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Ocasio-Cortez: No problem with Biden's lack of support for fracking ban, would be 'privilege' to lobby him
News ImageRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday's edition of State of the Union that she feels strongly about the need to ban fracking in the United States, but she's not letting that get in the way of her efforts to help former Vice President Joe Biden defeat President Trump in the upcoming election.Biden, she said, has "made very clear" that he disagrees with a fracking ban, but she says it would be a "privilege" to lobby him on the issue in the future. However, "we need to focus on winning the White House first," she told Tapper.&> Vice President Biden has made very clear that he does not agree with a fracking ban It will be a privilege to lobby him should we win the White House, but we need to focus on winning the White House first, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says CNNSOTU> &> State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 25, 2020Ocasio-Cortez has emerged as one of the most prominent voices in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, and she certainly has policy disagreements with the more moderate Democratic nominee. Indeed, earlier in the year, when she first threw her support behind Biden's candidacy after he secured the nomination over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ocasio-Cortez said "the whole process of coming together should be uncomfortable for everyone involved." But her latest comments reaffirm that she prefers that uncomfortable process continue over the next four years.More stories from The very different emotional lives of Trump and Biden voters The 19 greatest and worst presidential campaign ads of the 2020 election The Trump administration has surrendered to the pandemic
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 12:59:00 -0400
'An incredibly tragic day for Ocala': Florida police chief Greg Graham killed in plane crash
News ImageThe death of Greg Graham, who became Ocala's 30th police chief in January 2012, stunned the central Florida city northwest of Orlando.
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 18:15:37 -0400
Singapore halts use of flu vaccines after 48 die in South Korea
News ImageSingapore has temporarily halted the use of two influenza vaccines as a precaution after some people who received them in South Korea died, becoming among the first countries to publicly announce a halt of the vaccines' usage. South Korea reported that 48 have died as of Saturday after getting flu shots, but said it would carry on with the state-run vaccination programme as they found no direct link between the deaths and the shots. No deaths associated with influenza vaccination have been reported in Singapore to date, but the decision to halt the use of SKYCellflu Quadrivalent and VaxigripTetra was precautionary, the health ministry and the Health Sciences Authority (HAS) said in a statement late on Sunday. The HSA is in touch with the South Korean authorities for further information as they investigate to determine if the deaths are related to influenza vaccinations. SKYCellflu Quadrivalent is manufactured by South Korea's SK Bioscience and locally distributed by AJ Biologics, while VaxigripTetra is manufactured by Sanofi and locally distributed by Sanofi Aventis. Two other influenza vaccines that have been brought into Singapore for the Northern Hemisphere 2020/21 influenza season may continue to be used, Singapore health authorities said.
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 21:14:40 -0400
A listeria outbreak has killed one person in Florida and hit New York and Massachusetts
News ImageThe current foodborne illness outbreak is listeria, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and has killed one person in Florida.
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 09:40:45 -0400
GOP bets Democrats won't expand Supreme Court
News ImageProgressives saw Mitch McConnell's recent comments that Democrats wont be able to do much about [Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation] for a long time to come as a dare.
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 08:41:00 -0400
China Communist Party plenum kicks off in Beijing
News ImageThe three-day meeting comes amid speculation that President Xi intends to be "president-for-life".
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 03:43:00 -0400
Mexico seizes industrial-scale meth, fentanyl lab in capital
News ImageThe three-day meeting comes amid speculation that President Xi intends to be "president-for-life".
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 18:24:13 -0400
Belarus opposition leader says supporters launching strike
News ImageBelarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said Monday supporters were beginning a nationwide strike after her deadline expired for strongman Alexander Lukashenko to step down.
