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Click to visit VeggieCooking.com NEWS LINK ARCHIVE 2012

News from the Week of 10th to 16th of June 2012

Bus-ted: Romney's bus tour takes anti-clean energy stance to six states with 418k green jobs (15 June 2012)
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney begins a five-day bus tour today. He'll cross six different states, focusing on economic issues and the "ordinary concerns of the American people."

As he has throughout the campaign, Romney will likely talk about why he doesn't believe that clean energy is good for the country. In recent months, the Romney campaign has attacked American renewable energy companies, lied about the clean energy stimulus, and called American green jobs "illusory" -- even with 64,000 clean energy jobs in his home state of Massachusetts.

In fact, those jobs are far from illusory. In the six states that Romney plans to visit on his bus tour, there are nearly half a million green jobs across a diverse range of sectors like wind, solar, land conservation, green buildings, and waste-to-energy.

According to 2010 data compiled by the Brookings Institution, there are 418,512 green jobs in the states on Romney's bus tour. Below is a breakdown of the number of jobs and wage figures as documented by Brookings...
[Read more...]

Predator killed while allegedly molesting 5-year-old identified (15 June 2012)
SHINER, Texas - Investigators have released the name of a man who was beaten to death when a father allegedly caught him trying to molest his 5-year-old daughter.

Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon said the 23-year-old father, whose name has not been released, is unlikely to be arrested for Saturday's killing and that no evidence so far has led investigators to doubt his story.

"There doesn't appear to be any reason other than what he told us," Harmon said.

Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon said the 23-year-old father killed Jesus Mora Flores, 47, from Gonzales, Texas.

Flores was an "acquaintance" of the father who had come to help care for some horses, Harmon said. He did not know how long the two men may have known each other. The girl was taken to a hospital to be examined and has since been released, Harmon said.
[Read more...]

Blair Aide: Murdoch Pressed UK Chief Over Iraq War (16 June 2012)
Tony Blair's ex-communications director claimed Friday that media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's warned the British leader over the dangers of delaying the 2003 U.S.-led invasion as he made efforts to press the U.K. to support the conflict.

In the latest volume of his diaries, excerpts of which were published by The Guardian newspaper, Alastair Campbell said Blair found Murdoch's protests clumsy and that they both suspected he had been urged to intervene by the White House.

Giving evidence to Britain's media ethics inquiry last month, Blair acknowledged that he and Murdoch had spoken by phone three times in the immediate run up to the war, and that he had explained Britain's likely course of action.

Campbell's diary recounts that in a call a week before a key House of Commons vote on joining the U.S. invasion, when Blair secured a majority and won over many skeptical legislators, Murdoch pressed the British chief over the possible problems that could be caused by any delay in the start of conflict.
[Read more...]

Japan nuclear restart gets PM's approval (16 June 2012)
Japan is to resume the use of nuclear power for the first time since last year's triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi power plant after the government on Saturday approved the restart of two idled reactors.

The decision to restart reactors three and four at Oi power plant in western Japan could pave the way for the resumption of operations at other atomic facilities, amid concern over power shortages during peak demand this summer.

The prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, announced the restart after securing support from the mayor of Oi and the governor of Fukui prefecture, where Oi is located.

"Having won local consent, reactivating [the reactors] is now the government's final decision," Noda said. "We are determined to make further efforts to restore people's trust in nuclear policy and safety regulations."

Japan's last working reactor was turned off in early May, leaving it without nuclear power for the first time in more than 40 years.
[Read more...]

Jury sides with Costner in BP spill lawsuit (15 June 2012)
"We're disappointed. We thought we proved rather convincingly that these two guys, Mr. Costner and Mr. Smith, defrauded us," Cobb said. "The jury saw it a different way but we respect the jury's verdict."

Contogouris and Baldwin sold their shares in Ocean Therapy Solutions for $1.4 million and $500,000, respectively. The company was marketing the oil-separating centrifuges.

Baldwin testified he would have held out for much more if he had known BP had committed to ordering 32 of them. Soon after they sold their shares, the oil giant made an $18 million deposit on a $52 million order.

Attorneys for Costner and Smith said Baldwin and Contogouris knew BP was preparing to order the machines when they walked away from the company rather than gamble for a more lucrative payout if BP signed a binding contract. At the time they sold their shares, BP only had signed a non-binding letter of intent, the defendants' attorneys said.
[Read more...]

Whooping cranes leave Coastal Bend for Canada (14 June 2012)
CORPUS CHRISTI -- The last remaining flock of wild whooping cranes has returned to Canada following another difficult drought season in the Coastal Bend.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials estimated that roughly 245 endangered whoopers left the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding marshes by mid-April. Another dozen or so cranes spent winter in north or central Texas, and in Kansas, Nebraska and other states.

It's unclear how many birds survived the 2,500-mile migration to the Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada's Northwest Territories, where the iconic, 5-foot, white birds nest and rear their chicks. The Canadian Wildlife Service conducts a nesting count each summer.

The wild whooping population has grown from its low point of 15 birds in 1941 to an estimated 283 birds counted on the refuge during winter 2010-11. An estimated 278 of those birds survived that season. Two years earlier, 23 birds died during the 2008-09 season, presumably of lack of nourishment caused by a major Texas drought.

A lawsuit involving those deaths was filed last year against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality by The Aransas Project, a nonprofit group of local governments, advocacy groups and tourism-dependent businesses in the Coastal Bend. It claims the state mismanaged water in the Guadalupe River watershed, contributing to the record die-off. A verdict from U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack is expected this summer.
[Read more...]

Overcoming Corporatism: Nader on 2012 Race, Wisconsin Recall, Attack on Pensions & the Supreme Court (15 June 2012) [DN]
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Ralph, I wanted to ask you about an issue that's become an increasing wedge issue, it seems to me, in terms of American workers, and certainly the Republican Party is trying to do that, the whole issue of pensions--worker pensions, especially government pensions and local and state levels. We've seen the situation in Wisconsin, the referendums in California to reduce pension benefits in some towns. And there seems to be an attempt to convince private sector workers: why should we be paying taxes to provide cushy pensions for teachers and firefighters and other government workers, when we don't have those kinds of pensions ourselves? Your sense of this debate, the public debate now over employee pensions, government pensions?

