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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 34,030

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Without fanfare, Obama advances transgender rights

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — President Barack Obama, who established his bona fides as a gay and lesbian rights champion when he endorsed same-sex marriage, has steadily extended his administration's advocacy to the smallest and least accepted band of the LGBT rainbow: transgender Americans.

With little of the fanfare or criticism that marked his evolution into the leader Newsweek nicknamed "the first gay president," Obama became the first chief executive to say "transgender" in a speech, to name transgender political appointees and to prohibit job bias against transgender government workers. Also in his first term, he signed hate crime legislation that became the first federal civil rights protections for transgender people in U.S. history.

Since then, the administration has quietly applied the power of the executive branch to make it easier for transgender people to update their passports, obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, get treatment at Veteran's Administration facilities and seek access to public school restrooms and sports programs — just a few of the transgender-specific policy shifts of Obama's presidency.

"He has been the best president for transgender rights, and nobody else is in second place," Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said of Obama, who is the only president to invite transgender children to participate in the annual Easter egg roll at the White House.

more

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/without-fanfare-obama-advances-transgender-rights

Weekend Toon Roundup

Iraq





















GOP












Koch


Fox




Football



Goldman Sachs trader sues over skimpy $8.25 million bonus

A former Goldman Sachs (GS) trader, still furious at getting only an $8.25 million bonus in 2010, has taken the giant investment bank to court to get paid millions more.

Deeb Salem says he helped Goldman earn more than $7 billion and that a little more money in his pocket would only be fair considering all his contributions. He wants about $5 million in additional pay from Goldman.

In his petition filed last week in New York's State Supreme Court, Salem said things at Goldman started to unravel when he got a written warning about his 2007 job self-evaluation, Bloomberg reports. In that self-evaluation, Salem reportedly discussed a short squeeze involving derivatives linked to subprime home loans in 2007.

His own words were later used by U.S. Senators investigating whether Goldman bet against the mortgage market in 2006 and 2007 in such a way that helped it reap massive rewards as the housing sector tanked.

more

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trader-sues-over-skimpy-8-25-million-bonus/

Leading scientist ejected by audience after 'trying to crowd surf' at classical music concert

A leading scientist was ejected by fellow audience members during a performance of Handel’s Messiah after he took the director’s invitation to “clap and whoop” to the music a step too far by attempting to crowd-surf.

Tom Morris, artistic director of the Bristol Old Vic, encouraged the audience to respond with enthusiasm to the music but accepted that Dr David Glowacki had “got very over-excited”.

The show was a forerunner to the Bristol Proms, launched by Mr Morris as a more “accessible and informal” alternative to the traditional classical concerts, which will start next month.


Before the performance, Mr Morris invited the audience to bring their drinks into the standing area in front of the stage and instructed them: “Clap or whoop when you like, and no shushing other people.”

But Dr Glowacki, a Royal Society Research Fellow, was so overcome during the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ he began lurching from side to side with his hands raised and whooping before attempting to crowd-surf, witnesses claimed.

- See more at: http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/leading-scientist-ejected-by-audience-after-trying-to-crowd-surf-at-classical-music-concert-30371249.html

Stephanie Kwolek, Chemist Who Created Kevlar, Dies At 90

by CAMILA DOMONOSKE

Stephanie Kwolek, a DuPont chemist who invented the synthetic fibers used in Kevlar body armor, has died at the age of 90, her colleagues said Friday.

A fellow chemist told The Associated Press that Kwolek died Wednesday at a Wilmington, Del., hospital following a brief illness. Kwolek was a groundbreaking scientist and mentor to other women in the field. The astonishingly strong fibers she invented are used around the world in bulletproof body armor.

She earned a degree in chemistry from a women's college at what is now Carnegie Mellon University. After she graduated in 1946, she thought about going to medical school, according to the American Chemical Society, but instead applied for a job as a chemist with the DuPont company.

"She found an opportunity at DuPont because many men were in the military at the time," reports the Wilmington News Journal. Kwolek continued to flourish there long after World War II ended, doing extensive work on polymers.



more

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/06/20/323951708/stephanie-kwolek-chemist-who-created-kevlar-dies-at-90

Massive Fracking on Federal Lands Overwhelms Critical Inspections

Forty percent of the highest-risk oil and gas wells drilled on federal lands over the past several years have gone uninspected by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), according to a recent Associated Press (AP) analysis. The massive boom in oil and gas drilling on federal and tribal lands, primarily using hydraulic fracturing (fracking) techniques, has resulted in a one-third increase in oil and gas wells since 2007, with a total of more than 100,000 wells.

