Di seguito gli interventi pubblicati in questa sezione, in ordine cronologico.
1) TZM Global Radio Show, Wed. May 25th 2011
2) The Zeitgeist Media Festival, Global/Main Event (Sept 9th - 11th 2011)
3) TZM Regional, Monthly "TownHalls", Global.
1) TZM GLOBAL RADIO:
This Wed. May 18th at 4pm EDT Tom Williams of TZM UK will host The Zeitgeist Movement's Global Radio show.
About: ZM Global Radio is a weekly radio show presented by various active coordinators of The Zeitgeist Movement in a rotational fashion. These broadcasts discuss the developments and aims of The Zeitgeist Movement.
2) THE ZEITGEIST MEDIA FESTIVAL:
(Sept 9th - 11th, 2011)
Recognizing this power of Art to help change the world, “The Zeitgeist Media Festival” is an extension of The Zeitgeist Movement’s “Media Project”, which is currently an emerging, experimental online platform for socially conscious artistic expressions.
This event is modeled after our more intellectually oriented annual event day - “Zeitgeist Day” (www.zdayglobal.org/) - which has occurred for the past 3 years with 10s of thousands of participants in over 70 countries each year.
The Zeitgeist Media Festival is also partnering with local Food Drives globally to help the many homeless and suffering people in the world today.
-LA MAIN EVENT:
Tickets for the Los Angeles, CA Featured Event will go on sale in late May. This non-profit event is an 8 hour long multi-media experssion featured a spectrum of socially conscious art. Confirmed commitments include Lili Haydn, The Lions, Natacha Atlas, Norton Wisdom, Master 0, Rick Overton and many others both local and national. Peter Joseph will also be performing abstracts of the Zeitgeist Film Series Score live.
3) TZM TOWNHALL MEETING, MONTHLY:
The Zeitgeist Movement's is now launching regional monthly Townhall Meetings. These are live, public events conducted by Official Regional ZM Chapters. These localized events are similar in function to our annual global "Zeitgeist Day" events but ideally occur monthly, rather than annually. Modeled after patterns proven effective by civil right's movements historically, the goal is to inform the public of TZM's understandings and goals and hence grow awareness and membership.
Turismo Associati note: THIS ARTICLE FROM THE ENGLISH NEWSPAPER THE GUARDIAN is dated: Thursday 10 February 2011 15.22 GMT. THIS COULD EXPLAIN THE CONNECTION WITH WHAT HAPPENED IN MAY 2011 TO Mr. STRAUSS-KAHN...
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, has called for a new world currency that would challenge the dominance of the dollar and help curb future financial instability.
In a speech in Washington, Strauss-Kahn argued that the reserves that member countries held with the fund could be used, instead of the dollar, to price international trade. These so-called special drawing rights (SDRs) could also act as an alternative to the dollar in central banks' foreign currency reserves.
"Using the SDR to price global trade and denominate financial assets would provide a buffer from exchange rate volatility," he said, while "issuing SDR-denominated bonds could create a potentially new class of reserve assets".
The IMF published a policy paper backing Strauss-Kahn's views as it gathered top-level economists for discussions on the future of the international monetary system.
Strauss-Kahn, who has been tipped as a contender for the French presidency next year, also argued that the way SDRs were valued, which is currently based on a basket of currencies – the dollar, sterling, the euro and the yen – be broadened to include others such as the Chinese yuan.
International policymakers have become increasingly concerned about the threat of currency wars as struggling governments try to hold down their own exchange rates as they clamber out of recession.
Strauss-Kahn admitted that there were formidable hurdles to achieving a greater role for SDRs, but he warned that without urgent action, the simmering conflicts in the international financial system could tip the world back into chaos.
"Global imbalances are back, with issues that worried us before the crisis—large and volatile capital flows, exchange-rate pressures, rapidly growing excess reserves – on the front-burner once again. Left unresolved, these problems could even sow the seeds of the next crisis," he said.
