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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 08:39 AM
Number of posts: 45,757

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Collins Enters Game, Becoming NBA'S 1st Openly Gay Player

Source: Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jason Collins has become the first openly gay player to see action in an NBA game.

Collins, signed Sunday to a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn, reported into the game against the Los Angeles Lakers with 10:28 left in the second quarter and the Nets leading 35-26 after Nick Young made the first of his two free throws.

The crowd welcomed him with a nice ovation when public address announcer Lawrence Tanter announced his name.

Earlier, Collins said he was too busy trying to learn plays to worry about making history.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/collins-enters-game-nbas-1st-openly-gay-player

Breaking: Ukraine's Legislature Votes to Hand Presidential Powers to Parliament Speaker

Source: Associated Press

@AP: BREAKING: Ukraine's legislature votes to hand presidential powers to parliament speaker.

@BreakingNews: Ukraine's parliament votes to temporarily hand over the duties of president to the speaker of the assembly, Oleksander Turchinov - @Reuters


— Feb. 23, 2014 5:58 AM EST

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's newly emboldened legislature has voted to hand the president's powers to the parliament speaker.

The legitimacy of Sunday's vote is unclear. President Viktor Yanukovych has said that a flurry of parliament decisions in recent days are illegal.

The Verhovna Rada voted overwhelmingly to temporarily hand the president's powers to speaker Turchinov.

Oleksandr Turchinov is a close ally of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the president's main foe.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ukraine-presidents-whereabouts-unclear

Carbon Monoxide Detected at NY Mall, 1 Dead

Source: Associated Press


Feb. 22, 2014 10:56 PM EST

HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. (AP) — A hospital spokeswoman says a man has died after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a New York mall.

Huntington Hospital spokeswoman Julie Robinson-Tingue says the man was one of 10 people brought in after the carbon monoxide incident Saturday at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island. The hospital did not immediately release any information about the man.

Suffolk County police earlier said three officers were among those overcome by carbon monoxide at the mall, which is about 35 miles east of New York City. They responded to a call shortly after 6 p.m.

Robinson-Tingue said three people were being treated at the hospital and the others have been discharged.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/5-hospitalized-due-carbon-monoxide-ny-mall

Forget The Local Cold: Worldwide, It Was Another Hot January


Forget The Local Cold: Worldwide, It Was Another Hot January

February 21, 2014 4:24 PM

January will go down in the weather history books as the fourth-warmest on record.

That's right.

No matter how brutal the winter was in North America, especially the Eastern half, it was balanced by warm temperatures elsewhere on the planet.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climate Data Center says that last month marks the 38th consecutive January and the 347th consecutive month (almost 29 years) that global temperatures have been above the average for the 20th century.

The last time the average temperature was below-average in January was in 1976 and the last time there was a below-average month was February 1985. Record keeping goes back to 1880.

NOAA says the combined global land and ocean surfaces for last month was 54.8°F (12.7°C), or 1.17°F (0.65°C) above the 20th century January average of 53.6°F (12.0°C):

"Most areas of the world experienced warmer-than-average monthly temperatures, with the most notable warmth across Alaska, western Canada, southern Greenland, south-central Russia, Mongolia, and northern China. Parts of southeastern Brazil and central and southern Africa experienced record warmth, contributing to the warmest January Southern Hemisphere land temperature departure on record at 2.03°F (1.13°C) above the 20th century average. Temperature departures were below the long-term average across the eastern half of the contiguous U.S, Mexico, and much of Russia. However, no regions of the globe were record cold."

The Weather Channel asks "in a warming world, how can it be so bitterly cold?"

"Deke Arndt, a scientist at the National Climatic Data Center explains, 'We see more evidence that we will continue to have cold air outbreaks as the climate continues to warm. Cold air outbreaks, like the type we saw in January, over time, have become statistically more uncommon.'"

Jeffrey Toobin: Clarence Thomas Disgraceful Silence (Eight Years Now)


February 21, 2014


As of this Saturday, February 22nd, eight years will have passed since Clarence Thomas last asked a question during a Supreme Court oral argument. His behavior on the bench has gone from curious to bizarre to downright embarrassing, for himself and for the institution he represents.

- snip -

As for Thomas, he is physically transformed from his infamous confirmation hearings, in 1991—a great deal grayer and heavier today, at the age of sixty-five. He also projects a different kind of silence than he did earlier in his tenure. In his first years on the Court, Thomas would rock forward, whisper comments about the lawyers to his neighbors Breyer and Kennedy, and generally look like he was acknowledging where he was. These days, Thomas only reclines; his leather chair is pitched so that he can stare at the ceiling, which he does at length. He strokes his chin. His eyelids look heavy. Every schoolteacher knows this look. It’s called “not paying attention.”


