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BP-owned Alaska oil pipeline shut after spill

BP-owned Alaska oil pipeline shut after spill --800-mile pipeline from Alaska's oilfields closed 25 May 2010 The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, partly owned by BP, shut down on Tuesday after spilling several thousand barrels of crude oil into backup containers, drastically cutting supply down the main artery between refineries and Alaska's oilfields. The accident comes at a difficult time for BP -- the largest single owner of the pipeline operator, holding 47 percent -- as it struggles to plug a gushing Gulf of Mexico oil well.

Baby musk ox taken to Wildlife Center

Baby musk ox taken to Wildlife Center 16 Jun 2010 The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center has a new resident all the way for the North Slope. A baby musk ox arrived in Anchorage last night after BP staff noticed it wandering around its Deadhorse facility earlier in the day. The calf appeared to have lost its mother. The workers contacted the Department of Fish and Game and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

GOP leaders forced Rep. Barton to retract apology to BP

GOP leaders forced Rep. Barton to retract apology to BP 17 Jun 2010 Under pressure from Republican leaders who threatened to remove him from a ranking committee position, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Whackjob-Tex.) late Thursday retracted his apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward for the way his company has been treated by the U.S. government -- a comment that had drawn heavy criticism from both parties. Barton made that apology to Hayward in his opening statement Thursday morning before Hayward's testimony to the House subcommittee, in which Barton decried the Obama administration for pressuring BP to open a $20 billion escrow account and to suspend dividend payments for the rest of the year.

Army Preps 'Unblinking Eye' Airship for Afghanistan

Army Preps 'Unblinking Eye' Airship for Afghanistan --Northrop Grumman has announced a $517 million, five-year contract to build three combat airships for the military. By Noah Shachtman 17 Jun 2010 The military already employs a fleet of blimps to look for enemies and relay communications. But none of them are as big, as high-flying, or as far-seeing as this Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle, or LEMV. It’s supposed to float at 20,000 feet for up to three weeks at a time, snooping on absolutely everything below with a variety of sensors. "Basically what we see it as is an unblinking eye," LEMV project manager Marty Sargent tells Inside Defense.

More Than 90 Banks Miss TARP Payments

More Than 90 Banks Miss TARP Payments 16 Jun 2010 More than 90 U.S. banks and thrifts missed making a May 17 payment to the U.S. government under its main bank bailout program, signaling a rising number of lenders are struggling to meet their obligations. The statistics, compiled by SNL Financial from U.S. Treasury data, showed 91 banks and thrifts skipped the May dividend payment under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. It was the first missed payment for 23 of the banks; for the others, it was at least their second miss.

Laid bare, the lobbying campaign that won the food labelling battle

Laid bare, the lobbying campaign that won the food labelling battle 18 Jun 2010 The lobbying carried out by food manufacturers to block a European-wide food labelling system backed by doctors is laid bare in a series of private emails published today by The Independent. In a flurry of statements and position papers to MEPs in the run up to key votes, Kellogg's, Danone, Coca-Cola, Nestle and other manufacturers claimed that colour-coded traffic lights were incapable of informing shoppers about the right diet.

US soldiers charged over Afghanistan deaths

US soldiers charged over Afghanistan deaths 17 Jun 2010 Five soldiers in the US military have been charged over civilian deaths in Afghanistan. The soldiers, five men, have been charged with premeditated murder after an incident in Kandahar earlier this year. The US military has charged that three of the soldiers, from the army's Stryker Brigade, were involved in premeditated murder.

Senators propose granting president emergency Internet power

Senators propose granting president emergency Internet power By Declan McCullagh 10 Jun 2010 A new U.S. Senate bill would grant the president far-reaching emergency powers to seize control of or even shut down portions of the Internet. The legislation announced Thursday says that companies such as broadband providers, search engines, or software firms that the government selects "shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed" by the Department of Homeland Security. Anyone failing to comply would be fined.

