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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
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Huge Amount of Water Ice Is Spotted on Mars (It Could Be Long-Lost Polar Ice Caps)

Huge Amount of Water Ice Is Spotted on Mars (It Could Be Long-Lost Polar Ice Caps)
By Meghan Bartels 12 hours ago

An image of Mars' northern polar ice cap, exaggerated to make the layers thicker and more noticeable.(Image: © SA/DLR/FU Berlin; NASA MGS MOLA Science Team)

Scientists think they've stumbled on a new cache of water ice on Mars — and not just any ice but a layered mix of ice and sand representing the last traces of long-lost polar ice caps.

That's according to new research based on data gathered by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling the Red Planet since 2006 and has just marked its 60,000th trip around Mars. On board the spacecraft is a radar instrument that can see about 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) below the planet's surface — and in that data, scientists see lots and lots of ice.

"We didn't expect to find this much water ice here," lead author Stefano Nerozzi, a doctoral student in geology at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, said in a statement released by the American Geophysical Union, which published the new research. "That likely makes it the third largest water reservoir on Mars after the polar ice caps."

That is a lot of water. And the sheer amount of water ice in the area is backed up by a second study done by an overlapping team of scientists. That research used gravitational data about Mars collated by NASA from several of its missions to the Red Planet. But by this technique, too, the region comes up chock-full of water ice — enough that if you melted it down and spread it evenly around the planet, it would flood Mars by about 5 feet (1.5 meters).


Two White Dwarf Stars Collided and Came Back from the Dead. Soon, They'll Go Supernova.

By Brandon Specktor, Senior Writer | May 23, 2019 02:16pm ET

- click for image -


n this hazy nebula about 10,000 light-years from Earth, astronomers think they've found a star that came back from the dead thanks to a rare event called a double white dwarf merger. Soon, it could die again in a supernova explosion.
Credit: Vasilii Gvaramadse/Moscow University
Astronomers have discovered a star they believe has come back from the dead.

The star, located in a hazy nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia, is unlike most other stars. It shows no signs of hydrogen or helium — the two lightest elements in the universe and the final source of fuel for the nuclear reactions that power the hearts of stars. Despite this, it glows tens of thousands of times brighter than Earth's sun, and howls with a stellar wind that seems to have the strength of two stars.

Perhaps, write the authors of a new study published May 20 in the journal Nature, that's because this oddball star once was two stars — and two dead ones, at that. After some careful analysis of the star and the gassy nebula that surrounds it, the study authors determined that the star's unusual properties can be best explained by a rare phenomenon known as a double white dwarf merger. Essentially, two burnt-out stars got too close and collided, accumulated enough combined mass to start forging heavy elements again, and reignited. [The 12 Strangest Objects in the Universe]

"Such an event is extremely rare," study co-author Götz Gräfener, an astronomer at the Argelander Institute for Astronomy (AIfA) at the University of Bonn in Germany, said in a statement. "There are probably not even half a dozen such objects in the Milky Way, and we have discovered one of them."


Ecuador: Request to Reopen Probe on CIA Killing of Jaime Roldos

Ecuador: Request to Reopen Probe on CIA Killing of Jaime Roldos
Published 22 May 2019 (2 hours 45 minutes ago)

On May 1981, Roldos died on a plane crash, which created accusations that it was a part of a U.S.-backed assassination. | Photo: EDOC/EFE

Published 22 May 2019 (2 hours 45 minutes ago)

After a 2014 CIA document revealed that Ecuador assisted in Operation Condor, Ecuador’s ex- attorney general’s office opened an investigation into Roldo's death.

Prominent Ecuadorean historian Jaime Galarza presented a request on Wednesday at the Attorney General's office to reopen the investigation on the alleged role of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Israeli Mossad in the 1981 murder of former left-wing president Jaime Roldos Aguilera.

"That death to date remains unpunished and I do not say it remains a mystery, because of mystery it really had very little," Galarza has pointed out many times. In his book, "Who Killed Roldos," he argues that the CIA and the Israelis were involved in the crime as part of Operation Condor in the region.

The respected historian and writer documents that after the death of the president information was misplaced, people were threatened, peasants from the alleged area of the accident disappeared and there were successive plane crashes where military personnel involved or aware of the event died.

. . .

On May 1981, he died on a plane crash, which created accusations that it was a part of a U.S.-backed assassination. Panama President Omar Torrijos, who also was critical of the U.S. role in the region and was known for his human rights leadership, coincidently died two months later in a similar plane crash.


