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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 37,358

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Relief distribution a challenge to rattled residents of Tongan islands (hit by Cyclone)

Director of Health Dr Siale Akauola told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat that mental health services are a priority, along with providing ample supplies of safe drinking water.

"A lot of people would need psychological counselling after this disaster so we are working with NGOs and church groups to provide that service for people," he said.

"We have (set up) a sub-committee to look at the specific strategies we are going to use to develop the whole infrastructure for this group of islands like buildings, looking at the utilities, waste management and things like that."

The Tonga Water Board reports that supply is back to normal in the main town of Pangai on Lifuka island, with Tonga Power working on re-establishing power to 900 residences.

Four days after the category five cyclone devastated the Ha'apai group of islands, killing one person and making thousands homeless, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has published an assessment of the damage.


Amazon is a hornet’s nest of malware

Amazon's cloud computing service plays host to some of the most prolific malware distributors on the Internet, security researchers have discovered.

Of the 10 sites that pump out malware most frequently, four are hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) — including the number one site, download-instantly.com, according to a threat report published Wednesday by the IT security firm Solutionary.

The report comes a week after we learned that hackers allegedly used Amazon's cloud hosting solution as a platform for a botnet that scraped personal information from potentially millions of LinkedIn subscribers.

Cloud computing is becoming an attractive way for online criminals to launch attacks against businesses and consumers because of its low cost. It allows users to instantly set up an array of virtual servers that can be ordered to perform both legitimate and abusive functions.


NM 'anal probe' police lawsuit settled

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A city and county in southern New Mexico have settled a lawsuit filed by a man taken to two hospitals and subjected to anal probes over suspicion of hiding drugs, the man's lawyer said Monday.

According to attorneys for David Eckert, Hidalgo County and the city of Deming recently settled their portion of a lawsuit for a total of $1.6 million.

The lawsuit, filed against police and sheriff's officials in Deming and Hidalgo County, which borders Mexico, alleges Deming police sought a search warrant for Eckert because they thought he appeared to be clenching his buttocks when he got out of his car in January 2013.

Hidalgo County sheriff's deputies told the Deming police officers Eckert was known in the area for carrying drugs inside his body, the lawsuit said. Police also brought in a drug-sniffing dog, which detected something in the driver's seat.



Funny, if I cost my employers 1.6 million from my screwups, I would be out the door in a hurry. Not with cops.

5,900 natural gas leaks discovered under Washington, D.C.

DURHAM, NC – More than 5,893 leaks from aging natural gas pipelines have been found under the streets of Washington, D.C. by a research team from Duke University and Boston University.

A dozen of the leaks could have posed explosion risks, the researchers said. Some manholes had methane concentrations as high as 500,000 parts per million of natural gas – about 10 times greater than the threshold at which explosions can occur.

Four months after phoning in the leaks to city authorities, the research team returned and found that nine were still emitting dangerous levels of methane. "Finding the leaks a second time, four months after we first reported them, was really surprising," said Robert B. Jackson, a professor of environmental sciences at Duke who led the study.

The researchers published their findings this week in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology.


Congress would rather, of course, buy more useless F35 non-operational fighter jets than try to clean up our infrastructure.

Activists in Wuhan block truck carrying 2,800 cats headed for Guangxi to be slaughtered

Activists in Wuhan on January 14 blocked off a truck carrying more than 2,800 cats that were headed to Nanning, Guangxi, reportedly to be sold to restaurants for their meat. Traffic police intercepted and ordered further investigation of the driver, surnamed Liu, who had a fake quarantine license for the cats.

The protestors blocked off the truck all night before 30 more activists rushed to the scene as reinforcements on January 15. Until 6 p.m., volunteers and the owner of the truck were still in a stage of stalemate. A spokesperson for the Animal Protection Association Center in Wuhan said that there was no way to take in all of the 2,800 cats but that they should be rescued and properly placed.

Jiangxia district animal quarantine authorities so far have put this batch of cats on withholding, Jiangxia district animal health supervision director Ren said.

At the end of last November, some 600 cats were saved in Shanghai's Putuo district after a man attempted to transport them in small crates from his truck and sell them for fur and meat.

In that case, the cats were taken by various volunteers and adoption centers or released into cat-friendly compounds.


