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Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky District

Welcome to Overnight News Digest Sunday.  The OND crew consists of  regular editors jlms qkw, maggiejean, wader, Oke, rfall, and JML9999, alumni editors palantir, ScottyUrb, and BentLiberal, founder Magnifico, guest editor annetteboardman, and current editor-in-chief Neon Vincent. We post around midnight eastern every night, and endeavor to inform and entertain you with today's news.  We invite you to comment on any stories and share stories in your comments.  

Ten is my goal of stories for you tonight.  This is my third diary of the day, and I am in the midst of holiday preparations.  Thank you all for joining me tonight.  

Turkish cinema asks: Which human rights?

Today is Human Rights Day across the globe, the day we celebrate the proclamation and adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For many in Turkey there isn’t all that much to celebrate these days considering the hunger strikes, imprisoned journalists, disappearances in custody and a growing perception that the rule of law is no longer the norm.

Perhaps the best way to take a look at human rights in Turkey - or rather the violation of human rights - is to remember some of the feature films and documentaries that have brought some of these violations into the spotlight in recent memory.

The obvious first choice is journalist Ruhi Karadağ’s documentary “Simurg” (Simurgh), currently on release in theaters. The film focuses on hunger strikes, an issue that recently made the news, although the recent hunger strikes were different to the ones shown in the movie. What’s more, the recent ones did not end up with an infamous operation in which police and soldiers broke into prisons to halt the strikes.

Every day is Human Rights Day for me.  However, in a nod to the anniversary of the Declaration, I shall lead with this story.  

Downturn making kids sick, Govt urged to act now

The Government is being urged to act now on child poverty rather than waiting for the economy to improve, after a report found the economic downturn was continuing to cause problems for children's health.

The latest Children's Social Health Monitor, made public today, found the number of children admitted to hospital with poverty related conditions declined by 2 per cent in 2011.

But the overall number of children admitted to hospital with poverty related conditions, mainly infections and respiratory diseases, was more than 4000 higher last year than in 2007, before the recession began.

Child Poverty Action Group spokeswoman Professor Innes Asher called on the Government to invest more in children, including greater support for families on welfare.

It is happily amazing to me that New Zealand people can ask for this.  And sadly amazing that we can't ask here in USA.  

'Certain level of risk' for Mandela in hospital

The 94-year-old former president was admitted to a One Military hospital in Pretoria for medical tests on Saturday, just short of a year since his last known hospital visit.

The presidency released a statement confirming his hospitalisation and said there was no cause for alarm and that he would receive medical attention from time to time, "consistent with his age".

President Jacob Zuma also visited  Mandela on Sunday and said to have "found him comfortable" and "in good care".

Medical experts however told the Mail & Guardian that Mandela’s age should be taken into account when assessing the significance of him being admitted to any medical facility.

Also from the MG: Zuma is raking in big bucks. Enormous bucks. Must take a lot  to support all of those wives.  

Won’t bow to US on nuclear liability law: Salman Khurshid

India has strongly rejected mounting US pressure to tweak its nuclear liability law — including suggestions that the legislation be interpreted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and revisited by Parliament. Washington, DC, says the Indian law with stringent supplier liability clauses is not consistent with the operator-driver international regimes on nuclear liability. If the IAEA says it is not compliant with the international system — as the Americans believe — they want India to “rework the law”, passed by Parliament.

“The law (the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010) has to be interpreted by our courts. Our courts are not subservient to any international organisation. They take into account our international obligations,” external affairs minister Salman Khurshid told HT in an exclusive interview.

“As some global companies begin to invest and do business with us, I am sure others will fall in line,” he said.

Nuclear proliferation? Diplomacy? Sovereignty?

A record one billion tourists will travel to other countries in 2012

The reasons for the upswing range from prosperity in developing countries like China to a perception of a more peaceful world.

The London-based council, whose members include executives of travel companies, compiles global travel data including international airport traffic and visa records. It calculates that the one billionth tourist will cross an international boundary on Dec. 13.

“This is an astounding milestone,” David Scowsill, president of the council, said in a telephone interview. “There is an inexorable growth in the number of people who want to travel around the world.”

