The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico presents British Petroleum with a problem of unprecedented severity — a limitless gush in deep waters — forcing the company to grasp for fixes to a problem that it never envisioned. ANOTHER EXXON VALDEZ? Gulf Coast catastrophe could be worse than 1989 spill. Look back at the Seattle Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Valdez disaster. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico presents British Petroleum with a problem of unprecedented severity — a limitless gush in deep waters — forcing the company to grasp for fixes to a problem that it never envisioned.
Goldman Sachs came under fresh pressure this morning after it was revealed the Wall Street powerhouse faces a criminal investigation into mortgage security deals it arranged. The inquiry follows civil fraud charges filed by the government against Goldman two weeks ago. The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan opened the investigation following a criminal referral by America's financial watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1269948/Goldman-Sachs-facing-criminal-probe-mortgage-securities-deals.html#ixzz0mhlWUo00
A confidential government report on the unfolding spill disaster in the Gulf makes clear the Coast Guard now fears the well could become an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf. “The following is not public,” reads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Emergency Response document dated April 28. “Two additional release points were found today in the tangled riser. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought.”
There was a strange moment last week during President Obama's speech at Cooper Union. There he was, groveling before a cast of Wall Street villains including Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein, begging them to "Look into your heart!" like John Turturro's character in Miller's Crossing...when out of the blue, the POTUS dropped this bombshell: "The only people who ought to fear the kind of oversight and transparency that we're proposing are those whose conduct will fail this scrutiny."
Oil is leaking into the Gulf of Mexico from the well beneath where a British Petroleum (BP) drilling rig exploded at the rate of 5,000 barrels a day, a rate five times greater than earlier estimates, the US government reported late Wednesday night. US Coast Guard officials said a scientist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had reached the conclusion based on aerial surveys of the slick.
Thousands of people turned out for a protest on Wall Street Thursday to denounce the taxpayer-funded bailout and the role of large financial firms in the nation’s economic crisis. A coalition of union and community groups organized the march as the Senate opened debate on a measure to overhaul financial regulation.
After weeks of Republican stall tactics and filibuster threats, the Senate has finally opened debate on Sen. Chris Dodd's financial regulatory reform bill. But the legislation has been on the floor of public opinion for months, and misperceptions and rumors about the bill abound. On this week's podcast, Washington Editor Christopher Hayes debunks myths and discusses the bill's economic implications. Will it end bailouts? Or just reinforce a broken system? Get the answers on this week's The Breakdown.
Elizabeth Warren was born in Oklahoma in 1949, professes law at Harvard Law School and is currently chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel to investigate the banking bailout, formally known as the Troubled Assets Relief Program. She’s also the prime advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which Congress is now considering, but which may well be suffocated in the embrace of the Federal Reserve. Warren's has been cited as among names being considered as Supreme Court nominees to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.and in the opinion of the editors of CounterPunch would be the best choice. AC/JSC
The Israelis recently celebrated 62 years of Independence of their race-based state built on mass murder, ethnic cleansing, theft, mass imprisonment of subject populations, abusive imprisonment of 800,000 children in what the Catholic Church describes as the Gaza Concentration Camp, race-based Apartheid laws, gross human rights abuse - and all of this summarized by the 2 words Palestinian Genocide (for details see "Palestinian Genocide":
A plan by Senate Democratic leaders to reform the nation’s immigration laws ran into strong opposition from civil liberties defenders before lawmakers even unveiled it Thursday. Democratic leaders have proposed requiring every worker in the nation to carry a national identification card with biometric information, such as a fingerprint, within the next six years, according to a draft of the measure.
Of all the sneaky tactics practiced in Washington D.C., this recent action by Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) is one of the most insidious: While no one was looking, he injected amendment language into the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 4173) that would expand the powers of the FTC (not the FDA, but the FTC) to terrorize nutritional supplement companies by greatly expanding the power of the FTC to make its own laws that target dietary supplement companies.
For years the Greek Orthodox Church has been criticised for leasing its land in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank to the state of Israel for tens of millions of dollars. Al Jazeera has seen documents that reveal the full extent of the deals made between the church's former patriarch with a powerful Israeli settler organisation. Now the new patriarch says he is fighting to stop church property being turned into settlements.
Small amounts of oil from a massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico have reached US shores. Officials said the leak, from an oil rig sunk by a massive explosion last week, was five times worse than previously thought, and could trigger a disaster of "national significance" on the Gulf coast.
Within around thirty seconds of smoking the dark herbal extract the effects rapidly began, and I felt my entire sense of identity suddenly shift. I was instantly transformed from a human being into a tiny disembodied speck of consciousness -- completely bewildered as to what I was and amnesic of my former identity. I was suspended in a hyperspatial dimension, a crystalline network of pulsing energies, that was filled with countless other miniature beings like me. I found myself inside of a kind of space within space, that appeared to transcend the whole three-dimensional universe.