Oregon Won't Defend Gay-Marriage Ban in Lawsuit

Source: Associated Press


— Feb. 21, 2014 2:59 AM EST

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — On March 12, 2004, the state of Oregon had a problem. Its most populous county was handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and the state was unsure whether those actions were on solid legal footing.

Ted Kulongoski, then the governor, asked his attorney general if state agencies should treat same-sex marriages as legal, until the state Supreme Court makes a decision,

"Existing Oregon statutes limit the grant of marriage licenses to one man and one woman," then-Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers wrote.

That November, 57 percent of Oregon voters agreed to a gay marriage ban. Then the Supreme Court voided the marriage licenses already issued. And federal law still banned the recognition of same-sex couples.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/oregon-wont-defend-gay-marriage-ban-lawsuit-0

Ew! Michelle Obama on Tonight Show w/ Jimmy Fallon

Ukraine (PHOTO)


Department of Homeland Security Raises Shoe Bomb Concern with Airports

Source: CBS News

@BreakingNews: US advises airlines of potential threat on overseas flights to the US; intelligence warns of explosives hidden in shoes - @nbcnightlynews

Department of Homeland Security raises shoe bomb concern with airports

Feb 19, 2014 4:37 PM EST

The Department of Homeland Security has in the last 12 hours has put out an advisory to airlines to be aware of new chatter about explosives in shoes.

While not a new threat, there is a renewed threat stream about terrorists attempting to carry explosives in shoes. Officials tell CBS News no direct threat has been made, but the chatter was enough to cause feds to issue a warning to airlines and security officials worldwide for America-bound flights.

Increased security is likely in terms of more pat downs and checks of shoes.

DHS says the alert was put out under an “abundance of caution.”

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/department-of-homeland-security-raises-shoe-bomb-concern-with-airports/

UK Court: David Miranda Detention Legal Under Terrorism Law

Source: The Intercept

UK Court: David Miranda Detention Legal Under Terrorism Law

By Ryan Devereaux

19 Feb 2014, 5:23 AM EST

A British lower court has ruled that London police acted lawfully in employing an anti-terror statute to detain and interrogate David Miranda for nearly nine hours at Heathrow Airport last summer, even while recognizing that the detention was “an indirect interference with press freedom.”

In a decision released Wednesday morning Lord Justice John Laws, Mr Justice Duncan Ouseley and Mr Justice Peter Openshaw said that while Miranda’s detention was “an indirect interference with press freedom” it was justified and legitimate due to “very pressing” issues of national security.

- snip -

After the police’s justification was made public in November, leading UK human rights groups and a member of the British parliament expressed outrage, saying it appeared baseless and threatened to have damaging consequences for investigative journalism, the Guardian reported .

Greenwald told The Intercept the UK has the unique distinction of being the only foreign government that has equated the NSA coverage he and Poitras are responsible for to terrorism.

- snip -

“We made clear long ago that we would not ever be deterred in any way in reporting aggressively on these documents by this kind of thuggish behavior from the British government, and we have been and will continue to be very true to our word,” Greenwald added. “It is ironic that as the world rightfully condemns the Egyptian military regime for imprisoning Al Jazeera journalists on the ground that their journalism is a form of ‘terrorism’, the UK Government yet again shows the repressive company it keeps by doing the same.”


Read more: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/02/19/uk-court-david-miranda-detention-legal-terrorism-law

Greenwald's Response:


- snip -

Equating journalism with terrorism has a long and storied tradition. Indeed, as Jonathan Schwarz has documented, the U.S. Government has frequently denounced nations for doing exactly this. Just last April, Under Secretary of State Tara Sonenshine dramatically informed the public that many repressive, terrible nations actually “misuse terrorism laws to prosecute and imprison journalists.” When visiting Ethiopia in 2012, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns publicly disclosed that in meetings with that nation’s officials, the United States “express our concern that the application of anti-terrorism laws can sometimes undermine freedom of expression and independent media.” The same year, the State Department reported that Burundi was prosecuting a journalist under terrorism laws.

It should surprise nobody that the U.K. is not merely included in, but is one of the leaders of, this group of nations which regularly wages war on basic press freedoms. In the 1970s, British journalist Duncan Campbell was criminally prosecuted for the crime of reporting on the mere existence of the GCHQ, while fellow journalist Mark Hosenball, now of Reuters, was forced to leave the country. The monarchy has no constitutional guarantee of a free press. The UK government routinely threatens newspapers with all sorts of sanctions for national security reporting it dislikes. Its Official State Secrets Act makes it incredibly easy to prosecute journalists and others for disclosing anything which political officials want to keep secret. For that reason, it was able to force the Guardian to destroy its own computers containing Snowden material precisely: because the paper’s editors knew that British courts would slavishly defer to any requests made by the GCHQ to shut down the paper’s reporting.
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