World's longest bullet train service launched in China

sinidentidades:

China launched services Wednesday on the world’s longest high-speed rail route, the latest milestone in the country’s rapid and — sometimes troubled — super fast rail network.

The opening of the new 2,298-kilometre (1,425-mile) line between Beijing and Guangzhou means passengers will be whisked from the capital to the southern commercial hub in just eight hours, compared with the 22 hours previously required.

State broadcaster China Central Television showed the 9:00 am (0100 GMT) departure of the first train live from Beijing West Railway Station and its arrival later in Guangzhou at about 5:00 pm.

It also carried occasional live reports inside the train throughout the day, showing passengers toting cameras to apparently snap commemorative photos, as well as shots from outside as it sped through the countryside.

Another train departed Guangzhou for the capital at 10:00 am, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The train departing Beijing travelled at an average speed of 300 kilometres per hour and made stops in four cities — Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan on the Yangtze River and Changsha before arriving in Guangzhou.

State media have reported that December 26 was chosen to start passenger service on the Beijing-Guangzhou line to commemorate the birth in 1893 of revered Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

African migrants face 'impossible' life in Greece

sinidentidades:

Stuck in a small Athens flat all day to avoid being caught by police, earning another stint in prison and possibly a beating, 29-year-old Cameroonian Eugene Manaa rues the day he came to Greece.

“Life is not just difficult here. It’s impossible,” says Manaa, who recently spent two months in prison on the island of Crete for illegal entry into Greece.

“There’s no work, no money, no housing,” he tells AFP. “There are fifteen of us sharing a flat, we face police checks at every corner, we are subjected to racism and we cannot go to another country.”

Like many of his compatriots, Manaa is among tens of thousands of undocumented migrants caught in a vicious trap.

Lured to the European Union from war-torn homes in search of safety and a better future, they find themselves in Greece at the worst possible moment in the country’s postwar history.

— Hostile environment —

Near-bankruptcy, recession and soaring unemployment have created a hostile environment for migrants and refugees who are seen to be taking jobs from suffering, law-abiding, tax-paying Greeks.

For the past few months, the government has been rounding up migrants who cannot prove residency and placing them in detention centres for repatriation. Over 61,000 people have been inspected since August and over 4,000 have been detained according to police figures.

Ironically, the operation is code-named Xenios Zeus, named after supreme ancient Greek god Zeus, protector of guests.

“You go out to buy bread and you vanish for three months, it happened to me,” says Eric, an Ivorian just released from a detention centre in Corinth.

Worse still, gangs of racist thugs now roam Athens and other main cities by night, looking for foreigners to beat up.

Violent attacks on migrants have escalated after the political success of a neo-Nazi group, Golden Dawn, which in June won over 400,000 votes in national elections and sent 18 lawmakers to parliament.

Though police have been unable to find hard evidence linking Golden Dawn to the attacks, migrant groups say victim testimonies incriminating supporters of the ultra-nationalist group are irrefutable.

A Congolese man who declines to give his name takes out his cellphone to show a picture of a friend, lying on a hospital bed after being stabbed on the street in one such attack.

“Four people attacked him,” says Guy, a fellow Congolese from Kinshasa.

“They chased him down the street like a goat.”

“When I first arrived in Greece in 2011 there was not so much racism. Now it’s very hard,” says Guy, lowering his head.

The response of police authorities to these attacks is at best half-hearted. Rights groups say migrants are often discouraged from lodging complaints, and some officers are themselves suspected of beatings that go unpunished.

Out of a population of 10.9 million, Greece has around 1.5 million immigrants of whom around 600,000 lack residency papers. The largest group is Albanian but most come from Asian and African countries.

“A month ago, the other residents of the building who are Greek held a meeting and told us to leave,” says Eric.

“A few days later at the bakery, a woman spat at me, saying ‘Black man, why are you here, go back to your country’,” adds Eugene.

Many of these men would like nothing more than to leave Greece for other EU countries, where some have relatives and friends.

