Mark Knopfler Is a True Friend of the Russian People

Mark is true to the “Walk of Life!”

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This is what everyone who is in Mark Knopfler’s position should do. Not “try and talk some sense” into fascist homophobes like Vitaly Milonov, as the otherwise admirable Stephen Fry recently did. Or “stand in solidarity” with political prisoners Pussy Riot on a Moscow concert stage, as Madonna did, all the while raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in concert fees. The first tack violates the old anti-fascist “no platform” rule, while the second does that, too, while also generating tons of buzz for the Milonovites. More important, it rewards the relatively well-off strata of the Russian urban populace, the people who can afford tickets to Madonna and Knopfler concerts and the like, who are in fact the real bulwark of Putinism (rather than some imaginary post-Soviet “conservative” provincial “grassroots” post-proletariat), at least (but only at least) insofar as these people have been mostly absent from the fight against Putinism or any of its manifestations…

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Starving Sea Lion Pups Still Washing Up by the Hundreds in California | Wired Science |

Miller doesn’t think fish populations have relocated. He thinks they’ve disappeared.

“Over the last forty years, we’ve seen a pretty stark decline in the coastal fish populations,” Miller said. The number of fish collected between 1999 and 2010 is just 22 percent of the total collected between 1972 and 1984, Miller said. And in addition to overall population declines, “we are seeing a lot of strange things,” he said.

Miller has been studying fish populations along the Southern California coast using a dataset spanning 40 years. The data come from seven coastal power plants, located between Ventura and San Onofre, north of San Diego. These plants use seawater to cool the steam produced while generating power, seawater from just offshore.

Periodically, that water is monitored for the fish that come in with it, producing a dataset that now includes about 2,000 data points describing millions of fish belonging to about 150 species.

via Starving Sea Lion Pups Still Washing Up by the Hundreds in California | Wired Science |

Korean Food, Land and Democracy A Conversation with Anders Riel Müller | Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy

Korea’s food sovereignty movement emerged from the anti-WTO movement of the late 1990s and early 2000s. By 2007, however, the KWPA and Korean Peasants League (KPL), sought an alternative to protesting the government’s domestic policies and international policies. They began setting up alternatives and introducing food sovereignty as a policy. The KWPA and KPL and several consumer-producer cooperatives are promoting food sovereignty as national policy.

Food sovereignty operates on two levels. It operates at the grassroots level where farmers set up cooperatives and develop local food systems by making direct connections to consumers in cities. It also operates at the political level where farmers are pushing at the national, provincial and city levels. They have succeeded at the provincial level, but have been virtually ignored at the national level by the ministry of agriculture. This grassroots food movement is interesting because it is the farmers who are driving the movement, not consumers. It’s what makes the Korean food movement distinct from many U.S. or European food movements and so interesting.

via Korean Food, Land and Democracy A Conversation with Anders Riel Müller | Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy.

The New Bird Flu, And How To Read The News About It | Wired Science |

who are trusted sources? Here is my short list: people or organizations who understand flu, have excellent sources of information, and can be relied on not to over-hype.

Reporters: Helen Branswell of the Canadian Press; Declan Butler of Nature; Martin Enserink of Science; my former colleagues Lisa Schnirring and Robert Roos at CIDRAP. (Also Mara Hvistendahl of Science, if she covers this, as she is based in Shanghai.)

Bloggers/aggregators: Crawford Kilian (@crof) ; Mike Coston (@Fla_Medic).

Crowdsourced data: HealthMap, a huge Harvard- and Google-backed effort that combines Web-scraping with human review (also on Twitter, as is their blog editor Anna Tomasulo and their founder John Brownstein); FluTrackers, a volunteer, civilian effort that has been going since the H5N1 days.

Media on the ground: Xinhua; China Daily; South China Morning Post, in Hong Kong, somewhat more free to report.