I love the idea that more widespread travel leads to greater understanding leads to more peace.  

An Explosive Legacy: Travels with a Bomb Disposal Unit in Libya

The olive tree casts a long shadow. It's shortly before the harvest, and the branches are heavily laden with black fruit. But this idyllic image is deceptive. It was almost as if the war had started all over again, and it's a miracle that Medad Ali Kamadin's old red tractor wasn't blown to bits, and that the farmer isn't lying dead next to the wreckage in his field. "I heard a metallic scratching noise when I was plowing. When I turned around, I saw them," says the 55-year-old, pointing to the artillery shells sticking out of the ground near the olive tree.

"Unbelievable. And you drove over them with the plow?" asks Joma Sabti, shaking his head. Then he and his coworker, Wedad Dwini, "fence in" the site, making a rectangle around it with red-and-white plastic tape. Sabti gives the farmer a flyer and warns him not to let children get too close.

Sabti, a member of the hotline team of Handicap International (HI), routinely visits farmers like Kamadin. In fact, hardly a day goes by without someone calling the hotline to say that he or she has found a shell, a bomb or some ammunition. The young man responds to the calls by securing the site where the explosives were found. Members of HI's bomb-disposal unit come to the site later on, and if they are unable to disarm the fuse, they take the unexploded ordnance (UXO) with them. If that isn't an option, the explosives are detonated on site.

Libya had a relatively short war.  I wonder how Iraq is doing with this, and how Afganistan and Syria will deal with this.  We pay a fee when we buy tires for tire disposal, right?  This concept could use some broader application.  With bombs, bullets, carbon extraction.  

Mario Monti to Resign

The Italian prime minister, Mario Monti, has announced that he will resign as soon as he has passed a key budget law, well ahead of the official end of his mandate in April, possibly leading to elections as early as February.

Monti made the decision hours after former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said he would seek office again. It follows a week in which members of Berlusconi's Freedom People party abstained from voting for key bills in parliament. Monti said on Saturday he had received a "categorical judgment of no confidence" from Berlusconi's party.

Berlusconi has said he will back the passing of the budget but will not guarantee further support for Monti's government of technocrats, who were drafted after Berlusconi resigned in November 2011 in the midst of scandals over his private life and a brewing economic crisis.

Monti, who has depended on the votes of the Freedom People in parliament and Berlusconi's grudging support, has long said he would not seek to govern if his backing dried up.

1. He did what he said he would do by resigning if his support dried up.  2. I didn't realize he was in charge of austerity. 3. How will Berlusconi help the economy when he was in charge when it broke the first time?  4. Isn't he in jail?

S Sudan protesters die in army shooting

At least ten people have been killed after South Sudanese troops opened fire on demonstrators angry at officials moving the seat of local authority outside a state capital, according to United Nations sources.

"The SPLA [army] opened fire" on protesters "demonstrating the excessive use of force," Liam McDowall, UN peacekeeping mission spokesperson, said on Sunday.

McDowall said four people were killed in the town of Wau, capital of the Western Bahr el Ghazal state, during clashes overnight on Saturday, while six more were shot dead on Sunday.

"The situation in Wau is very tense," McDowall told Al Jazeera.

The protests started after officials said they would move the seat of local authority out of Wau to a nearby smaller settlement of Bagare.

This wider war must be in its third generation now.  Al-Jazeera has a story on land mines in South Sudan.  Also.  

The Weathermen: Local meteorologists weigh in on climate change

With a recent NASA study of satellite mapping showing arctic ice has shrunk to its lowest extent in the satellite record, and a 1999 study revealing that core samples of glaciers show levels of carbon unprecedented in 420,000 years of our atmosphere’s history, it’s no wonder that among surveys of scientists, there’s a near consensus that climate change is real and humans are the cause.

But as this week’s cover story, “Bleak Forecast,” notes, only 53 percent of broadcast meteorologists believe human influence plays an important role in climate change. At home, just as nationally, local meteorologists differ on the subject. City Weekly spoke to meteorologists at three of Salt Lake City’s four news stations to get their views on climate change. (As of press time, KSL 5 had not responded for comment.)

