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ANOTHER colonial scheme to fleece foreigners and gin up bribes for locals

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RP
The Republic of Panama and its maritime exclusive economic zones. While our territorial seas extend only 12 miles from the coasts, our oceanic economic zones go out 200 miles, except where they run into other countries’ zones and then the boundaries get negotiated. Now we have a bitcoin hustler announcing that he will establish a floating city in the Gulf of Panama, without regard to any Panamanian authority. Two things that are alarming: the lack of an immediate Panamanian government warning; and those Americans who live here and think it’s a good idea.

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money than brains

by Eric Jackson

Gold stock swindles. Own a miracle fruit plantation, not with title to the land but with shares in a company that you don’t control and which doesn’t own the land. An investment fund run by a former right-wing militia radio personality who did time for fraud in Colorado. Multi-level marketing with a former Klansman who did time for a plot to invade a small Caribbean country. Your very own chain of offshore shell companies organized by the most politically connected of lawyers. Ponzi schemes hiding behind names and logos similar to those of  the rich and famous. Welcome to Panama.

The idea of setting up a cruise ship and satellite boats as a floating city in the Gulf of Panama that claims immunity from Panamanian sovereignty? It may be looked at as just another gringo fraud, and seen as not the Public Ministry’s concern if only foreigners are defrauded. BUT…

1. If the European Union has financial sanctions against Panama NOW, consider what happens to Panama if we have this crypto-currency city that declares itself beyond all nations’ laws in our midst. It might trump the Panama Papers furor.

2. There is a new colonial mentality in Panama, mostly among gringos but with some South Africans, Europeans, Canadians and others who buy into it. How many people in Coronado think it unimportant that they learn Spanish but important to teach English to local kids? One example.

3. “Sovereign citizens,” “patriot” militia organizers, the religious right colonization attempt by Rick Wiles followers — lots of gringos have come over the years who have absolute contempt for Panamanian sovereignty. If Trump loses a new batch says it’s coming here.

4. There has been a gringo community here since the 1840s, with good and bad moments and a great colonial experiment that united Panamanians around ending it. Foreign residents of the US persuasion and the whole range of panagringo dual citizens — we don’t need this.

A fellow journalist and one-time co-defendant weighs in from The Netherlands.

 

Editor’s note: As Okke can also tell you, these fraud artists also corrupt the press, or try to do so. So much of what some of my detractors “know” about me is disinformation spread by a guy who had a website and was quite the right-wing rival until about five years ago he fled Panama when prosecutors started asking questions about a pump and dump stock swindle for which he was the shill. A more subtle but just as serious form of corrupting the press is the criminal element’s penchant for filing criminal defamation charges and civil lawsuits, which in turn causes the corporate mainstream media to mostly ignore the national sport of fraud, especially when practiced by foreigners here.

The case in which Okke and were co-defendants? The accuser is out of prison now, and into a new crypto-currency scheme. Back then, on the run from a more garden-variety swindle in Atlanta, he passed through Costa Rica to promote an island “kingdom” with no drug laws or taxes — in Tico territory — for which our neighbors kicked him out. Then he landed in Bocas del Toro to run a noni plantation scheme. Okke wrote about his prior exploits and over a few years both of us covered the developing story. The guy deployed multiple lawyers, politicians and prominent individuals against us. As in at the time vice president of Panama Arturo Vallarino endorsing his scheme. As in at the time mayor of Bocas town Eladio Robinson endorsing not on the noni swindle but also a “business association” scheme that promised to have the power to determine which foreigners could or could not open businesses on the archipelago. As in University of Panama journalism professor Tomás Cabal. As in attorney Barry Miller, who tried to set me up for a classic sting at the Hotel El Panama where there were undercover cops waiting a few tables over for me to touch the envelope so that they could make the bust. As in attorney Michael Pierce, husband of an American Society bigwig, who represented the sender of this extortion note by offering to drop charges if I altered the content of The Panama News. One long-running example.

So what would I want Nito to do about it? I want him to denounce this at the outset, to declare that any person in any way promoting this scheme is ineligible for a visa to come to Panama, to order SENAN to arrest this ship and its crew if ever they come into any part of Panamanian waters

 

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Colegio de Sociología, 12 de octubre

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suppression of the intellectuals
2
 

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Editorials: Welcome, tourists! and The best way out for the USA

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tourists
Today at Tocumen Airport. Tocumen Airport Authority photo.