RALPH NADER: Well, this is the latest stage of the divide-and-rule between governmental workers and corporate sector workers that started with NAFTA and WTO and shipping jobs abroad, because when Congress was deliberating these export of jobs trade agreements, the public employee unions were sort of standoffish. You know, they weren't going to lose their jobs. They did not stand in solidarity with the industrial unions, like the steel workers and the auto workers. Now, it's the public employees' turn to get the brunt of this low-wage, downward corporatist trend that is seemingly relentless. So, when you strip private sector workers of any adequate pensions, and they lose their jobs, they are very ripe for this kind of political message: why should you pay for better-paid public employee workers?

That, unfortunately, is going to be a really hard nut to crack. And we've got to basically have a pull-up economic strategy, where you don't have the politics of envy between unemployed workers who have lost their jobs to China--compliments of U.S. companies--and public employee workers. And I think the labor movement has got to reset itself. It's got to get together. It's got to become much more aggressive. Rich Trumka, in the AFL-CIO building right near the White House, is not exactly a vibrant fighter, whether for the $10 minimum wage or for any of these policies.
[Read more...]

Ralph Nader: 30 Million Workers Would Benefit from Raising Minimum Wage to 1968 Level (15 June 2012) [DN]
RALPH NADER: Well, President Obama has done nothing since he promised in 2008 to go to $9.50 by 2011, as you pointed out. This is a problem of the Democratic Party, Amy. The case for the minimum wage going to $10 is overwhelming. That's why Jesse Jackson called it "Catching Up with 1968." That's when the economy was half the size of it is today and half the worker productivity as today. So, if you look at the political scene, all the stars are aligned for the Democratic Party to take the lead and push this through Congress in an election year. For example, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney have been on the record of saying they want to--wanted a minimum wage keeping up with inflation. That would break the grip of McConnell, Senator McConnell, and Speaker Boehner over 100 percent of their Republicans and split the ranks. Furthermore, all these large membership groups like the AFL-CIO and the NAACP and La Raza, Center for Council on Budget Priorities [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities], all of them and many more, are for an increase in the minimum wage. This is the signal issue of the old Democratic Party, when the minimum started in 1938 under Franklin Delano Roosevelt. But the Democratic Party has become a party of caution, cash and co-optation. And so, they don't even know a winning humanitarian, moral and political issue if it was put on their desk.

Well, Jesse Jackson Jr. has broken ranks from the lethargy on Capitol Hill. He has about 20 good progressives in the House supporting him. And this is jolting what everybody's been waiting for. The AFL has been waiting for George Miller, a congressman, a senior congressman from San Francisco. The White House apparently is waiting for George Miller. Nancy Pelosi is waiting for George Miller. So, in a few days, George Miller, after three-and-a-half years of doing nothing, is going to put in a bill for a three-year stage, going to $9.80 by 2014. That is not a political winner. If you go from seven and a quarter and catch up with 1968 by taking it to $10, that's 30 million workers that you can appeal to--30 million workers. And that doesn't count the tipping of restaurant workers and fast-food workers, who are still at $2.55 an hour plus tips. Who knows what they are in terms of getting even to today's federal minimum wage? The U.S.'s federal minimum wage is lower than all Western countries. Ontario in Canada has a minimum wage of $10.25.

And another star that's allied, this. They usually cater to the business community. When there's a minimum wage increase in the past, they say, "Well, let's give them a tax break." Well, they've already given, under Obama, 17 small business tax breaks. And, of course, we all know that Wal-Mart and McDonald's have got the tax system pretty well gamed. So here we have this gross inequity where workers in Wal-Mart are making $8, $9, $10 an hour before deductions, with hardly any health insurance, and their boss, the CEO of Wal-Mart, is making $11,000 an hour, eight hours a day. So you can see it's a great, powerful, fair-play political message if the Democrats would rise up.

But I think we have to have another slogan here: "30 million American workers arise. You have nothing to lose but some of your debt." And we have a website to mobilize these workers. It's a simple one: timeforaraise.org, timeforaraise.org.
[Read more...]

A third of young adults in the UK 'don't know bacon comes from a pig' (14 June 2012)
A third are also ignorant of where we get our milk and did not know that eggs came from chickens. Fifteen per cent think they came from a crop, a Linking Environment And Farming report says.

Caroline Drummond, chief executive of Leaf, said: 'We sometimes hear that our food knowledge may be declining but this research shows how bad the situation has become.

'Three in ten adults born in the nineties haven't visited a farm in more than ten years, if at all, which is a real shame for our farmers.'

Despite the 2,000 participants being shown a picture of a dairy cow as part of the multiple choice quiz, 59 per cent still failed to say where butter originates.
[Read more...]

'Flesh-eating bacteria' kill Sacramento pastor (15 June 2012)
A Sacramento pastor has died after a six-month battle with so-called "flesh-eating bacteria."

According to her family, Rev. Linda Snyder died Tuesday in Sacramento's Mercy Hospital from complications caused by necrotizing fasciitis (NECK-ro-TIE-zing FA-sigh-tus). The Sacramento Bee reports (http://bit.ly/NE949b) that she was 62.

The rare disease is caused when a deadly bacteria germ spreads a tissue-killing toxin after invading the body, typically through a minor cut. The Bee reports the affliction developed in an abscess on her back and led to a coma, pneumonia and other complications.

Snyder had been pastor of Florin United Methodist Church for about 10 years until 2011. She briefly served as pastor of Citrus Heights United Methodist Church, but stepped down in January when she entered the hospital.
[Read more...]

PAM COMMENTARY: Again, did anyone try a Clark zapper on that? Did anyone even offer her the choice of that or other "experimental" (yet often effective) medicine?

Air traffic controllers aren't keeping to no-doze schedule (15 June 2012)
New regulations intended to keep air traffic controllers from dozing off on duty have been violated nearly 4,000 times, according to internal Federal Aviation Administration documents.

After a controller fell asleep last year in the tower at Reagan National Airport, it emerged that such lapses were commonplace at airports across the country, and the FAA said it would act to curb the problem.

But a memo to more than 400 frontline FAA managers this month said a five-month internal review earlier this year uncovered repeated violations of a requirement that controllers have at least nine hours off between shifts. More than half of the airport control towers were found to have violated the rule at least once. One facility broke the rule scores of times.

The FAA suspended or fired several controllers for sleeping on the job last year, and the controversy contributed to the ouster of the head of the FAA's air traffic control organization.
[Read more...]

