, as one florist explained, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.” On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday. The next year, a Spokane, Washington woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. Slowly, the holiday spread. In 1916, President Wilson honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane when he pressed a button in Washington, D.C. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day. However, many men continued to disdain the day. As one historian writes, they “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products–often paid for by the father himself.”

During the 1920s and 1930s, a movement arose to scrap Mother’s Day and Father’s Day altogether in favor of a single holiday, Parents’ Day. Every year on Mother’s Day, pro-Parents’ Day groups rallied in New York City’s Central Park–a public reminder, said Parents’ Day activist and radio performer Robert Spere, “that both parents should be loved and respected together.” Paradoxically, however, the Depression derailed this effort to combine and de-commercialize the holidays. Struggling retailers and advertisers redoubled their efforts to make Father’s Day a “second Christmas” for men, promoting goods such as neckties, hats, socks, pipes and tobacco, golf clubs and other sporting goods, and greeting cards. When World War II began, advertisers began to argue that celebrating Father’s Day was a way to honor American troops and support the war effort. By the end of the war, Father’s Day may not have been a federal holiday, but it was a national institution.

In 1972, in the middle of a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday at last. Today, economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts.

Happy Father's Day to everyone 
The Roving Reporter              G.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Canadian teen discovers method to turn waste water into energy

A Vancouver high school student thinks he knows what to do with the one billion litres of waste water that gets flushed down toilets and sent down sink drains every day in the Greater Vancouver Area.
Austin Wang, who's won numerous science awards, came up with a way to genetically modify micro-organisms so that they could clean the waste water and generate electricity at the same time.
"Canadians are extremely wasteful," says the 18-year-old who loves to play basketball and the piano. "On average, we're worse than Americans."
His method could possibly generate up to 600 gigawatts of energy from waste biomass.
"If we get efficiencies high enough, it's theoretically achievable," says Wang.
An average household in the province uses around 900 kilowatt-hours per month, estimates BC Hydro. This is what we have been waiting for. Solves two problems with one solution. Why aren't my kids this smart ?

Watch more about Austin's plan to turn waste water into electricity in the video above.

False Killer Whale Dances to Lullaby ... loves music

A false killer whale could not contain its delight when a woman played him a lullaby behind the walls of the aquarium. Chester the false killer whale swiveled and swirled as the captivated visitor played him songs from a hand-made music box. He was completely fascinated by the sounds.
Jessie was filmed pleasing Chester at the Vancouver Aquarium in Canada .
The 'false whale' is a cetacean and the third-largest member of the oceanic dolphin family. Jessie met Chester a few months ago and fell in love, and was desperate to connect with him on another level. She made the music box play types of songs she thought he would like, and he actually did.
The woman kept playing until the aquarium closed and promised to return with more songs to entertain the dolphin.
Chester was rescued as a calf in distress two years ago near Tofino on Vancouver Island. He was nursed back to health by the Aquarium’s rescue team and has been deemed unable to survive in the wild. Now he has a home and family with the aquarium team of specialists and he has made a friend for life.

Smiles, cheers greet verdicts as pair found guilty of killing Tim Bosma ....About time

