Daily Archives: October 24, 2017

BBC News: How science transformed the world in 100 years

BBC News: Every childhood vaccine may go into a single jab

BBC News: Typhoid vaccine set to have ‘huge impact’

BBC News: Republican committees investigate Clinton and Obama

Magicla Sunset in Tuscany !

Magicla Sunset in Tuscany !

Magical Sunset in Tuscany !

Piazza di Spagna, Rome

Piazza di Spagna, Rome

Piazza di Spagna, Rome

Record heat, strong winds bake and dry Southern California – ABC News



Wildfires spread as conditions worsen in California

Record heat, strong winds bake and dry Southern California

Swim instructor Daphne Trager leads an exercise session at Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena, Calif., Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Temperatures in some parts of Southern California climbed into the upper 90s and over 100 on Monday as authorities warnedPlayThe Associated Press

WATCH Wildfires spread as conditions worsen in California

Baseball fans were heading to Dodger Stadium for the first game of the World Series Tuesday as temperatures in downtown Los Angeles hit a record-breaking 103 degrees by early afternoon.

The day started out extra hot and dry as winds, known as the Santa Anas, kept overnight temperatures in the 80s and 90s in some areas following a siege of triple-digit heat on Monday. Relative humidity levels also stayed low, leaving vegetation susceptible to fire.

Downtown Los Angeles passed the date’s 108-year-old record of 99 degrees before midday and by early afternoon was at 103 degrees.

Craig Digure, 46, who has lived in Los Angeles for 11 months, found it was just too hot sun himself at Echo Park Lake near downtown.

“It’s kind of crazy. I’m from Minnesota so I’m not used to this in October. It’s 40 degrees back home, almost ready to snow,” he told the AP. “I thought summer was over. But it’s just not seeming to end.”

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Even proximity to the ocean was no relief: Surfing mecca Huntington Beach also surpassed 100 degrees.

Southern California firefighters scrambled to put out small fires before withering Santa Ana windscould whip them into conflagrations as a fall heatwave roasted the region.

Los Angeles fire crews jumped on several small fires that erupted along the north edge of the city as gusts blasted through nearby mountains. One fire brought morning rush hour traffic to a halt on the State Route 118 freeway until it was extinguished.

About 50 miles to the east Riverside County crews aided by helicopters battled a lumber yard fire that spread over several acres. Also in the inland region, a wind-driven fire disrupted traffic near the interchange of State Route 210 and Interstate 15.

The strong offshore winds were being caused by unseasonably strong surface high pressure over western Montana and a trough of low pressure along the California coast, the National WeatherService said.

As air flowed from the interior of the West and across Southern California, some gusts were hitting 60 mph (96 kph), the service said.

An updated forecast raised expected temperatures for the first game of the World Series at Dodger Stadium by a few degrees. The weather service said it would be 100 degrees at 4 p.m., dipping just a bit to 97 at game time and still a warm 82 at 8 p.m.

“It will be hot! Bring lots of water to the game,” the weather service tweeted.

Many schools were put on short-day schedules because of the high heat.

Santa Ana winds can occur any time of year in Southern California but are common in the fall. They have been involved in some of the most destructive wildfires that have hit the region because of the high wind speeds and extreme dryness.


AP photographer Damian Dovarganes and reporter Christopher Weber contributed to this report.

‘I rise today to say, enough’: GOP senator announces he won’t seek re-election

PHOTO: Senator Jeff Flake announces he will not seek re-election as he speaks on the floor of the Senate in this still image taken from video on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 24, 2017.PlaySenate TV via Reuters

WATCH Republican Sen. Flake won’t seek re-election, cites Trump era

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, announced Tuesday that he will not run for re-election in 2018.

He made the announcement in an emotional Senate floor address, during which he took direct aim at Trump, striking a tone of defiance and frustration with the state of affairs in Washington.

“I rise today to say, enough,” Flake said. “We must dedicate ourselves to making sure that the anomalies never becomes the normal, with respect and humility. I must say that we have fooled ourselves for long enough that a pivot to governing is right around the corner, a return to civility and stability right behind it.”

He added, “I will not be complicit or silent. I’ve decided to better represent the people of Arizona and to better serve my country and conscience by freeing myself of the political consideration that consumed far too much bandwidth and cause me to compromise too many principles.”