Welcome, tourists – but beware

So many Americans were fed this anti-scientific nonsense that COVID-19 is like the flu, and with that erroneous rap the supposition that the northern winter makes it more dangerous while it’s less so in the warm tropics. Let’s hope that by the next equinox there will be a good vaccine available to limit the data available to prove or disprove that hypothesis. The disease has killed a lot of people here in Panama, and in Brazil and its neighboring South American countries. It seems as deadly in the tropics as anywhere.

Enjoy your time in Panama, all you visitors. Wear a mask in public. Obey the health decrees, even when they seem silly. Come and go, neither catching nor spreading any illness.

Perhaps you will fall in love with this place and look for a way to stay. True love, though, implies some detailed knowledge and lots of mutual respect. Love, learning and respect – the world always runs short of those, so your additions will be appreciated.

  

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I’m asking every Democrat, I’m asking every independent, I’m asking a lot of Republicans to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy, which I endorse.
Bernie Sanders on Joe Biden

Yes, a con man must be brought
to justice. But not just him.

Is election fraud in the cards? Donald Trump has been into just about every other sort of fraud.

Will another civil war be the manifest destiny for the USA? Donald Trump’s “fine“ young nazis are clamoring for that.

A lot of things might happen. That’s why the Republicans, who blocked all of Barack Obama’s judicial appointments for the last two years of his term then filled them with the most miserable imaginable lot under Donald Trump, are rushing through what looks to them like one last court pack.

It appears that after a prolonged right-wing period with some conservative Democratic interludes, American voters are on the cusp of a realigning election, under aged and somewhat stodgy leadership at the top perhaps, but stepping into a generational change. It’s not like when boomers came in and behaved much like their elders. That’s not so much about personalities or ideologies but because times are different. Unending wars all over the place, mass incarceration, the world’s most expensive health care and the rich paying no taxes are now unsustainable luxuries, no matter what promises have been made to which lobbyists.

Will Trump’s gunmen – and gun boys – drag the country down into an inferno, with judicial blessing, before change will be allowed? If you are an American citizen eligible to vote, it’s up to you. There needs to be a Democratic landslide to nullify all of the Republican tricks, to wrest control of the US Senate from the hands of Trump enablers and to unpack the courts. Vote blue, and leave any arguments about what shade of it to future primaries. America needs you right now.

  

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Bear in mind…

Mistakes are the portals of discovery.

James Joyce

I passionately hate the idea of being with it, I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time.

Orson Welles

Discipline must come through liberty.

Maria Montessori

 

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Bernal, Missing history

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a coup
The October 11, 1968 coup. People did die. A constitution based the division of political patronage spoils and impunity for the powerful was imposed. And we live under that constitution to this very day.

The absent story

by Miguel Antonio Bernal V.

Our history is like a huge puzzle with many pieces missing. We do not know what happened to us because there are very large gaps and there are many false pieces, that is, lies that have been put as truth.

Brittmarie Janson Perez, in Coups and Treaties (1997)

The failure of the Universal Canal Company that shocked France – in the 19th century — was known as “the Panama scandal.” It was neither the first nor the last. It was a link in an endless chain that continues today.

Alfredo Castillero Calvo collects many pages of the many scandals that surrounded the authorities during the more than three centuries of colonization. Panama was being configured – the foreign forces with their internal allies – to be, not a country but a business, as stated at the end of the 20th century, Noriega’s personal Israeli military advisor, Mark Harris (“Panama is not a country, is a business ”).

And so, from tumble to tumble, the multiple vastly unknown scandals that our Panama has lived and lives are collected one after another. The twentieth century began with the Thousand Days War and Bunau-Varilla. This latest scandalous treaty turned us into a territory of scandals and a country of treaties to be mistreated.

In these two decades of the XXI century there has been no lack of scandals, presided over by the so-called and well cared-for “Panama Papers.“ What is serious within this chain of scandals is the serious ignorance that the majority of the current population has about them. The rulers have been concerned that we are a rude and uneducated society, which takes pleasure in the ignorance of its history.

Thus, we see how the coup plotters of ’68 and their epigones, celebrated yesterday under massive confinement, one more anniversary of the chain of lies, blackmail, extortion, deceit, threats, beatings, torture, disappearances, exiles, murders, which began on October 11, 52 years ago.

For those who today forget, those who make us forget, and those who today prefer not to have memory, it is good to remind them that history (testis temporum) also has its reasons that reason does not know, because it is the true teacher of life.