But hundreds are intercepted at the country’s borders, or by authorities in neighbouring countries and sent back to Greece.

“Some of these men have lost four, five consecutive air tickets after being intercepted at the airport,” says Father Maurice Joyeux, a Jesuit priest who holds mass for them every Sunday.

Unable to make a living, the small group face additional humiliation in having to ask their families and friends in Africa for help.

“I have to ask friends in Africa to send money so I can pay my rent,” says Manaa, reflecting on the bitter irony of his condition.

‘White Student Union’ founder compares club to neo-Nazi Greek party

sinidentidades:

The founder of a “White Students Union” at Towson University cited Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party as a model in an interview explaining his intentions to RT on Friday.

In the interview, Matthew Heimbach outlined his plans for the organization becoming a positive influence on the school, saying it was “kind of [like] the idea where you have political parties like Golden Dawn, which take care of Greek people first.”

After winning 18 seats in the Greek parliament for the first time in May, Golden Dawn’s leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, warned that “The time for fear has come for those who betrayed this homeland.” The party has subsequently been accused of engaging violent assaults against immigrants, a practice abetted by Greek police.

Heimbach obliquely referenced this practice, saying his group engaged in “safety patrols” looking for “people who have perpetrated violent crimes.”

The group will also bring in guest speakers to discuss “white identity” issues, Heimbach said, and protest policies like affirmative action, which he accused of being discriminatory against white students, and the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he said “sent our jobs overseas to third-world countries like Mexico that undercut our wages and put us out of work.”

Watch the interview, posted on YouTube on Friday by RT

"The so-called ‘right-to-work’ laws — they don’t have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money."

President Obama • During a speech in Michigan today, clearly laying out his views on a new law that will make Michigan the 24th “right to work” state in the country. Michigan’s House of Representatives is expected to review the bill on Tuesday, and Gov. Rick Snyder could sign it into law by the end of the day. Massive protests took place at the capital building, and union workers opposed to its passage say they’ll be back tomorrow. source (via shortformblog)

(via downlo)

"

The term “McJob” has come to epitomize all that’s wrong with the low-wage service industry jobs that are growing part of the U.S economy. “It beats flipping burgers,” the cliché goes, because no matter what your job might be, it’s assumed to be better than working in a fast-food restaurant.


Today in New York City, though, hundreds of workers at dozens of fast-food chain stores are walking out on strike, demanding better of those jobs. At McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, Taco Bell, and Domino’s Pizza locations, workers have been organizing, and today they launch their campaign. They want a raise, to $15-an-hour from their current near-minimum wage pay, and recognition for their independent union, the Fast Food Workers Committee.


Saavedra Jantuah, who works at a Burger King on 34th St. in Manhattan, explained that the $7.30 she makes per hour after two years on the job doesn’t pay her enough to support her son. “I’m doing it for him, I’m going on strike so I can bring my family together underneath one household,” she said. “A union can help us get to where we can make it in New York.”

"

McJobs Should Pay, Too: It’s Time for Fast-Food Workers To Get Living Wages - Sarah Jaffe - The Atlantic

Cannot even express how thrilled I am about this story. I’ll be on the picket lines with the workers in a couple of hours, with photos and more stories. Service jobs don’t have to be lousy jobs—respect and a decent wage would do a lot. 

(via differentclasswar)

Food workers need this SO desperately.

(via stfuconservatives)

(via stfuconservatives)

"Statistics from South Carolina highlight the lottery’s reliance on low earners: people in households earning under $40,000 made up 54 percent of frequent players, while constituting only 28 percent of the state’s population. Meanwhile, a PBS report earlier this year showed that, for America’s very poorest, the lottery is a heavy expenditure: Households that earn at most $13,000 a year spend 9 percent of their money on lottery tickets."

Natasha Lennard at Salon explains the lottery’s dark side.  (via theweekmagazine)

(Source: theweek.com, via downlo)

"I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries."

