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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
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Obama’s EPA Gets Supreme Court Hearing on Coal Pollution

Source: Bloomberg

By Greg Stohr - Jun 24, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider reviving an Environmental Protection Agency rule that would curb emissions from coal-fired power plants, in a clash over the Obama administration’s biggest air-quality effort.

A federal appeals court threw out the cross-state air pollution rule last year, saying the EPA had gone beyond its powers under federal law. That decision was a victory for coal companies and utilities, which called the measure one of the costliest ever issued under the Clean Air Act.

The administration is seeking to reinstate a rule it says would prevent up to 34,000 premature deaths and produce as much as $280 billion a year in economic benefits. The rule, which has never taken effect, caps emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides in 28 states whose pollution blows into neighboring jurisdictions. All are in the eastern two-thirds of the country.

“The court of appeals’ decision will seriously disrupt the EPA’s implementation” of the Clean Air Act, “and it threatens serious harm to the public health,” U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argued in seeking high-court review.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-24/obama-s-epa-gets-supreme-court-hearing-on-coal-pollution.html

Wikileaks Founder Says Snowden Possibly Applied For Asylum In Multiple Countries

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (ah-SAHNJ') says former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has possibly applied for asylum in other countries besides Ecuador.

Assange says he cannot go into detail about Snowden's whereabouts except to say that he is safe.



Supreme Court Says No To Generic Drug Design Lawsuits

Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court says generic drug manufacturers can't be sued in state court for a drug's design defects if federal officials approved the brand-name version the generic drug copied.

The justices voted 5-4 to agree with generic manufacturer Mutual Pharmaceutical Co, Inc., which wanted a $21 million judgment against it dismissed.

A New Hampshire jury gave that to Karen L. Bartlett after she took sulindac, the generic form of the drug Clinoril, in 2004. It caused her outer skin layer to deteriorate and burn off, leaving at least 60 percent of her body as an open wound. She is also now legally blind.

Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SUPREME_COURT_GENERIC_DRUGS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-06-24-10-16-23

Sen. Feinstein On Edward Snowden: "The Chase Is On"

(CBS News) "The chase is on," Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Sunday on "Face the Nation," after the former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States for leaking top-secret government surveillance programs reportedly arrived in Moscow early Sunday morning from Hong Kong, where he had been hiding.

"I think it's a very big surprise," Feinstein said. "I had actually thought that China would see this as an opportunity to improve relations and extradite him to the United States. China clearly had a role in this, in my view. I don't think this was just Hong Kong without Chinese acquiescence."

The United States "doesn't know what happened," CBS News White House correspondent Major Garrett explained, having crafted under the extradition treaty charges that would be applicable in Hong Kong. "It put together what it said and thought were really good charges that represented everything we could legally prosecute Edward Snowden under," Garrett said, "thought there was an agreement with the Hong Kong authorities.

"...It looks like there was a technicality," he continued. "There was a lack of an Interpol warrant in addition to the charges rendered by the United States government, and that might have created a seam, a very small seam in which the Hong Kong authorities allowed themselves to let Edward Snowden out of there. It is also the belief within the administration that Hong Kong was getting weary of the saga and would prefer Edward Snowden to get out. He's gotten out, and he's now somebody else's problem - mainly the United States'."



Offering Snowden Aid, WikiLeaks Gets Back in the Game

WikiLeaks once again seized the global spotlight on Sunday by assisting Edward J. Snowden in his daring flight from Hong Kong, mounting a bold defense of the culture of national security disclosures that it has championed and that has bedeviled the United States and other governments.

Accompanying Mr. Snowden on the Aeroflot airliner that carried him on Sunday from Hong Kong to Moscow — continuing a global cat-and-mouse chase that might have been borrowed from a Hollywood screenplay — was a British WikiLeaks activist, Sarah Harrison. The group’s founder, Julian Assange, who has been given refuge for the last year in Ecuador’s embassy in London, met last week with Ecuador’s foreign minister to support Mr. Snowden’s asylum request. And Baltasar Gárzon, the legal director of WikiLeaks and a former Spanish judge, is leading a volunteer legal team advising him on how to stay out of an American prison.

“Mr. Snowden requested our expertise and assistance,” Mr. Assange said in a telephone interview from London on Sunday night. “We’ve been involved in very similar legal and diplomatic and geopolitical struggles to preserve the organization and its ability to publish.”

By Mr. Assange’s account, the group helped obtain and deliver a special refugee travel document to Mr. Snowden in Hong Kong that, with his American passport revoked, may now be crucial in his bid to travel onward from Moscow.



Does Edward Snowden Flight Change The Narrative Of NSA Story?

I had a great chance today to be part of two panels on CNN's "Reliable Sources" that looked at how the media were framing the NSA surveillance story even as Edward Snowden was en route to Moscow and points beyond looking for asylum in Ecuador.

