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9/11 figure will run BP's spill claims fund

9/11 figure will run BP's spill claims fund 16 Jun 2010 The White House and [its paymaster] BP agreed on Wednesday that the oil giant would create a $20 billion fund to pay claims for the worst oil spill in American history. The fund will be independently run by Kenneth Feinberg, the mediator who oversaw the 9/11 victims compensation fund, according to three people familiar with the deliberations. President Obama and his top advisers met Wednesday morning with BP’s top executives and lawyers to finalize the agreement. The talks were complicated by the fact that BP’s ultimate liabilities for the cleanup and lost business are unknowable since the two-month-old leak of its well in the Gulf of Mexico could be spewing oil for months more.

City supervisors back posting of cell phone emission levels

City supervisors back posting of cell phone emission levels 16 Jun 2010 San Francisco moved a step closer Tuesday to becoming the first city in the nation to require that retailers post in their stores notices on the level of radiation emitted by the cell phones they offer. The Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to give preliminary approval to the proposal. Final approval is expected next week.

BP Hires Mercs to Block Oily Beaches

BP Hires Mercs to Block Oily Beaches By Adam Rawnsley 15 Jun 2010 BP, in a move destined to go down as one of the bestest public relations moves ever, has apparently hired a private security company to help to keep pesky reporters from covering the unfolding catastrophe on the beaches of the Gulf Coast. The report comes via New Orleans' 6WDSU reporter Scott Walker, who last week ran into representatives of a "Talon Security" trying to block him from interviewing cleanup workers on a local beach. Just which of the various companies named "Talon Security" is storming the (public) beaches for BP, however, remains unclear.

Seven ex-soldiers sue defence giant over exposure to cancer-causing chemicals

Seven ex-soldiers sue defence giant over exposure to cancer-causing chemicals 14 Jun 2010 Seven former British servicemen have joined 98 US soldiers in suing defence giant KBR over their exposure to cancer-causing chemicals. And reports suggest three of the men were operating out of RAF Waddington at the time they were sent to guard the Qarmat Ali water plant, near Basra in Iraq, in 2003.

Shin Bet rules out end to Gaza siege

Shin Bet rules out end to Gaza siege 16 Jun 2010 Israel's internal spy agency cautions Tel Aviv against giving in to global demands to lift its naval blockade of Gaza as Palestinians insist easing the siege is not enough. There is room to further relax the importing of goods to the Gaza Strip through land crossings, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Israeli parliament (Knesset) on Tuesday.

AWOL soldier held trying to enter key US base

AWOL soldier held trying to enter key US base 15 Jun 2010 A heavily-armed AWOL soldier and a female companion were held after trying to enter a key US base in Florida with fake documents, a military spokeswoman said Tuesday. The pair were stopped around 5:00 pm (2100 GMT) trying to enter MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, site of the headquarters of US Central Command, base spokeswoman Katherine Holt said in a statement. The suspects "presented fraudulent identification and were questioned" by security guards at the base gate, she said. When the guards searched their vehicle "a dog alerted on a scent that led to the discovery of ammunition and weapons. Six weapons and ammunition were found in the vehicle." The Air Force identified the suspects as Specialist Christopher Paul of the Kansas-based First Infantry Division and a female civilian, Micah Noel Goodier of Palm Beach, Florida.

Study finds H1N1 may be version of deadly 1918 flu

Study finds H1N1 may be version of deadly 1918 flu 16 Jun 2010 The 2009 H1N1 flu virus seems to be a milder version of the deadly 1918 Spanish flu, according to preliminary research released Tuesday. In very small studies involving 30 mice, rodents that were exposed to the 1918 flu after receiving a 2009 H1N1 vaccine did not get sick or die from the older virus. Four out of five mice that received a 2007 flu vaccine also survived exposure to the 1918 virus, which is believed to have killed 50 million people worldwide. [There's a reason for that. See: Gene From 1918 Virus Proves Key to Virulent Influenza (University of Wisconsin Press Release) 06 Oct 2004 "Using a gene resurrected from the virus that caused the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic, recorded history's most lethal outbreak of infectious disease, scientists have found that a single gene may have been responsible for the devastating virulence of the virus. Writing Oct. 7 in the journal Nature, virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Tokyo, describes experiments in which engineered viruses were made more potent by the addition of a single gene... Using a comparatively mild form of influenza A virus as a template, Kawaoka's team added the two 1918 genes that code for hemagglutinin and neuraminidase and infected mice with the engineered viruses."]

