Monday, April 10, 2017

The Full Pink Moon happens early morning on Tuesday at 2:08 am EST.

April 5, 2017
By Marcus Schneck

The Full Pink Moon (click here) will rise on Tuesday, April 11, but don't expect to see any unusual coloring on the lunar surface.

The full moon of April is the Pink Moon because that's one of the names given to it by Native Americans.

And, the name is more about an event right here on Earth than anything in the heavens. The full moon of April tends to occur as the pink flowers of wild ground phlox comes into bloom. It's one of the first wildflowers to bloom in the spring....

Phlox are perennials (click here) and a favorite choice among wildflowers. These plants sport many star-shaped, colorful flowers when in bloom. Because there are so many varieties, you can find a type of phlox for almost any garden. Phlox make great ground cover, and you can compliment them with other varieties of ground cover. They are easy to care for and low maintenance. Add some phlox to any bouquet for some nice fragrance....                        

The bleaching of Great Barrier Reef corals doubles in one year.

April 10, 2017
By Eoghan MacGuire

...Coral bleaching occurs (click here) when abnormal environmental conditions — such as heightened sea temperatures — push corals to expel tiny photosynthetic algae causing them to turn white.

The damage was recorded by the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, which carried out separate studies over the past two years.

Its 2016 survey found the top third of the reef had experienced the most intense bleaching. But research completed last week recorded more damage along the 1,400 mile long reef's middle third....

April 10, 2017
By Russ Mitchell and Tracey Lien

For months, Tesla stock’s been on a bull run. (click here)

Now, it’s a stampede.

On Monday, investors sent the electric car maker’s market value into entirely new territory, briefly ripping past General Motors in market value, putting Tesla in first place among U.S. automakers.

It also raises the stakes for the company as it prepares to begin assembling its highly anticipated mass-market electric sedan, the Model 3, which is scheduled for release this summer or fall, or perhaps later. The propulsive rise in the company’s stock — up more than 70% since December — amps up the pressure on Tesla and its visionary chief executive, Elon Musk, to deliver near-flawless performance....

May 3, 2016
By Fred Lambert

As Tesla (click here) is looking to almost double its annual vehicle production every year for the next few years, it has to significantly increase its headcount, which currently stands at just over 15,000 employees. Now Tesla is reportedly set to go on a hiring spree this weekend to hire “hundreds” of “production assembly associates” at a “massive” job fair in Fremont, California, according to job listings.

Tesla recently confirmed that it is currently working on increasing its production plans to minimize the wait for the Model 3 following the storm of reservations it received for the $35,000 all-electric sedan – approaching 400,000 cars as of the latest update....

The return to accessible college is happening. Congratulations Governor Cuomo. He did it. He actually did it.

April 10, 2017
By Mary Emily O'Hara

New York (click here) will be the only state in the country to offer universal public college tuition coverage for working- and middle-class residents after the program was included in the budget package approved Sunday night.

The state's Excelsior Scholarship program will be rolled out in tiers over the next three years, starting with full coverage of four-year college tuition this fall for students whose families make less than $100,000.

The income cap will increase to $110,000 in 2018 and $125,000 in 2019.

While states like California and Georgia have comprehensive grant and scholarship programs for four-year college as well, New York's is the nation's only truly universal program — with no requirements other than residency and income, and no caps on the amount of residents who can receive full tuition.

"With this budget, New York has the nation's first accessible college program. It's a different model," said Governor Andrew Cuomo Saturday in a statement. "Today, college is what high school was—it should always be an option even if you can't afford it."...

Alert, US Senator Bernie Sanders, it is happening!

The dragnet for Russian hackers is seeing results. They will probably run home to Mother Russia now to prevent extradition.

Ransomware? He was breaking the law and intimidating people for money. He is an international criminal regardless his activity.

April 10, 2017

...Pyotr Levashov (click here) was held in Barcelona on Friday and is remanded in custody.

Spanish police said Mr Levashov controlled a botnet called Kelihos, hacking information and installing malicious software in hundreds of thousands of computers.

The arrest was part of a "complex inquiry carried out in collaboration with the FBI", police said.

Mr Levashov is subject to a US international arrest warrant and a Spanish court will hear whether he can be extradited.

Much of his alleged activity involved ransomware - blocking a computer's access to certain information and demanding a ransom for its release.

Mr Levashov's wife Maria told Russian broadcaster RT that the arrest had been made in connection with allegations that Russians had hacked the US presidential election.

She said Spanish police had told her the arrest was in connection with "a virus which appears to have been created by my husband and is linked to [Donald] Trump's victory".

However, Agence France-Presse news agency quoted a source close to the matter in Washington as saying that Mr Levashov's detention was "not tied to anything involving allegations of Russian interference with the US election"....                  

No Palace intrigue here. Trump is rarely in the White House.

