Gush of oil from Deepwater Horizon oil spill now being broadcast live after BP accused of withholding information from ocean floor. One month after the fiery collapse of the Deepwater Horizon, BP bowed to demands from scientists and members of Congress this week and has posted a live video feed of the gusher of oil on the ocean floor. The decision came only hours after a hearing in Congress in which BP was accused of withholding data from the ocean floor, and blocking efforts by independent scientists to come up with estimates for the amount of crude spewing into the Gulf each day. Ed Markey, who presided over the hearing, said BP would post the footage on the website of his house subcommitte on energy independence and global warming as early as Wednesday night. It was delayed but is now live.
MEXICO CITY, - The Tohono O'odham indigenous people are counting the days to the October expiry date of the permit granted to a toxic waste management company for a landfill dump in their territory, in the northern Mexican state of Sonora.
In his commencement address at the University of Michigan on May 1, President Obama warned that public ignorance subverts self-government. Obama declared: “When we don’t pay close attention to the decisions made by our leaders, when we fail to educate ourselves about the major issues of the day... that’s when democracy breaks down. That’s when power is abused.”
Another tragedy befalls the environment and we can count on those that were once environmentalists to capitalize, figuratively and literally. As you read, perhaps a 1000 or so organizations are happily signing (or being bribed to sign) yet another refined letter to President Obama, praising his efforts to date and encouraging 'change'. With stellar coordination, you witness the appeals via email from these faux-enviros that clearly state how you can save the sea turtles, or protect the shrimp, or rid us of our reliance on oil by donating today.
EU finance ministers are meeting again in Brussels to stem the financial crisis, but chances are little will be achieved. It has been like trying to stem a flood in a dam. Every time they plug the leak in one place, the water starts gushing out of another. And now here we are in Brussels on what is another important day for the Euro and the European Union. This latest emergency meeting of the bloc’s 27 finance ministers is an attempt to show the world markets that Europe and the Eurozone in particular is getting its house in order. But what is agreed here isn’t just important financially – it has political implications for the whole European Union.
Today, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation called the “War Is Making You Poor Act,” which aims to call attention to a) how much money is being spent to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and b) how budget gimmicks are used to pay for them. Grayson’s legislation would slash the $159 billion request for supplemental war funding and use that money to deliver a tax break for all Americans. Grayson demands the Pentagon use its currently existing $549 billion defense budget to fight the wars. Speaking on the House floor today, Grayson underscored that the point of his legislation is to highlight the costs of the wars:
Local reports described heavy sheets of oil clogging marshes in Mississippi delta that provide haven for migratory birds. Wildlife under serious threat as thick oil reaches coastal sanctuaries in Louisiana. Link to this video Thick sheets of crude oil spread through the delicate wetlands of Louisiana today, as the BP oil spill continued to threaten the American coastline. Local reports described heavy sheets of oil the consistency of latex paint clogging the marshes in the Mississippi delta that provide a haven for migratory birds, and buffer the shore from Gulf hurricanes.
The House is expected to vote next week on a bill authorizing up to $708 billion in military spending next year that includes significant construction money for base expansion in Guam. The bill would authorize nearly $577 million in construction on Guam, primarily for the planned expansion of Andersen Air Force Base. Congress is still working on a separate budget bill that would provide the actual funds for the 2011 fiscal year.
The correction, soon to be crash, is here: the market had a bigger relative open to close move today than it did on May 6. We closed at the day’s lows on massive volume, despite definitive central bank intervention, regardless whether it was the SNB, the ECB, or the Fed. The central planners have lost control of the market, and all thanks to the inevitable collapse of hyper capitalist Keynesianism coming out of the formerly most communist country in the world. A day of ironies. And it’s not over. Futures are already down another 4 handles. The correction is coming, and it will be a bloodbath. The Fed can not push rates lower. It will print. It is inevitable. It is our destiny. (more)
The Senate passed a financial "reform" bill today by a 59-39 vote which won't fix any of the core problems in the financial system, and won't prevent the next financial crisis. The bill doesn't include the Volcker Rule (it wasn't even debated), doesn't break up or even substantially rein in the too big to fails, and doesn't force transparency in the derivatives market. Senator Feingold said:
Two days after his inauguration in January 2009, Barack Obama, the US president, signed an executive order promising to close the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba within one year. But the deadline was missed, and today some 180 men are still being held at Guantanamo.
Christopher King examines the death of UK weapons inspector Dr David Kelly in 2003 and argues that, in the light of fresh analyses of the circumstances of his death, it is vital that the new British government make public Dr Kelly’s post mortem report and other documentation relating to his death. ”We need public access to Dr Kelly’s post mortem report and the documentation relating to his death. The Blair-Brown government’s delaying tactics will not do. Since we have a new government, a new attorney-general and a new home secretary, this is a test of the Cameron-Clegg government’s integrity.”
