‘Long Peace’ or imminent war? Study examines when World War 3 might break out

It has been over 70 years since last major world war. Despite the multiple conflicts ongoing across the globe, there hasn’t been a large, global conflict in decades. Analysts are divided about whether this means we’ve surpassed such levels of conflict, or whether our era’s relative lull means disaster is looming.

University of Colorado computer scientist Aaron Clauset undertook a study to find out. He used data from the Correlates of War Project to map patterns, trends and the likelihood of another major war breaking out.

The Correlates of War Project is a database of war, which includes dates and battle deaths of wars since 1823. Clauset examined data from 95 interstate conflicts from then up to 2003. The data doesn’t include civil wars or terrorist actions, and its 2003 cutoff leaves out the Iraq war, and conflicts like those in Syria and Yemen, technically described as civil wars, are not included.

He looked at the state of the world before, during and after a substantial conflict, to see if at any other time society went decades without a major war.

READ MORE: Chaos unrelenting: 6 years since Arab Spring started, no democracy in sight for Libya

His research found that a period of decades without a large war, dubbed a “long peace,” isn’t such a rare event, and that it can easily change. According to Clauset, “the long peace pattern would need to endure for at least another 100 to 150 years before it could plausibly be called a genuine trend.”

“These models indicate that both the long peace and the period of great violence that preceded it are not statistically uncommon patterns in realistic but stationary conflict time series,” the study found.

“The historical patterns of war thus seem to imply that the long peace may be substantially more fragile than proponents believe, despite recent efforts to identify mechanisms that reduce the likelihood of interstate wars.”

“These results imply that the current peace may be substantially more fragile than proponents believe.” Clauset said.

“The so-called ‘long peace’ trend might not be that long, and it might not be a trend,” anthropologist Rahul Oka, who was involved in the research, told Science Mag. “This is a great first step for this line of research.”

Clauset also used his computer model to predict when humanity’s demise may occur. He estimated that it could be anytime between 383 to 11,489 years from now, Futurism reports.

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منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/news/419877-world-war-long-peace-study/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Duterte says order to shoot female rebels in the vagina was ‘sarcasm’

“I said, you crazy (women) … I will order that your vagina be shot,” Duterte said in the local language, as cited by Reuters. “That’s true. That was a sort of sarcasm.” The firebrand leader made the comments while railing against what he describes as “amazons,” who had left their children to fight for the the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party in his country. “Why would you give birth six, seven times and you’re an NPA? Then you’d go to war, you leave your family behind.”

“Tell the soldiers. ‘There’s a new order coming from mayor. We won’t kill you. We will just shoot your —- so that… If there are no —- it would be useless,” he said at Heroes Hall, the Presidential Museum and Library, in Quezon City on February 7.

As well as for his policies, Duterte has been repeatedly criticized for his highly inflammatory remarks, including jokes about rape and murder. Despite this widespread condemnation, he remains a popular figure among his supporters, with whom his direct and abrasive rhetoric appears to resonate.

This is not the first time Duterte has used sarcasm as a defense to backtrack on outlandish remarks. Duterte had a public spat with Chelsea Clinton over a notorious ‘rape joke’ he made to soldiers fighting Islamist militants during the 2017 siege of Marawi City. “I will go to jail for you. If you happen to have raped three women, I will own up to it,” Duterte said.

The president said Monday that another group of former rebels is due to visit the presidential palace soon. “I will tell them the same. Go ahead, have children, and then leave them. Join the NPA.”

Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque says that, while the comments should be taken seriously, they should also not be taken literally, though there seems to be little room for misinterpretation in this particular instance. Duterte recently terminated peace talks with the Maoist rebels, whom he considers terrorists, citing a betrayal of his trust and ongoing hostilities during negotiations as the reason for which the peace process collapsed.

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منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/news/419876-duterte-defends-vagina-shooting-joke/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Trump: I’d run into Florida school even without gun; Twitter does not agree

I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon, and I think most of the people in this room would have done that, too,” Trump told a group of state governors assembled at the White House on Monday.

Trump added: “You never know until you’re tested.

Trump also labelled as “disgusting” the inaction of the sheriff deputy assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The armed sheriff had failed to approach the suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz, who killed 17 people and injured several more in the Florida high school shooting on February 14.

The remarks come as Trump seeks dialogue with state governors, local officials, students and parents over gun violence.

However, many on Twitter were less-than-convinced by Trump’s bravado. Some took to the Twittersphere to point out Trump’s history of dodging the draft in the Vietnam war, which he avoided five times.