Latinos set to surpass whites in California in March

Melody Gutierrez
Updated 7:37 am, Thursday, January 16, 2014

California is growing older and more diverse.

The Latino population is projected to surpass that of whites in California in March to become the single largest "race or ethnic group," according to a report on shifting demographics in Gov. Jerry Brown's 2014-15 budget proposal. Also, the number of residents 65 and older will jump by 20.7 percent over the next five years, the report said.

State demographers expected Latinos to surpass the non-Hispanic white population seven months earlier, but Latino birth rates were lower than anticipated. Now, officials say, by March Latinos will make up 39 percent of California's population, edging out non-Hispanic whites at 38.8 percent. Nearly 25 years ago, non-Hispanic whites made up 57 percent of the state, while Latinos made up 26 percent.

The state's Department of Finance includes the projections in the governor's budget proposal because of the potential economic impact, such as the increase in retirees affecting the scope of services needed for an aging population, or income disparities among minority groups increasing the need for social or educational programs.



After Killing Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs By Blocking UI Republicans To Go On Vacation

A synopsis is a brief summary or general survey of something, and if one looked back from the bipartisan budget deal up until Senate Republicans blocked an unemployment benefit extension on Tuesday and Wednesday, the result would be a synopsis of every Republican tactic over the past five years to hurt Americans and obstruct the economy. Shortly after the bipartisan budget deal was announced and it was clear there was no provision to extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed, it was obvious to this column that Republicans would not extend the benefits. In fact, yesterday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said “this has obviously been fixed to guarantee that you get no outcome,” and it was fixed before the budget agreement was announced as a “victory” for Washington and America on December 10th 2013.

Insiders reported that Democrats tried to get unemployment benefits extended for 1.3 million unemployed Americans in the bipartisan budget deal, but Republicans led by Paul Ryan said no. At the time the big Republican lie was a promise they would take up and address the issue early in 2014, but they never intended to address extending benefits unless Democrats found funding and delayed implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Last week, six Republicans said they supported “consideration” of a 3-month extension of benefits, though most of them said they could only consider an extension and that they would only vote for legislation if it were paid for. Harry Reid and Democrats found funding for the extension for eleven months, but Republicans still said no and it gave credence to Reid’s words that “this has obviously been fixed to guarantee that you get no outcome.” It was always fixed to guarantee there would be no outcome, and it is why Democratic negotiators failed the people when they believed Republicans during the budget talks.

Republicans also exposed their penchant for double standards in requiring the extension be paid for. When George W. Bush was president, unemployment benefits were extended five times with “no strings attached any of those times.” It reveals another typical Republican tactic since 2011 that some observers predicted would occur when Republicans said they would address the UI issue in 2014; demand funding and a hostage payment. It is a case of Republicans punishing Americans for re-electing an African American because when a white Republican was president, they made sure their out-of-work constituents were saved from falling into poverty. Republicans have amassed quite a double-standard record of holding a Black man occupying the Oval Office to different standards than just over five years ago when Bush, a white Republican, was president. Republicans still claim their tactics are not driven by racial animus and bristle at the mere suggestion, but it is clearly their motivation for their obstructionism.

The GOP is also typically punishing its own constituents in primarily Southern states such as Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky where the long-term jobless rate is significantly higher when compared to the rest of the nation. Of sixteen senators representing the eight Southern states, fourteen are Republicans with one Democrat each from North Carolina and Florida. Many of the fourteen Republicans were already on record against an extension despite aggressive local news coverage and polls showing substantial bipartisan support for extending the emergency benefits. However, Republicans in Southern states have little to fear from voters who reliably vote against their own self-interests and make no mistake, Republicans who voted against an extension are hurting their constituents and their home state economies as much as voters in blue states. Democrats estimated that the economy lost $400 million in activity in the first week without benefits, but Harvard economist Lawrence Katz put the number at $1 billion. Over the course of a year the adverse effects on the economies in states where more people are missing benefit checks, many of which are deep red, will be catastrophic and still, they will re-elect Republicans because they promise to oppose everything the Black man in the White House supports.



In honor of Joe Scarghazi this morning

Thursday Toon Roundup 2- The Rest







Thursday Toon Roundup 1- Rethugs

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