Cracks Show BP Was Battling Gulf Well as Early as February

Cracks Show BP Was Battling Gulf Well as Early as February 17 Jun 2010 BP Plc was struggling to seal cracks in its Macondo well as far back as February, more than two months before an explosion killed 11 and spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It took 10 days to plug the first cracks, according to reports BP filed with the Minerals Management Service that were later delivered to congressional investigators. Cracks in the surrounding rock continued to complicate the drilling operation during the ensuing weeks. Left unsealed, they can allow explosive natural gas to rush up the shaft.

Obama cuts deal to shield BP assets

Obama cuts deal to shield BP assets By Tom Eley 17 Jun 2010 President Barack Obama reiterated his defense of oil giant BP after a White House meeting with the company’s CEO Tony Hayward and board chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg. After the meeting, Obama and BP announced the establishment of an independently operated escrow account, the Independent Claims Facility, funded by up to $20 billion paid out over the next four years... The US media presented the meeting and announcement as a humbling of BP. It was nothing of the sort.

Alert Issued for 17 Afghan Military Members AWOL From U.S. Air Force Base

Alert Issued for 17 Afghan Military Members AWOL From U.S. Air Force Base 17 Jun 2010 A nationwide alert has been issued for 17 members of the Afghan military who have gone AWOL from a Texas Air Force base where foreign military officers who are training to become pilots are taught English, FoxNews.com has learned. The Afghan officers and enlisted men have security badges that give them access to secure U.S. defense installations, according to the lookout bulletin, "Afghan Military Deserters in CONUS [Continental U.S.]," issued by Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Dallas, and obtained by FoxNews.com. The Afghans were attending the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Oil sightings, beach closings edge east in Florida Panhandle

Oil sightings, beach closings edge east in Florida Panhandle 17 Jun 2010 Pie-sized tar patties washed up on Okaloosa County shores, some of the most pristine in Florida, beaching swimmers in some spots as splotches of BP's weathered oil spill edged east along the Florida Panhandle Thursday. Okaloosa County's health department advised swimmers on Wednesday afternoon to keep out of the water off Okaloosa Island, a stretch of beaches on the outskirts of Destin.

BP Boss Heckled Then 'Stonewalls' US Panel

BP Boss Heckled Then 'Stonewalls' US Panel 17 Jun 2010 BP head Tony Hayward was first heckled by a protester and then accused of "stonewalling" US lawmakers at a tense hearing investigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The chief executive started by reading a prepared statement before a US Congress committee in Washington, and apologised for the what has become its worst environmental disaster. But the BP boss' comments were interrupted as soon as he started talking by a woman protester who had smeared a black, oil-like substance on her hands and face. "You need to be charged with a crime, Tony," she shouted. "You need to go to jail!"

Sliced and diced on Capitol Hill: Hapless BP boss torn apart by political enemies

Sliced and diced on Capitol Hill: Hapless BP boss torn apart by political enemies 18 Jun 2010 Billed as a chance for Washington's finest to 'slice and dice' Tony Hayward, it didn't disappoint. BP's chief executive was subjected to a grilling so savage yesterday it was more like ancient Rome than Capitol Hill. Wave after wave of criticism flew the way of the hapless boss and his company, confirming them both as Public Enemy No 1 in the U.S. In four hours of savage questioning Mr Hayward was accused - continuously - of neglecting safety, cutting corners to make a quick buck, increasing risks and refusing to give any answers. [Nope. Not enough slicing and dicing for my liking. Hey, where are all those 'Second Amendment remedies' that Sharron Angle craves to invoke? Oh, I forgot. Only the *rightwing* can utter such lamentations, unmolested.  --LRP]

Suspect in Times Square Car Bombing Is Indicted

Suspect in Times Square Car Bombing Is Indicted 17 Jun 2010 Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani immigrant charged in the failed Times Square bombing plot, was indicted on Thursday by a federal grand jury in Manhattan, prosecutors said. Mr. Shahzad, who prosecutors have said was cooperating with the authorities after his arrest on May 3, was charged with 10 counts, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Justices Allow Search of Work-Issued Pager

Justices Allow Search of Work-Issued Pager 18 Jun 2010 A California police department did not violate the constitutional privacy rights of an employee when it audited the text messages on a pager the city had issued him, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Thursday. The decision puts government employees on notice that electronic communications on devices provided to them may not be subject to the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches, as long as their employers have "a legitimate work-related purpose" in inspecting the communications.

