Tsarnaev prosecutors push for the death penalty

What happened
The penalty phase in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s
trial opened in emotional and dramatic
fashion this week, as federal prosecutors
sought to persuade the jury to sentence
the 21-year-old Boston Marathon bomber
to death. Several jurors wept openly as
they heard testimony from witnesses who
lost limbs or loved ones in the April 15,
2013, bombing, which killed three people
and injured 264 others. One survivor recalled
the horror of seeing a broken bone
sticking out of her bloodied leg; another
described the despair of being unable to
move toward her grievously wounded
daughter because her own legs had been
blown apart. Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen
immigrant who was found guilty on all
30 counts last month, indicated before his arrest that the attacks
were meant to avenge the deaths of Muslim civilians in Iraq and
Afghanistan. Federal prosecutor Nadine Pellegrini ended her opening
statement by unveiling a photo of the defendant giving the finger
to the security camera in his cell. “This is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,”
she told jurors. “Unconcerned, unrepentant, and unchanged.”
A death sentence requires a unanimous vote from the jury. The
defense, which begins its case next week, is expected to argue Tsarnaev
was led astray by his domineering older brother, Tamerlan. A
number of survivors and relatives of victims called for Tsarnaev to
be sentenced to life in prison rather than to death. Bill and Denise
Richard, whose 8-year-old son was killed in the attack and whose
7-year-old daughter lost a leg, said years of appeals over a death
sentence “would prolong the most painful day of our lives,” while
locking Tsarnaev up for life would allow them “to turn the page.”
What the editorials said
Tsarnaev should be spared the death penalty, said The Boston
Globe. Executing him would “substitute vengeance for justice”
and turn him into a martyr for other aspiring terrorists. There are
enough “mitigating factors” in Tsarnaev’s involvement—including
his brother’s influence, his drug use, and his young age—to plant
“seeds of doubt” that he really deserves the ultimate punishment.
It’s understandable that people would
root for this homegrown terrorist to be
executed, said the Newark, N.J., Star-
Ledger. But we cannot put the power
to kill in the hands of our very fallible
criminal justice system. The rest of the
civilized world has already given up the
death penalty. In 2013, the only countries
that executed more of their own citizens
than the U.S. were those “citadels of
humanity” China, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi
Arabia. Is that the sort of company we
want to keep? Tsarnaev had “no regard
for human life. Society doesn’t have to
lower itself to his standard.”
What the columnists said
This must be a tough one for opponents
of the death penalty, said Jonah Goldberg in NationalReview.com.
Their “preferred argument” is that we can never be 100 percent
certain of someone’s guilt, so we cannot “afford to risk ending a
single innocent life.” But that’s not the case with Tsarnaev, who is
by his own admission a “traitorous, child-murdering cop killer.”
Executing him would be an act of justice.
I oppose the death penalty on principle, because I fear giving the
state the power to kill, said Charles C. W. Cooke, also in National
Review.com. But “I don’t really care if Tsarnaev fries.” He deliberately
killed and maimed as many people he could, including
children. I know I’m being inconsistent, but “my heart is betraying
my head.” Bet I’m not the only one, either. But is the death penalty
“actually all that punitive?” asked S.E. Cupp in the New York
Daily News. Surely a “lifetime spent in near isolation, in abysmal
conditions,” is a far worse fate than a lethal injection.
The jury’s decision will probably hinge on the issue of remorse,
said Seth Stevenson in Slate.com. If jurors feel Tsarnaev “still can’t
admit the error of his ways and would do it all again,” they may
show him no mercy. Before the trial, I was sure a Massachusetts
jury would spare Tsarnaev the death penalty. But after his jaunty,
defiant demeanor in court, and that photo of him flipping the bird
in his cell? Now “I’m not so sure.”


How to Exercise During a Fast

Exercise should be kept to a minimum during times of fasting. However, you can still actively assist your metabolism.

1.      Understand that fasting is a time for the body to repair itself internally, and that exercise can distract your body's attention from the inside to the outside.

2.      Realize also that during a fast your body lacks many of the nutrients and calories necessary for a workout to be beneficial to your body, and therefore exercise can be detrimental during a fast.

3.      Avoid strenuous workouts or heavy labor during your fast. If you have a normal regimen you can't stand to quit for a few days, cut it down by more than half.

4.      Do light, low-impact exercise: walking, gardening, or light work.

5.      Do simple yoga exercises to help balance and stimulate your inner organs.

6.      Stretch and breathe. Do not underestimate the healing power of deep, conscious breathing.

7.      Develop and maintain a regular exercise schedule after completing your fast. Exercise is essential to proper nutrient absorption and triggers endorphins that help you feel good.

    Pregnant women and children should not fast.

    Consult your healthcare provider before starting a fast, especially if you have diabetes, heart disease, ulcerative colitis, or epilepsy; if you are less than 18 years old or underweight; or if you are on any medications.

    This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.