Marco Rubio, you guys. (via motherjones)

What I don’t understand is how people like this think parents AREN’T teaching their kids about faith and how their faith defines the creation of the universe. Like, is EVERY child a Christian? No. So, then, why should we be teaching something in school that is based on faith when there are so many different religions? Isn’t it just easier to teach the thing that is based in science and is an observable fact and leave the faith guidance up to parents?

Since when did a person’s religious education become something EVERYONE was responsible for teaching? Like, just be a parent and talk to your kid about your religious believes and stop whining about how it’s not taught in school. There’s a reason it’s not and it’s not because little Suzy is an oppressed Christian, it’s because there are other kids in her class who aren’t and ALL of them are entitled to receive a scientific education that doesn’t force them to learn about the book of genesis.

Goddamn.

(via rabblevolunteer)

(via rabblevolunteer-deactivated2013)

Motorola unveils a computer that straps onto your head

tacticalneuralimplant:

Imagine a computer that isn’t a rectangular box like the PC on your desk or the smartphone in your pocket. Nor is it driven by a touchscreen or mouse and keyboard.

Instead you wear it on your head and interact with it through voice commands.

This isn’t a fantasy look-ahead to what computers may be like in years to come.

It’s an actual product that is scheduled to go on sale in the New Year.

Just don’t expect an exciting name.

mothernaturenetwork:

 Spray-on clothes unveiled on chemistry lab catwalk 
As the fashion pack leave London for Milan, one designer and a professor of particle technology unveiled their own unique collection made in one afternoon with spray-on fabric. The pair, Manel Torres and Paul Luckham, are perfecting a fabric that can be sprayed onto skin and other surfaces to make clothes, medical bandages and even upholstery.
 
Torres, a visiting academic at Imperial College London, approached Luckham, an Imperial College professor of particle technology, to help him realize his dream of a spray-on garment that can be taken off, washed and worn again.
 
“Couture these days is almost dying,” Torres said. “I think here we have a good way of creating instant clothing — that is not very expensive.”
 
Torres demonstrated the process in a lab at Imperial College, spraying a T-shirt onto a model in a matter of minutes. An experience the model described as “nice, actually.”
 
“It’s like second skin,” she said.
 
The system uses short fibers, such as wool, linen or acrylic, mixed with polymers to bind them together. A solvent which evaporates on contact with a surface allows the fibers to be sprayed out of can as a liquid. The spray can be applied using an aerosol can or high pressure spray gun and the texture can be varied by changing the fibers and the numbers of layers of spray. The whole process also allows the material to be recycled.
 
“The beauty about this material is that…I will tear it into parts and I will dissolve it again with the same solvent and I will spray some of it in Rome in two days time,” Torres said.
 
Fashion is just one use of the technology and the pair have set up a company to explore other applications, such as medical patches and bandages, hygiene wipes, air fresheners and upholstery for furniture and cars. Luckham says the technology could see a change to the way we think about using fabric — for example a sterile duster could be sprayed onto a surface which needs to be cleaned.
 
“The advantage of having it in an aerosol can is that once the material is inside nothing can get in and so no germs can get inside,” he said.
 
The material can be hand-washed and Torres says more work is needed to ensure it can withstand a washing machine.

mothernaturenetwork:

Spray-on clothes unveiled on chemistry lab catwalk

As the fashion pack leave London for Milan, one designer and a professor of particle technology unveiled their own unique collection made in one afternoon with spray-on fabric. The pair, Manel Torres and Paul Luckham, are perfecting a fabric that can be sprayed onto skin and other surfaces to make clothes, medical bandages and even upholstery.
 
Torres, a visiting academic at Imperial College London, approached Luckham, an Imperial College professor of particle technology, to help him realize his dream of a spray-on garment that can be taken off, washed and worn again.
 
“Couture these days is almost dying,” Torres said. “I think here we have a good way of creating instant clothing — that is not very expensive.”
 
Torres demonstrated the process in a lab at Imperial College, spraying a T-shirt onto a model in a matter of minutes. An experience the model described as “nice, actually.”
 