April 10, 2017
By Stephen A. Crockett, Jr.

...He’s been in office less than three months (click here) and he can’t stop vacationing; in fact, according to The Independent, President TrumPutin spent some $24 million vacationing in his first 10 weeks, which is about as much as President Barack Obama spent in two years....

...To put that in perspective, Obama averaged around $12.1 million a year during his presidency, or about $97 million during his two terms. If President TrumPutin keeps vacationing at this rate, he will surpass Obama’s eight-year total in a mere 10 months. But kids don’t need the Public Broadcasting Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency is being cut off at the knees. You would think, with this much vacationing, he’d at least have a decent tan....

No wonder he sends war machines into Syria; the PDB isn't making it to the golf course.

Indeed, Trump can't claim to be living in public housing. There aren't golf courses like that anywhere near public housing that I know of.

ANOTHER oil pipeline leak in Alabama. When is Bentley out of there?

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (click here) speaks to the media during a news conference, Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, in Hoover, Ala. Bentley issued a state of emergency in Alabama after a pipeline spill near Helena, Ala. Gas prices spiked and drivers found "out of service" bags covering pumps as the gas shortage in the South rolled into the work week, raising fears that the disruptions could become more widespread. 

Sorry, the article is today, the speech was September 19, 2016. I can't believe Bentley is still there. He must not have any job offers.

April 10, 2017
By Katie Serena and Sophia Tesfaye

More than one year after the Alabama Republican Assembly called for Republican Governor Robert Bentley’s resignation, impeachment hearings against the governor began on Monday in the Alabama State House.

The embattled 74-year-old GOP governor has pledged to stay in office as the impeachment hearings — the first of its kind in Alabama history — kick off this week.

“I have done nothing illegal,” Bentley said at a press conference at the capitol on Friday. “If the people want to know if I misused state resources, the answer is simply no, I have not.”...

No one looking for a lobbyist, huh? That is about the only thing anyone will remotely think Bentley is qualified for, but, the Republicans in DC will probably bolt the door to avoid him.

September 16, 2016

Residents of the communities (click here) nearest to the site of a Shelby County pipeline leak that has released more than 250,000 gallons of gas into the environment say they are worried about the potential for the gas to cause damage to their health and homes.
Hours after Gov. Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency for Alabama on Thursday, multiple neighbors of the William R. Ireland Sr. Cahaba River Wildlife Management Area told that they worry that the gas leak could have direct impacts on their lives.

Billy McDanal owns a house on a 3.5-acre piece of land less than 500 yards from the edge of the Wildlife Management Area in the Fox Valley Highlands subdivision in the small community of Maylene. He and his son have hunted, hiked and ridden four-wheelers throughout the management area and its surroundings for over a decade....

Then two weeks later.

Helena, Ala. - Alpharetta-based Colonial Pipeline (click here) has shut down its main line at a site in Alabama after an explosion.

Investigators say the explosion hit around 3:30 p.m. Monday after machinery hit the pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama.

One person died and at least five others were injured in the blast.

Channel 2's Aaron Diamant is as close to the scene of the blast as authorities will allow. He reports a massive response underway as crew work to put out the fire a day after the explosion.

Channel 2's Jim Strickland obtained internal information from Colonial Pipeline showing one pipeline has resumed operations as of midnight. That pipeline contains diesel, jet fuel and home heating oil....

That is why when I first looked at "Slate" and the title to the picture was state of emergency, I thought, AGAIN!

If Bentley resigns he may still be able to collect his pension and won't be homeless standing on the corner with a tin cup.

Another tragedy in San Bernardino. I am sorry to hear there are more teacher dead.

All to often Americans are watching reports of school children in a line following a police officer to be sure they are safe from someone with a lousy gun.

April 10, 2017

Two adults (click here) were killed and two students were injured Monday morning at an elementary school in San Bernardino in what officials are describing as a murder-suicide.

The students were taken to a local hospital, where they were listed in critical condition, said San Bernardino police Lt. Mike Madden. The male gunman, whose identity was not released, shot and killed a female instructor before he turned the weapon on himself and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police.

The teacher is believed to be the spouse or girlfriend of the gunman, according to San Bernardino Unified School District spokeswoman Maria Garcia.

“We believe this to be a murder-suicide,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan tweeted. “Happened in a class room. Two students have been transported to the hospital.”...

What the heck?

There are too many guns on the street and it is becoming the method of choice in idiot rampages like this.

...“I was in my class and my teacher was teaching us a lesson, and then I heard three gun shots. My teacher told us to get on the ground. Then we started hearing sirens,” the third-grader said....

Oh, yeah, he learned a lesson alright.

...Jaidyn said once he and his classmates were outside on a soccer field, they were planning to walk to Cajon High School, but he spotted his mother and she scooped him up and took him home....