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منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/usa/419875-trump-florida-school-gun-twitter/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Dana Loesch: Meet the NRA spokewoman with the toughest job in the US

The National Rifle Association, facing the greatest pressure from gun control campaigners for a generation, has made a 39-year-old woman its public face as it seeks to fend off criticism following the Florida school shooting.

In the days since 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the NRA, a group that lobbies on behalf of gun rights campaigners and weapons manufacturers, has been under intense scrutiny over its donations to politicians and its unwillingness to compromise, even on issues such as getting rid of bump stocks, a device that allows someone to fire a rifle as if it is a fully automatic weapon.

Last week, the NRA’s CEO, Wayne LaPierre, delivered a fiery speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) outside of Washington DC, in which claimed politicians and the media were trying to exploit the shooting. “As usual, the opportunists waited not one second to exploit tragedy for political gain,” he said.

Yet, although Mr LaPierre’s speech received considerable media coverage, it has not been him, but rather the group’s spokeswoman, Dana Loesch, who has her own conservative radio show, who has been front and centre for the NRA, trying to defend actions that many believe are indefensible.

Ms Loesch has appeared on a flurry of news channels, taken part in a so-called town hall meeting organised by CNN in Florida where she was attacked by Parkland students and residents, and gone to war on Twitter to insist the NRA is not a lobbying group.

She has condemned the FBI for failing to follow up on tips about alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz, and took a similar tone to Mr LaPierre in attacking the media.

“Many in the legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it. Now, I’m not saying you love the tragedy, but I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you,” she said.

Experts believe Ms Loesch has brought poise, youth and public speaking skills to the NRA, since she was appointed its spokesperson last year. 

Charlie Sykes, a longtime conservative radio host who has been critical of the NRA, told the Associated Press, Ms Loesch had the ability to speak to a wide range of Americans while not giving away an inch when it came to the organisation’s positions.

“Imagine Wayne LaPierre sitting in that seat and you realise the significance of Dana,” Mr Sykes said. “She can bring the hot sauce without having that persona of an angry white man.”

Ms Loesch, who did not respond to requests for an interview, grew up in a blue-collar family in a Missouri town near St Louis. She was brought up largely by her mother after her parents divorced. She told the New York Times she recalled her grandfather hunting deer and raccoon, but also a night that her grandfather stood on the porch with a shotgun to protect her aunt from an estranged husband.

“Looking back, I think I always wanted to know that I was safe,” she said.

A co-founder of the St Louis Tea Party who came to the attention of the conservative movement by means of a popular blog she wrote, Ms Loesch studied journalism at Webster University, but dropped out when she became pregnant with her first son. The blog led to stints as a political analyst at Breitbart News Network and The Blaze.

Breitbart’s founder, the late Andrew Breitbart, told the RiverFront Times in 2010: “Everybody was telling me about this amazing person who just emerged out of nowhere, who had this amazing spirit and had the ability to write [and] who was almost the embodiment of everything that I want to happen with journalism.” 

He added: “I can’t even begin to tell you how many fans she has in the higher media who say she needs to have her own TV show. She’s a stay-at-home mom who homeschools her kids; she’s beautiful; she’s smart; she’s fearless. She’s a pure rising star.”

Ms Loesch, who has said she keeps a handgun near her bed and has a tattoo on her forearm with a reference to a Bible passage calling for Christians to wear holy armour, has never shied away from controversy. During a 2012 radio show, she said she had no problems with US Marines who had urinated on dead Taliban soldiers, declaring: “I’d drop trou and do it too.”

In the days since Parkland, Ms Loesch has sought to defend the NRA’s positions against passionate and persistent attacks from students, activists and politicians.

During the town hall meeting in Florida, she was confronted by Emma González, a Stoneman Douglas student who has emerged as one of the teenager’s national leaders. Standing directly across the stage from Ms Loesch, Ms González said: “I want you to know that we will support your children in a way that you will not.” 

Before responding, Mr Loesch praised Ms González for speaking out about gun control. “I was a very politically active teenager and I’m on this stage as a result of that. Think of how far you all could go as a result of voicing your beliefs.”

While many felt Ms Loesch failed to answer the questions that were put to her, others said she did as good a job as could have been expected of anybody under the circumstances. 

At the weekend, she appeared on ABC, where she told anchor George Stephanopoulos the focus in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting should have been on local and FBI officials. “I wish as much attention were given to the Broward County Sheriff and their abdication of duty, as trying to blame five million innocent law-abiding Americans out there [who belong to the NRA],” she said. 

Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg appeared on the same show and criticised Ms Loesch for what she was doing. “Honestly, it’s disgusting. [The NRA acts] like they don’t own these politicians, but they do,” he said.

“They’ve got gun legislation passed before in their favour, in favour of gun manufacturers. The NRA is an organisation that’s completely broken.”

Ms Loesch, who has authored two books including Hands off my Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America, also found time to go to battle on social media where she claimed the NRA was not a lobbying group. 

Addressing a Michigan woman who claimed the NRA’s lobbying was the reason for congressional inaction on gun control, she said: “I can’t take you seriously on any level now that you’ve demonstrated you don’t know anything about the group you’re smearing. Enjoy your day.”

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/dana-loesch-nra-spokeswoman-us-gun-laws-trump-a8229981.html

Florida shooting: Deputy of sheriff who waited outside school says coward claims are 'patently untrue'

A former Broward County sheriff’s deputy has claimed he acted properly by not entering the building during a mass shooting at the Florida high school he was assigned to patrol.

Video footage of the incident, in which 17 students and staff members died earlier this month, showed deputy Scot Peterson standing outside the school for upward of four minutes while shots were being fired, despite being the armed officer on duty. The sheriff’s office put Mr Peterson under investigation last week, and he resigned shortly thereafter.

Now, an attorney for Mr Peterson has claimed the officer acted properly by not entering the building because he believed the shots were coming from outside. According to attorney Joseph A DiRuzzo, his client followed protocol by seeking shelter and trying to assess what was happening.

“Let there be no mistake, Mr. Peterson wishes that he could have prevented the untimely passing of the seventeen victims on that day, and his heart goes out to the families of the victims in their time of need,” Mr DiRuzzo’s said in a statement obtained by the Washington Post.

“However,” he added, “the allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue.”

The sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel condemned the deputy’s actions last week, saying the officer should have entered the school building and engaged with the shooter. President Donald Trump also critiqued the officer, suggesting he was a “coward,” and “not a credit to law enforcement”.

Mr Trump continued hs criticism on Monday, saying he would have run into the school in Mr Peterson’s place – even without a weapon.

“You don’t know until you test it, but I really believe I’d have run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon,” he said at a press conference.

Mr DiRuzzo said the Florida Department of Law Enforcement had launched an investigation into the department’s response to the shooting, which he hopes will ultimately clear his client’s name.

The statement adds to mounting criticism of law enforcement’s response to the incident. Police officers from a neighbouring department have claimed they saw two additional Broward County officers waiting outside the school when they responded to the shooting. The sheriff’s office is investigating the claim.

The sheriff’s office has also admitted that they received multiple warnings of the alleged shooter’s disturbing behaviour, having responded to 23 incidents involving suspect Nikolas Cruz or his family since 2008. The FBI also received multiple tips about Mr Cruz, which they failed to pursue fully.

Mr Israel has resisted calls for him to resign in the wake of the shooting, claiming he should not be blamed for his deputy’s response.

“Leaders are responsible for the agency, but leaders are not responsible for a person,” Mr Israel said in an interview with NBC.

“I gave him a gun. I gave him a badge. I gave him the training. If he didn’t have the heart to go in, that’s not my responsibility.”

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/florida-school-shooting-sheriff-deputy-scot-peterson-coward-broward-county-a8230006.html

People in Britain can legally take time off work because of snow

Parts of Britain are about to be hit by the coldest weather since 1991 – but it’s not all bad news.

The Met Office has warned that rural communities are likely to be cut off by heavy snow showers in parts of Britain as the so-called ‘Beast from the East’ blows in.

Meanwhile, authorities have warned of the potential risk to life with parts of the country set to feel colder than the Arctic Circle this week. Power cuts, mobile phone service disruption, and delays to road, rail and air transport are also expected.

But there is a silver lining under all the snow; if your place of work is forced to close because of the inclement weather – you’ll still probably get paid.

According to Gov.uk: “If the workplace is closed because of disruption and the employee doesn’t usually work from home, employers can’t usually deduct pay.”

This means if snowstorm Emma brings enough snow to close offices, employees will still receive pay for the time they spend home making snowmen and snow angels.  

And, if your office is still open but your child’s school is closed due to the weather, employees legally have the right to time off, as this is considered an official emergency, as discussed on Gov.uk.


Snow has begun to fall across Britain (Getty)

“If an employee’s child’s school is closed or their normal childcare arrangements are disrupted, they could have the right for time off to look after them,” the website reads.