The Once-and-for-All Solution to Our Campaign Finance Problems; How citizens can unite to undo Citizens United. (14 June 2012)
Yet the chorus of commentators deriding this phenomenon has overstated the responsibility of Citizens United itself. The fundamental principle underlying campaign finance law since the Supreme Court's seminal 1976 ruling in Buckley v. Valeo--that Congress could regulate contributions to campaigns but could not lawfully cap individuals' independent political expenditures--leads logically and unmistakably to the rise of super PACs. It's true that for a brief moment earlier this decade, after President George W. Bush grudgingly signed into law the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill, Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and John Paul Stevens led the court in upholding limits on "soft money" raised by political parties. O'Connor and Stevens wrote together to endorse regulation to check undue access to officeholders, as well as efforts to prevent outright corruption. And Citizens United cut off this budding development. But the 5-4 ruling did so as a return to, rather than an unprecedented departure from, the path set by Buckley.

It is for this reason that I call not simply for narrowing Citizens United, but for drawing upon the passionate discontent triggered by that decision to rethink entirely the rules for campaign finance regulation within our constitutional order. This is a particularly worthy enterprise given that the composition of the court prefigures little chance of a swift change in direction, whether or not the court decides to revisit Citizen United in the pending challenge to Montana's carefully crafted limits on corporate campaign expenditures. I propose an ambitious amendment along the following lines:

"Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to forbid Congress or the states from imposing content-neutral limitations on private campaign contributions or independent political campaign expenditures. Nor shall this Constitution prevent Congress or the states from enacting systems of public campaign financing, including those designed to restrict the influence of private wealth by offsetting campaign spending or independent expenditures with increased public funding."

My proposed text first lays to rest the fiction, perpetuated for decades in the wake of Buckley, that a just and sensible financing regime can treat contributions and expenditures differently. Expenditures to support or oppose political candidates, however nominally independent--and lately, the purported independence of super PACs has become a national joke--have in practice afforded wealthy people and corporations grossly disproportionate access to holders of public office. To the ordinary voter, this is deeply alienating. And it is anathema to the foundational principle of "one person, one vote," a doctrine devised to root out unconscionable disparities in voter access to fair legislative representation. As Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit recently argued, a fundamental corollary of that precept is the right to have one's speech reflect one's passion, not the size of one's bank account.
[Read more...]

Burmese democracy advocate Suu Kyi pays historic visit to Europe (14 June 2012)
NEW DELHI -- Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi enjoyed her first full day on European soil in 24 years Thursday, the beginning of a 17-day visit that includes stops in Switzerland, Norway, Britain, Ireland and France.

In an address Thursday to the U.N. International Labor Organization in Geneva, Suu Kyi called for rule of law, an end to ethnic fighting and the formation of strong democratic institutions in Myanmar, which she compared to South American countries that have moved from dictatorship to democracy.

At one point, according to CNN.Com, she told the audience she was not speaking as a representative of her government, "Not yet, anyway," she added to laughter.

Suu Kyi is also scheduled to give a long-delayed acceptance speech Saturday in Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize she received in absentia in 1991.
[Read more...]

Canadian researchers find potential Ebola virus cure (14 June 2012)
TORONTO--Canadian researchers are reporting a potential advance in the treatment of Ebola virus infection, one of the most deadly pathogens known to humankind.

Researchers from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg are reporting that monkeys deliberately infected with Ebola were successfully saved with a cocktail of antibodies against the virus.

Four of four monkeys given the treatment 24 hours after infection survived. And two of four monkeys treated 48 hours after infection also survived.

There currently is no vaccine and no treatment for Ebola, a viral hemorrhagic fever that causes sporadic, tragic outbreaks in countries in central Africa.
[Read more...]

PAM COMMENTARY: I still wonder if a Clark zapper would help with that.

Egypt: court dissolves a third of parliament - live updates (14 June 2012)
If it's correct that only one-third of the Egyptian parliament has been dissolved, that still leaves a major problem.

The Arabist also points out that article 32 of the constitutional declaration says the People's Assembly (parliament) must have at least 350 members -- but as a result of today's decision it now has only 332. It appears, therefore, that the parliament will be paralysed until the vacancies have been filled.

2.01pm: Egypt: The Muslim Brotherhood said it would accept the verdict on Shafiq but declined to comment on the decision to dissolve a third of the parliament, Reuters reports.

Asked about the Shafiq verdict verdict Mahmoud Ghozlan, spokesman for the Brotherhood, said: "It's a reality now, and we must deal with it as such."
[Read more...]

Shell scraps biofuels plan over Brazil native land (14 June 2012)
RIO DE JANEIRO -- A Shell subsidiary that makes biodiesel in Brazil has dropped controversial plans to buy sugar cane grown on land taken from indigenous people, according to Survival International.

The company, Raizen, was set up in 2010 by Shell and Brazil's biofuels giant Cosan to make biofuel from sugar cane -- an endeavor that had been criticized by indigenous groups who say their ancestral lands have been tainted.

Raizen has now signed an agreement with the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) promising to stop buying sugar cane grown on Guarani territory in the southern state of Mato Grosso do Sul, according to Survival, an NGO that works to defend tribal peoples.

Many Guarani people had been driven off their land, left to camp along roadsides. They also complained that rivers on their traditional lands were being polluted with pesticides.

"Other companies must follow Raizen's example, and stop bankrolling the theft of Guarani land. It's time the world woke up to the fact that Brazil's biofuel is tainted with Indian blood," Survival director Stephen Corry said on Wednesday.
[Read more...]

PAM COMMENTARY: With Shell's history, I'll believe it when I see it...

Internet adding many domains, ICANN says (14 June 2012)
The most famous domains on the Web are getting some dot-competition.

The URLs we have typed into our browsers since we first connected to the Internet - .com, .net, .org - could soon be joined by .google, .amazon and even .porn.

It's part of a significant expansion in what are known as top-level domains initiated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, a nonprofit group that oversees domain names. ICANN released a list Wednesday of the 1,930 applications it received for new top-level domains after soliciting proposals in January.

ICANN says the move will unleash new creative potential on the Web and benefit consumers. But the expansion has met with stiff criticism from some business leaders and the U.S. government, which assert that adding hundreds of top-level domains will result in confusion for Web surfers and agony for holders of trademarks and copyrights. Others suggest the move will effectively privatize the Internet.
[Read more...]

New rules spark rush for web domain names (14 June 2012)
In one of the biggest changes to the internet since its inception, web domains can now be registered in any language
and script.