Flake went on to decry the “regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals,” pleading with his colleagues to cast aside personal provocations and careerism in favor of the best interests of the country.

“We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country — the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms and institution, the flagrant disregard for truth and decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have been elected to serve,” he said. “None of these appalling features of our current politics should ever be regarded as normal. We must never allow ourselves to lapse into thinking that that is just the way things are now.”

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In his most stinging remarks directed at Trump, Flake criticized the president’s leadership — upon which Trump chiefly campaigned last year — and bemoaned his unwillingness to recognize his shortcomings.

“When a leader recognizes new hurt and goes to look for someone to blame, there is perhaps nothing more devastating to a society,” Flake said. “Leadership knows that most often a good place to start in assigning blame is to look somewhat closer to home.”

In an interview with The Arizona Republic published shortly before his speech, he detailed his beliefs about a forthcoming campaign in which he already has a challenger from his right.

“The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path I’m not willing to take and that I can’t in good conscience take,” Flake told the newspaper. “It would require me to believe in positions I don’t hold on such issues as trade and immigration, and it would require me to condone behavior that I cannot condone.”

The Trump-Flake relationship

Flake, Arizona’s junior senator, has shown a willingness to criticize Trump since the 2016 presidential campaign.

The senator was one of the first Republicans to publicly voice hesitancy about Trump after he captured the party’s presidential nomination. Flake said in July 2016 that he wanted “to support our nominee … but given some of the statements that have been made, I’m finding it difficult.”

In August he wrote in a book that the Republican Party has not done enough to keep the executive branch in check. His criticism included calling the administration “erratic,” and he bemoaned his fellow Republicans for overlooking their responsibility to maintain a balance in the federal government the way they did when Democrat Barack Obama was in office.

“If I have been critical, it is not because I relish criticizing the behavior of the president of the United States,” Flake said Tuesday. “If I have been critical, it is because I believe it is my obligation to do so. And as a matter of duty and conscience, the notion that one should stay silent and as the norms and values that keep America strong are undermined and as alliances and agreements that ensure the stability of the entire world are routinely threatened by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters, the notion that we should say or do nothing in the face of such mercurial behavior is ahistoric and profoundly misguided.”

Over the summer, Trump tweeted his approval that Kelli Ward announced a challenge to Flake in the state’s Republican primary. Trump said in 2016 that he hoped Flake would lose his re-election bid, although Flake was not on that year’s ballot.

At Tuesday’s White House press briefing, shortly after Flake’s speech, press secretary Sarah Sanders addressed his announcement in positive terms, saying, “Based on the lack of support he has in Arizona, it’s probably a good move.”

What’s next in Arizona

With the incumbent out of the running in 2018, Democrats will likely view his Senate seat as a prime pickup opportunity.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has already endorsed Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who announced her candidacy for the party’s nomination in late September. Sinema — who represents Arizona’s 9th Congressional District, east of Phoenix — sent a tweet with a link to a fundraising page shortly after Flake’s announcement, urging her supporters to “do everything we can to show that we are ready to win.”

Ward — who lost a primary challenge against Sen. John McCain in 2016 — is thus far the only candidate for the GOP nomination. She issued a statement after Flake’s speech tying her campaign to Trump.

“Arizona voters are the big winner in Jeff Flake’s decision to not seek re-election,” read the statement. “They deserve a strong conservative in the U.S. Senate who supports President Trump and the ‘America First’ agenda.”

ABC News’ John Verhovek contributed to this report.

PCH Beach Sketch

PCH Beach Sketch

PCH Beach Sketch

France 24 :  EU parliament votes to ban controversial weedkiller glyphosate

EU parliament votes to ban controversial weedkiller glyphosate

The European Parliament Tuesday called for the controversial weedkiller glyphosate to be banned by 2022 amid fears it causes cancer, a day before EU states vote on whether to renew its licence.


MEPs approved a resolution which is not binding but will add fresh pressure on theEuropean Commission, the bloc‘s executive arm, which has recommended the licence for the herbicide be renewed for 10 years.

Glyphosate critics, led by environmental campaigners Greenpeace, are calling for an outright ban in Europe and on Monday activists handed the EU a petition signed by more than 1.3 million people backing such a move.

