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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 45,771

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Jonathan Schell, Anti-War Activist, Dead at 70 (Author of 'Fate of the Earth')

Source: Associated Press


— Mar. 26, 2014 5:11 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Jonathan Schell, the author, journalist and anti-war activist who condemned conflicts from Vietnam to Iraq and warned of a nuclear holocaust in terrifying detail in his galvanizing best seller, "The Fate of the Earth," has died at age 70.

Schell's companion, Irena Gross, told The Associated Press that he died Tuesday at their home in New York City. The cause was cancer, she said Wednesday.

With a hatred of war shaped in part by his eyewitness accounts of U.S. military operations in Vietnam, Schell wrote for decades about the consequences of violence — real and potential — with a rage and idealism that never seemed to wane.

As gentle in person as he was impassioned on paper, Schell was a reporter and columnist for The New Yorker and Newsday among others and a longtime writer for The Nation, where his most recent column appeared in the fall. He wrote several books, notably "The Village of Ben Suc" about Vietnam and "The Fate of the Earth," published in 1982 during an especially tense moment of the Cold War. With the conservative Ronald Reagan in the White House, "Fate of the Earth" seemed to capture the fears of anti-nuclear protesters, who at the time were calling for a weapons freeze.

"The machinery of destruction is complete, poised on a hair trigger, waiting for the 'button' to be 'pushed' by some misguided or deranged human being or for some faulty computer chip to send out the instruction to fire," Schell wrote in the book, which drew upon a series of articles for The New Yorker and which he was inspired to write after hearing government officials talk of fighting a limited nuclear war. "That so much should be balanced on so fine a point — that the fruit of four and a half billion years can be undone in a careless moment — is a fact against which belief rebels."

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/jonathan-schell-anti-war-activist-dead-70

Malaysia Says Satellite Has Spotted 122 Potential Objects in Ocean Possibly From Missing Plane

Source: Associated Press

@AP: BREAKING: Malaysia says satellite has spotted 122 potential objects in ocean possibly from missing plane.

CNN Breaking News - Malaysia received new satellite images that showed 122 potential objects in one area of the ocean, official says.

@BreakingNews: Malaysia receives satellite images from France identifying 122 potential objects in sea, Malaysian transport minister says - live video


— Mar. 26, 2014 7:35 AM EDT

PERTH, Australia (AP) — A French satellite scanning the Indian Ocean for remnants of a missing jetliner found a possible plane debris field containing 122 objects, a top Malaysian official said Wednesday, calling it "the most credible lead that we have."

Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the objects were more than 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Australia, in the area where a desperate, multinational hunt has been going on since other satellites detected possible jet debris.

Clouds obscured the latest satellite images, but dozens of objects could be seen in the gaps, ranging in length from one meter (yard) to 23 meters (25 yards). Hishammuddin said some of them "appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid materials."

The images were taken Sunday and relayed by French-based Airbus Defence and Space, a division of Europe's Airbus Group; its businesses include the operation of satellites and satellite communications.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/hunt-flight-370-resumes-calmer-seas-0

Heads Up: Jimmy Carter Coming Up On Colbert Report


Breaking: Obama to Call for End to N.S.A.’s Bulk Data Collection

Source: New York Times

Obama to Call for End to N.S.A.’s Bulk Data Collection

March 24, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is preparing to unveil a legislative proposal to drastically overhaul the National Security Agency’s once-secret bulk phone records program.

Under the proposal, data about Americans’ calling habits would be kept in the hands of phone companies, which would not be required to retain the data for any longer than they normally would, according to senior administration officials. If approved by Congress, the changes would end the most controversial part of the bulk phone records program, a major focus of privacy concerns inside the United States since its existence was leaked last year.

In a speech in January, President Obama said he wanted to get the N.S.A. out of the business of collecting call records in bulk while preserving the program’s capabilities. He acknowledged, however, that there was no easy way to do so, and had instructed Justice Department and intelligence officials to come up with a plan by March 28 — Friday — when the current court order authorizing the program expires.