Host Howie Kurtz and the producers threw out the show's game plan and went with the Snowden story during all segments but one Sunday.

Check out these two videos not just to see CNN's worldwide coverage, but also how Kurtz and his guests were able to critique the media aspect of the story as the story itself was unfolding. They explained how Snowden's actions could dramatically shift the media -- as it was actually shifting.

After I got home and listened to replays of some of the other Sunday morning shows, I was shocked at how many guests and hosts had all but instantly dropped their privacy, First Amendment and excessive surveillance concerns to focus on Snowden in negative ways.

Forget what you think sbout Snowden. Focus on the issue of our government secretly moving into every aspect of our lives under a president who promised transparency.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/tv/z-on-tv-blog/bal-does-edward-snowden-flight-nsa-narrative-20130623,0,4736053.story#ixzz2X5a8txtr

Russian Law Enforcers Have No Grounds To Detain Snowden

MOSCOW, June 24 (Itar-Tass) - Russian law enforcers have no grounds to detain CIA's ex-agent Edward Snowden, a source in law enforcement agencies told Itar-Tass. "Snowden is not on a wanted list internationallylist, which might be a ground to detain him.

Neither did he commit any unlawful acts in the territory of the Russian Federation," the source explained.

At present, Snowden is still in the transit zone of the Sheremetyevo airport where he is awaiting a flight to Havana, an aiport official said. "He did not go through the border control, i.e. formally he did not cross the border," the source said.


Snowden's Travels Raise Concerns Of Foreign Involvement

WASHINGTON - National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden's flight from extradition is raising new concerns about possible assistance from foreign governments.

As Snowden hopscotched from Hong Kong to Moscow Sunday, apparently en route to Cuba and then Ecuador, U.S. officials pointed angry fingers at China and Russia.

The finger-pointing followed news that Snowden, 30, the man who leaked information earlier this month about NSA telephone and Internet surveillance programs, had left Hong Kong before U.S. officials could have him extradited on espionage charges.

Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said China "clearly had a role in this." Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., accused Russia's Vladimir Putin of "aiding and abetting Snowden's escape."

And Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said Cuban President Raul Castro or Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro could use Snowden "as a bargaining chip to get more concessions from the Obama administration."



Oh if only there is a way to blame this on Iran/Syria...

Whistleblower Snowden Escapes Arrest In Hong Kong Thanks To US Errors

Edward Snowden was five hours into his flight from Hong Kong, having already been served one of two hot meals, when news of his departure to Moscow began to electrify media organisations all over the world.

The Hong Kong authorities waited until Snowden was safely out of Chinese airspace before sending out a short press release that confirmed the intelligence whistle-blower had been allowed to leave on Aeroflot flight SU213, bound for Russia.

The 30-year-old had not been stopped on his way to Chek Lap Kok airport, and was allowed to slip away on a hot and humid morning, despite American demands that he be arrested and extradited to face trial for espionage offences.

The reason?

The Americans had mucked up the legal paperwork, the authorities claimed in a statement released at 4.05pm local time.



Clinton's Got It Wrong: Our Freedom is Our Right, Not Your Choice

Everyone has had a similar experience. There is some maintenance problem in your home that you have put off repairing for a while. In the back of your mind, you know that leaving it as is might cause greater problems in the future. A friendly handyman looked at it and told you that maybe you can push it a few more years but you will certainly have to confront it at some point. Perhaps fixing it at the moment is too costly; maybe it just takes too much effort. Ultimately, you know it can’t stay like this forever but as long as the consequences seem distant into the future, the more you’re likely to put it off.

Maybe you’ll get around to it one day, maybe you won’t.

U.S. singer Barbra Streisand, former U.S. president Bill Clinton, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend Peres's 90th birthday celebrations in Jerusalem, on June 18, 2013. (Jim Hollander / AFP / Getty Images)

Yet this is precisely how the rights and freedoms of Palestinians are dealt with.

It is a narrative that has been repeated many times by high profile American officials. Mostly recently, we heard this from former President Bill Clinton who earlier this week spoke at an event honoring Israeli President Shimon Peres. The Times of Israel reported on Clinton’s remarks:

“The longer the Palestinian conflict remained unsolved,” he said, “the more acute the demographic challenge would become for Israel. […] No matter how many settlers you put out there, the Palestinians are having more babies than the Israelis as a whole… You’ve got an existential question to answer.”

Put aside for a moment the very racist notion of paranoid baby counting and consider the overall framing. The freedom of millions of Palestinians living under the yoke of Israel’s military occupation is portrayed as a matter that Israel should resolve because eventually they may be dealing with a larger problem: having to accept Palestinians as equals. Palestinian rights are reduced to an Israeli prerogative.


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