That is, if you can afford the hefty fees, which can reach an estimated $25,000 per year.

So far, internet giant Google has put in requests for dozens of names, but social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have yet to make a move.

Al Jazeera's Suranjana Tewari reports.
[Read more...]

Flag Day card to readers

House GOP Blocking Abortion Access for Raped Soldiers (13 June 2012)
Republican Senators John McCain, Scott Brown, and Susan Collins all support an effort by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, to expand abortion access for military women who are raped. But despite bipartisan support in the Senate, Shaheen's proposal may not make it into the final version of the 2013 defense authorization bill--because House Republicans oppose it.

If Shaheen's measure passes, military families will finally have the same access to abortion that other federal employees already receive. Unlike the rest of the federal government, the Department of Defense currently only provides abortion coverage if the life of the mother is at stake. Under current law, if a State Department employee is raped, her government health insurance plan will pay for an abortion if she wants one. But if an Army medic serving in Afghanistan is raped and becomes pregnant, she can't use her military health plan to pay for an abortion. If she does decide to get an abortion, she will have to pay for it with her own money. And if she can't prove she was raped--which is difficult before an investigation is completed--she may have to look for services off base, which can be dangerous or impossible in many parts of the world.
[Read more...]

Military Suicide Epidemic: More U.S. Soldiers Have Killed Themselves Than Died on Battlefield in 2012 (13 June 2012) [DN]
AMY GOODMAN: That's Mary Kirkland describing the suicide of her son, Derrick Kirkland, who had put a gun in his mouth in Iraq. He was sent to a hospital in Germany, then sent home to Fort Lewis-McChord, where he was put into the hospital and, as she described, let out, saying that he had low risk of suicide. He committed suicide the next day, on March 19, 2010, after two tours of duty in Iraq.

Aaron Glantz, you have done a lot of research on soldier suicides. Can you respond to what happened to Derrick and put it in the broader context not only of soldiers, but of veterans, as well?

AARON GLANTZ: Yeah, I mean, unfortunately, there's many, many stories like that. I wrote a few years ago about a Specialist John Fish of San Luis Obispo out here in California. He served a tour in Iraq. He was suicidal. He told his commanders he was suicidal when he was in Iraq. He came back to the United States, and they told him to just start training to go to Afghanistan. And during the training exercises, he walked out into the desert outside El Paso, and he shot himself in the head with a military-issued weapon.

We've been at war for 10 years. We have 2.5 million Americans who have served in these wars. About a million of them are still in the military, and a million and a half of them are out of the military and are now veterans. We have 18 veterans who commit suicide every day in this country. We haven't asked people to go through war in this kind of way, you know, probably since World War II. In Vietnam, people served one tour, and then they came home. We had a draft. Now we ask people to go again and again. And so, you have a million people who have been through the wars who are still in the military. You have 90,000 people who are still in Afghanistan fighting this war. It's not surprising that the suicides would be higher than the battlefield deaths at this point.
[Read more...]

What happens if America loses its unions (13 June 2012)
Are American unions history?

In the wake of labor's defeated effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) last week, both pro- and anti-union pundits have opined that unions are in an all-but-irreversible decline. Privately, a number of my friends and acquaintances in the labor movement have voiced similar sentiments. Most don't think that decline is irreversible but few have any idea how labor would come back.

What would America look like without a union movement? That's not a hard question to answer, because we're almost at that point. The rate of private-sector unionization has fallen below 7 percent, from a post-World War II high of roughly 40?percent. Already, the economic effects of a union-free America are glaringly apparent: an economically stagnant or downwardly mobile middle class, a steady clawing-back of job-related health and retirement benefits and ever-rising economic inequality.

In the three decades after World War II the United States dominated the global economy, but that's only one of the two reasons our country became the first to have a middle-class majority. The other is that this was the only time in our history when we had a high degree of unionization. From 1947 through 1972 -- the peak years of unionization -- productivity increased by 102 percent, and median household income also increased by 102 percent. Thereafter, as the rate of unionization relentlessly fell, a gap opened between the economic benefits flowing from a more productive economy and the incomes of ordinary Americans, so much so that in recent decades, all the gains in productivity -- as economists Ian Dew-Becker and Robert Gordon have shown -- have gone to the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans. When labor was at its numerical apogee in 1955, the wealthiest 10 percent claimed just 33?percent of the nation's income. By 2007, with the labor movement greatly diminished, the wealthiest 10 percent claimed 50 percent of the nation's income.
[Read more...]

U.S. market for solar likely to double this year (13 June 2012)
From the Wall Street Journal:
The U.S. market for solar panels is likely to double in 2012, thanks to government policies and falling prices, although new tariffs on panels imported from China could contribute to slower growth in 2013, according to a new study.

U.S. developers are likely to install about 3,300 megawatts of solar panels this year, nearly double the amount installed in 2011, according to the study released Wednesday by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research. ...

Government subsidies, such as a federal tax credit equal to 30% of the cost of each system, and state and local incentives have been driving growing demand for solar. Better prices also have played a role.

Average solar-panel prices fell by about one-half over 2011, to about 94 cents a watt, the study found. That came on top of a roughly 27% drop in prices during 2010, said Shayle Kann, a vice president at GTM and an author of the study.
[Read more...]

Students now snorting ADHD drugs before taking academic tests (12 June 2012)
(NaturalNews) Just when, as a parent, you think you've got this drug thing with your kids handled, they come up with something else to put themselves at risk and make you begin worrying about them all over again.

The most recent trend now, according to reports, is for students to snort - yes, snort - attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs before taking academic exams, not for the high necessarily but to get a better score.

In schools all across the country, students bent on getting better scores on SAT exams and others are snorting ADHD amphetamines like Adderall before tests to help them focus, as well as during late-night study sessions and other times when they are preparing for a test.

The drug does more than just help jolt them awake in the mornings as they got ready to take the make-or-break marathon college preparatory tests; it gives them a laser-like focusing ability that is just right for that kind of situation.
[Read more...]

PAM COMMENTARY: This brings up an odd memory from years ago. A friend of mine and I noticed that the combination of regularly taking flaxseed oil along with drinking Arizona Iced Tea's Rx Memory really enhanced our ability to remember things. She was a student at the time; I, as usual, had a computer programming job. Rx Memory had foods like ginko and pear juice in it, among other things, and I'm not even sure that it's still being manufactured -- I haven't seen it on store shelves for years. I'm sure that taking herbs known for memory along with a good essential oil blend would probably help even more, but I've never had the need to research memory enhancers.