 

Republicans focus on terrorism at confirmation hearing for deputy attorney general

Republicans focus on terrorism at confirmation hearing for deputy attorney general 16 Jul 2010 Republicans renewed their criticism of President Obama's national security policies Tuesday, using a confirmation hearing for a top Justice Department official to argue that the administration is failing to aggressively fight terrorism...  By hearing's end, even Republicans were acknowledging that Cole's confirmation by the full Senate was likely, and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said he is "very confident" that Cole "understands that military commissions have a role in the war on [of] terror."

'It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days.'

'It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days.' MSNBC Trashes Obama's Address: "I Don't Sense Executive Command" 15 Jun 2010 Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Howard Fineman react to President Obama's Oval Office Address on the oil spill. Here are the highlights of what the trio said: Olbermann: "It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days." ...Olbermann: "Nothing specific at all was said." Matthews: "No direction." Howard Fineman: "He wasn't specific enough." Olbermann: "I don't think he aimed low, I don't think he aimed at all. It's startling."

Nightmare vision for Europe as EU chief warns 'democracy could disappear' in Greece, Spain and Portugal

Nightmare vision for Europe as EU chief warns 'democracy could disappear' in Greece, Spain and Portugal --EU begin emergency billion-pound bailout of Spain --Countries in debt may fall to dictators, EC chief warns --'Apocalyptic' vision as some states run out of money 15 Jun 2010 Democracy could ‘collapse’ in Greece, Spain and Portugal unless urgent action is taken to tackle the debt crisis, the head of the European Commission has warned. In an extraordinary briefing to trade union chiefs last week, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso set out an ‘apocalyptic’ vision in which crisis-hit countries in southern Europe could fall victim to military coups or popular uprisings as interest rates soar and public services collapse because their governments run out of money.

Obama taps Michael Bromwich as watchdog for offshore oil drilling

President Obama taps Michael Bromwich as watchdog for offshore oil drilling 16 Jun 2010 The man appointed Tuesday by President Obama to oversee offshore oil drilling has no experience with oil and gas issues, but he has a reputation for cleaning up embattled organizations. Michael Bromwich will need those skills as the new director of the Minerals Management Service, an agency that has come under fire in recent years for failing to adequately monitor offshore oil and gas development.

BP Suspends Recovery of Gulf Oil After Ship Fire

BP Suspends Recovery of Gulf Oil After Ship Fire 15 Jun 2010 BP Plc said it temporarily stopped collecting oil from its leaking well off Louisiana after a fire aboard the collecting vessel, allowing petroleum to again spill unhindered into the Gulf of Mexico. There was no damage as a result of the fire, which was put out “within a few minutes,” said Robert Wine, a BP spokesman. The fire atop the derrick of the drillship Discoverer Enterprise may have been caused by lightning, London-based BP said today in an e-mailed statement.

Inside Oil-Spill Pelican Rehab

Inside Oil-Spill Pelican Rehab --The bird rehabilitation center in Fort Jackson, Louisiana By Mac McClelland 15 Jun 2010 Before the pelicans are cleaned, they're given get at least 48 hours to rest up enough to survive the stress of being washed. During this "stabilization period," the birds are rehydrated, attended to by vets, and warmed up--oil destroys their temperature-regulating processes and they can freeze to death, even in the summer heat... Currently, many cleaned pelicans are being released off the east coast of Florida, so their survival rate may go down if the oil works its way up the Eastern seaboard. (Photos)

Gulf Coast: Makeshift animal morgues house oiled and ill creatures that didn't survive

Gulf Coast: Makeshift animal morgues house oiled and ill creatures that didn't survive  --So far, about 1,000 dead animals ­-- birds, turtles and dolphins -- have been reported and they are being kept at undisclosed locations. 15 Jun 2010 Within each of the animal-rescue stations set up along the Gulf Coast is a makeshift morgue for oiled and ill creatures that didn't make it. And behind the scenes, pathologists and laboratory staff are carefully cataloging each dead creature as part of larger criminal, civil and scientific inquiries into how the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has affected animals and their habitats. Hundreds of birds including pelicans, seagulls, terns and gannets are being gathered by wildlife teams in an effort both to save them from their veils of oil and to help them recover from the effects that it can have on their lungs and digestive systems.

BP well leaking as much as 60K barrels/day: U.S.

