As much as 1 million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in some regions near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone, U.S. scientists said on Tuesday. Texas A&M University oceanography professor John Kessler, just back from a 10-day research expedition near the BP Plc oil spill in the gulf, says methane gas levels in some areas are "astonishingly high."
Evidence of the criminal negligence of BP and the US government in the run-up to the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion continues to mount. BP’s decision to ignore important safety warnings for the sake of profit and repeated regulatory green lights from the Bush and Obama administrations made a disaster like that presently overtaking the Gulf of Mexico all but inevitable.
In the only “terrorism”-related case this term, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld 6-3 a provision of law making it a federal crime to “knowingly provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization,” even if the “support” consists only of “expert advice or assistance” for “lawful, non-violent purposes”—in other words, political speech.
A federal judge in New Orleans on Tuesday blocked a six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling projects imposed in response to the massive Gulf oil spill. The White House said the administration would appeal. It had halted approval of any new permits for deepwater drilling and suspended drilling at 33 exploratory wells in the Gulf.
A year and a half into the presidency of Barack Obama, any hopes that he would usher in a dramatic rethinking of U.S. foreign policy have been more or less definitively dashed. Notwithstanding the wild-eyed warnings of right-wing hawks who see Obama as "the first post-American president", with a covert agenda that is part Saul Alinsky and part Frantz Fanon, the president has so far proven himself to be have little inclination to break with the past when it comes to foreign policy.
Tzipi Livni, the Israeli opposition leader, today attacked Binyamin Netanyahu for the way he eased the three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, following pressure from the international community over its deadly interception last month of a flotilla attempting to break the siege.
The mother of the slain football player and Army Ranger Pat Tillman sought to warn President Obama against making General Stanley McChrystal his commander in Afghanistan.
The US State Department has expressed concern about an Israeli plan for the demolition of 22 Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem. Spokesman PJ Crowley said it was the kind of action that undermined trust and increased the risk of violence.
Drinking more than four cups of coffee a day decreases the risk of developing certain cancers, a study suggests. The popularity of coffee and high incidence of head and neck cancers suggest the results have public health implications, say the researchers.
The ultimate ecological impact of the oil spill on wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico is unknown, and will likely remain so for years to come. Still, two months into the worst oil spill in US history, indications are that the ecological impact will be nothing less than disastrous.
The Canadian government has quietly been conducting an international criminal probe of the actions of Syrian and U.S. authorities in the case of Maher Arar, the Canadian who was arrested in 2002 by U.S. officials and then rendered to a Syrian jail where he was held incommunicado and tortured for 10 months before being released without charge, it was revealed Monday.
Israel’s action against the Gaza aid flotilla was such a lightning flash. Israelis normally live in darkness as far as seeing the world is concerned. But for that instant, the real landscape around us could be seen, and it looked frightening. Then the darkness settled down over us, Israel returned to its bubble, the world disappeared from view. This split second was enough to reveal a dismal scene. On almost all fronts, the situation of the State of Israel has worsened since the last flash of lightning.
Carter, whose organization, the Carter Center, filed a “friend of the court” brief in the case, said in a statement, “We are disappointed that the Supreme Court has upheld a law that inhibits the work of human rights and conflict resolution groups.” “The vague language of the law leaves us wondering if we will be prosecuted for our work to promote peace and freedom,” he added.
The top U.S. war commander in Afghanistan told an interviewer he felt betrayed by the man the White House chose to be his diplomatic partner, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry. An article out this week in “Rolling Stone” magazine depicts Gen. Stanley McChrystal as a lone wolf on the outs with many important figures in the Obama administration and unable to convince even some of his own soldiers that his strategy can win the war.
No firewall, no internet connection in latest salvo of web regulation. The Australian government is set to intensify its war against Internet freedom by forcing web users to install state-approved anti-virus software. If they fail to do so, they will be denied an Internet connection, or if their computer is later infected, the user’s connection will be terminated.
The commander of US and Nato military forces in Afghanistan has been summoned to Washington after criticising the Obama administration in a magazine article. The White House recalled General Stanley McChrystal from Afghanistan on Tuesday to explain comments he made in a Rolling Stone magazine interview to be published on Friday, military officials said.
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