China, which holds much of its $2.85 trillion mountain of reserves in US Treasury bonds, has repeatedly expressed unease about the value of the dollar, while American politicians have complained that Beijing gains an unfair advantage by keeping its own currency cheap.
The idea of SDRs emerged in 1969, to support the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system, but when that collapsed a few years later, the role of SDRs was largely forgotten. They allow IMF members the right to swap their own reserves for foreign currencies in times of need.
However, at the London G20 meeting in 2009, in the midst of the credit crunch, world leaders agreed a dramatic $250bn boost to SDRs, sparking speculation that they could play a growing role in the global monetary system.
Strauss-Kahn said the IMF was also examining ways of strengthening international policy co-ordination, and monitoring international imbalances.
Author: Heather Stewart; Source: guardian.co.uk
A Binghamton University computer scientist with an interest in "green" software development has received recognition for a new approach regarding energy consumption by computer software. 'New' ways of writing code could enable more efficient energy consumption by computers.
Computers and electronic devices, ranging from smartphones to servers, consume a steadily growing amount of energy. In recent years, computer scientists have developed an interest in paring back this consumption, though generally they've approached the challenge through modifying hardware or perhaps operating systems. Liu plans to tackle the problem by considering how programmers can create more energy-efficient software.
"Saving energy is an activity that should come from many layers," said Liu, who plans to build energy-related parameters into a programming language.
A change at that level would permit and encourage programmers to express their energy-saving intentions directly when software is developed.
"Saving energy is often a trade-off," Liu said. "Sometimes you're willing to run your program slower so your cell phone battery can last longer."
For such settings — often specific to the nature of the applications — no automated algorithms know as much as programmers. "Programs today are not just 50 lines of code," Liu said.
They have often grown to be thousands or even millions of lines long. He hopes to employ advanced programming language technologies known as "type systems" to answer questions such as
"What is the energy-consumption pattern of a large program, given the consumption patterns of its fragments?" and "Do programmers have conflicted views of the energy-consumption patterns of their software?"
Energy-efficient solutions at the level of programming languages also enjoy a high degree of platform independence, meaning they can have an impact all along the spectrum from phones to servers.
"In an era when new platforms are introduced every year," Liu explained, "an approach that's platform-independent would be beneficial because it can be applied more broadly."
None of the mainstream computer languages supports energy-aware programming, he said. However, language designers often create a blueprint that can be extended. Java, for instance, could be extended as EnergyJava and remain 90 percent the same. Such moderate changes would make it possible for programmers to adopt it relatively easily.
There isn't much history in this area, Liu said, so it's hard to say how quickly industry will react to the development of an energy-efficient language. However, new language designs have the potential to influence how millions of programmers think.
"I think every researcher wants to make the world better, and we just put it into our own perspective," he said. "Sometime in the Computer future, every Science 101 class may include a lecture or two on energy-aware programming. As an educator, I'm excited about helping to ensure that next-generation programmers are green-conscious from the beginning of their careers."
Provided by Binghamton University
How does an archivist understand the relationship among billions of documents or search for a single record in a sea of data? With the proliferation of digital records, the task of the archivist has grown more complex. This problem is especially acute for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the government agency responsible for managing and preserving the nation's historical records.
At the end of President George W. Bush's administration in 2009, NARA received roughly 35 times the amount of data as previously received from the administration of President Bill Clinton, which itself was many times that of the previous administration. With the federal government increasingly using social media, cloud computing and other technologies to contribute to open government, this trend is not likely to decline. By 2014, NARA is expecting to accumulate more than 35 petabytes (quadrillions of bytes) of data in the form of electronic records.
"The National Archives is a unique national institution that responds to requirements for preservation, access and the continued use of government records," said Robert Chadduck, acting director for the National Archives Center for Advanced Systems and Technologies.
To find innovative and scalable solutions to large-scale electronic records collections, Chadduck turned to the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), a National Science Foundation- (NSF) funded center for advanced computing research, to draw on the expertise of TACC's digital archivist, Maria Esteva, and data analysis expert, Weijia Xu.