The pilots waging America’s undeclared drone war in Pakistan could be liable to criminal prosecution for “war crimes,” a prominent law professor told a Congressional panel Wednesday. Harold Koh, the State Department’s top legal adviser, outlined the administration’s legal case for the robotic attacks last month. Now, some legal experts are taking turns to punch holes in Koh’s argument.
The list exposes the Brown government’s claims that its multibillion-pound bail-out of Britain’s banks was taken to ensure the economic well-being of working people. Under conditions in which all the official parties are insisting that working people must sacrifice jobs, wages and public provision to slash Britain’s £167 billion deficit, the Sunday Times reveals that the super-rich have enjoyed the largest rise in their wealth since it first began publishing the list 21 years ago.
An oil spill caused by last week’s deadly explosion on a British Petroleum (BP) oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is spreading toward the coast of Louisiana, threatening fisheries, beaches and numerous species. The April 20 explosion on the BP-contracted rig, Deepwater Horizon, took the lives of 11 workers and critically injured four more. It was caused by a blowback when a mud sealant applied to the drill hole on the seabed likely failed to seal. Oil then forced its way up the drill bore blowing apart machinery and igniting a fire that lasted two days, eventually collapsing the rig, which was operating in 5,000 feet of water. Contrary to early speculation, piping at the drill hole on the seabed has not been resealed. When the rig sunk, the pipe buckled into a heap above the ocean floor, rupturing at more than one point. This means that a steady stream of crude oil, estimated at 1,000 barrels or 42,000 gallons per day, is rising to the surface.
US coastguard says 5,000 barrels a day of oil are spewing from a well beneath site of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion... Five times more oil a day than previously believed is spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from the blown-out well of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, the US coastguard has said.
Macy Clinton, 18, the daughter of Bill Clinton's brother Roger, tells "Inside Edition" she needs government assistance to eat. "It's hard because I'm a Clinton too, but I have to be on food stamps just to try to make it day by day," she said in the interview.
"The fifth time I tried to get to the United States I left Guatemala, crossed the border into Mexico, and on a bus I was assaulted by five police officers," Guatemalan migrant José Donis said Wednesday.
The head of the International Monetary Fund has warned that Greece's debt crisis could spread and threaten the economies of other countries. Dominique Strauss-Kahn made the comments in Berlin on Wednesday as he tried to persuade Germany, Europe's biggest economy, to back the terms of a multi-billion dollar rescue package.
We speak with investigative journalist, filmmaker, and author Danny Schechter, ‘the News Dissector.’ His latest film features interviews with industry insiders to reveal how the financial crisis was built on a foundation of criminal activity. It’s called “Plunder: The Crime Of Our Time.”
the Freedom Flotilla sets sail for Gaza determined to, once again, challenge Israel’s blockade of 1.5 million Palestinians trapped in an open-air prison. Under the coordination of the Free Gaza Movement, numerous human rights organizations, including the Turkish Relief Foundation (IHH), the Perdana Global Peace Organization from Malaysia, the European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza, and the Swedish and Greek Boat to Gaza initiatives will send three cargo ships loaded with reconstruction, medical and educational supplies. At least five passenger boats with over 600 people on board will accompany the cargo ships.
Performing a public service was undoubtedly the last thing on the minds of the geniuses who created Abacus 2007-ACI - but I, for one, am grateful to them.
Abacus is an infamous investment package created by the financial alchemists at Goldman Sachs. It fell into infamy because it is the convoluted scheme that has recently caused mighty Goldman to get its tail caught in a crack. According to fraud cops at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Abacus is a scam. Yet I find it an enormously useful tool, for it sheds light on a dirty little secret that the banking behemoths definitely do not want us outsiders catching onto: They have become casino dealers - only without the ethics.
The American Civil Liberties Union has sent a strongly-worded letter to President Barack Obama, asking him to end an alleged program that allows 'targeted killings' of terror suspects outside of war zones. The American Civil Liberties Union has sent a strongly-worded letter to President Barack Obama, asking him to end an alleged program that allows 'targeted killings' of terror suspects outside of war zones. (Rob Jensen/USAF via Getty Images)In the letter (PDF), the civil liberties group argues that the alleged program -- which, according to news reports, is now targeting at least one US citizen -- is unlawful and unconstitutional, and could set a dangerous precedent leading to foreign governments killing people on US soil.