Tim Bosma's  ( murder victim) wife Sharlene and her sister
HAMILTON - Grieving relatives of an Ontario man killed after taking two strangers on a test drive three years ago broke into smiles and tears of relief Friday as the two men were found guilty of first-degree murder, setting off a wave of celebration that rippled through the courthouse and out onto the street.
Gasps rang out in the Hamilton courtroom as the jury announced the convictions of Dellen Millard, 30, of Toronto, and Mark Smich, 28, of Oakville, both of whom had pleaded not guilty to the murder charges.
Cheers erupted moments later as Bosma's family members, including his widow, Sharlene Bosma, walked out of the courtroom to a crowd of supporters. "We won!" one supporter said, a sentiment that was echoed by several others.
The family later gathered outside to a raucous crowd of friends, strangers and a deluge of media as Sharlene Bosma described the ordeal that began with her husband's disappearance.
"For over three years we have waited for justice for Tim," she said.
"For three years we have been in and out of this courthouse to look at and breathe in the same space with the utter depths of depravity in our society. We have had to endure being near the two men that walked down my driveway that took away the bright life that is Tim."
While the verdict comes as a relief, nothing can bring back the beloved husband and father whose life was unfairly cut short, she said, adding the family has only begun to rebuild.
The jury deliberated for five days before coming to a decision Friday afternoon.
The conviction carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, which means Millard and Smich won't be eligible for parole before 2038 after being credited for time already spent in custody.
Both are barred from owning weapons or communicating with the Bosma family and have been ordered to submit a DNA sample for the national databank.
The two men declined to comment when given the chance to speak to the court, but Smich's lawyer said his client would seek an appeal.
In sentencing the pair, Justice Andrew Goodman said their "despicable and callous actions" had led to the death of an "innocent, decent, hard-working and beloved family man."
What happened to Bosma is "incomprehensible and unimaginable," he said. "To the Bosma family, I am sorry for your loss."
Bosma's disappearance on May 6, 2013 made headlines across Canada and sparked a massive week-long search that saw more than 100 police officers scouring Millard's properties in Waterloo Region.
Millard, the heir to an aviation empire, was arrested before Bosma's charred remains were found. Smich was arrested more than a week later, just hours before a memorial service that saw hundreds pay tribute to the Hamilton man.
The two men are also charged with first-degree murder in the death of Laura Babcock, a 23-year-old Toronto woman who vanished in the summer of 2012. Police say Babcock, whose body was never found, was romantically involved with Millard. The trial into her slaying is expected to begin early next year.
Smich intends to plead not guilty to those charges. It is not known how Millard will plead in that case, but he has said he plans to represent himself at trial. Millard also faces first-degree murder charges in the death of his father, Wayne Millard, in November 2012, which was initially deemed a suicide. A date for that trial hasn't been set yet.
Prosecutors in the Bosma case have alleged Millard and Smich — then a drug dealer — planned for more than a year to steal a truck, kill its owner and incinerate the body.
The trial, which began hearing evidence on Feb. 1, has pitted the two former friends against each other as each man said the other had carried out the fatal shooting.
Smich, who was the only accused to take the stand, told court they were "scoping" out trucks Millard wanted to steal when they went on the test drive.
With his friend at the wheel and Bosma in the passenger seat, Smich testified that he got out of the truck early on and followed the two men in Millard's truck.
It was only after they both got out of their trucks at the side of the road that Smich saw Bosma slumped on the dashboard, with blood splattered everywhere and a bullet hole in the passenger window, he told the court.
Clearly, he was as guilty as Millard. He was part of the planning and implementation of the act and knew how it would end. He even helped dispose of the body. Both men brutal murderers, and deserving life sentences without hope of my humble opinion.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The tragic story of the comfort women of the Philippines

(This article contains graphic details which some readers may find disturbing.)
 Sisters Lita (right) and Mileng were 13 and 15 years old when Japanese soldiers came to Mapanique "It was so painful," says Mileng of  her repeated rape by soldiers at the innocent age of thirteen.

Hundreds of thousands of women and girls across Asia were raped and forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during World War Two. Some have been offered a direct apology and compensation from the Japanese government - but not in the Philippines. The last survivors there want their suffering to finally be acknowledged.
"At night there are evil spirits - my mother and brother used to see the ghost of an old woman." With this warning the caretaker unlocks the gates to the Red House.
"After the war, no one wanted to live here," he says. "They were too scared."

Today the majestic blood-red villa is crumbling, but memories of the atrocities committed inside it haven't faded.

 Many women and girls were assaulted by Japanese soldiers in the Red House Lita and her sister Mileng live in the nearby village of Mapanique, about 50 miles north of the capital Manila. Now in their mid-80s, they recall a simple but happy childhood.
"We used to play hopscotch and tag. We'd climb trees and pick fruit," says Lita.
They were 13 and 15 years old when Japanese soldiers attacked their village in 1944.
Everyone was forced to watch as the men were executed, suspected of being resistance fighters, the sisters recall. One old man was castrated and forced to eat his own penis.

Mapanique was looted and razed. Then the girls and women, more than 100 in all, were forced to carry the looted goods to the Red House, which Japanese troops were using as a garrison.
"We thought it was the end of our world," says Mileng. "We thought they were going to kill us," adds Lita.
But the soldiers were in high spirits. They took off their uniforms, ate and had a smoke. Then, as the light faded, they began to rape the women and girls.

Inside the skeleton of the house, Lita points out where the stairway used to be. That's where they raped her.
"I was really struggling because I didn't want my clothes to be stripped off. I kept my legs together, tightly crossed. After I did that, they punched my thighs so that they could do what they wanted."
The following morning they were allowed to leave. Their village - including Lita and Mileng's home - had been burned down and survivors were taken along the river to a nearby town.  In the chaos and confusion, it took the sisters nearly three days to find each other.

They had become part of one of the largest operations of sexual violence in modern history. It's widely thought that about 200,000 women were held in captivity and many thousands more were raped.  Most were in Korea and China, but what's less well known is that the operation extended across the Japanese empire, as far afield as Burma, New Guinea, and the Philippines.
"This was not something done on the spur of the moment - this was planned," says historian Ricardo Jose of the University of the Philippines.

In the 1930s, it was discovered that Japanese troops in China would go "raping sprees". Recognizing the threat of the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, the Japanese Imperial Army devised a system to regulate sexual activity through the use of full-time slaves, who they called "comfort women".