Who is Kamau Marcharia a.k.a. Robert John Lewis and why should anyone care about him? And, how did he get tangled up in sex offender punishment and politics, voting rights litigation and school board representation, nuclear energy, race politics and black versus white representation, name-calling, greed and lies?
Today, the ACLU of Pennsylvania announced that it will represent two people who anonymously criticized State Attorney General Tom Corbett on Twitter. (As of Tuesday's primary, Corbett is also the GOP candidate for governor.) Corbett's office has asked a grand jury to issue a subpoena to Twitter demanding the company reveal the identities of Twitter users @bfbarbie and @CasaBlancaPA.
BOGOTA, Colombian civil society organisations gathered more than two million signatures to ask Congress to hold a referendum on a constitutional amendment that would make access to water a fundamental human right.
On Tuesday the US Coast Guard expanded the ban on fishing to nearly one fifth of US Gulf waters and began analyzing tar balls washed ashore on Florida’s Key West, some 600 miles from the spill location.
BP, the company in charge of the rig that exploded last month in the Gulf of Mexico, hasn't publicly divulged the results of tests on the extent of workers' exposure to evaporating oil or from the burning of crude over the gulf, even though researchers say that data is crucial in determining whether the conditions are safe. Moreover, the company isn't monitoring the extent of the spill and only reluctantly released videos of the spill site that could give scientists a clue to the amount of the oil in gulf.
Some of Italy's most senior police officers have been given jail sentences of up to five years for what the prosecution called a "terrible" attack on demonstrators at the 2001 G8 meeting in Genoa and an attempted cover-up. Victims of the attack, who included several Britons, expressed delight at the ruling, which overturned many of the conclusions reached by the judges at the original trial in 2008. Mark Covell, aged 42, from Reading, who was beaten into a coma, said: "This is beyond my wildest expectations. The Italian judiciary has recognised the truth of what happened. Human rights have finally been respected here. Italians will now recognise their cops do not have immunity. But it has taken nine years, and I was at the end of my tether."
Throughout Glenn Beck's meteoric rise to become king of all right-wing media, a once-obscure Santa Monica peddler of gold coins called Goldline International has been along for the ride. The support of Beck and other radio hosts -- mainly conservatives like Mark Levin and Fred Thompson -- who spend 55 minutes creating fear of an economic collapse and then five minutes telling you why coins from a company like Goldline are the only safe haven has helped Goldline become a $500 million company.
Mention the name of the corporation BP to Scott West and two words immediately come to mind: Beyond Prosecution. West was the special agent in charge with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) criminal division who had been probing alleged crimes committed by BP and the company's senior officials in connection with a March 2006 pipeline rupture at the company's Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska's North Slope that spilled 267,000 gallons of crude oil across two acres of frozen tundra - the second largest spill in Alaska's history - which went undetected for nearly a week.
A Pakistani court Wednesday ordered authorities to block Facebook temporarily over a competition encouraging users to post caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed on the social networking site. The depiction of any prophet is strictly prohibited in Islam as blasphemous and Muslims across the world staged angry protests over the publication of satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in European newspapers in 2006. Controversy erupted in the conservative Muslim country last month when a Facebook user set up a page called "Draw Mohammed Day", inviting people to send in their caricatures of the Muslim prophet on May 20.
Oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill is being picked up by a strong ocean current that will take it to Florida in days and possibly on up the Atlantic coast, experts warned Wednesday. The Loop Current has started sweeping leaking crude from the giant slick off Louisiana towards Florida's popular tourist beaches and fragile coral reefs, threatening a whole new dimension to the unfolding environmental disaster.
Many reported that Noam Chomsky was recently stopped from entering Israel. This is false. Totally false. He was prevented from going to the Palestinian city of Ramallah by Israeli forces. This important distinction highlights among other things that Israel controls the borders into occupied Palestinian areas, a large part of the problem.
People all over America are discussing freedom’s future. In short, they are worried. In fact, many are actually talking about State secession. In coffee shops and cafes, and around dining room tables, millions of people are speaking favorably of states breaking away from the union. Not since the turn of the twentieth century have this many people thought (and spoken) this favorably about the prospect of a State (or group of states) exiting the union. In my mind, this is a good thing.
After last night’s election results, there’s no doubt that the electorate has contempt for Washington incumbents and the political establishment. Virtually every media account dutifully recites the same storyline — that these results reflect an “anti-incumbent” mood — but virtually none of these stories examines the reasons for that “mood.” Why do Americans, seemingly regardless of party affiliation or geographic location, despise the political establishment?
President Obama met with 37 Jewish members of the House and Senate Tuesday to soothe concerns over recent rough spots in U.S.-Israeli relations. "It was a good meeting, but it was not a feel-good meeting - everyone spoke their minds and from the heart," said Eliot Engel (D-Bronx). Press Freedom, Sure. But No Questions There was some rich irony at the White House today -- President Obama signed the Press Freedom Act, and then promptly refused to take any questions.