Experts from the EU’s 28 member states are due to vote on the commission recommendation on Wednesday, just as a row escalates over claims that US agro giant Monsanto unduly influenced research into its weedkiller’s safety.

MEPs criticised the commission’s proposal, saying it “fails to ensure a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment (and) fails to apply the precautionary principle”.

They called for a halt to non-professional use of glyphosate when its licence runs out in December 15 and for its use to end near public parks and playgrounds.

Opponents of glyphosate, used in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup, point to a 2015 study by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer that concluded it was “probably carcinogenic”.

This contradicted findings by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency, which both said glyphosate was unlikely to cause cancer in humans, in line with a 2016 review carried out by other WHO experts and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.


France 24 :  Video: Italy investigates ‘terrorist crossroads’ south of Rome

Video: Italy investigates ‘terrorist crossroads’ south of Rome

Recent jihadist terrorist attacks in France and Germany have cast a spotlight on the town of Aprilia, south of Rome, where three of the perpetrators spent some time prior to the attacks.


Tunisian Ahmed Hanachi, who killed two women at Marseille’s Saint-Charles train station on October 1 before being shot dead by soldiers, spent several years in the small town located 40km from Rome, where he married an Italian woman.

The 29-year-old was not known to attend any mosque, but was known to the police for minor theft and drug problems.

“We were astounded when we heard what he’d done,” his former father-in-law told FRANCE 24, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“He was not an extremist. He did not read the Koran. He didn’t pray. He was just a good for nothing. And one day he just disappeared and we lost trace of him,” he added.

Shortly after Hanachi vanished, the city hosted another Tunisian, 24-year-old Anis Amri, who slammed a truck into a crowd at a Christmas market in Berlin in December 2016, killing 12 people and injuring 48.

Anti-terrorist investigators are now exploring whether Amri, who was shot dead by police in Milan just days after the Berlin attack, and Hanachi could have crossed paths in Aprilia, or elsewhere in Italy.

Investigators say a third known terrorist, 33-year old Algerian Khaled Babouri, who attacked two policemen in Belgium in 2016, also spent some time in Aprilia.

All three attacks have been claimed by theIslamic State (IS) group, though French investigators say they are yet to find a link between the Marseille attacker and the jihadist group

‘Molenbeek of Italy’

The concurrence of cases has prompted some commentators to label Aprilia the “Molenbeek of Italy”, referring to theBrussels suburb that has hosted dozens of Islamist terrorists in recent years.

At an improvised mosque in Aprilia, worshippers are fearful this will lead to misconceptions.

“We never saw him [Hanachi] here,” Ramzi Hamam, a local preacher, told FRANCE 24.“Islam is a peaceful religion, and anyone who harms a Christian or a Jew will go to hell – so says our Prophet.”

A town of 70,000 inhabitants, Aprilia is home to a large foreign population, including a 200-strong Tunisian community whose members are at pains to distance themselves from reports of terrorist activity.

Investigators are looking into whether the city could house a logistics base, a workshop to forge fake identity papers, or even be the centre of a radicalisation network stretching to other parts of the country.

“It is highly likely that foreigners who travel through our country can find support in this town,” said Claudio Galzerano, who heads one of Italy’s counter-terrorism police units.

“Italy is a point of departure, and a place of transit for foreign fighters of the Islamic State (IS) group. That is a fact,” he told FRANCE 24.

Days after the Marseille knife attack, Italian police arrested Hanachi’s younger brother Anis in the city of Ferrara, following an international arrest warrant issued by France.

French investigators, who suspect Anis of complicity in his brother’s attack, said he had joined jihadist forces in Syrian-Iraqi territory after he was first expelled from Italy in 2014.

Since last January, Italy has deported 86 people for Islamic extremism. According to Italian media reports, they include three Tunisians suspected of having been in contact with Amri, the Berlin attacker, in Aprilia.

Egypt’s Sisi: ‘There are countries who are supporting terrorism’

Egypt’s Sisi: ‘There are countries who are supporting terrorism’

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi granted an exclusive interview to FRANCE 24 ahead of his meeting in Paris with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. Sisi, who is on a three-day visit to France, discussed the fight against terrorism and the need to secure borders, the human rights situation in his country – which is criticised by several NGOs – as well as the political situation in neighbouring Libya.


