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Eclipse tests the power grid’s mettle as solar energy goes dark

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The total eclipse of the sun Monday is expected to prompt fossil fuel generators to ramp up quickly to fill in the gaps as solar power goes dark from Oregon to the… John Siciliano Washington Examiner  Grid operators and watchdogs say the biggest effects from the loss of solar-generated electricity will occur in California, which represents 40 percent of the nation’s solar… Other states expected to be especially hit by the loss of solar include North Carolina, Utah, and… For ... Read More »

Universities are broke. So let’s cut the pointless admin and get back to teaching

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The meaningless tasks and faux-business strategies prioritised by British universities have skewed their real role André Spicer The Guardian As students have been celebrating their exam results, pundits from across the political spectrum have been commiserating the state of British universities. Andrew Adonis, an education minister during the Blair years, has excoriated universities for offering costly courses while jacking up the pay of their senior leaders. Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s ex-advisor, thinks UK universities are an unsustainable “Ponzi scheme”. The ... Read More »

UNAMA Human Rights Report on Mass Killings in Mirza Olang

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KABUL – The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released today the initial findings of its human rights fact-finding into the 3 to 5 August attack on Mirza Olang village in Sayyad district of Sari Pul… UNAMA verified allegations that Taliban and local self-proclaimed Islamic State / Daesh fighters killed at least 36 persons, including civilians and person hors de combat, during the attack on Mirza… At least half of the killings took place on Saturday 5 August when Anti-Government Elements ... Read More »

Why Britain’s voters must have a second referendum on Brexit

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Leavers’ dreams of a country cast free of Brussels are unravelling as reality and the risks of going it alone set in Vernon Bogdanor The Guardian Last week, the government set out key elements of its strategy for achieving Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. It seeks a soft landing to a hard Brexit. It wants a time-limited transition period after March 2019, when Britain is due to leave the bloc. During that period, the government hopes for a ”close ... Read More »

Malta ‘denies’ Defend Europe anti-migrant boat

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Aid groups applaud Maltese government, saying snub sends ‘a clear message against the politics of hate and extremism’. Al Jazeera Malta has said a vessel carrying anti-migrant and anti-refugee activists was “not welcome”, allegedly denying the boat from docking on its shore. Far-right members of the Defend Europe group, who were aboard the C-Star vessel, said they were denied port access and a request for water sent out to the vessel, according to a statement on the group’s Facebook page. ... Read More »

Remove Him Now

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How can this nation endure another 41 months of this man? We have endured Donald Trump for seven months. Although he has had few legislative victories, he has almost single-handedly destroyed the moral authority of the presidency of the United States at home and abroad; brought us to the brink of a nuclear war without consulting anyone; and sown division and hatred. Robert Reich * HuffPost He has given encouragement and legitimacy to the ugliest in America. How can this ... Read More »

When voters mistake stupidity for authenticity, we are all in danger

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Are we at war yet? Newspaper deadlines being what they are, you may, at the time of reading, be in a better position to answer that question than this column. Janet Daley Telegraph, London The Sydney Morning Herald With startling suddenness, the world has reached one of those moments when catastrophic news seems imminent: in which, indeed, the chief actors actually appear to be willing events to take the most devastating, unthinkable course. Or is it all just noise? Belligerent, ... Read More »

Make no mistake, stalking is about power and entitlement over women

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WHAT part of ”œit’s over” don’t men get? The refusal to accept the end of a relationship is not about being stubborn or stupid. When it extends to stalking, it’s about power and entitlement – the abuse of the former and an excess of the latter. Kylie Lang The Courier-Mail Mental illness, though often cited, is rarely involved. How have we come to the point in our nominally civilised society when one in five women is a victim of stalking? ... Read More »

Californians once again want out of US

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A group of Californians has submitted yet another initiative to secede from the United States as the country is gripped by one of its worst political crisis in recent history. LOS ANGELES – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The new “Calexit” ballot proposal put forward on Aug. 17 by a fringe political group calls for a constitutional convention to overhaul one of the country’s founding documents on grounds it is incompatible with what the Golden State stands for. “The current relationship between ... Read More »

IMF’s China debt warnings are eerily familiar

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The IMF has seen this horror film before in neighboring Japan and the odds of a happier ending for China are negligible. William Pesek Asia Times The International Monetary Fund shouldn’t expect much warmth from Beijing these days. Its latest annual health check on Asia’s biggest economy is blunt, sweeping and sure to ruin Xi Jinping’s month as the Chinese president tries to maintain a veneer of omnipotence and stability. The IMF’s worry, of course, is debt. It’s seen this ... Read More »

Brisbane developers ‘don’t need to be concerned with native title’

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The recent Federal Court decision that native title no longer exists in Brisbane has significant implications for infrastructure and property developers, according to a native title expert. Tom Lodewyke  Lawyers Weekly The decision came in response to native title claims on behalf of the Turrbal and Yugara people, which together covered most of the Brisbane metropolitan area. Justice Jessup ruled in 2015 that the claimants could not prove an adequate connection to the land to hold native title. The Indigenous ... Read More »

Arguments heard over marine bill

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DURBAN – Fishermen and local non-profit organisations aired their objections to the draft Marine Spatial Planning Bill yesterday at the Chesterville Hall. Zainul Dawood Daily News The Department of Environmental Affairs recognised the potential of the ocean to create jobs and improve lives. Its current plan to use the ocean’s resources is called Operation Phakisa. Addressing the crowd on Thursday, department representative Radia Razak said they noticed the ocean resources were under a great deal of pressure, particularly in the ... Read More »

Grooming the globe: denying fairness, complexity and humanity

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“I know it makes you sick to think of that word fairness,” Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, told the Conservative Political Action Conference in March 2013. Julianne Schultz The Conversation But he went on to tell the heads of Washington’s most influential right-wing think-tanks, who were still shocked by Barack Obama’s continuing appeal, that Americans “universally believe it’s right to help the vulnerable”. He continued: If you want to win, start fighting for people! Lead with ... Read More »

Did Russia supply Ukrainian rocket engine to North Korea?

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Ukraine space agency says engine identical to their own, points finger at Russia Asia Unhedged Asia Times The mystery over how North Korea obtained powerful rocket engines for its last ICBM test deepened Wednesday after Ukraine’s state space agency said the rocket engine used is the same as the type of engine used by Ukraine-made space vehicles, according to UPI. UPI was picking up on a report from US government-funded Radio Free Asia which said Ukraine denied supplying the engines ... Read More »