Bolsonaro Decides to Skip Pro-Government Protests and Requests Ministers to Do The Same

May.22.2019 1:19PM

At a meeting with his ministers on Tuesday (21) morning, President Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) asked them not to attend the pro-government protests that will take place throughout Brazil on Sunday, May 26. Bolsonaro will not participate in the manifestations, whose primary goal is to show support for his government.

According to general Otávio Rêgo Barros, the president’s spokesperson, the president gave a general order to the ministers during the meeting. “Because it is a spontaneous and open demonstration, [the president] does not want to associate it with the government,” the spokesperson said to Folha when questioned about the reasons for the order.

At the meeting, the president also requested that his ministers to refrain from making any appeals on social media and that they distance themselves entirely from the theme, which, according to him does not and should not have any connection to the government.

The president’s ideological nucleus, made up of followers of the writer Olavo de Carvalho, defended the president’s presence at the demonstrations. For them, his participation would be an important gesture for his supporters.


Insane? Looney-toons? WTF?

Study Says Brazil's Economy Is on Brink of A Depression

Depression will happen if GDP fails to grow for third year in a row
May.20.2019 1:57PM

Brazil is in the midst of the slowest economic recovery in its history. If Brazil's GDP (gross domestic product) fails to grow to this year, stagnating for the third year in a row, then the country will have entered a depression.

This is the view of Alfonso Celso Pastore, ex-president of Banco Centro, who launched last Friday (18) the report "The depression after the recession."

According to the document, economic crises should be judged not only by the deepness of the recession and how well a country bounces back, but also by how much each citizen loses in income from the beginning of the recession. "In this area, were living in a cycle without precedent," the text said.

Given that the GDP increased just 1.1% in 2017 and 2018 and Brazil's population grows 0.8% each year, the gain in income for each Brazilian was an "insignificant magnitude," during this period. The same will happen in 2019 if the GDP increases around 1% or less, thus confirming a depression.


The Pompeo/Bolton Tag Team

MAY 17, 2019

There was little pretense that when former UN Ambassador John Bolton became President Trump’s National Security Adviser and former Rep. Mike Pompeo moved into the Secretary of State position, that either would bring a professionally credible and respectable presence to world diplomacy or foreign affairs.

It is fair to say that both have surpassed any of the bleak expectations and proven to be more extreme in their ideology, more personally amoral and malevolent than previously feared. What we are seeing now is as if all constraints have been removed with free rein to fulfill their zio-neocon agendas specifically against Venezuela and Iran.

* While speaking to a student audience recently at Texas A&M University, Pompeo revealed his utter contempt for a democratic government based on the rule of law when he bragged about “lying, cheating and stealing” as CIA Director. To an audience of undergraduates which clapped and laughed throughout, Pompeo offered

“What’s the cadet motto at West Point? You will not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do. I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. (laughing as if he had said something humorous) We had entire training courses.(Audience applause and cheers) It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”


What 50 Countries are Backing Guaid? Who Knows? Who Cares? If the Media Say It Enough It Must Be Tr

MAY 16, 2019
What 50 Countries are Backing Guaidó? Who Knows? Who Cares? If the Media Say It Enough It Must Be True

American media still refer to Juan Guaidó, America’s hand-picked “legitimate leader” or “legitimate president” of Venezuela, as having an “administration.”

The truth is that his “administration” — consisting of advisors and other opposition leaders — are all either arrested and being held by the government, hiding, seeking asylum in various foreign embassies (Spanish, Italian, Brazilian and Argentinian) in the capital of Caracas, or have fled to other countries like Brazil and Colombia.

Guaidó, apparently a government of one, has so far avoided arrest probably because the elected Venezuelan President Maduro doesn’t want to give the US an excuse to try and rescue him, or to launch military actions of some kind against Venezuela as the White House keeps threatening to do.

Clearly, in calling for US military intervention, Guaidó has both demonstrated almost his total lack of backing among the masses of Venezuelan people, as well as his desperation, given most Latin Americans’ visceral resentment of US interventions in their country, all of which have been designed to put autocrats or even military juntas in power, and many of which have openly overthrown popularly elected governments, as in Guatemala, Chile, Brazil, Nicaragua, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and elsewhere.


