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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 11:55 PM
Number of posts: 27,457

Journal Archives

Republicans vote to give police powers to arrest people planning peaceful protests

Source: Independent

Police may be given power to arrest anyone involved in a peaceful demonstration that is merely suspected of turning violent.

Republican senators in Arizona voted for SB1142 this week, which proposes expanding the state’s racketeering laws to also include rioting.


Republicans voted by 17 to the Democrats' 13 in favour of the bill on Wednesday.

It will now go to the House of Representatives for approval.


Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/arizona-republicans-police-arrest-peaceful-protest-powers-vote-violent-state-senate-a7595361.html

It also allows asset seizure.

FirstEnergy talks bankruptcy and need for bailout of its nuclear plants

Source: Crain's Cleveland Business

FirstEnergy Corp. executives used two words a lot when discussing the company's financial position and its plans to exit the nuclear power business when they spoke with analysts Wednesday, Feb. 22: "bankruptcy" and "billions."

The Akron-based company might be working to position itself for better treatment from state legislators — from which FirstEnergy hopes to secure ratepayer-funded relief for its nuclear plants near Dayton and Toledo — but it made clear that the stakes are high and even bigger than FirstEnergy itself. None of the analysts questioned the company's sincerity or used the other "b" word: bluffing.

First, came the billions. FirstEnergy reported it lost $6.2 billion, or $14.49 per share, in 2016. That's down from positive earnings of $578 million, or $1.37 per share, in 2015.

Yet, FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones began the call with analysts by saying, "2016 was a successful and transformative year for FirstEnergy."


Read more: http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20170222/NEWS/170229921/firstenergy-talks-bankruptcy-and-need-for-bailout-of-its-nuclear

Which Teens Are Most Likely to Smoke Pot? The Smart Ones, Study Finds

Source: Time

High-achieving teenagers are more likely to drink alcohol and use cannabis than their less school-smart peers, a new study of British adolescents suggests.


"Our finding that adolescents with high academic ability are less likely to smoke (cigarettes) but more likely to drink alcohol regularly and use cannabis is broadly consistent with the evidence base on adults," the study's authors said in a statement. They added that the fact that alcohol and cannabis use among high-achieving pupils persisted into early adulthood is evidence against the hypothesis that high academic ability is associated with temporary experimentation with substance use.

The study was published in the BMJ.

Read more: http://time.com/4678433/brainy-teens-smoke-tobacco-pot-study/

BMJ study at http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/7/2/e012989
(The article had a bad link)

Radioactive boars eating false truffles could cause supply issues in Czech Republic

Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Key points:
- Boars are eating mushrooms containing Caesium 137
- Boar meat is a delicacy in the Czech Republic
- 47 per cent of boars tested from 2014 to 2016 exceeded radioactivity limits

The Czech Republic has an unusual problem this winter with its wild boar meat — the boars are radioactive.

A cold and snowy winter is forcing them to feed on false truffles, an underground mushroom common in the Sumava mountain region shared by Czechs, Austrians, Germans — and wild boars.

The mushrooms can absorb high levels of the radioactive isotope Caesium 137. And three decades ago the nuclear catastrophe at Chernobyl released Caesium 137 that eventually drifted down on the Sumava mountains.


The half life of Caesium 137 is 30 years — that is, it takes 30 years for the radioactivity of the isotope to fall to half its original value.

Then another 30 to fall to half again, and so on. The boars could be radioactive for quite a while.

And that could cause some problems with the supply of boar meat, which is a delicacy in the Czech Republic.


Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-23/many-wild-boars-roaming-czech-forests-are-radioactive/8295400

Thiel company helped support NSA spy program: report

Source: The Hill

Billionaire Peter Thiel’s company Palantir helped support the National Security Agency’s controversial spy program XKeyscore, according to a report in The Intercept citing previously undisclosed documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Palantir helped build software to accelerate and increase the NSA’s use of XKeyscore, according to the documents.