 

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Hollywood’s global malaise

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Charlie
No laughing matter: Charlie Chaplin in The Kid (1921). Wikimedia photo.

Hollywood is creating a void like the one that permanently stunted European film after the Spanish flu

by Gianluca Sergi, University of Nottingham

When Christopher Nolan’s latest sci-fi film Tenet opened in late summer, the hope was that audiences would return to the velvet seats and the waft of popcorn would engulf cinemas once more. Exhibitors everywhere had invested considerable resources to make their cinemas as safe as the other places of leisure and culture that were reopening.

Tenet succeeded globally, but underperformed in the United States. Of the $307 million taken at the box office by early October 2020, only $45 million is from the historically lucrative US market. Over 85% has come from outside the United States. The proportion of international non-US box office revenues has been rising for years, but 70% to 75% might have been more in line with studio expectations.


As studios scramble to make sense of the figures and adjust their film release schedules accordingly, one thing has become evident to exhibitors worldwide: Hollywood is focusing essentially on, well … Hollywood.

With theaters in Los Angeles (and New York) still closed due to the pandemic, studios are cutting their losses, grabbing their movies, and running for the hills to wait out the COVID-19 floods. The likes of Wonder Woman 1984, the Candyman and Dune remakes and new James Bond movie No Time to Die are all postponed, while others like Mulan bypassed cinemas to debut on streaming services instead.

Apocalypse any moment

Exhibitors point out that although US cinemas remain closed or underperforming, cinema is showing clear signs of life elsewhere. The strength of feeling amongst exhibitors on the lack of product was recently distilled by an unnamed UK cinema operator, who said, “It’s a fuck you to exhibitors”.

In the latest episode of the unfolding drama, Cineworld, the world’s second largest cinema chain, has responded by closing all of its UK and US cinemas for the foreseeable future. In the words of CEO Mooky Greidinger: “We are like a grocery shop with no food. We had to take this decision.”

It is perfectly understandable for studios to wish to protect their investment – blockbusters cost huge amounts of money. But Hollywood might wish to revisit its history to fully comprehend the threat. A quick revisit to the events surrounding the Spanish flu is particularly significant here.

It was 1918. The long, bloody war was coming to an end. The light at the end of tunnel flickered promisingly. But just as the world quickened its pace towards that inviting glimmer, a huge gaping hole opened under its feet.

A deadly pandemic – H1N1 – took hold with speed and ferocity. Its more “friendly” name, Spanish flu, belied the fact that this virus would infect 500 million people (roughly one-third of the world’s population) and over 50 million would die.

Prior to the first world war, Hollywood had been growing as a center for film production. But it was one of many national film industries, with strong competition from large European companies like Pathé and Gaumont.

Europe’s production and cinema infrastructure had been destroyed by the war, and the pandemic now prevented it from rebuilding. In the meantime, US entrepreneurs like William Fox and Jesse L Lasky, respective founders of the Fox and Paramount studios, were able to fill the void by developing an infrastructure in America that bet heavily on bigger picture theaters, state-of-the-art equipment and, crucially, feature films.

Heavily inspired by the multi-department production-line ethos of the Ford Motor Company, they started making lavish features such as Way Down East (1920), The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) and The Ten Commandments (1923).


California overtook New York as the center of this new industry, partly because the east coast had been harder hit by the pandemic, and soon it was creating stars such as Charlie Chaplin in The Kid (1921). Europe couldn’t respond – recalling Tony Curtis/Sidney Falco’s great line in Sweet Smell of Success, “Watch me run the 100-yard dash with my legs cut off”.

When sound production became possible later in the decade, the Americans were far better placed to invest heavily to cement their dominance – a position they have not relinquished since.

Reversal of fortune?

Fast forward a century, and the 2020 pandemic is in danger of ending Hollywood dominance. International box office has become more important in recent years principally because of China, which has become a huge cinema consumer in a very short space of time, while other markets like Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria have grown quickly too. In three decades, non-US revenues have risen from about a third to an all-time high of 73% last year.

This situation is not unknown to studios and filmmakers in Hollywood, of course. Yet they seem unable or unwilling to fully appreciate the risk they are running now, namely that to vacate global cinemas is to create a void that could be their “1918 moment of reckoning”.

We have already seen that Chinese war movie The Eight Hundred has become the smash of the year in its home country. Also notably, Cineworld hasn’t closed its cinemas in eastern Europe and Israel because it thinks there is enough good local fare to attract audiences. The danger is that audiences in these markets develop more of a taste for local product and never return to Hollywood films to the same extent.