As part of the proposal, the administration has decided to renew the program as it currently exists for at least one more 90-day cycle, senior administration officials said. But under the plan the administration has developed and now advocates, the officials said, the government would no longer systematically collect and store records of calling data. Instead, it would obtain individual orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain only records linked to phone numbers a judge agrees are likely tied to terrorism.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/us/obama-to-seek-nsa-curb-on-call-data.html

TOM TOMORROW: The Surveillance Society - A Look Back

DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/24/1286432/-Cartoon-The-surveillance-society-a-look-back

Malaysian PM: 'According to This New Data, Flight MH370 Ended in S. Indian Ocean'

Source: Associated Press

@BreakingNews: Malaysian PM: 'I must inform you that according to this new data, Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean' - live video

@AP: MORE: Malaysian PM Najib Razak says the information was based on an unprecedented analysis of satellite data: http://t.co/nOMG0m4JqK


— Mar. 24, 2014 10:29 AM EDT

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says a new analysis of satellite data indicates the missing Malaysia Airlines plane plunged into a remote corner of the Indian Ocean.

The news is a major breakthrough in the unprecedented two-week struggle to find out what happened to Flight 370, which disappeared shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew aboard on March 8.

Dressed in a black suit, Najib announced the news "with deep sadness and regret" in a brief news conference late Monday night.

He said Malaysia Airlines has informed the families of passengers of the plane's fate.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/chinese-plane-spots-object-indian-ocean

"The Good Wife" Shocks Viewers, Producers Explain


"The Good Wife" shocks viewers, producers explain

Mar 24, 2014 8:43 AM EDT

You can call it one of the best-kept TV secrets.

(Spoiler Alert)


Breaking: Barge Carrying Fuel Oil collides w/ Ship in Galveston Bay, Spilling Unknown Amount

Source: NBC News

@BreakingNews: Barge carrying 924,000 gallons of fuel oil collides with ship in Galveston Bay, spilling unknown amount of oil - @AP http://t.co/OiNSW9yqna


— Mar. 22, 2014 11:09 PM EDT

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — A barge carrying nearly a million gallons of especially thick, sticky oil collided with a ship in Galveston Bay on Saturday, leaking an unknown amount of the fuel into the popular bird habitat as the peak of the migratory shorebird season was approaching.

Booms were brought in to try to contain the spill, which the Coast Guard said was reported at around 12:30 p.m. by the captain of the 585-foot ship, Summer Wind. Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Kristopher Kidd said the spill hadn't been contained as of 10 p.m., and that the collision was still being investigated.

The ship collided with a barge carrying 924,000 gallons of marine fuel oil, also known as special bunker, that was being towed by the vessel Miss Susan, the Coast Guard said. It didn't give an estimate of how much fuel had spilled into the bay, but there was a visible sheen of oil at the scene.

Officials believe only one of the barge's tanks was breached, but that tank had a capacity of 168,000 gallons.

"A large amount of that has been discharged," Kidd said. He said a plan was being developed to remove the remaining oil from the barge, but the removal had not begun.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/barge-leaking-oil-galveston-bay-after-collision

Lawyers for 2 Ex-Christie Aides Call for Immunity

Source: Associated Press


— Mar. 21, 2014 7:14 PM EDT

Lawyers for two former underlings of Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in separate court filings Friday that a legislative committee should be able to offer their clients immunity from prosecution in exchange for providing information for the committee's investigation of possible political payback.

The briefs on behalf of former Christie aide Bridget Kelly and ex-campaign manager Bill Stepien were highly critical of the court filings from the lawmakers early this week, questioning their motives for releasing emails involving their clients and their legal positions.

Kelly's lawyer, Michael Critchley, compared the committee's arguments to "Alice in Wonderland."

The issue before a state court judge in Trenton is whether the lawmakers can force Kelly and Stepien to comply with subpoenas in the investigation of politically motivated traffic jams created near the George Washington Bridge last year. The judge, Mary Jacobson, had asked both sides to write briefs on the issue of immunity.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/lawyers-2-ex-christie-aides-call-immunity

NC Pulls Deal With Duke On Coal Ash Pollution

Source: Associated Press


— Mar. 21, 2014 4:41 PM EDT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina regulators say they have asked a judge to withdraw a proposed settlement that would have allowed Duke Energy to resolve environmental violations by paying a $99,000 fine with no requirement that the $50 billion company clean up its pollution.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said in a statement Friday that it would scuttle the proposed consent order to settle violations for groundwater contamination leeching from coal ash dumps near Charlotte and Asheville.

The decision comes after a Feb. 2 spill at a Duke coal ash dump in Eden coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge.

The settlement was initially tabled last month, the day after an Associated Press story highlighting what environmentalists criticized as a "sweetheart deal" to Duke.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/nc-pulls-deal-duke-coal-ash-pollution
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