BP well leaking as much as 60K barrels/day: U.S. 15 Jun 2010 BP PLC's damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico is leaking between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels of oil a day, U.S. government and independent scientists said in an increased estimate Tuesday. The flow rate was previously estimated at 20,000 to 40,000 barrels per day.

Four US-led soldiers die in Afghanistan

Four US-led soldiers die in Afghanistan 15 Jun 2010 Four more NATO troops have been killed in Afghanistan amid a surge in Taliban attacks against the US-led forces in the war-torn country. Three of the soldiers were British and the other was American. The troops were all killed in separate attacks on Tuesday. The American and two Britons were killed by small arms fire while the other one died of his wounds sustained in southern Afghanistan.

British Pro-Gaza fund to sue Israel

British Pro-Gaza fund to sue Israel 15 Jun 2010 A charity organization joins a campaign for the legal prosecution of Israeli authorities behind the recent bloodshed and mistreatment of Gaza-bound activists. Israeli forces on May 31 attacked the international Freedom Flotilla aid convoy which had set sail to break Tel Aviv's siege of the Gaza Strip. The assault in international waters claimed at least 20 activists, including eight Turks and a US national of Turkish origin.

Obama Poised to F*ck Us All Again at 8 PM

Get ready: Obama is about to f*ck us all again at 8PM. Look for deceptive, vomit-worthy utterances such as, 'BP needs to pay all legitimate claims' (Barack Obama actually asserted that view yesterday, parroting his BP paymasters), 'we need to move forward in a bipartisan fashion,' and 'Nobel prize-winning Energy Secretary, Steven Chu.' --Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 15 Jun 2010

Obama’s First Oval Office Address 15 Jun 2010 A text of President Obama's remarks on Tuesday on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, as released by the White House: Good evening. As we speak, our nation faces a multitude of challenges. At home, our top priority is to recover and rebuild from a recession that has touched the lives of nearly every American. Abroad, our brave men and women in uniform are taking the fight to al Qaeda ['Al-Qaeda? What the f*ck is al-CIAduh doing, popping up in the middle of this useless speech?] wherever it exists. And tonight, I've returned from a trip to the Gulf Coast to speak with you about the battle we're waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens... Because there has never been a leak this size at this depth, stopping it has tested the limits of human technology. That's why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation's best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge -- a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation's Secretary of Energy. Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also provided ideas and advice. [Mega barf alert *and* gag me with a chainsaw!]

 Barack Obama

 

Mass buy-up of flu medication raises questions

Mass buy-up of flu medication raises questions 16 Jun 2010 New Zealand's purchase of millions of doses of flu medication and swine flu vaccines has been called into question by European reports suggesting pandemic advice was driven by drug company interests. A British Medical Journal (BMJ) investigation has found key scientists advising the World Health Organisation (WHO) on planning for a flu pandemic had done work for drug companies who ultimately benefited from the guidance the scientists gave. WHO's advice led to governments worldwide stockpiling billions of dollars of antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu before and during the recent swine flu pandemic.

Dubai Hit: Ireland to Expel Israeli Diplomat

Dubai Hit: Ireland to Expel Israeli Diplomat 15 Jun 2010 An Israeli diplomat is to be expelled from Ireland after an investigation into the alleged Mossad use of forged Irish passports to assassinate a Hamas official. The Irish foreign ministry announced the decision, taken by Prime Minister Brian Cowen's government, was "by way of protest" against the "unacceptable action" of Israel.

Few doctors turn up for swine flu vaccine, fear side effects

Few doctors turn up for swine flu vaccine, fear side effects 15 Jun 2010 Only 50 medical personnel from across BMC hospitals have opted to take the H1N1 vaccine at Kasturba Hospital, Chinchpokli, in the past ten days. Across the state, just 592 medical personnel, including 400 in Pune, have been inoculated since April. The Centre had sent 34,300 doses of the swine flu vaccine, made by French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Pasteur, to the state. A source in the BMC said one of the reasons for the poor response was the fear of side effects. "The 400 people who have taken the vaccine in Pune are being monitored because some have suffered side effects," said the official.

U.S. backs ban on 3 reporters at Guantanamo

U.S. backs ban on 3 reporters at Guantanamo 15 Jun 2010 The Department of Defense said Monday it acted correctly when it barred three journalists, including Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg, from covering military hearings at Guantánamo Bay. But it left open the door to reinstating the reporters. David A. Schulz, the attorney representing Rosenberg and reporters from Canwest News Service and the Toronto Star, had asked for a reversal of the coverage ban. The exclusion also affects a fourth reporter from The Globe and Mail who appealed independently.