Another thing that helps me focus is lemon essential oil -- a scent that an aromatherapist told a class had been studied and found to increase productivity in workers.

Justice Department files suit over Florida's voter-purging initiative (12 June 2012)
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Justice is suing the state of Florida to halt its efforts to purge voter rolls of noncitizens who are illegally registered to vote.

The complaint alleges that the state has violated Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 by relying on inaccurate and unreliable voter verification procedures and by conducting the purge within 90 days of a federal election. Florida has a primary scheduled for Aug. 14.

Assistant Atty. Gen. Thomas E. Perez said in a statement that the state appears to have "undertaken a new program for voter removal within this 90-day period that has critical imperfections, which lead to errors that harm and confuse eligible voters."

The suit comes just a day after Florida sued the Department of Homeland Security for failing to allow it to check voter names against a database that contains citizenship information.
[Read more...]

Supreme Court Rejects Gitmo Appeals, Spelling Potential End to Prisoners' Legal Fight for Release (12 June 2012) [DN]
AMY GOODMAN: And how did it break down yesterday?

SHAYANA KADIDAL: Well, so, seven of these cases where detainees lost were on appeal to the Supreme Court. The court had gathered them a couple weeks ago and had been considering them every week at its conference. And, you know, this left us hopeful that maybe, you know, they were going to review a case. We had thought, up 'til this point, that one of the problems was that Justice Kagan had been excusing herself from hearing any of these cases because of her role as an Obama administration insider. But in yesterday's cases, there was no indication that she recused herself from voting on any of these cases. And the entire Supreme Court apparently had no interest in taking on these cases. There wasn't even a single dissent from the denial of review of these D.C. Circuit decisions.

AMY GOODMAN: Andy Worthington, talk about the number of people at Guantánamo right now and the number who have been cleared for release years ago.

ANDY WORTHINGTON: Well, yes, Amy, as you said, there are 87 of the 169 prisoners still held who have been--had their release approved, some going back as far as 2004 by military review boards established under President Bush. And in all the years since then, there were then further decisions that were taken by the commander of Guantánamo. These details were revealed in the classified military files that were released last year by WikiLeaks, on which I worked. And I've been analyzing those for the report that you mentioned. And all of these people then subsequently had their release approved by the task force that was set up by President Obama in 2009 of career officials and intelligence agency officials, who spent a year going through all the cases deciding who should be released and who should still be held.
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Bloomberg Cuts Threaten Thousands with Eviction as NYC Homeless Population Hits Record 43,000 (12 June 2012) [DN]
AMY GOODMAN: We end today's show with a look at homelessness here in New York City. The number of people living in city shelters has reached an all-time high according to a new report issued Monday by the Coalition for the Homeless. This spring, more than 43,000 people, including a record 17,000 children, slept each night in municipal shelters. The Coalition's analysis also showed the average length of a family's stay in city shelters has increased to nearly a year.

Since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office, the homeless shelter population has increased by 39 percent. The Coalition for the Homeless attributes the spike in homelessness to the Bloomberg administration's alleged failure to help move homeless families into permanent affordable housing. Housing advocates say the problem was exacerbated by city's cancellation of the "Advantage" apartment rental subsidy. Since then, the city has lacked a program to help shelter residents attain permanent housing. Now as many as 8,000 former aid recipients are facing eviction.

For more, we turn to a report by Democracy Now! fellow Chantal Berman. She spoke with several recipients of the program's housing subsidies who could lose their homes.

KATRICE BRYSON: Basically, I've been in this apartment for almost two years. I'm hoping and praying I can stay here a little bit longer, pending on the outcome of what's going to happen, I guess, when I receive housing court papers.
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PAM COMMENTARY: That man's third term has been hard on the city.

Flame virus, most sophisticated malicious code ever seen, was developed by U.S. government (12 June 2012)
Now, according to reports, some of the most sophisticated malicious code ever developed is a product of the United States government, leaving more than a few tech experts and analysts concerned that maybe now, Washington has become a bigger info-terrorist than some of the country's worst enemies.

If you've been following the so-called "shadow war" the U.S. and Israel have been waging against Iran (you didn't know about that?) then you are aware of a malicious code called Stuxnet, a computer worm reportedly developed jointly by Tel Aviv and Washington and dissected in 2009 and 2010, that created havoc among the computer systems managing Iran's nuclear facilities.

Now, analysts believe some of the same code used in Stuxnet was also used in Flame, the latter of which was just identified recently, to form two of the foremost cyber-weapons ever developed.

Two different platforms that shared some of the same code
"We are now 100 percent sure that the Flame and Stuxnet groups worked together," Roel Schouwenberg, a senior researcher at Russia-based Kaspersky Lab, said during a press conference. "The fact that the Flame group shared their source code with the Stuxnet group shows they cooperated at least once."
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Beating death of alleged Texas molester ruled a homicide, but charges unlikely (12 June 2012)
No arrests are likely after a father of a 4-year-old girl apparently beat a man to death who was seen allegedly molesting the child in rural Lavaca County Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

The death occurred about 3:45 p.m. at a horse barn along County Road 302 near Shiner, about 127 miles west of Houston, said Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon.

Harmon said the victim, a 47-year-old Gonzales man, died at the scene. His name has not been released because his next of kin has not yet been notified of the death.

The Travis County Medical Examiner's Office determined the preliminary cause of death was blunt-force trauma to the head and neck, said Alene Lyons, Lavaca County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4. Lyons said the death was ruled a homicide.

Harmon told the Associated Press it appears the father's story is accurate and he has not been arrested. The case will be presented to a grand jury to determine what, if any, charges will be filed.
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Jerry Sandusky trial: Mike McQueary describes witnessing sex act (12 June 2012)
Mike McQueary, the former Penn State graduate assistant at the heart of the scandal that shook his school's storied football program, took the witness stand on Tuesday in the child sex-abuse trial of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

McQueary described a 2001 incident in the locker room showers at Penn State University in which he said he saw Sandusky commit a sex act on a naked boy. The boy, identified in court documents as Victim 2, was against a wall with a naked Sandusky behind the child, who appeared to be 10 to 12 years old at the time, McQueary testified.