"For the government and the nation to effectively respond to all of the requirements that are associated with very large digital record collections, some candidate approaches and tools are needed, which are embodied in the class of cyberinfrastructure that is currently under development at TACC," Chadduck said.
After consulting with NARA about its needs, members of TACC's Data and Information Analysis group developed a multi-pronged approach that combines different data analysis methods into a visualization framework. The visualizations act as a bridge between the archivist and the data by interactively rendering information as shapes and colors to facilitate an understanding of the archive's structure and content.
Archivists spend a significant amount of time determining the organization, contents and characteristics of collections so they can describe them for public access purposes. "This process involves a set of standard practices and years of experience from the archivist side," said Xu. "To accomplish this task in large-scale digital collections, we are developing technologies that combine computing power with domain expertise."
This snapshot corresponds to a regularly organized website containing a total of 2,000 files of different file formats. Highlighted in shades of yellow are different number of Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The purple color shows patterns in file naming convention across directories. Credit: Visualizations courtesy of Maria Esteva, Weijia Xu, Suyog Dutt Jain, and Varun Jain.
Knowing that human visual perception is a powerful information processing system, TACC researchers expanded on methods that take advantage of this innate skill. In particular, they adapted the well-known treemap visualization, which is traditionally used to represent file structures, to render additional information dimensions, such as technical metadata, file format correlations and preservation risk-levels. This information is determined by data driven analysis methods on the visualization's back-end. The renderings are tailored to suit the archivist's need to compare and contrast different groups of electronic records on the fly. In this way, the archivist can assess, validate or question the results and run other analyses.
One of the back-end analysis methods developed by the team combines string alignment algorithms with Natural Language Processing methods, two techniques drawn from biology. Applied to directory labels and file naming conventions, the method helps archivists infer whether a group of records is organized by similar names, by date, by geographical location, in sequential order, or by a combination of any of those categories.
Another analysis method under development computes paragraph-to-paragraph similarity and uses clustering methods to automatically discover "stories" from large collections of email messages. These stories, made by messages that refer to the same activity or transaction, may then become the points of access to large collections that cannot be explored manually.
To analyze terabyte-level data, the researchers distribute data and computational tasks across multiple computing nodes on TACC's high performance computing resource, Longhorn, a data analysis and visualization cluster funded by NSF. This accelerates computing tasks that would otherwise take a much longer time on standard workstations.
"TACC's nationally recognized, HPC supercomputers constitute wonderful national investments," said Chadduck. "The understanding of how such systems can be effective is at the core of our collaboration with TACC."
The question remains as to whether archivists and the public will adapt to the abstract data representations proposed by TACC.
"A fundamental aspect of our research involves determining if the representation and the data abstractions are meaningful to archivists conducting analysis, if they allow them to have a clear and thorough understanding of the collection," said Esteva.
Throughout the research process, the TACC team has sought feedback from archivists and information specialists on the University of Texas at Austin campus, and in the Austin community.
"The research addresses many of the problems associated with comprehending the preservation complexities of large and varied digital collections," said Jennifer Lee, a librarian at the University of Texas at Austin. "The ability to assess varied characteristics and to compare selected file attributes across a vast collection is a breakthrough."
The NARA/TACC project was highlighted by the White House in its report to Congress as a national priority for the federal 2011 technology budget. The researchers presented their findings at the 6th International Digital Curation Conference, and at the 2010 Joint Conference on Digital Libraries.
As data collections grow bigger, new ways to display and interact with the data are necessary. Currently, TACC is building a transformable multi-touch display to enhance interactivity and the collaborative aspects of archival analysis. The new system will enable multiple users to explore data concurrently while discussing its meaning.
"What constitutes research today at TACC will eventually be integrated into the cyberinfrastructure of the country, at which point it will become commonplace," said Chadduck. "In that way, TACC is providing what I believe is a window on the archives of the future."
