From the News Wires

Palestinian Activist Rasmea Odeh Found Guilty of Immigration Fraud

Race Wire - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 11:30am

On Monday, a Detroit jury deliberated for a scant couple of hours before finding Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh guilty of immigration fraud. Prosecutors argued that Odeh falsified information on an immigration application, failing to notify authorities that she'd been convicted by an Israeli military court for participating in a 1969 bombing. For her conviction, Odeh faces 10 years in prison, revocation of her U.S. citizenship and deportation, the Detroit Free Press reported.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Odeh told supporters outside of the Detroit courthouse, "We can't find the justice ... in this court. Maybe in another place, there is justice in this world. We will find it. We will find the justice."

Palestinian-American activists and Odeh's supporters argued that her case was politically motivated and the charges were a pretext to pursue a prominent activist fighting for Palestinian liberation. Odeh, who's lived in the U.S. since 1995 and who became a citizen in 2004, was arrested in October 2013 for withholding information on a citizenship application. However, her supporters said, she was convicted by Israeli military courts that have little use for fair justice. While in Israeli custody her confession was extracted after she was subjected to 25 days of torture and sexual assault, her supporters said. According to a 2013 U.S. State Department report (PDF), Israeli military courts have a conviction rate of more than 99 percent for Palestinians. Odeh maintains that she was not involved in the 1969 attack, even though opponents argue a film confirms her involvement, the Detroit Free Press reported. 

Judge Gershwin Drain barred Odeh's testimony about her conviction from being raised before jurors. As a result, Odeh's defense team was cut off from a key part of their defense, and instead argued that Odeh did not knowingly lie to immigration investigators, according to Electronic Intifada, which reports from a Palestinian perspective. 

Odeh has vowed to appeal the verdict.

Dot Earth Blog: ‘Song From the Forest’ Charts a Musicologist’s Love Affair With Pygmy Music and Culture

NY Times Environmental News - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 9:36am
A mesmerizing film explores how pygmy music lured an American to the Congo and pygmy culture held him there.

Dot Earth Blog: How ‘Solution Aversion’ and Global Warming Prescriptions Polarize the Climate Debate

NY Times Environmental News - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 9:03am
A tendency of climate campaigners to bundle science and preferred solutions runs up against “solution aversion,” a study finds

The Democrats' favorite denier.

Climate Change News (Offsite) - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 6:00am
Jim Inhofe isn’t a scientist — and when it comes to climate change, he doesn’t give a damn. Now that he’s about to take charge of the committee that oversees environmental policy, Democrats aspire to make Inhofe the face of GOP know-nothingism.

Young voters worry more about climate change. Where were they during the election?

Climate Change News (Offsite) - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 6:00am
Just before last week's election, President Obama made a special trip to Detroit to chide Republicans. They don't believe in climate change, do believe in abortion laws and oppose a higher minimum wage, he said to a cheering crowd.

Trio of Detroit neighborhoods account for chunk of greenhouse gas emissions from buildings – U-M study.

Climate Change News (Offsite) - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 6:00am
University of Michigan students submitted to the Detroit mayor's office a report on Detroit greenhouse gas emissions, which found that two-thirds of emissions generated there came from buildings in the city's southwest, midtown and downtown areas.

UN envoy: Climate change is a human rights issue.

Climate Change News (Offsite) - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 6:00am
The face of climate change is no longer a polar bear clinging to an iceberg. It is people in developing countries starving from drought and being forced to move off the islands of their ancestors, said Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and current special envoy on climate change to the U.N.

Observatory: A New Home for a Secretive Songbird

NY Times Environmental News - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 2:07pm
Swainson’s warbler — a secretive, rarely seen songbird that nests in the swamplands of the southeastern United States — may no longer be so hard to find. Researchers report that the bird has found a new safe haven.

Preserving an Accident, the Salton Sea in California, for the Good of Nature

NY Times Environmental News - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 1:51pm
The Salton Sea, a briny lake created by a mismanaged effort to divert a river, has become a key habitat for migrating birds and is now in danger of drying out.

The Appraisal: Where Audubon Found Repose, Sprayed-On Specimens Alight

NY Times Environmental News - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 9:32am
The Manhattan murals, a modern twist on John James Audubon’s prints, have helped the Audubon Society raise awareness about birds threatened by climate change.

By Degrees: Denmark Aims for 100 Percent Renewable Energy

NY Times Environmental News - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 9:09am
Denmark is pursuing the world’s most ambitious policy against climate change, but conventional electricity remains a problematic part of the mix.

Trapped populations – Hostages of climate change.

Climate Change News (Offsite) - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 6:00am
Climate change is projected by many scientists to bring with it a range of calamities – from widespread floods, to prolonged heatwaves and slowly but relentlessly rising seas – taking the heaviest toll on those already most vulnerable.

Fuel-divestment movement grows on Boston campuses.

Climate Change News (Offsite) - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 6:00am
Professors at Boston-area colleges are adding their voices to a student-led movement that is pressing higher education institutions to shed investments in fossil fuel companies.

Texas group asks court to halt fracking.

Climate Change News (Offsite) - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 6:00am
A north Texas city that sits atop a natural gas reserve is preparing for an extended court battle after voters made it the first in the state to ban further hydraulic fracturing - a fight that cities nationwide considering similar laws will likely be watching closely.

Appetite for Africa’s untapped riches grows despite many hazards.

Climate Change News (Offsite) - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 6:00am
It is Africa’s great paradox: the continent is home to a wealth of natural resources and most of the world’s poorest countries.

Hyundai and Kia fined for misreporting mpg and greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Change News (Offsite) - Sun, 11/09/2014 - 6:00am
The EPA and Justice Department fined Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia for under-reporting their fleets’ greenhouse gas emissions in violation of the Clean Air Act.

Uncommon tactics worked for Denton activists.

Climate Change News (Offsite) - Sat, 11/08/2014 - 6:00am
In the emotionally charged run-up to their lopsided victory on Tuesday, political organizers for Frack Free Denton and their allies employed some weird weaponry against their well-financed oil and gas industry adversaries. Their arsenal included puppet shows, flash mob improvisational dances and coffin races.

Climate walkers' post-Yolanda message: make big polluters liable.

Climate Change News (Offsite) - Sat, 11/08/2014 - 6:00am
As the Philippines marked the first anniversary of the super typhoon historic landfall in Tacloban City, over 500 Filipinos joined a solidarity event demanding climate justice, vowing to hold big polluters accountable for climate change impacts.

Dot Earth Blog: The ‘Super El Niño’ Forecast Fadeout

NY Times Environmental News - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 5:03pm
Early-year warnings of a “super El Nino” are history.

Jobless Rates Drop to Six-Year Low, Obama Writes to Khamenei, Stevie Wonder on Tour

Race Wire - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 2:17pm

Here's what I'm reading up on this morning:

  • Rather than handling its own ridiculous problem of online harassment, Twitter is collaborating Women Action Media, a third party, to create yet another tool to report such harassment. It's unclear to me at this point who will own what user information and how it may be used in the future. 
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