Texas Lawmaker Apologizes to BP CEO for '$20 Billion Shakedown'

Texas Lawmaker Apologizes to BP CEO for '$20 Billion Shakedown' 17 Jun 2010 In an unexpected move, a top House Republican today offered an apology to BP PLC for what he called a White House "shakedown" of the British oil giant. Texas Rep. Joe Barton, the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, said that President Obama went too far in pressuring BP to fund a $20 billion escrow account to pay for environmental and economic damages resulting from the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil spill. "I am ashamed of what happened at the White House yesterday," Barton said. "I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would consider a shakedown, in this case a $20 billion shakedown."

Justices rule in favor of California police chief who read employee's texts

Justices rule in favor of California police chief who read employee's texts --The Supreme Court says the Ontario employer's perusal of an officer's sexually explicit messages, sent on his work pager, is justified and didn't violate the 4th Amendment. 17 Jun 2010 In its first ruling on the rights of employees who send messages on the job, the Supreme Court rejected a broad right of privacy for workers Thursday and said supervisors may read through an employee's text messages if they suspected that work rules were being violated. In a 9-0 ruling, the justices said a police chief in Ontario, Calif., did not violate the constitutional rights of an officer when he read the transcripts of sexually explicit text messages sent from the officer's pager.

BP Shares Up 7% In Early London Trade After Spill-Fund Deal

BP Shares Up 7% In Early London Trade After Spill-Fund Deal 17 Jun 2010 Shares in oil major BP PLC traded up 7% in London early Thursday after the company said Wednesday it was suspending dividends and setting aside GBP20 billion to cover claims relating to its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. At 0737 GMT, BP shares were up 6.5%, or 22 pence, at 359 pence... BP struck the agreement with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House amid intense political pressure spurred by a steady stream of oil spewing into the Gulf and washing up on beaches and marshes. "BP's package agreed with President Obama should cool the politic heat and provide some degree of comfort to equity and bond markets, shareholders and businesses/residents in (the Gulf of Mexico) affected by the Deepwater Horizon accident," Evolution Securities said Thursday in a research note.

Israel to allow more goods into Gaza

Israel to allow more goods into Gaza --Cabinet decides to ease siege imposed on Strip by Olmert government. Method of blockade to be changed, inflow of civilian goods and material for civilian projects to be expanded 17 Jun 2010 International pressure works: The National Security Cabinet on Thursday concluded its discussions on the Gaza blockade and decided to ease a number of restrictions imposed on the Strip. The international flotilla failed to break the Gaza naval blockade, but it appears the international activists have somehow managed to break the siege imposed on the Strip following the Hamas takeover and the Gilad Shalit abduction.

'US conduct can elicit public revolt'

'US conduct can elicit public revolt' 17 Jun 2010 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says if US politicians allowed the American nation free access to government conduct, US citizens would rise against their outrageous policies. President Ahmadinejad, who is in Iran's western province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, criticized US policies on the global stage on Wednesday and warned officials in Washington about an imminent 'just' world order.

New York library users read authorities riot act

New York library users read authorities riot act --24-hour read-in on steps of Brooklyn library attracts 1,200 people to protest against cuts and expected closures 16 Jun 2010 Library campaigners in New York failed to keep the noise down this weekend as they hosted a 24-hour "read-in" on the steps of Brooklyn public library in protest over cuts to the city's service. From Hemingway and Coleridge to Gossip Girl and Fahrenheit 451, volunteers in the We Will Not Be Shushed campaign took 15-minute slots to read aloud to passersby from 5pm on Saturday to 5pm on Sunday...