Obama sought Tuesday to reassure Jewish lawmakers of his support for Israel, detailing plans to boost Israeli security and his administration's backing of sanctions on Iran.
Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army Reserve Colonel and former U.S. diplomat who resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to Bush’s war on Iraq, will join the 8-ship Free Gaza boat flotilla that will break the Israeli government naval siege/blockade of Gaza and bring reconstruction materials and humanitarian assistance items to the Palestinians of Gaza. The Blockade of Gaza is three years old and is suffocating the Palestinians of Gaza. After the 22 day Israeli attack on Gaza in December, 2009 through January, 2010 that killed 1440, wounded 5,000, left 50,000 homeless and destroyed most of the civilian infrastructure-water, sewage and electrical systems. No reconstruction materials have been allowed into Gaza by the Israeli or Egyptian governments.
LIMA, Peru's armed forces are gearing up for an unprecedented offensive against a surviving faction of the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) Maoist guerrilla organisation, which began an armed struggle to seize power in the country 30 years ago.
Debt woes in Greece have sent bond yields soaring and increased the prospect of sovereign default. A restructuring of Greek debt will deal a blow to lenders in Germany and France that are insufficiently capitalized to manage the losses. Finance ministers, EU heads-of-state and the European Central Bank (ECB) have responded forcefully to try to avert another banking meltdown that could plunge the world back into recession. They have created a nearly-$1 trillion European Stabilization Fund (ESF) to calm markets and ward-off speculators. But the contagion has already spread beyond Greece to Spain, Portugal and Italy where leaders have started to aggressively cut public spending and initiate austerity programs. Belt-tightening in the Eurozone will decrease aggregate demand and threaten the fragile recovery. We are at a critical inflection point.
The U.S. Senate is moving forward with a 59-billion-dollar spending bill, of which 33.5 billion dollars would be allocated for the war in Afghanistan. However, some experts here in Washington are raising concerns that the war may be unwinnable and that the money being spent on military operations in Afghanistan could be better spent.
An article in Monday's New York Times underscores an observation we have made before: one of the biggest predictors of who gets sentenced to death has nothing to do with relevant factors such as the heinousness of the crime, the culpability of the accused, or the life history of the accused. Rather, the quality of the lawyer representing the accused very often predicts who lives and who dies.
Nicolas Sarkozy has said that "veils are not welcome in France" The French cabinet has approved a draft law to ban the wearing of full-face veils in public spaces, opening the way for the text to go before parliament in July. The bill calls for $185 fines and, in some cases, citizenship classes for women do not comply with the ban.
Buildings across the Thai capital, Bangkok, have been set ablaze by red shirt protesters after the military stormed a protest camp in the centre of the city. Six important leaders of the red shirt movement surrendered to police after soldiers breached barricades surrounding the camp early on Wednesday.
Contacts in Louisiana have given me numerous, unconfirmed reports of cameras and cell phones being confiscated, scientists with monitoring equipment being turned away, and local reporters blocked from access to public lands impacted by the oil spill. But today CBS News got it on video, along with a bone-chilling statement by a Coast Guard official: "These are BP's rules. These are not our rules." But wait ... isn't that a public beach? From my viewpoint, it looks as if the Coast Guard* has been given direct orders to protect BP's PR interests above safety concerns over air and water quality, above the outcries of local governments in need of aid, and (worst of all) above the need for the American public to be informed...
The Obama administration has started using special law enforcement and intelligence teams to interrogate suspected militants in the United States and abroad, including the Pakistani-American arrested in the Times Square bombing plot, a top official said on Tuesday.
Researchers say the BP oil spill has very likely been picked up by a powerful Gulf current known as the “loop current,” which moves from the area south of the Mississippi Delta to the southern tip of Florida.
Yes, the oil spewing up from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico in staggering quantities could prove one of the great ecological disasters of human history. Think of it, though, as just the prelude to the Age of Tough Oil, a time of ever increasing reliance on problematic, hard-to-reach energy sources. Make no mistake: we're entering the danger zone. And brace yourself, the fate of the planet could be at stake.
"I wanted to destroy everything beautiful I'd never have," wrote Chuck Palahniuk in his novel,"'Fight Club." "Burn the Amazon rain forest. Pump chlorofluorocarbons straight up to gobble the ozone. Open the dump valves on supertankers and uncap offshore oil wells. I wanted to kill all the fish I couldn't afford to eat, and smother the French beaches. I wanted the whole world to hit bottom ... I wanted to breathe smoke. I wanted to burn the Louvre. I'd do the Elgin Marbles with a sledgehammer and wipe my ass with the Mona Lisa. This is my world, now." This is our world now, indeed. The Boston Globe web site put together a series of pictures detailing the inexorable advance of spilled petroleum in the Gulf.
A telephone call between a financial adviser in Beverly Hills and a trader in New York was all it took to fleece taxpayers on a water-and-sewer financing deal in West Virginia
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