Oil seen flowing onshore in Jamaica (Source upi.com)
Oil was found flowing naturally for the first time ever onshore in Jamaica at two locations in what could be a door opener in the Caribbean, companies said. Two companies, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica and CGG GeoConsulting, said oil was found flowing at two sites during petroleum field work. “This significant find marks the first documented occurrence of ‘live’, or flowing, oil from onshore Jamaica and will be of particular interest to oil explorationists focused on Central America and the Caribbean,” they said in a joint statement. Jamaica is considered frontier territory for oil and gas explorers. Tullow Oil, a British company that focuses in part on pioneer opportunities, has a licensethere from 2014 in shallow waters on the south of the island nation.
According to Tullow, oil and natural gas were seen in 10 of the eleven onshore and offshore wells drilled in Jamaica to date. The company said it was still reviewing seismic data that’s used to get a better understanding of the reserve potential. In November, the company sold off a 20 percent stake in its full-operating interest in a license area in Jamaica, but secured a license extension so new seismic surveys could begin in April. “The discovery of these seeps indicates the presence of working petroleum systems on the island that are generating and expelling liquid hydrocarbons to the surface,” CGG GeoConsulting and the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica announced.
Coca-Cola and Nestlé to Acquire Private Ownership of the Largest Reserve of Water in South America (Source truththeory.com)
Private companies such as Coca-Cola and Nestlé are allegedly in the process of acquiring private ownership of the largest reserve of water, known as the Guarani Aquifer, in South America. The aquifer is located beneath the surface of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay and is the second largest-known aquifer system in the world. The major transnational conglomerates are “striding forward” with their negotiations to privatize the aquifer system. Meetings have already been reserved with authorities of the Brazil’s Temer government to outline procedures required for private companies to exploit the water sources. The concession contracts would last more than 100 years. This issue extends beyond South America. Humanity will be affected by the decision to privatize the second-largest aquifer system in the world. Essentially, the corporations are profiting off a natural resource that should be freely available to all. Under the Guarani Aquifer Project’s Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Project, known as ANA’s Guarani Aquifer Project (SAG), the aquifer would be managed and preserved for present and future generations. Following the conservatives’ victory in Argentina and the coup d’état, pressed for by the ultra right in Paraguay and Brazil, only Uruguay was left to vote on the privatization of the aquifer. Approximately two-thirds (1.2 million km²) of the reserve is located in Brazilian territory. Future generations will ultimately suffer if this deal goes through, which is why human rights organizations around the world are getting involved.
CHINA IS BUILDING LASER 10 TRILLION TIMES STRONGER THAN THE SUN THAT COULD TEAR SPACE (Source themindunleashed.com) Chinese scientists are reportedly at work constructing a mega-laser that is so powerful, it could literally tear apart empty space. How can a laser tear apart the absence of matter? Physicists hailing out of Shanghai, China are building what they refer to as a “Station of Extreme Light,” a device that they claim could be fully functional as early as 2023, about 5 years from now. The Station of Extreme Light appears to be a CERN-level project that could create temperature extremes not typically found on planet Earth. They say the technology it utilizes could one day be used to conduct a particle accelerator similiar to CERN. (The European Organization for Nuclear Research)
Their stated goal is to create a laser so incredibly powerful, it can generate 100-petawatt laser pulses. That is actually 100 million billion watts. For some context, that is 10,000 times the power of the entire Earth’s electrical grids combined. What could even power such a thing?
These incomprehensibly powerful blasts of laser could be pointed at obscenely precise spots measuring a mere three micrometers across. That is approximately two thousand times less than the standard pencil thickness. What would the purpose of this laser be? If this is true, that means the scientists could strike the achievement of a laser intensity 10 trillion trillion times greater than the intensity of sunlight striking earth: 10 trillion trillion. According to the Science Mag journal which reports the discovery, the laser would be so powerful it could “rip apart empty space.” How can the absence of matter be ripped open? That’s a mind pretzel. Ripping empty space would apparently happen via achieving a thing known as “breaking the vacuum,” in which electrons are ripped away from their antimatter counterparts known as positrons, in space’s empty vacuum. It is currently possible to convert matter into massive amounts of light and heat, as nuclear weapons aptly demonstrate. These scientists want to reverse that process and almost create energy out of nothing. Chinese physicist Ruxin Li is claiming his laser can do it. “That would be very exciting. It would mean you could generate something from nothing,”he said.
America’s Military Is Not Enough (Source thetrumpet.com)
China has developed and tested a new ballistic missile system that could hit America, Japan and India. United States intelligence assessments of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) show that the new DF-17 “hypersonic” weapon may even be able to avoid the American-made THAAD missile-defense system, according to a December 2017 article by Tokyo-based news site, the Diplomat. The DF-17 is a new missile delivery method known as a “hypersonic glide vehicle” (HGV). Minnie Chan of the South China Morning Post describes the HGVs as “unmanned, rocket-launched, maneuverable aircraft that glide and ‘skip’ through the Earth’s atmosphere at incredibly fast speeds. Compared to conventional ballistic systems, HGV warheads can travel at much higher speeds, lower altitudes and less-trackable trajectories. The approach leaves defense systems less time to intercept the warhead before it drops its payload.”