American hunting Osama bin Laden with a gun and sword detained in northern Pakistan

American hunting Osama bin Laden with a gun and sword detained in northern Pakistan 15 Jun 2010 An American armed with a pistol and a 40-inch sword was detained in northern Pakistan and told investigators he was on a solo mission to kill Osama bin Laden, a police officer said Tuesday. The man was identified as 52-year-old Californian construction worker Gary Brooks Faulkner, said officer Mumtaz Ahmad Khan. He was picked up in a forest in the Chitral region late on Sunday, he said.

Alaskan NORAD region to participate in exercise

Alaskan NORAD region to participate in exercise 14 Jun 2010 The Alaskan U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, along with its Continental United States and Canadian counterparts, will participate in Exercise Amalgam Dart from Tuesday through Thursday off the coasts of Alaska, western Canada and the northwestern United States. The exercise is designed to hone NORAD, ANR, CONR and Canadian NORAD Region's intercept and identification operations. U.S. Air Force C-21 jets will take on the role as tracks of interest. ['Exercise Amalgam Dart.' The only thing more idiotic than the drill is the *name* of the drill.]

Meg Whitman reportedly shoved EBay employee in 2007

Meg Whitman reportedly shoved EBay employee in 2007 15 Jun 2010 While she was the chief executive of EBay, Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman shoved a subordinate who later received a confidential six-figure settlement, according to a report published by the New York Times on Monday. The incident reportedly occurred in June 2007 at the company's San Jose headquarters, as EBay communications employee Young Mi Kim was helping Whitman prepare for an interview with Reuters.

Gaza crossing points opened as Israel bows to international pressure

Gaza crossing points opened as Israel bows to international pressure 15 Jun 2010 Israel bowed to international pressure yesterday when it agreed to reopen crossing points into Gaza for everyday goods. The decision was prompted by criticism of its bloody interception of an aid flotilla two weeks ago and condemnation of the Gaza blockade by the Red Cross. It will replace the current narrow list of permitted items with a list of specifically prohibited goods.

After weeks of delay, BP deploys sensors to measure size of spill

After weeks of delay, BP deploys sensors to measure size of spill By Andre Damon 14 Jun 2010 BP deployed undersea sensors to measure the flow of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, as official estimates of the spill size continued to grow. Last week, a team of scientists estimated that the rate of the oil spill was between 30,000 and 50,000 barrels (1.2 million and 2.1 million gallons) per day. Scientists on the federal Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG) have said that BP’s move to cut the riser pipe from the well likely increased the rate of flow beyond this figure, perhaps by several multiples. Until this weekend, BP and the government repeatedly stressed that they had no intention of installing equipment to measure the flow of oil, alleging that such attempts would interfere with efforts to cap the leak.

Massachusetts Senate attaches anti-immigrant measure to state budget

Massachusetts Senate attaches anti-immigrant measure to state budget By John Marion 14 Jun 2010 This year, the budget process in Massachusetts is being used to wage a two-pronged assault on workers: drastic cuts in school budgets and social services as well as a backdoor attempt to pass a draconian anti-immigrant measure through the state legislature. The anti-immigrant measure, which was attached to the Senate’s fiscal year 2011 budget proposal in the form of two amendments, passed by a wide margin in a body where only five members are Republicans. Twenty-three Democrats joined the Republicans in approving the amendments by a 28-10 margin.

Britain must prepare for casualty spike in Afghanistan, Cameron warns

Britain must prepare for casualty spike in Afghanistan, Cameron warns 15 Jun 2010 David Cameron warned yesterday that there would be more British deaths in Afghanistan this summer but said that the threat to Britain of an 'al-Qaeda' attack from the region had dropped. Delivering his first statement to Parliament on the war since taking office as Prime Minister, he pledged that British troops would not remain in Afghanistan a moment longer than was necessary.

US dumping toxic brew in Iraq

US dumping toxic brew in Iraq 15 Jun 2010 The United States will be leaving a toxic brew of hazardous waste behind when US forces withdraw from Iraq, a new report says. On Monday, The Times of London said that companies from the United States are selling local Iraqi scrap dealers a cocktail of toxic material and ordinary waste. The waste is being disposed of locally instead of being returned for treatment or shipped to Iraq-based factories which specialize in disposal. [Gee, hopefully people will put an abrupt end to all US eco-terrorism in Iraq.]

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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