Storm warnings are in effect across the UK (Getty)

However, time off to care for children may or may not be paid, as the government website states: “your employer may pay you for time off to look after dependants but they don’t have to.”

But with blizzards, lightning, freezing rain and gales all expected to hit Britain this week, and safety warnings issued for those planning on heading out in the storm, taking the day off from work seems like a pretty good idea.


The Met Office is warning against travel as snow begins to fall (Getty)

And as train delays are reported and predictions of over 110,000 vehicle breakdowns are expected, it seems unlikely it will be possible to get to the office anyway. Stay warm!

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/weather-latest-forecast-uk-snow-time-off-work-storm-emma-a8229976.html

Chris Cornell: Listen to previously unreleased recording of Johnny Cash-written 'You Never Knew My Mind'

An unreleased Chris Cornell track written by Johnny Cash titled “You Never Knew My Mind” has come out in honour of the legendary country singer’s 86th birthday. 

“You Never Knew My Mind” was a poem written by Cash himself that Cornell recorded vocals to just before his suicide on May 18, 2017.

The late Soundgarden frontman contributed the song to Johnny Cash: Forever Words – a tribute album full of letters, poems, and lyrics that never became songs.

“You Never Knew My Mind” is a haunting song that is rather timely given Cornell’s untimely death, and it happens to be one of his final recordings.

In 1996, Cash covered Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage,” which Cornell penned on the band’s album Unchained

Two decades later, Cornell returned the favour with “You Never Knew My Mind,” which was recorded at the iconic Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, TN. 

“I met the man once or twice in my life, and he was so gracious and he was such an influence on me as a musician,” Cornell said at the time he recorded Cash’s poem. “And he also covered a song that I wrote. Since that time, I’ve felt like he’s maybe one of the bigger presences in my life, in terms of artists that I’m a fan of.”

Johnny Cash: Forever Words features contributions from Kacey Musgraves, Rosanne Cash, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Kris Kristofferson & Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Brad Paisley, Elvis Costello and more.

The tribute to Cash comes out April 6 via Legacy Recordings. 

You can pre-order the album here.

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/chris-cornell-soundgarden-johnny-cash-unreleased-recording-you-never-knew-my-mind-rip-a8229991.html

Ensa Cosby, Bill Cosby’s daughter, dies at 44

Feb. 26 (UPI) — Ensa Cosby, the daughter of actor Bill Cosby who defended her father against sexual assault accusations, died in Massachusetts, the actor’s representative said Monday. She was 44.

Ensa Cosby died Friday from renal disease, spokesman Andrew Wyatt told USA Today.

Unnamed sources told TMZ she may have been waiting for a kidney transplant.

“The Cosby family thanks many people for their prayers for their beloved and beautiful Ensa, who recently died from renal disease,” Wyatt said in a statement.

Ensa Cosby came out in her father’s defense after dozens of women accused him of sexual assault. She said he was “publicly lynched in the media.”

“The accusations against my father have been one-sided from the beginning. When he tried to defend himself, he was sued in civil court. I’ve seen the accusations become more horrific and extreme with time, and I’ve witnessed my father’s reputation and legendary works be dismissed without any proof,” Ensa Cosby wrote.

She is the second child of Bill and Camille Cosby to die. In 1997, their 28-year-old son, Ennis Cosby, was shot to death while changing a flat tire on his car in Los Angeles.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2018/02/26/Ensa-Cosby-Bill-Cosbys-daughter-dies-at-44/2241519676561/

First transgender recruit signs contract with Pentagon

Feb. 26 (UPI) — A military recruit became the first transgender person to sign a contract to join the U.S. armed forces since President Donald Trump attempted to ban transgender troops, the Department of Defense said Monday.

“The Department of Defense confirms that as of February 23, 2018, there is one transgender individual under contract for service in the US Military,” Pentagon spokesman Maj. Dave Eastburn told CNN.

Eastern declined to identify the recruit or which branch of the service they are entering. He said the recruit met all standards for joining but has not begun basic training yet.

In July, Trump tweeted that the Department of Defense would no longer allow transgender people to serve in the military.

“After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military,” the president wrote. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”

But two federal judges ruled against the ban after a lawsuit from the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLAD’s Legal Advocates & Defenders on behalf of six service members and two recruits. In December, the Pentagon said it would begin accepting transgender recruits at the beginning of 2018.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018/02/26/First-transgender-recruit-signs-contract-with-Pentagon/6601519671790/