Friday, May 26, 2017

Flint on PBS' "Nova."

May 24, 2017
By Monique Judge

The Public Broadcasting Service program Nova, (click here) the most-watched science series on American television, will air an episode looking at the chemistry and engineering behind the 3-year-old lead-contaminated-water crisis in Flint, Mich.

According to MLive, PBS issued a news release announcing the program, which will premiere May 31 at 9 p.m.

“In a money-saving maneuver, the city of Flint, Mich.—under the authority of a state-appointed emergency manager—switched its municipal water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River,” the news release reads.

“Unbeknownst to the city officials at the time, this switch would trigger a chemical chain reaction with devastating results: thousand of children exposed to lead poisoning, and very likely two outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, claiming 12 lives.”...

Brilliant women. What becomes of their future?

I love dates. Yum.

Shoppers buy dates at a shop in Jeddah ahead of the fasting month of Ramadan.

25 May 2017

Jeddah: Saturday, May 27, (click here) is the start of holy month of Ramadan, the Supreme Court announced on Thursday.
The crescent moon was not sighted on Thursday and so fasting will start Saturday.
“The moon will be out/disappear on the entire Islamic world, Thursday and, based on this, there is no crescent,” astronomer Khalid Al-Zaaq, a member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences said in a series of tweets.
He added that this year’s Ramadan will begin and end on a Saturday, which makes it a 29-day month. “(Ramadan) will have four Fridays,” he added.
UAE also announced Saturday the first day of Ramadan as the moon-sighting committee failed to spot the new moon crescent on Thursday night.
Qatari Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs said on its Twitter account that “Due to the lack of a moon sighting this night, the committee announces that investigation will continue tomorrow.”
Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Ghana have, too, declared Saturday the first day of Ramadan.
More than 1.6 billion Muslims around the world will mark the month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and having sex from dawn until sunset.

24 May 2017
By Mohammed al-Sulami

Jeddah: A group of Shiite scholars (click here) in the Eastern Province has condemned recent attacks on the Kingdom’s security officers and citizens. In a statement, eight senior clerics expressed concern over the violent incidents in Awwamiyah, condemning terrorism and the use of weapons.
They demanded terrorists put down their weapons and surrender.
They said the use of violence is neither legal nor is it a feasible way to solve problems. Terrorism only complicates matters, undermines stability and threatens the interests of the country and its people, they added.
They emphasized that the country’s security and governance are the responsibility of the state, and called on young people to abandon violence and resort to peace and dialogue to demand their rights....

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is taking no chances with it's NGOs. It is distributing important meals to the Syrians in Turkey and along the border while remaining as safe as possible.

I think the Saudi National Campaign is setting a good example. If the NGOs cannot stay safe while delivering food to the Syrians, who is going to continue to be compassionate? The NGOs should first secure their safety in recognition of the importance of the missions they carry out.

26 May 2017

Jeddah: The office of the Saudi National Campaign (click here) to Support Brothers in Syria has signed an agreement in Turkey with Merkez Market to provide 300,000 iftar meals to fasting Syrian refugees in Turkey and those displaced in Syria via the Ramadan campaign “God will reward you the same.”
The total value of the meals amounts to over SR3 million ($800,000).
The head of the campaign’s office in Turkey, Khaled Al-Salama, said the best available food items have been chosen with the highest standards and specifications.
He said the office will provide the meals to Syrian refugees in Turkey and camps in Syria along the Syrian-Turkish border, in addition to displaced populations in the northern Syrian provinces of Aleppo and Idlib....

Saudi Arabia is really taking the lead in providing important humanitarian supplies and services to those in need in the region.

Yemen has been a place of concern for the Kingdom, both, in the health of the people, but, also the security of Saudi Arabia itself. The Houtis still control Sanaa. This is simply compassion that surpasses any expectations.

We all should be grateful for the generosity and dedication of Saudi Arabia to improve the lives of so many in the face of violence against the people of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is obviously interested in peace and not war.

24 May 2017

Riyadh: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, (click here) adviser to the Royal Court and head of the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Assistance (KSRelief), inaugurated on Tuesday a convoy aimed at combating and treating the cholera outbreak in Yemen.

The 550-ton convoy is carrying medicine and supplies needed to diagnose and treat Yemenis suffering from the disease.