McQueary, who was 28 at the time of the incident, then slammed his locker door loudly "in an attempt to say 'someone's here, break it up,"' he testified, according to media reports from the Bellefonte, Pa., courtroom. He then called his father, who is also expected to testify for the prosecution.

McQueary is an important prosecution witness because he's an adult testifying to an alleged sex act by Sandusky. Two of the witnesses so far have been alleged victims recounting what they said happened to them when they were children years ago. In cross-examination, the defense has questioned their memory and their motives.
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Times-Picayune cuts half of newsroom staff; 3 Alabama newspapers announce 400 layoffs (12 June 2012)
NEW ORLEANS -- The Times-Picayune said Tuesday 200 employees will lose their jobs when one of the nation's oldest daily newspapers shifts its focus to online news and publishes just three days a week beginning this fall.

The paper said 84 of the newsroom's 173 employees were cut at the 175-year-old paper. Advertising, circulation and other departments also were affected. The change means New Orleans will become the largest metro area in the nation without a daily newspaper in the digital age.

In Alabama, three major daily newspapers laid off about 400 employees. It wasn't immediately clear what departments were hit hardest at The Birmingham News, the Press-Register in Mobile and The Huntsville Times.

All four papers will continue to publish on their websites, and online access will remain free.
[Read more...]

Navy drone crashes in Maryland; no injuries reported (12 June 2012) [DN]
Aerial video from WBOC-TV showed a plane-shaped indentation surrounded by burning debris at the swampy crash site.

The cause is being investigated, and the Coast Guard set up a safety zone around the crash site, officials said.

Like its Air Force drone counterpart, the Global Hawk, the Navy's RQ-4A Broad Area Maritime Surveillance-Demonstrator was built by Northrop Grumman and is powered by a single engine that allows it to cruise at 400 miles per hour, at altitudes up to 60,000 feet, with a range of more than 10,000 miles.

The two models the Navy is testing are flown by Navy and contractor pilots on the ground. The drone doesn't carry weapons; instead, it's equipped with powerful radars that allow it to "see" 360 degrees for hundreds of miles, beaming high-resolution images to analysts on the ground.

It can stay aloft for more than 24 hours, allowing it to survey up to 40,000 square miles of terrain a day. That's part of the reason the Navy planned to buy 68 more of the drones, to be operated at five locations across the globe. In 2008, the Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a $1.2 billion contract to develop and demonstrate the technology.
[Read more...]

Beached humpback whale dies on shore near Vancouver (12 June 2012)
VANCOUVER--Armed with buckets for water and shovels for digging, the residents of White Rock streamed down to the beach early Tuesday in an attempt to help a humpback whale that had washed up on shore.

But just hours after being beached on the waterfront about 45 minutes south of Vancouver, the whale died as dozens of people looked on helplessly.

"The animal was alive but it was in just too weak and in such poor shape that we knew it had been distressed for a long time," said Paul Cottrell, the marine mammal co-ordinator for the Department of Fisheries and Ocean.

"It had been labouring for a long time and was swimming and just got caught by the tides."

Cottrell said humpbacked whales are making a comeback on the West Coast and there are usually two or three live entanglements in fishing gear each year. More of the whales are appearing in shore and in more populated places. Last month, Cottrell helped untangle a whale off northern Vancouver Island after it was caught in 50 prawn traps.
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Should you diet like it's 1812? (12 June 2012)
One of the biggest differences between then and now is the methods of preservation. Where we now refrigerate and freeze meat, in the 1800s the main way to preserve meat was to have it smoked, dried as "jerky," or salted. Preserved meats included bacon, salt pork, smoked ham, dried or corned beef, and smoked, salted or dried fish. Vegetables could be kept in a root cellar or pickled in a solution of brine and vinegar. In 2012 we have access to fruits and vegetables from all over the world, even when they might not be in season here. In 1812, if you lived in Maryland, it would have been rare to enjoy grapefruit or oranges. During the winter months when fresh vegetables weren't available, they were served pickled. Quite a difference from 2012, when we are able to consume a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables in any season.

Did our ancestors eat healthier than we do? One positive is they did tend to eat fresh, locally grown foods, while in season. Their diets were typically high in sodium, partly due to the preservation methods, as the meat was often smoked or salted, and the vegetables pickled. Also, spices other than salt were quite an expensive luxury item. Their diets also contained a fair amount of saturated fat: plenty of butter, whole milk and cheese were consumed.

In 1812, preparing food took much more time and effort and was a lot of hard work. Between the farming, hunting, preserving, as well as the cooking in heavy iron pans for long periods of time, people burned many calories during their daily activities. Nowadays, meals are much more convenient -- not only do we have stoves, but also microwaves. And restaurants line almost every corner. In 2012, a good healthy take away from our 1812 ancestors would be to eat fresh, local foods and less pre-packaged foods. Eat fresh seasonal vegetables rather than canned and snack on nuts and fruits rather than cheese curls and candy.

During the bicentennial celebration, if you see the many tall ships in Baltimore, think of what the Navy sailors ate during the War of 1812. A typical sailor's diet chart can be found at asailorslifeforme.org.
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Lack of sleep increases stroke risk (11 June 2012)
State fish experts say a bacterial infection killed thousands of fish in Lake Delton.

Department of Natural Resources fish specialists investigated thousands of dead black crappie and white suckers that washed up ashore on lake properties late last month. The agency has determined a disease called columnaris killed the creatures.

The disease is common and typically occurs in late spring and early summer when water temperatures rise and fish are stressed from spawning and changes in water quality. It causes fatal lesions on fish's gills and skin.

The disease can't hurt humans, but DNR officials say people don't eat infected fish because other bacteria growing on the remains could be harmful.
[Read more...]

Trumka: Walker only won the chance to finish his term (11 June 2012)
AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka poured some cold water on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's recall election victory Sunday morning, mentioning all the stops the Republican had to do to keep his job.

"It's true that the people in Wisconsin didn't recall Governor Walker, but he spent over $50 million on this," Trumka said on CBS' Face The Nation. "He has lost control of the State Senate, so his agenda is stopped dead in its tracks. He has the worst job creating record of all the states that are out there right now, and people are looking at that."

"Having said all that, he won," host Bob Schieffer said.

