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Thursday :: May 19, 2016

Paris to Cairo Flight Goes Missing, May Have Crashed In Sea

An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo dropped off the radar screen about 10 miles after entering Egyptian airspace. The Airbus 320 was over the Mediterranean Sea when it disappeared.

The plane lost contact about 3 hours and 40 minutes after leaving Charles de Gaulle airport, at 37,000 feet. There were 59 passengers and 10 crew aboard. (Other sources say 56 passengers, 3 security personnel and 7 crew members on board.)
EgyptAir is updating via its Twitter feed.

The Guardian is updating here.

The captain on flight has 6,000+ flying hours, including 2,000 on an A320.... there was no special cargo on the flight and no notification had been made to the captain of dangerous goods on board.

There was no distress call. So what happened to Flight MS804? Did it just fall into the sea or was it foul play? There have been several A320 incidents in recent years. But there was also Russia's Metrojet, an Airbus A321 that crashed in Sinai in October, 2015, killing 224 people. While Egypt disagreed, Russia and Western governments thought it was a bomb and ISIS claimed credit for it.

The head of Egypt's civil air agency says it probably crashed into the sea.

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Tuesday :: May 17, 2016

Vox: Bernie Too Far Behind to Win

It's primary day in Kentucky and Oregon. Bernie won't win, says Vox. It's not just the super-delegates. It's the overall numbers.

From the New York Times: Trump is borrowing from the Sanders playbook.

Hillary airs her first anti-Trump ad.

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Monday :: May 16, 2016

Monday Night Open Thread

Time for a new open thread.

I missed doing a Sunday Night TV and open thread last night -- mostly because I was busy watching Season 2 of the Swedish drama, 30 Degrees in February on Netflix. I only got through 1 episode of Season 1 -- it was just too depressing to watch. Then I read about Season 2 which just finished airing in Sweden, and started that. It was really good. I watched all the episodes in one day. This article does a good job of explaining the plot and characters. It's about some unhappy Swedes who move to Thailand to look for a better life. Lots of seemingly unconnected stories going on at once,n and it turned out to be very uplifting.

In welcome news from Telemundo today, Chema from last season's El Senor de los Cielos will be getting his own show in which he continues his role as a drug trafficker loosely based on Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. And Senor de los Cielos has been renewed for a 5th season. [More....]

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Mexican Court Supports Extradition of El Chapo to Texas

A judge in Mexico has found a U.S. extradition request for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the Western District of Texas (El Paso) legally sufficient for extradition. El Chapo was one of more than 20 people indicted on charges ranging from drugs (cocaine and marijuana) to money laundering, firearms, murder and Continuing Criminal Enterprise.

It's not alleged that El Chapo committed the murders, but that he ordered his sicarios to kidnap and murder. One murder was of a Sinaloa drug dealer in 2009 who claimed to have lost a load of 670 kilos of marijuana. He was kidnapped in the U.S. and his tortured body was later found in Mexico. Another was a groom who was kidnapped at his own wedding along with some others and later tortured and murdered.

Mexico's announcement is here (in Spanish).

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U.S. Supports Equipping and Training Libyan Troops

John Kerry announced today the U.S. supports training and equipping the military of the newly minted Libyan "unity" government so it can better fight ISIS.

Speaking in Vienna, Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States and other major nations would back the Libyan government's attempt to win an exemption from a United Nations arms embargo.

Kerry said it was "imperative" for the international community to support the 6-week-old government in Tripoli, which he called "the only legitimate one in Libya and which must now start to work.”

The State Department's press release is here. The new Libyan government is 6 weeks old and arrived in Libya by boat from Tunisia. [More...]

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Sunday :: May 15, 2016

Nevada Dems: Who Caused the Chaos?

Looks to me like Bernie Sanders' supporters caused the chaos at the Nevada Democratic convention.

At the point where Sanders' personal goals interfere with those of the Democratic Party (on whose ticket he is seeking a place), it's time for him to go. That time has come, in my view.

Goodnight Bernie, please come back in 2020, on some other party's ticket.

Update: Hillary ended up with 20 pledged delegates to Sanders' 15. Of the 8 superdelegates, Hillary got 4, Sanders 1 and 3 haven't said who they will support:

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Friday :: May 13, 2016

I'm on the bandwagon: Warren for VP

7 days ago, I tweeted:

Clinton camp might agree:

A longtime Clinton veteran said the campaign definitely noticed Warren’s attacks. “You want a running mate who can take the fight to the other side with relish,” the veteran said. “Geography does not matter, but attitude and talent and energy and bringing excitement to the campaign, Senator Warren does all that.”

I'm persuaded. Warren for VP.

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Wednesday :: May 11, 2016

El Chapo Update and Open Thread

Another court today granted temporary protection to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman-Loera. The case number is 398/2016 and the Court is the Juzgado Segundo de Distrito de Amparo en Materia Penal.