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 05:14:23 -0400
Rats help clear minefields in Cambodia and suspicion of the military
News ImageEditors note: Dr. Darcie DeAngelo is a medical anthropologist at the Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (I-GMAP) at Binghamton University, State University of New York. In this interview, she explains the relationship between locals who live near minefields in Cambodia and the mine detectors, often former military combatants, who are viewed with suspicion because of divisions caused by the series of civil wars between the 1970s and 1990s. Why are there so many unexploded bombs and minefields in Cambodia?Cambodia is known for being the site of U.S. bomb droppings during the Vietnam War and for the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime, which also planted land mines from 1975 to 1979. Today a majority of Cambodias population is age 35 or younger, which means most of the population has grown up since the Khmer Rouge regime ended in 1979. This statistic fails to take into account the uneven distribution of the regimes end in the country as fighting continued in the northwest of the country where the Vietnamese and their Cambodian allies fought to keep the Khmer Rouge army out of the country. Most of the land mines in Cambodia were planted between 1985 and 1989, when the Vietnamese-allied government installed a bamboo curtain against the invading Thai and Khmer Rouge along the Thai-Cambodia border in the northwest. This area, called the K5 belt, remains the most densely land-mine-contaminated region of the world, a 1,046-kilometer (650-mile) strip of land with up to 2,400 mines per linear kilometer. Cambodias problem of millions of undetonated land mines makes it the country with the highest population of amputees in the world. On average it has 100 land mine accidents per year. Why are the military and other de-mining organizations viewed with suspicion by the locals?Land mine clearance requires a huge amount of military infrastructure. Decontamination, which is the term used for removal of land mines, depends on the same military skill sets that contamination depends on. So people who are de-miners are often soldiers or former combatants in Cambodia, and the divisions from the civil war still run deep. The largest de-mining organization in the country is part of the military branch of government. The current Cambodian state has been running operations to clear the land mines since the 1990s, but the state is also rumored to grab village lands, disappear people who disagree with the ruling party, and quell legitimate protests, so de-miners carry a stigma of military corruption. After war and mass atrocity, the state loses legitimacy. And so what happens is the villagers distrust even peacekeeping efforts, so even efforts to decontaminate the country result in a kind of mistrust. When you distrust the state, you need to build state legitimacy, and de-mining offers a real opportunity for states to do so. They can rehabilitate soldiers and build relationships between villagers and soldiers. But in Cambodia, I heard from villagers that they distrusted the de-miners and found them untrustworthy. They didnt think that their land would be returned to them when the land mines were cleared, which causes some problems when it comes to information about where the land mines are. How does mine clearing with rats work?Rats are being used in de-mining because of their incredible sense of smell, relatively low cost of maintenance and ease of transport. Just like dogs, they dont detect any false positives, as a metal detector would.In the minefield, the rat is connected to two de-miners who walk on cleared corridors with the decontaminated area in between them. The de-miners step down the field in unison as the rat sniffs for mines in the pit, scratching twice when it smells TNT. Then the de-miner maps the location, and clicks a clicker, telling the rat it can go get its reward, a delicious banana. The rats dont get blown up by the mines because theyre so light. The rats each weigh 1 to 3 pounds, so they are weightless to a land mine, which usually requires a minimum of 11 to 35.3 pounds of pressure to activate. How did the introduction of rats to de-mining change how it is viewed in Cambodia?Rats have successfully been used to decontaminate Mozambique in Africa, and as for their import into Cambodia, the success story really lies in the fact that the organizations using them have been able to obtain donations and become independent so that they can work on demilitarizing the de-mining industry.Rats dont fit in with the military aesthetic of de-mining, unlike dogs, which are military aid animals and have been used within militaries for centuries. The image of a soldier proudly standing next to his dog is very different from a soldier cradling a small rat in his arms. So when the villagers first saw the rat, they were a little bit puzzled, but I actually think the rat humanized the de-miners in a way that demilitarized them. When they see the rat with a soldier, its more of this kind of absurdity. So it make them pause and think, OK, what is a rat doing there? Villagers have said in interviews that they wondered about it and it made them take a second glance. It undermines the kind of villainous characterization of the de-miners for the villagers. APOPO, an organization that uses the rats in de-mining, posts publicity photos where the rats snuggle with their handlers. Since then the land mine detection dog organizations have started posting photos of their dogs being playful, and pictures of the puppies. So there is an effect which pervades other organizations, and demilitarization is seen as something to be valued, even in a highly militarized industry. These are opportunities for demilitarization of de-mining for the country itself, for the state and for peoples trust in authorities.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Darcie DeAngelo, Binghamton University, State University of New York.Read more: * Rise of the super rat: rodents detect landmines, sniff out TB, find disastervictims * Cambodia has come a long way in 25 years of peace but its far fromperfectDarcie DeAngelo does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 07:59:14 -0400
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is heavily favored to win her reelection race. Her challenger has still raised $10 million because Republicans are desperate to beat her.
News Image"I guarantee you 75% of his contributors don't know anything about him," a Republican strategist told The New York Times.
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 12:22:32 -0400
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