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Home country: USA
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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

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Oakland woman loses 2 sons to homicide in 3 weeks

by Henry K. Lee

When her 13-year-old son, Lee Weathersby III, was slain in East Oakland on New Year's Eve, Dinyal New was comforted by loved ones including her other child, 19-year-old Lamar Broussard, who remarked that Lee "was so perfect that he was too good to be true."

Now she is preparing to bury a son for the second time in three weeks. On Sunday, Broussard was fatally shot along with a second man as they rode in a car less than a mile away from the first crime scene.

On Monday, New said she was trying to remain strong. But the 41-year-old woman, a social worker's assistant, acknowledged that she didn't have the strength to positively identify both of her sons, asking relatives to do so "because I just have to remember them exactly the way they were."

To lose one son is bad enough, she said. To lose a second one is almost unthinkable. "I have no more kids," she said, adding that she was struggling with her faith in a higher power.



Taxes on tech firms are "going to go up and they are squealing like stuck pigs."

by Cyrus Farivar

Last year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)—a group of the world’s top economies—decided it was time to crack down on international tax shenanigans through meaningful reform.

These legal loopholes allow major tech corporations to move money around on paper through a series of shell corporations in Ireland, Bermuda, and the Netherlands. The companies save big, and "best" of all, it’s currently legal! This widespread strategy of moving money around involves two specific tactics better known as the “Dutch Sandwich” and the “Double Irish.”

Starting February 3, the Task Force on the Digital Economy is set to convene at the OECD’s office in Paris to discuss the global corporate response to these potential plans to rein in questionable tax practices. Last week, the OECD published various corporate responses to its initial proposal—needless to say, companies don’t want to stop what they’re doing.

“This kind of tax planning, I believe, will end—the tax rate on the tech firms is going to go up, and they are squealing like stuck pigs,” Edward Kleinbard, a professor of tax law at the University of Southern California, told Ars.



What really happened when a U.S. drone hit a Yemeni wedding convoy?

by Iona Craig

JISHM, Yemen – On Dec. 12, 2013, shortly before the sun dipped behind the mountains and left a handful of modest stone-built homes and grazing goats in a fading silhouette, the ground shook. Across the valley, black smoke billowed into the sky. In the moments it took for the repeated explosions to echo from beyond the dry riverbed, the lives of scores of men, women and children in the Yemeni village of Jishm were shattered.

Four missiles fired from a U.S. drone hit a wedding convoy near the town of Radda’ in the central province of al-Baydah, killing 12 men.

The attack

The line of 11 vehicles were en route to the village of al-Abusereema, carrying out the tradition of bringing the bride to the family home of the groom, Abdullah Mabkhut al-Amari.

But along the country’s remote highlands, broken up by dry riverbeds, the convoy had paused.

The terrain was so harsh that they crawled along at less than 10 mph, up stony hillsides and down into the gravel base of a dried out river. And at some point, further back along the winding, sandy trail, one of the cars had broken down. The party divided as some stopped to help, and then re-grouped in a dip, in the shadow of a ragged hillside. A few men in the procession then noticed something unusual. The humming stopped.



Toon: "Worst President Ever"

So True- The DC Ferris Wheel

Toon: "Do we look like Wolves to you?

Toon: The Governor

TEPCO says new leak discovered in Fukushima reactor 3 building

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant utility operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said on Saturday that they have detected a new water leak in the No. 3 reactor building. Workers at the crippled plant saw through a video feed that water was leaking from the first floor to the basement of the building that was damaged during the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011, which caused the worst nuclear accident of recent times.

While TEPCO is currently investigating the source of the leak, they believe it is either coming from a pipe that is sending water to cool down the nuclear reactor or from the reactor containment vessel itself. If it’s the former possibility, then the water is contaminated and will mean more problems for the company. The workers saw the leak through video from a remote-controlled robot that was removing debris from the first floor of the building at around 2:40 PM on Saturday. It was around 30 centimeters wide and was coming from a room where the main steam isolation valve is located. They currently have no idea as to the volume of the water that was leaking.

Last year saw several incidents where radioactive materials leaked from the facility, with some even contaminating the nearby oceans. This has severely delayed the decontamination and decommissioning process at the plant, which is already predicted to last for decades. However, there’s also the possibility that the latest leak detected is just ordinary rainwater that’s draining off, since they have not detected any irregularity in the cooling operations. There has been no change in the radiation levels at the building as well as the volume of water that’s cooling down the reactor. The radiation has been measured at 30 millisieverts which is almost the same as those from other floors.


A 1962 Speech by MLK Jr. was released for the first time today

Audio Recording: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
September 12, 1962



For Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a focus on kitchen table finances in her second year

By STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has garnered the kind of fevered attention during her freshman year that would make most political figures drool — with supporters even calling on her to consider a 2016 presidential bid, a notion she's dismissed.

As she enters her second year in Congress, the Massachusetts Democrat said her focus is instead on improving the economic fortunes of ordinary Americans, a theme that is dovetailing with a renewed emphasis in her party on economic justice and with President Barack Obama's own stated goal of addressing income inequality.

For Warren, stabilizing the ordinary American family's finances rests on a number of pillars — from reining in student debt to easing what she calls the nation's retirement crisis to doubling funding for federal research programs.

Warren has also positioned herself as a passionate defender of Social Security, even bucking Obama on changes she said would weaken a key protection for millions of older Americans.


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