Provided by National Science Foundation
Data collected by the BaBar experiment during its final months of operation in 2008 point to a new member of the "bottomonium" family of subatomic particles. BaBar collaboration member and SLAC physicist Valentina Santoro presented the results on behalf of the collaboration last month at the Lake Louise Winter Institute, a yearly conference held at Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. The discovery adds another piece to physicists' model of the so-called "strong" force, which binds subatomic particles into larger chunks of matter.
In 2008, members of the BaBar collaboration announced they'd discovered the lowest-energy bottomonium particle, called ?b (pronounced eta-sub-b). A subsequent BaBar study confirmed the finding in 2009. Continued examination of the final BaBar data set has now revealed another particle of the bottomonium family, called the hb (h-sub-b).
Several variants of bottomonium—a bottom quark bound to a bottom anti-quark—have been predicted and a number have now been observed, the first more than thirty years ago. But many of the predicted states remain unobserved. Each one discovered offers a valuable window into quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, explained BaBar Physics Analysis Coordinator Steve Robertson. QCD is the theory of the strong force that binds quarks into the protons and neutrons that make up atomic nuclei (and ultimately us). It's an important part of the Standard Model, currently the best theory physicists have to explain matter, energy, and how the two interact.
"Since [bottomonium particles] are held together by the strong force interactions, studying the particles is a good way to study the strong force," Robertson explained. However, studying them isn't easy. The strong force, though effectively limited in distance to lengths that span an atomic nucleus, is strong. Individual quarks have never been isolated, and all bottomonium particles are unstable and decay rapidly into lighter, less exotic particles. That means particle physicists must study them indirectly, by taking the final products of a particle collision, after any bottomonia have decayed away, and tracing back along the processes required to create these decay products. In this way, they can determine the nature of the particle at the beginning of that chain of particle decays. It's somewhat akin to running a film backward to watch shards of porcelain on the kitchen floor rise into the air and reassemble themselves into a tea cup on a table.
The BaBar researchers combed through data from more than 120 million electron–positron collisions to find their shards. They also narrowed the possibilities for how the hb particle is created, and confirmed theoretical predictions of its mass.
Less than two weeks after Santoro presented the results, a group of researchers from Belle, a collaboration based at the KEK facility in Japan, announced their observation of the hb particle while studying a completely different and somewhat unexpected decay process. Figuratively speaking, the Belle researchers watched the same pile of porcelain shards reassemble into a coffee mug.
Provided by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
The key to using silicon in electronic devices such as transistors and solar cells lies in doping, or adding in small quantities of other elements, to create an excess of electrons (n-type) or positively charged holes (p-type) that change the material's conductivity. N-type and p-type silicon are butted together to form p-n junctions, the basic building blocks of electronic devices such as solar cells, light-emitting diodes, and transistors.
For years, researchers have tried to do something similar with quantum dots, tiny semiconductor crystals a few nanometers in diameter. Now, a team of Israeli researchers has reported success. They have doped indium arsenide quantum dots to create n-type and p-type materials. The advance, published in the journal Science, could lead to new types of efficient, cheap, and printable thin-film solar cells.
Quantum dots hold promise for low-cost solar cells because they can be made using simple, inexpensive chemical reactions. Scientists have calculated that quantum dots could be used to make thin-film photovoltaics that are at least as efficient as conventional silicon cells, and possibly more efficient. The higher possible efficiency is because nanocrystals made of certain semiconductors can emit more than one electron for every photon absorbed. Plus, tweaking their size and shape changes the colors of light they absorb. "We could tune the nanocrystal absorption to match the solar spectrum," says Uri Banin, a professor of chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who led the new work.
Despite these advantages, no one has succeeded in making efficient quantum-dot solar cells. For that, you need n-type and p-type nanocrystals, says Eran Rabani, a chemistry professor at Tel Aviv University who was involved in the new work. In solar cells, the electrons and holes that are created when photons are absorbed have to be separated so that the electrons can travel out of the semiconductor to the external electric circuit. Some electrons and holes inevitably combine, but they combine much faster in quantum dots than in large silicon crystals. Doping semiconductor nanocrystals would provide a way for creating p-n junctions that separate electrons and holes efficiently, Rabani says.
