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Showing posts from January 22, 2017

A deserved commutation (Hindu)

Chelsea Manning, the American whistle-blowerea slapped with a 35-year sentence for leaking classified State Department documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, has had her sentence commuted by the outgoing President, Barack Obama. Earlier known as Bradley, she has gender dysphoria, is undergoing hormone therapy for gender reassignment, and has twice attempted suicide while being held at a men’s prison. She has served more than six years of her sentence and, assuming Mr. Obama’s commutation is implemented, could hope to be freed by May 2017. Even as White House officials underscored that the 44th President had commuted the sentence, not pardoned her, and thus had not removed a federal crime from her record, Mr. Obama insisted that “justice has been served”. Central to his argument was the fact that she had served time in jail after pleading guilty to 10 of the 22 charges, relating to espionage, fraud and theft, for releasing 2,50,000 diplomatic cables, 5,00,000 military reports,…

Living in a hotter world()Hindu.

The world has turned the page on 2016 with the worrying revelation that it was the warmest year on the instrumental record since the late 19th century, and the hottest of three record-breaking years in a row. While the rise in global average surface temperature by about 1.1ยบ C last year over the pre-industrial era was aggravated by the El Nino phenomenon of 2015-16, the trend is a warning to all countries that they cannot afford to rely on carbon-intensive growth any longer. Explaining the scientific view, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies points to the rise in temperature as being driven “largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.” The warming pattern must be seen in the context of declining sea ice cover in the Arctic, compounding the loss of ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic. In the Arctic, which is witnessing a decline in the extent of sea ice in the lowest month at the rate of about 13% every decade, melting creates a…