Maxwell accuser testifies Epstein brought her to meet Donald Trump at age 14 – UPI.com

A woman who accused Ghislaine Maxwell of grooming her to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein testified Wednesday that the late financier took her to meet Donald Trump when she was 14 years old.

Under questioning from Maxwell’s defense attorney, Laura Menninger, during the trial in New York City, the woman, identified by the pseudonym Jane, said she met Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., in the 1990s.

She did not accuse the former president of any improper behavior and acknowledged she took part in a Miss Teen USA beauty pageant associated with Trump in 1998 but did not specify if that was before Epstein brought her to the resort or why they made the visit.

Source: Maxwell accuser testifies Epstein brought her to meet Donald Trump at age 14 – UPI.com

Why increased rainfall in the Arctic is bad news for the whole world

Before the end of this century, most of the Arctic will for the first time receive more rain than snow across a whole year. That’s one of the key findings of a new study on precipitation in the Arctic which has major implications – not just for the polar region, but for the whole world.

While a reduction in frozen ocean surface is one of the most widely recognised impacts of Arctic warming, it has also long been anticipated that a warmer Arctic will be a wetter one too, with more intense cycling of water between land, atmosphere and ocean. The shift from a frozen region towards a warmer, wetter Arctic is driven by the capacity of a warmer atmosphere to hold more moisture, by increased rates of evaporation from ice-free oceans, and by the jet stream relaxing.

Source: Why increased rainfall in the Arctic is bad news for the whole world

Preventing future pandemics by ending the wildlife trade

Please can you give us some insight into the wildlife trade worldwide?

It is a global problem and it is particularly bad in Asia, especially China. The demand from that region for wildlife has meant that illegal trade is now bringing in animals from Africa and South America to Southeast Asia. Instead of decreasing, the illegal wildlife trade to Southeast Asia and China has increased since SARS-CoV. Animals that were not in the trade 15, 16 years ago are now heavily traded and have been brought to the brink of extinction.

But in Southeast Asia, there has been a shift from the consumption of wildlife at home. The hunter used to go out, kill an animal for our family meal and it would be eaten locally. There has been a shift from home consumption to selling those animals to illegal wildlife traders to get more money.

This trade was then associated with increased affluence. Some of these wildlife food restaurants in Southeast Asia were frequented by the middle class and wealthier people. This is not food to keep the family fed, this is a different kind of food. Some of this comes from alleged medicinal qualities. Everything from turtles to carnivores to snakes, all sorts of animals are consumed in that way.

In Africa however, it is slightly different. There is the bushmeat trade, and some of that really is to keep the family fed. However, some animals from Africa are going to China, as are animals from South America. The illegal wildlife trade is worldwide.

The wildlife trade also comes the other way through the demand for exotic pets from Europe, North America, and other countries. People want exotic snakes, other exotic reptiles, or monkeys, you name it. That is something else that needs to be banned. We need to be mindful that that is another form of wildlife trade; it is illegal and you get the same mixing of animals that normally would not come into contact with humans.

Source: Preventing future pandemics by ending the wildlife trade

Uncontacted tribe’s land invaded and destroyed for beef production

– Land clearances for cattle ranching have now reached an area where the uncontacted Piripkura are known to live.

– Roads, fencing and even an airstrip have been constructed, and hundreds of cattle brought in.

– The rate of deforestation in the territory has “exploded” – by more than 27,000% in the last two years.

OPI has also released a report on the invasion of the Piripkura lands. Their research has revealed that the Piripkura’s is now the most deforested uncontacted indigenous territory in Brazil. More than 12,000 hectares has already been destroyed.

Source: Uncontacted tribe’s land invaded and destroyed for beef production

‘No middle ground’: Chile voters face tough choice as run-off looms – BBC News

Mr Castillo belongs to a farming family and has been a Christian Democrat since he was 15.

He says that he would never vote for Mr Kast because of the candidate’s sympathetic stance on Augusto Pinochet, the general who ousted Chile’s elected president in a coup in 1973.

“I could not support with my vote – by action or omission – someone who supported Pinochet,” Mr Castillo explains.

“This has never happened before, that we had a candidate from the extreme right and a candidate who – at least in the first round – was very left-wing, probably drawn in by the Communist party.”

He insists that moderate political positions are needed now more than ever before but given the limited choice in the second round, Mr Castillo says that he is “going to choose the lesser evil”.

“Boric wasn’t and isn’t my candidate. His government plans don’t fully convince me. I don’t even think that he is the best person to lead the country but in these circumstances, I am going to choose Boric.”

Source: ‘No middle ground’: Chile voters face tough choice as run-off looms – BBC News

Lê Vĩnh Tài | NIGHT & THE CONTINUING FALLING VERSES – ĐÊM VÀ NHỮNG KHÚC RỜI (4) — SONGNGUTAITRAM

Lê Vĩnh Tài, an acclaimed Vietnamese poet, born 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands, an acclaimed businessman in Buon Ma Thuot. Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

Lê Vĩnh Tài | NIGHT & THE CONTINUING FALLING VERSES – ĐÊM VÀ NHỮNG KHÚC RỜI (4) — SONGNGUTAITRAM

A green paradox: Deforesting the Amazon for wind energy in the Global North | openDemocracy

Balsa fever

The increased demand led to the deforestation of virgin balsa in the Amazon basin, in what came to be known as ‘balsa fever’. Balseros began to illegally deforest virgin balsa from the islands and banks of the Amazonian rivers in an effort to overcome the shortage of cultivated wood. This has had a terrible impact on the Indigenous peoples of the Ecuadorian Amazon, in a similarly brutal way to that caused by mining and oil extraction in recent decades, and the rubber boom at the start of the 20th century.

In 2019, the extension of a road in the Pastaza province bordering Peru through Indigenous Shuar and Achuar territory to link the community of Copataza to the western city of Puyo, caused controversy among the Achuar people.

For the most part, locals perceived the road, which was built without waiting for full Indigenous consensus, more as a threat of extractivism and deforestation than as a contribution to the potential development of their community. But it advanced like a syringe through the jungle, reaching its destination in November of that year.

Source: A green paradox: Deforesting the Amazon for wind energy in the Global North | openDemocracy