Zimmerman Charged With Second Degree Murder

By Matt Gutman, Candace Smith, Pierre Thomas, ABC News

11 April 12

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who admits he shot unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, was charged with murder today and has been taken into custody. The charge of second degree murder was announced by Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey at a news conference this evening. Corey said that “Mr. Zimmerman has turned himself in,” but would not say where he was being held in custody for his protection.

(via BREAKING: Zimmerman Charged With Second Degree Murder)

and justice for all

Mass Grave of Dead Babies in Ireland Used as Guinea Pigs for Pharmaceutical Company

Mass Grave of Dead Babies in Ireland Used as Guinea Pigs for Pharmaceutical Company

Mass Grave of Dead Babies in Ireland Used as Guinea Pigs for Pharmaceutical Company

In fact I had several placements and they all drugged all of the kids and nobody saw a doctor. It makes it easy for them to do whatever they want.

via Drugging Children.

Children at Sean Ross Abbey in Tipperary are thought to have been used in secret drug trials in the 1930s

cientists secretly


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In the scary months that followed the fall of Lehman Brothers, just about all major governments agreed that the sudden collapse of private spending had to be offset, and they turned to expansionary fiscal and monetary policy - spending more, taxing less, and printing lots of monetary base - in an effort to limit the damage. In so doing, they were following the advice of standard textbooks; more important, they were following the hard-earned lessons of the Great Depression.

It Would Take 12 Hours to Read Off Names of All Species Currently Facing Extinction …

A gray wolf in Wyoming. (photo: file)

It Would Take 12 Hours to Read Off Names of All Species Currently Facing Extinction

By Richard Monastersky, Nature

12 December 14

Species are disappearing quickly — but researchers are struggling to assess how bad the problem is.

f all the species that have populated Earth at some time over the past 3.5 billion years, more than 95% have vanished — many of them in spectacular die-offs called mass extinctions. On that much, researchers can generally agree. Yet when it comes to taking stock of how much life exists today — and how quickly it will vanish in the future — uncertainty prevails.

Studies that try to tally the number of species of animals, plants and fungi alive right now produce estimates that swing from less than 2 million to more than 50 million. The problem is that researchers have so far sampled only a sliver of Earth’s biodiversity, and most of the unknown groups inhabit small regions of the world, often in habitats that are rapidly being destroyed.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) highlighted the uncertainty in the latest version of its Red List of Threatened Species, which was released in November. The report evaluated more than 76,000 species, a big increase over earlier editions. But that is just 4% of the more than 1.7 million species that have been described by scientists, making it impossible to offer any reliable threat level for groups that have not been adequately assessed, such as fish, reptiles and insects.

Recognizing these caveats, Nature pulled together the most reliable available data to provide a graphic status report of life on Earth (see ‘Life under threat’). Among the groups that can be assessed, amphibians stand out as the most imperilled: 41% face the threat of extinction, in part because of devastating epidemics caused by chytrid fungi. Large fractions of mammals and birds face significant threats because of habitat loss and degradation, as well as activities such as hunting.

Looking forward, the picture gets less certain. The effects of climate change, which are hard to forecast in terms of pace and pattern, will probably accelerate extinctions in as-yet unknown ways. One simple way to project into the future would be to assume that the rate of extinction will be constant; it is currently estimated to range from 0.01% to 0.7% of all existing species a year. “There is a huge uncertainty in projecting future extinction rates,” says Henrique Pereira, an ecologist at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research in Leipzig.

At the upper rate, thousands of species are disappearing each year. If that trend continues, it could lead to a mass extinction — defined as a loss of 75% of species — over the next few centuries.

Conservation policies could slow extinctions, but current trends do not give much comfort. Although nations are expanding the number of land and ocean areas that they set aside for protection, most measures of biodiversity show that pressures on species are increasing. “In general, the state of biodiversity is worsening, in many cases significantly,” says Derek Tittensor, a marine ecologist with the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, UK.

Despite all the uncertainty, researchers agree that they need to devote more attention to evaluating current and future risks to biodiversity. One approach is to develop comprehensive computer models that can forecast how human activities will alter ecosystems. These general ecosystem models, or GEMs, are in their infancy: earlier this year, Tittensor and his colleagues published initial results from the first global model that seeks to mimic all the major ecological interactions on Earth in much the same way as climate models simulate the atmosphere and oceans (M. B. J. Harfoot et al. PLoS Biol.12,e1001841; 2014).

Building the GEM took 3 years, in part because the model tries to represent all organisms with body masses ranging from 10 micrograms (about the weight of small plankton) to 150,000 kilograms (roughly the size of a blue whale). “It needs a lot more development and testing, and ideally there will be a lot more variety of these models,” says Tittensor. But if they do a decent job of capturing the breadth of life in a computer, he says, “they have real potential to alert us to potential problems we wouldn’t otherwise detect”.

Before retiring from a decades-long career in the US Senate and leaving Washington for good, Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) gave one last middle finger to veterans – he said that preventing future veteran suicides would be “throwing money away” and singlehandedly blocked $22 million aimed at addressing the veteran suicide crisis. By blocking a simple bill that might have saved thousands of lives by providing more services to veterans, Tom Coburn has now become singlehandedly responsible for the suicide of every veteran until the funding gets passed after his departure.

Every day, 22 veterans commit suicide. Just recently, suicide became the leading cause of death for military personnel, outdoing even war itself. If the suicide prevention bill is passed when Congress reconvenes on January 3, it will have been 18 days from the date of Coburn’s filibuster. And that means almost 400 veteran suicides might have been prevented if a lame duck senator hadn’t needlessly stood in the way.