Silicon is typically doped with phosphorus or boron atoms, but these materials do not work with quantum dots because the dots are so small. A 4-nanometer-wide nanocrystal contains about 1,000 atoms. Adding a few dopant atoms .can lead to their being expelled from the nanocrystals.
Some quantum-dot doping efforts have succeeded. Researchers have, for instance, doped them with magnetic manganese ions, but this technique does not introduce excess electrons or holes. Others have been able to make undoped nanocrystals n-type by injecting electrons into them. Still others have been able to dope thin films of nanocrystals.
The Israeli team, by contrast, is able to dope freestanding nanoparticles. "This is a major breakthrough here," says Y. Charles Cao, a chemistry professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville. "The major advantage here is you [have] the building blocks for the bottom-up assembly of nanocrystal electronic devices." Another plus, adds Cao, is that the method used to make the dots is easy and inexpensive and could be scaled up to make devices in large quantities.
Source: Technology Review
Although the lungless salamander and some frog species have developed ballistic tongues, the chameleon's ballistic tongue is the fastest, the longest, and the one that can catch the heaviest prey. A chameleon’s tongue can elongate more than six times its rest length, zipping forward at speeds of 3.5-10.5 meters/second – faster than a human eye can follow. The tongue is called ballistic because, like all ballistic objects, it moves freely without any applied force during its forward motion. Once the chameleon's accordion-like tongue is ejected, it continues moving forward under its own inertia.
With the aim to mimic the mechanisms and performance of the chameleon’s tongue, researcher Alexis Debray of Canon, Inc., in Tokyo, Japan, has developed four ballistic robotic manipulators. Each of the four manipulators excels at copying a certain part of the chameleon’s tongue, and insights from each design could eventually be combined to create a more advanced chameleon tongue that could have manufacturing applications. Debray’s study is published in a recent issue of Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.
“As far as I know, this is the first published demonstration of manipulators based on the chameleon tongue,” Debray told PhysOrg.com. “The particular mechanism of the tongue of the chameleon allows for fast accelerations and velocities and also applies no force during most of the motion.
As Debray explains, what we normally think of as the tongue of the chameleon is actually a larger system called the hyolingual apparatus. The tongue is just a small component on the front tip of the hyolingual apparatus. The majority of the hyolingual apparatus consists of the long, thin hyoglossus complex, which is the part that folds up like an accordion inside the chameleon’s mouth.
The rapid movement of the chameleon’s hyolingual apparatus involves three phases: projection, catching, and retraction. Each of these three phases is controlled by a different system. The tongue (tip of the hyolingual apparatus) contains the accelerator muscle and collagens that control the projection. When the chameleon is ready to project, it slowly protrudes its tongue out of its mouth. Then, the tongue’s accelerator muscle projects the tongue off a bone inside the chameleon’s mouth. No applied force is needed to keep the tongue – and the rest of the hyolingual apparatus – moving forward. When the tongue reaches its prey, a tongue pad containing a small suction on the tip of the tongue can stick to the prey. Finally, the hyoglossus muscle in the accordion-like hyoglossus complex retracts the tongue at a constant velocity. Although the three phases are controlled by different systems, they occur in a single smooth, continuous motion.
Like the chameleon tongue, Debray’s robotic manipulators use different specialized systems for projection, catching, and retraction. To project, all four manipulators use a coilgun in place of the chameleon tongue’s accelerator muscle. Elastomers and/or cotton string is used in place of the chameleon’s hyolingual apparatus. Instead of folding up like an accordion, the elastomers and string are wound around a reel. As for catching, the robotic manipulators use magnets on the tip of the elastomers, which attract magnetic “prey.” For retraction, the manipulators use either an elastomer, a DC motor connected to a reel and string, or a combination of both. One of the manipulators also had wings on the mobile part, which could allow researchers to take advantage of aerodynamic effects.