Elsewhere, there is a risk that cinema chains will not return to business as usual. How many of Cineworld’s 45,000 staff will be available when it’s time to open? And how long will shareholders tolerate temporary closure?

Starving cinemas responsible for 73% of Hollywood revenues just because the other 27% is currently not functioning well is not a logical strategy. As a recent UK newspaper article put it, “Bond is putting a bullet in his own head”.

The takeaway is brutally simple: bring that food to the grocery shelves, or you might just find they won’t be there by the time you come back.The Conversation

Gianluca Sergi, Director, Institute for Screen Industries Research and Associate Professor of Film and Television, University of Nottingham

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

 

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Jackson, A Gettysburg parable for Democrats

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A catastrophe for the republic — Lee’s army retreats from Gettysburg.

Gettysburg: a terrible victory

As the calendar closes in on November 3, we’re getting a stream of favorable news for Democrats. Some of the things that work in our political favor are beyond our control and just awful for America. A pandemic death toll that didn’t have to be that bad will forever stain the reputation of the Republican Party, but is nothing for Democrats to celebrate.

By casual observation, Donald Trump is not only sick with the coronavirus, he has gone insane. Which means hunger and homelessness for many Americans as possibilities of Washington coming through with some sort of relief fade away and the northern temperatures get colder. The polls indicate a presidential race turning into a rout, which has part of the white supremacist Trump bas e talking about a civil war. Some of these crazies style themselves as “Neo-Confederate.”

This is an email, not a book, so all of the carefully created myths about the Civil War will have to wait for another time.

At the terrible Battle of Gettysburg, under  General  Meade’s command the Union lines ultimately held against Robert E. Lee’s desperate gamble, Picket’s Charge. The battlefield was strewn with bodies and Lee’s army withdrew.

Lee’s army was allowed to escape. It was a terrible catastrophe.

The following spring, more than 60,000 Union soldiers died fighting as the circle was closed around Richmond.

Seven months before the armies fought at Gettysburg, the Emancipation Proclamation had gone into effect and black men who had been slaves were flocking to the ranks of the Union Army, which was taking heavy losses both in the battlefields and to diseases that swept through the camps. For the black soldiers, the post-Gettysburg war was worse. Many Confederate units took no black prisoners.

Great victory, in a microcosm, but Meade’s failure to order his army to pursue and destroy was an historic blunder. Lee’s battered army, which could have been completely annihilated right then, was allowed to get away to Virginia and fight on for nearly two more years. Meade was replaced by the more thorough and hard-driving General Grant. European military observers thereafter took careful notes about what Grant did. He waged bloody trench warfare in Virginia, the model for the horrors of World War I.

At great cost in human lives on the Virginia front, and as General Sherman burned a 30-mile-wide corridor through Georgia and a civilian guiding Union troops – Harriet Tubman – organized mass slave escapes from coastal plantations, the Confederacy was blasted and starved into surrender.

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And will we Democrats, in another sort of battle for America, treat the end of the Trump presidency as good enough, and let the Republicans escape with control of the US Senate?

The core of Donald Trump’s base is militantly ignorant. They attack history just like they attack science. Like so many other victims of so many other con men, against all evidence the cling to the scam pitch, because otherwise they’d be admitting that they were taken for chumps and fell for it.

We Democrats should know better. For one thing, we are the party that has the backing of the unions to which many a history teacher belong. Our determination to build back better is not just bricks and mortar, it’s the renovation and expansion of American education.

When the foe is fleeing a rout, you pursue. When, in the boxing ring, the adversary’s knees begin to wobble, you don’t dance, you punch. When, in a general election, the other party’s presidential campaign begins to collapse, you pursue that party into states and districts they had considered safe and drive them out of office up and down the ticket.

[Editor’s note:  a prior version of this story had some Civil  War history errors.]  

 

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Un trotamundos misterioso

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starfish
Misterio resuelto: las misteriosas larvas recolectadas en el Caribe crecen hasta convertirse en esta estrella de mar, Valvaster striatus, que solo se conoce en la región del Indo Pacífico. Foto por Gustav Paulay.

Cómo la capacidad de clonarse a sí mismo
puede potenciar a un trotamundos misterioso

por STRI

Siempre vale la pena pensar más allá. Rachel Collin decidió buscar lejos del país para encontrar la forma adulta que coincidía con una larva obtenida de una muestra de plancton en Panamá y se sorprendió con el resultado.