Al-Rabeeah thanked King Salman for directing and guiding the center to urgently respond to the need to combat and contain the outbreak.
“The inauguration for this convoy today comes in execution of the directives of the wise leadership to fight the outbreak of cholera, and as such the center has formed a rapid-response team to put in place programs for rapid intervention, diagnosis, treatment and containment of cholera, as well as prevention,” he said, adding that coordination is ongoing with specialized agencies and local partners and organizations to provide medicines, antibiotics and other needs.
Al-Rabeeah said the 25-truck convoy contains 700,000 units of IVs and required devices, and 500,000 doses of antibiotics, which will help treat 59,000 people throughout Yemen....


Approval ratingDates
Most recent weekly average38May 15-21, 2017
Term average to date41Jan 20, 2017-present
High point, weekly average45Jan 20-29, 2017
Low point, weekly average38three times; last on May 15-21, 2017
High point, three-day average46twice; last on Jan 23-25, 2017
Low point, three-day average35Mar 26-28, 2017

I think this is very telling of President Trump. He lends his name and expects money without supplying service.

I could put my nose in the air, too. It doesn't mean anything, except, I look like a Fox Hound on the way to finding the Fox. I always thought sniffing he wind was unattractive.

I only mention it since President Trump seems to be such a novice in the international theater.

I find the body language interesting, he is sniffing the wind in the direction of the women. "W" had a problem with massage. I don't know if this is the same thing.

May 25, 2017
By Catherine Stupp

US President Donald Trump (click here) stole the show at a meeting of NATO heads of state yesterday (25 May) when he doubled down on his demands for other members to pay more in an opening speech.
Trump lectured leaders from the 27 other NATO countries in his debut speech, demanding they “finally contribute their fair share” because it is “not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States” that they spend so much more on defence than the alliance’s other members.
The speech made no reference to the NATO pledge for members to defend each other if they’re attacked, which is set out in Article 5 of the alliance’s treaty. Diplomats were expecting to hear Trump mention his commitment to the “collective defence” clause in his remarks. But its absence may have instead compounded fears about Trump’s attitude towards NATO.
Trump’s behaviour seemed to puzzle other leaders and NATO diplomats involved in organising the meeting. He was caught on camera shoving Montegrin Prime Minister Dusco Markovic to reach the front of the crowd of leaders as they gathered for the pre-meeting ceremony. Montenegro is set to become a NATO member next month. It was both Markovic and Trump’s first NATO meeting....

Montenegro is an important ally to the USA and NATO in general. Location, location, location.

It is a multi-lingual country with many ethnicities, Montenegrin 45%, Serbian 28.7%, Bosniak 8.7%, Albanian 4.9%, Muslim 3.3%, Romani 1%, Croat 1%, other 2.6%, unspecified 4.9%.

It is a country that should be proud of it's history. It is one of struggle for autonomy, but, also as being a great ally of the USA through WWI. It was absorbed by monarchs in the years that followed, but, became a constituent of Yugoslavia after WWII which dissolved after 1992.

Montenegro in it's current sovereign state has existed since 2006. A young country with 11 years of consolidated government. Of course, this area of the world was somewhat similar with the struggles Ukraine has now. First separating from Russia and then ending any ethnic hatred to have a sovereign authority that is recognized by NATO as a strong and valuable ally. These people are of not minor importance to Europe or the USA.

Not unlike it's European friends, Montenegro is a spectacularly beautiful country. The geography of the country has contributed to it's autonomy over centuries as well.

Over the years leading to it's current sovereign nature, Montenegro has turned it's state owned companies. The banking industry is 100 percent privatized and it has the Euro as it's currency. There are many wise decisions here. The leadership knows what it is doing and there is a strong tourist economy that already exists. I am sure it would have benefited the Trump Company to take time to speak with the country's economic minister/secretary. Luxury hotels already exist there, but, an American hotel might be interesting to folks.

Montenegro is a member of the World Bank, IMF and the WTO. It's GDP is about $4 billion US and while 2008 didn't cause a decline in it's GDP, it stop the upward movement. I am sure the leadership is concerned about it's stagnant economy.

