River Piracy in the Yukon : Image of the Day AKA: Climate Change in Action

In the spring and summer of 2016, Daniel Shugar and colleagues witnessed an act of piracy in Canada’s Yukon Territory. The Kaskawulsh River hijacked the Slims River, stealing much of its supply of water and dramatically reshaping the region’s drainage.The ongoing retreat of the Kaskawulsh glacier in the St. Elias Mountains spurred this rarely seen process of “river piracy.” For years, meltwater from the Kaskawulsh glacier has fed two large lakes at the glacier front; those lakes feed the Slims and Kaskawulsh rivers. Previously, most of the water flowed northward via the Slims River and into a watershed that ultimately empties into the Bering Sea. A lesser amount flowed southward via the Kaskawulsh into a watershed that empties into the North Pacific Ocean.Roles reversed in spring 2016—that’s when pilots first informed Shugar, a geomorphologist at University of Washington-Tacoma, that the Slims River was running low and the Kaskawulsh River was flooded. Shugar and colleagues visited the site in August, and that’s when the magnitude of the change “really sunk in.”The river piracy is visible in this image pair, acquired with the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8. The false-color images combine observations of shortwave infrared, near-infrared, and red light (OLI bands 6, 5, 4) to better distinguish areas of water (dark blue) from the surrounding landscape. Vegetation is green, and snow and ice are light blue.

Source: River Piracy in the Yukon : Image of the Day

How Macron calmed Whirlpool workers whipped up by Le Pen | World news | The Guardian

For the centrist candidate, who has never held elected office, the confrontation was a major risk. He was criticised on Monday after celebrating his first round win over Le Pen in a Paris brasserie with campaign staff, and the exchange outside the factory could have backfired badly.But several commentators said Macron’s decision would end up playing in his favour. “It could be that Le Pen’s coup failed in the end by giving Macron the political thick skin he was lacking until now,” said Christian Delporte, a historian and political image specialist at the university of Versailles.“Macron is fighting back,” said Laurent Joffrn, the editor of the left-leaning daily Libération. “By rolling up his shirt sleeves at Whirlpool, abused by furious or desperate employees who nonetheless appreciated speaking to him, he has corrected his mistake of Sunday evening.”

Source: How Macron calmed Whirlpool workers whipped up by Le Pen | World news | The Guardian

Workers at Chinese factory making clothing for Ivanka Trump’s brand earn just $1 an hour: Shanghaiist

Ivanka Trump is continuing to be criticized for failing to live up to her father’s creedo of “Buy American, Hire American” after an audit revealed the poor conditions present at a Chinese factory that manufactures clothes for her personal fashion line.The 80 workers at the Chinese factory work nearly 60 hours a week while making only $62 for their efforts, according to a Fair Labor Association report released on Monday that was based on an independent audit of the factory carried out last October, just before Ivanka’s dad won the US Presidential election.Workers at the factory are contracted to make clothes for the New York-based G-III Apparel Group which has an exclusive license to manufacture Ivanka Trump-branded dresses, blouses and other clothing items. Auditors discovered some two-dozen violations of international labor standards during a two-day tour of the factory.In order to meet manufacturing targets, workers at the factory worked anywhere from 42 to 82 hours of overtime per month, far exceeding the legal limit in China of 36 overtime hours per month. Meanwhile, workers made between 1,879 to 2,088 yuan a month, which would fall below minimum wage in some parts of China. The report does not state the name of the factory or its location.

Source: Workers at Chinese factory making clothing for Ivanka Trump’s brand earn just $1 an hour: Shanghaiist

Batagaika Crater Expands : Image of the Day

Batagaika Crater has formed as rising temperatures have thawed the permafrost in Siberia. Warmer summers and shorter winters are causing the frozen layer cake of ice and soil to collapse (or “slump”) and erode away in much of the Arctic. Dozens of permafrost craters pock Russia’s northern landscape, but none rival the size of Batagaika, a so-called “megaslump” that has been devouring the slope above it and moving backwards into the hillside.“There have been reports that these backwards-thawing features are appearing around the Arctic, but this one is in a league of its own,” said Mary Edwards, a professor at the University of Southampton who co-authored a 2017 study of the crater. “Scientifically, it’s very interesting because we can see what’s underground.”The site—the biggest permafrost crater in the world—holds clues to prehistoric life on Earth. Researchers believe the exposed ice and soil along the crater’s edges could hold up to 200,000 years of geological and biological history.Batagaika has disgorged a handful of animals since it began growing, likely in the early 1980s. Equus lenensis (a Pleistocene horse) and Bison priscus (prehistoric steppe bison) have emerged from the thawing soil, as have assorted remains of cave lions and wolves. Researchers have found evidence that the region had a warmer climate and relatively dry, windy conditions during the Pleistocene Epoch. Spruce and pine forests once grew here, according to bits of wood found in the thawing soil.Today, low shrubs and larch trees grow across this tundra landscape. From space, the gash of exposed soil appears rough-cut, brown against the green terrain. The steep hills inside the crater contain few plants, a sign of their recent formation. The natural-color image above was captured on June 7, 2016 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite. The images below, taken by OLI (right) and the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) on Landsat 7 shows Batagaika’s rapid advance since 1999.