Durante décadas, los biólogos han capturado diminutas larvas de estrellas de mar en sus redes, las cuales no coincidían con los adultos de ninguna especie conocida. Un equipo del Smithsonian acaba de descubrir cómo crecen estas larvas y cómo un superpoder especial puede ayudarlas a moverse por el mundo. Sus resultados se publican en línea en el Biological Bulletin.

“Hace treinta años, la gente notó que estas larvas de estrellas de mar podían clonarse a sí mismas”, comentó la científica Rachel Collin del Instituto Smithsonian de Investigaciones Tropicales (STRI), “y se preguntaron cuál era la forma adulta. Supusieron que debido a que las larvas estaban en el Caribe, los adultos también debían ser del Caribe”.

Los científicos monitorean las larvas porque éstas pueden ser más sensibles a las condiciones físicas y la distribución de las larvas tiene una gran influencia en la dispersión de los peces e invertebrados adultos. El equipo de Collin utiliza una técnica llamada código de barras de ADN para identificar el plancton. Determinan la secuencia de ADN de un organismo y luego buscan coincidencias con una secuencia de un animal conocido en una base de datos.

“Esta especie misteriosa fue una de las más comunes en nuestras muestras de la Costa Caribe de Panamá”, comentó Collin. “Sabíamos por los estudios de personas que el ADN coincidía con secuencias de larvas similares en todo el Caribe y coincidía con estrellas de mar juveniles no identificadas, capturadas en el Golfo de México, pero nadie había encontrado una coincidencia con ningún organismo adulto conocido en el Caribe. Así que decidimos ver si el ADN coincidía con algo en la base de datos global del “Código de barras de la vida”.

“Fue entonces cuando obtuvimos un pareo con Valvaster striatus, una estrella de mar que se pensaba se encontraba solo en el Indo Pacífico Occidental”, comentó Collin. “Es el primer informe de esta especie en el Océano Atlántico. No hubiéramos podido identificarla si Gustav Paulay de la Universidad de Florida no hubiera secuenciado el ADN de invertebrados en el otro lado del mundo”.

Pero ¿por qué las larvas son comunes en el Caribe si nunca se han encontrado estrellas de mar Valvaster adultas aquí? ¿Están las estrellas de mar adultas escondidas dentro de los arrecifes del Caribe o las larvas llegan del otro lado del mundo?

Valvaster striatus está muy extendida, pero es rara en el Pacífico occidental. Los pocos informes de los coleccionistas y las fotos confirmadas en iNaturalist van desde el Océano Índico hasta Guam y Hawái. Estas estrellas de mar viven en lo profundo de la matriz del arrecife y solo salen por la noche. Entonces, es posible que haya adultos en el Caribe que nunca se hayan visto. Pero la otra posibilidad, que la capacidad de clonarse a sí mismos les permita extenderse por el mundo, también es intrigante.

“Es posible que la capacidad de las larvas para clonarse a sí mismas no sea solo una forma inteligente de permanecer jóvenes por siempre”, comentó Collin. Existe una barrera natural que impide que los organismos del Pacífico occidental y el océano Índico crucen el Atlántico hacia el Caribe. Después de llegar a la punta de África, se encuentran con una corriente fría que presumiblemente mata a las especies tropicales”.

“Aún se desconoce cómo la clonación podría ayudarlas a atravesar la barrera”, comentó Collin, “pero es intrigante que otra especie de estrella de mar del Indo Pacífico Occidental que fue recolectada por primera vez en el Caribe en la década de 1980 también tenga larvas con capacidad de clonarse”.

Este estudio se realizó gracias a permisos de recolección proporcionados por el Ministerio de Ambiente (MiAmbiente) y la Autoridad de los Recursos Acuáticos de Panamá (ARAP), el análisis molecular en los Laboratorios de Biología Analítica del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural del Smithsonian en Washington, DC, con fondos del Smithsonian, el Sr. Paul Peck, un donante anónimo, la Fundación Gordon y Betty Moore, además de la Fundación Sloan.

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Durante treinta años, los científicos han estado capturando estas larvas en sus redes para plancton, pero solo hasta ahora han descubierto lo que son. Las larvas tienen la capacidad de hacer copias de sí mismas: clones. Foto por Michael Boyle.
 

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Kermit’s birds / Las aves de Kermit

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trogon

Slaty-tailed trogon ~ Trogón colipizarra ~ Trogon massena

Encontrado en / Found in Gamboa. Foto / photo © Kermit Nourse.