Apple predictions for 2016

What we can expect from Apple in the upcoming year

Wow. What a year it’s been for Apple.
The iPad Pro, Apple Pay, Apple Music,
Beats 1 and, of course, the Apple Watch,
have given us plenty to talk about over the past 12
months – and these releases do more than just hint
at what might be coming up in 2016.
Apple Watch
Apple hasn’t exactly bet the farm on its Watch. It
was launched with appropriate fanfare, but the
company’s played it slow and sure since then. In
store display areas are discreet, and overshadowed
by its longer-established lines. Perhaps it realises
that a fair few of us are waiting for the first revision.
Expect that to come in 2016 – around April, when
the original model will be 12 months old. If anything
appears between now and then it’s likely to be
another big-brand collaboration, like the one it rolled
out with Hermes back in September. Jumping in bed
with a sports brand like Nike – with whom Apple
has worked before – would be a logical fit, and give
Watch Sport more weight in the fitness arena.
The first revision will almost certainly be an
extensive upgrade to bring it in line with its most
ambitious competitors, so we’re expecting an Apple
Watch 2, rather than an iPhone-style ‘S’ variant.
We’re also expecting it to be an entirely standalone
device, along the lines of Samsung’s Gear
S2, which connects directly to the cellular network,
bypassing the Galaxy Phone entirely.
This might seem illogical if you considered
the Apple Watch to be a stealth marketing tool
for increased iPhone sales, but it wouldn’t be
the first time Apple has broken an explicit link
between two core products to boost the sales of
the newcomer. Think back to its original strategy
with the iPod, which was to use it as a Trojan for
the Mac (it required a FireWire-enabled computer
running iTunes which, at that time, wasn’t available
on Windows). Only when it produced a PC version
did the iPod really fly, and change the company’s
fortunes forever.
Why do we believe it’s going to do that here?
Aside from the need to compete with Samsung
it’s because watchOS 2, which rolled out on 21
September, made it possible for the first time to
run third-party applications directly, without using
the phone as a data conduit. Building in full-blown
phone-free comms is the next logical step.
This will require some additional components – in
particular a SIM card and associated circuitry – but
advances made in the last 12 months suggest that
shouldn’t be a problem. The S1 processor in the
current Apple Watch is built using the same 28
nanometer process as the chip in the iPhone 5S,
which was current while Apple was closing Watch’s
development cycle. Since then, we’ve seen both
the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s hit the shelves, and
they use a considerably finer process, with their
A9 processors built using a 14 nanometer process.
Assuming Apple develops a new chip – likely
called the S2 – for its second-generation Watch, it’s
reasonable to assume that it will employ the same
14-nanometer process and, rather than slimming
the wearable, use the reclaimed space to bolster its
built-in features.

Other notable omissions from Apple Watch that
could be addressed in the first revision are native
GPS, additional health sensors and a higher capacity
battery, not necessarily to deliver a longer work time,
but to deal with the additional load of the bolstered
range of sensors and comms.
iPhone 7
We’ve already had an ‘S’ model since the last full
update, so expect 2016’s iPhone 7 to be a more
extensive revamp. Pundits are forecasting the
death of the home button, which we don’t think
many would mourn. Adopting soft buttons, as are
common on Android devices, makes sense, and
it would allow Apple to increase the screen size
without bulking up the physical body. Conversely,
it may reclaim the lost space to produce a smaller
device with the same 16:9 aspect screen as it
employed in the iPhone 5, 5s and 5c to tempt an
upgrade out of anyone who was put off by the
iPhone 6 and 6s’s wider, taller bodies.
It would still need to accommodate a fingerprint
reader, which is key to Apple Pay, but there’s no
reason why this couldn’t be moved to the side of the
case or sited by the earpiece, on the opposite side
to the front-mounted camera.
Building the iPhone 7 around an AMOLED screen
– as used in the Apple Watch – would make sense
on several fronts, as it’s less power hungry than the
LCD technology Apple currently uses, can display
more colours and is more responsive, but it seems
unlikely that Apple will roll it into the iPhone any
time soon. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities,
believes the company will persevere with LCD for
several years, and with Apple suppliers building new
LCD factories in China to satisfy future demand, it
looks like he could well be right.
Apple Pay, Apple Music
Alongside these headline developments, there will
be a whole series of speed bumps along the way
as Apple extends and refines its offering. Apple Pay
will be accepted in a wider range of headline stores,
and the Apple Music – which is now available on
Android – will inevitably expand.
More importantly, Apple Music may prove to be
the one thing that keeps the iPod on the shelves
next year. If you’d asked us what we
thought of its chances at the close of
2014, we’d have said ‘slim’, but 2015 saw
Apple deliver the first proper update
to the iPod touch in three years, and
it’s now providing another entry ramp
for the firm’s £9.99 a month music
subscription service. That alone means
it makes sense to give it at
least 12 months to prove
itself. The same can’t
necessarily be said of the
nano and shuffle, which are
each available in just one
configuration and, without
streaming abilities, offer no
ongoing revenue source.