Estellita - a frail and softly spoken 86-year-old great-grandmother - grew up on a prosperous sugar plantation in the central Philippines. She wanted to be a teacher.
One day, while selling food in the market, she was captured by a Japanese soldier and bundled into a truck. She was taken to a garrison where she was repeatedly raped by dozens of soldiers.


 Estellita kept silent about what she endured for more than 50 years.
 "I don't remember how many men came in. At one point I felt a sudden pain so I fought back. The soldier got angry. He held my head and banged it really hard into the table and I lost consciousness."
Estellita was only 14. She spent almost three weeks in Japanese captivity.  Her account is factual rather than expressive. Seven decades on, she still doesn't want to show her pain. She has tried to forget the screams, the crying, the face of the armed guard who stood outside her door.

"It was living hell for the 'comfort women'," says Ricardo Jose. "They simply had to stay in bed. They had to wait for the next customer, they had to submit. And this went on for hours, this went on for days, this went on for months. And they could not do anything."

The fragments of historical records that survived the war offer a chilling glimpse of the women's lives. On fortnightly visits to one garrison in the Philippines' third biggest city, Iloilo, Imperial Army doctors meticulously recorded the names, ages and sexual health of their captives: "21…16… 17… vaginal tearing… vaginal erosion."
"At their most extreme, the acts of violence would involve not just rape, but using almost anything to penetrate the woman - bottles, sticks, blunt objects," says Jose.
"And of course it created scars for life. Sometimes the women were left for dead."

Estellita's captivity ended as suddenly as it began. She was awoken one morning by American soldiers. The Japanese had fled. She walked out of the garrison and home to her parents.  She briefly went back to school, trying to keep busy. But ultimately the burden of shame and the fear of friends and neighbours discovering what she had been through became too much. She left school, giving up her ambitions of becoming a teacher, for a new life in poverty and anonymity in Manila. Estellita began a half a century of silence - she didn't even share her story with her husband or children. But when she started meeting up with other survivors and campaigning on behalf of the "comfort women", her daughter Lisa began to ask questions.
"I kept wondering why she wasn't around," says Lisa. "So I asked her."
Estellita was terrified of how her daughter would react.
"I had to explain that I didn't want it to happen to me," she says, conscious that other women in her position had been abandoned by their families when they found out.
Lisa was deeply moved by her mother's story. Now, she's joined her in the campaign for justice.

In 1993, after women in South Korea, the Philippines and other places started speaking out, the Japanese government offered "sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women".
At the time, it helped set up a fund to provide aid and support to victims but didn't offer full state-funded compensation. Japan has subsequently reiterated its sincere remorse and apologies towards the women.  But for many of the women these apologies were too vague and the financial offer far too inadequate. Would anything be adequate compensation for these women? I truly doubt it.

ISIS kill list includes Canadians

There are 151 Canadians about to get an uncomfortable phone call from police.
It may go something like this: “It’s probably nothing, but … your name appears to be on an ISIS kill list.”
Imagine getting that call. Imagine being the constable assigned to make it.
CBC has obtained a copy of the list, which contains the names, and email and physical addresses of some 8,300 people around the globe. It’s hard to tell what unites them. The Canadian names are mostly of women, from predominantly small centres in Canada, although there are some from large cities, too.
There are lots of theories as to how the names got on the list. What seems clear is they weren’t hand-picked. These don’t appear to be people targeted for who they are or what they have said or done. It doesn’t even seem like the names were entered manually. Some appear multiple times.
In analyzing the Canadian data, CBC has learned that most email addresses (71 per cent) appear to have been hacked at some point, either in an old LinkedIn hack or one from Myspace or Adobe. It is possible the information from those hacks was simply pushed around from group to group. Some of the information may exist in the public domain.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) says it first uncovered the list on pro-ISIS accounts from social media platforms like Telegram. MEMRI’s Elliot Zwig says the first call was to police.
“It’s a large list, it would be difficult to follow through on them, but it’s something that we’ve shared with law enforcement and they’re taking seriously and presumably are proceeding upon,” he said. “We know the right places to go, the right accounts to link up with, the right people to contact, the right forums to be present in, it came to us, it wasn’t something that was overly difficult to find.”
‘We want them dead’
The entity behind the list is called the United Cyber Caliphate. It’s a sort of umbrella group for pro-ISIS hackers. It has a history of defacing websites and acting like a type of IT resource for ISIS supporters.
United Cyber Caliphate and others have been busy building and releasing these lists. In the past four months, nine “kill lists” have surfaced. Sometimes, as was the case with a release of 3,600 names of New York residents in April, the hacking group publishes a bizarre accompanying graphic. That one included the phrases, “we want them dead” and “the most important citizens of New York.”
Civilians aren’t the typical targets of these lists. Pro-ISIS hacking groups have previously targeted U.S. drone operators or transit police or government employees.
This seems far more random.
There is no indication anyone on any of these lists has ever been harmed, but if they have had that call from police, they have most assuredly had a moment of pause. Various police agencies in Canada have confirmed to CBC that they are in the process of informing everyone on the list of what is going on. There is a “duty to inform.” It takes time and resources and distracts from other investigations police need to be conducting. And that suits these pro-ISIS groups just fine.
To keep people on edge, and police on the run, is exactly what they want to do.
A spokesman told CBC News the RCMP is aware of the list and is working with domestic and international law enforcement partners to assess the information and notify Canadians on the list. 
​The CBC respects the privacy and safety of those named on the list, and will not publish their names.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