“In the future, movable wings will allow controlling the trajectory after the ejection of the tongue, which is not possible now,” Debray said. “In our experiments, the wings are not movable. However, their aerodynamic effect on the trajectory of the tongue has been demonstrated experimentally. So far, aerodynamic effects have been poorly studied in the field of manipulators.”
Using a high-speed camera, Debray could track the manipulators in motion. The results showed that the robotic manipulators could reach a projection velocity of 3.8 meters/second without the need for a continuously applied force, which is similar to the velocity of the chameleon tongue. In addition, the robotic manipulators could reach an acceleration of 919 meters/second2, which exceeds that of the chameleon (374 meters/second2). The manipulators that used a DC motor and string for retraction had the same extension ability as the chameleon tongue, and could also adapt to variations in the targets’ distances, as chameleons can.
By incorporating various end effectors onto the robotic manipulators, the devices could have a variety of applications, especially for products passing on a factory line. For example, manipulators with sensors could be used to sense data on products. Stamps and catching devices could be used to deposit patterns and manipulate objects, respectively. Using a mechanism based on the chameleon’s ballistic tongue could provide certain advantages compared with other manipulators due to the small size and flexibility. Further, because ballistic manipulators do not apply a continuous force during their forward motion, an accidental collision would be less severe and likely cause less damage compared to a device being pushed forward. As Debray explained, the current manipulators lack reliability, and so they cannot yet be put to practical use.
“The work presented in the paper is a first step towards manipulators inspired by the chameleon tongue,” Debray said. “Further development is needed in order to use them in factory lines. However, the ultimate goal of this work is the manufacture of Canon products such as cameras and printers, among others.”
More information: Alexis Debray. “Manipulators inspired by the tongue of the chameleon.” Bioinsp. Biomim. 6 (2011) 026002 (15pp). DOI:10.1088/1748-3182/6/2/026002
Economic theory assumes resource scarcity as an important premise, and there is a general consensus that scarce resources are best allocated by means of a market. However, a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that there may be alternative solutions to the allocation problem.
Economic theory generally assumes that there will never be enough food, water, cars, money etc. to satisfy people's wants. This means that inequalities, conflict and poverty are inevitable parts of society. Many economists feel that scarcity is best dealt with through the presence of a market – the highest bidders gain access to a society's scarce resources.
Yet, economic sociologists do not necessarily see resource scarcity as inevitable, and neither do they always agree with the mainstream solution to the economic problem. There are indeed enough resources, they might argue, but people are for various reasons denied access. For example, there is enough food in the world, but people are still starving. Why is that?
'The market as an allocation mechanism has not been able to distribute food to everyone – every sixth person in the world does not have access to enough food,' says Adel Daoud, author of the thesis.
So, do we need the market?
'Maybe we do, given the present economic system, but we should at the same time ask ourselves whether any alternative allocation models could help us manage the world's resources better, not least considering the climate threat. A so-called economic democracy could be one such solution. In an economic democracy, citizens get to have a say about what and how much of various products and services should be produced,' says Daoud.
One of the main contributions of the thesis is to show the importance of using alternative perspectives, such as economic sociology, to deal with the notion of resource scarcity rather than simply seeing scarcity as inevitable.
High school students who feel they do not fit in are less likely to attend college — particularly girls who are gay or obese — according to new research from The University of Texas at Austin.
"Because social experiences in high school have such demonstrable effects on academic progress and attending college, the social concerns of teenagers are educational concerns for school," says sociologist Robert Crosnoe.
Crosnoe has completed one of the most comprehensive studies of the long-term effects on teenagers who say they don't fit in. He used national statistics from 132 high schools and spent more than a year inside a high school in Texas with 2,200 students, observing and interviewing teenagers. His findings will be published in his new book "Fitting In, Standing Out" (Cambridge University Press, April 11).
"Kids who have social problems — often because they are overweight or gay are at greater risk of missing out on going to college simply because of the social problems they have and how it affects them emotionally," says Crosnoe, a Sociology Department professor and Population Research Center affiliate. "Not because of anything to do with intelligence or academic progress."