The Washington Post's "Cartel of the Suns" Theory is the Latest Desperate Excuse for Why the Coup At

MAY 17, 2019
The Washington Post’s “Cartel of the Suns” Theory is the Latest Desperate Excuse for Why the Coup Attempt in Venezuela has Failed

With the attempted coup in Venezuela now nearing its four-month mark, commentators in the corporate-owned Western press are scratching their heads as to why Washington’s plan for its proxy, Juan Guaido, to topple the government of Nicolas Maduro has so far failed to materialize. Of course, all of the real reasons elude them because they have never so much as crossed their minds. It is beyond their mental world to consider the lasting popularity of the late Hugo Chavez’s policies and lasting suspicion toward the right-wing opposition amongst large swathes of the population – or the deep revulsion at the thought of US (and especially US military) intervention into their country held by the vast majority of Venezuelans (and, indeed, Latin Americans generally). Rather, both the coup attempt’s puppeteers in Washington and their ventriloquist dummies in the mainstream media have been coming up with ever-more desperate excuses for why Guaido’s attempt to take power has not been a swift and decisive success. The so-called “propping up” of the Maduro “regime” by the traditional the US boogeymen of Russia, China and Cuba seems to have been the most frequently touted explanation. This has manifested itself in increasingly bizarre ways, such as the recent claim by Mike Pompeo that Maduro was at the point of fleeing the country before being convinced otherwise by Russia.

Now, the Washington Post’s notorious warhawk and deranged conspiracy peddler Jackson Diehl has come up with the latest labored rationalization for the failure of the coup attempt: the so-called “Cartel of the Suns.” According to Diehl, this shadowy organization is made up of “some of the most senior officials in the Maduro regime.” He claims that it “flies hundreds of tons of Colombian cocaine from Venezuelan airfields to Central America and the Caribbean for eventual distribution in the United States and Europe.” He furthermore claims that the Maduro government’s crimes also include skimming accounts used for importing food and medicine and “corrupt currency trading.” Describing the Maduro government as “less a government — much less a socialist one — than a criminal gang,” he claims that “the money it is reaping from criminal activity is serving as a prop that allows it to survive U.S. sanctions.” The only sources he provides to support these assertions are: an Associated Press article from September 2018 that reported on an unproven allegation made by a minor US Treasury Department figure, a January 2019 Wall Street Journal article that reports on another unproven allegation made by the US Treasury Department, and a link to one of his own Washington Post articles published in 2015. Leaving aside the self-citation, allegations made by the Treasury Department can hardly be considered credible evidence. It is, after all, a branch of the US government, which has been attempting to destabilize Chavista administrations since their earliest days in office. The Trump administration that it currently answers to, meanwhile, has been the major driving force behind the attempted coup and makes no secret of basing the effort on the advancement of US corporate economic interests.

Larissa Costas has gone so far as to posit that the very idea of such la government-operated cartel might be a whole-cloth fabrication. She stated in February 2017 article:

Although information abounds in the mediums of communication, the “Cartel of the Suns” has not been caught with a single gram of drugs, nor has there been any insignia of the organization identified in any seizure, nor has a single death been attributed to it. There are just two explanations: either it is the most inoffensive of cartels or it simply does not exist. [translated from the original in Spanish]


US senators express concern over Colombia military promotions of alleged war criminals

by Adam Veitch May 16, 2019

Three high-ranking US senators sent a letter to Colombia’s President Ivan Duque expressing their concern over the promotion of alleged war criminals in the military.

The letter echoes concerns raised by a report released in February by Human Rights Watch, which said that Duque promoted nine army officials linked to war crimes to top positions.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) expressed their disappointment that those suspected of atrocities had not been held to account by Colombia’s justice system.

Being promoted to positions of such responsibility, they argued, ought to have been ruled out until the allegations against them were properly investigated.



Chile: Pinochet's Family Home Destroyed in Fire

The estate has 51 hectares and consists of five buildings nad was acquired by Pinochet in 1994. | Photo: @RodrigoOgalde

The estate has 51 hectares and consists of five buildings nad was acquired by Pinochet in 1994. | Photo: @RodrigoOgaldePublished 15 May 2019 (2 hours 26 minutes ago)

The property belongs to Jacqueline Pinochet, one of the daughters of the former Chilean dictator.

A fire destroyed a house owned by the Pinochet family located inside Los Boldos Estate - where the dictator’s ashes remain - on Tuesday in the western coastal municipality of Valparaiso in Chile.