According to the AP analysis, 1,400 of the approximately 3,500 wells in 13 states classified as “high priority” due to their potential risk for water contamination and other health and safety concerns have not been federally inspected between 2009 and 2012. Half of the high-priority wells in South Dakota hadn’t been inspected, while Wyoming had the largest number (632) of uninspected wells. The BLM has agreements regarding well inspections on federal lands with regulators in California, Colorado, Nevada, and Wyoming. All high-risk wells were inspected in six states – Alabama, Mississippi, Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Texas.

A May 2014 report on the same issue from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 2,100 of 3,702 high-priority wells in 14 states hadn’t been inspected by the BLM between the 2009 and 2012 fiscal years. The AP report found that the GAO analysis overcounted the number of high-priority wells and the number of uninspected wells due to duplicate entries in the BLM database. The GAO also found that the BLM database was missing information on the priority status of almost 1,800 wells. The GAO report noted that “BLM is hindered in its ability to provide reasonable assurance that federal and Indian resources are properly managed and protected because not all BLM field offices have comprehensive and reliable data identifying the location of federal and Indian oil and gas resources or existing and new wellbores — data needed to protect oil and gas resources.”

The amount of funding that BLM has received for inspecting oil and gas wells has declined over the past several years. If approved by Congress, the BLM's 2015 budget request of $150 million for oil and gas operations would allow the agency to conduct the bulk of its required inspections over three years, in part by collecting fees from oil and gas companies. Unlike past years, $48 million will be earmarked for inspections. However, the BLM has made similar budget requests over the last several years with little success.

more

http://www.foreffectivegov.org/blog/massive-fracking-federal-lands-overwhelms-critical-inspections

Chief Justice Warren Burger on the 2nd Amendment

Judge Rules for Family in Texas Fracking Case


The judge presiding over a pivotal case involving toxic emissions from gas and oil drilling has accepted a jury verdict that awarded $2.9 million to a family who said the emissions have made them sick.

Judge Mark Greenberg issued a one page ruling late Thursday denying a motion by Aruba Petroleum to reject the jury’s verdict. Among Aruba’s arguments rejected by Greenberg were that Bob and Lisa Parr did not prove the emissions that made them sick came from Aruba wells.

The Parrs filed their lawsuit in March 2011, claiming they were “under constant, perpetual, and inescapable assault of Defendants’ releases, spills, emissions, and discharges of hazardous gases, chemicals, and industrial/hazardous wastes.”

Following a two-week trial in April, a Dallas County jury found that Aruba “intentionally created a private nuisance” that affected the family's health and awarded the Parrs damages. The case is one of the first successful U.S. lawsuits alleging that toxic air emissions from oil and gas production have sickened people living nearby.

Lisa Parr said Greenberg’s ruling further validates the family’s claim of being made sick by emissions generated by Aruba.

- See more at: http://thecontributor.com/judge-rules-family-texas-fracking-case

Man Shoots Self at Arlington Nat’l Cemetery

Source: ARLnow

Police are on the scene of a self-inflicted shooting at Arlington National Cemetery.

Initial reports suggest a man shot himself in the head with a shotgun around 10:20 a.m. Paramedics determined the man to be dead on the scene.

The shooting was reported to have happened near the Pentagon Monument in Section 64, within view of the Pentagon at the southeastern corner of the cemetery. The Pentagon Monument is where remains of the victims of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon were buried.

The scene has been turned over law enforcement for an investigation, according to scanner traffic.

Read more: http://www.arlnow.com/2014/06/20/breaking-man-shoots-self-at-arlington-natl-cemetery/

Bridgegate indictment of Christie cronies 'near-certain,' says published report

The Bridgegate-related indictment of political allies of Gov. Chris Christie on federal corruption charges is a near certainty, with prosecutors launching a second grand jury intent on pressing defendants to testify against the governor, according to a published report quoting unnamed sources.

An article posted by Esquire today quotes two anonymous sources it says are familiar with an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Newark into the September George Washington Bridge lane closures.

A broadening criminal investigation stemming from the closures is being led by Christie's successor as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Paul Fishman.

The Star-Ledger could not confirm the report. The U.S. Attorney's Office had no comment.

"One source expects Fishman to return some indictments as soon as next month," the article states. The article names David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, both former Port Authority officials, and Bridget Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff and Bill Stepien, Christie’s former campaign manager, as the targets of the indictments.

more

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/06/bridgegate_indictment_of_christie_cronies_near-certain_says_published_report.html
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