Thiel is an adviser to President Trump who has reportedly spearheaded the search for chair of the Federal Trade Commission and the antitrust head at the Justice Department.


According to the new disclosures, Palantir has also been employed by at least three members of the intelligence alliance called “Five Eyes” that connects the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada with the United States.


Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/320592-palantir-helped-support-nsa-spy-program-xkeyscore-report

Robot probes show Japan reactor cleanup worse than expected

Source: Associated Press

Robot probes sent to one of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear reactors have suggested worse-than-anticipated challenges for the plant’s ongoing cleanup.

The plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the remote-controlled “scorpion” robot was sent into the Unit 2 reactor’s containment vessel Thursday to investigate the area around the core that had melted six years ago, but its crawling function failed while climbing over highly radioactive debris.

The robot, carrying a dosimeter, thermometer and two small cameras, transmitted some data and visuals but could not locate melted fuel - key information to determine how to remove debris out of the reactor. The robot was abandoned inside the vessel at a location where it won’t block a future probe.

Preliminary examinations over the past few weeks have detected structural damage to planned robot routes and higher-than-expected radiation inside the Unit 2 containment chamber, suggesting the need to revise robot designs and probes.


Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bad-news-from-japans-wrecked-fukushima-nuclear-reactor/

Pentagon Papers whistleblower: Leaks 'can make a difference'

Source: The Hill

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg suggested that the leaking of certain information might be justified in the Trump administration.

Following President Donald Trump’s recent statements threatening harsh penalties for those who leak privileged government information — including that leakers would “pay a big price” — Daniel Ellsberg encouraged further public disclosure of certain types of government secrets.

“I’m saying I want people to put out the truth as they see it, their version of the facts, as they see it, yes,” Ellsberg said to a crowd of around 200 during a public dialogue at Georgetown University. “There is a chance it can make a difference, and I think it will make a difference in various ways.”

Specifically, Ellsberg said government information should be released when it is crucial to the public interest and that of Congress, when lives depend on the information and when it reveals that the U.S. Constitution is being violated.


Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/320046-pentagon-papers-whistleblower-leaks-can-make-a-difference

WikiLeaks Latest Documents: CIA Spied On French Presidents, Political Parties In 2012

Source: International Business Times

Seven documents allegedly show the Central Intelligence Agency spied on all of France’s major political parties in the months leading up to the country’s 2012 presidential election, WikiLeaks revealed Wednesday.

That the United States spied on French and other world leaders is nothing new, but WikiLeaks latest document dump asserts the CIA employed three “tasking orders” to target France’s Union for a Popular Movement, the Socialist Party and the National Front parties.

The report also said current President Francois Hollande, ex-President Nicholas Sarkozy, leading candidate Marine Le Pen, and former candidates Dominique Strauss-Khan and Martine Aubry were each targeted by one of the main U.S. intelligence arms.

The alleged operation took place from November 2011 to September 2012, or 10 months.


Read more: http://www.ibtimes.com/wikileaks-latest-documents-cia-spied-french-presidents-political-parties-2012-2493301

Toshiba's Chairman Resigns as Its Nuclear Power Losses Mount

Source: New York Times

Toshiba, the embattled technology conglomerate, said it planned to write off more than $6 billion and withdraw from the business of building nuclear power plants as the impact of a disastrous bet on American nuclear energy continued to rock a mainstay of corporate Japan.

The company also said on Tuesday that its chairman, Shigenori Shiga, would resign, ending weeks of speculation.

Its executives have come under intense scrutiny because of the financial mess and the years of flawed business decisions that led to it. The company said it was examining whether managers had acted inappropriately when they struck a deal to buy a company at the center of the problems.


Reactors that the company is building in the United States at the Virgil C. Summer nuclear station in South Carolina and the Alvin W. Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia are about three years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. Plants in China are also taking longer than planned to complete.


Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/business/toshiba-chairman-nuclear-loss.html

Those projects should be canceled immediately, they are a waste of money.

Thank you fo the heart; Heart - The Rain Song

This song pulls on my heart strings.
Thank you.

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