David Suzuki ... Top Canadian Environmentalist ..Get Real on Climate Change

Going for sympathy ... Pistorius removes prosthetics

Oscar Pistorius removed his prosthetic limbs and hobbled around the courtroom at his sentencing hearing in South Africa. The former Olympic athlete was on his stumps when he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a door at his home in 2013, and his defense made much of his vulnerability.

The hearing in Pretoria was called after a court convicted him of murder, overturning a manslaughter verdict. Pistorius will be sentenced on 6 July.
The six-time Paralympic gold medallist, whose legs were amputated below the knee as a baby, made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympics in 2012, running on prosthetic "blades".

Judge Thokozile Masipa also has granted permission for the crime scene photos to be made public - a request made by Ms Steenkamp's father, who gave emotional testimony on Tuesday, saying Pistorius should pay for killing his daughter.
On Wednesday, the Pretoria High court heard testimony from Ms Steenkamp's cousin Kim Martin, who said the victim had not loved Pistorius though she had been fond of him.

The athlete's defence team had argued that he mistook Ms Steenkamp for an intruder.
The double amputee faces a jail term of 15 years but it may be reduced due to time already spent in prison and mitigating factors.

 Theatrics aside

Oscar Pistorius has spent all his life fighting misconceptions about disabled people but today, with this fate hanging in the balance, he hobbled in the courtroom before Judge Masipa - desperate to show his vulnerability.
Very few people have seen this world-renowned athlete this way. Over the course of his trial, we learned of a self-conscious Pistorius worlds apart from the demi-god celebrated for his sporting prowess.
It is one of those moments that will remain etched on the minds of many -  ( like, " If the gloves don't fit, you must acquit." )  It is without doubt that defense lawyer Barry Roux made an impression here. But theatrics aside, Gerrie Nel, for the prosecution, reminded the world of the hard facts: Reeva Steenkamp is dead and Oscar Pistorius killed her. Mr Nel argued that South Africa's high murder rate and seeming leniency of the courts could no longer go unchallenged. He implored the judge to not let this be "business as usual".  Now Judge Masipa, a decorated and well-respected judge, who though soft-spoken speaks with authority, is now faced with the difficult task of imposing a sentence.

Making his final plea for the defense, lawyer Barry Roux stressed his client's disability as he gave his version of events at the former athlete's home on Valentine's Day (14 February) 2013.
"It is three o'clock in the morning, it is dark, he is on his stumps," he said.
"His balance is seriously compromised and... he would not be able to defend himself. "He was anxious, he was frightened..."
"He believed the person in the toilet was an intruder and  the deceased, (Reeva) was at the time, in the bed," Mr Roux said.
The lawyer asked Pistorius to remove his prosthetic limbs and the sobbing former star, who was wearing shorts, took them off and hobbled about. He argued that a sentence with community service should be considered.
 Conversely,  in his closing argument for the prosecution, state lawyer Gerrie Nel pushed for a severe penalty.
"He knew there was someone behind the door," he said.
"Using a lethal weapon, a loaded firearm, the accused fired not one but four shots through the toilet door. He has failed to provide any acceptable version for his conduct."

 Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp had been dating for three months before her death

Kim Martin said the family found it hard to cope on Valentine's Day and Christmas. Ms Martin, who was called as the final witness for the prosecution, said she did not believe the true version of events had ever come out. Mr Roux asked her about the couple's relationship.
Ms Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, was excited and fond of Pistorius, "but I couldn't see love", Ms Martin replied.

Pistorius: Track champion

-Twenty gold medals to his name
-Just 17 when he won gold at the 2004 Paralympic Games
-At the 2012 Olympics, became first ever amputee to compete alongside able-bodied athletes.

Pistorius was initially jailed for manslaughter in 2014 and was released into house arrest after a year, but his conviction was changed to murder in December 2015 after the prosecution appealed.

He had been released from prison last October and allowed to serve out the remainder of his initial sentence under house arrest at his uncle's property in Pretoria, the capital of South Africa.