Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

All The News: Chestnuts & Japanese Internment



Sherpao downplays Nato supplies issue; Ali Hazrat Bacha

Blocking supplies to Nato forces in Afghanistan would have no significance as the US-led troops were about to leave the war-torn country, said Qaumi Watan Party chairman Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao here on Sunday.

Mr Sherpao said that restoration of peace was major challenge for the provincial government. He said that he was in favour of holding talks with the stakeholders for restoration of peace as use of forces was not a solution to the issue.

This man is a newly-elected MP, I think.  Perhaps a leader in a smaller party.  

Syria bombards Qusair, tells Red Cross to wait

Times of India; AFP

Syria’s air force bombarded Qusair on Sunday, two weeks into a Hezbollah-backed assault, as the regime said it will only allow the Red Cross into the embattled town once it has defeated rebels.

At the United Nations, diplomats said Russia blocked a draft Security Council declaration expressing “grave concern” about the situation in the strategic town near the border with Lebanon.

Elsewhere, a car bombing killed nine security forces members in Damascus, adding to an estimated 94,000 lives lost in the more than two-year conflict, as France said a peace conference on ending the bloodshed could be delayed.

United ultras join forces against police violence in Taksim

Hürriyet Daily News; Çetin Cem Yılmaz

Turkey’s football fans put their rivalries aside and walked shoulder to shoulder in previously unseen solidarity as part of the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul over the weekend.

Supporters of the Turkish football’s “big three,” Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, organized on social media and became a part of thousands gathered in Istanbul’s central Taksim district on May 31. Their call was soon followed up by other fans, such as Bursaspor, known for their feud with Beşiktaş, and Trabzonspor, whose general disaffection for Fenerbahçe is well documented.

Fenerbahçe’s diehard online fan group “12 Numara” released a statement yesterday, documenting the importance of the fans’ united forces.

“We have come to the conclusion: Yellow without navy blue and red, black without white is impossible,” the statement read, referring to the giant team’s colors. “With them, it is stronger and more beautiful.”

home » India-news » NewDelhi Chinese onslaught: Govt set to protect domestic market

Hindustan Times; Chetan Chauhan

India is readying to protect its domestic manufacturers from Chinese products swamping the market, despite the danger of WTO rules looming large. The move, however, courts the danger of other countries dragging India to WTO terming the favours granted as unfair trade practices under the international agreement.

Three Central ministries – Telecom, Heavy Industries and Renewable Energy – would soon have policies to protect domestic producers from the increasing penetration of foreign manufacturers especially in the form of cheaper equipment from China.

New Zealand leads the way in landmark UN Arms Treaty

New Zealand Herald; Kieran Campbell

New Zealand will lead the way as one of the first countries to sign the landmark Arms Trade Treaty, adopted by the United Nations, which opens for signature in New York today.

The move has been applauded by international aid agency Oxfam, which says the treaty is the first of its kind providing legally-binding global rules to regulate the international flow of weapons, preventing them from escalating conflict and fuelling atrocities.

Oxfam has campaigned for a decade to achieve robust rules on international arms transfers.

Oxfam New Zealand executive director Barry Coates said the country’s “commitment to achieving a powerful and effective” Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was to be commended.

More mothers want to choose baby’s sex

Sydney Morning Post; Cosima Marriner

Half of Sydney women either expecting a baby or having fertility treatment believe they should be allowed to choose the sex of their unborn child, according to research.

A survey of the women, who were patients at St George Private Hospital, found three-quarters were opposed to using IVF to select the sex of first-borns.

But half approved of sex selection for subsequent children to gender balance families.

The research into the 150 patients is at odds with previous surveys into the attitude of the general population towards social sex selection. Over the past 10 years, such surveys have shown 80 per cent of Australians are against using IVF to choose a baby’s sex.

Wonder what all these women think of the issues in India and China on gender selection?  

Japan pledges $32bn aid for Africa to boost investment

Mail & Guardian; Reuters & local reporter

The package, unveiled by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the opening of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (Ticad), includes $14-billion official development aid and $6.5-billion support to help infrastructure.

Resource-poor Japan has long been keen on Africa’s vast natural resources, even more so since dependence on oil and gas imports surged after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster shut almost all of the country’s nuclear reactors.

