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Colombia to (Almost Certainly) Elect World's First Green Leader




While it's tough to focus today on anything besides the "top kill" attempt down in the Gulf, the election down in Colombia certainly deserves some attention. Next Sunday, barring a massive surprise at the polls, the country will elect the first national leader from the Green Party in the world. Antanas Mockus, a philosophy professor and mathematician who had twice served as the mayor of Bogota (1995 to 1997, 2001 to 2003), is known for his playful, innovative leadership style. (As mayor, he combated paralizing traffic by deploying mimes to busy intersections to show drivers and pedestrians how to behave.)

His "green team" includes enlightened livable streets urbanist Enrique Peñalosa (who we've covered twice before), but some local environmental groups are warning against too-high hopes for even this Green Party candidate. "Unfortunately, the environment is not high on any candidate's agenda," says Martin Von Hildebrand, director of the Colombian environmental nonprofit Gaia Amazonas. Other Latin American enviros I've talked to have indicated that Mockus's success has more to do with his personality and track record as a popular mayor, and nothing at all to do with him running on a "green" platform. In fact, I'm told that few Colombians even knew of the Green Party before this election. Still, any ally of Peñalosa is good news in my book. And the world is soon to have an actual national leader from a "Green Party," which is pretty cool.

Photo (cc) by flickr user World Economic Forum
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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

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Politics
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

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"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

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Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

Culture

In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

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Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

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