El Chapo also filed at least two other amparo requests. One is against extradition and the other is to return him to Altiplano.

El Chapo's lawyers say their extradition challenges will take between 1 and 3 years to resolve.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome. (The El Chapo news went down the rabbit hole, I just noticed it wasn't there and replaced it.)

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New Woody Allen Film Opens Cannes Festival

Can Mia Farrow's children please shut up already? I can't believe there's a new article with one of them blasting Woody Allen (and the media) for not giving his sister's decades-old allegations that have traveled around the globe several times as much attention as he thinks they deserve.

The launching pad for this new attack is Woody Allen's new film, Cafe Society, which is opening the Cannes Film Festival.

Woody Allen is a filmmaker, not an elected official. He's not our father. If you have a problem with your father, discuss it among yourselves, and if you think a crime was committed report it. If the authorities don't act on the allegations, leave us out of it. [More...]

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Biden Thinks He'd Have Made the Best President

Joe Biden told Good Morning America he thinks he would have made the best President (over Hillary and Bernie.) He says he wasn't ready to commit his full heart to the endeavor.

Thank goodness for small favors. Had he run, it would have been the first time I didn't vote in the Presidential race my entire adult life.

Crime warriors like Biden should not President. Only Rudy Giuliani would be worse than him in my view. (In the end, over the course of a career, Biden effected far more damage, so he may be worse than Giuliani.)

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W. Va: Sanders Wins But Gains Little

A now familiar (and tired) scenario repeats itself in West Virginia: Sanders wins the primary but gains next to nothing.

Sanders has won 19 states to Clinton's 23, but she is 94 percent of the way to winning the nomination — just 145 delegates short of the 2,383 required.

Clinton needs to win just 14 percent of the delegates and uncommitted superdelegates at stake in the remaining contests, and she remains on track to capture the nomination in early June.

I'm really starting to dislike Sanders now. Every day he seems older, more stooped and more out of touch to me. He's far outlived his usefulness as a promoter of progressive values. He is now being divisive and harmful to Democrats. Democrats need to focus their energy on beating Republicans in November. Sanders isn't letting them.

Trump didn't have a national infrastructure to compete in November. He's just started to create one. Hillary and the Democrats should be focused on increasing her lead over Trump, and expanding and energizing their voter base, not responding to Bernie Sanders.

Sanders is not a Democrat. He should come back in 2024 and run as a third party candidate. He'll only be 83.

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Monday :: May 09, 2016

El Chapo: Extradition Decision Moves to Foreign Affairs Dept

The potential extradition of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman-Loera is making headlines again. A few quick points:

1. The Mexican Judiciary announced today a judge in Mexico's Third District federal criminal court (Mexico City) recently ruled that the U.S. request for El Chapo's extradition to the Southern District of California (San Diego) is legally sufficient, meaning it complied with the treaty requirements. The ruling applies to the Fourth Superseding Indictment in the 1995 Otay Mesa tunnel case. The announcement (in Spanish) is here. [More...]

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Sunday :: May 08, 2016

Sunday Night TV and Open Thread

Happy Mothers Day, to all.

I think The Good Wife series finale is tonight. I'm afraid to click on news because I don't want the ending spoiled, so I'll just turn on the TV in six minutes and find out. I hope it's a good ending to this very uneven season, especially since I'm interrupting my re-reading of the novel La Reina del Sur to watch it, and I'm at a really good part. (I've seen the series on TV at least three times, but I wanted to check some things Geraldo said about the lead character, Teresa Mendoza, and didn't have time to watch 63 episodes yet again. I started thumbing through my copy of the book, and got immersed in it again, so I went back to page 1 and am reading the whole thing again. At least my copy is in English.)

This is an open thread, all topics welcome -- TV related or not. (Update below.)

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Saturday :: May 07, 2016

El Chapo Moved, Geraldo Interviews Kate

Geraldo Rivera's new interview with Kate del Castillo about El Chapo and Sean Penn is about to begin.

El Chapo was moved today to a prison close to the border. Mexico says it has nothing to do with extradition. It's just a security measure.

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Prince: Chronic Pain vs. Pain Pills, Big Difference

Lorraine Berry at Raw Story writes an excellent op-ed: Chronic Pain killed Prince, not pain pills.

Prince was not addicted to pain medication. Prince had a medical condition — chronic pain — which is criminally under-treated. It is also a medical problem that is more likely to be reacted to with stigma and condescension, even challenges about the patient’s moral character, or, if male, masculinity. Pain is still the condition that we treat by telling its sufferers to just “suck it up,” or “maintain a stiff upper lip,” or to stop acting like a “wuss.” And yet, when someone dies from complications of the disease — for that is what chronic pain is — we react with shock and pity and anger that the person died from a drug overdose. Some outlets make money off our confusion about overdose and medications and our fascination with drugs.

[More...]

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