“There are countries who are supporting terrorism through financing, weapons and moral support, media support and political support”, Sisi told FRANCE 24’s Michel Kik, in a thinly veiled reference to Qatar – although he refused to “name specific countries”. “Those countries have to stop this, not just for the stability of Egypt but for the whole word”, the Egyptian leader said.

Regarding the human rights situation in Egypt, Sisi was categorical: “There are no political prisoners in Egypt; there are normal trial proceedings that are fair”.

But several NGOs, such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, theInternational Federation for Human Rightsand Reporters Without Borders, say that Egypt is experiencing its “”worst human rights crisis in decades”.

>> On France24.com: Egypt’s human rights record casts a shadow on Sisi’s visit to France

France 24 : EU parliament votes to ban controversial weedkiller glyphosate

EU parliament votes to ban controversial weedkiller glyphosate

The European Parliament Tuesday called for the controversial weedkiller glyphosate to be banned by 2022 amid fears it causes cancer, a day before EU states vote on whether to renew its licence.


BBC News: Lewis Hine: The child labour photos that led to change

BBC News: Lewis Hine and the photos that changed America

So much for a civilized U.S.A.: News: Why does the US have so many child brides?

BBC News: Jeff Flake: Republican senator quits with attack on Trump: too bad, he looses!

Buona serata!

Buona serata!

Buona serata!

BBC News: IS foreign fighters: 5,600 have returned home – report

Today’s Holiday: Zambia Independence Day

oday’s Holiday:
Zambia Independence Day

On this day in 1964, the British colony of Northern Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zambia, after decades of nationalist struggle. For two days, celebrations and parades are held all over Zambia, but the most elaborate are in the capital city of Lusaka. Labor and youth organizations march along with the armed forces with dancing and music. Various tribal dances from all over the country are performed in Independence Stadium, and there are gymnastics performances by children. October 24 is also the occasion for the final game of the annual Independence Soccer Trophy. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday: Annie Edson Taylor (1838)

Today’s Birthday:
Annie Edson Taylor (1838)

On her 63rd birthday, Taylor became the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel. The interior of the barrel was cushioned and the air was compressed with a bicycle pump. Before her trip, Taylor sent a cat over the falls in her barrel—and it lived. Days later, she drifted over the falls in the same barrel and walked away from the plunge with minor injuries. However, she did not significantly profit from the stunt. According to some accounts, her barrel was stolen by whom? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History: Zambia Gains

This Day in History:
Zambia Gains

Independence (1964)
The area that is now Zambia came under British control in the early 1900s with the development of the copper mining industry. After decades of nationalist struggle, the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zambia. Kenneth Kaunda, a former schoolteacher who had been jailed for nationalist political activities prior to independence, became its first president. Zambia may have been the first country to do what during the Olympics? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day: Rudyard Kipling

Quote of the Day:
Rudyard Kipling

If you don’t get what you want, it’s a sign either that you did not seriously want it, or that you tried to bargain over the price. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day: The July 20 Plot

Article of the Day:
The July 20 Plot

Even before the start of World War II, some Nazi officials sought to remove Adolf Hitler from power. As the war dragged on, Nazi leaders desiring to assassinate Hitler and seek more favorable peace terms from the Allies hatched the so-called July 20 Plot. On that day in 1944, German colonel Claus von Stauffenberg planted a bomb in a briefcase at a meeting with Hitler, but the Führer escaped with minor injuries. How many people were arrested and executed in the Gestapo’s subsequent investigation? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Idiom of the Day: live and kicking

Idiom of the Day:
live and kicking

Alive, healthy, and alert. (A truncated version of “alive and kicking.”) Watch the video…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day: abstruse

Word of the Day:

Definition: (adjective) Difficult to understand.
Synonyms: deep, recondite
Usage: The professor’s lectures were so abstruse that students tended to avoid them.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Watch “The Traitor_Martha Wainwright_Leonard Cohen_I’m Your Man_720HD-022711.avi” on YouTube

Watch “Ennio Morricone – The Mission Main Theme (Morricone Conducts Morricone)” on YouTube

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