The country is planning major infrastructure changes that are mostly about moving people; planes, roads and rail. Montenegro is opening itself to more visitors to increase economic growth. Good thinking, but, NATO is vital to this country as it needs to provide security for it's people and control the influx of what might be charismatic infiltration of Daesh along with it's new economy. My guess is that Daesh has already taken notes about this beautiful country as it's President was so easily brushed aside by Trump; a moment of weakness and vulnerability. 

The USA/NATO military needs to look to Montenegro for it's sovereign security and protections of it's people.

The "Bully President," not the Bully Pulpit. Just stay out of his way and perhaps what is best is to roll out a red carpet for a "Red Carpet" Entrance of each leader.

I think the Saudis had the right idea. Simple allow a red carpet to be everywhere the leaders feet touch and make it plenty wide.

That strong arm mess is about appearing to be superior and inflicting a feeling of inferiority by the leadership of merely 600,000 people. It was a way of saying "My empire is billions and I doubt there is a place for Montenegro in it. Of course, the leader of Montenegro is concerned for his country and wants to know how to grow Trump's particular kind of corruption to benefit he and his country.

But, let's just say President Markovic is an honest broker and simply wants to be recognized for his status entrusted by 600,000 citizens. Then his persistence indicates he doesn't put up with bullies.

May 26, 2017
By Samatha Schmidt

...Let’s break it down. (click here)

A slow-motion viewing of the video indicates no words spoken by Trump as he approaches the group from behind. No “Excuse me” or “Pardon me.”

Trump reaches out his right arm, grabs Markovic’s right shoulder and pushes him aside. Markovic looks surprised. Trump doesn’t acknowledge his existence as he moves past him. It’s as if Markovic isn’t there.

Markovic abruptly looks back at Trump but gets no eye contact from Trump in return.

Then he pats Trump on the back, or perhaps the arm, displaying a slight grin as Trump, at the front of the group, stands tall and adjusts his suit coat. Trump begins conversing with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite as Markovic looks on from behind....      

The assault on the journalist boosted his support and probably won him votes.

I didn't write about it for that reason. I wasn't going to contribute more violence to the event. The apology made should be rejected. As a matter of fact the apology should be met with a lawsuit. If politicians are going to assault and abuse journalists as a political scheme then they need to pre-pay any medical assault in the way of insurance for the industry. Then they can avoid lawsuits for medical expenses at least and simply deal with the lost reputation of the journalist and future income lost because of this vicious political act.

May 26, 2017
With Breanne Deppisch

The Big Idea: Greg Gianforte (click here) admitted to attacking a reporter and apologized during his victory speech last night, as he kept Montana’s sole House seat in Republican hands. Now he and his party’s leaders are trying to move on.

On the eve of the special election, the wealthy technology entrepreneur flipped out when the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs asked him about the CBO’s score of the health care bill. He now faces misdemeanor assault charges for reportedly throwing Jacobs to the ground and breaking hiI made a mistake,” the congressman-elect said at his party in Bozeman. “Not in our minds!” yelled a supporter. David Weigel, who was there, reports that some in the crowd laughed.

-- After his comfortable six-point victory, Republican congressional leaders are making clear there will be no meaningful consequences for his behavior. “Elections are about choices and Montanans made their choice,” Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement this morning. "Rep.-elect Gianforte is an outsider with real-world experience creating jobs in Montana. He will bring that experience to Congress, where he will be a valuable voice in the House Republican Conference."...

Gianforte didn't win the election, corruption lost it. Voters have to pay attention what such actions by candidates imply. The 'tattle-tailing' of the Governor brought in the idea Gianforte is going to be a frugal public official and possibly more ideas on how to contain the cost of government. So, while the Governor lost because of the corruption of unofficial use of the plane, he also was seen as a person that didn't care about the money spent through taxes. The Governor lost the race for all the right reasons. Gianforte is simply a place holder at this point. The bar is set high for Gianforte from here forward.

August 25, 2017
By Lindsey Ford

...Gianforte claims (click here) that Governor Steve Bullock used the plane for unnecessary and personal events, like the Paul McCartney concert in Missoula, and for campaign stops.

“We have a governor who’s flying to rock concerts and campaigned events at taxpayer expense and then when he was caught, he only reimbursed taxpayers pennies on the dollar,” said  Gianforte....