Girls were 57 percent and boys 68 percent less likely than peers of the same race, social class and academic background to attend college if they had feelings of not fitting in, according to the study. Particularly at risk were girls who are obese, who are 78 percent less likely to attend college than non-obese girls, and those who are gay, who are 50 percent less likely to attend.
Crosnoe found feelings of not fitting in led to increased depression, marijuana use and truancy over time. Those coping strategies interrupt the education process — the classes teenagers take, the grades they make — which, in turn, affect their ability to go to college.
"Teenagers cope with the discomforts of not fitting in, including being bullied, in ways that are protective in the short term, but disastrous in the long term," says Crosnoe.
His research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and William T. Grant Foundation, has resulted in recommendations for how parents, teachers and policymakers can ensure that the social side of high school supports, rather than undermines, academics. It comes at a time when state lawmakers and federal policymakers are tackling bullying — often a cause of teenage social problems — as a national crisis.
PRESS RELEASE -
Hundreds of thousands of individuals globally celebrate today (May 5, 2011 - TA note) the confirmation that their efforts to end the torturous pre-trial confinement conditions inflicted upon US Army PFC Bradley Manning have been successful. Manning's lead defense attorney, David E. Coombs of Rhode Island, has personally verified that Manning is indeed being held in Medium Custody confinement at the Joint Regional Corrections Facility (JRCF) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as claimed by the Army last week.
"We won this battle because 600,000 individuals took the time to write letters and sign petitions, because thousands called the White House switchboard, because 300 of America's top legal scholars decried Bradley's pre-trial conditions as a clear violation of our Constitution's 5th and 8th Amendments," declared Jeff Paterson of Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network. "We won this battle because over a hundred concerned citizens engaged in civil disobedience at the White House and at Quantico, and because our grassroots campaign shows no sign of slowing."
These new conditions reflect a dramatic improvement for Manning following his transfer to Fort Leavenworth on April 20, 2011, after having suffered extreme solitary-like confinement at US Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. During the nine months at Quantico, Manning was denied meaningful exercise, social interaction, sunlight, and was at times kept completely naked. These conditions were unique to Manning and were illegal under US military law as they clearly amounted to pre-trial punishment.
"I was able to tour the (Fort Leavenworth) facility and meet with PFC Manning last week. PFC Manning is now being held in Medium Custody. He is no longer under.harsh pretrial confinement conditions. Unlike at Quantico, PFC Manning's cell has a large window that provides adequate natural light....PFC Manning is able to have all of his personal items in his cell, which include his clothing, his legal materials, books and letters from family and friends....Each pre-trial area (including PFC Manning's) has four cells, and each pre-trial detainee is assigned to his own cell. The cells are connected to a shared common area, with a table, a treadmill, a television and a shower area....PFC Manning and his group are taken to the outdoor recreation area [for approximately two hours daily]," explained Coombs on his blog at www.armycourtmartialdefense.info hours ago.
"President Obama's recent pronouncement that Bradley Manning 'broke the law' amounts to Unlawful Command Influence, something clearly prohibited because it's devastating to the military justice system. Manning will eventually be judged by a jury of career military officers and noncommissioned officers. Will they be able to set aside the declaration of their commander in chief?" explains attorney Kevin Zeese, a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network. "Along with the illegal pre-trial punishment already inflicted upon Bradley, the government has more than enough legal basis to drop the prosecution. Instead, the death penalty or life in prison hangs over Manning's head."
After nearly a year in confinement, the Army is expected to soon announce Manning's first public hearing, an Article 32 pre-trail proceeding, which will be held in the Washington DC area. Scores of international solidarity events are already being planned.
US Army intelligence analyst Private First Class Bradley E. Manning, 23-years-old, was arrested in Iraq on May 26, 2010. He still awaits his first public court hearing, now expected to begin in June 2011. Over 4,300 individuals have contributed over $333,000 towards PFC Manning's legal fees and related public education efforts. The Bradley Manning Support Network is dedicated to thwarting the military's attempts to hold a secret court martial, and to eventually winning the freedom of PFC Manning.