The new HGV missile systems has U.S. military officials worried. On February 14, the head of the U.S. military Pacific Command, Adm. Harry Harris, told lawmakers: “China’s hypersonic weapons development outpaces ours … we’re falling behind.” America’s military elite are growing worried about this kind of foreign competition. Cyberwarfare is at the forefront of this technological race. Forward Observer, a company specializing in threat intelligence and trend analysis, believes the U.S. military is dangerously unprepared and incapable of dealing with cyberattacks in the event of war with China or Russia. “Defense Department officials are concerned about the devastating impacts that electronic and cyberwarfare could create for the U.S. Navy,” it wrote. “The ability to manipulate communications, propulsion or weapons systems of a ship through a cyber- or electronic-attack is a low-cost, low-risk alternative to fighting it conventionally, and it’s this vulnerability that potential adversaries seek to exploit.
Florida suspect said he heard voices telling him to carry out massacre, law enforcement sources say (Source ABC News)
The 19-year-old who is accused of killing 17 people and injuring dozens more when he opened fire on a South Florida high school Wednesday afternoon told investigators that he heard voices in his head, giving him instructions on what to do to conduct the attack, law enforcement sources told ABC News. The voices were described as “demons” by law enforcement sources. An attorney for the family who had taken Cruz in after his adoptive mother died said he was “depressed” following her death but had been going to therapy, while a student who participated in Junior ROTC with Cruz described him as a “psycho” who was enthusiastic about weapons. Cruz was apprehended by police more than an hour after he was dropped off on campus by an Uber, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said in a press conference. Cruz attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school from Jan. 13, 2016, to Feb. 8, 2017, according to school records obtained by ABC Miami affiliate WPLG. Cruz had bought the weapon allegedly used on the crime just three days after his last day attending the school, on Feb. 11, and picked it up one week later on Feb. 18, 2017, following a background check, an attorney for the gun store owner said in a statement. An assault involving Cruz occurred on Jan. 19, 2017, the records show. On that same day, he was suspended for one day and a threat assessment was ordered for him. He had been suspended for two days one month earlier. It is unclear what the result of the threat assessment was or whether one was even conducted. School officials declined to answer questions about Cruz’s record, citing privacy rules.
Slave owner compensation was still being paid off by British taxpayers in 2015 (Source RT)
Bristol taxpayers in 2015 were still paying off debt borrowed by the government to “compensate” slave owners in 1833, the Treasury has revealed. The revelations show that the £20 million (US$28 million) the government spent to reimburse the owners of slaves – who themselves were some of Britain’s richest businessmen – took the taxpayer 182 years to pay off. The descendants of slaves were never compensated, but it appears some would have been paying to compensation slave owners. The information was revealed by the Treasury under a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, the Bristol Post reports. It added an infographic which said: “Did you know? In 1833, Britain used £20 million, 40 percent of its national budget, to buy freedom for all slaves in the Empire. “The amount of money borrowed for the Slavery Abolition Act was so large that it wasn’t paid off until 2015. Which means living British citizens helped pay to end the slave trade.” The tweet was quickly deleted after it sparked a backlash. Historian David Olusoga, who has written about Bristol’s role in the slave trade, was one of several experts who questioned the tone of the Treasury’s tweet. “The real question is why anyone thought this was ok?” he said, according to the newspaper. “I really do think we’re getting better at accepting the UK’s role in slavery and the slave trade, but things like this make me question my optimism. “Also, just to compound the general level of ignorance, when HM Treasury reduce the complex story of the abolition of slavery to one of their fun ‘Friday Facts’ they use an irrelevant image of the slave trade – which was abolished three decades earlier.” Bristol City councilor Cleo Lake said she was outraged. “I want my money back,” she tweeted. “I’m outraged. This messaging is so loaded.” When the UK government abolished slavery and banned people from owning slaves in Britain and on Britain’s colonies anywhere in the world, those slave owners received compensation. Bristol had the highest concentration of people in Britain who owned slaves in 1833 outside of London. The slaves themselves received nothing, and had to continue working for their masters for a number of years before they could consider being free.
China and Russia ‘preparing for war with West’ (Source msn.com) China and Russia could soon match the military might of the US and her allies – and the decline of western supremacy could lead to all-out war. Those are the conclusions of a report by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), which says that although war between the great powers is not inevitable, Washington, Moscow and Beijing are now preparing for the possibility. The IISS’s annual Military Balance 2018 report sets out at length how China’s leadership has stepped up its military programme in recent years, with huge spending on new technology that could give it an advantage on land, sea and air.
The opening of China’s first overseas military base in Djibouti will enable it to carry out missions over vast distances, and has been viewed as a major statement of intent.
While the pace of militarisation is slower in Russia, partly due to a shortage of funding and industrial capacity, the country is “benefiting from experience of real life combat in Syria and Ukraine and has shown extensive capabilities in the field of hybrid warfare including cyber attacks”, says The Independent. The Foreign Office said last night that the Russian military was reponsible for the NotPetya cyber attack on Ukraine last year. In a bid to combat the growing threat posed by Russia and China, reports CNN, the US Pentagon is asking for a boost in military spending for 2019, requesting Congress approve a budget of $686bn – one of the largest in US history.