Source: Batagaika Crater Expands : Image of the Day

Deadly Game: Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Risk Nuclear War – SPIEGEL ONLINE Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dummer – #TraitorTrump, #LoserTrump – will settle for a Trump Hotel in N. Korea?

Trump sees Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal as the greatest danger facing U.S. national security, but he isn’t just inexperienced when it comes to foreign policy — he often veers into downright clumsiness. A recent example came two weeks ago, when he announced that he had directed a U.S. aircraft carrier to head toward North Korea as a warning — even though the vessel was actually heading in the opposite direction to take part in a maneuver near Australia. Whether it was a bluff or whether Trump had misunderstood something remains unclear — even as the vessel, the USS Carl Vinson, is now steaming toward Korean waters — but it does show the degree to which things can go wrong under this commander-in-chief.Following the numerous failures and defeats he has suffered early on in his presidency, Trump badly needs successes to present to his supporters as he passes the symbolically important 100-day threshold. An aggressive stance toward North Korea at least gives him the appearance of resolve and Trump hopes to demonstrate that he is able to stand up to the Pyongyang dictator. When he launched 59 missiles at Syria earlier this month, he received praise even from commentators who don’t normally have a kind word to say about this president. Because of Trump’s apparent addiction to public acclaim, it isn’t difficult to imagine the conclusions he drew.

Source: Deadly Game: Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Risk Nuclear War – SPIEGEL ONLINE

By nixing German FM meet, Netanyahu ups Israel’s tyranny a notch | +972 Magazine

While Netanyahu’s move appears to be extreme and quite dumb, it actually fits coherently with his government’s orchestrated campaign against Israeli human rights organizations over the last two years. In recent months Netanyahu has called on European governments to stop funding and cooperating with Breaking the Silence, and Israel’s education minister Naftali Bennett has already effectively banned Breaking the Silence from giving presentations in high schools.Netanyahu’s move is situated well within the context of an increasingly tyrannical government that has now upped its authoritarianism a notch. Israel has been censoring and restricting the freedoms of Palestinians since 1948, it has been applying similar tactics to Israeli leftists for years and is now taking that strategy to its biggest European ally. And Netanyahu knows he will not have to pay any consequences for it. Gabriel has already said cancellation of the meeting would be “regrettable” but would not hurt or affect Israel’s ties with Germany in any way.The ultimatum and refusal to meet with a German diplomat is reminiscent of the tactics used by the Israeli government against peace activists who began meeting with PLO representatives in the 1970s. In this sense, Israel is now treating Israeli organizations who document occupation as if they were Palestinians: Persona non grata.  Now, anyone who wants to merely meet with or listen to these persona non grata is also an enemy. And just like in 1975, when Israel decided to legislate a law banning Israelis from meeting with PLO members, don’t be surprised if the Israeli government’s next move is to outlaw B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence.

Source: By nixing German FM meet, Netanyahu ups Israel’s tyranny a notch | +972 Magazine

Man in Thailand kills baby on Facebook Live | News | DW.COM | 25.04.2017

Police in Thailand said on Tuesday that a man killed his baby before committing suicide during a Facebook Live broadcast.The two videos reportedly showed 20-year-old Wuttisan Wongtalay hanging his 11-month-old daughter from the rooftop of a deserted building in the town of Phuket. The public was able to access the broadcast on Wongtalay’s Facebook page for roughly 24 hours after it was first uploaded.”This is an appalling incident and our hearts go out to the family of the victim,” a Singapore-based Facebook spokesperson told Reuters news agency. “There is absolutely no place for content of this kind of Facebook and it has now been removed.”

Source: Man in Thailand kills baby on Facebook Live | News | DW.COM | 25.04.2017

Aya Hijazi and Egyptian conspiracy theories

“Ultimately, the only positive outcome of this saga, despite conspiracy and cursing, is Aya Hijazi, the human being. A defiant, but humble Egyptian woman, with a captivating smile that never left her face, even when she was unjustly behind bars; a woman who possessed an elegant grace, even after she departed from Egypt. Her photo with her husband celebrating Valentine’s Day behind bars will remain one of the most poignant images I recollect from my weekly compilation of Egypt in 2016. I am truly delighted to see her free.”

Nervana

Aya Trump

President Trump meets with Aya Hijazi in the Oval office of the White House Photo via AP

Aya Hijazi ____ A young Egyptian-American woman who made global headlines after US President Donald Trump met her in the White House, following her sudden acquittal in Cairo after three years in prison.

 Having been chronicling events from Egypt on a weekly basis since 2013, I was particularly interested in the traumatic events surrounding the life of Aya Hijazi, over the past few years. After the 2011 revolution, Aya decided to return to Egypt from the United States with her Egyptian husband, Mohammed Hassanein. In 2013, in her mission to ensure social development and protect children’s rights, she launched the Belady Foundation for Street Children in Cairo. However, in May 2014, the police raided the Belady Foundation headquarters and arrested everyone, including Aya and her husband. The raid followed one man’s complaint that…

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