This large species of the trogon family lives in the tropical lowlands from southern Mexico to Ecuador and builds its nest inside arboreal termite hives. Only the male has the orange eye ring and beak. It’s found in or near the edges of old and secondary forests on both sides of the isthmus, except not much in the Dry Arc in and around the Azuero Peninsula nor is it common in Darien. It’s more common on the Atlantic Side and especially in the canal area. It’s usually solitary of in a pair, and will often remain still for long periods and thus “hide in plain sight.”

Esta gran especie de la familia de los trogon vive en las tierras bajas tropicales desde el sur de México hasta Ecuador y construye su nido dentro de las colmenas de termitas arbóreas. Solo el macho tiene el anillo ocular y el pico anaranjados. Se encuentra en o cerca de los bordes de los bosques antiguos y secundarios en ambas vertientes del istmo, excepto que no hay mucho en el Arco Seco dentro y alrededor de la Península de Azuero ni es común en Darién. Es más común en el lado atlántico y especialmente en el área del canal. Por lo general, es solitario o en pareja y, a menudo, permanece quieto durante largos períodos y, por lo tanto, se “esconde a la vista”.

 

 

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¿Wappin? Peace, Justice and Memory / Paz, Justicia y Memoria

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peace vigil

Out of the darkness
Fuera de la oscuridad

Billie Eilish – No Time To Die
https://youtu.be/BboMpayJomw

Arcangel & Sech – Amantes y Amigos
https://youtu.be/dBiMxJAxMgg

The Traveling Wilburys – End Of The Line
https://youtu.be/UMVjToYOjbM

Camilo – Vida de Rico
https://youtu.be/qKp1f7Vn9dM

Holly Near – I Ain’t Afraid
https://youtu.be/t2xmbvFEaZE

Mark Knopfler – What It Is
https://youtu.be/jGmtonlys5A

Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now
https://youtu.be/UMuRRnvj5o8

The Beatles – A Day In The Life
https://youtu.be/usNsCeOV4GM

MIley Cyrus & The Doors – Roadhouse Blues
https://youtu.be/l-VIsQt2S-s

Paz Court & David Aguilar – La Fuerza
https://youtu.be/bVgKuVBi7uc

Black Uhuru – Plastic Smile
https://youtu.be/NNkqTOWOlkg

Demi Lovato – Still Have Me
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Airbag – Por mil noches
https://youtu.be/5X06-ZRwGBI

Temptations – My Girl
https://youtu.be/dYPQqjRdTIg

Mezcla Baile Con Los Combos Nacionales #3
https://youtu.be/w2h-CZo1gP0

 

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Trump chickens out on next debate

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buc buc buc BUCK!
The Commission on Presidential Debates said Thursday morning that the town hall-style event will take place virtually to “protect the health and safety of all involved.”  Cartoon by Khlil Bendib — OtherWords

“I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate,” says Trump after format changed to prevent spread of COVID-19

by Jake Johnson — Common Dreams

Update:

President Donald Trump said Thursday morning that he’s “not gonna do a virtual debate” shortly after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that next week’s town hall-style event will take place remotely to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which the president was diagnosed with just last week.

“I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate,” the president said in an interview on Fox Business. “That’s not what debating is all about. You sit behind a computer and do a debate, it’s ridiculous.”

“And then they cut you off whenever they want,” complained Trump, who rendered the first presidential debate nearly unwatchable with constant interruptions. “I’m not doing a virtual debate.”

Watch:

“I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate” — Trump, on with Maria Bartiromo, begins his first post-coronavirus interview by saying he’s pulling out of the second debate. (He sounds a little hoarse.) pic.twitter.com/R43JSszfll

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 8, 2020

Earlier:

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Thursday morning that next week’s debate between Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump — who is infected with the coronavirus — will be held virtually “in order to protect the health and safety of all involved.”

The debate panel’s announcement comes hours after Biden suggested that next Thursday’s town hall-style event, which was previously set to be in-person, should be canceled if Trump “still has COVID.”

“I’m not sure what President Trump is all about now, I don’t know what his status is,” Biden said Tuesday. “I’m looking forward to being able to debate him. But I just hope all the protocols are followed, what’s necessary at the time.”

BREAKING: CPD ANNOUNCES SECOND PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE WILL BE VIRTUAL pic.twitter.com/irWLpdCVOF

— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 8, 2020

 

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