"What did he win? He got the right to serve the rest of his term," Trumka said. "He didn't do what he was supposed to do, that's try to create jobs. We wish he had the best job creating record in the country, we wish he could get there."
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Woman shares personal story of rape amid DNA collection debate in Maryland (11 June 2012)
When Maryland's highest court ruled in late April that taking DNA samples before a suspect is convicted was unconstitutional, it was clear a lot more was at stake than the important legal argument.

Every one of the 13 rapes solved after the General Assembly authorized police in 2009 to take the post-arrest DNA samples had a story, and The Baltimore Sun wanted to provide our readers with the details about the real life implications of the case.

To do that, The Sun researched one of the first cases prosecuted in Baltimore County that involved a man, Gregory Leslie Brown, who was arrested in February 2009 on sex abuse charges. His DNA was taken using a cotton swab run along the inside of his cheek and cross checked with DNA samples from evidence in unsolved cases. Brown's DNA was found to be a match in two rapes in 2000 and 2004.

Using police and legal documents filed at courthouses in the city, Baltimore County and Annapolis, the Sun pieced together the story about the rapes and the charges filed against Brown.
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Father beats man to death; sheriff says dad reacted to his daughter, 4, being sexually assaulted (10 June 2012)
SHINER - A father caught a man molesting his 4-year-old daughter and beat him to death Saturday, the Lavaca County sheriff said.

Sheriff Micah Harmon said the death occurred about 3:45 p.m. in a residence along County Road 302 near Shiner.

The name of the deceased man, a 47-year-old from Gonzales, was not released because his relatives have not been notified, Harmon said. And authorities have not identified the girl nor her father. The Advocate's policy is to not print the names of sexual assault victims.

No arrests have yet been made in the case.
[Read more...]

Public-employee pensions come under the scalpel in Calif.; other states are watching closely (10 June 2012)
SAN DIEGO - For years, companies have been chipping away at workers' pensions. Now, two California cities may help pave the way for governments to follow suit.

Voters in San Diego and San Jose, the nation's eighth- and 10th-largest cities, overwhelmingly approved ballot measures last week to roll back municipal retirement benefits -- and not just for future hires but for current employees.

From coast to coast, the pensions of current public employees have long been generally considered untouchable. But now, some politicians are saying those obligations are trumped by the need to provide for the public's health and safety.

The two California cases could put that argument to the test in a legal battle that could resonate in cash-strapped state capitols and city halls across the country. Lawsuits have already been filed in both cities.
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PAM COMMENTARY: Good benefits are one of the reasons that people are willing to work for the lower wages paid by government jobs.

Feds to farmers: Grow GMO beets or face sugar shortage (7 June 2012)
Well, I'm happy to report that our long national nightmare is over. At last, the USDA has released its full environmental review of Roundup Ready sugar beets. In it, the agency describes the risks for genetic contamination as well as the likelihood of increased herbicide resistance in weeds that will result from unrestricted planting of the beets. And as a result, the USDA is recommending full "deregulation" of GMO sugar beets, which will allow for their unrestricted planting.

Wait. What?

The environmental review puts a high priority on the absence of alternative seeds and the potential disruption to sugar supplies -- an absence that has been shaped by consolidation in the seed industry. It also observes that any weed resistance that develops if more Roundup Ready seed is planted can be countered by applying more types of herbicide! The chemical treadmill FTW!

As this review illustrates, the agency behaves as if its "hands are tied" on GM seed approvals. As George Kimbrell, senior attorney for the Center for Food Safety and a plaintiff in the sugar beet trial, describes it, the agency claims "regulatory impotence." The USDA's arguments in the recent court case involving GM alfalfa echo this sentiment. In short, the agency asserts that it lacks authority to fully assess the risks of GM seeds because Congress has ruled that the agency can't let the larger potential impacts enter its analysis.

Kimbrell isn't buying it. "We strongly disagree with USDA's claims of regulatory impotence," he told me in an email. This claim, he added, is "contrary to the statute and Supreme Court, in addition to being extremely bad policy. USDA's job is to protect all farmers and the environment, not just biotech special interests."
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Experts: Annual bacterial disease killed fish in Lake Delton (11 June 2012)
State fish experts say a bacterial infection killed thousands of fish in Lake Delton.

Department of Natural Resources fish specialists investigated thousands of dead black crappie and white suckers that washed up ashore on lake properties late last month. The agency has determined a disease called columnaris killed the creatures.

The disease is common and typically occurs in late spring and early summer when water temperatures rise and fish are stressed from spawning and changes in water quality. It causes fatal lesions on fish's gills and skin.

The disease can't hurt humans, but DNR officials say people don't eat infected fish because other bacteria growing on the remains could be harmful.
[Read more...]

UnitedHealth Claims it will continue health care reforms (11 June 2012)
(Reuters) - UnitedHealth Group Inc, the largest U.S. health insurer by market value, said it would maintain the health coverage protections included in President Barack Obama's healthcare law regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the legislation.

The Supreme Court is expected to decide later this month whether to strike down all or portions of the law, Obama's signature domestic policy achievement that was passed in 2010.

The provisions UnitedHealth will maintain include continuing to provide coverage for dependents up to age 26 under their parents' plan.

The company will also continue to offer certain preventive healthcare services without requiring a co-payment, which include annual check-ups, screening for high-blood pressure and diabetes, and immunizations.

UnitedHealth will also continue to forgo lifetime dollar coverage limits on policies.
[Read more...]

PAM COMMENTARY: We'll see -- it's a good marketing ploy, but when the commitment is voluntary, they can change their minds at any time.

Wildlife Services' methods leave a trail of animal death (10 June 2012)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The day began with a drive across the desert, checking the snares he had placed in the sagebrush to catch coyotes.
Gary Strader, an employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stepped out of his truck near a ravine in Nevada and found something that he had not intended to kill.

There, strangled in a neck snare, was one of the most majestic birds in America, a federally protected golden eagle.

"I called my supervisor and said, 'I just caught a golden eagle and it's dead,' " said Strader. "He said, 'Did anybody see it?' I said, 'Geez, I don't think so.'

"He said, 'If you think nobody saw it, go get a shovel and bury it and don't say nothing to anybody.'"

"That bothered me," said Strader, whose job was terminated in 2009. "It wasn't right."
[Read more...]

Woodward and Bernstein: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought (10 June 2012)
Ervin's answer to his own question hints at the magnitude of Watergate: "To destroy, insofar as the presidential election of 1972 was concerned, the integrity of the process by which the President of the United States is nominated and elected." Yet Watergate was far more than that. At its most virulent, Watergate was a brazen and daring assault, led by Nixon himself, against the heart of American democracy: the Constitution, our system of free elections, the rule of law.