“I don’t buy into the whole global-warming controversy as, like, Al Gore sees it,” Kosek says. “Is the Earth warming overall? Absolutely. You have to be an idiot to look at the numbers and not see that. But it’s not a scenario being man-made. I think we’re in a natural process that’s going to work itself out.”

Kosek believes that in the next 10 to 15 years, the globe will emerge from its warming cycle. He bases that on historical global cycles. He points out that for the lower 48 states, July broke a record for the highest temperature month since 1936, but he says certain population filters and the growth of cities mean it’s likely the actual 1936 temperature could have beaten July’s record. Even if it hadn’t, he says it illustrates the cycle of warming and cooling.

“Comparing 2012 and 1936, there’s a huge cycle that maybe took 70 to 80 years to come into play,” Kosek says.

These guys are meteorologists, right?  And meteorologists are trained as scientists, right?

West is Best

The report highlights that for the past 40 years Western states have been outstripping other states in terms of employment, personal income and population growth, and that protected public lands, including national parks, monuments, and wilderness areas, help boost job opportunities and how much people earn. And this is particularly true of non-metropolitan counties, not just the big cities. At the same time, the appeal of the outdoor lifestyle Westerners enjoy is attracting entrepreneurs and talented professionals in service industries, including healthcare workers, architects and engineers. A detailed, interactive breakdown of economic activity in each state is available here, but for a quick skim of the findings take a look at these figures.
Note: More growth is not always better, given water needs & droughts.

Quilt of the Month  Seasonal colors of Red and Green in a lovely design of a cherry tree, including the birds waiting for the ripe fruit.  The style is Colonial Revival, simplified designs of older applique patterns.

5 Unpredictable Homemade Food Gifts  Your food link of the week, from our friends at Grist.

Originally posted to Jenn's Corner on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:55 PM PST.

Also republished by Overnight News Digest.

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Comment Preferences

  •  news tips (29+ / 0-)


    i'll see you-all after i spend a bit of time with Aragorn, Legolas, Boromir, Gimle, Frodo, Sam, Merry, & Pippen.  and my treadmill.  

    Ted Kennedy: “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die…”

    by jlms qkw on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:16:58 PM PST

    •  The kitten experience. (9+ / 0-)

      On one hand, every child can profit from the kitten experience -- the mother cat's pregnancy, the birth of kittens, the loving care that the mother gives the kittens, and the heartbreak when it's time for the kittens to move on.  The process is utterly amazing.

      More importantly, those kittens need homes, and homes are a lot scarcer than kittens.  It's brutally unfair to have kittens born for the sake of getting euthanized after they stop being cute.

      If only there were a way to let children have the kitten experience without condemning kittens to euthanasia.  

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:02:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you!!!! (11+ / 0-)

    Best wishes to all here!!!

    May the new week treat you well!

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:59:38 PM PST

  •  survive (7+ / 0-)

    The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why

    “Amanda Ripley takes us on a sometimes stunning, sometimes sobering journey through disaster, using great stories and respected science to show why some prevail and others do not.  The Unthinkable isn’t merely a book about disaster; it’s a book about survival — maybe yours.”  
    ——Gavin de Becker, author of the New York Times bestseller The Gift of Fear

    Inability to discern reality is the hallmark of schizophrenia. And because the Republicans control the US House of Representatives, there is no hope any legislation will be passed to address the climate crisis. ~ Dr Brian Moench

    by anyname on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:05:26 PM PST

    •  interesting ideas (7+ / 0-)

      my daughter is adopted from china, and i have long felt that the babies considered less attractive don't get as good of care.  

      she's so beautiful.  it breaks my heart to think of the babies that didn't live to be adopted or cared for.  

      BBC snuck in a team a zillion years ago undercover, and their estimate was that the mortality rate in orphanages was 50%.  

      Ted Kennedy: “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die…”

      by jlms qkw on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:18:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "A Breakthrough Against Leukemia" (12+ / 0-)

    From the New York Times:

    Emma Whitehead has been bounding around the house lately, practicing somersaults and rugby-style tumbles that make her parents wince.

    It is hard to believe, but last spring Emma, then 6, was near death from leukemia. She had relapsed twice after chemotherapy, and doctors had run out of options.