...Zamudio, the father of a 6-year-old in second grade at North Park, said he lives nearby and heard helicopters overhead. He rushed to the school when his sister called saying there had been a school shooting.

I came because they said it was safer, more isolated. But I guess it’s not that way,” said Zamudio, who recently moved to the area from Highland....

Sincerest sympathies to those in Sweden who have perished and the loss of wonderful people in Egypt.

April 10, 2017

Members of Sweden's royal family and politicians attended the ceremony in Stockholm

Sweden's prime minister (click here) has told the families of the victims of Friday's truck attack they are not alone, after the country held a minute of silence.

Stefan Lofven said all of Sweden's thoughts were with them following a ceremony outside Stockholm City Hall, also attended by the mayor and most of the Swedish royal family.

Four people died and 15 were injured when a hijacked truck was driven into a department store in central Stockholm.

An Uzbek man, 39, is the main suspect.

Uzbeks have been involved with terror long before Daesh. Many Uzbeks practice the Muslim faith, but, to state this is unique because of Daesh is wrong. Daesh is an excuse for killing regardless of the history of such men carrying out atrocities.

Addressing those affected by the attack, Mr Lofven added: "You are not alone, we are thinking of you. All of Sweden stands with you."

Police have not released the identities of the victims, but said they were:...

Uzbeks were terrorists long before Daesh. The organization is "Hizb ut-Tahrir." The other and more common name for the organization is HT. HT had the corner of Calphate long before it became fashionable in Syria. Uzbeks are in prison because they are violent extremists. Their clerks are occasionally jailed as well. They have a bad attitude and they sometimes face religious oppression 

"Google Books" has a publication on line that is free and would help to understand HT for those that care to. "Guide to Islamist Movements" (click here)

If my memory services me well, I think Uzbeks were involved with the Beslan school. The so called mastermind was Chechen, Shamil Basayev. Basayev was an Islamist. He no longer breaths.

But, when I hear there are Uzbeks involved in any terror attack I think of HT long before Daesh.

12 February 2015
By William Scates Frances

Another day, (click here) another Islamic State (Isis) meme. This one is a rather well done mimicry of the pamphlet style of Hizb ut-Tahrir. Its title reads “Hizb ut-Ta’khir” – translated roughly as the “party of delay” – and its bold headline reads “Establishing the Khilafah since 1953”.
Beneath, the disclaimer reads: “I know, we have got nowhere so far, but we have lots of conferences and heaps of flags and are really good at sitting in cafes …”

This is not the first meme about Hizb ut-Tahrir to be spread around the oft deleted and resurrected pro-Isis Twitter handles. The Dawlah twittersphere (Dawlah meaning “state”, shorthand for Islamic State) is full of them, all of a similar theme, all targeting Hizb ut-Tahrir....

All the wackos have turned themselves loose in the name of demented faiths estranged from the sincerely devoted Muslims.

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis (click here for audio) condemned the terror attack on a Coptic church dedicated to St. George – Mar Girgis – in the city of Tanta, north of Cairo, which killed upward of two dozen people and injured nearly 60 others.

“[W]e pray for the victims claimed this [Sunday] morning,” Pope Francis said in remarks to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray the Angelus with him following Palm Sunday Mass, during which news of the attack - the first of two on Coptic targets Sunday, occurred.

“To my dear brother, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II,” Pope Francis continued,  “to the Coptic Church and to all the dear Egyptian nation I express my deep condolences. I pray for the dead and the injured, and I am close in spirit to the family members [of the deceased and injured] and to the entire community.”

Pope Francis went on to pray, “May the Lord convert the hearts of the people who are sowing terror, violence and death, and also the hearts of those who make and traffic weapons.”

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Cairo at the end of this month.

The United States should offer to assist with security for his visit to Egypt. He is a man of great faith. He openly loves the people and he will not be deterred. The USA needs to accept the fact when it bombs others there is retaliation within the Muslim world.

It wasn't only Christians that died on Palm Sunday; there were men of a different faith that perished as well.

April 10, 2017
By Bethan McKernan

55-year-old (click here) Nagwa Abdel-Aleem was one of three officers to lose their lives in Palm Sunday bombings claimed by Isis.

Egyptians have been paying their respects to a woman police officer who died when she stopped an Isis suicide bomber from entering a
Coptic Church in Alexandria.

At least 44 people were killed in two bombings targeting Egypt’s Christian minority on Sunday - the first at St George's Church in Tanta, about 60 miles (100 kilometres) north of Cairo, followed by the explosion during Mass at Alexandria’s Saint Mark’s Cathedral.

Nagwa Abdel-Aleem, 55, was guarding the entrance to the church when the suicide bomber attempted to pass her security check. Unable to proceed any further, he detonated the bomb at the main gate. It is thought the attacker's primary target was Pope Tawadros II, who had left the site a few minutes earlier.