Daily Archives: January 24, 2015

Inside Story – Who’s really benefiting from low oil prices?


Al Jazeera English

Published on Dec 21, 2014

As oil prices fell, many expected OPEC members to lower their production in an effort to boost prices – but they didn’t. And analysts now say it is part of a long term strategy by OPEC’s most dominant member, Saudi Arabia, to keep its market share and push out competitors.Join Inside Story as we take a look at how the world’s biggest oil producers are using low prices, to keep their domination of the market.

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Counting the Cost – Feature: Black gold in decline?


Al Jazeera English

Published on Dec 21, 2014

We speak to an financial expert about the effects the dropping oil prices are having on the world markets and economies. – Subscribe to our channel http://bit.ly/AJSubscribe – Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/AJEnglish – Find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera – Check out our website:http://www.aljazeera.com/

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‘People died at sea, that’s how life is’


Al Jazeera English

Published on Jan 9, 2015

Web exclusive: For decades Mauritania has been a transit hub for migrants hoping to reach Spain’s Canary Islands, 800km away by sea. Despite the deadly risks involved, people smugglers have had a flourishing trade. There is no shortage of migrants willing to pay thousands of dollars to make the crossing. In a web exclusive, Al Jazeera’s Hassan Ghani speaks to one such smuggler. The Senegalese man, who spoke to Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisals, has been operating off the coast of Mauritania since 2006 and says it is now getting more difficult.

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Mass extinction (Permian-Triassic- Extinction) – The Evolutionary Theory on Extinction

Spiesleaks

Published on Nov 8, 2014

Extinction happens. But what’s evolution got to do with it?
Mass extinctions. Dinosaurs and the first mammals. Saving an unspoiled forest near Bangkok. Biological invaders in the Hawaiian Islands. Using a beneficial insect to control weeds in North Dakota.

“Extinction is the termination of a species.” At least 95 per cent of all species that have ever lived are now extinct. Extinction is normal, and is happening all the time, at the rate of a few species per year.
We watch various animals foraging for food, and a lioness bringing down her prey. “The extinction of old species that can no longer adapt or compete creates opportunities for new species that can–in an endless cycle,” the narrator says. “So evolution and extinction are in balance. But what happens when a planet-wide catastrophe strikes and a great dying begins?”

The scene changes dramatically–to lightning, volcanoes, and fire. Five times in the last half-billion years, we are told, mass extinctions wiped out most species alive at the time. As the smoke clears, we see Peter Ward driving through South Africa to investigate the greatest of these mass extinctions–the one that occurred at the end of the geological period known as the Permian. He stops at an old abandoned farmhouse, and sees from the tombstones in a nearby graveyard that the family that used to live there died within a five-year period about a century ago. “So a hundred years [ago], these people were just wiped off the face of the Earth, and we have no idea what killed them,” says Ward. “And if that’s the case, how am I going to figure out what killed animals that lived in those hills [gesturing], the fossils of which we have from 250 million years ago?”

In the rocks of those hills, Ward finds evidence that a great catastrophe occurred at the end of the Permian. “So catastrophic was that mass extinction,” says Ward, “that even the small creatures have died out. It’s not just the mighty, it’s the meek.” An animation shows us what might–or might not–have caused the Permian extinction. “When species died, they didn’t die alone,” says the narrator. “The collapse of one helped bring down the others.”

Ward explains: “You could almost analogize that to a house of cards. Each species props up another, in a sense.” We watch as a huge house of playing-cards teeters in front of us. Ward continues: “Because the creature that you eat is that card that is sitting under you that gives you your energy. Now let’s pretend that we start kicking out card after card after card–and that’s what a mass extinction does, isn’t it? It starts knocking out a species here, it knocks out a species there, but pretty soon lots of species are gone. And it’s not just the disappearance of species now–the whole house of cards falls down.”

Not everything died in the Permian extinction, however. Ward holds up the skull of a mammal-like reptile. He says that the few lineages that survived the extinction “start evolving, because the world is empty, and empty worlds really begat [a] tremendous amount of evolutionary diversifications.”

But how do empty worlds beget new species, exactly? Mass extinction may be an important feature of the history of life; but the question is, how did living things diversify afterwards? That is the question Darwin’s theory is supposed to answer, but the fact of extinction doesn’t help us. Species go extinct, and new ones take their places. This may come as a surprise to people who believe that species never go extinct (if, in fact, there are such people); but how does it provide evidence for Darwinian evolution?
What Really
happen to the Dinosaurs?

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Nova: Permian Extinction


greenmanbucket

Uploaded on Jan 27, 2011

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BBC News – Where do the wealthiest 1% live?

By Keith Moore BBC News

In today’s Magazine

As the business and political elite met at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, there was much talk of rising inequality, and many references to the “wealthiest 1%”. The phrase conjures up images of billionaires living on private islands – but is that really who the 1% really are?

A report by the charity Oxfam released to coincide with the Davos gathering caused a stir by predicting that the wealthiest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world’s population.

It drew on research from the bank Credit Suisse, which estimated total global household wealth in 2014 at $263tn (£175tn).

That’s wealth, not income. It is calculated as assets minus debt.

Obviously billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg are part of the 1%. But who else is? According to Credit Suisse, another 47m people – everyone with wealth of $798,000 (£530,000) or more.

…(read more).

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Robert Greenwald Discusses “Koch Brothers Exposed” film with Thom Hartmann


bravenewfoundation

Robert Greenwald discusses his latest film and campaign “Koch Brothers Exposed” with Thom Hartmann.
Get the latest with a free Koch Brothers Exposed video subscription: http://goo.gl/HSCyS

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