Israeli Flotilla Attack May Violate International, Maritime Laws

Israeli Flotilla Attack May Violate International, Maritime Laws 15 Jun 2010 When two widely-divergent investigative panels launch their probes on the recent Israeli attack on a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, one of the disputed issues under scrutiny would be the legality of forcibly boarding a vessel in international waters. The two commissions of inquiry, one appointed by Israel and the other to be named by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, will seek answers to a number of unresolved questions triggered by the attack which killed nine Turkish nationals and sparked worldwide outrage and condemnation.

US aid to Somali military 'illegal'

US aid to Somali military 'illegal' 17 Jun 2010 A US lawmaker says Washington may be in violation of the law by providing military assistance to the Somali government, which employs children as soldiers. In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he noted that such assistance might violate the Child Soldier Prevention provision of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, the New York Times reported. The warning came as the United States is engaged in providing the Somali military with millions of dollars in arms and also pays the salaries of its soldiers.

Laundry CEO Organizes Towel-Collection Drive for Gulf Spill Clean-Up

Laundry CEO Organizes Towel-Collection Drive for Gulf Spill Clean-Up 16 Jun 2010 David Gross, CEO of Gulf Coast Laundry Services in Gulfport, Miss., is coordinating an effort to get much-needed towels to wildlife agencies racing to save birds, turtles, dolphins and other animals affected by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Gross is still reaching out to laundries to gather whatever they can, but the most emergent need is still towels. Gross is also asking laundries to pay for shipping costs of the materials they send.

Sea creatures flee oil spill, gather near shore

'Birds covered in oil are crawling deep into marshes, never to be seen again.' Sea creatures flee oil spill, gather near shore 16 Jun 2010 Dolphins and sharks are showing up in surprisingly shallow water just off the Florida coast. Mullets, crabs, rays and small fish congregate by the thousands off an Alabama pier. Birds covered in oil are crawling deep into marshes, never to be seen again. Marine scientists studying the effects of the BP disaster are seeing some strange -- and troubling -- phenomena... The animals' presence close to shore means their usual habitat is badly polluted, and the crowding could result in mass die-offs as fish run out of oxygen. Also, the animals could easily get devoured by predators.

WikiLeaks to release video of deadly US Afghan attack

WikiLeaks to release video of deadly US Afghan attack 16 Jun 2010 The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks says it plans to release a secret military video of one of the deadliest US air strikes in Afghanistan in which scores of children are believed to have been killed. WikiLeaks said it fears it is under attack after the US authorities said they were searching for the site's founder, Julian Assange, following the arrest of a US soldier accused of leaking the Afghanistan video and another of a US attack in Baghdad in which civilians were killed.

Justice: Blackwater case should have gone forward

Justice: Blackwater case should have gone forward 15 Jun 2010 There was more than enough untainted evidence to justify a trial for five Blackwater Worldwide guards involved in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad, the Justice Department told a federal appeals court. In court papers seeking to reinstate criminal charges, the department asserted that some of the evidence tainted by immunized statements in the case was harmless and did not justify scuttling the manslaughter charges against the guards. In December, a federal judge dismissed the case against the security guards, who had opened fire on a crowded Baghdad street. Seventeen people were killed, including women and children.

Pittsburgh council urges police review board to slow G-20 investigation

Pittsburgh council urges police review board to slow G-20 investigation 16 Jun 2010 After fighting the Pittsburgh police department for access to G-20 summit records, the city's Citizen Police Review Board says it found a new antagonist Tuesday in City Council. CPRB Executive Director Elizabeth Pittinger was visibly angered by council's non-binding resolution urging her to slow down her pursuit of documents she's seeking for a comprehensive report on police conduct during the summit.

Police: Officer under review after punching incident caught on camera

Police: Officer under review after punching incident caught on camera 16 Jun 2010 A Seattle, Washington, police officer who was caught on video punching an alleged jaywalker did nothing wrong, the Seattle Police Officers Guild said. Seattle police are reviewing the incident, which was caught on a witness's cell phone camera, a department spokesman said. Police officials originally said that Officer Ian Walsh had been sent to a training unit to review police tactics, but later said that the officer was not reassigned, Detective Mark Jamieson told CNN.

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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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