In 1987, prior to Prozac hitting the market and the current ubiquitous use of antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs, the U.S. mental illness disability rate was 1 in every 184 Americans, but by 2007 the mental illness disability rate had more than doubled to 1 in every 76 Americans. Robert Whitaker was curious as to what was causing this dramatic increase in mental
The Big Six investment banks, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, are “shorting the American Dream,” according to economist Simon Johnson and entrepreneur James Kwak in an interview on April 16, “Financial Regulation and Regulatory Capture” on Bill Moyers Journal. Here’s a summary of the big and important ideas and issues on the table.
As the world faces an ongoing sovereign debt debacle we see an attempt to defuse an oncoming scandal involving Goldman Sachs, Paulson and perhaps others. The collapse of the fiat money system is underway and each day picks up momentum. The only question is how long it can survive? In the interim we are faced with inflation and perhaps hyperinflation as the privately owned Federal Reserve and other central banks add stimulus and money and credit into their financial systems.
The president's new fiscal commission began work Tuesday with an urgent warning from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that Washington must rein in deficits or risk dire and lasting impact on the U.S. economy. "The path forward contains many difficult trade-offs and choices, but postponing those choices and failing to put the nation's finances on a sustainable long-run trajectory would ultimately do great damage," Bernanke said.
Obama has denied aid to individuals affected by March’s massive storms and Gov. M. Jodi Rell said she plans to file a formal appeal. The decision comes just days after Obama approved the state’s request for a “major disaster declaration,” which provides financial help to state and municipal governments in Fairfield, Middlesex and New London counties.
Israeli occupation forces opened fire today toward a peaceful demonstration in east of Gaza against the Israeli buffer zone in the Gaza-Israel border and injured a Palestinian protester.
The growing influence of conservatives over the Republicans could end the party career of a moderate who has served it in Florida all his political life. In a park near Little Havana in Miami yesterday, a politician with a boyish grin named Marco Rubio, whose parents arrived from Cuba five decades ago, jabbed his pen at a sheet of paper to whoops from the small crowd. The gesture was small, and apparently unassuming, but its consequences could be great. And for another politician – one not present in that park – the stroke of Rubio's pen might as well have been a hammer driving nails into his palms.
NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union today sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to reject his administration's reported authorization of a program under which suspects, including American citizens, can be targeted, hunted and killed far away from any battlefield.
Tuesday's hearings of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations laid the groundwork for future criminal prosecutions of Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and his chief lieutenants whose reckless and self-serving actions helped to precipitate the financial crisis. Committee chairman Senator Carl Levin (a former prosecutor) adroitly managed the proceedings in a way that narrowed their scope and focused on four main areas of concern. Through persistent questioning, which bordered on hectoring, Levin was able to prove his central thesis:
The chief executive of Goldman Sachs has defended his company's business practices amid accusations of conflict of interests, that it knowingly sold customers products it thought would lose money, and that it helped cause the US financial crisis.
Wall Street is flooding Congress with lobbyists seeking to curtail key parts of the sweeping regulatory bill. America's major banks are pouring millions of dollars into an apparently successful attempt to weaken Barack Obama's finance reform bill, currently stalled in Congress by Republican opposition. In the face of deep public anger over the financial crisis and government bailouts, banks have flooded Congress with lobbyists seeking to curtail key parts of the sweeping regulatory bill – such as provisions to create an office for consumer protection and more strongly regulate the vast derivatives market.
A good friend noted recently how little we hear of Iraq and Afghanistan in the news anymore, and further noted the deafening silence regarding those ongoing wars from what he described as "dishwater left-leaning political activists" whose disengagement from the issue, according to him, makes them full of something I can't repeat in print. That bogus disengagement, he asserts, stems from the fact that Obama is in office now, so everything must be OK. It isn't, of course, but it is hard to miss the fact that we haven't heard much about the wars, or the protesters, since a couple of Januarys ago.
Giroux's talk, "Shattered Bonds: Youth in a Suspect Society and the Politics of Disposability," railed unambiguously against neoliberalism, against the "mindless, stupid" practice of teaching to the test, against the contempt with which society often treats youth (and more so those cut across class and color lines), against casino capitalism and against a culture of cruelty that insists "any form of dependency whatsoever is somehow a weakness."
President Barack Obama's Democratic allies in the Senate set a new vote Tuesday on a sweeping bill to rein in Wall Street, looking to heap pressure on Republicans blocking the popular measure. Lawmakers were to vote on whether to formally start debate on the most ambitious regulatory overhaul of its kind since the Great Depression of the 1930s -- the same proposal they narrowly defeated late Monday.
In a sign Republicans may be worried that health reform is more popular than they're willing to admit, the GOP senator famed for saying the health overhaul will "pull the plug on grandma" is now taking credit for some of its elements. In a press release put out this past weekend, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he "worked successfully to improve Medicare payments to doctors in rural states like Iowa and, in turn, access for beneficiaries, as part of the health care reform enacted this year."
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