    Desperate to save her, her parents sought an experimental treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, one that had never before been tried in a child, or in anyone with the type of leukemia Emma had. The experiment, in April, used a disabled form of the virus that causes AIDS to reprogram Emma’s immune system genetically to kill cancer cells.

    The treatment very nearly killed her. But she emerged from it cancer-free, and about seven months later is still in complete remission. She is the first child and one of the first humans ever in whom new techniques have achieved a long-sought goal — giving a patient’s own immune system the lasting ability to fight cancer.

    The treatment involves reprogramming the body's T-cells with a modified version of the HIV virus. The reverse transcription of the modified HIV's RNA encodes to the T-cells, and orders them to attack the cancerous B-cells that turn malignant in leukemia.
    If all goes well they multiply and start destroying the cancer. The T-cells home in on a protein called CD-19 that is found on the surface of most B-cells, whether they are healthy or malignant.

    A sign that the treatment is working is that the patient becomes terribly ill, with raging fevers and chills — a reaction that oncologists call “shake and bake,” Dr. June said. Its medical name is cytokine-release syndrome, or cytokine storm, referring to the natural chemicals that pour out of cells in the immune system as they are being activated, causing fevers and other symptoms. The storm can also flood the lungs and cause perilous drops in blood pressure — effects that nearly killed Emma. Steroids sometimes ease the reaction, but they did not help Emma. Her temperature hit 105. She wound up on a ventilator, unconscious and swollen almost beyond recognition, surrounded by friends and family who had come to say goodbye.

    But at the 11th hour, a battery of blood tests gave the researchers a clue as to what might help save Emma: her level of one of the cytokines, interleukin-6 or IL-6, had shot up a thousandfold. Doctors had never seen such a spike before and thought it might be what was making her so sick. Dr. June knew that a drug could lower IL-6 — his daughter takes it for rheumatoid arthritis. It had never been used for a crisis like Emma’s, but there was little to lose. Her oncologist, Dr. Stephan A. Grupp, ordered the drug. The response, he said, was “amazing.” Within hours, Emma began to stabilize. She woke up a week later, on May 2, the day she turned 7; the intensive-care staff sang “Happy Birthday.”

    Since then, the research team has used the same drug, tocilizumab, in several other patients.

    According to the article, Emma's results have not been universal in testing. Three adults with chronic leukemia have also experienced complete remissions, with no signs of disease, with two of them having been well for more than two years. However, four adults improved but did not have full remissions, and another is still being evaluated. A child improved and then relapsed. And in two adults, the treatment had no effect.
  •  Nice 10, about that explosion of tourism, one (10+ / 0-)

    can hope:

    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” ~ Mark Twain

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:11:11 PM PST

  •  now that it's being developed commerically (6+ / 0-)

    you can bet the ranch that it's been  done long ago in covert domestic surveillance operations - - I'm guessin they do it by piggyback onto existing television signals straight to any individual TV set/speakers; the commercial development will make it a profitable 'industry' with the costs lower than the endless,bottomless black budgets of the surveillance intelligence agencies spend on their monitoring;

    Wild New DVRs Will Spy On Your Living Room With Cameras And Microphones

    Earlier this month, news came out that Verizon applied for a patent to create a DVR sometime in the future that has cameras and microphones that can see and hear what you're doing and saying, while watching TV. Sounds, actions, food choices, and your ethnicity -- all tracked by the DVR -- will influence what you see in your commercial breaks.

    Inability to discern reality is the hallmark of schizophrenia. And because the Republicans control the US House of Representatives, there is no hope any legislation will be passed to address the climate crisis. ~ Dr Brian Moench

    by anyname on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:12:19 PM PST

  •  One billion tourists will need a lot of postcards. (7+ / 0-)

    "God bless us, every one!" ~ T. Tim

    by jwinIL14 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:15:33 PM PST

  •  Thankk you jlms ... (7+ / 0-)

    for more Sunday goodies and the quilt is beautiful. I have never attempted applique. Have you?

    The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.― Neil deGrasse Tyson

    by maggiejean on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:18:17 PM PST

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