Van Jones: ‘Black Panther’ is a revelation (Source CNN)
Every once in a while, a movie arrives right on time.
Earlier this year President Trump insulted people of African heritage when he referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries.” His words were an affront to countless Americans and people across the world; they flew in the face of American values of respect for diversity and opening doors of opportunity to all. But while the White House is putting down people of African descent, Hollywood is lifting us up — most spectacularly through the release of Disney-Marvel’s new movie, “Black Panther.” “Black Panther” is a long-awaited film. It brings to life a technologically advanced, culturally rich mecca of black excellence. It takes place in Wakanda — a fictional, fully autonomous African nation, rich in resources and innovation. The nation is home to a brilliant ecosystem of black technologists. It is a sight to behold. A cinematic vision of black genius, accomplishment and prosperity that is rarely portrayed. And one I am so excited to witness. I had the privilege of watching the film while seated in front of Denzel Washington, beside Whoopi Goldberg and in the company of almost every major black actor and celebrity on the east coast: Chris Rock, Gayle King, Tyra Banks, Robin Roberts and more. Denzel was moved to tears by the movie, said he felt like a proud father, and predicted it would make a billion dollars.
This film is a godsend that will lift the self-esteem of black children in the US and around the world for a long time. It shifts the understanding of where the power of African-descended people can come from. It underscores the fact that such power, in the new century, will come from access to technology more than any other source, and will inspire young people of color to pursue technology as a possible career path. The film also manages to be radically pro-woman without being in the least bit anti-male. And will therefore give young women and men a reason to believe in themselves and their own capacity.
Proposed bill would make marijuana legal in entire state of Georgia (Source cbs46.com)
There is a new proposal to legalize marijuana in Georgia for the entire state. Right now, the bill is going through the State Senate. When it comes to marijuana, we know attitudes are changing. In October, Atlanta decriminalized small amounts of marijuana in the city, and DeKalb County commissioners announced in January that they are doing the same.
We spoke to a State Senator about the need legalize it statewide. “To get rid of the gangs, to get rid of the organized crime unit, that is the only way to do it is to do it state +96wide,” said State Senator Curt Thompson of Norcross. Thompson and five other Democratic Senators from across the state are backing Senate Bill 614. It would legalize marijuana in the state of Georgia, and regulate the proceeds from its sale, allowing anyone over the age of 21 to purchase small amounts for personal use. “That is real money that we are simply leaving on the table,” said Thompson. The potential economic impact would be huge.
A HOUSTON COMPANY DUMPED CANCER-CAUSING CHEMICALS INTO A NEIGHBORHOOD STORM DRAIN (Source QUARTZ) Houston is home to the largest petrochemical complex in the US. Often nestled within residential neighborhoods, chemical plants, oil refineries, and the myriad businesses that support them often operate with little oversight. Now one, Wright Containers—a company that deals in used industrial plastic containers meant to hold 330 gallons of hazardous liquid at a time—is facing felony charges that could land its managers in prison for 10 years. Prosecutors say they hope the case will spark a new era of making companies accountable for environmental crimes in a city where that’s unusual, the Houston Chronicle reports. Wright Containers is accused of instructing employees to dump the residual toxic chemicals they routinely handled down a storm drain. The company stacked their large plastic containers, known as “totes,” around the storm drain to conceal it from public view, prosecutors said. It went unnoticed for months. But employees who were injured by exposure to the chemicals became whistleblowers, alerting authorities. The site is a half-mile from an elementary school, three-quarters of a mile from a second elementary school, and a mile from a junior high. The Chronicle notes that it is also in close proximity to hundreds of homes. When police showed up, they smelled noxious fumes and “felt more nauseous the closer they got to the drain,” Alex Forrest, chief of the environmental crimes division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, told the Chronicle. “Some of the chemicals would burn the skin off your bones,” he said. On Feb. 2, the company was indicted on felony charges in a county court. The Chronicle called the indictment “rare” in a city in which “materials facilities have been allowed to flourish in the city’s unzoned sprawl,” where “catching chemical waste dumpers — or merely getting an inventory of all the haz-mat sites around town — has proven difficult for the Houston Fire Department.” The chemicals dumped included benzene—which causes cancer in humans—along with dichloromethane, ethylbenzene and toluene, which are all either respiratory irritants, hormone disruptors, or probable carcinogens. The storm drain was connected to Simms Bayou, which flows into Galveston Bay.
Houston is notorious for its many toxic, federal Superfund sites, oil refineries, and industrial complexes, many of which are clustered near Latino or low-income neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods were in the spotlight when Hurricane Harvey hit, flooding waste sites and causing refineries to far exceed their permitted air pollution limits, releasing millions of pounds of pollutants into the air and water. And those communities have long faced “more exposure to air toxics than almost anywhere in the country,” according to Daniel Cohan, associate professor of environmental engineering at Rice University, who specializes in air pollution.