Official sources: WHO; China CDC; European CDC and its journal, EuroSurveilance; US CDC; OIE.

via The New Bird Flu, And How To Read The News About It | Wired Science |

And they’re off: the National Youth Climate Exchange Summit

Grow Dat Youth Farm

This afternoon I’m boarding a plane with three Grow Dat Policy Interns – Amber Young, Josh Kemp, and Kamau Johnson – to attend the National Youth Climate Exchange (NYCE) in Pennsylvania.

Grow Dat is honored to join the NYCE, the latest Global Kid’s Human Rights Activist project. Youth from Grow Dat in New Orleans are participating in a 3-day climate action summit with Build it Up West Virginia and Global Kids students from NYC and Washington, DC.

Addressing climate change is key to us at Grow Dat because food system emissions account for  between 19%-29% of all total greenhouse gases. And agricultureaccounts for 80%-86% of emissions within the food system. Check out the infographics from CGIAR:

FoodSystemEmissionsScreen Shot 2013-04-04 at 12.58.31 PM

On our farm, youth grow food using sustainable and chemical-free methods. Our commitment to carbon reduction and environmental stewardship ensures that agriculture is part of the solution, rather than remaining a leading contributor to the…

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A Day in Grey for Joseph Massenburg

A Lifetime Of Service

nccc ribbbon

On the evening of April 1, 2013, 18-year-old AmeriCorps NCCC member, Joseph Massenburg, was shot and killed while deployed in New Orleans. As part of the AmeriCorps family, we mourn the passing of a member of our community. Click here to read the news coverage.

Today, join us in “A Day in Grey for Joseph Massenburg” as we wear our grey & green shirts for Joseph and his team, Delta 4, from the Vicksburg, Mississippi  – Southern Region NCCC campus. We wear these colors to remember and celebrate Joseph’s lifetime of service. If you no longer have your AmeriCorps shirts, please join us in spirit. In addition to AmeriCorps Visibility Day, today is a day to unite and make our AmeriCorps community visible to others.

AmeriCorps Alums will also be collecting photos and condolences on our Facebook page to share with the Vicksburg campus and Massenburg…

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Salud, Dignidad y Justicia Más Allá De Nuestras Fronteras

Nuestra Vida, Nuestra Voz

By: Dian Alarcon

Mil gracias por todo el apoyo y enseñanzas en esta semana de abogacía. Realmente fue una experiencia enriquecedora. No importa cuántas veces la hagas siempre es una experiencia nueva que te enseña el poder que tiene tu voz. Aunque solo seas uno, es como el cardumen de peces, si esta solo es más fácil que un depredador se lo pueda comer pero cuando está acompañado por miles o cientos de peces, los depredadores piensan que eres un animal demasiado grande y poderoso para atacarlo y desisten de comerlos.
Latina_Institute 231
Para mí la mayor reflexión esta semana es que cuando trabajamos ordenadamente en equipo, con pasión y todas con el mismo enfoque logramos llevar nuestro mensaje de Salud, Dignidad y Justicia más allá de nuestras fronteras.

NLIRH hizo un ejemplo de trabajo en equipo, muy ordenadas y cada una sabiendo cual era su roll en esta semana. Soy muy…

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In Egypt, Brotherhood may ‘spoil’ everything

Leading when you’ve never led is always difficult – especially when you can’t seem to ask others, or the people to work with you.


Spoilers photo

Egyptian president Morsi orates last year in Germany. (AFP photo)

This piece was initially published in NOW.  Look forward to your feedback

Whenever there is a regime change, there are those who carry the potential to ‘spoil’ it. This idea has long been entrenched in the minds of many leaders in the Middle East. Each new regime has viewed the remnants of their predecessor as possible spoilers.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and his ruling party, the Muslim Brotherhood, have opted to view the violence that continues to dominate the political scene in Egypt through the spoiler prism, and treat their opposition as ‘spoilers’ of the democratic process. Wasat Party leader Abul-Ela Madi’s recent insinuations that Egypt’s intelligence apparatus is engaged in destabilizing the Morsi-led government illustrate the obsession of many, particularly Islamists, with the idea that various security and administrative apparatuses have links to the old regime, and may…

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