Japan’s direct investment in Africa was $460-million in 2011, compared with China’s $3.17-billion, according to the Japan External Trade Organisation and China’s government data.

Some 50 African leaders and officials-including African Union chairperson Hailemariam Desalegn, African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon-gathered for the three-day conference held in Yokohama near Tokyo to discuss issues such as economic development, peace-making and anti-piracy.

So instead of military wars, we have trade & resource wars in Africa & Asia . . .

FAO says ‘environmentally friendly farming’ can help quadruple cassava yields


In the detailed field guide ‘Save and Grow’ applications to cassava smallholder production, FAO noted that global cassava output has increased by 60% since 2000 and is set to accelerate further over the current decade as policymakers recognize its huge potential.

But using the inputs-intensive approach pioneered during last century’s Green Revolution to boost cassava production risks causing further damage to the natural resource base and increasing the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

The solution, says FAO, lies in the ‘Save and Grow’ approach which achieves higher yields with improved soil health rather than with the heavy use of chemical inputs. ‘Save and Grow’ minimizes soil disturbance caused by conventional tillage such as ploughing, and recommends maintaining a protective cover of vegetation over soil.



Obituary: Bob Fletcher saved farms of interned Japanese Americans during WWII

Sacramento Bee;  Robert D. Dávila

Bob Fletcher, a Sacramento farmer, volunteer and man of courage and conviction who saved the farms of interned Japanese American families during World War II, died May 23. He was 101.

Mr. Fletcher demonstrated the finest human values in one of the darkest periods of American history. It was 1942, a few months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when the U.S. government forced Japanese immigrants and Americans of Japanese descent to report to barbed-wire camps. Many lost their homes to thieves or bank foreclosures.

A state agricultural inspector, Mr. Fletcher acted instinctively to help Japanese American farmers. He quit his job and went to work saving farms belonging to the Nitta, Okamoto and Tsukamoto families in the Florin community.

Utah Pride Parade filled with pageantry and politics

Salt Lake Tribune; Ray Parker

The Utah Pride Parade rolled along smoothly Sunday as thousands of participants, spectators and supporters of the gay community gathered in Salt Lake City for a gala procession.

Many paradegoers donned costumes – like the baton twirler with a 2-foot-tall beehive hairdo – or had whimsical accessories to add to the parade’s atmosphere. The event was the capstone to a Pride Festival its organizers and participants said would be more than just politics and court cases: It’s a celebration of modern-day lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) life.

“First, we want to have fun,” said Mike Peterson, aka Coco LeeBlume, with fire-engine red fingernails and a raven wig.

“I think it’s great they’re coming around but there’s a long way to go,” said Peterson, who was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Genetically Engineering an Icon: Can Biotech Bring the Chestnut Back to America’s Forests?

The Atlantic; Rebecca J. Rosen

“The forests of America,” John Muir wrote in The Atlantic in 1897, “… must have been a great delight to God; for they were the best he ever planted.” Muir didn’t know it yet, but by the time he wrote those words, the king of the eastern forests, the American chestnut tree, was already doomed. An interloping fungus had arrived at America’s shores two decades earlier, and it would soon make short work of this then-common species. In less than a century’s time, it killed off an estimated four billion of these towering trees.

Now, for the first time since the die-off, there is real hope. Researchers at SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry have been trying to build a better American chestnut, one that would be resistant to the blight, and there’s reason to think they’ve succeeded. Such a plant could repopulate the vast region of the eastern United States in which the tree was once found.

It’s hard to overstate what a dramatic reversal this would be. Chestnuts were once one of the most abundant trees in the eastern United States, making up about 25 percent of the mature timber. Today, there is a section of its Wikipedia page titled “surviving specimens,” and it is not long.


Bob Dylan’s World

For his 72nd birthday, a map of every street, town, and city Dylan has ever sung about.

By Thomas Bollier, Chris Kirk, and Richard Kreitner

We think we’ve found the worst book of the year  And we reviewed it to save you! By Natalie Reilly, the book is “the milf diet”.

crossposted from the orange.


  1. DeniseVelez

    thank you.

    Interesting about Japanese investment in Africa.

    Have watched many other countries salivate over the wealth of resources there – especially the Chinese and the Russians.

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