Today, much more than when we first covered this story as young Washington Post reporters, an abundant record provides unambiguous answers and evidence about Watergate and its meaning. This record has expanded continuously over the decades with the transcription of hundreds of hours of Nixon's secret tapes, adding detail and context to the hearings in the Senate and House of Representatives; the trials and guilty pleas of some 40 Nixon aides and associates who went to jail; and the memoirs of Nixon and his deputies. Such documentation makes it possible to trace the president's personal dominance over a massive campaign of political espionage, sabotage and other illegal activities against his real or perceived opponents.

In the course of his five-and-a-half-year presidency, beginning in 1969, Nixon launched and managed five successive and overlapping wars -- against the anti-Vietnam War movement, the news media, the Democrats, the justice system and, finally, against history itself. All reflected a mind-set and a pattern of behavior that were uniquely and pervasively Nixon's: a willingness to disregard the law for political advantage, and a quest for dirt and secrets about his opponents as an organizing principle of his presidency.

Long before the Watergate break-in, gumshoeing, burglary, wiretapping and political sabotage had become a way of life in the Nixon White House.
[Read more...]

In McDonnell's realm, some unions merit state aid (10 June 2012)
He had threatened to withhold $150 million from the second phase of the project to link the nation's capital with one of the East Coast's busiest airports unless the labor agreement is ditched. On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority relented.

McDonnell wasn't acting alone. The GOP-ruled General Assembly this year passed legislation banning project labor agreements favoring unions. McDonnell signed it into law.

The last GOP president to receive substantial support from unions was Ronald Reagan, a former SAG president. Unions reliably provide substantial on-the-ground aid for Democrats, canvassing neighborhoods and getting friendly voters to the polls on election day. Political contributions from unions overwhelmingly favor Democrats.

But why should unions for pipefitters or heavy equipment operators or carpenters get a cold shoulder while those for athletes and actors who are household names and earn more in a year than most working stiffs make in a lifetime get a warm embrace worth millions in state tax dollars?

"I don't think that's an appropriate comparison at all," McDonnell told The Associated Press, "but thanks for the fine question." And the interview was over.
[Read more...]

PAM COMMENTARY: Attacking unions means that people will have less money to spend in the state -- another way Republicans have found to harm the economy.

Presidential campaigns focus on wealthy donors over swing states (10 June 2012)
LAS VEGAS -- In three days of campaign travel this last week, President Obama spent just two hours on the soil of a battleground state -- a small fraction of his time given that voters in those places are expected to decide the election.

Instead, Obama rubbed elbows with wealthy donors in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. They hadn't shelled out $20,000 apiece just to cheer and watch him from a distance at a big rally.

For years, the complaint in donor-rich states, including New York, Illinois and California, has been that presidential candidates take them for granted and seldom show up to campaign. But the race for money is vastly more competitive this year -- and the list of actual battleground states is even smaller than before. The net effect is that both Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney have spent a great deal of quality time in a few wealthy enclaves cloistered with the country's prosperous elite.

The rest of America -- states that are neither wealthy nor battlegrounds -- increasingly has become flyover territory.
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Northern link joins state's chain of marine parks (10 June 2012)
A vast network of undersea reserves - which conservationists have dreamed about for years - has been completed by the California Fish and Game Commission.

The northernmost of four marine parks was approved by the commission last week, creating an interconnected series of protected marine environments from Mexico to Oregon.

The creation of the final Marine Protected Area between Point Arena and the Oregon border, came after years of heated debate over the statewide effort to protect some of California's most pristine ocean habitat.

The coast-wide network now includes 124 protected areas that cover 848 square miles of coastal habitat, about 16 percent of state waters.
[Read more...]

Water war reignites as L.A. resists fixing some Owens Lake dust (10 June 2012)
LONE PINE, Calif. -- Los Angeles and the Owens Valley are at war over water again, with the city trying to rework a historic agreement aimed at stopping massive dust storms that have besieged the eastern Sierra Nevada since L.A. opened an aqueduct 99 years ago that drained Owens Lake.

The L.A. Department of Water and Power has spent $1.2 billion in accordance with a 1997 agreement to combat the powder-fine dust from a 40-square-mile area of the dry Owens Lake bed. By introducing vegetation, gravel and flooding, the DWP has reduced particle air pollution by 90%.

The efforts have brought a measure of peace in the rural valley where people have long had bitter feelings toward Los Angeles, although a noxious reminder of how much work remains to be done rolled over this tourist town on the afternoon of May 25. Fearsome gusts of desert wind kicked up swirling clouds thousands of feet high and so thick that drivers switched on their headlights and pedestrians scurried about with squinting eyes.

Despite the DWP's efforts, the air quality still doesn't meet federal pollution standards. So the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District has ordered the DWP to expand its reach to an additional 2.9 square miles of lake bed, including areas so remote and geologically challenging that it could cost the utility as much as $400 million to bring them into compliance with federal health standards.
[Read more...]

Facebook flotation may have cost UBS $350m (10 June 2012)
The Swiss investment bank UBS may have lost as much as $350m (£226m) during Facebook's flawed flotation last month, according to reports.

In a statement the bank acknowledged making losses on the initial public offering (IPO) but declined to specify how much. The reported figure is 10 times higher than earlier estimates.

According to the financial news channel CNBC, UBS is now considering legal action against Nasdaq, the stock market that handled the IPO.

Nasdaq and Facebook are involved in a series of lawsuits over the flotation on 18 May. Problems with Nasdaq's trading systems led to delays and widespread confusion among buyers and sellers as to how many shares they held.

According to CNBC, UBS wanted 1m Facebook shares but did not receive confirmation that its order had been taken. The bank resubmitted the order multiple times and all those orders were eventually fulfilled, leaving it with far more shares than it wanted.
[Read more...]

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Sources (if found on major news boards):
[AJ] - InfoWars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, or other Alex Jones-affiliated sites
[BF] - BuzzFlash.com
[DN] - DemocracyNow.org
[R] - Rense.com
[WRH] - WhatReallyHappened.com


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All original content including photographs © 2012 by Pam Rotella. (News excerpts copyright by their corresponding authors, news organizations, or other copyright holders, and quoted here typically as "fair use" or "teaser" paragraphs to generate interest in the full articles.)