“It’s like second skin,” she said.
 
The system uses short fibers, such as wool, linen or acrylic, mixed with polymers to bind them together. A solvent which evaporates on contact with a surface allows the fibers to be sprayed out of can as a liquid. The spray can be applied using an aerosol can or high pressure spray gun and the texture can be varied by changing the fibers and the numbers of layers of spray. The whole process also allows the material to be recycled.
 
“The beauty about this material is that…I will tear it into parts and I will dissolve it again with the same solvent and I will spray some of it in Rome in two days time,” Torres said.
 
Fashion is just one use of the technology and the pair have set up a company to explore other applications, such as medical patches and bandages, hygiene wipes, air fresheners and upholstery for furniture and cars. Luckham says the technology could see a change to the way we think about using fabric — for example a sterile duster could be sprayed onto a surface which needs to be cleaned.
 
“The advantage of having it in an aerosol can is that once the material is inside nothing can get in and so no germs can get inside,” he said.
 
The material can be hand-washed and Torres says more work is needed to ensure it can withstand a washing machine.

(via queensoucouyant)

theatlantic:

‘America Needs Romney’ Blimp Crash Lands in Florida

(via afternoonsnoozebutton)

"An 80-year-old woman who remembers when the United States helped defeat the Nazis faces charges for tearing down posters of President Barack Obama with a Hitler mustache."

80-Year-Old Woman Arrested for Taking Down Posters of Obama with Hitler Mustache | NBC 7 San Diego (via sarahlee310)

(via ausetkmt)

Uruguay takes 'war on drugs' in new direction: The state as dealer

sinidentidades:

Uruguay has long been at the vanguard of social reform in Latin America. Today, it is on the verge of passing into law one of its most radical ideas yet.

The Broad Front – the center-left coalition that holds power – is proposing a state monopoly over the production and distribution of marijuana, making Uruguay the first national government to sell cannabis directly to citizens. The government says the measure is necessary to combat rising drug-related crime, decrease health risks for users, and counter ineffectiveUS policies on drugs. But within Uruguay, interest groups have labeled the legislation totalitarian, while some international bodies argue it breaches global conventions.

“We’re putting this forward as international policy,” says Sebastian Sabini, president of the parliamentary commission created to debate the bill. “The war on drugs has failed. There are more consumers and more violence.”

Uruguay is often overshadowed by the far larger economies of its neighbors Brazil and Argentina. But the country has made a name for itself with a long history of pushing the envelope on social issues.

In 1918, Uruguay became one of the first countries in the region to officially separate the state from the Roman Catholic Church. It implemented South America’s oldest mandatory pension system in 1896, and a bill to decriminalize abortion is expected to pass later this year.

selchieproductions:

[image description: Paul Raffaele said a Suruwaha girl refused to shake his hand because she wanted to kill him. In fact, he was wearing so much sun cream the Suruwaha thought he had a skin disease.]
© Survival International
Australia’s Channel 7 network has been found guilty by the press regulator of serious violations of the broadcasting code, after screening a report so extreme it was branded ‘Freakshow TV’ by Survival International.
The report labelled Brazil’s Suruwaha tribe as child murderers; ‘Stone Age’ relics; and ‘one of the worst human rights violators in the world’.
Survival complained to Australia’s regulator ACMA after Channel 7 refused Survival’s request to issue a correction to its report, broadcast on its Sunday Night programme.
In a landmark judgment, ACMA has now ruled that the Channel was guilty of breaking its racism clause – ‘provoking intense dislike, serious contempt or severe ridicule against a person or group’ – believed to be the first time it has found a broadcaster guilty of this serious offence under the 2010 TV Code. It has also ruled that the Channel was guilty of broadcasting inaccurate material.
Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘This was one of the worst reports about contemporary tribal people we’d ever seen. The Indians were made out to be cruel and inhuman monsters, in the spirit of 19th century colonialist scorn for ‘primitive savages’.
‘What makes it even worse is that the Suruwaha have been under attack by fundamentalist missionaries for years, who are waging a campaign slandering them as child-murderers. The missionaries are behind a draft law to allow them to remove Indian children from their communities, something with horrifying echoes of the Stolen Generations scandal.
‘The Channel 7 crew told the Suruwaha they wanted to allow them to put their side of the story – but actually produced one of the most grotesquely distorted pictures of a tribal people we can remember. The programme even openly fundraised for the missionaries on its website. We hope this ruling will mean we’re less likely to see such dangerous rubbish on TV in the future.’
Channel 7 is seeking a judicial review of the ruling in Australia’s Federal Court.
Note to Editors:
Survival has written a set of ethical guidelines to help filmmakers work responsibly with tribal peoples. It is also using its Stamp it Out campaign to challenge racist depictions, however unwitting, in the media.
Previously, Survival has highlighted how British TV company Cicada Films was accused of irresponsibly endangering the lives of Peruvian Indians by allegedly provoking a flu epidemic amongst them; and how a TV series about an Amazonian tribe was labelled ‘staged, false, fabricated and distorted’ by experts.
Download a Survival briefing sheet on the proposed ‘Muwaji’s law’, the result of a campaign in Brazil by the fundamentalist missionary organization JOCUM (pdf, 70 KB). JOCUM are the Brazilian branch of the US organization Youth with a Mission.
Download a briefing sheet on what experts and Indians say about JOCUM’s infanticide allegations (pdf, 49 KB).
Download statements from Suruwaha Indians about the Channel 7 report (pdf, 33 KB).

selchieproductions:

[image description: Paul Raffaele said a Suruwaha girl refused to shake his hand because she wanted to kill him. In fact, he was wearing so much sun cream the Suruwaha thought he had a skin disease.]

© Survival International

Australia’s Channel 7 network has been found guilty by the press regulator of serious violations of the broadcasting code, after screening a report so extreme it was branded ‘Freakshow TV’ by Survival International.

The report labelled Brazil’s Suruwaha tribe as child murderers; ‘Stone Age’ relics; and ‘one of the worst human rights violators in the world’.

Survival complained to Australia’s regulator ACMA after Channel 7 refused Survival’s request to issue a correction to its report, broadcast on its Sunday Night programme.

In a landmark judgment, ACMA has now ruled that the Channel was guilty of breaking its racism clause – ‘provoking intense dislike, serious contempt or severe ridicule against a person or group’ – believed to be the first time it has found a broadcaster guilty of this serious offence under the 2010 TV Code. It has also ruled that the Channel was guilty of broadcasting inaccurate material.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘This was one of the worst reports about contemporary tribal people we’d ever seen. The Indians were made out to be cruel and inhuman monsters, in the spirit of 19th century colonialist scorn for ‘primitive savages’.

‘What makes it even worse is that the Suruwaha have been under attack by fundamentalist missionaries for years, who are waging a campaign slandering them as child-murderers. The missionaries are behind a draft law to allow them to remove Indian children from their communities, something with horrifying echoes of the Stolen Generations scandal.

‘The Channel 7 crew told the Suruwaha they wanted to allow them to put their side of the story – but actually produced one of the most grotesquely distorted pictures of a tribal people we can remember. The programme even openly fundraised for the missionaries on its website. We hope this ruling will mean we’re less likely to see such dangerous rubbish on TV in the future.’

Channel 7 is seeking a judicial review of the ruling in Australia’s Federal Court.

Note to Editors:

  • Survival has written a set of ethical guidelines to help filmmakers work responsibly with tribal peoples. It is also using its Stamp it Out campaign to challenge racist depictions, however unwitting, in the media.

Signal boost: PhD scholarship for indigenous Australian student to study at Oxford or Cambridge University

selchieproductions:

Are you an Indigenous student preparing for post-graduate studies at Oxford or Cambridge in 2013?

Each year the Charlie Perkins Scholarship Trust offers two scholarships for Indigenous post-graduates to study for up to three years at either Oxford or Cambridge universities in the United Kingdom.