The property belongs to Jacqueline Pinochet, one of the daughters of the former Chilean dictator. According to first responders, at this moment it is not yet known if the origin of the flames is accidental or the result of voluntary action. Chilean police (Carabineros) are investigating the incident.

The governor of the municipality, Gabriela Alcalde, said that the fire "affected a warehouse and 30 percent of a house, which is a second home and at the time of the accident was without residents." While the fire chief, Cristian Herrera, said that the emergency was attended by about 30 volunteers to prevent its spread and that the house is approximately 500 meters from the Chapel, where the remains of Pinochet rest.

This fact has turned Boldos into a popular “pilgrimage” location for fascist Pinochet’s fans. The estate has 51 hectares and consists of five buildings. The property was acquired by Pinochet in 1994, but is currently uninhabited and served as a resting home for the family.


Fire consumes Augusto Pinochet's home in Valparaíso
The fire was registered in the Los Boldos farm in Chile . The remains of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet are located near the site of the accident .

15 May 2019 | 2:05 p.m.

A fire consumed one of the homes of the Pinochet family in Chile . The incident was recorded at 10 am today at the Los Boldos farm , located in Santo Domingo, Valparaíso region .

The address, used as a resting place, belongs to Jacqueline Pinochet Hiriart, daughter of the late Chilean dictator. The flames consumed four rooms: two bedrooms, a living room and a dining room. The latter was the part most affected by the accident.

. . .

One of the caretakers of the house noticed when the smoke emanated from the farm. The second lieutenant of the Fire Department of the Chilean commune, Ricardo Pardo, declared that the Research Department of that institution initiated a process to investigate the causes of the fire .

. . .

The Boldos farm is one of the memorable places of the Pinochet, because in a chapel inside the land are the ashes of the ex Dictador Augusto Pinochet . The place has 51 hectares and consists of five buildings. It is known that it was acquired in 1994 and is currently not inhabited.


. . .

Take this article, printed in Spanish and put it in Google Translate to see a description of property holdings of Pinochet's family. He stole untold millions from Chile, and everyone knew it was stolen as there was so much he had taken it was far, FAR more than he could ever have amassed through inheritance, or his wife's added wealth, or his income from his career, and he, his employees, his family traveled all over the world, especially the Riggs Bank in the U.S., making huge deposits.

Here's the first part of the article, through "Google translate" available in any search:


The true value of the fortune accumulated by Pinochet
By Pedro Ramírez

During his 17 years as dictator Pinochet accumulated a wealth that justice valued at US $ 21.3 million. But part of his fortune was invested in properties that have only increased their value and that according to experts consulted by CIPER today would cost about US $ 28 million. To that we must add US $ 3.1 million that the Pinochet family obtained from real estate sales, US $ 5 million in deposits that are seized and US $ 5.4 million whose destination is unknown. The future of a large part of Pinochet's assets depends on the outcome of the Riggs Case, which could be delivered to the Treasury or to his heirs.

Ten years after the death of Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte , the real amount of fortune that the dictator managed to accumulate and hide abroad, remains a mystery. The Riggs Case , the trial that investigated the origin of that fortune, closed in May 2015 with a "judicial truth" that must be corroborated by the Supreme Court: the patrimony accumulated by the dictator amounts to US $ 21.3 million , of the which US $ 17.9 million would have been obtained illegally.

But that is only the "judicial truth". In addition to the threads that led to the participation of Pinochet in the commissions for the purchase and sale of weapons and that were never properly investigated, there is another gray area that denies the final amount of that fortune.

CIPER investigated the large real estate assets that Pinochet acquired with ill-gotten money and those inherited from his family, and discovered that its real value currently stands at $ 18,914 million (some US $ 28 million) . Behind a tangle of transactions and societies appear new characters and amounts that surprise.

The figure corresponds to the sum of the commercial appraisals of 26 properties that were acquired with funds whose origin is partly in the "Reserved Expenses" of which Pinochet appropriated as head of state and commander-in-chief of the Army.

All those properties are still registered in the name of Pinochet, of companies that he created in tax havens, or of some of his direct relatives.

And there is more. Because the calculation of the fortune that Pinochet inherited from his descendants, he should consider the proceeds from the sale of nine properties that CIPER tracked . Those properties, alienated by his family, were acquired with embezzled fiscal funds ("reserved expenses" ) or on suspicion of coming from commissions for the purchase and sale of weapons in which the dictator participated.

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