Orange snow transforms eastern Europe into ‘Mars’

How do you deny how connected the earth and its climate is?

549.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fi

Dust and sand from storms in northern Africa carpet ski resorts in Russia and Romania

Dust from a sandstorm in the Sahara desert is causing snow in eastern Europe to turn orange, transforming mountainous regions of Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria and Romania into Mars-like landscapes.

The unusual scenes are believed to be created by a mix of sand, dust and pollen particles stirred up and swept across from storms in northern Africa. According the meteorologists, the phenomenon occurs roughly every five years.

Continue reading…

Salvadoran migration to the US in numbers

Good policy analysis requires good data.   With little commentary, here is a collection of the best data estimates I can assemble related to migration of individuals from El Salvador to the United States:

  • Estimated population living in El Salvador in 2017 — 6,582,000
    Source: El Salvador DIGESTYC
  • Estimated number of Salvadoran immigrants living in the US as of 2015 — 1,420,000
    Source: Pew Research Center
  • Estimated number of second generation Salvadorans in the US (at least one parent born in El Salvador) as of 2015 — 935,000
    Source: Migration Policy Institute
  • Estimated number of Salvadorans currently in US without legal documentation:  725,000
    Source:  Pew Research Center
  • Number of Salvadorans granted permanent residence in US (green cards) between October 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017:  18,800.
    Source: Pew Research Center
  • Estimated number of Salvadoran who re-enrolled for Temporary Protected Status by March 19, 2018 deadline:  175,000
    Source: El Salvador Foreign Ministry
  • Salvadoran youth who are recipients of DACA protection:  25,900
    Source:  USCIS
  • Salvadorans deported from the US back to El Salvador:

    January 1, 2017- December 31, 2017 – 15,691
    Source: El Salvador DGME

    January 1, 2018 – March 22, 2018 — 3129
    Source: El Salvador DGME

  • Unaccompanied minors from El Salvador apprehended at southwest US border:
    10/1/2015 – 9/30/2016  — 17,512
    10/1//2016 – 9/30/2017 — 9,143
    10/1/2018 –  2/28/20181,385 (3,324 annualized) 

    Persons in family units of at least one child with an adult apprehended at southwest US border:
    10/1/2015 – 9/30/2016  — 27,114
    10/1//2016 – 9/30/2017 — 24,122
    10/1/2018 –  2/28/20184,197 (10,072 annualized) Source: US Customs & Border Patrol  

  • Among all those persons worldwide who were born in El Salvador and now live either in El Salvador or elsewhere – 23% reside in the U.S
    Source:  Pew Research Center

Much could be said about these numbers, but I will only point out two items.   First, note the fairly dramatic reduction in levels of child and family migration across the southwest US border since October 2015 as measured by apprehensions.  Second, note the approximately 18,800 persons deported since January 1, 2017 and compare that to the 144,360 pending deportation cases against Salvadoran nationals and the additional 200,000 Salvadorans who are losing TPS next year.   El Salvador is facing a wave of returnees much, much larger than it is currently experiencing. 

Is Facebook Really Scarier Than Google? – Facts So Romantic

14404_6a59767ffedbb0c50130b5f43340d816.j

On Twitter, in a thread that went viral, François Chollet, an A.I. software engineer at Google DeepMind, argued, “Facebook is, in effect, in control of your political beliefs and your worldview.”Photograph by Joe Penniston / Flickr

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and C.E.O. of Facebook, admitted recently his company knew, in 2015, that the data firm Cambridge Analytica, which assisted with Donald Trump’s election campaign, had improperly acquired information on 50 million Facebook users. “This was a breach of trust,” Zuckerberg said, in a Facebook post. “We need to fix that.”

But that’s not the only thing Facebook needs to fix. “The problem with Facebook is not just the loss of your privacy and the fact that it can be used as a totalitarian panopticon,” said François Chollet, an artificial intelligence and machine learning software engineer at Google DeepMind, in a tweet yesterday. “The more worrying issue, in my opinion, is its use of digital information consumption as a psychological control vector.” He elaborated on this point in a thread that’s been shared thousands of times. I caught it when global-surveillance critic and The Intercept writer Glenn Greenwald quote-retweeted Chollet, calling it a “great thread” on “Facebook’s…
Read More…

The Observer view on the danger John Bolton poses to world peace | Observer editorial

He has no power to order anyone to do anything – therefore is no more threat than others who work for #45. Those who have worked for #TraitorTrump have been slow to figure out that anyone who works for #45 is just baggage to be tossed when convenient or used as a scapegoat or diversion when it suits #45.

3500.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&f

The arch-hawk’s advocacy of pre-emptive military action suits Donald Trump’s nationalist agenda but it could spell disaster

John Bolton, Donald Trump’s latest choice as national security adviser, belongs to a band of Washington armchair warriors who are rarely happier than when sending other people’s children to die in foreign wars. Like his former Iraq comrades-in-arms, George W Bush and Dick Cheney, and his bellicose new White House boss, Bolton avoided military service in Vietnam as a young man. But he is no peacenik. Far from it. Bolton the conservative arch-hawk has become infamous over the years as a reckless advocate of pre-emptive, interventionist military action in pursuit of what he perceives to be America’s interests.

The Observer is the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper, founded in 1791. It is published by Guardian News & Media and is editorially independent.

Continue reading…