Applications for the 2013 scholarship round are now open.

To be considered for the scholarship, applicants must have applied for a course at Oxford and/or Cambridge. Applicants must also submit:

  • a cover letter
  • a curriculum vitae
  • an official transcript of university results
  • confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent
  • details for two academic referees (email and telephone numbers)

 Applications close Friday, 2 November 2012.

Find out more

(via share-biyuti)

ellobofilipino:

iwriteasiwrite:


Archaeologists have unearthed remnants of what they believe is a 1,000-year-old village on a jungle-covered mountaintop in the Philippines with limestone coffins of a type never before found in this Southeast Asian nation, officials said Thursday….
The discovery of the rectangular tombs, which were carved into limestone outcrops jutting from the forest ground, is important because it is the first indication that Filipinos at that time practiced a more advanced burial ritual than previously thought and that they used metal tools to carve the coffins.
 - Philippine Tomb Discovery At 1,000-Year-Old Village Show Unexpected Advances

This is some heady archaeological stuff. I mean, just absolutely amazing. I hope this gets a lot of play in our media, this needs to be prominently touted.
Discoveries like this basically rewrite what we understand about our archipelagic history. They are important in uncovering who we are and where we came from. The fact that there were hitherto unknown techniques in use is astonishing. Looking forward to the published study of the find.
The exciting part is, there is much more to be find throughout the country. We are an archaeological treasure trove, we just need the institutional support to explore.
The sad part of the story is the mention that most of our discovered archaeological sites are being destroyed by grave robbers and looters. These sites form an integral part of our national patrimony, they belong to every Filipino and help deepen our understanding of our heritage.
And it’s just fucking cool.

Whoah! All the Philippine history learned through the years will have to be unlearned and updated. I agree, this will radically change our understanding of our past, particularly the pre-Spanish period.
This reminds me of a long discussion back then on what parts of the Philippines might have been before the Spanish expeditions came. Sadly though, I cannot seem to find those exchanges in my archives anymore.
Anyway, like what we agreed on, historical records from our neighboring countries might reinforce knowledge derived from digs like this. But, before the research comes the funding… I wonder if there are Congressmen or Senators willing to spend on Philippine history…

ellobofilipino:

iwriteasiwrite:

Archaeologists have unearthed remnants of what they believe is a 1,000-year-old village on a jungle-covered mountaintop in the Philippines with limestone coffins of a type never before found in this Southeast Asian nation, officials said Thursday….

The discovery of the rectangular tombs, which were carved into limestone outcrops jutting from the forest ground, is important because it is the first indication that Filipinos at that time practiced a more advanced burial ritual than previously thought and that they used metal tools to carve the coffins.

 - Philippine Tomb Discovery At 1,000-Year-Old Village Show Unexpected Advances

This is some heady archaeological stuff. I mean, just absolutely amazing. I hope this gets a lot of play in our media, this needs to be prominently touted.

Discoveries like this basically rewrite what we understand about our archipelagic history. They are important in uncovering who we are and where we came from. The fact that there were hitherto unknown techniques in use is astonishing. Looking forward to the published study of the find.

The exciting part is, there is much more to be find throughout the country. We are an archaeological treasure trove, we just need the institutional support to explore.

The sad part of the story is the mention that most of our discovered archaeological sites are being destroyed by grave robbers and looters. These sites form an integral part of our national patrimony, they belong to every Filipino and help deepen our understanding of our heritage.

And it’s just fucking cool.

Whoah! All the Philippine history learned through the years will have to be unlearned and updated. I agree, this will radically change our understanding of our past, particularly the pre-Spanish period.

This reminds me of a long discussion back then on what parts of the Philippines might have been before the Spanish expeditions came. Sadly though, I cannot seem to find those exchanges in my archives anymore.

Anyway, like what we agreed on, historical records from our neighboring countries might reinforce knowledge derived from digs like this. But, before the research comes the funding… I wonder if there are Congressmen or Senators willing to spend on Philippine history…

(via pinoy-culture)